Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hump Day! 9 month mark!

HUMP DAY! Today marks my 9 months. Wow I´ve had so much fun here and have been so blessed to serve in this mission. Time really does fly! Well we are 1 week into this whole mini missionary thing and to be honest it really is different than having a regular companionship. I am definitely learning patience, how to rely more on Heavenly Father, and maybe a little long suffering.Sometimes I feel a little like I´m running a baby sitting service It´s okay though they are all things that need to be learned. I´m still a little nervous about taking on such a big chunk of area For example twice a week we have to take a bus about a 45 minutes out to visit people. No pressure, it´s only others salvation on the line and mine as well. Prayers would be appreciated haha. 
I´m so grateful for those little blessings that I´ve had this week. We found a family that contacted us and wants to hear the gospel! We gave them their first lesson yesterday and hopefully they´ll be at church this up coming Sunday. We have some other baptisms coming up as well! We just need to get the family together to get everyone squared away on the lessons. 
Funny story of the week ready for this...okay this happened with Hermana Bradford, but we were walking home from an appointment and I usually say hi to everyone that we pass by. Well we passed by this nice old lady and after I said my hello´s she says ´hello my queen´. I stopped as she kept walking, turned to my companion and said ´it´s about time I got the repsect I deserve around here´hahaha just kidding She just rolled her eyes, laughed and we kept walking. So for the last week I would tease and say ¨the queen would like this or we need to go do that because I´m the queen¨hahaha. Anyway There´s your funny story for the week. Don´t forget to title your next letters ¨to the queen¨haha just kidding. 
Love you guys,
Hermana Van Woerkom

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 16, 2015 Transfers!

Well, missions are full of changes. All good times must come to an end eventually I suppose! We had transfers today and Hermana Bradford left for La Vega (close to my old area) and I´m still serving in Puerto Plata. However, to add a twist  my new companion is a mini missionary. I suppose we are missing or running low sister missionaries here. So I have Hermana Alisson  Payero. She´s from a town about an hour away from here and is 16 years old. I´m super nervous about leading the area, but we will see how it goes. I´ll definitely learn a lot this transfer if anything. Trying not to stress haha.
Good news though! Our baptism was wonderful! Everything went well without any problems! Elias is now a member and now we are getting him prepared for the temple trip for the end of this month! He is just such the golden new recent convert. At his baptism he wanted to sing ¨called to serve¨because it´s one of his favorite songs. I hope that he´ll get the chance to be a missionary soon! He´s just so great!
Okay here´s your funny story for the week. So after the whole Tarantula incident we had this past few weeks my comp and I came to the consensus we would rather boil in the house in this heat and humidity than leave the windows open and have these freakish critters think their welcome into the house. Everything was good, until this past Monday. There was yet another stinking spider in our house. My companion and I have debated on whether to call it a spider or a tarantula. So call it what you will, spider, tarantula, this thing had to go. It´s body was smaller than the tarantula but bigger in size. So my companion thought she could handle it and spray it with Clorox ( why that was her weapon of choice I don´t know, maybe to blind it? haha ) and a smack it with a broom. But this thing had spidy like reflexes, because when she squeezed the trigger it RAN away like lightening bolt fast and in less than 2 seconds it was in the main room with me. As it galloped into the room (yes I´m using that term because it was ginormous!) I luckily had the door ready and booked our of the house, and shut my companion in the house with the spider until she killed it haha. The embarrassing thing is that the next door neighbor was having a porch coffee get together...and I was out in my moo moo ( night dress PJ grma style),  haha. Was I embarrassed, I´d be lieing if I said no, so I calmly explained what was happening and they began to laugh and tell me that they aren´t going to do anything. Finally my comp knocked on the door to let her out of the house because she killed it. I told the neighbors good night haha and then found out that she killed the thing with the area book. MAN and I have to touch that thing every night when I come home to update it. YUCK haha. 
It´s good to see ya´ll have had a fun summer! Now it´s back to the real life! Have fun with your jobs and school! Keep me posted on the hw, send me selfie with the homework so I know your actually doing it (ahem Casey) haha 
Hermana Van Woerkom 


Sunday, July 12, 2015

July 9, 2015

In honor of my favorite holiday my companion and I have been trying to be more patriotic by wearing more of the good old red, white, and blue, and singing none other than that good ol´ country music...Well at least the songs we can remember haha. We also made a goal as a zone and since we made it we will also be celebrating Saturday on the beach getting our grill on too. So I´ll be celebrating with ya´ll! Just make sure to send video´s of the fireworks! 
Well today is the official day that our President has been released and we now have a new mission President, President Castillo. I don´t really know too much about him other than he is from the DR in Santo Domingo. I´m a little nervous about this whole new thing, but I know he´s inspired to be our President, I just hope the adjustment is smooth and easy. 
Good news!! We will be having a baptism July 11, next week! I´m sooo excited. We will for sure be having at least one person baptized this date, but we are hoping that there will be 3 others as well that will be ready by next week. The one that will for sure be getting baptized is Elias. He is SUPER AMAZING! He´s been coming to church every day, joined the choir with us for ward conference, and answers questions in class. He´s so amazing that one time we went with him to the young single adult class and when they were asking questions no one wanted to answer and if they did it was just really non nonchalant and quiet responses (you know those single adults full of excitement....not!!). Elias then blurts out, whats wrong with you guys? Have confidence in what your saying because its true! haha I just was jumping up and down saying that's my investigator, no big deal he just has a HUGE testimony. Another thing I love about him is that after lessons he tells us Ïll see YOU ALL at church on Sunday. We don´t have to poke and prod him haha and he makes that statement that ÿeah I´ll be there. LOVE IT LOVE IT. 
In, closing I know you´ve all been worried (more like getting kicks and giggles out of my dog stories), but to put your mind at ease my companion and I pray every day before we leave the house that we will be safe from the crazies, cars, motos, and dogs. And since then I haven´t had any rabid crazy dogs try biting me yet. Although we still have dogs chasing us....we´ve been blessed to out run them haha.
Love ya´ll happy 4th, 
Hermana Van Woerkom 

There are things that I´ve learned in the mission. This week it´s been pictures really are worth a thousand words. Now let the story begin: HABIA UNA VEZ (Once upon a time...)
Hermana Bradford and I came home from a long good day of proselyting. After planning, my comp decided to go to the back room and just like that got the biggest, warmest, fuzziest welcome by this tarantula hanging over the bathroom door. She was screaming ¨Hermana come look at it, I can´t, I just can´t, it´s a tarantula¨ That´s all she had to say and I got the keys, unlocked the door, took the phone and left the apartment, with my companion still in the house. She eventually came out after taking a picture with my camera, and showed me the evidence. And yes, just like they say in the commercials this animal is actual size, not blown up or anything. Its the Malfolio you see in the movie She´s the Man. Well by this time it´s 10 at night, I´m exhausted, so I get the courage to ask the Dominican girls downstairs to do the job for us knowing that Dominicans really aren´t scared of anything and could get the job done like any man could. So they agreed to help the helpless Americans, got their big can of fresh repellent and flip flop and made their way up the stairs, and when they saw the thing they turned and looked at us and said that they couldn´t help us and went back downstairs. So here we are yet again, with an elephant of a problem, LITERALLY! So swallowing my pride, I called, yes in the depths of humility haha and asked the elders to come and help us because we had an emergency. Not knowing if it was a joke or not because I always tease them they asked what the emergency was. So I told them ïn all seriousness we have a tarantula in the house and it has to go. Being the amazing men they are, they came running to our house, to do the deed. They came (with matches, you´ll find out why in minute), got my camera to video it, and headed up to the battle zone. In short it took 2 elders and 2 brooms to kill this beastie. Then they invited us to come back in (of course I couldn´t because it was still half alive), they stuck it under a paper, used our nail polish remover, and here comes the matches they brought, and yes they set the thing on fire....it took it´s last steps and the beast finally died. To answer your questions, no I could not sleep that night. Thinking that it had another buddy in the house I made us sleep with the light on all night, until 3am....and then my companion turned the light off....then I was really on edge haha. But its all good I´m alive and well.You know we are American when we bring out the guns (brooms) and shoot first and ask questions later. I don´t tolerate the trespassing type. But, the next day we had a nice American 4th celebration haha We had a good AMERICAN fourth here. As good as we could get it. All of us have really been missing America in my zone lately.But for the 4rth we had a grill off at the church and someone burned a cd of country music and beach boys. that was the good dose I needed, but to top it off my comp and I couldn´t find fireworks since its illegal here. so we got a cake sparkler and went to my member mom in the mission and set them off.....and we sang the star spangle banner just to get my good dose in of patriotism haha.Sounds like you guys had a blast though! The zoo looked fun, I didn´t need to go with ya´ll we had the zoo here at our apartment haha. But our baptism is this Saturday! We are so excited and can´t wait! Please pray that everything goes well, because baptisms are always a hectic day!
Hermana Van Woerkom #spiderwoman

June 30, 2015

I would like to announce the first piece of news that should be troubling everyone. MY SISTER, I won´t mention names, (LINDSEY VAN WOERKOM) did not write me for the first time in the mission. I have 2 things to say. 1. REPENT! and 2. I´ve still waiting for my crusty package that´s going to get here the same time I´ll be leaving this mission.
Now that my shout out is done, haha the second most important announcement is.....I COMPLETED 8 MONTHS IN THE MISSION. Say what?! I know! My companion and I are having a blast here in Puerto Plata and loving every moment. Our life is just a sit down, movie, get your bag of popcorn, comedy type of companionship. The only thing we are missing is the camera crew. But for reals though. I don´t know if you have seen The District, but its like how to be a missionary training video. They should do The District, but with my companionship...and call it...The District Bloopers...but for real though, we are just too funny. Okay well here´s your funny story for the week. So you know how I had my run in with that stupid dog that bit my backpack? Well like I said, I´ve been carrying my umbrella to whack the next dog that dares to think about biting me. My companion always makes fun of me for bringing my umbrella, but LUCKILY I do the crazy things I do because after a very nice, uplifting lesson, another crusty dog tried to bite me! To sum up the story, I karate chopped that dog and it headed for the hills. However, I have a feeling that this dog problem isn´t going to end. So mom, or Lindsey (most likely mom and dad since their package is the only one I see) if you can please send pepper spray, I will put it to good use. But for realsy though, no joke haha. 
Well, we have two weeks before our golden investigator gets baptized, I´m super excited to say the least! Things are wonderful here as usual in this paradise city. We seen little miracles in big and small ways. One big one would be one of our investigators job gave him the opportunity to go to church on Sundays! Yoohoo! And one funny little miracle we saw this week is its mango season here right? So during one of the lessons we had under this mango tree, the lady that we were teaching asked if we like mangoes and then proceeded to ask the little kid to climb up the tree and gets us a few. Next thing you know a whole group of kids were climbing the tree and got us over 30 mangos to take home with us! haha they were super cute and super funny. So we´ve definitely been enjoying them at the house. They are super delicious! I´ll close for now, but it´s good to hear from everyone and see all the fun summer stuff you´ve been doing! Keep me posted!
Hermana Van Woerkom

Top Picture: After zip lining
Middle Picture: Zip lining
Bottom Picture: Saying goodbye to President Douglas
More Zip Lining Pictures


 Okay here´s the picture of the washer that we use. The ¨dryer¨is like a time capsule that you shove your clothes in to wick the wetness off and then we hang it. The second picture is of me and my tuve. It´s what black people wear in the states, but its what people wear here to when they get their hair done. Obviously I don´t need to get my hair done here, but I wear it because it keeps my hair up and cools me off easier in this ridiculous heat....and because I am part of the culture too. I thought you´d get a good kick out of that.
guess what? I got cherries today for 30 pesos a pound haha holla for a dolla