Monday, January 14, 2013

#6 [Azua - 2] January 14th, 2013

Hermana E.
We aren't allowed to eat with members, so we make our own American food. We have had these fried flour things which are good, pitas is what they are called. I will tell you about the food in another email - this computer is driving me nuts!!!!

Ok, now I will tell you some stuff. It may be jumbled, but deal with it OH! :)

Oh, thank you for the pedometer - I wear it every day!!! I record my steps in the journal. They are usually around 15000, and walking for 2 hours. (which is a lot, considering that we leave the apt. at 2, and return at 8, so 2/6 hours are walking.) I also have a list of my transfer dates - I will send those if you want them. Not now, cuz the keyboard takes forever.

The mosquitoes here like me more than the ones at home, sad. I have I only been bit a few times :)

I have been told that the humidity helps hair grow... we will see!!! I hope so!!!!! :)

There’s a pair of ALBINO children here. Totally blonde, but they have the same texture of hair as the Dominicans, it's weird. They also speak Dominican.
My bed, fan and mosquito net

People here don't shave... good to be in a culture that won't judge me!! haha

Oh!!! people here walk around with machetes! It's freaky!! – but somehow, I feel safe.

Also, people always try to talk English to me, it's happy, I love it! :) I expect everyone to speak English, so when I first hear Spanish, it catches me off-guard big time.

The mountains here remind me of Utah, and the skies here are SO MUCH BIGGER. It's hard to explain- but there is just so much sky. I love it.

The people wear totally American clothes. We look for Dominican clothes, but fail; darn!

Those shirts you bought me right before I came, they are so great. I love them!! Thank you for those!!

Just so you know, 40 pesos here is $1, and 10 is $.25. It's hard to convert.

Oh my, so I freak out every Saturday, because I think I don't have church clothes. I forget that I wear church clothes every day.

Santo Domingo Temple (MTC view)
We have a temple trip in March. It is either the 8, 12, 13, 14 or 15. I am praying for the 14 (birthday :):)  yay) or the 15, so I could see Riss. So hopefully I can see her at the temple. I will keep you updated!!

I still get lots of remarks about being American. I think it drives Hermana Gamez nuts, because she is American, too, so she looks when they call, and then they are like,"not you, the other one." It's sad, but super funny.

We committed another to baptism. Her name is Aracelis.

Oh! the people here hold grudges, and have a hard time forgiving. For example. the church here used to be super strong, but then the branch president made some bad choices with a member's daughter and more than half of the people left. It's sad, so many people gone because of one man's mistake!

Love, Rachel. I will write more in a sec. :) just want to send this off :) love you loads!!!!!!
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So yesterday, I was doing my thing for personal study, and I came across a few things that I wanted to share. There were two articles in the Liahona, and I loved them both and want you to read them (also, the quote from Holland is the right one, thank you very much!)
The first one is called: "Rediscovering a Wonder of the World … and Avoiding the Dangers of Spiritual Apathy." ( Jan. 2012 Ensign) It talked about not letting the Book of  Mormon become something that is not wonderful. Here is a quote: "There is always something new to discover in the gospel for those who make an effort."

I challenge you all to make an effort while studying the Book of Mormon. It contains treasures, and we cannot forget the value of it!

The second was from Elder D. Todd Christofferson. "Recognizing God's Hand in Our Daily Blessings." "Even the mundane and repetitious can be tiny but significant building blocks that in time establish discipline and character... thank heavenly father for the manna He has placed along your path that sustained you through the day."
I love that!! A mission is very repetitious, but it's important to not become bored with the work and look for miracles. They are everywhere!!!
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One more thing!!! (Jackie Chan reference!! yay!)

But I want you all to know how thankful I am for each one of you. I realize how blessed I am to have such support and love, and I am so grateful for eternal families! I have learned so much from you all, and love you more than I can express. Love grows on the mission. I love everything more, even rice, which I never thought would be possible. But anyways, I don't want you to forget that I love you forever!! :) I found this quote, and I don't want to follow it. "Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted." And I don't take my family for granted. Love you every single day more and more :)

Thank you for everything! Talk to you next week!!!
Love forever, Hermana Erickson :)
ps, the church is TRUE!! :)

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