I am freaking out.... there is no way a year can go by so quickly.... and we did so much to do, we had little to no celebrating on Thursday, but nothing like celebrating by doing the Lords work! But seriously, prepare yourself.... This email will be big....
Tuesday bright and early in the morning we had an awesome opportunity to serve a member because she was moving to a new home! It was a church thing, just like at home. The bishop asked everyone Sunday to come, and we wanted to help.... WELL, when we got to the house, we were the only ones there. Just us, and the sister who was moving. Then one of the counselors to the bishop showed up.... and that was it. So us five carried EVERYTHING. The boxes, the fridge, the stove, and we put it into a truck that they bought for 50 dollars, which is a lot of money to these people. They had 3 workers. There job is titled "movers" and they didn't even move their own bodies, let alone any boxes. We even loaded the truck for them. So I got mad about that, but I am happy to serve. Then, we walked to the new house, like 10 minutes away, and learned that she is moving into the top floor of an apartment building....four stories up....with winding stairs. And guess what? In the DR, there is no luxury of an elevator. So that heavy stove, heavy fridge, heavy EVERYTHING we carried up so much stairs... back and forth. We were exhausted.... and once again the movers did nothing..... They just sat at the bottom drinking beer. They paid them 50 dollars, when all they did was drive for 5 minutes..... I was upset about that.... Robbers.... But I was happy to serve.
Wednesday, we were suppose to have an exchange, but our Zone Leaders weren't able to do it. SO we worked normally throughout the day. Remember that perfect family I told you about? Nicolas and Yeni? They are still awesome and are progressing super well. They always read, and always do what they say they'll do. It's kinda strange, whenever we talk to them, I just see them in white clothes... but it isn't baptismal clothes. The Lord has big plans for them, and I am grateful to see it all go down!
THE BIG YEAR MARK. THURSDAY!!!!! Wow.... It rocked.... Let me tell you why.... Elder Catmull and Elder Mortensen have an in with our new doctor of the mission, because when Elder Mortensen started the mission, he was super sick. So they got to get to know the doctor and his wife really well. They invited them to eat with them sometime, so like on Tuesday, Elder Catmull called and asked what they were doing Thursday (this day). They said they were free to go out and eat for breakfast, and they wanted to go to the BRAND NEW DENNY's that just barely opened here! The only Denny's in the DR. They told Elder Catmull to bring the whole house as well! So in the morning on Thursday, to start an amazing year mark, we all ate a Denny's breakfast with the doctor and his wife, Doctor Reagan and Sister Reagan. They told us they were paying for everything, and they wanted us to eat a lot. So I got Pumpkin Pancakes, Gingerbread French Toast, Hash Browns, Sausage, Eggs, and Chocolate milk. Let me tell you.... Denny's is now a 5 star restaurant in my eyes.... oh goodness. In total, for us 6 it was 5000 pesos, or about 120 dollars, which is a whole Apoyo (Money we receive as missionaries) for half a month, and the doctor paid for it all. He is the best. And they said they wanted to take us to Applebee's next month..... Oh man..... As for the rest of the day, it was normal! We walked and talked, and had every appointment with a member!!!! The spirit was so strong! I was on a spiritual high. But to think, a year ago this day, I couldn't even say hola correctly, and now, I speak fluent Spanish... incredible.
Friday was really basic, other than in the morning, we painted an entire patio of one of our investigators! It took two and a half hours, but it was a 70 year old man who needed the help. I loved helping him. It's been a service week! But get this, the sister we helped move in on Tuesday invited us to dinner. All it was was eggs... and juice.... so like a snack before dinner... but I was grateful either way! The only protein we get out here comes from eggs really, because rice and beans ain't cutting it!
Saturday was nuts! In the morning, some members came to our house in the morning to tell us there was a baptism in an hour that wasn't planned or announced and that we needed to get everything ready. So we jumped up and helped with a member baptism in the morning! I'll explain why it was in the morning in a second! But the baptism was great! There were some Americans that were there. An american married a Dominican, and they all speak English and they've lived in Washington their whole life, but now they live here, and they were actually the ones that built our house, so it was cool to meet them!!! They also invited us to go to their house in another area on Thanksgiving, so we can actually kinda have a thanksgiving! HALLELUJAH! hahaha Oh, but the baptism was in the morning, because it was Stake Conference weekend here, and everyone had to be at the Adult session from 5- 7 that afternoon. And boy did that session rock! Elder David Evans from the seventy came and spoke but didn't know Spanish, so him and his wife were both translated by some teachers of English. I understood both languages. :)
Sunday we finished the Stake Conference. It was amazing. Elder Evans talked about why missionary ages have changed. He said, "its not because boys are better and get to leave early for that. I was there when they made the decision. President Monson's intent is that the boys and the girls that leave on their missions at age 18 and 19 will be able to come back home about the same time, date, and get married. He wasn't thinking about your leaving date, he was thinking about you coming home." Ya, so that freaked me out. Hahaha Didn't know that but it made sense. Oh, but get this.... Hato Nuevo is in this stake, so when all was said and done, I was able to see everyone from Hato Nuevo that I missed and loved! They all remembered me, and freaked out and how I was able to speak Spanish now! It was a good feeling, and they all welcomed me back at any time to visit! The bishop said he misses the hard work I did with my companions out there. Made me feel special!
Today I played basketball at my church with a bunch of missionaries from our zone, and it rocked. And later tonight, we are going over to a sister's house to make pizza with her!! should be fun! A great week! Nothing better than doing lots of service for the wonderful people of the DR! :)
Now I know its been a year, so I want to tell you the changes I see in myself... Some of you say I look more grown up. I just see that I have to shave my beard every day now. Some of you say I look skinny. I just see that I walk everywhere and eat beans and rice.... Some of you say I sound more mature. I just see people laughing as I crack a joke before the lesson. In reality, on the outside, I see the same Elder Weiss. But on the inside, I am 100% new. I now know the truthfulness of the gospel. I feel God's love in my life, and I strive every day to please him. I love reading. I don't try to act like someone who I'm not. But most importantly, I understand who my perfect brother, Jesus Christ is, and what He has done for me. His atonement has saved me, and I cherish that blessing every day. I know he suffered for me. He knows who I am. He leads His church. He has a living prophet today, who guides us. He did restore His true church with a perfect gospel through Joseph Smith, who was also a remarkable man. This gospel is true. I didn't know that before. I didn't have my spiritual eyes open, to see the plainness of that before my mission. The mission has changed me, matured me spiritually, and has been the best decision I have ever made in my life. I'd like to thank all of you that support me, for always having my back. I especially thank mom and dad, for being there throughout my life and guiding me on the right path, when I was so close to giving up, you helped me get back on my feet, and keep walking the straight and narrow path. I want to make this next year an amazing year. I will work hard, and I know the Lord will help me in my goals, because He knows me personally. I love you all, I pray for you all! I know all of you have changed in a year, but I know it is for the better. Keep turning to the Lord in all things. He knows you personally. :)
Con mucho amor, les quiero mucho!!!
Elder Weiss :)
Mother's Note: I asked Parker about Doctor Reagan and his wife taking them to Denny's...if they were called as Missionaries who happens to be a doctor or if they were called as Doctor's to the missionaries. (I saw their mission badges in the picture). Here is Parker's reply:
They are missionaries. Their calling is to be the doctor over this region, so the Caribbean. So yes, they are missionaries, but they can be in touch with their families and all that like 24 7.
Also...this is an excerpt from Parker's email to his Dad which is pretty cool.
As for me? We are working really hard. This week I hit a new record of appointments in a week with my companion! We had 18 with a member, 5 others, and 10 with a recent convert or with a less active member. The one that is the record is how much we did with a member. Almost all the appointments we did this week were with a member, and it was awesome!!!! We are trying to work really hard, and our President noticed our efforts and personally congratulated us. It was awesome! other than that, life is pretty much the same!!!
|My district in an amazing sunset on the top of a 20 story apartment building (so many stairs....).|
|DENNY'S FOR THE YEAR MARK WITH DOCTOR REAGAN!|
|This is one of our MTC Teachers we saw at Stake Conf.|
He remembered us! And was super surprised we
could speak Spanish!
|Pictures of our apartment. It's the newest and nicest one I've been in.|
|The room of my companion and I.|
My bed of course
having the pink hello kitty. GO ME.
|Better picture of my awesome bed. Go me, |
and Hello Kitty! haha and the fan!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That thing saves my life at night!
|Our bathroom, which yes has the Avengers|
over the toilet.
That was there when I got here.
Don't know why.... haha but pretty sweet.
|The study area.|
|The outside of the house. |
We live on the "third floor"
or basically the house is built
on top of two other houses, haha.
|A picture of the city of Buenos Aires,|
|Some other pictures of the city.|
|And look, The Church!|