Training Hermana Stanton is still going well - we get along really well and have many common interests - although sometimes I worry that I could be doing more to help her Spanish because she is still very quiet in all the lessons. It's a very different experience to my own training because I already knew quite a bit of Spanish coming into the field so I never really had any trouble speaking in the lessons (and by the end of 2-3 weeks, Hermana Matteson and I were pretty evenly matched). Hermana Stanton, though, is still at the stage when she pretty much needs to memorize anything that she says in the lessons, so her responses are rather limited. I'm trying to practice a lot with her, though, and she's making progress - slow, but sure.
As for investigators, Yordis is doing magnificently well. He's still doing eagerly participating in every meeting and activity and his baptism is still scheduled for this upcoming Saturday. He even brought his brother to church yesterday.
He continues to be a model investigator as well. We taught him the Word of Wisdom and he seemed practically appalled that anyone would ever voluntarily ingest any of those 5 substances. Then, we have him the chastity folleto to read for our next cita and he got really excited and told us how much he loves chastity. He seems so happy about it that I thought he might have been confused about what it actually was...but it turns out he wasn't. He loves chastity so much because me considers himself a classic gentleman (you know: roses, love poems, opening car doors, and the like). He said that his parents always told him that he was born in the wrong era. In many ways, I feel as if we're just reviewing the lessons with him because he's essentially been living many of the commandments for years.
And then there's Miguela - teaching her is like riding a roller coaster. This week started of very promisingly. We showed up at her house for our cita, and when she came to the gate, she looked just radiant - there truly was a light about her, she looked physically different. We sat down with her and the first thing she says to us is: "I want to be baptized this Saturday." Needless to say, I was taken very much surprise. When I didn't say anything for a moment, she repeated herself and I just started smiling. I couldn't believe it!
Then I remembered. "What about your husband?" I asked.
"You don't have to worry about that," she said, "I've taken care of it."
"What does that mean?" I asked. "What changed?"
She said that it had started a few days earlier. She was reading in the Book of Mormon and came across a verse that seemed to speak directly to her and it struck her to the very core. The verse was Alma 5:62, which reads: "I speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church; and unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life." She said that, when she read that, an urgent thought came into her mind: "Get baptized! Now!"
So that was it. When her husband wandered into the house the next day, she told him that they were through and that he had to leave. She said that he would be coming back to collect the rest of his things soon. I told her that as soon as everything was definitely out of the house, we could set a date for her baptism. I left Miguela's house that night walking on a cloud. I still couldn't believe that she'd finally done it!
Here's where the roller coaster takes a sharp turn though. The next day Miguela ended up talking to Presidente Ramirez about her situation and her baptism, and Pres. Ramirez - being unaware of what her husband is really like - counseled her to try and work things out with him, which only fanned that still-glowing ember of hope that she has. Now she's plagued with second thoughts about her decision and is no longer pressuring her husband to remove his things from the house.
We went to visit her a few days later. She came to the gate and I immediately noticed that the light she had had about her had dissipated and that hopeful spark of vitality had left her eyes. I knew what she was going to tell us before we even sat down. But we're not giving up on her. I refuse to.
Interesting things that happened this week:
- We ran into Roland again. He was excited to tell us that he got himself a flight back to England through the British Console here in Santo Domingo. He said that the first thing he plans on doing when he gets back is taking a piping hot bath and then he's going to find himself a good job and save up some money. We told him that seemed like a great plan. "Then," he added, "as soon as I've got meself enough money and I've earned back me privilege to 'old a passport, I'm 'eading straight to Africa to open meself a li'le shop." Apparently he really hasn't learned his lesson...
- No progress on the rat situation. This house is just impossible to rat-proof! Late Saturday night, I was startled by a rat eating from the trash in our kitchen. I tried to scare it away and ended up chasing it down the hallway into our bedroom, where it jumped up onto my bed, scampered from one end to the other, and then squeezed itself through the impossibly tiny space between the slats of our window and disappeared.
Until next week,
Hermana Kaitlin Olsen :)
|Life in the Dominican Republic|
|A picture from the callejones|
|A picture from the callejones|
|Hermana Stanton and a puppy|