Greetings all! Another week down in the Good Ol' Dominican Republic! An average week, if there is such a thing in the MTC, but a good one!
There are one or two things I'd like to highlight for you guys today!
One is the Santo Domingo Temple! I think that I've neglected to tell you all that every thursday we all get to go to the temple for p-day! The SD temple is a really pretty one! It's smaller than timp and those but just as strikingly beautiful! It's full of really warm colors and decorations inside along with some breathtakingly amazing chandeliers, but you can't really have a temple without some cool chandeliers! Here they actually make you get up and move during a session which was a cool thing to experience! Anyway, today was a special day at the temple because today marks the 15th anniversary of the dedication and I got to go participate in some sealings and sessions today which was way cool!! The temple president told us stories about the temple and the people that have come and their experiences before we went and did sealings, which, by the way, are super cool! I love the temple! I enjoy learning and pondering things there every week! It's an amazing gift from a loving Heavenly Father for us to be able to escape from the world. The symbolism is beautiful and the spirit is simply awe inspiring! I love the temple so much and encourage all of you to go as often as you can!
The other experience just so happens to be my first actual missionary contact experience!! How cool is that?! So, you see there is a university just down the road from the CCM and as one of our first little experiences in the field they let us go contacting there. Real people. Real Spanish. Real missionary work at last! We get there on Friday of last week and we're all kind of...ok, really nervous! Our Maestro (teacher) said "you're free to go. Be back here by 4". I was excited to go and do this but very scared because of the language barrier. But nonetheless, Elder Stoeltzing and I went out into the field, armed with the truth. The first person we contacted is who I would like to talk about. He name is Ito.
Now Ito wasn't a student there at the university, come to find out. As we began talking to him we learned that his parents had died a few months ago and that he had broken his leg as well a few weeks back and couldn't afford to have it treated. He had on tattered khakis, and a stained and weathered white shirt and was walking around on crutches, his swollen and bruised leg exposed to the elements. He was begging around for money. My heart instantly went out to this young man. We began to teach him but because of my language barrier I was not able to understand him or convey my own feelings and knowledge very well. We left him with a pamphlet and said goodbye. Now having reflected on that experience over the past week I have felt in my heart an immense desire to go back and find Ito. He is prepared and I know the joy the knowledge of the gospel will bring to him.
In your prayers this week could you please include Ito. That he may find strength in his current circumstances and feel of his Heavently Fathers love for him. Also, pray that in some way he will find the church and that knowledge will be given him. (If you so feel inclined please ask if I could be the one to find my friend Ito as I want to make him happy again, to give him hope!)
But that is all for this week! I hope you enjoy reading these stories! In addition to praying for my friend Ito please pray for me and my Spanish. Pray for the gift of tongues for me because I need it more than ever!
Also, sorry for the lack of pictures. The computer I'm on doesn't have a web browser. Next week though!!