Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Elder, this aint the language they taught me in the MTC"

Me and Elder Ramos

My wonderful family and friends!!!!!

How are you? Thank you for all the love, support, and prayers. You guys are the best! This week has been the best week by far! This week we were able to go on splits in the field with other missionaries who are in the field in the DR! We piled 14 people into a 12 passenger van and were like bottoming out the whole way to a church here in Santo Domingo. We got there and we were in a room and an Elder said, “Alright lets go! Who wants to go with me?” Looking back I knew I felt the spirit telling me to go, so I immediately raised my hand and we were the first ones out! My companion was Elder Ramos and he is from Honduras! He was so awesome.  We immediately walked around a mile or so to the subway and I asked where we were going.  He said that we were going to Cristo Rey, which is the poorest city in the Santo Domingo west mission. It was one of the most heart breaking and humbling experiences I’ve ever had. It is unlike anything you can imagine. People have barely anything and its just jaw dropping. But I absolutely fell in love with it.  Everyone seemed to be so nice and even though they had so little, they still want to draw nearer to God and Jesus Christ.  So amazing.  Anyway, Elder Ramos is now going home in 2 weeks and the whole time we wished we could have been companions. We were like best friends in a few hours. He was a hard worker and he taught me how to truly love the people!

Okay so the first thing we did was walk a long time to go visit a sweet lady. Wow is all I can say.  She sits all day on the side of the road in a wheelchair and sells packaged cookies and things like that for a living.  She’s been in the wheelchair for 30 years and recently her mother and sister passed away and she has nobody left in her family. My heart just breaks for her. She is so sweet. We taught her on the side of the road about our message and Elder Ramos had me teach about prophets which was really nerve racking, but I somehow was able to! The thing is, when you get out of the MTC the people don’t speak regular anymore…they speak like an auctioneer… it is nuts! I can understand everyone here in the MTC, but after our lesson with Yessenia, I was told my companion, “I understood about 1 percent of what she said”.  My companion emailed me and said she came to church! I was so happy!



Okay then we went contacting! We were walking and we got into more of a place of these homes stacked on top of each other, and my companion slowed down.   I asked him what he was doing and he said, “I’m listening to the Spirit to tell us where to go”.   Elder Ramos is a champion. We yell “BUENAS” at peoples gate when we get to their home.  We got to one home and I introduced who we were and asked if we could share our message about Jesus and God. She said, “Oh yeah, come on in!” I was like wow… that was way too easy people are so nice here!  It was so good! This woman had a cute little family of 4 boys and a girl. They lived in this tiny house like 20 ft by 20 ft.  We shared our message and I was able to give her my Book of Mormon, and the woman was surprised and said “For me?!” I said, “Yeah of course!”  She was so so happy to get it! This woman had been to the Santo Domingo temple open house and she was so happy about the church.

Our last appointment was with a family and a new convert.  It was so amazing and the family was so awesome.  My companion said that they loved me because I tried to speak, and I guess I was funny.   Elder Ramos had me share a lesson and so I shared John 3:16 and talked about how much God loves us and talked about Jesus and his marvelous atoning sacrifice for us!

I love you all! Thank you for all you do for me! I fly out on Tuesday to Puerto Rico so happy and grateful. I have so much to learn and grow and I can’t wait to go out into the field tomorrow again.  I love you all! I know that if we love God and trust and have faith in Jesus Christ that all things are possible! This church is true and it will bring greater happiness in your life than you have ever experienced! Keep all of your heads up! It will all work out! Love you all!


Elder Waidmann

Thursday, October 22, 2015

"Another week of amazing experiences"

Hello Everyone,

How are you all?! I love you guys, thank you for the emails and the support! You guys always lift me up!

This has been another week of amazing experiences! I can't believe I’ve been out for a month. I am so excited to get out into the field! Friday was our last opportunity to go to the university! It was a great experience! We saw a man in an orange shirt sitting down in front of the store and we were able to talk to him for about 10 minutes. We learned about his life and what he was studying.  After that, we shared our message. He had to be at class and he said he wanted to learn more, but since we could not come back the next day, I so hope that he calls the missionaries! He was in his 50s and was studying law. Talking to him was very humbling because so many people here don’t have much in their lives. It makes me so grateful for how much we have! We are so blessed. I love it here!

Missionaries are not perfect.  We have to work so hard! Yesterday was one of the hardest days on the mission so far. Our lesson in the morning was one of the worst I’ve ever done and I just had a bad attitude. I realized that I need the Spirit with me and acting all sad is not going to help it be with me! So I prayed for it to be with me and I felt a little better. In evening class we were learning a new concept in grammar and I just could not understand it at all.  It was so hard on me for some reason. I get really upset when everyone understands something but me and I couldn’t get it. So the teacher had to pull me aside and teach me it and I just felt so mad.  At this point I just did not feel good about anything. We had to teach a lesson after that and I thought that there was no way that I can teach a lesson because my Spanish is horrible right now. I thought in my head, what am I doing wrong...and I just knew that I needed the Spirit more than anything. So before the lesson I said a prayer in my head… “Heavenly Father, I’m doing my best and I’m sorry for my wrong doings, I need your help in this lesson. You have faith in me and I have faith in you and I’m in your hands!”  

The lesson after was one of the best lessons we have ever taught. The Spirit was so strong and our investigator committed to a baptism date and wants all his family to be baptized because he know the Gospel of Jesus Christ will bring his family together. He received all of that knowledge and surety through the Power Of the Holy Ghost. I too have received answers to life’s greatest questions through the Holy Ghost. Its power is real. I testify of that. I know that anyone can receive a witness of the truthfulness of the gospel through The Holy Ghost. I know that God strengthens us. He has promised that he will not forsake us. I know that God lives and Jesus is the Christ. He is my Savior, Master, and Redeemer. He's felt every pain, affliction and temptation that we will ever go through. Through him and only him and his gospel can we return to live with God and our families forever. I testify of that with all my soul that I know that the church is true! It provides so much joy and hope in this life and for the next! I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, and I know He lives. You too can even find out what I know for yourself.  Visit mormon.org it will change your life for eternity. I love you all and you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Keep on trying, no matter how hard times get.

Peace And Love from la Republica Dominicana,

Elder Waidmann

Thursday, October 15, 2015

"I know it with all my heart!"

Elder Bringhurst and I
The newest missionaries to join the MTC
The Haitians left today. Sad!
Hello family and friends,

This week has been another amazing one. Life here in the missionary training center, just flies bye! It is so crazy!  Last Friday we went to the University in Santo Domingo to go contacting! Oh my goodness, I was scared to death. I was having a hard day because I felt that my Spanish was so bad and that I was not ready to talk to real people. I prayed and prayed that I would receive help.  Let me tell you that God answers prayers because it was the most amazing experience ever.

The first guy we talked to wasn’t interested, but we talked about what we were doing, our message and we left him with a pamphlet about the Plan of Salvation! The second guy we talked to was pretty receptive and I even passed out my first Book of Mormon! I was so pumped. God is great!  I kept on praying, “Heavenly Father please lead us to someone who needs our message, or who you would have us talk to.  We are trying so hard.”  Then, we were walking, I had a feeling and immediately acted on it.  I felt the Spirit tell me “Turn right”.  So I said to my companion, “Elder lets go down here”.  A couple of minutes after walking, four guys walked up to us. They were all Dominican and they said “Do you guys speak English?” and we said,  “Yeah!”.  They asked us if we could sit down and talk to them.  We were so excited!  We sat down and they explained they were in an English class and we explained we’ve been learning Spanish for two weeks and they were blown away.  I talked to two of the guys while my companion talked to the other two.  I was able to explain Christ’s earthly ministry, the restoration and the Book of Mormon.  It was so cool.  It was in English, but I can do it in broken Spanish too.  One guy I talked to was super interested and he said that he has read some of the Book of Mormon before.  He kept on asking questions and then he said, “What do I do if I want to be a member of your church?” I was so surprised and excited!  What?! Heck yeah!  So I talked to him about the missionaries in his area and I gave him their number.  He said he was going to go home and read the pamphlet and the Book of Mormon and call the missionaries.   I so hope he did! I know he felt the Spirit for sure and so did I!

After that we talked to an older lady and she said she wasn’t interested.  I asked again for God to lead us to another person.  I saw someone and said, “Let’s go over there”.  When we were halfway there, I did not feel the prompting anymore and I turned around and there was someone walking in our direction. I knew it was the man who we were supposed to talk to! So we met this man and he was so cool!  It was all in Spanish and it’s a miracle, but we were able to talk to him!  We talked about God and Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon.  I gave him my last Book of Mormon and he said he would read it and call the missionaries.  He said he knew that God helps us in our hard times and he believes in him! It was so cool! My companion Elder Hortin is doing so well with Spanish and he talked a lot too! 

I am doing so good here!  We go out again to the University tomorrow and then next week we go on splits with missionaries in the Santo Domingo West mission! I am so excited and nervous, but it will be so good! I love you all and I pray for you all. Thank you for your constant prayers! They have been felt! If hard times arise, just remember that Christ has felt what you’re feeling before! The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints is true! I know it with all my heart! Have a great week everyone!


With Love, 
Elder Waidmann

Thursday, October 8, 2015

"I love it here!"

Hello to my beautiful family and friends!

I hope all of you are doing so well! You are all in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you for all the emails and support! This last week absolutely flew by! I was looking through my pictures and I said to my companion, “I’m going to miss this place so much!”

Adventures outside the MTC

This week was a wonderful one for sure! First off, General Conference was amazing! I am so excited for the three new leaders of our church! General Conference happens twice a year and we get to hear inspiring messages for us from God! The leaders in our church give talks and they are so amazing! To learn what our prophet and other church leaders had to say at this session of General Conference, click HERE. Sunday afternoon we were able to leave the missionary training center (MTC)! We get a little claustrophobic being inside all day, but we were able to go to this huge park across the street, take pictures and enjoy the outdoors. It was wonderful! I am so blessed to be here. Monday was awesome, but Tuesday was a very sad day! All of the elders that were here with us, left to the mission field and it was pretty hard on me and the other elders here. They were my best friends and the best examples! They are so amazing and they are going to do good out there in their respective missions! So on Tuesday all day, it was just 9 of us in the MTC it was so quiet! We were able to leave again and walked to the "la tienda" store. It is like a ghetto Walmart! I thought I was used to the humidity, but that has backfired for sure! It was super humid! We were all pouring in sweat and walked so fast back to the MTC to get in the air conditioner!
Me and my companion in front of the temple

In front of the temple


The newbies (newer missionaries) got here yesterday and there is about 20 of them! They are still shy but thery are super cool! Today was amazing! We go to the temple in the morning and it just makes you so motivated to work harder in this glorious work! To learn more about LDS Temples, click HERE. My companion and I were just asked to be the Assistants to the MTC President. We are both really nervous, yet humbled and excited. I love the President and his wife so much.  They are so good to us missionaries! I love it here! We have two new investigators! Rosa is 75 and single. She can’t read so we read the scriptures in the lesson, which is good practice and sometimes funny! She is a sweet old abuela  and so its awesome! She wants to be baptized! Our other investigator is Socrates. He is a CEO of a company and is all about his family. We have been teaching him about the Book of Mormon.  He has been reading it and it makes him feel good! W explained about how that good feeling is the Spirit.  It is still hard to communicate because were super gringo and don’t know a whole lot, but last nights lesson was our best one for sure!
 
New hair cut
I’m learning a lot. I love it and I miss you all, but I know I’m out here for a reason. I can’t wait to get to Puerto Rico. I love it already so much and haven’t even been there! I am so blessed and thankful to my loving Heavenly Father, my Savior Jesus Christ and my constant companion, the Holy Ghost! This Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true! I promise and I know! Our message is simple and marvelous. If you haven’t heard it yet, then hear it! Ask me any questions or any other LDS members, or go to mormon.org and see what were all about. It will change your life forever and you will draw nearer to God! You will begin to have a relationship with Him and you'll find a plan that provides hope in this life and in the life to come! Read the Book of Mormon. Its true! Read and ask God if it is true. Take “Moroni's challenge” in Moroni 10:3-5 (In the Book of Mormon)! To read "Moroni's challenge, click HERE.  To read the Book of Mormon, click HERE

I love you all and I wish you the best! I challenge you all to endure to the end! This life is a miracle, so lets live like its one!

Peace and Love from The Dominican Republic,

Elder Blake Waidmann

Thursday, October 1, 2015

District "Lehi"... Elder Waidmann's MTC District
Hello All… “Saca Fet”,

I am alive and am doing oh so well! I give all the credit to God, Jesus and the Spirit! I am in love with the Dominican Republic (DR) in the Missionary Training Center (MTC) ! I will be here for 6 weeks before I leave for Puerto Rico. Its so beautiful here! We arrived safely a week ago. After we left the airport we walked outside to this old beater astro van that was purple with flames on the side. It was hilarious.  We rode in this van to the MTC, which was the scariest ride of my life. The guy driving was so chill and we like shot the gap between two semi trucks and almost got in a few other wrecks

I love my mission so much! The spirit is seriously so strong here! I have had my down moments, but the good ones far outweigh the bad moments! I’ve been able to draw so much closer to my Savior and I’m so happy with my life! We seriously get NO time to think about ourselves… which I love! My companion and I are working as hard as we can and we are doing our best to lose ourselves in the work.  My companions name is Elder Hortin.  He is super cool, smart and we work really well together.  The Haitian Elders here never cease to brighten my day. They are constantly smiling and laughing.  We say their Creole/French sayings to them and they love us,  hence the saying “Saca Fet”! Which means “what’s up”. Its awesome.
Elder Waidmann and his companion
On Tuesday, the other missionaries will be heading out to their missions, so there will be 8 of us here.  Then, the next day we will get like about 17 or so missionaries So I’m excited! So far, only me and my comp and a Sister missionary are going to Puerto Rico. The MTC president and his wife are so awesome! All the teachers are Domican and I love them all! Classes at the MTC are 13 hours a day, so it’s very busy. My Spanish is progressing. I can feel the gift of tongues working in that I can understand much of what a native says! Its a real blessing.

Elder Waidmann and President and Sister Romney
The food is pretty good! Lunch and dinner are usually always authentic, but lunch is my favorite because we get two types of meat, two kinds of rice and beans. We mix it all up and its divine.

I am seriously in love with my mission, am so happy and grateful to be here, its been hard but its been so good! Watch a video on youtube called MISSIONARY WORK AND THE ATONEMENT.  (Watch it below). We watched it the other night and there was not a dry eye in the room. 

 I’m so grateful por El EVANGELIO DE JESU CRISTO! The other day I looked down and I wrote in my cuaderno HIS NAME IS ON MY HEART. I’m so blessed to not just serve Him, but serve with Him by my side and on my heart. I am eternally grateful for this gospel! I love you all! I met with the president the other day and he asked why I am here. The spirit was so strong. I said that I am here to serve others and give them the hope that there is hope in this life and in the next to come... so they can be happy.  That is why I am here. I love my mission with all of my heart! 

I love you all!

Love,

Elder Waidmann