Friday, December 6, 2013

Fill the tanks!!

Dear family,

I can´t believe it´s December already - it certainly doesn't feel like winter here.

I'm glad you received my package. One thing I forgot to mention was that the office elders had to split into 2 separate packages to send it because it was overweight, so you should actually expect to receive 2 packages from me, but they were both intended to be in the same box. And yes, you can open them before you leave for Hawaii.

I also received 2 wonderful packages this week: one that Dad sent that has Catholic-looking Jesus pictures on it, and one from the Brimhalls - please give them a BIG thank you from me!!!

I enjoyed reading your letters about Thanksgiving, and I think everything will work out with Skyping because, according to our District Leader, we usually Skype on the P-Day before Christmas, which I think is the 23rd. But I'll let you know when I have more information.

XXXXXXXXXX

The last week of the transfer has been really good, aside from the fact that we haven't had any running water since a week from yesterday. Our reserve supply was getting really low when the water came back on for about 20 minutes on Wednesday. As Hna Nodal heard the faucet sputter to life, she yelled, "Fill the tanks!" and we all dropped what we were doing and scrambled for the buckets. Unfortunately, it wasn't on long enough for anyone to get a shower in, but at least we had enough water to wash the dishes so that we could cook for Thanksgiving.

By the time I started making the tarts, the power had gone out, too. Fortunately, however, we have a gas burning oven, so we were all able to cook our dishes in time for Thursday. (Hna Sanchez was assigned to make a green salad, and it turned out she didn't really know what that meant because Dominicans don't really eat salads, so I showed her what vegetables to buy at the market and how to put it all together).

On Thursday morning we all met at the church. As we all set our respective dishes on the table and uncovered them, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that we had actually managed to pull together an almost traditional-looking American Thanksgiving meal (except for some of the elders, who said they'd try to find a turkey, but instead shamelessly paid a woman in their branch a couple hundred pesos to stew some chicken from a colmado). The sisters from Sebana Yegua even managed to bribe the office assistants to hunt down a can of pumpkin in the capitol so they could make a pie.

Hna Sanchez was a bit wary about trying the things we'd all made, especially the pumpkin. The only thing she really seemed to like was the chicken... and my tarts, although she was convinced that they would be better frozen for some reason.

As we ate, we all went around the table to say what we were thankful for. We spent several hours just talking, laughing, and eating, and we left later that afternoon with empty plates and full stomachs.

As for investigators this week, Domingo is still super excited for his baptism in less than 3 weeks. The old woman who we contacted in her doorway a few weeks ago (whose name is Araseyli) has been in church every week since then. We finally got Pamela and her older sister to some to church. We even managed to get the 19-year-old son of the First Counselor, named Day, to come to church for the first time in several years. After the meeting his father came up to us, grabbed our hands and thanked us for our work. He said that he didn't think he would ever see the day that Day returned to church.


Interesting things that happened this week:

- I was chosen to sing a solo in the stake Christmas program last night. I sang 'Venid y Adoremos.'

- I trusted Hna Sanchez to cut my hair. Let's just say her confidence level doesn't accurately reflect her true abilities. Fortunately, I don't ever wear my hair down, so you don't really notice it all that much.


You know you're in Azua when:

- You're sweating at 10pm on a December night.

XXXXXXXXXX

!Y finalmente, tuvimos las llamadas del traslado anoche! Las resultados: Me queda con Hna Sanchez, Hna Nodal se queda también, y Hna Preisler se va (no sabemos por donde). !Entonces, parece como yo tendré mi Navidad aquí en Azua!


All my love,

Hna Kaitlin Olsen

Thanksgiving in Azua




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Kaitlin's tarts

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