Monday, October 31, 2011

Palmar De Ocoa

mmm, the beach! in a place called Palmar de Ocoa, its like 3 hours away from our house, but awesome! there are some members that live down there!

HI! sorry for writing so late today! so i am super short on time, so sorry this is gonna be kinda lame today. but this week, in all honesty, was really not super great. we had to drop a lot of investigators, we only had 2 come to church, and it feels like we didn't make alot of progress with the people we have. but, the good thing is that if all goes well, we will be having a baptism next week! that should be good! his name is Juan Antonio, he is 17 and amazing. he is super stoked to be baptized and has alot of friends in the church, and was willing to change everything in his life so he  could be baptized. luckily, he doenst really need to change anything, he is already pretty much prepared haha. then today, we went down to Palmar de Ocoa for my zone leaders last pday. there are some really cool members that live there and so we went and they made us a bunch of food and we took TONS of pictures on the beach. that took forever to send, another reason I'm short on time haha. but it was super fun and really cool to see the ocean!

Palmar de ocoa is a gulf, but part of it you could see out to the full ocean, but super cool none the less!! but another thing is that my district is kinda crazy. well, mostly just one companionship. the senior comp is training, and he himself only has around 5 months and is working in a new area, and well, he is only teaching kids and all the friends of the kids. they are not looking for new families to teach, and there are lots since that area has never been worked in before. so i will be doing an intercambio with him this week to try and fix that. the kids are in need of baptism too, but in an area that has NO members, he needs to baptize others. hes consistently having around 20 investigators in church, but they are all primary age and loud and are taking away from the spirit in the church. so that has been a bit of a problem the last little bit, and we have talked to him and he really isn't understanding what we are saying and why he needs to look for new people. so, time to do something about it. haha. but anywho, that's really my only story for the week! i cant really think of anything else that has happened. its just been a hard week all around, but this week should be much much better! well i gotta role and I'm really sorry that this is so lame but I'm waaay beyond over my Internet time, so i gotta run! but i love you all and promise a really long awesome letter next week!!
Elder MacArthur


Monday, October 24, 2011

Diache...digo yo

OK, so this week. so Tuesday we start out with a lesson with these people named Ramon and Santa. they...well, Santa, the wife, she is really quite but is interested enough to take time to listen to us. Ramon is kinda crazy. he is cool, and he always reads what we leave him, but wow its hard to teach him. he goes off on the craziest tangents that are slightly related, but they take so long for him to explain! and he is always talking in a hypothetical way. anywho, we talked with him and it was a really long lesson, but good. he understood all of it and all. we then went to a different barrio on the other end of the city and started contacting there, we finished contacting the last area we were working in. so we go down and contact for ever and put very few lessons, i dunno what was up. everyone was either not home or about to leave for the capital. it was awful. 

Thursday we headed up to Parra again, and first off went to a little girl named Yanjelis, and she is just a difficult one. she loves to follow us around all day and thinks we are fascinating, but then when we go to her house to teach her (she is a reference, is like 11) she is just super...difficult. gets all quiet and dramatic, kinda funny actually. so we teach her, and then teach another lady, also a reference named margarita. she is about 40, and was going to get baptized about a year ago but couldn't because she had to move to the capital and work for awhile. it was an excellent lesson, the 2nd one that we have had with her and it was super amazing, she is super prepared. after that we visited a few other people and members and then had to go home, its a long walk to the house. on the way home we visited another old investigator named Ramona, she is cool, but has to get married. but, to make a REALLY long story short, she is engaged, and her husband gets outta jail tomorrow (he was framed for stealing a motorcycle and drug possession, but he didn't do it, hence hes getting released tomorrow) and so she was looking great to get baptized. then, when we pass by, she is all crabby, and says that she is not going to go to church anymore, cuz she doesn't like what we teach and how we "say the bible is wrong" and how she wont go because she doesn't like going to a church where she feels so uncomfortable.


So, we were talking to her for about and hour and a half. so one thing, when people have doubts or problems like that, almost NEVER are those their actual problems, they use that to cover the real problem, and we found the real problem. she got offended by some members, and she knows alot of the members and they are complete hypocrites, and are different people in church and out of church. so, not good. we are working with her. but she knows its true, but she now cant get over those members. Thursday, was a long hot day. all we did was teach ramon and Santa again, which went well. we then contacted for ever and then visited some members there.

Friday, i did an intercambio and went to an area called sabana larga, and its in ocoa, but its far. the other companionship's are actually opening it. misisonaries have never worked there. we could work there, but since we are already working in parra, we couldn't balance it. but, its a huge area there. it was alot of fun, i went with elder peña, and he is super funny. probably the greatest story teller in the world. it made me really want a Dominican companion again. i really like my comp, but i want more Dominican comps. then Saturday we had a normal day, nothing special. just went and visited everyone and reminded them about church. then Sunday, i feel like crap. so, about 2 weeks ago i had a knarly cold, and i got over it mostly, but around Friday night it started to take revenge again. and Sunday i felt super awful, but i had to give a talk in church. so we go, and there was no power. (side note, here in my area, we have light 21 hours in the day which is AMAZING, but it always leaves in the morning, about the time of church) and the planta (generator) is outta gas. so i had a stuffy nose, sore throat, and raspy voice, and then had to give my talk without a mic, so i was trying to yell. but it was good, i talked about charity and it tied in really well since the people before me talked about faith and hope. bad news, NONE of our investigators came to church. it was super lame. we focused on that so much, and no one came. but, next week we will be going to the church in parra so hopefully we can drag some of them there. it should be good.
but ya, that was my week! Love you all, have a good week!
ELder MacArthur

Monday, October 17, 2011

Alchol and Mary

Family! this week was super duper long. after the hike last week for pday, i totally did not get any rest, so i have been trying to cover from that and that has not worked since every other day we are hiking an hour up the mountain to Parra to work. aye. but, its been good. we have a guy named Juan Antonio who is super amazing and really wants to get baptized and has a fecha for the 5th of November. he is 17 and is super excited for his baptism, and told us that he wants us to focus on him more so that he could get baptized faster hahaha.

So, i have a few stories this week. so on Thursday, we had a crazy intercambio. at around 2:15 the AP´s showed up and wanted to an intercambio with me and one other companion ship. but it was a crazy one because it was completely random, and one of the APs, elder black, was already on an intercambio with elder wilkes, one of our zone leaders. so black went with the other companionship  and wilkes, our zone leader came with us.  it was a strange say. we had like 15 lessons planned and we only taught a few, partly for the fact that it was a downpour. one of our lessons, we we in a bar, and the back wall was just full of alchol and above it was a huge picture of Mary and Jesus. it was awesome. that lesson was even more interesting because she kept breast feeding (note:not weird at all. happens 5 times a day) and the kid wasn't interested so she just left it out and kept pointing it out to was super strange! then, we found out that she had a 14 year old daughter who lived with her husband (also, not weird. that is a very normal age to get "married" here) and her "husband" is 32. GROSS!! heebie geebies for sure.

Then Friday we all get up (elder black and wilkes stayed the night, so there were 8 missionaries in out house haha) and we have to be to Bani (down the mountain) for interviews by 8. well, we leave the house at about 8 and put all 8 of us in the AP´s truck, not a big truck mind you. but from living here for 16 months we are all really good at fitting unreal amounts of people in small areas. we get there around 845 and then interviews start. one of our zone leaders, elder de la cruz, his interview was over an hour. more on that later. but while pres was doing interviews, one of the elderly couples, the browns, took our keys and were doing house inspections. our house was clean, since the APs  were just there and all, so no worries. then, Hna. Rodriguez, his wife, was talking to us about....DVD players! that's right. every companionship now has a portable dvd `player! and we can use it to listen to church music! oh man its amazing. we can also use it to watch church movies and to help us study with the Preach My Gospel DVDs- its really awesome.

Anywho, my interview went well, i really like Pres Rodriquez, he is an amazing guy. after my district was all done, we left and got some food and it started to downpour again. we then got a call from the browns that we need to come back an pick up our keys. all the other companionship's still had their keys, so they left to catch a bus back up to Ocoa. we went back to the chapel and got the keys, and asked the browns about our house, and i was totally not expecting the answer we got. she started freaking out, saying that our toilets are dirty (ya...that's what happens when you cant flush for a day or 2 when theres not much water and we don't have toilet scrubbers) and that it was filthy in every way. not true at all! i don't understand. elder black and wilkes both thought it was way clean, and black is an AP! hna. Rodriguez then told us that we couldn't have a p day and we had to stay home and clean. we then leave and go to get a bus to Ocoa. they are usually pretty full. and its about 20-30 min between buses. one passes, and its completely full. then another, also completely full. then another. finally, after 2 hours of waiting, at around 6:15 we get on the very last bus. we had to stand up in the isle, along with about 20 other people standing. it was awful. there were so many people that i couldn't even put both my feet down. i had to have one foot on top of the other. it was insane. and its not a short bus ride haha, we got to the house at 745 at night. lets just say i was (along with my companion) pretty crabby and utterly exhausted.

Saturday we had to go up to parra again, off schedule, since we were planning on going Thursday, but it was impossible since we got home so late. Saturday was a day of lots and LOTS of walking, and reminding people about  church and putting appts with people for other days. Sunday, only Juan Antonio came to church. it was lame. So i dunno if i explained another time, but we have the branch in the city, and then in parra, since its so far, there is a school that we rent out for the day and have a meeting there in the morning for the members up there, but its not an official branch, just a different meeting house. but we were talking to the branch pres and we are thinking that we are going to change the time so more inactive members can go and so that we can visit both of the on Sunday and talk to out investigators that go to both. so that should be changing in the next month. then last night, i get a call from one of the elders in my house, telling me that our zone leader, elder de la cruz, is getting demoted. pres found out that he had a personal cell phone and was stealing and saving up misison money and such, so he peaced out this morning and we have a new ZL, i dunno who it is though. ill find out tonight. I'm super happy about it though, he was in my zone in san cristobal and he is a little weenie, really, i dislike him. every time i was around him i got the willies. and i hated being DL and talking to him every night. so yay hes gone! so this morning we deep deep cleaned the house, and it wasn't even dirty like i said, but got it sparkling (literally, its a new house and the missionaries have only lived there for like 2 months or so) and then we took pictures to sent to hna Rodriguez to prove that we cleaned it. so ya, that was my week! i love you all and hope you have enjoyed my pictures, ill try and take more to send next week! love you all!
Elder MacArthur

Monday, October 10, 2011


Family! ok, so very first i will tell you about today, since its fresh on my mind. we had the coolest p day activity ever. we took like a 2 hour hike up the mountain following the river and it was amazing. we ended at a really sweet water fall and a little cave with bats! I'm trying to send pics, but every time i try the Internet is crashing, after i write this email ill try a bit harder, cuz i have some super sweet pictures. so ill try! but i don't have much time so i apologize in advance for this letter...we got home really late! anywho, this week was good. so basically we have now kinda got down how we are working. every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday we are working up in Parra, the far away area, and the other days we are going to stay here in the pueblo to work. its good, but wholie molie i am more exhausted than i have ever been in my life. we are working really hard here, we have to! this week we got 6 references, all up in Parra and so up there we have been working super hard, but its good. alot of the references we have gotten have been excellent. bad news though, we are having a really hard time finding people here to teach in the city. we will have like 20 lessons set for the day, and then all of them fire us, aren't home, don't want to share, and so that has been really hard. but we are doing our best! Sunday was good, the chapel was full and everyone wants to get up and share their testimony. it was great. it could totally be a ward here, but Bani isn't a stake yet, we need 2 more units in this district to become a stake. but we are close!! so ya, good times. anywho, i don't have many other good stories. i really really like this area, and my comp, and all the people that i live with are awesome. so stoked. and we have interviews with president this week, so I'm stoked for that as well!! but really sorry for this lame  email. ill try and send some pics now!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ocoa :)

Man, first and foremost, I'm in OCOA! like i said last week, i have always wanted to come here. and holie molie i cant even tell you how right i was! its amazing here. Dad, you would die to be here. really, I'm living in a city on the sides of mountains in the middle of the Caribbean. its so breathtakingly beautiful. so my companion is elder Adams, we lived to gether in las matas my first transfer there, he is really cool! it was also nice to already know him haha. we live in a 6 man house, and its brand new. they just moved into it last transfer. its probably the nicest house in the mission. hot water (if we have power) and 3 bathrooms, one for each companionship. one of the elders here, Elder Luzón is from Spain, but looks Dominican because his mom is Dominican. his accent is awesome. he is probably  my new favorite person ever. he is also gonna try to hook me up with some girls from Spain haha. but he is an amazing soccer player. so good in fact, he plays for Madrid Real, or to say, the best soccer team in the world. he is on the 3rd team, but none the less, amazing. he is training, and only has 4 months himself. Everyone else in my house is way cool as well.

view out my window
So right now we are going to start working in an area called Parra, its super far away, but alot of members live there and the have lots of references. to get there, we have to take off the shoes, roll up the pants and cross a decently sized river. then we have to hike straight up almost into the rain forest (almost). its waaaay up in the mountains. so beautiful. only problem is that its like an hour and a half to get there, across a river on a tiny trail, so there is no transport to get there faster. but its totally worth it. ill try and send some pics, i think this computer can handle it.

crossing the river to Parra

Conference was really good, they have the chapel hooked up the the internet and we just watched it at our own chapel over the Internet, which was great. it would be really hard to bring all the investigatores to Baní, really far down south down the canyon. Elder Cornish of the 70 was really cool to see talk, since he was here not long ago and talked to us for a few hours. he is the newest member of the Carribean area presidency, and probably the most brilliant man i have ever met. and his talk was himself speaking spanish. it was way cool. but ya i don't really have much else to say, i don't really have anything new except new area, but i know very very little about it. oh, I'm district leader again, boo.
anywho, ill go ahead and send some pics now.
Elder MacArthur

More of the path to Parra. Yes, the river waaaay in the back and down there is river we crossed earlier.