Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

What a week it was. Very different. Here they have a thing called Semana Santa, or Holy Week. They dont celebrate Easter, they celebrate a whole weeks worth. So I will explain as I go!

Tuesday - Well we did some good work today. Worked with a lot of new investigators that we sadly ended up dropping. We also found out in the night that Dominga, our best investigator right now, has commited to being baptized!! She is getting baptized on the 3rd! How exciting!!!!!!!

Wednesday - Because of Semana Santa, we had no appointments with any of our investigators, and so we got out of the house at 2, and contacted until 9. HARD DAY. No one even showed a sense of interest in us. And it sucked. So we walked and talked all day with no improvement. We contacted 48 people that day.

Thursday - Same thing as Wednesday, but we had a couple of appointments scattered throughout that aren't worth mentioning. But one guy did tell us something I like. He said "You guys come out here and tell everyone you have a message for them, and even if I may be drinking like crazy, everyone deserves a chance, right?" Well the dude was right. I liked what he said. He was drinking a ton. But we gave him a chance. We set up a sita (Appointment) with him the next day.

Friday - So that guy from yesterday was super drunk and didn't even remember us, so that failed. Hahah funny but hey, still like what he said. We played some games at the church that the church had set up, and suprisingly a lot of our investigators showed up to play! So hey, at least we now have interest!

Saturday - We had Habichuelas con dulces at the church, which is a Dominican thing. Literally translates to Beans with candy. Not what it is though. Hay mi madre, it is delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will make it for everyone who wants it when I get home. We also after that, contacted again all day. Only 3 people listened to us, and they weren't interested. So ya....

Sunday - Church was great, even though we had no investigators at church. I have been called as the Ward Pianist..... and it sucks because I can't read piano notes. Luckily, all I do is press a button and the music plays itself. I just have to sit up at the piano all day, so that is fun. Hahah But we went around to only members all day this day just to get some support from them in the upcoming weeks. We also visited a girl named Yanei, who we just barely gave a Book of Mormon too, and she is already almost finished with 1 Nephi. Now that is some faith right there. She is awesome.

Today - We went to a MANSION of a member in our ward. And ya, it has an amazing view. I will send pictures soon. But hey, pretty relaxing day!

So that was my week. I loved Easter Sunday. Best day we had this week. It was a hard week to work because of Semana Santa. I definitely learned more about patience though, which Mom and Dad would say "Its about time..." hahaha But I now understand the importance of trying until you cant anymore. It was a good week regardless. Love you all! Keep doing awesome in all the things you are doing. I hit 6 months out on my mission on Wednesday, and boy, I dunno. Time goes to fast! But hey, the Lord will provide a way for me to do the most with these next 18 months! Love you all!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Weiss :)   (Below is a baptism at chapel in Borahona, the ocean & a mansion)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014 (4-14-14) He's transferred!

Wow what a week it has been. I am writing this before I read any emails to just get it out of the way, so ya. Also, my new companion likes to get on earlier, so it looks like I will be getting on earlier for my email time for the next couple of weeks. I dont enjoy it, but I dont want conflict, so I just go with it. I will explain all that has happened!!!

So as you know, I was transferred out of my area in Hato Nuevo, and I did not know where I was going. Well on Monday night (Last Monday) I got the call on where I was going. They didnt tell me who my companion was going to be, or what area in the zone, just the zone itself. Well, currently I am now in BARAHONA!!!!!! For those of you that dont understand that significance, Barahona is in the South, so like the really poor area, which I have always wanted to visit, and it also has the best beaches in the West mission! It also is said to be the prettiest area in the mission where you can serve! It also is the only place on planet earth where you can get this certain type of rock called Larimar. Look that up, and also pictures of Barahona, and you will see what I mean. Oh my gosh it is amazing down here!!! We are right next to the ocean, and the Mountains! I AM IN MY PARADISE!!! I would send some pictures, but sadly, my camera broke, so I have not been able to take pictures this last week. I was really bummed. But I will finish that story in a bit! So when I got to Barahona, I found out I was going to be with an Elder named Elder Haag, who is from Oregon. I also found out I will be living in the Zone Leaders house. Well, I was on a bus with all my friends who were coming to the South for the transfers too, including my awesome Dad in the mission (That means my trainer...Dad in the mission...), Elder Zilm! He came down to the South too! Love that guy! Anyways, we were on that bus for about two hours I would say, and then they dropped us off in a place called Azua, and I had to catch another hour and a half bus to Barahona, so we are out there. haha! Well I got to the new house, met my new companion, and the first thing I realized is the house has no inversor, but it is REALLY clean. Because of the change in humidity, dust does not kick up as much here, so I guess it stays cleaner. Cool with me! But they then (They being the Zone Leaders, who are both Latinos, and my new companion) told me that this house is in a 24 hour zone, because we are in a rich area, and it always has water. Hear me? ALWAYS HAS WATER! Hallelujah! And they did not lie. This whole week, I have had water and light. Blessed. I am blessed. So that is the generals (CRAP THAT WAS LONG) so let me tell you about the actual week. :)

Tuesday - Unpacked for about two seconds and then I was out working. One thing I learned very quickly about Elder Haag is he is a dang hard worker. He is always working. We are constantly moving and going to more appointments, which is nice, because they actually have progressing people here that dont need to get married! So this day was kinda a blur. New area, I was trying to transition, cant really tell you anything that happened.

Wednesday - I found out today we had a baptism on Saturday coming up, so we went to this girls house. Her name is Madaly, she is 18, and she is just awesome! Her older sister is a strong member, and Madaly will be the second member in her family. They have both got awesome testimonies. It is fun talking to them. We also taught a man named Julio Cesar (Julius Cesar basically) who I ended up giving a date for baptism that day. Spirit prompted me to do it, so I did. Elder Haag told me it was the right call. I also met a girl named Dominga, who has a date for baptism this next week, so this Saturday, but she isnt sure if she is ready, so we have been talking about the prep for baptism. If she doesnt make the decision soon, we will just change the baptism date. You cant rush someone into something they don't want to do!

Thursday - WE CONTACTED. Literally almost all day. We found some really awesome new families though, like this woman named Kayla. She isnt a member, but her friend is, and this friend of hers always talks about the church with her, so she knows a ton and wants to keep learning more. Only reason she hasn´t been to the church is because she was never invited. Crazy to think that just a small invitation is all it takes to bring someone closer to Christ. So of course we extended the invitation. We also taught an older investigator of Elder Haag, Estrella, about the Book of Mormon. She understands what we are saying, but she just hasn´t decided for herself if it is what she wants in her life right now. We will see where that goes. We taught a man named Manuel, and boy is he golden. He was a member 40 years ago, but stopped coming, and his records were erased, so he gets to start the whole process again, and has to be baptized again. But he knows all the stuff so it gets pretty easy at times. He knows it is true.

Friday - Started the day with a girl named Iris, who has a bit of a drinking and smoking problem. That is it though! So we hammered a bit hard on the Word of Wisdom. She came to conference though, and she just keeps trying to learn. We have a family that we teach, but I can only remember the name of the day, and he is named José. He is partially disabled, so he is a bit slow of learning. But we take it slow with him, and he seems to understand as well as his family. We did some more contacting and got a couple new investigators that ended up falling through, like one, for example, just started asking us for money. Ya..... great. In the night, we had the interview for Madaly for her baptism. She passed! So that is the end of that night!

Saturday - We filled up the font for the baptism in the morning and went to work, working with Dominga, and we invited her to the baptism to see what it was like. We also worked with Manuel again, and with like two members. Good day, but the highlight was the baptism! So spiritual! I got to be a witness for the actual baptism, and I got to sing a special peace on the spot. It was awesome. She will be a strong member of the church. :)

Sunday - I forgot to mention this.... This place has a REAL CHURCH. It is amazing. It is HUGE and so pretty! Hay mi madre, muy lindo. It is fantastic, so I had my first church meeting in a real church since I got her. Wow the spirit that was there, was just... powerful. We worked with a member, after church, named Hermana Milagros. She is awesome. Told us that she was feeling down, but is always willing to help. By the end of the night, she asked if I could give her a blessing of comfort, and so I did. She told me we changed her mood for the whole week. Very comforting to know how much power the priesthood actually holds.

So that was my week. Today I just woke up, cleaned the house, and came here. Oh, but remember how my camera is broke all this week, right? Well Elder Serrano, a zone leader from Peru, fixed it somehow. I tried all week to fix it and he did it in like two seconds. So it is fixed and working, so I don´t need to buy a new one! Hallelujah, blessings right there. I also plan to buy some of this Larimar rock before I leave this area. It is really cheap here compared to the prices in the states from what I have heard. And you can only get it here in Barahona. So ya, little gift for me. I will probably send one home too. It is beautiful! Oh, and another thing, plan on me getting on earlier now on Mondays for a while. Just a heads up. I like it a lot here. There is a lot of work to be done, and I am just starting. I will probably be here until about August from the way things work here. Just a prediction, but that is what I say, and I am totally fine with that. Sorry this email was beyond long, but I had a lot to say. My companion is sending me the pictures of the baptism, so I will send those when I get them. Don´t have any other pictures right now though, but I am going to start taking some this week! As for my companion situation, Elder Haag is a good guy. We work hard! He is a convert of two years, so he is really trying to do his best. He knows a lot and he helps me out a lot! He isn´t much of a talker, so its hard to get to know him, but in time we will get really close! I don´t have problems with him right now, we are all good, so it isn´t a bad situation. He has 9 months in the mission, and he is just great, so we will have fun here. That is it this week (Finally). Hope you all have an amazing week!!!! :)

Con amor,
Haz lo justo,
Élder Weiss

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

This week was, well.... nuts. Hahahaha but I will cut right to the chase! Tuesday - We were in Hato Nuevo. We worked with Suhenne and Nicauri, prepping them for their date for baptism. Nothing really new. We worked with a member who loves contacting, so we contacted for a while with him. He is a hard head dominican, but hey, gets you in the doors! Got a couple new investigators because of that! Oh and at night, we stopped by a members house who has a daughter that has read the entire Book of Mormon and wants to be baptised. Well we talked about it with her and gave her a date for the 3rd of May! Awesome!!! Wednesday - We were up in Palave. Nothing awesome really. Boring basic day. All of the new investigators from Palave fired us. Although we did have a guy call us out on the street. Started telling us all about Joseph Smith. It was obvious he had the lessons before, so we asked if he wanted to start again. He said he was a week away from being baptized when stuff came up and he couldn't do it, and then he found a new church that he is proudly a member of, so he declined the offer. Sad to hear, but that is okay. I know one day he will accept this glad gospel message. :) Thursday - We were down in Hato Nuevo. We worked a lot with members, trying to find old members who haven't been assisting. We were going to work real hard, and then it began raining and we were held in the house of a member for about 3 hours. Ruined the plans. Friday - We got to Palave and same thing happened. It began raining, then hailing, for about 3 hours. But after that we taught a girl that is about 11 that wants to hear about this church. She will be getting a date for baptism soon I know it. That is all we could do this day. We went down to Erick's house, and his brother paints for a profession. He is currently painting a tie for me of DR things. It's going to be awesome! I will send a picture when I get it next week! :) Saturday - CONFERENCE. Oh man what a blessing that we had to be able to see the conference in our church. Favorite talk was definitely Elder Jeffery R. Holland. Although we skipped a part of the first session because we had to be in the house because we got an INVERSOR!!!! That means light allllllllll thhhhheeeee tiiiiimmmmmeee. I know that may be normal to you guys, but that is a BIG DEAL here. Still don't have water in the house though. :( But we saw all the other sessions of conference, minus the last 30 minutes of the Priesthood session, because we had to be in the house. Bummer. But awesome day nonetheless! Sunday - MORE CONFERNCE. I don't know if you guys saw, but my acapella teacher was in this session singing. You could see her a lot. Kinda fun to point her out to the people here. They told me that is the reason I could sing really good, because I was taught by a person from MoTab. I don't disagree! hahah Plus, I was blessed with a voice like my moms. She sings like an angel. :) hahah Oh, by the way, this day was the day we got calls for transfers. Well we got the call at night, and its confirmed. I am leaving this area tomorrow. That's right, no more Hato Nuevo for me. I don't find out where I am going or with who until tonight, but I am packing to leave as soon as we get home. I know this is what the Lord wants for me. As nephi says "I will go where you want me to go." Or the beautiful hymn, " I will go where you want me to go dear Lord, over mountain or plain or sea." I'm excited for the new experiences that are coming! Sad to leave Elder Hope and the area though, but I will be fine! :) Just got to follow the calling from the Lord. Monday - Just been saying goodbye to the ward. We went shopping, and now I am here!!! hahah Keep trusting in the Lord in all that you do. You never know what challenges you are going to face. We couldn't work with all the rain this week, but it blessed us by helping us find people to teach, and then now, I am leaving the area. Although I won't be able to baptize all the people we have planned, that is not important. All I want is for them to come closer to Christ. I can proudly say I did my best to leave this area better than I left it. I may not be the perfect gardener, because that is Christ, but I am doing my best to till the land so that the new gardeners can plant the seed and water the tree. I love this gospel, and I am so happy to be here. It's always hot and amazing here. Hopefully I can continue to do good work in my new area! With the Lord's help, everything is possible!!! Con mucho amor, Haz lo justo, Elder Weiss

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Man what a week it has been! Lots has happened, and I will try to remember it all! So here goes nothing. Tuesday - Only normal day of the week. We went to Palave today and did the regular stuff there. Not much to talk about at all. Hahaha so we'll just skip this day hahah.

Elder Weiss and Hope in Santo Domingo Temple
Wednesday - We got to go to the temple!!!!!!! Oh man did I miss the temple! I can't explain to you what a blessing it is to have so many in Utah, I definitely missed being there. It's just a better place. It really is heaven on earth! My dumb thing I did though was I forgot my temple recommend, the one time I need it. Haha so I had to get re-interviewed by my Mission President to enter. That was fun. But that's okay. Just pulled a typical Utah Mormon and forgot the one thing that you need. Hahah after that, we went to Johnny Rockets!! Real american food! It was soooo good! Definitely missed a good burger! Then we went home, and we met all of Nicauri's family because they were visiting this week from Azua. We taught them a quick lesson, and that is how that day went. Good day!
Mission President Rodriguez and his wife.
Thursday - We worked with a member up in Palave this day! Turned out to be an awesome day! He helped us a lot and we got about 4 new investigators up there. We are going to try to teach them all this week. Hopefully they'll all be there. But we talked with Hermano Reyes, and he told us that he will be really sad when I leave because I brought him back to the church. I explained how he needs to love the church for the church, and not for the missionaries. He told me he will always stay faithful, I just helped him re-see the light. Made me feel really good. :)

Friday - With worked again with a member, Erick, today. He was out on his mission in Columbia a year ago so he was a great help. We worked in Hato Nuevo. First person we taught was Maxi and his family, the one who has the daughter in Utah. Well we finished up the Plan of Salvation with him and then gave him a date for his baptism. The 3rd of May! He accepted and it was an amazing spirit there. We are going to try to get the rest of his family for the same date! Well after we taught them, we taught Suhenne. We also gave her a baptism date for the same day, so that was amazing. Then Suhenne, who hasn't assisted the church yet, began randomly bearing her testimony. She told us she has been praying real hard and she has received answers that this is the only true church. It was an amazing appointment with her. I pray for her every day that she'll be able to attend church soon!

Elder Victoria, Elder Soto, Elder Hope and Elder Weiss
Saturday - In Palave again. We stumbled upon some guys up there that could speak fluent English. They accepted the lessons and we told them we cant preach in English (Its too hard, I've tried) But we told them they can respond in english if they'd like. One of these guys actually already has assisted church. This week actually (so in this email, tomorrow, on Sunday). Really cool to see him having that much faith. It will be fun to teach them.

Sunday - Good day at church. We had Roberto and that new guy assist church this week, which was great, and after church we got fired by everyone, minus Suhenne. She asked us why we don't drink coffee, so we taught her the Word of Wisdom. She doesn't do anything but coffee, and it's barely anything. She told us her doctor told her she needed to stop anyways, so now if it's a commandment from God she for sure will stop. It was awesome. She got such big faith! I love her. I really learn more from her then she does from me I think. Haha

Monday - Made dumplings and slept. Great day right? Oh and I cleaned clothes. Haha

Elder Victoria and Elder Weiss enjoying food at Johnny Rockets
I am so excited for Conference this week. Pay close attention this week. We don't get to hear from the prophet every single day. Something I learned this week: The importance of Prayer. God is always listening. You can be having a horrible time throughout the week, but if you always have that prayer in your heart, the Lord will be able to help you. Trust me, being a missionary is not easy. It's like being a basketball player who trained his whole life to be a gymnast. You have some of the skills you need, but every time you go out on to the court, or in this case, the field, you learn something new. The other players help you out and teach you important things, so that one day you can be the best. But for now, we are just learning, and you can't learn without a coach, our Heavenly Father. Always listen to him and talk to him, because he will always help. Love you all!!! You're in my prayers!!

Santo Domingo Temple
Yes that is a snake. 
Elder Weiss