Thursday, April 28, 2016

Week 1, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

April 28, 2016

Hey Everyone!

I love you all and miss you so much! I can't believe it's week one already! I've been here 8 days. I am here at the CCM (MTC) safe and I love it! The first few days were rough. I was going off no sleep for 37 hours and not being able to speak Spanish! 

My travels went fine. I had 3 flights and they were all so long with no sleep. I met my companion at the Salt Lake airport and I love her to death. Her name is Hermana (Elisa) Turner. She is from Idaho Falls Idaho and went to BYUI too! 

The food here is....interesting to say the least. Every meal but breakfast we have beans and rice and some type of meat. I do not really know what I am eating but I'm just praying that I don't get sick. Sundays we have Pizza though!!!! Its the best!

The temperature here is super hot but we only go outside for service and free time so I just love it right now. It rains a lot which reminds me of home. Last night I fell asleep to the sound of rain!

The CCM is right next to the temple! It is beautiful! Our room has the best view of the temple and it lights up at night and is sooo pretty! On Pdays we get to go to the temple! Today we did a session and sealings. I loved every minute of it and am so grateful for the blessings of temples and the chance to help someone else's family be together forever. What an amazing blessing to me. 

Our day starts at 7 o'clock with breakfast, then personal study, language study and gospel study until lunch at 12:30. After lunch we have more studying and then physical activity till 5:15 when we have dinner. After dinner is more studying and teaching our "investigators" until prayer meeting at 9:15 and then bed. 

Brother and Sister Romney are our CCM presidents. I love them so much! They are from Utah I think. 

The language barrier here is sooooo hard. We have three groups of people; Haitians (French speakers), Dominicans (Spanish speakers) and Americans (English speakers). So we have to translate from French, Spanish and English! It is so crazy but such an interesting experience. 

My roommates are awesome! We have Sister Turner and I and then both the Haitian sisters. I love them all! 

It was fun to find out that Elder Cornillus, one of the American Elders, is from Oregon and is great friends with my friends Jared and Mitchell from school. Cool connections.
My District is so small here. We just have 4 of us. Elder Gibbons, Elder Colon and Sister Turner and I. They are awesome! We are small but mighty. The CCM here is super nice. Its super small and just has two floors. The bottom floor is just the kitchen and cafeteria and the top floor has bedrooms, class rooms, offices and the chapel. There are only about 35 missionaries total so it doesn't need to be that big. There are only 8 sister missionaries so we get a lot of attention. 

The teachers here are so nice. My district has two main teachers Maestro Feo and Maestro Rodregez. They are both so nice but only speak Spanish so I am learning really fast....when I understand what they are saying. Oh and feo means ugly is Spanish by the way... haha. He isn't actually ugly. His real name is Maestro Martinez.  We just call him that because the first day he told me to call the other American Elders who were already here "Hola Feos" which means "hello uglies" anyways so now the other elders and our district just call him that... its all just for fun though. 

Me and Hermana Turner got called to be the musical leaders and so we have to plan the music each week for devotionals and church. 

I love it here! It is awesome! Even though I don't speak the language I can still always feel the spirit and I know that God is with me. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be on a mission and to be in the Dominican Republic! I love my mission and I love the people of the Dominican Republic and I love the gospel with all my heart. I know that prayer is soooooo important. Trust me I've been doing a lot of it lately. It can help to calm your nerves to answer questions and anything else you need  or are worried about!

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!!!

Hermana Bake 

Safe in the DR

April 20, 2016

Hola Familia,

I arrived just fine to the DR. It is so crazy and they are kinda strict here. I got to the Salt Lake airport and met Hermana Turner. She is also my new roomie/companion - I think. We unpacked and are now emailing you. She is from Idaho falls and lived in The Ivy Apartments and in my ward last semester so we know a ton of the same people. I love her. When we first arrived in our room we were just left in our rooms without help or instruction. We got our tags and then read our packet. Our other two roomies walked in.  They are from Haiti and speak French. We are only allowed to speak Spanish here and it is super hard. I don't understand anything! 

Here in the MTC they call it the CCM I don't know what it stands for but I will let you know.

The DR is beautiful and super hot. The CCM is super fancy and nice and air conditioned. I love it. It is right next to the temple in this enclosed gate like area. Our window looks right out at the temple so every morning I will look at the pictures of Christ in my room and then the temple.

I'm so tired and haven't eaten anything since I left. Anyways I just have a few minutes but just know that I am safe and happy and love you all! Thanks for the prayers! 


Hermana Bake