Friday, December 20, 2013

The Gospel Changes Lives

Everything has been going really well here!! I am still loving every minute of it trust me I am. My Spanish is getting better still getting over the scared part and that comes with time. I am talking more and more because I understand about everything they say. But sometimes they throw me for a loop because they say it a different way than I have heard it before so then I sometimes give the wrong answer.. ha but all is well. It’s getting better trust me. :) 
Yes I did get your package with the pictures in them and the movies thank you so much!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE THE PICTURES!!!!!!!! I probably look at them every night before I go to bed for some reason.. ha if you want with the next package you can put more pictures... :) ha 
Well what has happened in my week this week. My letter is a bit later today because we had a Christmas Conference with the Capital missionaries. It was originally supposed to be with the whole mission but President got an email from the First Presidency that we are spending to much money as a mission so we had to fix some things. Thats what he said but I think that email was for all the missions in the world. Because there is no way that we could be spending too much money because you can get from one side to the other side of the country for less then 500 pesos and that is only like 10 dollars. So we had the conference with the Capital missionaries instead of the whole mission. I saw a lot of my friends that I was in the CCM with and so that was cool and it was a lot of fun! President asked if all the zones could do a 5 minute skit for the other zones to make it fun and we did one that was really interesting and we came up with songs from like Tarzan sound play, it was about Samuel trying to convert the wicked Nephites back to the true church. It was really fun and well put together. Our Zone Leader went all out with it and made it probably the best one there. I hate to brag but it was the best one there.. ha 
 Our investigator update...
I am just going to talk about one today because she has been the best one we had this week and we have had many experience with her that have been pretty cool. We have been having really strong lessons with her lately and been inviting in the spirit every time. But we were at her house on Saturday and we started off singing and saying the prayer like we always do and then we ask her about her day and week. She told us a story, I’ll do my best because it is not fresh in my mind. I dont have my journal with me (yes I am writing in my journal). I am going to kind of briefly touch on her past. She has a Special Needs daughter that is hers and her ex husband. They did not get a long very well because I will admit she is kind of a fighter and seems like she likes to argue (thats what I can see in her but I am not exactly sure). She takes care of her daughter and buys her everything and her ex husband comes over every once in a while to give her money but they always get into a fight about it and it never ends well. Anyway, she was telling us that for the past week she has been having dreams about asking her ex-husband for forgiveness. She has been having these dreams for the past week and she always put it to the side. Then she had it again the next night. Her ex-husband came over to her house Friday night to give her some money for their daughter. So she thought about the dreams that she has been having. When he came over, she respected everything that he did and stayed really calm.  Then she asked for some money so she can buy new clothes for her daughter for the new year. He quickly said that everything you buy for her I want a receipt back from you telling me what you bought her. She said in the past she would have quickly blown up because he has never asked for a receipt from her for 9 years and now he is asking for one. But she stayed really calm and said that he can just keep the money and buy the clothes for her so she doesnt have to deal with it. Shortly before he left she asked for forgiveness from all the things that she has done to him and from all the arguments they had in the past. I wish I could tell you the rest of the story but thats where she stopped with the story.
 I LOVE the mission because it is so wonderful to see people change right in front of your eyes and help them through everything and answer all the questions they have to offer! It is a wonderful opportunity and I think that every should go on a mission to see the Gospel change people lives forever and make miracles happen! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and it can change lives like it has changed this 28-year-old woman with a handicapped daughter. I have witnessed it first hand and it is true. We started to teach her 5 weeks ago and our first lesson she didnt really pay attention and was like almost disgracing the Church. She always looked like she was stressed and worried about something, never really took it into her heart, and would never really do the commitments that we gave her. Since like 2 weeks ago she has been doing the commitments and doing her nightly prayers with her daughter. We can see the difference in her. You look into her eyes and see that they are just peaceful now and stress free and loves her life and loves her daughter even more than she has!! It is just amazing to see the gospel change someone’s life!! I ask you guys at home to let the gospel do the same thing to you, think more about Jesus Christ and let his spirit in where ever you are and it will bless you and change your life. I know it can change your life nobody is perfect and everyone can use a little more gospel. Read the scriptures every day even if it’s just a couple of versus. He respects you and loves you so much!! He wants the best for all of us! He wants us to receive his gospel and endure to the end and we will receive eternal life¨ 2 Nefi 31:20 (sorry if its not exactly correct its translated from Spanish Book of Mormon) Heavenly Father is always with you he is your companion your BEST companion in life. He is always listening to your prayers. It might seem like he is not but I know for a fact that he is listening to your prayers!!! I love you guys and miss you guys so much!!! 

Te Quiero,
Elder Medrano

This kid is a missionary in the making he goes out with us from 2 tell 9.. every single week.. 

This is my Zone.. Ken and Zac yes that is Elder Gabler.. ha 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

DR Thanksgiving and Moving

Yes I was homesick over Thanksgiving but all the holidays I’m homesick even if we don’t celebrate them here – there are plenty of missionaries from the states that we don’t forget the holidays.  I just think I have one more to go and then I will almost be done with my mission J

The temperature here doesn’t change much it is always around 85 degrees just the humidity changes.  I can’t really complain about the temp but I really do like the cold and skiing!!! It is going to drive me crazy to know it is snowing and I’m not up there on that slope!!! 

We do have two baptisms scheduled this week but we don’t know if it will happen because they have to get married first and they have been planning it for a while but they don’t have the money.  We don’t have any new investigators, it isn’t that we haven’t tried but contacting is just terrible here because nobody is ever home. It is light until about 9 at night and they are usually out on the street or out in the backyard.  They know the people that knock on the door are usually missionaries because others just usually walk in.  When there is a knock they won’t come to the door.  We are trying really hard to find new investigators but we aren’t having any luck.

This past week we moved one of our investigators out of their house into another one and they had a lot of stuff that was in their tiny house, more than I think they could fit in a smaller house. But it took from 9 in the morning tell 2 in the afternoon.  It took 2 truckloads to move all of their stuff to the other house. Two truckloads may not seem a lot but you should have seen how small the house was they are moving into.  People here love to keep everything – nothing gets thrown away.  It was only myself, my companion and another member that helped.  I have got to say Dominicans are some of the most relaxed people and nicest people at the same time.  They bought us a lot of water and Gatorade because we were sweating so bad carrying their stuff up and down stairs. This happened on a Saturday before Fast Sunday.  We start our fast after lunch on Saturday and go through Sunday lunch ohhhh man I was dead tired and hungry after we moved them... we finally got back home showered as quickly as we could and hit the streets again but in dress clothes this time. ha Ohhhhhh man that was the most tiring day I have had on the mission so far.  But we kept energized knowing that Monday was P-day and that’s what all the missionaries look forward too. ha But all is good now and they loved us so much because we helped with the move.  They told us they would do anything for us if we ever needed something just to give them a call.

Thanksgiving was great we had Pic a pollo which is just chicken and rice but they cook it a different way. So my Thanksgiving dinner was some chicken, rice and a little bit of mashed potato’s. haha so nothing like the states.. at least I got to eat.  We made it fun because they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here.

It was transfers this past week, I remained with the same companion.  Actually the whole Zone remained the same, there were only two new missionaries added to our Zone because there are missionaries that are going home. I am still in the same ward and same house and have the same investigators. I was so glad because I LOVE my ward and the members as well as my companion.  I was really worried that I was going to be asked to train this transfer, I was glad it didn’t happen because I am still not to comfortable with Spanish as I would like to be but it is coming a long and hopefully by this next transfer I can have it down.

Tell everyone hi and that I love them – talk to you next week.


Elder Medrano

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Are you guys from Utah??

All is going well here. Just the same old stuff has been happening. I had 5 pairs of pants made by the local tailor and everyone calls them Dominican pants because the Dominicans make them a little tighter at the bottom instead of loose which I do like a lot and they fit amazing! 

The food is good here. It’s the same chicken all the time, but we are mixing it up every day because everyone is getting sick of the rice and beans.

Ohhh yes yesterday I was at church and a normal church day right?? But after church was over the second counselor came up to me and ask if I can give a talk next sunday..... ummmm haha obivously I couldnt say no because I am a missionary, so I said yes and now I have to prepare for a talk where I don’t even know how to speak spanish... ha but I guess we will see what happens in a week. 

One day we were trying to find a less active member that is in the ward.  We were in a huge apartment complex ha yeah it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.. but our first door that we contacted was a mom and we introduced ourselves and ask her if she knew these people that we were looking for and she said no - of course.. ha but the next thing she said is “are you guys from Utah??” we looked at each other we were like what the heck nothing like that happens; then she said that her daughter studied at Utah State for a little while and that she wanted us to come in to meet her. So we did and we ended up having a lesson with her and she obviously knew a little bit about that church because she lived in Utah.. and this whole lesson was in English!! ha it was a great break from Spanish that’s for sure. I taught all of the lesson and we both walked out of her house and we both look at each other and we both said at the same time "did you feel the spirit in there" and the spirit was so so so so strong while we were teaching it was unbelievable how strong it was!!! She is open to talk to us and she wanted to know more, it was just a great experience that involved the spirit so strongly!! 

I’m sure there will be more experiences next week – wish me luck with my talk in Church!


Elder Medrano
We found this spot in our area by accident. 
I know I know my hair is long... I'm getting it cut tomorrow!

These are my jeans for the mission. Still dress pants! :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Confidence Booster

Dang it I am so jealous that it is snowing there I wish it would just snow here just once but nope that is not possible at all! I was at church yesterday and I looked out the window and it was raining, I thought it was snowing for a minute but then I remembered that I was in the DR... I will only miss two skiing seasons!
My new area is a lot closer to our house, we walk about 10 mins to our area which is cool but I didn’t mind walking the long distances. 

Since we lost the companions that would always cook for us we are now sharing the cooking arrangements, we switch off every day and whoever doesn’t cook gets to do the dishes, so we aren’t always on dishes which is nice.   

Well here is something that happened yesterday that was pretty cool! Yesterday in fast and testimony meeting Santa, a really strong member, went to bear her testimony. She started to bear her testimony and said she had a really really spiritual experience last Wednesday. I wasn’t really paying attention very well but when I heard her talk about the spiritual experience I looked at her and she was looking right at me. Then I remembered that we were at her house with her family and husband who is not a member of the church because he sells lottery tickets on the streets.  Santa’s husband talked to the Stake President about selling the lottery tickets and the Stake President said it was okay because that is how he is supporting his family. He has a testimony that the church is the true church and that he wants to get baptized but he doesn’t want to go to church and feels awkward because he sells numbers on the streets. Anyways, the next thing that she said is that her family and husband had a lesson with the missionaries. She said something that gave me so much confidence and that I was fasting for... it went something like this - she had a really strong spiritual experience with one of the missionaries that is new to the field and it is hard for him to speak in Spanish and can’t really express his feelings and himself yet. But this one missionary’s testimony was short and only consisted a couple of things like "the church is true, the Book of Mormon is true, etc." she said that it was short but still so powerful because he was not scared to bear his testimony in Spanish but yet it was so powerful and could feel the spirit working with his tongue so strong. She said that from then on out that she learned the gift of tongues is true and had the most powerful experience. Santa’s testimony gave me a really strong confidence booster for my mission and for my Spanish! 

After Santa’s testimony another guy came up to the stand and nobody knew who or where he was from. He shared that he was at work one day at the Panaderia Thani (thats right next to our church). It was on a Wednesday and it was rainning super hard and he see´s two Mormons with white shirts and ties running, smiling and laughing down the middle of the street in the pouring rain. He said since that day he was wondering what this Mormon Church was all about and why they were so happy to be running down the road laughing and smiling while it was pouring rain. After he sat down everyone started to laugh, because the Dominicans when it rains they all hide under a tree or a garage because it passes in like 10 mins haha. Those two crazy Mormon people running down the middle of the road was my companion and I because we were late to a meeting with the members of the ward. By the time we got to the church we were soaking wet, pants, ties, everything soaking wet. My tie was so wet that I twisted it to drain the water out and on the ground was a puddle of water just from my tie haha. See what the littlest things do to bring people to church and how they look at a missionary or even just a mormon and judge them right away on the streets. How they can easily judge our religion just by one simple thing like that! 

Everything is going great. We taught five inactive families over the week and all five families came to church yesterday so that was really cool and six of our investigators came to church also!!! We were really excited and so was the Bishop about our work! Our week went well just the normal walking, working and teaching the word of god. :)


Elder Medrano

A community service activity on Saturday

What we have to ride in to get to places called a guagua

This is in my area on a rooftop