Elder Barlow and Elder Arias
It has definitely been quite a week and a half! It’s been really hard this week, but I know that it will get better. Probably what I miss most about Utah is Mom’s cooking, and music.
Coming out into the campo has been crazy!! There are dogs everywhere, and it is so noisy. We left the CCM at 6:30 that morning and I rode with the president to the mission home. We had a big training on the money and health stuff in Spanish, which I don´t think was a smart idea because a lot of the people in our group really didn´t speak Spanish haha. Anyway then I got my new comp and we took a taxi to our home. My zone/stake is Villa Mella and the area is Santa Cruz. I think we are in the North East part of Santo Domingo.
We live there just the two of us. It’s actually pretty nice compared to some, we even have a shower and if we want, hot water, but I just shower in the cold because it is better. Our bedroom has air-conditioning too! Very sweet, but we only have one light in the main room so at night I wear my headlamp around. It’s very useful and I’m glad that I brought it. There are no spiders in our apartment (that I have seen haha) and the mosquitoes aren’t that bad either. In fact, I don’t even use a net [to sleep under], and I have only been bit once or twice. There are a few cockroaches... one crawled over me in bed the first morning here. Our apartment is nicer than most... some people have bucket showers and our power is only out 2 or 3 times a day ;) haha There is a member that lives above us but she doesn’t cook for us. She does take us to church.
For dinner we either eat out or cook rice... I prefer eating out because my comp thinks that he can cook... and he can’t... so I think I shall cook from now on ;) On the bright side I haven’t been sick yet... knock on wood.
Now about my comp. He is from Costa Rica and this is his last 5 weeks so actually I will be having two trainers. He doesn´t work hard and isn’t very obedient. He thinks that he can speak English but really it isn´t that great... I can understand his Spanish way better than his English. Not my favorite guy but like you said mom sometimes we have to learn patience. On the bright side I get lots of personal study time while he is sleeping and I have been enjoying Jesus the Christ. I have really missed Elder Foote the past week because he is a great missionary. He got a great trainer too... lucky.
Both of us are new to the area so we have been contacting a lot which I don´t mind. I think it’s fun to go up [to the home] and yell Saludos or Buenas and start talking to them. As for my Spanish, people tell me that I sound really good, I even got one member surprised when I told her I had only been out 4 days :) I can understand the Costa Ricans and the Mexicans really well, it’s the Dominicans I have a problem with... they don´t speak Spanish I have decided.
We have one investigator with a baptismal date for the 11th of Nov. We just need to find her. The old Elders didn´t keep a very good area book with numbers or addresses, of course there really isn´t addresses, it’s just the shack around the corner with the metal roof. The members are great though.
I went to stake conference Saturday and Sunday and actually saw some people that I met in the CCM so that was cool to talk with them again. Also I went on intercambios with a guy named Elder Tirado. He is from somewhere in Mexico, Chihuahua or something like that. Anyway he speaks perfect English and is in the same situation as me where his comp doesn’t work hard so we got to vent to each other. He reminds me a lot of me, just Mexican and speaks Spanish. We even look a lot alike. We have become good friends. For intercambios you actually go overnight so it’s pretty cool.
I like the Dominican Republic though. It’s fun when you are traveling from area to area you can take the metro or a carro. You pay 20 pesos to get in this car that is in worse condition that Tanners old ford dinking thing and a little smaller and 7 or 8 people are in it.
Today we went to Parque del Este. It was cool to see a lot of my friends from the CCM and play some football. It’s crazy there were probably 150 missionaries at this park. We went to Mega Central a mall near Parque del Este and I ate KFC today. It was awesome! And I listened to some Maroon 5 in the mall. It was like being in America haha. Kinda crazy.
Miss you all and love you,