Great things are happening in Bonao!
First a funny story: Sometimes when it rains here, it is like a flash flood. The have a terrible drainage system (and by terrible, I really mean that it doesn´t exist) and so the streets fill up with rainwater really fast. But it´s not really rainwater. I will refer to it as the mystery murk. The streets are full of garbage and refuse all the time, so when it rains and the street fills up with this murky brown liquid, it´s a mystery what you´ll find as you wade through. Hence, mystery murk. Well a few days ago it started to pour as we walked. We were drenched, despite our umbrellas and jackets. I had my raincoat on over my backpack to keep the contents dry and I had my hood up. It would be pretty safe to say that I looked like a homeless, dripping oaf. We came to a small lagoon of mystery murk and I paused for a second, looked around for an escape route (it was kind of like that story where they say “we can´t go over it, we can´t go under it, we can´t go around it…we´ll have to go through it”) and seeing no other option, I did a little hunched squat to grab my skirt, hiked it up to my knees, and plunged into the mystery murk. My companions cracked up because apparently it was quite comical to see a little hunchbacked woman do a little squat and wobble her way into that filthiness. The worst part aside from mystery objects touching you is that the murk is WARM haha. The pavement is so hot that it heats the mystery murk right up!
I´ve tried lots of fruits this week! I had guanabana, carambola, guava, and chinola juice! And of course mangos and bananas. Fruit is just so tasty here!
Mom asked about washing clothes, so here goes: We have a washing machine. It is one big plastic box with two compartments—one for washing and one for “drying”. We fill up about 6 buckets of water and pour them into the washing compartment, add some detergent, throw in the clothes, and then set it to “swirl” mode for a good 15 minutes. After the clothes are sufficiently swirled in the soapy water, we put them into a homemade solution of fabric softener and water so that they smell reeeeeal nice. Then we wring them out and put a portion of them in the drying section (too small to do all the clothes at once). We close the lid and set the dryer to the “shake” cycle. You have to be prepared though! All the water that´s being shaken? Shooked? Shakooked? Whatever. All the water comes out of a hose on the side, so you have to have a bucket ready to catch the water. Then you hang those clothes up ti actually get all the way dry and put some more clothes for the shake cycle. Then you mop, because invariably you´ve gotten a large quantity of water on the tile floor. And that´s laundry!
Miracle story: We had another person approach us and ask US to learn about the church. God is always preparing people to receive the gospel—we just have to be willing to testify! Nuther one miracle: we had 14 investigators and 16 less active people come to church this Sunday. That´s almost double the active members of the church. The room was FULL. It was incredible! We see lots of miracles every day, but one really cool thing was during an intercambio. I wasn´t there, but Hermana Colton went with a member to visit a different member´s wife. She has a reputation for being really mean and rude and just having the worst attitude ever. She often gets mad when missionaries or members try to visit her. But Hermana Colton and the member approached her very kindly and she let them in AND just completely opened up to them. It was totally unexpected! We hope that she will continue to be receptive and that we can help her start coming to church.
Dominican thing: They are very generous people and they love it when you visit them! This is great! EXCEPT every time when we are closing a lesson and indicating that we need to get to our next appointment they´re always like WAIT I HAVE REFRESHMENTS FOR YOU which is awesome. But then we´re twenty minutes late to the next thing haha. This doesn´t happen every time because not everyone gives you juice or soda or whatever, so you can´t even plan in advance to avoid it. I have determined that it is the secret Dominican way of extending the visit because they love company so much. Like in the states, someone shows up and we offer them water. But here someone shows up and you try to keep them as loooong as possible by luring them in with some delicious fruit nectar and galletas.
This Sunday we went to a branch in Los Quemados which is really close to the mountains. It. Is. Gorgeous. Check out the pictures! They have a campsite sort of thing there and that´s where they host EFY all summer. It´s super cool! Like wilderness EFY . Definitely beats out Provo EFY for sure!
I love you all, and hope you have a great week.
ALSO: I have homework for you all. 1) read The Power of Everyday Missionaries by Clayton M. Christensen and then 2) apply it to your lives!!!! It is seriously the most powerful book members can read to help spread the gospel! READ IT NOW!
This week´s pictures:
Last week´s pictures: