November 20, 2012

The little Dominican, Elena, is home!

Elena arrived at Sky Harbor Airport right on time!  She left the Dominican Republic at 8 a.m. and flew home through Miami and Dallas.  Several other missionaries left on earlier flights but Elena traveled alone.  We were so happy to see her as she got to where we were waiting.  What a great start to a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We couldn't be more thankful!  We now look forward to hearing both Elena and Alexis speak this Sunday, November 25.  What a wonderful time this has been for our family!




November 12, 2012

...the last word from the DR!

So we are just getting on at 5p.m. so we are cutting it close today, but it was a fun p-day.  We went to the office and then to the new Agora Mall in the west mission right by Ikea.  They bought lunch at the food court.  I had a delicious bacon western cheeseburger from Carl’s Jr.  Mmmmmmmmmmmm!  Then we wandered around the mall and bought Krispy Kreme doughnuts for later.  So craziness that this is my last email from the DR.  I am super excited.  I can´t wait to see you all and party it up.  I heard about Obama winning on Wednesday morning when the other hermanas came home from their run in the morning and said they heard on the radio, “Obama ganó” and then honestly, I kind of forgot about it. I was wishing I had been able to watch the election returns but then I got over it. Too bad for Romney but I will enjoy the next election with no incumbent.  So much of this week has been with dengue Domgaard.  We’ve been doing exchanges with her and her companion to keep their area going.  One afternoon I went out but most of the other time I stayed in with her since we just get along.  I really have enjoyed the time we´ve had together and now we are buddies.  It´s been good for us.  It´s just too bad it involved dengue but the dengue girl is doing much better and pretty much back to normal. We both are still dealing with some stomach stuff which Hermana Hernandez said could still be effects from the dengue.  I had to say goodbye to Hermana Ball today.  That was kinda sad but I will see her when she gets home.  She and Hermana Domgaard will get home in February.  I am so excited for Thanksgiving and I can´t wait for that airport reunion.  I am glad Hermana Loftus got a hold of you and that will be fun to see her.  We have zone conference this week which should be good and then the office on Monday.  A guy that Hermana Louis and I taught twice is going to get baptized on Saturday, which is cool.  The other hermanas are excited and I am too.  Last Friday we had a meeting about going back to the real world.  They talked about interview skills and how to use what we´ve learned on the mission in the job world.  It was good but was a long day.  There are about 10 of us going home but I am flying by myself which actually I think make things less stressful.  Elder Eickbush said today that it was good to see the twinkle back in my eye since he saw me when I had dengue.  Hermana Eickbush said she always thinks of me when she sees strawberries since I taught her how to say it in Spanish.  I don´t remember that but it´s funny what people remember.  I can´t believe that this is really all going to be over in a week and that soon I will be taking off the tag and back to Elena.  I am sooo grateful for these experiences and the friends I have made.  I started packing last night and am trying to figure out about my suitcases.  My big duffel is starting to rip in one spot so I think I am going to try and check my big red bag and my brown carry on and just carry on a backpack, but we will see if I can fit my stuff in those.  I think it will, based on my beginnings of packing yesterday.  I am leaving a ton of stuff behind.  It is going to be sad saying good bye to Hermana Domgaard on Monday.  Lexxy can you look into options for making t-shirts that say, “I survived dengue in the DR and on the back, dengue Domgaard, and cama Cottam?  I want to order them when I get home.  Hermana Domgaard and I are dengue buddies for life.  Hermana Mcentire is good.  She has a 7a.m. flight to Miami and I have an 8a.m.  She is flying with the elders from Utah through LA.   I got a letter from the hermana in Santiago and she also is flying through LA, so I will have to meet up with her at Costa Vida or ASU sometime.  I can´t believe the next communication we have will be in person ...good times.  It is so crazy.  Only 1 more semana and next Monday I will be chilling at the office with the Eickbushes and have my exit interview and dinner with the president.  We will stay at the CCM and then head out real early Tuesday morning I imagine.  I am planning on working on my talk on the flight since I imagine I will be pretty booked the rest of the week.  I can´t believe it´s been 20 months since I saw Lexxy and over 17 since I saw mis padres.  Well peeps, my time is about up, but it´s been a pleasure emailing you for the last year and a half.  Soon I will just see your faces and hug and kiss you and laugh and talk and party.  I have lots of mailing to keep up with, with my hermana friends here, and I can´t wait for them to meet you sometime.  I sure love you and am so glad I did this.  I couldn´t have done it without all of your support and love and mail and encouragement.  I love my forever family.  See you in 8 days and let the party begin. I love you guys sooooooooooooooooooo much.  Love, ejc

November 5, 2012

Greetings...two weeks and counting!

Greetings peeps.   We have had a good p-day.  We went to the conde to buy souveniers and such.  We ate at Pizza Hut and got frozen yogurt.  Basically it was a repeat of last week but minus the not feeling good cuz of the dengue.  So I have pretty much made a full recovery from the dengue, but we have another case of dengue in the house.  I have been taking care of “dengue Domgaard” the last couple of days.  She is eating and doesn’t have the high fever but needs to do some more blood work to verify the dengue.  She went out with us for a little while today.  Anywho, life is good here.  The hermana from Fiji wants some info on BYUH so if you can look into deadlines and application requirements and different programs for her Lexxy and send that in a separate email next week that would be grand.  I told her my sister isn’t doing anything so she can look that up for you. J  Also, my “West Wing” companion, Hermana Loftus is going to be in Phoenix over Thanksgiving so I am going to give her our home phone number to call and arrange for a time to get together. I emailed and told her to call.  She met Chelsea in Utah.  She is coming to visit her boyfriend’s family in Phoenix so if Cambrai Loftus calls you’ll know why. J   So it’s crazy that I will be on my way home in 2 weeks and 1 day ...craziness.  I can’t wait to see you.  We went to the temple on Tuesday and it was grand.  We also ate at McDonalds and I had a Big Mac ...mmmm. Good thing I got my appetite back.  We made a stop at the doctor's at the CCM since Hermana Mcentire’s back flared up at the temple.  We didn’t go out on Tuesday since I was still recuperating and her back was bothering her but on Wednesday we went out for most of the time.  I did take a little nap in the afternoon.  On Thursday we had our district zone meeting and I got some lovely mail.  I will try and write some letters this week.  On Friday we worked like normal. I had a splitting headache on Friday night but whatever.  On Friday night, Hermana Domgaard had a lot of body pain and has had some stomach pain for a couple of weeks, so on Saturday morning we went to our favorite lab across the street.  Awesome ...she wanted all four of us to go for moral support so we could hold her hand and stuff.  It was pretty funny.  At least it was the good lady that drew the blood since people have a hard time seeing her veins.  Anyways, they had a baptismal interview and some appointments in the morning and I still had a headache, so I stayed with “dengue Domgaard”.  It turns out she has parasites and dengue.  That’s what I call a double whammy.  I ended up staying with her Saturday and Sunday in the house.  She is a stubborn one and insisted on going to church and going out today.  I talked to Hermana Hernandez in the mission office yesterday and she said it was good that she had a nurse that knows what to do.  I am pretty sure I am going to go out with Hermana Mcentire today, but our area is not going so well since we didn’t work in it for like 2 weeks and we want to keep the other area of the hermanas going while she has dengue. So Hermana Mcentire has been going out with the hermana from Fiji and I have been cuidando (taking care of) the dengue girl.  Actually we have a real good time together so it’s been fun and I get to give her some pay back for all the times she told me to drink things and stuff when I was sick. She likes that I understand her sense of humor.  The other hermanas said we were crazy and I said we are crazier when we’re together.  It’s kind of like Dad and Uncle Howard.  We made some real funny videos of dengue Domgaard and her dengue diaries.  I will show you some when I get home.  We have renamed the house, la casa de enfermedad (the house of sickness) and the house of dengue.  This would have been a lot more convenient if we had had dengue at the same time. J  I am going to make t-shirts when I get home and send one to her that says “I survived dengue in the DR” ...funny. Anywho, life is good here in the DR.  Well peeps, my time is up.  I am excited to hear about the elections this week and I am so excited for that airport reunion in two weeks.  Awesome! J  I love you guys sooooooooooooo much.  Tell Lexxy I liked the pictures she sent.  Have a great week.  I am off to check up on dengue Domgaard.  Love you, ejc

October 29, 2012

...more from the dengue girl

Hi peeps,

I am happy to report that I am doing much better with the dengue. I basically was in bed for the entire week except to email you last week and go to the lab a couple of times. I did make it to Sacrament Meeting yesterday. Today I went to the office to pick up my mail and we ate Pizza Hut and got frozen yogurt with Hermana Ball and her companion. I am still regaining my strength back and after email I am going to read my mail and take a nap. People have been calling and checking in on me all week. I have been in my jammies all week too. We are going to the temple tomorrow which will be nice. Dengue stinks and it was probably the worst week of my entire life being sick. (When I say, the worst week of my life, it wasn´t that bad, but I can´t think of a time of when I was as sick. I remember having the flu for a week in 9th grade and that´s the closest I could come up with. But I wish I would have had my marshmallow bed.) I didn´t eat for basically a week and just tried to stay hydrated. I threw up once. Everyone says I look real skinny. I weighed myself at the office and I am down some more. I told Hermana Hernandez and Hermana Eickbush it´s called the dengue diet. It was good seeing them at the office. They were glad to see I was still alive. President said, “resucitó” or like I had been resurrected ...funny! Anyways, I have stayed in contact with the doctor who his really nice and he said I don´t need any more lab work and by the end of the week I should be pretty normal but that sometimes it can take that long to get your strength back. Thanks for the prayers and stuff. When I didn´t want to eat anything I kept reminding myself of the food I will be enjoying after I get home. But I am doing much better and up and about. It´s been kind of a weird transfer with the illnesses and all. It is hard to feel like getting into much of a routine when I haven´t been doing normal missionary stuff for a while. Crazy. I am ready to be rid of this dengue nonsense and I should be fully recuperated for the trip home. I still need to buy some souvenirs next p-day, then we are having an hermana activity our last real p-day, and then I´ll be in the office. Sweet! So I wasn´t feeling up to a conference the mission had on Saturday with Elder Zwick of the seventy, so the other hermanas had to give us a report. He did talk about the numbers since the new missionary ages were announced. Apparently 11,000 papers have been received in these 3 weeks or so and normal is 500 or 600 every week. 2000 were from sisters just in Utah and 1500 international sisters. Our mission, which I think has 160-ish missionaries, will be increasing soon to 250. He said that one day he will speak with a group of missionaries and half will be hermanas ...pretty sweet! So I guess there are going to be a lot more sister missionaries which is good since our mission numbers for sisters are dwindling. It will be interesting to see what happens and what new missions they will create. The other hermanas were real excited with his talk. The hermanas stayed in a little with the storm. It´s nice having the other hermanas around while I’m stuck in the house. We had lots of thunder and lightning but nothing too bad. The power did get knocked out that affected our water one morning but they got that fixed up. I haven´t been doing anything, not even dominoes or writing letters. My letter writing is getting real lame. I could barely get up and go to the bathroom. Yesterday, I took a shower to get ready for church and that about did me in. I had to take a little nap afterwards before going to Sacrament Meeting. But today I´ve done good walking around and stuff. Elder Shaver, the doctor, said that it can take up to a week to get back to normal strength. I can´t believe it is November next week and it´s almost election time. I finally got my ballot today but it won´t go out until Friday. I will send it even though it´s probably not going to make it. Did the Giants win the World Series? I was watching ESPN a little at Pizza Hut but I couldn´t tell if they won or made it to the World Series. Good luck with the clarinet gig, Alexis. I knew that ASU education school was Lexxy´s next life plan. I guess this week we do need to try and find some of our investigators. I sure love you peeps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love, ejc

October 22, 2012

...greetings from the dengue girl

Well, well, well, I hope you are all doing well. Things are pretty good here in the DR except that I came down with a "little case of dengue fever" on Friday. I have basically been in bed since Friday afternoon and the other hermanas have been taking real good care of me. We´ve been in contact with the doctor and Hermana Hernandez and I am just drinking lots of liquids and taking lots of Tylenol. I am feeling better today and working on getting my appetite back. Hermana Ball and her companion came over today and hung out with me and Hermana Domgaard. Our other roommates had to go to the doctor since Hermana Mcentire woke up with her bad back. They went to get some x-rays and stuff but I had a fun time with the other hermanas at the house. I thought about not telling you but decided you might be upset if I didn´t, but I don´t want you to worry. On Friday morning when we were studying I got a really bad headache and took some Tylenol. We worked in the morning and I ate lunch and then laid down. Then I was running a good little fever so we stayed in. My eyes were hurting which is another symptom of dengue and body aches, so by Friday night we were pretty sure that was what I had. On Saturday morning I went to the convenient lab across the street to get some blood work done. The lady didn´t see a good vein but she managed in the first attempt. I had to get the same test today again and the lady there today was not as successful. She was not very careful to look for a vein and just went for it in my arm. I didn´t think it was going well so I looked and Hermana Domgaard started saying, “Don´t look, don´t look.” Anyways, she ended up having to do it in my hand. I did get a cool Disney sticker so that made it fun. J I think Hermana Domgaard could have done just as well with the needle and was a little freaked by the needle lady today. I have had some nausea too with the dengue but I am starting to eat a little so that´s good. I have been drinking lots of Gatorade and water and luckily I haven´t had diarrhea or been throwing up since that´s when you need an IV to keep hydrated. The other hermanas always keep telling me to drink lots. The other hermanas have been babying me real good. Hermana Mcentire has been asking me every five seconds if I need anything. She´s been calling Hermana Hernandez and the doctor although today I decided I wanted to talk to him since I am improving. I am really glad Hermana Domgaard is here to lighten the mood. One morning she brought me a cold rag and felt my head and said, “I just have to take care of my baby.” She´s a funny girl. She made my bed too this morning. I did get a blessing on Saturday from the district leader since they were in our area to do a baptismal interview for the other hermanas, so that was good. I had Hermana Domgaard print my emails this morning and she said she saw something on the page about being healthy and thought that was ironic. J The good news about the dengue is that I will probably reach my weight loss goals before I come home. J I can´t wait to weigh myself sometime soon. President called to check up on me today too which was nice. I am on the mend and should be back to normal in a couple of days... just another story to tell about the mission. J I don´t have much to tell you since I have just been bored in the house. It´s boring not to have a TV or anything but life goes on and I’m going to be totally fine, so no worries. Other than the dengue, the lady got baptized on Saturday which was cool but I didn´t get to go. I will have to get the pictures from the other hermanas. Our convert from a couple of weeks ago got put in the young men´s presidency this week which will be good for him. Fortunately the temple trip got cancelled this week so we will go in a couple of weeks or something. That worked out nicely so I don´t have to exert myself too much to go to the temple this week. I will work on not getting other diseases. Some people in the area wanted to come visit me but that isn´t allowed in missionary apartments, but the thought was nice. Well peeps, my time is up. I hope Mom is on the mend and that you have a great birthday this week. I sent a card that I hope gets there in time. I can´t wait to see you all in 4 weeks. Hopefully next week, I won´t have any reports of illnesses or anything. J Love you guys sooooooooooo much my forever family. Love, ejc

October 15, 2012

5 weeks and counting

So I am on the computer now.  We´ve had a good p-day.  We went to the park as usual on the first p-day after transfers. Then we went to the mall and I enjoyed some Taco Bell and frozen yogurt.  Now we are back in the area using internet.  My desire to write real letters is decreasing but I will try and send some and a letter for Mom´s b-day that hopefully will get there in time.  I am glad to hear Mom´s surgery went well.  Lexxy, not cool that you wore my favorite shoes.  I hope your feet have shrunk since I do not want them stretched out.  I plan to wear them when I get home. J  When will I get to register for classes?  So this week has been a good week.  The changes in the house have been nice with our new roommates.  I really have found that I enjoy my companions a lot more when we are not companions.  Hermana Domgaard and I enjoy each other.  She´s funny and she likes it since I always laugh at her jokes.  She´s been teaching me how to play dominoes and all the Dominican rules.  I will be buying some dominoes before I come home.  We have also played Phase 10.  Good times.  It´s amazing what some fresh people can bring to the house.  So the hermanas moved in on Tuesday.  We cleaned up the house and then went out in the afternoon.  On Wednesday morning I took them around to show them where a bunch of the investigators live.  I had a sore throat that morning but no fever.  Then we had lunch and I took my temperature again and it was 102.7 or something.  I told them and they all said, go to bed.  I really didn´t feel that bad so I was surprised to have such a high fever.  Anyways, we stayed in the rest of the day.  We decided not to go to the zone and district meeting on Thursday and Hermana Hernandez called to see if I wanted to go to the doctor.  My ears and throat were weird so we decided to go to the doctor at the CCM to make sure I didn´t have an ear infection or strep.  My fever had gone down by that point.  We finished our weekly planning session after the doctor´s visit and he said to take it easy the rest of the day and that it was just a virus que anda...have Lexxy say that in Spanish.  It´s funnier.  Hermana Domgaard kept saying that. J Anyways, on Friday and Saturday we worked like normal.  I am doing fine now, just some congestion in the ears and nose and stuff, but nothing to worry about.  I imagined Dad singing “Fever” since I had a fever.  It was funny.  We are supposed to go to the temple next week which will be nice.  I think we still get our normal p-day but just in case, ya ustedes saben (you already know).  Anyways, we had a few investigators at church and it has been interesting being shown around the area and getting to know the investigators.  One lady I was teaching is getting baptized on Saturday, so it will be fun to be here for that.  Most of my investigators have adjusted to the new hermanas so all is well here.  5 weeks peeps.  Craziness.  I love you guys sooooooooooooo much.  I just have a few minutes left, but all is well here in the DR ...only 4 more emails.
Here´s some pictures of Hermana Ball and me at the park today.  I hope you have a grand week and recover well Mom.  Can´t wait for email times next week.  Love you peeps, ejc

October 8, 2012

More from the DR

Well, I am on the computer.  Good to hear from you three!  I loved the photos of the crazy Nica´s homecoming.  Can´t wait for mine in 6 weeks!  So transfer news............... I am moving from Las Americas 2a to Las Americas 2b (which means I am moving rooms in our house to be companions with Hermana Mcentire) ...sweet!   We were super excited when we found out last night.  My companion is going to where Hermana Mcentire started and her companion is going to my querida (dear) Mendoza.  Hermana Domgaard and Hermana Madden from Fiji are going to be taking over my side of the ward.  We are all excited to live together and at least the few investigators I am attached to I will still see at church and their baptisms.   Hermana Mcentire and I had a lovely time going to watch conference in English for all of the sessions.  We were concerned about having investigators but then the leaders called on Saturday morning and said it was fine to go with or without investigators since they have their agency too.  That was nice and made things less stressful.  That is crazy with the age changes for missionaries and I imagine a lot more girls will go now.  We saw the press conference in between the sessions on Saturday and it was cool that pretty much only the First Presidency and The Twelve knew about the change.  I enjoyed watching the World Report and even seeing a glimpse of what they showed of the campaign and convention.  Conference was awesome!  Elder Oaks’ talk was great and I didn´t know he used to be the Dean of the University of Chicago Law School  Sister Burton´s talk was good too.  I was thinking about how much I miss Julie B. Beck, but the new Relief Society president pulled through for me.  I think my favorite talk was Elder Holland, especially when he talked to return missionaries and that we can never go back.  I had read through some MTC notes this week and he had said something similar then too.  It is so true.  We can never go back.  Discipleship was definitely a theme at Conference.  I thought of the Laytons a lot, too.  On Thursday afternoon, we went to a cosecha in another ward to look for menos activos and an elder from Nicaragua and another from Honduras were teaching me Central American slang. J  I picked me up a Fanta that night and thought lots about you peeps.  We visited a guy that night and taught the restoration.  Hermana Louis asked him to be baptized at the end of the month and he said yes.  He came to Conference too.  So that is cool!  My favorite food for the last week or so has been plantains with fried eggs and onions...mmmm.  I have come to really enjoy onions during the mission.  I got a package from Chessy this week  One of the letters in it was written in May.  Crazy Chessy!   And about the girl at Costa Vida that has a sister in the DR Santiago Mission ...well her sister is one of the other sisters I lived with at the CCM.  I am hoping to fly home with her, but we shall see.  I really say things all the time and then say to Hermana Mcentire, “My Dad would say that.”  Funny ...sometimes just laughing is what keeps you going.  Maybe, I just didn´t say as much to her in the MTC as I do now.   The elder from Nica said something about gallo pinto.  He also said Alexis will speak better Spanish than me but then the other elder said I speak good Spanish.  Someone else said this week that I don´t speak typical Dominican since I don´t embrace some of the slang and stuff.  It is part of the grammar perfection I like in English and Spanish, although I am not perfect todavia (still) en Spanish.  I can just imagine you guys at home.  It is so grand seeing you three together.  Well, I am out of time.  Until next week my favorite peeps.  I’m looking forward to more letters and emails.  Love you guys a million bazillion times 46.  Love you, ejc
P.S.  Here´s some photos... some of my new planner, me eating a twin banana,  Thursday night,  and one of last week with Hermana Vera.  She´s going home tomorrow.  Enjoy!


October 5, 2012

The Nica is home!

Alexis spent Wednesday in Managua before leaving very early Thursday morning for the airport.  Here are pictures of her last day in the Nicaragua Managua South Mission - with the Mission President & his family and the 20 missionaries who were also going home.

Alexis flew through Atlanta and arrived safely home on October 4th at 6:10 p.m. with a big smile on her face.  Happy times!  We are so thrilled to have her home and look forward to the return of the other Hermana Cottam in just six more weeks.

You may have heard of Flat Stanley!
Well, this is Mom & Dad with "Flat Elena" to welcome home Alexis.



October 1, 2012

Last email from the Nica!

Well, we just got back to Diriomo from Managua and my final interview. It went well. President was very complimentary and said he was sad to see me go.  I love my mission president and know he is the one I needed.  I had had the thought a few weeks back to ask him for a blessing in my interview so I decided to ask him for one as I leave.  I told him that my Dad had given me one before I left and that I would like one before I go back.  It was a nice blessing and just made me feel closer to my mission president.  President thanked me for always having a good attitude and being a good influence on others and good to my companions.  I really can’t believe it is over and that I will actually see you on Thursday.  President asked if I was excited to see my sister.  I said yes but that I will have to wait another 7 weeks ...he thought we left together.  But anyway, we finished off the change with another baptism.  We baptized the man who read the Book of Mormon in 10 days.  He is excited and even had to go out to the farm he bought, since he was living with the in-laws and they didn’t want anyone not of their religion living there.  We feel bad having 2 people get kicked out of their houses but they are doing great and moving forward.  I enjoyed the Relief Society broadcast.  We went with some investigators of the elders and it was great.  I felt the same sisterhood I feel at home and had tears in my eyes as I thought about leaving my Nica sisters.  As I saw the young single adults singing I thought that in a week I will be one of them and not Hermana Cottam.  I feel so many emotions right now but I am thrilled to see you soon.  So we head to Managua again on Wednesday and then stay at a hotel that night and we are off bright and early on Thursday.  I just can’t wait.  I know this is where I needed to serve my mission and that the Lord knows me and where I am.  I know this is His work and that this is His church.  I don’t doubt it.  I can’t wait to see you and tell you all about it non-stop.  Thanks for all the support you give us.  I have the best family ever and can’t wait for the party this week and then again when we are complete again in November. Funny stories from the week... this crazy man on the street called my companion Princess Diana.  That was hilarious.  I was talking to my companion about The West Wing.  I figure that I could watch the entire seven seasons in about 4 days without sleeping ...maybe that would be fun ...just kidding.  I didn’t get mail this week.  Hopefully I will get the last letters before I leave.  I am excited for food at home.  Saturday was not one of my favorites as far as food goes - soup for lunch, and chicken innards for dinner.  I struggled a little, downing the dinner, since I had asked before-hand what it was.  But I did it!  So I can’t wait to see you ...try not to make a big scene at the airport people know me and my not liking to call attention to myself.  But I am super pumped.  I have been cleaning out and getting stuff ready to go but I will probably start packing more tonight.  I really can’t believe it is over.  I feel like I am in a dream.  It just can’t be possible that my mission is over and that it has been 18 months since I have seen you.  I love you soooooooo much.  See you on Thursday. I will have such a big smile on my face ...can’t wait.  I love you tons.  I am a happy girl.  Love, your Nica hija, alc

Hello from the DR

So peeps, the hermana activity got cancelled since some other zones were having a BBQ in Gazcue today and some of the hermanas wanted to go.  Anyways, we got invited to the BBQ, too, so it was another good day with the Eickbushes and hamburgers and hot dogs and Klondike bars...mmmmmmmm.  I can´t believe little Lexxy is going to be home on Thursday.  It will be so weird hearing from her next Monday from AZ.  I want all of the details and pictures and stuff.  I got the lovely package with goodies in it this week. You are the best and Hermana Mcentire loves you too.  She loved that you wrote, “Oreos for you and Hermana Mcentire”.   Things are good here in the DR ...not much news to report but it’s been a good week.  When we were in the taxi coming home after the BBQ today Hermana Mcentire was talking to the driver and told him we were going home en el mes que viene (aka, next month).  Sweet!  That is awesome isn´t it?  Today I said goodbye to Hermana Vera.  I know we will be in the holiday season when I get home.  I am soooooo excited but sometimes I do think about how this time is slipping away and I won´t be Hermana Cottam for very much longer.  I am ready to come home and start school and stuff but it will be a little bittersweet that this chapter of my life will be over.  There´s not very many people who get to do what we do day after day after day.  I am excited to hear about transfers next Sunday and will let you know what happens.  We have a baptism scheduled for the 20th of October and the lady is really excited.  She also has several friends who are members and she keeps saying that I am going home so soon in November.  I really don´t want to have to tell her I am leaving next week, if that is the case with transfers.  She calls me coTAM like in co-pay and tam like in tambourine, but the accent on the tam.  Funny, no one else says my name like that.  Hermana Mcentire and I went to church by ourselves yesterday since her companion was sick.  We decided one from each companionship should go to greet the investigators and my companion decided to stay with the sick companion.  My companion and I watched the last half of the Relief Society broadcast last night with the ward since that was when they were watching it.  It was in Spanish so not quite the same as in English.  Mark your calendar next year Mom, since Lexxy and I will be coming with you.  I am super excited about General Conference.  We had to go to the office on Friday to pick up more pills for my companion.  I had a lovely chat with the Eickbushes.  I finished decorating my last planner and it says, hold on a little longer.  The back has the picture you recently sent of Chessy and us at lunch after graduation with the scripture Alma 17:13.  I don´t have a ton of time left but I just wanted to tell you all again how much I love you.  Enjoy yourselves on Thursday and as you can imagine I will be thinking of you.  Safe travels Nica ...three fourths of the Cottam clan will be back together esperando la otra (waiting for the other). Try not to cause too much of a disturbance in the airport. J  I am so excited for you all!  Can´t wait to see you in seven little weeks you guys.  Party it up real good for me.  Love you tons, ejc