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 ganĂ³” 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