Goals! I love goals! July is going to be all about goals. For example, I would like to try and make 100hrs preaching. I have never, in my 4 years of being a pioneer, made it past 90. I just want to see if it is possible. Second goal, I want to start being creative again. Art and craft supplies have been a luxury I have not felt necessary since I have moved to the D.R. But I think it is time to spend a little time being creative again since it really does make life so much more interesting. Third goal, I must have an adventure. Now it’s true that pretty much every day here is adventure. In fact, it is very much like a video game. Ask anyone who has been to the DR. It doesn’t matter if you are walking or driving, getting from point A to point B can be an obstacle course, and it would not be out of place to have the Mario brother’s video game music and sound effects playing in the background. No, I mean a real adventure where I get to see new things and explore. The middle of this month Nikki and I plan on going with Joseph and his brother who is visiting from the NY Bethel to Samana where we’ll be staying for a couple days with my friend Lauren. I am sure that will qualify as an adventure.
This past month has been extremely busy with all kinds of activity. The beginning of the month I had the pleasure of visiting Bethel with a few from the San Jose de Afuera (the campo) congregation. There are two sisters, Kellen and Sabrina, who moved here from New York area to serve there. Rosa, the sister I stayed with in NY is Kellen’s mom and she was here visiting, so of course Bethel was on the agenda. Also at the last minute the special pioneer couple in the congregation, Johnathan and Nancy, decided to join us and we had a wonderful time at the branch.
Also, last week we had our C.O. visit from Ricardo and Waleska, a very sweet Dominican couple. I am really loving the ASL congregation. I feel like ASL is so different from everything else I have done and I am constantly having to change the way I think in order to become a better teacher. During the C.O. visit I found a deaf call of my own! The woman is very kind and hospitable. She currently attends a deaf church here and so she actually knows ASL quite well, which is not very common. She said I could visit her, so on Friday we covered the first lesson of Escuche a Dios. I am so happy to have my own calls and to feel like I am actually being useful. It is so true that Jehovah gives us exactly what we need when we need it. Being in a place to see so much of the work being done with such positive results is a true blessing.
Teresa has left to the States for her annual visit and so I have the responsibility of keeping up with her Bible students. And so that is definitely keeping me busy. Yesterday I worked with Dana all day! We only did four studies; my call, Teresa’s student Sara, and two of Dana’s students. We started at 9 and didn’t get home until nearly 7pm! We traveled all over because being in ASL, our territory is quite large. It includes not only all of Santiago, but many of the neighboring campo towns. Last week I went with Joseph and Emi to Navarette to help them find their Chinese calls and to ask for deaf. I was told about a few deaf who live in one of the barios, so I will try and visit again next month. It takes about 40 minutes to get to Navarette and the guagua is 120 DOP for round trip (about $3USD)
Well basically I am loving ASL, my new living arrangements and generally being here in this crazy and interesting country. Having said that, I am very much looking forward to October! It is my parent’s 20th anniversary and so my aunt and her family will be meeting my parents and I in New York where we will take a cruise and then return to gallivant around the city and tour Bethel, the museums, etc. I am particularly thrilled because I will have an autumn this year! And not just any autumn, a New York autumn! Saying that I love that time of year would simply be a gross understatement. I ADORE autumn, with all its colorful leaves, spices, pumpkins, hot coco magnificence. Last year I missed out because here in the DR the only marking of autumn is the greater possibility of a hurricane or tropical storm. So this October I hope to overdose on everything that is fall and autumn. We have such a wonderful creator who would give us such beauty and the capacity to appreciate it.