Thursday, September 26, 2013

Week of Firsts

My first dominican baseball field that I've been on.. they take better care of their baseball fields then anything else!!! (sorry it's blurry)

This is the best part of my week, Monday -  I get to write home and I get to hear what everyone is up to!! P days are pretty boring here because it is just so hot and humid you just don’t want to go outside you just want to sit in front of your fan and be semi cool. Yeah I guess it is kind of missionary fun that we enjoy, but at the same time its hard fun and really works out my brain because I’m trying to learn Spanish.  Right now I’m just trying to focus as much as I can and trying to put the sentence together so I can understand what they are saying. But by the time I put the sentences together I’m lost because I’m so behind and I just have no idea what they are talking about. Then my mind just wonders from there and I don’t really pay attention, I’m trying not to let my mind wonder and stay focused, it is hard. I’m feeling great and working my hardest to understand and speak the language. I think I’m speaking much better, however I may not and no one is telling me they don’t understand!  I received one package that had a hacky sack in it with some beef jerky, I have got to say the beef jerky was dang good because you can’t buy that type of food here. I’m starting to get the letters that were sent now that I’m in the field. 

 Yeah I guess we have our own cooks but they cook the same thing pretty much every day which is rice, beans and meat every meal then my companions and I have to do the dishes when we are done eating.  I would rather cook than clean.  

I’m looking at getting a new camera – my companion bought a Samsung for 4,000 pessos, that is   like 115 dollars.  This camera doesn’t use a sim card and I can just send the pictures when I have wifi.  A lot of the computers that we use have viruses on them and when pictures are sent home the computer can delete all the pictures on the sim card. I haven’t heard of anything stolen, people here take great care of the missionaries and they know that we wouldn’t do anything to harm them so they don’t bother with us. Rarely do you hear of someone getting jumped or robbed. 

We have two baptisms scheduled for the Saturday after conference. I am excited about my first baptism - it is going to be a double baptism. We are also working with a family right now, but they have to get married before they can be baptized, so we are waiting. Unfortunately, it cost money for people to get married here and they don’t have much money to waist. I don’t know when that will happen. 

I had my first zone conference and Elder Zivic (Quorum of the Seventy) and his wife.  Everyone was freaking out about having a Seventy talk,  but he came to the CCM when I was there and talked to us so I wasn’t too shocked.  He and his wife are super nice and you can tell they love the missionaries so much! It was a really long meeting, we had to be there at 8:30 and we didn’t get out until 4:30 so it was long day of just straight Spanish. But I could understand a lot of it because he spoke clear and slow. He talked about how we need to get more baptisms and we need to be more focused on trying to hit those goals. There were 4 districts there and we had the smallest district with only 10 companionships, our district had 9 baptisms which is pretty good but we do need to get more. We don’t want to just baptize people in the church just for the baptism we want to make them stay in the church and want them to be good members.

We went contacting in Almida which is a really rich neighborhood and it is clear out of our way, we had to walk a long way as it was at the furthest area in our district. Our only contact was one guy that was from New York and lived with his parent’s, I don’t know why they moved back here. When we rung the door bell the maid came out like all the other houses we went to.  We said we  were here for Steven and we introduced ourselves, we talked to her a little bit and she was playing us like she was not a member but we figured out that she was a member. The maid went to get Steven she told us that he can only talk a short time because his dad is home and his dad is a strong Catholic, and criticizes all other church’s except the Catholic.  Steven confessed to us that he hates going to the Catholic church because he knows that it isn’t the true church but he can’t do anything about it because his dad makes him go to church weather he likes it or not. We ended up giving him the The Restoration folleto with our names and number hoping that he will call us later. We told him to read the folleto and pray about it to see if it is true.  We haven’t heard from him yet.  If he does call it will be tricky to teach him because he is only 16 and it’s a mission rule that the investigator has to be 18, if under 18 he has to have their parent’s permission to be taught.  

That’s pretty much all that happen nothing to exciting other than lots of lessons that we taught. But all is going well and I’m doing great and still loving the mission life and my companion is great and is funny so we have a good time. We are still walking 45 minutes to our area and still sweating like a horse when you take off the saddle. 

Love everyone back home and thanks to everyone for the support.


Elder Medrano

The new missionaries who arrived 11 Sep 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A REAL Baseball

Well here's my first email from the field and many more to come!!! 

Yeah its pretty crazy here but it is so much fun. I’m not really overwhelmed, it’s just hard because I still don’t really know the language too well. I am just working hard on trying to understand them because they all talk so differently and they don’t really finish their words all the way so it is hard. I’m just doing my best trying to learn new words and trying to figure out the conjugations, which is hard, but I know I will get them. But the language is getting better as the days go on.

Living arrangements are pretty much the same, but you have a whole house and not just a room, which is really nice. We live in a gated community, where only people who live in there can get in so we're pretty safe. The house isn’t the best, but I’m getting used to it. In one room there’s my companion and me and then the other room is where the other companionship lives. My new companion is from Sandy, Utah. What a surprise another kid from Utah ha. Feels like all the kids are from Utah here that are on a mission. My companion is great. He’s been out for 20 months so he knows the language really well and helps me out a lot! You can just tell that he really loves the people. People always ask me how long I’ve been out for and I always say 23 months just joking around with them and they believe me for a minute. Then they catch on that I am new because my Spanish isn’t very good haha.

We don’t really cook for ourselves. The other companionship cooks and then we do the dishes, which is okay. But I don’t really want to clean dishes, I would much rather make food but I got to get use to it I guess. The bug’s here aren’t bad at all. You’ll get mosquito bites but it’s not very common to get danga. Yeah I’m surviving the weather! It’s just really hot and humid and there’s no AC anywhere but it’s cool, I can live without it for 2 years. I don’t get how they do it sometimes it’s crazy hot in some houses. It’s maybe rained about 3 times since I’ve been here.

My area from my house is a 45-minute walk to our first house. There are some steep hills that we have to climb. By the time we get there I’m sweating like a horse after you take the saddle off. I seriously probably sweat like a gallon of water a day. I had to buy some bandannas to wipe off the sweat from my face. By the end of the day, I’m super sweaty and really wet. My area is cool! It’s kind of campo-ish, but then at the same time its really city. My area is Manoguayabo. I don’t really know how many people we’ve taught. We had two baptisms lined up for this coming Saturday, but we had to change them because one didn’t show up to church yesterday and he wasn’t home when we went by so we felt like he wasn’t prepared to get baptized on the 21st. The other kid has been to church enough, but we just didn’t feel like he was ready to take on the covenants of baptism so we decided to wait for a little bit. The first kid is 15 years old and the second kid is 9. 

Last week we were walking to our area and we went a different route because it was a little faster to where we were going. We were walking by a group of kids that were playing baseball and they all had gloves and a bat and they were hitting the ball. The ball they were playing with was a foam ball that they cut to be round. They hit the ball and it rolled over to me and I picked it up. I asked them where there actual ball was in Spanish ¿Donde es su pelota? They said that they didn’t have one and that was the only one they had. Then I said MIRE and pulled a real baseball out of my bag and all their eyes went huge and they all started to grab at it!! I gave it to the oldest one and he ran around screaming that he had a REAL baseball. Then of course all the other kids wanted a ball, but I only had one ball with me. They all said it was okay, esta bien, and then they started to pass it around and they were so happy that they had a real baseball!!

Sorry I’m running out of time! Love you guys lots!!

Love, Elder Medrano

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Baseball Connection

Hey all! I’m doing great just excited to go out to the field. It’s going to be hard to adjust with the free food at the CCM, someone making it for us, having A/C, having a nice bed to sleep in and having clean water to shower in. Oh just to tell you I haven’t taken a warm shower since the morning of August 1st when I was getting ready to leave... just for your information. So be grateful for warm showers!! 

My lessons are coming great! They are getting better as the days go on. I’m waiting for Spanish just to hit me that I can speak it fluently. I just can’t be afraid about making mistakes.

My splits went amazing and they were so fun. I got the best companion that was from Sandy. He played baseball for Alta and he's been on his mission for 18 months. When I first got to the place that we met all of them, I looked at him and he looked really familiar. Then he chose me to be his companion and after talking we made the connection of baseball. We talked about baseball a ton! I was the first companion that he had that liked baseball. He actually knew a lot of people that I’ve played with and he has a scholarship to UVU, which I’m totally jealous about. He was fluent in Spanish and he told me just to never stop studying because some missionaries become fluent with the language and then they just stop studying. He said to never stop and try to master the language. We went to a place called Manguito, which was also known as the cement building. It was a huge place that had a ton of little apartments that were stacked on each other like levels. The stairs were really sketchy because either they were missing steps or they were tiny. Then you had to duck down to climb or you had to turn your body sideways to get through to the door. The houses are tiny maybe two bedrooms, a bathroom and a really small kitchen/ sitting room. No glass windows just all cement that had adjustable blinds on them. The walkways to get through the house were tiny maybe two of me wide. It was hard for me to see them living like that because I just came from a place where we had A/C, windows and rooms that we can play in. I know it’s never going to get easier for me to see people who live like that. We yelled in people’s doors saying Salodos (means like hello) and they would come out and we would have to introduce ourselves and then try to make an appt. for the following day or so. We contacted 20 people and taught 8 investigators. It was a great experience to get out there and talk to people and for the most part, I could understand what they were saying. My problem is trying to speak the language so I had to say the opening pray and then bare my testimony at the end. 

To answer your question, soccer here is not the cool thing here. Baseball is but you surprisingly don’t really see it very much because it is an expensive sport to play. So you usually see more basketball and a little game where they use big bottle caps and then hit it with a stick then if the bottle cap stops before someone gets it its a run but then if they catch it before it stops then its an out. I can’t wait to play that game with the little kids. It’s going to be a lot of fun!!

Well this is my last email from the CCM and then I will be out in the field. I can’t wait to get out there and start to really try to speak the language and pretty much force myself to do it. You won’t here from me for like a week and a half because I am moving out of the CCM and going to the real world and getting a new companion. My P days move to Monday so you wont here from me tell next Monday. So don’t get worried I’m not dead, just missed a P day ha.

Love, Elder Medrano