Hello family! I just want to let you know that I love you all so very much...I really do. Now that that is out of the way, let's start the email.
- So I guess first off you should know that I am alive and well. On Monday they gave us 72 hour kits, made us go buy food and water for three days, made sure everyone had flashlights and we had to be in our apartments by 6. They told us that a huge blizzard was coming and that everything was going to be shut down for a few days including grocery stores. They closed down the subways, the busses, and the NY Police sent out a message to everyone here that all cars had to be off the road by 11 at night, and if any were on the road, they would be fined. So apparently something huge was supposed to hit. But, we woke up the next day and it wasn't much of a storm. Still there was a lot of snow (the most I have seen yet here), but nothing like they made it seem. So, I am alive and well and the storm did not live up to the hype....at all.
- My Ankle. So last week, we were playing basketball and I went up for a layup and stepped on the side of my foot, and the guy who was guarding me, stepped on my foot after it was bent. So I ended up messing up my ankle pretty bad. I had to stay in for a day, and then forced myself to go out the next day a little bit. I can walk on it, but my whole foot is blue and green. I will try to send a picture. I can walk on it so that's good, it just looks like it is getting worse. It may be infected. I am not sure. But, either way I am doing what I need to do and I am feeling a lot better. We are back out to going out all day and doing things so that is good. Mom please do not worry.
- Brandon. Brandon is such a boss! We taught him about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity and he understood all of it and already has been living both.
He has seen living here how much people become addicted to substances and he wants nothing to do with it. Usually the hardest two things to teach people were very easy to talk about with him! He is still on track for FEB 21st! He is awesome!
We taught him twice this last week, and we will teach him twice this week, and he is coming to church on Sunday too!
-- Words from the Dominican Republic. So there are TONS of Dominicans here. They honestly sound very weird when they talk. Sometimes I can't tell if they are all there because they mumble so much and I have an extremely hard time understanding their spanish because one, it's extremely fast, two, they mumble and cut off their words, always drop the S in words, and sometimes the R's too, and third, because they have TONS of slang ways to say things. So, I thought I would start creating a list of Dominican slang words. So every Dominican we visit, I ask for some words to add to the list. Here are just a few.
Las palabras de la Republica
Que lo que-what's up
La vaina ta heavy- The thing is heavy (meaning it is all good).
Ves pa lla-go over there!!
Que vaina es-what is this?!
Tigraje-being a Tigre
Esté Tigre es un Leon- a good looking Tigre (all the dominican ladies freak out when you say this haha)
Esta chivo- super tense or expecting something to happen.
Tirando muela- talking way too much
Esta Chico - very beautiful
Sipote- a little kid
Patoja - young man or young lady
These are just a few of the words. I have a huge list and maybe in a while I will send them all in an email.
Different cultures - Here we have people from all over the place.
1) Dominican Republic
4) Costa Rica
7) Spain (more so in South Manhattan)
All have different cultures. That means different foods, different ways of living and different words mean different things to each kind of people. So, it has been a little difficult knowing what words to say and not say to some of these people. For example, the F word to people from Mexico means "thing" in Dominican. It is a great learning experience though because if I ever go to any of those countries, I will already be blessed with the knowledge of their culture and will know what words not to say and what to say!
We have been able to visit a lot of the families here in the ward and they are all so great!
I want to end with something I have seen a lot in others on the mission. Jesus told us to focus on getting rid of the BEAM that is in our own eye, before we focus on the smote that is in our brother’s eye. Oftentimes people criticize others for what they see as their own faults. People hate most in others what they hate most in themselves. Just think if everyone were to cast the beam out of their own eye! There would be no need for being hypocritical and everyone would be living in harmony. Being honest with oneself is a beautiful thing because it brings out change. When we judge others, it doesn't allow us to love them. We don't have to "be right" all the time. Isn't doing the right thing (being kind) always the right thing to do?
The Savior was love. He is love. Every good thing comes from Him. Love is what changes people. I have learned not so much to focus on people's faults, but fix my own, and love the people around me. Love someone this week.
You all are AWESOME.
Keep moving on.
- Elder Celaya