Monday, August 30, 2010


hi hi! so this week has for sure been and adventure! aye aye aye! ok. so. it was basically a normal week! nothing so special. I'm starting to understand the people, but not like what you think. i can now understand they are saying words, and not just mumbling for long periods of time. i just don't know what those words mean yet....and i still cant reply haha. but anyway, i have been much happier this week. lots of working! man, we walk SO much its unreal man. un. real. enough, that one of my pairs of shoes is kinda toast. my nice ones. aye. they are still perfect like rubber and such, but the insides are all torn apart. so I'm on one pair of shoes now. ill go into that later.

so, on Tuesday, we had a huge conference with President Viñes, who is the president of the Caribbean area! so that was cool, no idea what was happening, but cool! and then we had a real and true Dominican rain, which was super super gnarly! then, president alemonte, my mission pres, came up to me and shook my had, told me i look like the missionary who baptized me, and then went and sat back down. so, that was crazy. aye. i heard that he really likes me hahaha. he told my comp awhile back that i would learn fast and be a big leader...not stoked to be a big leader hahahaha. anywho, nothing too exciting after that until Friday. Friday night we went to visit margarita and teadora, who i just baptized, and they fed us! and as we were eating, we get a call from the ap´s, saying we have to come to the office immediately, and to bring some clothes because we might be there a few days. aye. and this was at like 9 pm. so, we go to the office. i was sent downstairs, and i just sit and wait, while my comp is upstairs. basically, 3 missionaries got sent home and ex communicated and it was bad, my comp just knew about a tiny tiny part of it, that why we got called in. madness!anywho, so that's my story for the night. just know, it was BAD. not good at all. but all is well now.

today was nice and chill man. love it. its windy! apparently there is some hurricane chillin not too far from us. ill let you know how that goes! so this is a short email.....aye. OH! I've lost around 15-20 lbs! awesome. love it. ALSO, i finally saw my first pair of stuck together dogs! so, dogs here are super scary, and breed like rabbits. occasionally, when they are finished, they...ahem...cant get apart, and get stuck...hahaha. oh man its funny.

- Elder MacArthur 

Monday, August 23, 2010


Puppy! a member, Jose, has baby animals all over his house...
Ok. this week has been just a bit psycho! for reals. so. ill try and describe it! ok. well, in truth, it was just another week with me not understanding anything and just trying to figure things out. but Saturday Sunday and today have been unreal. so, Saturday, i wake up and its a great day! pretty easy going, cant work too late because we have to go to the ward for the baptism at around 4:30. leave the house, and lock the keys inside, but don't worry too much about it because we can just call the landlord dude and get a key. get there and then start getting everything set up. it was supposed to start at around 5 o'clock, but hey. were in the dr. who is on time?so, we started at about 615. there were 2 baptisms, Margarita Emeterio Peguero, and Manaury Ogando Tejeda, and the 2nd guy was on of the zone leaders investigators. so, they didn't have some one to baptize him i guess, so i did that one too! it was crazy. the hardest part is trying to remember and correctly pronounce their names...aye. so, i get it and Margaritas goes perfect. then, Manaury gets in and....well, i had to do it 4 times hahaha. the first time, i just messed up the words. and the 2nd time. third time did his name wrong. 4th time was good. haha it was super embarrassing.

Me, margarita, her aunt Teodora, and my comp
Elder carter, manaury, elder valdez, the ZLs. elder carter and valdez go home in less than 3 weeks!!

Anyway, it was all good and i was feeling good! go back to our house (FYI, the zone leaders house and the church are next to each other, about a 20 min walk away from us. ) and call the landlord. but no good. the lines don't connect. come to find out where he lives he does not get cell phone service so we cant get a hold of him. and his office is closed. boooooooo. so, we walk back to the ZLs house and have a sleep over of sorts. but, more like a lay on the mattress for 8 hours wishing morning would come. the most miserable night of my life! aye. i was on the crack of 2 mattresses (we laid 3 on the floor with 5 guys on them (the ZLs are in a trio)) and one mattress was about 2 inches lower than the other. so i just laid there for 8 hours. lame. then go to church in the same gross sweaty clothes, come home, still cant get in or get a hold of the guy. then go to work, teach a few lessons, and then find out that we will not be able to get into our house until Monday in the afternoon. well, that wasn't happening. so, i hop the fence, basically rip open another gate, and try and get the window open. our neighbors said they could be opened really easily. so, get it open, grab the keys, and we are good! but, turns out i broke the little latch that keeps the window locked haha. didn't think i put that much force into it! granted, i was pretty darn furious and exhausted and such....haha. anyway, so that was just super super fun. then we went to part of our area, moscu (its a 30 min walk) to the stake pres house to meet with him, and then they fed us spaghetti! and not like normal spaghetti. this was Dominican spaghetti. it was phenomenal. you have no idea. it was probably the greatest meal i have ever had. not alot, so i wasn't super full, but man. i never wanted that stuff to end. its 10% different then spaghetti at home. its almost white, and it wasn't really garlicky, but tasted like it had garlic bread in it. oh man it was amazing!!!!

these are both of the barrio Moscu, in my area.

Then today, we get up, go to the store, come back and then go to the ZLs house again, to meet up and go to our little pday activity. just playing dodge-ball in the chapel of one of the wards :) haha and then making some smoothies and then practicing a song we are singing this week for a conference. but man. its a 5 min long song. we sang it 3 times to practice. it took us an hour and 25 min to do that. it was ridiculous. i was NOT a happy camper. it took 20 min to argue in Spanish how we were going to stand. then just people arguing about things that were not at all important, and it just took soooooo much time. this pday has been more rushed and exhausting and frustrating then any other in my mish. mostly because it was about 3:15 by the time we left. its a 40 min walk to our house. and we hadn't eaten since that spaghetti for dinner on Sunday. AHHHH. i was crabbbbby! and then people started interrogating me in Spanish. and ohhh how i love being asked questions, especially when i don't understand them, so they just say them louder. it was suuuper. so i was furious by the time we leave. finally get home at like 4, and go to a pica pollo to eat ( like my fave place in the world, fried chicken and fries! ya! ) and then go to internet. but its down. go to another internet center, its down. because, tada! no light! no power! so, we had no place to go to internet. so we make the treck BACK up to the pueblo by the ZLs, and now i am here! aye aye aye its been a long day! so ya. that's my story for the day.

On top of  Josés house!

Wait, one more. so. one appointment that we had a few days ago was mad. the area pres is big on 5 min lessons. just because everyone here will let you come in and share a message, if we did long lessons it would freak people out ( ALOT of people think we are FBI hahaha) and we would talk to waaay less people. so we get to this guys house, and he starts ranting. for an hour and 20 min. it was madness. i understood the first like 2 min kinda, then was lost. i asked my comp about it after, and said the dude was taking about his entire life. like....crazy stuff. like about old girlfriends and wives and such, and then a story about how he went to go and see a Haitian witch doctor who gave him a creepy satanic red book and was crazy. it was such a strange lesson.

Elder MacArthur

I look weird, in the back of a truck on the freeway!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Its HOT!

The majority of my zone at pizza today! some are missing though. they didn't wanna make the 45 min drive from yuguate

HI!! aye aye aye wont lie. this has been a SUPER long week! man alive. its been hard! its been even hotter which i did not think was possible, and a lot of our investigators didn't come to church. we should of had like 6 of them, but only 2 came. both are young, one, margarita, is being baptized on the 21st and I'm doing it!! and then the next Saturday the younger brother of one of the members is being baptized, his name is Manuel. so that's good at least. but from no on we should have about one baptism a week from now on. so that's good at least! but man, i dunno. its just been hard.

FIND THE GRINGO! this was a noche de rancho on Wednesday with a bunch of members!
A LOT of walking, on area we work in is a barrio called moscu, and its like a 30 min walk on a super scary road! aye. so crazy. but my feet are healing up a bit so that's good! they still hurt but are getting used to it! the problem was only walking like a total of 5 miles for 2 months and then all the sudden walking 3546 miles a day, that's hard on feet! haha. but i think the biggest problem im having right now is not really being able to help the people much, since i don't know how to communicate what i want to say and i cant understand them! so that is hard. and realizing how much we take for granted in the states! everything, from water, electricity, cleanliness, and just really really basic things. i cant even explain it. the people here are incredible tough. they have almost nothing, but are willing to share it with people they don't even know, and they are happier then most with how life is. they don't have to have every thing to be happy. they are just happy as they are. its awesome. i really love the people even though i don't understand them haha.

Our room!

So last week on....Thursday i think, we had interviews! it was awesome. our mission pres is amazing. super super super smart, but runs the mission like a business. check him out. name is Juan Almonte i think. he is one of the more loaded people in the DR. never been to the states and owns business´there! but he is awesome. he said something that scared me first when i said the prayer he said i have good Spanish, really good pronunciation and such, but i needed to get better at hearing it and responding. so when my comp went in he told him that he needs to talk to me more in Spanish because i was going to learn really fast, and be a big leader. .... ahhhh. i don't want to be a big leader hahaha. not at all!!! dad, your story about training after 3 months scared the crap out of me. you don't understand how fast these people talk. some of the Latinos from Mexico cant understand the Dominicans. so so fast and they straight up don't say their ´s´. ever. ¿como tu estas? is ¿como tu ta? and such. they just drop half the word.... not cool. oh, and yes, the milk sure does come in little boxes! i sure wont miss this milk when i get home! that's for sure! aye aye aye. nor will i miss studying by candlelight every single night without a fan or cold water in the fridge because the power has been gone for 6 hours. luckily we have water always. granted its not potable, but at least i don't have to take bucket showers this transfer haha. but the ZLs have power always, since they live right next to the hospital, except Saturday morning it goes out. but they loose water alot. so its super hit and miss on what resources you are gonna get here haha.

cock fighting is HUGE here! here is a fighter. you can tell because it has no feathers on its legs because feathers restrict movement, and because the little schpiel on the top of his heat was cut of and cauterized shut at a young age, cuz if those are cut in battle they can bleed to death!

So a few random things. if you ever want another ¨roach¨, come here. i saw like 3 of those in the states, but man those little civics are everywhere here! just like the roach! its super crazy. man alive i miss that car!
I will for sure miss every single person here adoring me. they loooove Americans. honestly, i could date any girl i wanted here hahahahahaha. not like i would for the next two years though haha. but they love white boys! during a cita, a little girl started to pet my hair haha. not many of the Americans here have blonde hair! so im even more of a rarity! awesome. hahaha. oh, and crazy. so the girl I'm baptizing, margarita, her aunt, Theadora, was taught by sister missionaries, one of them, Hermana evens, lives on 1539 e 2100 south in salt lake! just down the street! so that was super cool to find out!

Top of my roof again!

Breaking into the gate my first day since we were given the wrong keys!

Until next week!
Elder MacArthur

Sunday, August 15, 2010

pictures :)

My ccm district. Latu, Jensen me, then Cromwell, Jacobs, Logan
Again, ccm district with Hermana Haggard and Parry
Panorama from on top of my roof, click to enlarge

Again, from top of roof!
Me and my comp when we met! Elder Jones

In front of my house, waiting for the APs to bring keys. this is elder carter, one of the ZLs, sitting on a little bike! he goes home the end of this transfer, he is from Morgan!
top of my roof
Cow wandering on our street!
Me, being funny, lost in the jungle....hahaha
Me and Jones being weird....while exploring some creepy field haha

Outside my house with CRAZY angry looking clouds!

Monday, August 9, 2010

¿como estas?

¿como estas? yes, im in the field! i am in a city called San Cristobal, in a barrio called...well, dunno what its called actually, but its right next to one called 5 d abril, (barrio is like....can't explain. its kinda like what sugarhouse is to salt lake, but on a much smaller scale). our house is one of the nicer ones. but, we don't have any like pots and pans, no desks or tables. also, luckily water is always available but light...aye aye aye we have electricity, from when we wake up until about 730am. we get it back again sometime during the afternoon, but we are outside at that time. it then leaves again at around 8pm, so when we get home and are wet from sweat, no fans! it comes on again at around 11pm and is on most the night. aye its so hot here. SO HOT! nothing is air conditioned, because lets be tracking tin-roofed lean-to´s...haha ill send you some pictures.

but man alive it is crazy! i like my comp alot. we get along well. he isnt what we call "flecha" (means arrow, for like the walking white handbook missionaries) and he isn't "tigre" which means tiger, we use if for the not so obedient missionaries. he is just an average guy, and love it. he makes me do just a little bit more and more during the lessons everyday. and have we been tracking?! yes!!! alot! hahah we were white washed into this area. meaning, the missionaries here before were here like a month ago cuz they were being naughty, so we are new to the area and don't know the members or anything. they left us nothing. so we have been doing alot of tracking! we tract for hours, set up appointments for the next day, and teach! its crazy though, nothing really has street names and there are SO many little houses. just little alleyways that lead to more and more and more. remember the slums of slum-dog millionaire? its kinda like that in a few places here. but its sorta nice in other places.

i wish i could really explain to you what it is like here....its unreal how different it is. there is garbage EVERYWHERE and there are huge piles of it that they just burn every night. so ya, it does smell like roses here...its SO humid and hot. i don't sleep well at all at night, i just sit and sweat and stick to my sheets. its miserable. im exhausted to the core. and my feet hurt. walking maybe a total of like 5 miles for 2 months in the MTC, and then all the sudden walking like 10-15 miles a day on dirt roads (while avoiding dead animals, garbage, some of the "cutest" dogs you have ever seen (there are 36357 of them) and the 5343 cars and motorcycles (yes, EVERYONE drives motorcycles, but they are all 100cc bikes. ive seen 645646646 motorcycles, but probably only 3 different kinds of bikes haha)

so i have like 10 blisters right now. booo. not fun. and my back really hurts-
good news though, i know that i have lost weight here! from sweating so so so so so much, and not much food. we eat like a roll for breakfast, then like plantains and salami, rice and salami, rice and eggs, or eggs and salami. or mac and cheese or ramen for lunch. come home at 9 and then MAYBE eat a roll or something (its so stinkin hot its hard to force myself to eat at night) and then go to bed. to im going to come home skinny skinny skinny.

i wont lie though, all this week i ave been super trunky. seeing how many things we take for granted in the states and how i miss them. and just not sleeping and my body being so tired and all has been really hard. and not really knowing what im doing, and on top of all of that i cant understand a single word people are saying to me. nothing. and i can barely say anything. i feel like Spanish will never come. i know it will, but its so hard. mostly im just really really sick of the heat and being sweaty and sticky all the time. and i mean always. the cold shower in the morning is the best part of my day. and its not cold, its just not as hot. im doing ok, but just having a hard time getting used to everything and realizing that its going to be like this for 2 years. its hard...

so let me tell you about my week. Tuesday we got on a bus and left for a chapel like 10 min away. met our trainer (his name is Elder Jones, is from riverton, and is almost exactly 3 weeks younger than me haha) had a little meeting, and then left for our area. its was like a 30 min bus drive. sat at another church for a few hours, then went to our apartment with the zone leaders. but, the people gave us the wrong keys. so, we had to call the AP´s and get keys. so we are in the sunshine waiting with the zone leaders (they don't live there with us, just waited with use since we both dont know the area) and sat for hours waiting to keys.

finally get some, go inside and its nice, but all the dishes are dirty, and there is old food in the fridge. my comp opens the fridge and starts to down some chocolate milk in there, and then imidiatly starts to pretty much ralph in the sink since it was all curdled. the milk here is weird, it like never goes bad and doesnt have to be refrigerated until its opened---so he didnt think it would be bad. but it was! oh man that was funny. and then we find out we have no power. and that the bill hadnt been paid so we wouldn't have power. but, we got our stuff put down and went out tracking! just started to nearly wander into peoples houses. but everyone here is so super friendly, my comp has only had one time where a person told him they couldnt visit them. but then came home, planned in candle light, went to bed without fans. longest night of my life. wendsday, kinda the same. woke up, studied, went to work! cleaned the apmt in the morning and then went out to our appointments and then tracketed more for thurday. thats pretty much how everyday has been! but all of that while i am literally dripping with sweat.

so people here, when they are young, look way older than they are. and alot of them are super attractive ahahah. but one girl, we set up an appt with her and then found out she is 15. totally thought she was 20. but she is an active member in her church, but is apparently looking for something more. gave her a restoration pamphlet and she pretty much studied it. we came back for a return appt but she wasn't there, but gave us a note that was a full on like...essay about the pamphlet. she looked up and studied every single scripture in the bible that was in it. so we will see how that goes! we are going to see her again tonight.

we have one baptized set up for the 21st! her name is Margarita and she is 9. her dad is a super happy evangelical dude and doesn't care what church she goes to, as long as she goes. her aunt is a member (BTW, the sisters that taught her live on 21st s across from highland!) and she goes to church alot with her aunt so we are teaching her and gonna baptize her! stoked. have a few other investigators but none came to church.

other random note. being a north American here is constantly as we are walking there are girls screaming out, making kissy sounds, and everyone asks if we can or do have girlfriends. its crazy! they loooooove white boys! super funny. i don't really know what else to say!

oh, during a lesson with margarita yesterday it was about 8 pm and it started to POUR!! and that hard of rain on little tin roofs is SO loud. you have no idea! so so so so loud! and then my comp said that was nothing, that often times you are positive that the house is going to fall down!
speaking of loud, no noise ordinance here. aye....everyone plays crazy loud merengue!! want hear a super good Dominican band that i love and here everywhere? his name is Omega. also a band called Adventurea i think...super cool. ok well im gonna try and send some pics now....
-Elder MacArthur