September 24, 2012

10 days people!

Well, it has been a good week.  We had a great baptism on Saturday.  The guy is great and really going to help the branch here.  It was funny - he didn’t want us to invite tons of people but as we contacted on Friday night we would ask the people if they knew him and then invite them to the baptism.  Everyone knows everyone in these little towns ...funny.  He is a very strong guy and wasn’t going to let anything stop him.  His parents told him he had to get out of the house because they saw him come out of the church but it was so rewarding to see him get baptized.  We missionaries sang, ´I Like to Look for Rainbows´ in Spanish, which was cool.  On Sunday it was awesome to see him in his white shirt and tie.  He even got asked to give a testimony in the meeting.  These moments make it all worth it.  We had another man come to church for the second time this week.  He is from the east coast and English is his native tongue.  We gave him a Book of Mormon last Sunday and by Tuesday he had already read over a hundred pages ...way cool!  One day this week we taught him in English.  He comes to lots of the church activities and seems really interested.  He just needs an answer to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet.  He says he knows the Book of Mormon is true.  We watched the Joseph Smith movie last night and there were a couple of lines I especially liked - as we build the Lord’s temple, He builds us, and that the Lord wants us to be happy.  Seriously, it was so hard to teach the man in English.  I will try to talk in English but I know I will slip some Spanish words in.  I talk almost all the time to my companion in English but I still have words I say in Spanish. I’m definitely looking forward to a Spanglish fest with Lenny in 8 weeks cool!  Yesterday, we were talking about plays and I mentioned ‘Wicked’.  My companion started singing ‘Defying Gravity’ and I was trying to remember the other one that we listened to before we saw the play.  I couldn’t remember it though.  Then as I was cleaning out this morning and going through my CDs, I took a closer look at a sampler you sent and that song is on there – it’s called ´For Good´.  The words are so great and I can think of people on my mission that I feel that way about.  I have been blessed to enjoy my latest companions a lot.  So, we had a decent p-day.  It hasn’t been my companion’s favorite day.  She got her hair cut and says it is too short.  I think it is fine.  As for mail this week, I got your package ...good job with the owl stickers.  My companion loves owls.  I got your DearElders so that was great.  I sent a package of letters home today and a bunch of postcards.  We went to Granada today and I got my hammock and some other small items.  I hope we get to go to Masaya next week with everyone who is leaving but who knows?  If not I have my basic stuff I wanted.  I can’t wait to see you.  I am sooooooooo excited.  Thanks for all the support these last 18 months and my entire life.  It’s so weird that I will be back in the real world so soon.  I can’t believe I will see you next week.  It doesn’t feel real yet.  I have loved my time here in Nicaragua and as a missionary.  I love my family more than ever and can’t wait to tell you all about my mission, nonstop.  I know the gospel is true and that knowing that, there is nothing else that matters.  Next week I have my interview with president.  I assume it will be in the morning and I will email as usual weird it will be my last email.  That’s good that Lenny will email on Tuesday so she can read my last email from Nicaragua before I get home and send her one from Arizona ...way cool.  Well, I am just about out of time.  As for where I want to eat when I get home- I was thinking Tia Rosa’s since it is close and easy and I love beans and rice.  I am getting more and more anxious as we get closer but it’s a good anxious.  You are the bestest.  Have a great week!  Until next week - when I will see you in 3 days crazy.  Love you tons.  Love the Nica, alc

P.S.  ...can’t wait to write my senior missionary parents when they go on a mission.

Writings from the Dominican

I am on the computer now.  I just got back to our area from the BBQ in Gazcue at the office...good times.  The mission office is part of the chapel in Gazcue since there really isn´t a mission home in this mission.  Things are good here.  I got a boatload of mail this week.  Lilly wrote me and said her mom passed away a couple of months ago ...sad.  She is finishing her mission in October.  So next week I will be emailing on Tuesday.  That means today is the last emailing from the DR to Nicaragua ...crazy.  It sounds so good to say, “My sister will be home next week.”   So this week has been good.  We had the baptism on Saturday, not without a few stressful moments but it went well.  We had visited the guy on Thursday and on Friday we stopped by to remind him what time and everything.  As we were talking, he stopped and said that he didn´t want to get baptized the next day.  So we talked to him and asked a lot of questions.  When we finally got to the bottom of it, it appears he was a little concerned about paying tithing.  We reassured him the blessings would come.  We tried not to make him feel pressured about going through with the baptism and left him to pray and think about it.  Then that night we stopped by and he said he decided to go through with the baptism.  On Saturday afternoon we stopped by again and he was all set and he said he would be at the church at 6:30pm.  Then the assistants called to tell us that they and the president and his wife would be coming to the baptism.  It was nice having them there.  At 6:45 he showed up.  He got changed and it all turned out fine.  I taught a mini lesson on the restoration while they were changing and president gave a brief testimony.  Our ward mission leader is very organized which is great.  On Sunday he was confirmed and last night we stopped by and talked about the priesthood.  He said while they had their hands on his head he felt the presence of the Lord ...which was cool. Yesterday we had a good day.  We were late getting to church as we were waiting for some investigators.  It was the Primary Program and it was cool to see our little Haitian girl read a scripture in it.  She said, “Buenos dias”, really loud in the microphone which was funny.  Then that afternoon a lady in the street called us over and said are you Mormons and we said yes.  It turns out this lady had moved to our area a year ago and never found the church.  It was a blessing that we were led to her.  I love it when I feel like the Lord is using us to find his children that need it.  We had interviews this week with president.  It was good and I felt a lot more relaxed than I have in the past.  A lady gave a presentation about family history work and I am excited to do that when I get home.  Hermana Hernandez gave a little cooking class which was fun.  I got a lovely stack of mail and I saw my dear Eickbushes.  We got to help with a service project on Saturday morning with the Mormon helping hands.  We helped clean the trash by the River Ozama.  It was disgusting but I had gloves and it was fun hanging out with some of the other missionaries and members.  I got to wear a sweet yellow Mormon helping hands vest. J We also went to a going away party for a member who is leaving this week for his mission in Mexico. The four of us sang, “I´ll Go Where You Want Me to Go”.  Hermana Louis sang one verse in French.  Then we sang in English and then in Spanish.  It was cool.  A lady we are teaching is doing really well.  She came to church yesterday for the 2nd time.  We had taught her the word of wisdom last week and this week she said her family was drinking and normally she would drink a little but had no desire to drink and was embarrassed to have the bottles in her house ...gotta love it when you can see the Spirit working through these people. I got a new Liahona at the office today.  It is the October one.  In the mission getting a new Liahona is so exciting ...who knew?! J  I liked the September one with all of the senior missionary stuff too.  I finished decorating my last planner. Awesomeness ...8 weeks.  I am really excited to get back to school.  Well peeps, I am out of time, but it has been a fantabulous email session with you.  I sure love you peeps.  You are the best and I can´t believe little Lexxy will be in your arms next week.  I hope you have a grand week.  I love sooooooooooooooooooo much.  You only have one more week without the Nica. J I love you. -Ejc


P.S.  Lexxy when are you going to send photos?  I still don´t know what your companion looks like and you are practically home. J I will try and send a few photos now.  Some aren´t the greatest pictures but you get the idea. Hermana Eickbush is the best.  She said she hopes to meet you someday, too. She´s like my Sonja here in the DR.  I love my senior missionaries!  I will try and send more photos next Tuesday after the hermana activity.

September 17, 2012

2 weeks...crazy!

Well, I can’t believe I hit 18 months yesterday.  Sometimes it feels like an eternity since I have seen you and then in other ways it seems like yesterday.  I am sure we have all changed some.  I can’t wait to see your faces in 2 weeks.  I only have one real p-day left since the last one we have to go to Managua for my exit interview...crazy.  Well, we are super excited for our baptism on Saturday.  He is a great man who will definitely be a leader in the church here.  Today we went with the elders and youth and played basketball and soccer with him. He is great.  On Saturday we found him with the elders in the street and invited him to come to a visit with us.  He did and then joined us for dinner.  He sent a text later to us that said he had never eaten so little at dinner but felt so full afterwards.  He has come to church 3 weeks in a row and is getting baptized on the date we set with him a few weeks ago.  That is rare that people actually get baptized on the first date we set with them.  The man has changed tons and is great.  Well, I had to give a talk yesterday in church.  It went well, and one member complimented me on my Spanish.  The Branch President spoke too and one thing he said that I really liked is that true friends are people who make you better or be better.  That’s the truth.  Thanks for being my bestest buddies and family.  I love you tons.  I also thought of Hermana Rivera - maybe that’s why we were so close, because by watching her I wanted to be better.  She didn’t tell me what to do but watching her I learned.  I am always smiling.  I love it here.  It will be so weird leaving.  I am ready but it will be weird leaving my Nica life and coming home.  I know my tastes have changed in the fact that I will eat just about anything...definitely not a picky eater.  When the people ask if I like something I just tell them I eat what they give me.  Obviously there are things I like better than others but now I eat coconut ice cream and like it and pineapple fresco (or punch) and lots of things.  You would be proud of your Nica. I am so excited to see you.  I can’t believe my mission is almost over.  I love you sooooooooo much.  I know the gospel is true.  I am so happy being a missionary but I will be so happy to see you and tell you all my crazy stories.  Thanks for being the best and always supporting me.  I don’t know what I would do without you.  I better get going.  We are off to get some groceries and then to work.  Thanks for everything.  I will love you forever and ever.  Love, your Nica hija, alc

P.S. Dad, we can see the Monbacho Volcano from here.  We were in Granada today.

Elena, I was wondering what you did after you dumped me off 18 months ago.  Try not to keep the gas on all night again.  I hate gas.  Luckily we don’t have it in the houses here.  Well, we don’t cook anyway.  I loved the mom is an angel, dad is a saint...super funny... but it’s true.  I love the way you write Lenny!

Mom, I will cook you some gallo pinto...mmmmmm.  It’s rice and beans, that’s it.  You cook the beans and the rice and then mix them together... mmmmmm...not too hard.  I found these cookie things this week that I might bring home for Dad.  It is a regular butter cookie with marshmallows on top covered in coconut.  Sounds like a Nicaraguan snowball.  You could look up some Nica recipes like gallo pinto, indio viejo, or the drink arroz con piƱa - which is a pineapple and rice drink.  We drink oatmeal and barley too...gotta love it here.  Actually the barley drink is my fave.  It is barley with cinnamon... really tasty!   It feels so surreal to think I will be home with you so soon.  It will be awesome.

Greetings peeps!

So I am on the computer now.  There´s isn´t power right now in the area so hopefully the place we are at has enough generator power to let us internet for an hour.  If not, I will have to look for another place or something.  Anywho, we´ve had a good p-day.  It started out great by printing your emails and getting my flight plans. Yay!!!!  Awesomeness.  Then we went to the mall and met up with Hermana Ball.  I ate lunch at Taco Bell and we had frozen yogurt.  It was so good seeing Hermana Ball.  We had a good time. Things are good here.  This transfer is halfway over. Then only one left.  So Mom, I got your package and so did Hermana Louis.  She needed some chap stick and asked, “How did you know?”  I said, “My Mom has a gift for knowing things like that.”  I sure love my awesome family.  I loved the jerky. J  So we had Stake Conference yesterday.  It was good seeing President and Hermana Hernandez.  We had a couple of investigators there.  One guy will be getting baptized on Saturday.  He had his interview last Saturday and we are getting ready for that this Saturday which is exciting.  We have some other people that hopefully will have some baptisms in October.  We were thinking about possible baptism dates and I got excited planning things like for the middle of October.  Funny thing now that school has started here... there is a school by our house and at 8 a.m. they always play their national anthem.  It’s a good reminder that it’s time to study.  Someone was watching the movie, “Enchanted”, dubbed in Spanish and I got a kick out of that.  We went with the same funny hermana last week to visit a few investigators, although none of them were home. L  But she is so funny.  She´s the one that carried me over the water.  I told her I wanted you to meet her and she said you´ll have to come here or she´ll have to come visit us.  She takes care of us like her own kids.  She is great!  Last week’s pills were just 2 pills all at once to knock it out and I am fine. Hermana Mcentire is good too, so no worries.  We have water and all is well.  Hermana Louis seems fine too.  I think they will retest if we don´t feel good but I think I am fine and I will get another dosage of the pills in 9 weeks. J  So anyways...another story from the week.  I was just going to wait and tell you this story when I got home but I thought you would like to know that the Lord protects His missionaries.  Anyways, one morning this week, I walked into the kitchen and it smelled like gas.  I looked at the stove and saw that one of the burners was turned on and had been leaking all night.  Most of the windows were closed in the house and I am not sure how much gas was in the house but I was thinking about how all of the prayers for me probably kept me safe.  What happened was that our housemates obviously weren´t thinking very clearly.  My companion used the stove at lunch and didn´t turn off the burner just the valve of the gas.  Then Hermana Mcentire´s companion used another burner that night and turned the gas back on.  When she was done she turned off the burner she was using but not the valve.  So it was a combination of the two.  Anyways, Hermana Mcentire and I will be checking the gas every night now.  There is always some ventilation in the house but I still feel like the Lord blessed us and kept us safe.  My companion lit a couple of candles in the morning too before we realized all of this. Good times in the mission. J  Anyways, we are all safe and it will not be happening again.  So crazy I hit 15 months on Saturday and Lexxy had her last month mark.  I was thinking yesterday about how it had been 18 months since we dumped her off at the airport and then Mom and I came back home and went back to bed.  I remember laying in my bunk bed thinking about how she was gone for 18 months and now that time is over...craziness.  We drove by Mendoza today and I was thinking about the time I spent there and all that I learned.  It really does have a special place in my heart.  Also, I am excited, next p-day is a BBQ in Gazcue with the Eickbushes and the next p-day we are switching to Tuesday for an hermana activity like we did before to go to some museums or I will email on Tuesday.  The hermanas are planning an activity since Hermana Vera is going home this transfer.  The Eickbushes are from Utah.  They will be here ‘til March.  I heard that they both were married before and their spouses died and then they married each other.  They are the best and I can´t wait to see them this week.  I loved the Ensign about senior couples this month.  I love the Liahona.  I have my last interview with president (except for the exit interview) this Thursday and then we will be at the office again on Monday.  I am so excited that Lexxy will be home in 2 weeks...only 2 more Sundays without that little girl in Arizona...crazy...and then the craziest and awesomest Thanksgiving ever!  I have a lot to be grateful for but I think the thing I have become more grateful for during the mission is my family.   My mother is an angel, my father is a saint, and my sister, well, she´s just the best sidekick a girl could ask for.  I sure love you my forever family.  I think we will all look a little older and it will be the best reunion Sky Harbor Airport has ever had.  I can´t wait to see you guys and see all that has changed and all that has stayed the same.  Hermana Mcentire said it is going to be weird when she meets Alexis since it will be like another me.  It will be awesome for you to meet my peeps here.  Well, I am off.  I am glad the internet worked good today.   ...until next week my forever family. 
Love you, ejc

September 10, 2012

3 more weeks...

Wow, every time I think about it and see the time ticking away I feel so weird.  It is crazy to think it is almost over.  Well, as for funny stuff - one day it was raining and I had my raincoat just over my backpack and my companion called me hunchback... super funny and we had a good time talking about Disneyland.  (She went in March with her family.)  This one member we work with lots has told several people that my companion is Miss Utah and this week he told them she was first runner up in Miss USA...funny.  He told the mom of the lady where my companion almost passed out that she passed out because she couldn’t bear to see her all beat up.  This member speaks English and was reading the conference Liahona in English and he sounded exactly like Pres. Uchtdorf and looks like him too.  The member loves Miss Universe.  Did you know it will be in the DR in December?  So, I think it was on Wednesday that we felt a nice little earthquake for about 40 seconds.  I guess there was one in Costa Rica and we felt it.  On Saturday we heard there are some issues with some volcanoes up north but the president sent his normal email and told us there have been no problems in the mission. Tomorrow at our regular zone conference they are going to go over the mission emergency plan.  This week president came to our zone to go over a new pilot program we are going to do in the mission and we are the pilot zone.  It is working more on converting and retaining (true growth) not just baptizing. We are supposed to do FHEs with members in their houses but have investigator families there and do 10minute quick lessons with members every day.   We can present the teaching record with the investigators and have them see their progress and put their own goal for baptism.  We need to make sure people are really prepared for baptism.  Anyway it should be good and work well.   We are really happy with one investigator we are working with.  He is really making lots of changes in his life and is quitting smoking.  He told us on Saturday that he had a meeting to go to on Sunday so he wouldn’t be able to go to church.  That was a bummer and when we woke up on Sunday morning it was raining... not cool.  So we left and got to work going to find people and then we got a message from the man and he said he would see us at 9.  The meeting he had, got cancelled for the rain so that was a big blessing in disguise.  So he came and enjoyed it and hopefully he will get baptized on the 22nd.  We had a cool meeting with the converts and investigators Sunday afternoon and it was really great.  I loved hearing people’s experiences and testimonies.  They even had this investigator get up and tell his experience. He called us angels.  Anyway, he is going to be a great leader here.  The branch here is small but growing strong.  Really we are finding the future leaders of the branch.  They just called a convert of about 4 months who received the Melchizedek priesthood a couple weeks ago to be the first counselor in the branch presidency.  The church is young here but that makes it exciting.  I love it here.  I am happy being a missionary and it will be so different not being Hermana Cottam anymore... 3 more weeks with my name tag... 3 more Sundays in Nicaragua... 3 more emails home... but an infinite number of memories to live for eternity... wouldn’t change it for the world.  I love it and can’t wait to tell you everything.  The gospel is true and what makes people happy.  Love you tons.  Have a happy week!  (Elena, I hope you are ok... gotta love living with bugs inside and out.)  See you soooooooooooo soon.   Love, alc

P.S.  I think my shoes will make it 3 more weeks.  This week I super glued the brown ones together.  I am definitely bringing my shoes home as a memory. J


The week in review!

Greetings from a slow computer but I am finally on now, typing away. I hope you are all doing well.  We spent a couple of hours this morning doing my companion’s hair at a member’s house.  Then we went and ate and did a little grocery shopping and now internet.  I am glad Mom had a safe trip and Dad stayed out of trouble.  It’s crazy Lexxy will be home in 3 weeks.  Wowzers!  Sometimes I get so excited that I forget that I am not going home in 3 weeks. J  This week has been interesting.  So anywho, let me start back from when I finished emailing you last week.  We got back to the house around 5pm with a little time before we normally go out.  As I have mentioned before we have had trouble with the water at the house and we were out.  The doctor said last week that we should wash things in the house to get rid of the parasite my companion has.  We called the elder over housing but he didn´t answer so we decided to call Hermana Hernandez, the president's wife.   She said she was going to send the assistants over to pick us up and wash our clothes over at her house. So we had a super p-day over there washing our clothes and stuff.  We ended up taking some to wash at the CCM to get it done faster.  Actually Hermana Hernandez pretty much did my laundry for me.  Sweet!  I took a hot shower and put my PJs on.  It was seriously the best shower of my entire life.  I felt so clean.  They made some pizza and we relaxed over at the president´s house for the evening.  Anyways, Hermana Mcentire had had been sick for a couple of days and they told us if she didn´t feel better on Tuesday to go take a test.  My stomach had felt a little funky but I wasn´t sick.  So on Tuesday morning, we both decided to go to the lab across the street.  Who wouldn´t want to take a stool test anyway? J We got the results a couple of hours later before we were going out to work in the morning.  We both have parasites...awesome...  Hermana Hernandez told us to do an exchange and we both went to the office to pick up the pills to take.  We got to talk more about the water situation with the office and they gave us money to buy more water and Hermana Hernandez called the landlord to get his word that it would be fixed on Saturday.  Anyways, we took the pills.   So on Saturday, they worked all day and now we have water all the time.  It was like Christmas morning and it appears that we will always have water now.  Awesome. Hermana Mcentire and I both feel better.  I wasn´t really sick but my stomach didn´t feel normal.  But it´s just another story to tell about the mission. J  The house is clean now and now we can keep it cleaner having water all of the time, so we should be good to go.  If I still feel weird in a week, I will take another test and we are going to the office next Monday for a b-b-q with the Eickbushes so I can pick up more pills, if necessary.  I am feeling fine and we have been working as normal.  So the power just went out and I lost some of what I was writing but I saw our Governor Jan Brewer this week on the TV here...good times.  We have Stake Conference this week and then hopefully a baptism on the 22nd.  Anyways, it’s been kind of a crazy week with the water and all, but all is well.  Our new ward mission leader is great and we have a cool investigator.  It turns out this woman is a lawyer and I really like her.  She said she got an answer that the church is true so that is cool.  We just need to get her working towards baptism.  Well, I love you guys sooooooooooooooo much.  Love you sis...see you in 10 weeks.   I hope you all have a great week.  Here´s some pics from the week.   As you can see I am fine.   I wasn´t really sick, so no worries.  Hermana Mcentire and I keep each other sane.  Life is good in the DR.   It is super hot with no rain this week... as Chessy would say, it is wicked hot!   Love your DR daughter, ejc



September 3, 2012

4 more weeks!

I am here in Granada right now and then we are headed home and off to Family Home Evening. We had a non-eventful p-day.  We ate here at Telepizza.  It is very touristy here and very European I would say, but it is fun. We could stay a night or two in Granada when we come back for a visit.  It takes us about 40 minutes to get here.  The town I am in is super cute and small, kind of like Saltburn.  Well, we had a good week.  Yesterday we had a family at church who can now get baptized and married.  I don’t know them that well but I am sure we can do it this month.  We also had a man at church.  He has a baptism date for the 22nd.  The sisters found him a few weeks ago but could never find him again.  We were on the corner one night standing there deciding what to do when he just walked past.  The member we were with invited him to church and we made an appointment for the next day.  He said he couldn’t sleep that night and was left wondering about the whole thing.  We taught a little of the plan of salvation and I mentioned that we needed to do certain things in this life like baptism.  He said he has never been baptized but knows he should but he never has had the desire.   So we set the date with him and he came to church yesterday and seemed to like it, which is great.  A weird thing that happened this week was that on Tuesday night we were with the same member and an appointment had fallen through.  He took us to a house of a sick lady we had contacted with him and the elders last Saturday but when we got to the corner of the street they were setting up chairs and stuff outside for the vela (or viewing) because someone had died.   We had made the appointment with her for Wednesday and that was when her funeral was going to be...crazy. We talked a minute to the family and I saw the lady.  She had died that day and we were sort of shocked that she had died.  The member suggested that we go to the funeral at the Catholic church as a nice gesture for the family and so the people could see that we respect other churches and people.  So we went on Wednesday with the member and branch president.  It was interesting and an experience to remember.  Then on Saturday, this same member saw the husband of a family we had taught once.  The wife was in a moto taxi in the morning and crashed with a bus.  They didn’t know how she was but the member said we would stop by to check up on them later since we already had an appointment.  She was there.  She was all bruised and cut up and had broken her pelvis.  I was sitting on the bed across the room with a couple of people and there wasn’t enough space for my companion so she stood for the 10 minutes we were there.  She said the prayer to leave and afterwards totally just threw herself on to the bed in the little space there was between me and the member.  I was thinking why are you sitting down?  We are going to go.  She said she was going to pass out.  I just did my normal laughing reaction and was like ok what am I going to do?  She asked for a piece of candy and drank a little of the water I had.  We finally got out and told the member.  He got a chair for her and then went to get a taxi to take us home.  She said she couldn’t see anyone as she shook their hands on the way out and her eyes were real big.  Anyway, we went home and she ate some crackers and was weak and we ended up just staying in that night and the elders took care of the appointments we had.  It was kind of funny and we ended up just chatting the time away.  Anyway, we are having a good time and seeing some good results.  I am doing great and hoping to see some baptisms before I leave.  I know we can do it.  I am so glad I decided to come on a mission decision ever.  I can’t believe it’s going to be over in just four short weeks. I know the gospel is true and I am a happy girl sharing it with everyone. I love you sooooooo much ...can’t wait to see you.  I got mail- DearElders from the week of the 12th - you, Lou, Amy, Brittany, Joyce, and Ms. O’Neil.  I got letters from Mom and Lenny too.  I sent my letters from last week on Friday when we came to Granada and I sent more today.  I am doing real good.  I guess the next time you go to the airport may be to pick me up...sooooo close.  I can’t wait...4 weeks.  It will be so fun.  Well got to go... have a happy week and good trip.  Love you tons.  Elena, congrats on the baptism.  Love your Nica, alc

Week 55 in the mission field!

So peeps, it´s been a good week.  Guess what I saw as we were looking for an internet place with power....a guy with a Waffle House shirt... funny.  Anywho, life is good here.  We went to the doctor again this morning and then the park and then the mall.  I had Taco Bell and frozen yogurt... mmmmm.   President called Hermana Mcentire last night about when she is going home, so she´s decided to go with me.  Yay.  So she and I and at least one of the other two sisters are going home in November.  That´s cool.  We had our baptism on Saturday and I will try and send pictures.  I am happy to hear that Alexis finally got an American companion so she can know what it´s like.  I saw a map of Central America in the doctor´s office at the CCM and saw Rivas and Granada so at least I kind of know where she is.  Crazy...4 more weeks for her.   For me it’s 55 done...11 more to go.  Anyway, the highlight of the week was the baptism of the Haitian girl.  It turned out well and we have a new ward mission leader who is good too.  Some of the primary came and the primary president spoke.  The only thing was the power went out twice, once just as she had entered the water and they were about to baptize her... great moment for it to go pitch black but then it came back on.  It also went out when I was leading the music while they were changing.  Good times. 
I got a boatload of mail this week.  Thanks pranks.   I had a good letter from Lou Gehring.  So when are Grandpa & Grandma Harvey coming to visit?  The triplets´ birthday is in September right?  Only 2 more Fast Sundays, 1 more transfer call, and 10 more emails until I see your faces...sooooooooooo excited!   We had 3 investigators at church... one who is going to be baptized on the 22nd and another lady we are hoping to get baptized at the end of the month.  It is nice when we get to see a little of the fruits of our labors.  They are both cool.  One is a 24 year old guy who I could see serving a mission in a year and the other is a lady who lives close to another sister in the ward.  Anyways, the work is progressing.  We watched the movie, Touch of the Master, yesterday in Sunday School.  We all need to be the Lord´s hands and reach out to those people who are undervalued.  You never know who is ready for the gospel.  It could be a lost Egyptian man in the DR. J Hermana Domgaard said Kamal was at stake conference yesterday.  I sure love that Egyptian. 

Anyways, it has been fun having Hermana Mcentire at the house and I sure loved seeing my Hermana Ball today at the park.  The doctor´s wife that we saw today gave us a hug when we first saw her and then as we were leaving she said here´s one from your mom.  I sure love senior missionaries ...and real hugs will be coming soon  ...funny that Annika wanted to get out of school to pick us up too.  Happy Labor Day!   The next major holiday besides Halloween is Thanksgiving and I´ll be home!  Yippee skippee!  I did finally get my letters sent out this week so you should be getting some from me soon.  I sent my last one to Nicaragua so that is super cool.  I can´t wait to see you and am happy now that I can countdown with Hermana Mcentire since before I didn´t want to say too much since she wasn´t going home with me.  I sure love you peeps.  Well, signing off.  Love you a million bazillion. Ejc