Friday, June 19, 2015

Week of June 17, 2015

I´m dying in the heat. If you haven´t noticed my hair has gotten really white. My roots are now blond blond blond my companion says, and my skin is turning a nice brown. We have a washer and dryer at the house, but its not really a dryer it whicks the wettness and we hang out clothes. yep old fashion. ill send pictures of it next week. Well our pdays are always busy but this pday we decided to not hit the beach for the millionth time and sleep in! and eat junk food from the package you sent. here´s a picture of it. We moved out beds together and watched love comes softly that some elder has haha. and made fun of how cheesy it is. yes since i can´t enjoy a good movie I like making fun of church movies now. the super old ones like The Legacy or the Testaments. That´s how I get my kick now and days. Speaking of in 1 month I´ll hit my nine month mark .Can you believe it? I´ll be home in 10 months right now. Crazy! Get my iphone ready for me!
First off I thought when mom ended her letter with ¨we send our love to you along with our prayers¨that is said ¨we send our love to you along with our papers¨haha I about died mission papers? I´m not even home yet!
Anyway, the birthday was super super fun. I told you we went zip lining.And then after we went to a place called Tia Pan and got this smoothies at 5 o´clock, because you know, I turned the big 21 and as good old Kenny Chesney sings ïts 5 o´clock somewhere haha. And the next day my companion surprised me with a district lunch at the church. So we had some lunch and a cheesecake. Super fun. I did get the package! THANK YOU! I loved my little birthday card and hitting the button and having you guys sing happy birthday. To top off the birthday week I got to go on intercambios with the lady that is like my mom in the mission (the one who worships Jose Smith haha and tricked me) to Bonao because my investigator and one of her daughters got baptized! Yay! So that definitely was the highlight of my week. 
Okay story for the week. You´ll never guessed what happened to me yesterday. So there´s this dog that is apparently ¨vicious¨according to my companion, who will come and always try to bite you (usually she says its her companions). Normally we try to avoid going down that ally way where he lives, but yesterday it was just super hot and my companion was like well lets just go and walk fast so he can´t get us. So we walk super fast out of the ally way and we didn´t see him. And as we walk about 100 feet towards the colmado we see the dog (like german shepard size) walking down the street toward us with his owner. The owner stops us in the street to shake my companions hand. And as she´s shaking his hand I´m looking at the dog whose sizing me up (no joke). So as the guys puts out his hand to shake mine I didn´t want to be rude and not shake his hand, but I knew that if I turned around the dog was going to do something. Being the nice person I am I turn to shake his hand and as I do so the dog jumps on his back hind legs and bites the lip of my back, barely missing my back. UGH! I screamed and the owner was just like ökay see ya guys later¨and just walks with his dog! NOTHING, he didn´t do anything! My heavens you know how much I love dogs, but now I´m on the I hate dogs here streak. So now I´ve been carrying my umbrella, and I´m on the look out for some pepper spray. Ugh that mad me soooo mad haha. But, it´s okay, I´m alive and the dogs alive to see another day.....for now haha. 
It´s fun to see ya´lls pictures! Send me more, especially of your trip back to OKC! 
Hermana Van Woerkom


June 11, 2015

Hey! Thank you for the Birthday wishes you all are soooooo nice! Well I've got a lot to tell you!
Okay first off, so last Pday we went up to Santiago where I was suppose to see the nurse of the mission to get my shot, but just as it happens I "forgot" no but really haha the prescription so she didn't know how much of the injection to give me. However, as luck would have it there was a lady in the ward that my companion knew that could do the job for us. So we set the appointment up with her to have a lesson haha quick spiritual thought and then get the duty done. So we go to the pharmacy, I get the vaccine and medicine in a box kind of like the happy meal without the happy, and we head to her house. We get to the house, sit down, and then she offers to get us some juice which I had to turn down ( I couldn't eat anything acidic or with gluten/flour for 3 days). So this sweet lady goes in to get the juice for my companion and then......I just lost it! My companion turns over to look at me and says "are you crying?" THEN to make it more embarrassing the lady comes out with the juice, sees me and was like "are you okay?" I just wanted to say that my eyes were leaking, but eventually I had to tell her how much I'm scared of needles (this is the part where Lindsey feels bad, Casey is laughing, and Kellie is rolling her eyes saying I'm just like Emmie). At this point she's sitting by me and her little girl comes out asking why I'm crying (seriously a copy cat of little leyton this kid so stinking cute). So her mom told her and then the mom said that I didn't have to get the shot if I didn't want it. As I'm trying to pull myself together I explained the symptoms I was having, gave me some ear drops, and then looks in my ear only to tell me that I'm going to have to get the shot cause it was bad. Long story short, we went into her "office" a.k.a her room, her daughter was by my head talking to me haha, and yeah got the duty an area that's not my arm. Haha yes to answer your question Kellie the shot definitely hurt more than my pride did at that moment. But, Denny is super amazing. She's leaving in a week to go back to live in the states again with her husband. She was finishing her internship up here. 
Anyway that's story number 1 of the week. Number two is about my amazing companion. Well okay there's two stories. The first one I keep forgetting to tell, but my first week here we went to visit this lady who's just like our grandma to all of us missionaries. We went to visit her, and my companion told me that they have a little bit of a background, which wasn't a big deal to me. So She told me that she has a son who is less active in the church and has a drinking problem, and that she's a strong member in the church but she has this obsession with Joseph Smith. So I'm like okay whatever no big deal Joseph was pretty important and a cool guy. We get to their house, sit down, and while we are waiting for her son to get home I'm looking at this table that has a lot of gifts from all these missionaries that served in the ward, and right in the a "bust" (just for lindsey) of Joseph Smith....So I comment on how nice the statue is and she says "thanks this is my Joseph shrine" haha okay.....Then her son shows up super grumpy, we start the lesson, and he calls me out and asks "why are you always smiling?" I just say uhhhmm cause I like to smile. Then my companion gives the harshest lesson on how he needs to get his life back on track of his soul will be lost forever, then turns to me, so I share a sweet smooth things over scripture and bare my testimony. We then invited him to church and he said that there was no guarantees That next week he wasn't at church, but went to a missionary training meeting for the ward members, and then gave the prayer in the meeting. So at this point I'm thinking Oh my goodness they are letting this drunk guy give the prayer and is he wearing garments? What apostasy! Fast forward to mothers day (here in the DR so the next Sunday) we show up to their house to say happy mothers day and give a lesson and I ask the son why he didn't show up to church. And he flat out says "cause I'm in the stake presidency and we had to meet at the other ward". So I thought okay well he's either lying or he's drunk right now. UGH and that's when my companion couldn't hold it in anymore and just starts laughing. It was a total set up. For a week I thought we were working with this less active and he's a counselor in the stake presidency haha. Anyway that was my welcome to the Torre Alta ward...and by the way she doesn't worship joseph haha.
Well the last story I'll make it quick, but my companion wanted to do something crazy for my birthday. However, we are on a mission, so obviously there are rules and regulations we have to follow. So to brainstorm ideas I asked her what she did for her 21. And because she went to school out in Las Vegas she said that she just hit the Casino just to say that she could get in. There is a Casino here, but as you know that's out of the question. Getting my concealed weapons license it out of the question here as well, so the next best thing we could think of was to ask for a trip to the temple. But, being the chicken I am I didn't want to call the mission president to ask. So my companion did, he said no that he didn't have the authority to let us go. Then my companion asked if zip lining was out of the question. So what do you do when you can't go to the temple for your birthday? Ya go zip lining! I forgot to bring my camera so I'll send the pictures next week, but yes we had a blast! It's definitely been a fun week.
Sounds like you guys are all booked for the summer! Send me the pictures of your adventures! 
Love you!
Hermana Van
P.S. I didn't get your packages :( but I'm sure they are coming soon!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

May 27th

Okay so my letter will probably be short, but on the plus side I spent most of my time sending ya'll pics! sorry! They've been long over due. So these pictures are from this transfer, but mostly from last transfer. However, most of the pictures are from Puerto Plata where I'm now serving! The ones with the family are from my old area and my old investigators. They were super super special and really really hard to leave. I got to see the one investigators baby grow up and just before I left she started to say Hermana every time we went by. Ah! I wish I could have taken her here with me! The other family was very special as well, the mom was blind, but we gave her the hiymns and the book of mormon on tape and she had a strong testimony. However, lets get to talking about my area now. Um to sum it up in 3 words.....I LOVE IT! The members here are really special! If you were to compare my two areas its like night and day. We are in a ward, that is run very similar to the wards in the states. Our Bishop is super sweet and calls us his daughters. He actually has a daughter that is serving in Belize I think. Anyway he says that he has a lot of respect for us and says that he's always there if we need anything. The members are amazing as well! We are in a richer area, I would probably say the "Beverly Hills" of the Dominican so most of them have cars and whenever they drive by they always offer to give us rides. They also love to work with the missionaries! One day we were walking to an appointment and a member saw us and chased us down to give us a reference. That DEFINITELY doesn't happen every day. I hope your being good members and giving references to the missionaries!!   Just as the members are super loving towards us, our investigators have just as much love if not more! It's so easy to love these people here! Well we are definitely seeing miracles here.  My companion and I set up 7 baptismal dates since I've been here! I'm so amazed and excited to see their progress and growth in the gospel! Another blessing is that  their accents here aren't as thick as they are in Bonao, so I can actually understand them a LOT clearer than where I was haha. Well I'm going to close for now, but I love you guys so much and pray for you always!
Hermana Van Woerkom 
I'm sure you've heard this for the past 3 weeks already, but have I told you how much I love Puerto Plata? The people here are just so so soooooooo sweet! I have a baptism coming up next week in my old area in Bonao. So I'll get to go and see her be baptized so that's nice. We also have some other ones coming up. The ones we planned here in Puerto Plata for June 13 are having to be pushed back a couple weeks, but they are still on the right track and progressing! Okay some bummer news. So I've had this ear ache (in my left ear as always) for the past 3 weeks now. Last week I got a hold of the nurse of our mission and told her I thought it was an infection, so she sent me to the pharmacy to get some antibiotics. However after I finished the round I started getting itchy, but no rash. I finally went in to the hospital to the ENT (there's only one in Puerto Plata) and she said that both ears were inflamed and my throat and nose as well. She asked the antibiotic I was taking, and lo and behold it had penicillin in it :( I didn't get a rash, thank heavens, it could have been worse. However I'm now going to try this cortazon shot that I have to buy at the pharmacy and a doctor in our ward will be doing the honors of giving me an area that isn't my arm.....yes my pride my pride will be shattered lol. I hope it works though because its killing me. They say its from acid reflux. I haven't had heart burn or anything but it's called the Silent Reflux because it just inflames everything. I'm sure Lindsey and Kellie can tell you all about it. Anyway that's all that's been happening in my life this week! I forgot my camera, but I'll send you pictures next week! 
Love you!!
Hermana Van Woerkom