Friday, August 30, 2013

The Holy Ghost is Powerful

Four weeks down and plenty more to go! But it’s amazing here and I love every minute of it. I am so happy here and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world on my mission than here. It’s amazing how Heavenly Father just knows where to send you. 

I get out of the CCM on September 10. I get my new companion and my new area on that day too. So that day is going to be BIG. It’s going to be fun and I’m excited! I am praying for my first area to be by the ocean or clear out in the Campo where it’s forest and no cities. That would be nice. 

I want to share an awesome experience I had earlier this week. On Tuesday we went to the store to buy stuff that we needed. As my companion and I were walking back from the store we were in front of the whole group probably like a block and we had to cross a busy street. Now driving here is different like I mentioned in an earlier email. There are no rules or traffic stops. People just run red lights, speed, and they cut people off like crazy. Anyways, my companion and I were crossing this busy street legally and it had a green walking signal. I felt something in me saying that I needed to stop where I was. I had no idea why I needed to because the street looked fine to cross. So I kept crossing the street and then it happen again. I felt that I needed to stop. At this time I was in the middle of the road with my companion behind me. The middle of the road is not a good place to be in a country like this with no violations. So I took one more step and I felt it again so I was like okay I’ll stop. I stopped and then honestly 3 seconds later a bus flew right by me. Now I don’t know how fast it was going but my guess would probably be 20 MPH and took a hard turn right. If I had stuck my arm out half way it probably would’ve been taken off. When we finally got across the road safely my companion asked how I knew to stop because he knew that both of us didn't see it coming and I just stopped randomly in a busy road. I told him that I got a prompting to stop and by the third time it said it to me to stop I did and then the bus flew by us. Later I told him that it was the Holy Ghost talking to me and I have never had something like that happen to me before. If I didn't listen to that prompting I would have been coming back in a casket. I've never really had an experience like that to know if it was true. But know I believe it with all my heart that it is true and I will listen to it every time because in this situation I would have been dead if I didn't trust the word of the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful to have the Holy Ghost with me as my companion. I know that this church is true with all my heart and I know that The Book of Mormon is true. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet of God and I know what he says is true. Rely on the Gospel as much as you can and it will help you with anything you need. I love you and think a lot about you. I miss you so much and can’t wait to get back. I wish I was there to support you in every way but I know that I am suppose to be here and it was the right time for me to go. 

This week my companion and I had to go to the University of the Republica Dominicana. We had to talk to people and try to pass out flyers for the church that had the mission home’s phone number on the back so they could talk to the missionaries. We had to talk and introduce ourselves then we had to teach them a little lesson and then ask if they are interested in a flyer. Then if they seemed like they were interested we had to offer them a Book of Mormon. We talked to 8 people all in Spanish and no English. It was defiantly a challenge, but it was a great experience. 

Those are just a couple of the many experiences I have had so far. Tomorrow I go on splits with the real missionaries and go to a house for a lesson so that will be pretty cool. I can’t wait to tell you guys about it next week!

Love and miss you guys!

Love, Elder Medrano

My district

The federal agents of the CCM

All the guys that I arrived at the CCM with

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Typical Day

Hola Como estas? 

It feels just like yesterday I wrote you guys back. That’s how fast the weeks are going by here. Only 2 more weeks in the CCM (MTC)! It’s crazy I almost feel like 2 years isn’t enough for a mission but then I really think about it and two years is quite awhile. But I will be home before you know it.

This is what a typical day is like. 

6:30 Wake up
7:00-7:30 Breakfast
7:30-8:30 Personal Study
8:30-9:30 Additional Study (same thing as personal study) haha
9:30-10:00 Demonstrate Teaching
10:00-11:00 Companion Study/ Progressing Investigator (this is where we teach our fake investigator)
11:15-12:30 Language with a teacher
12:30-1:30 Lunch 
1:30-2:30 Language study on our own
2:30-3:00 Tall (its a program on the computer for Spanish)
3:15-4:45 Physical Activity (gym)
5:15-6:00 Dinner 
6:00-7:00 Companion Study/ Progressing Investigator (teach another lesson to fake investigator) all in Spanish
7:00-8:00 Language Study with another teacher (so we have two teachers one in the Morning and one at Night) 
8:00-9:00 Coaching Missionary Study 
9:00-9:30 Daily Planning 
9:30 Family Prayer (which is with everyone here)
10:30 Bed Time 

That's our calendar for the day and that is pretty much everyday. But tomorrow we get to go to the University and try to talk to people and hand out flyers for the missionaries that can help them. Anyways, by the end of the day everyday my brain kills and is ready for bed and some sleep. Usually when I hit the pillow I am out in 30 seconds. I usually get to bed around 11 because I have to read my scriptures and study some Spanish verbs before I go to sleep. Usually my brain hurts so bad and is so tired I can’t stay focused. But I have been doing a lot better in Spanish. I think the reason why I am doing a lot better is because of those extra minutes of studying I am doing at night. My teacher told me yesterday that I have the best pronunciation in the class. Which was a surprise. I think its because I know how to roll my R's and nobody else knows how to haha.

Yes I get quite a bit of emails. But I feel bad because I write them and I’m sure a lot of them don’t make sense because I’m trying to learn a new language and by the end of the day all I can think is Spanish things. Which I guess is a good thing. 

But I hope everything is going well and I love and miss you guys so much!! Talk to you guys next week…

Love, Elder Medrano

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Temple and Crazy Drivers

4 more weeks in the CCM! I’m excited to get out because you are inside for the whole day. But everyday we get to go outside for an hour and play basketball or whatever we want. I haven’t yet thrown with a kid. I really need to because I can just feel my shoulder getting weaker and weaker.
The computers here aren’t the best and they are not the fastest things, but they work and I’m glad to be writing home. 
I have not received any letters yet but I think they come today and hopefully I will get them today!! We’ll see. Some how you need to find a way to send me stamps so I can mail things back. I can’t get US stamps here in the DR. But if you mail them they somehow stop the mail and take the stamps out so you need to find away to send me some. PLEASE!
Yes I have been to the temple two times in fact. The CCM (MTC)  is on the same grounds as the temple is so its nice we can walk around it anytime we want. We can only go to the temple on P days, which stinks, but hey at least we can go to the temple and it’s so close. I’ve done sealings which is a GREAT experience. You can feel the spirit in that little room so much. At one point everybody even me was crying. I have also done endowments of course and those are amazing experiences too. The temple here is beautiful! It’s not a white outside stone color its like a sand color. It’s so pretty and its even more beautiful inside and even in all the rooms!! 
There are four boys to a room, my companion and two others boys. We sleep on bunk beds and they are the squeakiest things you'll ever here!! Every time you turn it makes a little squeak. They just put new support boards because their was only one holding the kid above you up. Yeah talk about sketchy!! And they kid above me is probably twice my weight and yeah I am on the bottom bunk. 
My companion is a cool guy! We’re pretty good friends. I am still struggling with Spanish but I know I will get the hang of it later and it will come. So I’m not too worried, but just disappointed that I’m not better at Spanish. 
The showers here suck ha. You’ll be in the shower with soap on your body and the water pressure will turn off ha so you have to sit there for a little bit and wait for it to kick back on. It’s going to feel weird when I am at home with good water pressure. It’s going to feel like rocks are hitting me. There’s no hot water just room temp water. Sometimes you’ll take a shower with the water just barely coming out of the shower head. 
Food is the same as always, chicken and plenty of rice. My stomach is doing just great haha
We went to the store today. Yeah we went out of the temple gates into the real world. It’s crazy out there. The people that drive are CRAZY!! It’s fun to watch them though. If your car doesn’t have a working horn you might as well not drive. They use their horns a lot here so you always hear car horns going off. We walked to the store and its probably 2 blocks away and by the time I got there I was sweating from every part of my body!! It’s crazy humid here. Not hot just really humid! 
I’m glad everyone is doing okay and everybody is safe. Sounds like you guys are having fun though. Please send me stamps somehow haha
Love, Elder Medrano

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thursdays, Thursdays, Thursdays

Hey guys! Thursday are my P-days. Just to let you know. Ha because I am sure that you have been wondering if I have died or not. But don't worry I have not died I am hanging in here. I have had a couple of times where I have thought "why am I here" but then I remember I am here to give up my time for two years to serve my Lord. And I know by me being here it is giving you guys many blessings and I know that this is what the Lord wants me to do in my life "to become a real man" to what Papy says. Haha I am so grateful to be here in every way. I have never felt the spirit in my life so much then this last week or so. I am so excited to serve in the people in the RD. The last week has been really long. The first three days felt like it was 3 years but the days started to go by a lot quicker and faster. I know once I get fluent with the language that the days will fly by and I will be home before you know it (hopefully). I am glad that you are doing okay and not crying too hard. I can say that I have cried only once and it was one tear. So I don't miss you guys to much. Just kidding I miss you guys a lot!

Okay to all the questions you have my days are really busy we have classes from 7:30 in the morning to 9:30 at night. So they are freakishly long so it makes it seem like 6 weeks is 2  years away. Yes, I have been assigned a companion he's from southern Cali and he is way cool and nice. He's 20 though which is kind of weird but he doesn't seem like he is 20 because I am like 6 inches taller then him which is funny. But anyways he is a way cool, nice kid and he knows a lot about the language so he helps me out a lot. I don't really know how the language is coming along but there are some things that I struggle on like trying to come up with questions for the investigator (we've already taught two leccións in Espanol to our teacher) that went well but I struggle on answering back to the questions and how to phrase them in my head. So hopefully I will get better at that! My P-days are on Thursdays in the CCM (MTC). I have already done my laundry once haha I am sure that you are proud of me. Yes I am way happy its fun the teacher are so nice and humble and they will help you with anything you have to ask. Sometimes I feel like I miss you guys. Well I will always miss you guys but they make sure to keep that off your mind a lot with the huge schedule they have for you. 

The people here are AWESOME they are so fun and so so so nice and humble. Like right now there is a random Dominican across the hall that is singing so loud. I think it was our second day here we learned how to bare our testimonies in Spanish and so our teachers made us go outside and bare our testimonies in Spanish to 3 people. They all knew that we were new at speaking the language with bad grammar. But that built my testimony so much and it keeps building everyday that I am here. 

Love, Elder Medrano

Don't worry mom I know what to do. Haha just kidding thanks for telling me!! To be honest I was not hungry at all when it was fast Sunday. I thought that I would maybe die of starvation but no ended up that I was never hungry. So mom you did prepare me perfectly!!!

My mission president, Presidente Freestone, and his wife

My little district. The guy in front of me is my companion

Monday, August 5, 2013

FIRST Letter

I MADE IT!!!!! It has finally come I feel like I am a real missionary now that I have my name tag. they just wanted us to send you an email so you dont call here and ask if i am okay. cuz we all know that you would do something like that. The flights were good i slept on every one of them. My back is tired but bed is next and I cant wait to lay down. Its exactly what i thought it would be. we seriously drove for like 30 mins and our bus driver that picked us up honked honestly more than 10 times at people. i mean people are crazy drivers here. oh and also we already seen a way bad crash! its crazy but it is already fun! Will you forward this email to morgan thanks! I miss you guys!! I love you guys!!!
Elder Medrano