Well this week was great! We've been starting now finding new investigators. So yep starting from the ground up again. It's super difficult in our area to contact. As I said before we live in the "Beverly Hills" of Puerto Plata. So when we contact theres a big huge gate and you contact using the intercom. As you can imagine a lot of people just are "too busy" for their salvation haha but really. It was funny, but after a while I got a little frustrated. However, one day we had a super special experience. It all started when I read in Moroni 7: 46-48 with a member about charity. She is super good at visiting less actives every week, but has a little bit of a problem sometimes judging them saying they'll never progress. After sharing this, she was like "is that what you think I'm missing in my life". We told her of course not and explained that sometimes it's hard to share the gospel and have people reject you. Then I went on to explain that that's what life is like in the mission, we get rejected a lot. And then I shared my story of my first area in Bonao. We had zero progression. I told her that I was struggling with loving the people there including the members. No one would stick to their commitments ever! Ah! It was soo frustrating! But I told her that sometimes the people don't progress because there's something we need to learn. It's easy to say "why don't they come to church! They can take a nap after!" those small little things that we know are important, but others don't understand can make us SUPER frustrated, well atleast me haha. However something that I've come to figure out is that Heavenly Father probably has those same exact feelings for us every day with the committments or commandments that we to keep. BUT, even though we don't do the things we should sometimes, he still loves us with his perfect love.
After that special lesson, a couple days later we contacted this Haitian family. They are super super sweet and told us that day after contacting that they wanted to go to church. So we gave them directions and made an appointment to see them on Friday. As we were leaving I told them that we'd see them on Friday, and they panicked and were like "but we can still go to church right?" haha of course! Their super cool and I'm excited to give them their pamphlets and Book of Mormon in Creole! We had interviews with our new president this week too. He's nice. I made sure to emphasize how much I love Puerto Plata. I even told him I wanted to finish my mission here haha and that I'm going to cry when I have to leave. He just laughed and said that he thinks I'll be here for another transfer because I still have to finish up my kiddo's training. Yoohoo that means its a definite maybe we will get to be together for the next transfer! We are super excited!!
Thanks for all the love ya'll send in your letters!
Hermana Van Woerkom
H! I had a feeling that the weather was starting to change over there! It´s been fun hearing everyone saying that its starting to get cool. Especially Casey saying that it´s going to get down to the 70´s in Oklahoma...if that´s considered cool...,. Well It´s still super super hot here! The weather is not changing one bit! It´s gotten so hot that we´ve moved our beds into the livingroom by the door and we leave the window by the door open at night...because I´m pretty sure that´s the window that the spiders don´t come through...atleast we are experimenting for now. My companion tried leaving the fridge open as well at night to see if it would be like having AC....but unfortunately its not haha. I´ve tried begging the office elders for AC, but they just laughed and said they´ll talk to the mission president....part of me hopes that they do haha.
Anyway funny story for the week. Well the zone leaders want us to start contacting people on the street. As a companionship we´ve had a lot more success with references from members, BUT we decided to go along with the contacting goal. SO my companion and I make it a game to contact people. It was my turn to start the contact so as we were walking I was trying to find who was the next person we should talk to. As we walk by I see this older man on a motto as we are about to pass him I see that he has glasses that have the american flag painted on them and thought ´this is the sign´! We stopped and I began to contact him, he told me he was evangelical, so I not only gave him a pass along card, BUT the restoration pamphlet AND a Book of Mormon. And then I set an appointment with him for the next day. After doing so I felt a little nervous, because sometimes people can get contentious about the gospel, and we invited the elders in our district to come along with us. Well things turned out the way we thought and it was hard to share the gospel with him, however I ended with my testimony of how God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are 3 seperate beings and that we were children of God. Well he told me this...and I would like to pass it along...BUT just so you know apparently not all of us are children of God. Some of us are just creations of God. He really is our golden investigator haha just kidding. But it just goes to show how important it is to share just the basic principles of the gospel with people. Some people don´t even know that they have a Heavenly Father.
Transfers are coming up, but I´m hoping Hermana Baez and I can stick around atleast 2 more transfers together. I don´t think there will be changes just because she has to finish up her training. If I could I would love to finish up my mission here in Puerto Plata. I´m keeping my fingers and toes crossed!
Love you all and take care!
Hermana Van Woerkom
I´m glad that everyones having an amazing week and schools going great! My heavens all the pictures I got this week were crazy to see. You´ve been giving my nieces and nephews miracle grow, THEY ARE SO BIG! Make sure to give them squeezes and kisses for me! Thank you so much for your love this week! Things are better health wise. I was literally dying in the house for 6 days. But now we are finally out and on fire! We´ve been hitting the pavement hard and it feels so great getting out. I have to be honest and say I did sneak out for stake conference on Sunday to play the piano for the choir and it was super nice. I enjoy playing the piano at church. Who would´have thought I would have to do that on the mission. haha Shout out goes to mom for making me take piano lessons all those years. Anyway things are great. We had a ¨hurricane¨ come through, but it just touched us for a little bit with high winds and rain and then left. Apparently there is another one coming, but I don´t know when or from where. We didn´t even know there was one coming until a member called us haha. But, my companion and I read through what to do if something happens so we should be fine. On the other hand however I don´t know if it´s the hurricanes a brewin´ or its just that time of the season like hunting season in the states, but the cows in our area have been on the loose lately.
First story of the day is we were visiting a family at night and as we were sharing our message a huge black cow walked by. Nothing too strange. We closed our message and were walking to the car, this time the sun was down and it was dark. My companion sees a big figure walking towards us so my companion grabs my arm and says ¨careful the cows back¨...only to find out that it just was a heavier set woman walking towards us haha embarrassing. And then yesterday we went with the bishop to visit a less active and there was a huge accident. The car was completely scrunched up. The bishop rolled his window down and asked what happened and they said that I guess a cow got hit. Luckily it wasn´t us! From the sicknesses to hurricanes and cows it just goes to show that the Lord has a plan and will protect his missionaries and that the work still moves forward.
The companionship is amazing! I love training! We have to much fun and learn a lot together.
Thanks for all your prayers, love, and well wishes!