Friday, April 18, 2014

Floods, Fires and Marking our Territory

Dear family, 

As I mentioned in my letter last week, we got 2 more hermanas here in little Rama La Venta, which made a grand total of 3 new hermanas in the house: Hna Reyes (from Costa Rica), Hna Pinchardo (a mini-missionary from this stake), and... Hna Matteson (transferring out of Ochoa)! It's great to see a familiar face and be living with her again. Sometimes it brings back memories of Azua, but at the same time it's still different because we're in a whole new area (that I know better than she does) and we both have a lot more experience in the mission: she hit 14 months this past week and I'm just about to hit 10. 

Having 6 hermanas crammed into our area isn't quite as big of a disaster as I thought it might be, but at first, we did have what you might call a territory dispute - not inside our house (although we are a bit tight for space now) - bit with our proselyting areas. Six missionaries is a lot for one small branch (and the area of La Venta is small to begin with anyway). 

The entire area is essentially made up of 8 sectors, and what it all boiled down to is that you just can't divide 8 by three, especially when 4 of the sectors are neighborhoods and 4 are the less-desirable apartment complexes. As Hermana Stanton put it: "You just can't fit a square into a circle hole."  In the end, Hna Stanton and I were able to keep more or less all the areas we work in daily (as it should be). 

As for investigators, we were able to find a few new ones this week. One man named Cristian called us over as we were passing by in the street. We've had 2 citas with him and he always asks a lot of in-depth questions. After we finished teaching him the Restoration he told us that he didn't want us to leave, that he wanted us to keep talking so he could learn more. We left him with a copy of the Book of Mormon and he started reading it even before we got out the door.

We also got a phone call with a reference from one of stake leaders. He described it as "una familia de oro" ("a golden family"). I called them and set up an appointment, but before the cita Hna Stanton and I decided to try and find the address so that we would know how to get there beforehand. 

We found the street and the #23 easily enough, but when we knocked on the door at the time of the cita we found out that someone else lived there...and that no one on the entire street had heard of the family. We didn't have their phone number, so Hna Stanton and the member were with wanted to just try again next week. I felt devastated because it was such an important reference and Presidente Ramirez was personally keeping tabs on our work with it. 

I felt strongly that we had to find them that day, so I said a silent prayer and then just started walking without knowing where I was going. I led them around the corner to a different street where I saw another #23. I asked the woman there was where the Jose Rosario lived, but she hadn't heard of him. She did say, however, that she did know of someone by that last name that lived in the callejon behind her house. So we all filed into the narrow alleyway. There were several doors, but the first one that I walked up to was theirs. I said a silent prayer of thanks for guiding me to the house, and then we all enjoyed a very nice lesson with them.

Interesting things that happened this week:

- Some drillers hit a water line and completely flooded the only street leading to one of the main part of our area. We had to wade through it to get. It's so hot here that on the very next day, it was all bone dry again.

- An elder in my zone proposed to me. He was completely serious and I had to tell him no.

- One of the power lines on out street exploded. Hna Stanton and I were walking and we saw it up ahead. There were 3 explosions in a row that left the line up in flames. They seem to have fixed it though, because we still have power.

Until next week, 

Hermana Kaitlin Olsen

Kaitlin's area

Kaitlin's area

The 6 Hermanas in Las Ventas

Yordys on his mini-mission

Eating at Pica Pollo

Las Ventas

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