The work here is still moving a bit slowly. We have a lot of recent converts to teach, but we're having trouble finding some new investigators - although we did find two this week. The first is named Julissa. She is a single mother who is super busy with work and school, but also very interested and receptive to the Gospel. She doesn't really have much free time, so we're teaching her where she works at a chincharron shop, which is a tiny one-room restaurant that sells fried pigskin and beer. Every time someone comes in to order something we have to stop and let her help them, but we usually go at a less busy time of day so we're not interrupted as much.
Our second new investigator is named Angelo. He is 14 years old and friends with several of the young men in the branch. He's actually been to church several times and loves it, but has never actually been taught by the missionaries before.
Other than that though, the rest of out investigators are all about the same - including Estefani, who is still planning on getting baptized next Saturday (she's still very shy though and wouldn't let us announce it sacrament meeting, but we made sure to invite everyone). Although progress is a little slow right now, I'm still living my time here in La Venta and I have faith that the work will start to pick up soon.
Interesting things that happened this week:
- One of our recent converts, named Josefina, is an artist. She paints ceramics (i.e. pottery, statues, etc). We asked her if she needed help with anything and she told us that she could actually use our help with several pieces for an upcoming exhibition. So, we've been over to her house several times this week to paint some statues (munecitas). Best service ever.
- We definitely have mice (they've left several gifts for us on the kitchen counters), so we decided to put out a trap. When we woke up the next morning there were no mice in sight...however, the trap was nowhere to be found either... so we're not sure how to get rid of them.
- We've also been having some annoying plumbing problems in the kitchen sink, so we decided to take the pipes apart to clean them and let the water drain. Let's just say it was probably one of the grossest experiences of my life, but the sink seems to be functioning fine now, so we don't have to wash the dishes outside anymore.
- We invented dessert empanadas. We bought some dough and, instead of filling it with meat/cheese/egg, we decided to use apples, cinnamon, sugar, and chocolate. We then fried them as usual and sprinkled powdered sugar on top. It's a simple idea, but no one here has ever heard of anything like it. We were quite pleased with the results so we decided to take a sample down to Mario, a dry member who lives below us and sells empanadas for a living. He seemed decently impressed with them too, and may even start selling them (which would probably mean more free empanadas for us - our ultimate goal for brining him some).
- This morning we played Batia with the elders from our zone, which is the Dominican child's version of baseball. Instead of a bat and ball, you use a stick and bottle caps. We got some amused looks from people passing by, as if they were thinking, "What are those Americans doing trying to play our game?" We had a lot of fun though. It actually requires more precision that normal baseball and I'm proud to say that every time I bat I made it on base.
Les quiero mucho,
Hna. Kaitlin Olsen