Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Getting A Dose of Reality in the DR

Well, it was a fine week here. It was just as any other I suppose, except I talked with you two and... well yeah that's pretty much it. I didn't ever go on an exchange with Elder Pinkston (that'll be next Monday) because I sort of just fell sick. I know, I was fine on skype with you, but after I got a fever and chills. Don't worry though, by the next day that was gone and all that stayed with me was a cough and stuffy nose. I'm just about over that too.

Like you said, I felt like that was a good skype session. I felt like it was a lot different from Christmas. At Christmas it still felt like I had an eternity left on my mission, and now it felt like coming home was soon. And it is... relatively speaking. It felt like you guys had a different attitude this time. Like you were just checking in.. Not like we were catching up on everything. It was nice, it told me that you had the same mentality as me. We are going to be together soon, so we'll just talk then.

I will ask Elder Pinkston what his parents' phone number is the next time I see him. We have the exchange next monday so by then I'll have it.

Today was a really great p-day. We played basketball, and then all went to papa johns and got their lunch special (it's a little expensive, definitely not something you can do everyday, but it was reeeeallly tasty) then went shopping and got a hair cut. We took the traditional afternoon nap and now.. I'm writing you. It was great though because yesterday was a reaaally tough day. Like.. I know it's really routine that missionaries get doors slammed in their face, but I can count on one hand the times it's happened to me on my mission. Yesterday it happened three times. Slammed in our face. Ha it was painful, but I just need to suck it up because there are missionaries that suffer WAAAAY more than me (I'm thinking about Europe... or the USA). I need to remember that when I'm with the missionaries in Ada.

I really am getting close now. It's hard to believe. Does it really come to an end? Crazy.

Let's see. Oh, it's really hot here again. Like I'm remembering last summer and just how hot it got in La Yaguita. That was the trial. Leaving on time in this heat.. takes some serious determination.

Love you guys. Glad to see grandpa so smiley getting his hair cut. And of course, glad to see you enjoying your chocolate cake and milkshakes.... jerks.

See you soon,

Till next week, not a second wasted,

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney

Gettng Ready for the Mother's Day Call...and more stuff

Wow. That´s really tragic what happened with grandpa Rufus. I didn't know that was part of Alzheimers, that like you started losing your sanity as well as forgetting things. That's so sad. I guess I'll get to see him on Sunday.

Speaking of that, let's talk about that for a sec. On Sunday we're gonna give you a call about 2:00- 2:30. My number is 809-723-7031. Give me a call when you're ready and I'll go straight from the lunch appointment on sunday with the members to the member who has the computer. That's what we'll do. If you have any questions just call me... on sunday when it's allowed. Ha

So this week has been pretty normal. SUPER fast. Unbelievable how quickly time is flying now. I had p-day Santiago today, which doesn't mean much for me because I'm in the same zone as the office and pricemart, but it was pretty cool seeing and hanging out with Elder Pinkston. He's my best friend from the mission I would say.

We have 2 baptisms coming up on Saturday. Both are really legit. Carlos Jorge is one of them, he was so prepared it was ridiculous. He is the guy that has the computer I'm using Sunday. So, he'll be a member when I use the computer but isn't one yet. He's got great internet too so we should have a good webcam session, unlike Bonao.

The other is Anthony, a young man who's actually the son of recent converts. He's 16, future missionary. He's honestly just got a light about him.

I have hit a rough patch.. It's weird, now that I'm so old in the mission and need to be update more than ever, I'm getting less and less letters. It's painful. Ha but I don't worry. I got the package this last Friday, and let me tell you, it was pretty expensive. But don't worry, I'm gonna just get by with mission money. I need to learn how to budget better anyway.

I loved that package though. I didn't even know it but I was craving those bullseye things (those caramels with creme in the middle) like crazy. I also dug the newspaper article. It sounds to me like they're a typical Ada golf team. They show signs of brilliance but then just flake when it counts. 3rd place. 2nd loser. ha but I'm still proud of them. I can't say I did better or I'd be lying. We couldn't pull it out either. It hurts. I feel their pain. But sounds like their super stars have a year left.

Being a zone leader is a bit harder than I thought it would be. It's stressful. I am always tired. Worrying about a lot of different things at once. But it's so darn worth it. I feel so tired but so good when I lay my head on the pillow every night. It's hard work, but I know the time to do it is short so that's what keeps me going till the end. No regrets.

Well, I'm about out of things to write. It's been a pathetic letter, but we'll talk plenty on Sunday. I love you family. Stay safe and well. Say hi to the ward for me so they don't forget about me. I'll be home soon.

Till next week, not a second wasted,

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney

Adjusting to (and loving) life as a Zone Leader

Alright, good letter.. Good letter. I'll give it my best shot.

Well, to answer your questions, first of all the comp I have isn't the one I took a picture with in the CCM. And, even if it was, I wouldn't have any way of knowing which photo your talking about, that was a LOOOONG time ago. Ha

But, he is a fantastic comp. He's so humble, we just laugh and laugh sometimes thinking about the CCM and how greeney we were. At other times we talk about how crazy fast time flies. We are working like mad men though. We taught 45 lessons last week, I think that tops the mission. And this week we're not slowing down. It's looking like we'll be having about 8 baptisms this transfer, and that's assuming a couple of them fall through. I can't take the credit for it though, it's a lot of the efforts of Elder Newmeyer and a lot of missionaries before me. Even Elder Walker, my father in the mission (he finished here in this area) has some people that we hope will be baptised this transfer.

About the Ward. It's a good ward. There are 6 missionaries in this one ward, actually, and it's not even that big of a ward building. It's not the stake center, so it's kind of outdated. Not ugly, just old looking, sort of rustic. But rustic in the church here in the DR unfortunately means kind of ugly.

Anyway, we usually have around 100-110 at Sacrament meeting. I met this girl in the ward last week that actually is going to BYU. I asked her how it was, and she told me it was pretty much exactly the same. Ha that actually brought comfort to me. I want BYU to be the same when I get there. I know it will be a different experience, but I want it to be that way because of me, not because the school is different.

I am so pumped to go back to school. I never realized how much I loved learning until I came on the mission. It's actually really fun to challenge yourself with a hard class, or a tough schedule, or a tough major. Plus, the people.. I miss Nathan Keesling, and Cameron's random visits, and midnight runs to Del Taco.

Let's see. Well we actually contacted into someone somewhat famous the other day. It's the lead singer of Banda Real. He's not internationally famous, but he is really famous here, and actually a really nice guy. He has a very nice apartment, a super sweet Colombian wife, and two cute little baby boys. They've become pretty legit investigators.

Monday was my first training meeting as a ZL. I was legitimately nervous for the first time in a while in the mission. But, having a comp doing the training with you is such a huge support. If you forget anything, he talks about what you forget and it's seemless.

I hear Anthony is doing well over there in Pueblo Nuevo now. His wife is progressing like crazy and may have even surpassed him in her progression. She's feeling the difference in her life through prayer and study of the BoM.

I can't think of much more to say about what's going on here. Oh, that story about Grandpa Rufus is heartbreaking. I don't know what to say. Is Grandma in a cast right now? Keep me posted.

I am so excited to go play golf with you. Ha I so wish you would have said that to Kedy. We're going to have tons of fun when I get back, especially you when you can beat me because I haven't seen a golf club for a year and 8 months.

Love you two. It's so close to the end I can taste it. But it's a bitter sweet taste. Definitely gonna be a weird adjustment.

Be safe, be good, take care of grandpa.

Till next week, not a second wasted.

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney