First and foremost,I want to send a giant thank you for the inundation of packages that I received this week! On Friday, I showed up to zone meeting and as we were introducing ourselves to the new zone leader, he says, "So you´re Hermana Olsen! You see that pile of packages over there? They're all yours. Good luck getting them home." Don't worry, I made it just fine. It was a nice workout and I was smiling all the way. I was also very proud to hand the zone leader my own package to send back to you three for Christmas. I'd been working on it all week and had just sealed it up the night before when we got the call informing us that there was zone meeting the next morning. It was perfect timing - who knows when the next chance will be to send mail? Anyway, I hope it gets to you all before Christmas (it's meant to be opened before we Skype eachother). :D
This week has been hot and rainy. According to Hna Sanchez, it was a mild tropical storm that lasted a few days. The worst of it happened on Tuesday. We were sitting in a member's house when it started pouring rain (of course, being inside didn't really help that much because of all the holes in the tin roof). When it let up a little we decided that we to leave, and as we exited the house, we came face to face with what used to be the street and had been transformed into a muddy river. We asked the member if there was another way to leave. She said there was, so we followed her out the back of the house. We had to push our way through the rainsoaked branches of a dense plot of fruit trees while trying not to slip in the mud (and I may or may not have run face first into a cluster of bananas). After that, in order to get home, we still ended up having to wade through water up past our ankles, but we made it back before all the streets were completely unpassable.
Another crazy thing that happened this week as we were walking through town was that we saw a motorcycle crash. One of them was driving on the wrong side of the road and as he rounded the corner where we were walking he collided headfirst with another motorcycle. In a crunch of metal, all 3 people went flying thrugh the air and landed a few feet away from us on the asphalt.We asked if they were okay, and amazingly, it appeared that none of them were seriously injured. Two of them stood back up immediately and began arguing about whose fault it was. The third laid in the street for a minute before hobbling over to where we were standing on the sidewalk and assuring us that he was fine. This wasn't the first crash I've seen, but it was the worst. I'd probably say that the DR is near the top of the list of World's Worst Drivers.
As for investigators this week, there isn't much to report. The biggest news is that we started teaching two brothers named Elvis and Wonderland, whose parents apparantly have an interesing sense of humor. They're really funny (partly unintentionally) and we've laughed a lot in the lessons we've had with them.
As for other people... everyone is still being frustrating. They all love to listen, but none of them like to act. We had all 7 of our baptismal dates fall this week when no one showed up at church and it nearly broke my heart. On top of that, I heard from the other hermanas that Altagracia is smoking again and she hasn't been to church since we left that area. Yesterday, however, her brother, Miguel Angel, showed up to sacrament meeting. Hermana Matteson and I taught him a few times and he seemed quite promising, so I encouraged the other hermanas to keep working with him even though he's sometimes hard to find. Now that he's actually been to church, I have hope that he will continue to progress.
To close, I'd like to clear up a little matter about which several of you have expressed wholly unwarranted praise. When I said that I play the piano in church, this means that I adjust the settings, volume, and press the keys to the correct rhythm - not really that impressive, but none of the Dominicans can seem to figure it out...so who knows. haha
All my love,
Hermana Kaitlin Olsen
P.S. Mom: I have a favor to ask from you this week. Could you please send me Grandma Padley's pie crust recipe? I said that I'd make some of her jam tarts for my district on Thanksgiving. I would also be nice if you could send a recipe for yams and corn bread :) I do need it as soon as possible, though, so I can have time to buy ingredients the Monday before. Thanks!!!