the first picture by the map is of me and my district in provo
the next one is a picture of our whole zone here in the DR on the temple grounds
the next picture of the elder that is about my height is with my buddy Elder Grover he's from cedar City and got an academic scholarship to the U. I figure if there was ever a time to get over school rivalries it would be on the mission.
the next one is of me and my new companion elder rainey
and this one is of the place where elder ballard gave a dedicatory prayer for the DR
the last one is at a spot in the colonial zone it was a fun field trip we got to learn a bit about the history of the country
Write Elder Pemberton at:
Santo Domingo West Mission
C/ Hatuey #73
Urb. Los Cacicazgos
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
Thursday, February 23, 2012
My dear family and friends
Alright so i'm going to start with questions this week because i keep forgetting things to ask about.
Have there been any mission calls yet from any of my friends? I know Todd Bean was expecting one at the beginning of this year and i havent gotten any word from him yet.
If possible I'd love to get the Emails of Jesse Fausett and Andrew Robb. That would be the best if possible!
Oh and Ana will you please take my uncle tim's email off the email list? Itstwetton@cisco.com thats his work email and he's not allowed to check those emails at work.
gracias por sus cartes siempre estoy feliz cuando yo recibolos. Que chevere su dia con Dexter. Me gusta much las fotos. Toda esta bien aqui is espero que estas teniendo buenas experiencias en Colombia. Te quiero mucho papa!
Estoy muy feliz que tussemanas estaban bien. Gracias tambien por enviando mi (package) haha o se la palabra en espanol. Pero mi espanol is mejorando y no puedo esperar cuando yo podría entender y hablar mejor y contigo y tambien con papa. Yo voy a escribir mi testimonio para Steph y tu puedes dar a ella. Ok?:)
Well everyone, its been a week. Let me tell ya. I have been loving my mission. Ive been growing so much and learning doctrines and things about christ that i never dreamed about. I'm excited and feel truly blessed that my family has loved me enough to support me on a mission. All of you young men who are still preparing. Do whatever you need to do to get out here. Stay worthy, save up money, get a knowledge of the gospel, and get out here. You will never get this opportunity again and I promise you that it will be so much harder to become the type of husband/father and the type of man heavenly father wants you to become if you do not come and serve him. Its amazing how true the saying really is. Those who lose themselves in the work truly find out who they are. There are people that need you. Please dont be selfish and do something that would prevent you from going.
Sorry I'll get off my soapbox now. life in the DR is still awesome! We got to go on a field trip last week. We went to the oldest part of the america's. there's a lot of history in this place. Its pretty awesome. Dad if you have a chance to do some studying while your there. I want you to study about the Isles of the Sea. And then compare that study with the history of how columbus found the americas. Its amazing. We had a fireside about it.
I'm having some issues with my comoanion at times. We're just really different and he's progressing a little slowly and has a negative attitude about things at times. But i'm learning a lot how to be patient and loving. We really do teach pretty great lessons despite this though.
Well i'm not sure what else to say. I hope that you all are having a great week. Please keep me informed on what's going on in everyone lives. letters take a while to get here but it's such a treat to get one!!! Talk to you all soon
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Oh my wonderful friends and family!
I tell you what i am so blessed to have so much support and love. I think subconsciously thats something that keeps me going everyday even when i'm so tired and just can't seem to work anymore. I get a though and just think "You've got work to do. Pick yourself up and get going." So thank you :)
Well i've been in one MTC or another for a little over a month now. Kind of crazy to think about. I hope I'm making you all back home proud and I hope that my letters are ok. I just kinda say what comes to my mind and sometimes its a lot sometimes its a little. Just be patient with me and it'll all be alright.
Well since last thursday its been a pretty great week. That thursdya we went to the Botanical gardens here in Santo Domingo. It was fun. I think i sent you a picture of it. On friday we actually went out to the local university and started contacting!!!! Gosh i tell you what. I was very nervous. I know some of you are thinking what?!?! James nervous to talk to people?!?! No Way. You have to cut me a little slack I am doing this all in another language and this is about saving souls here. It's kind of intense stuff. So yes! i was nervous. My companion and i went to talk to a few people but walked around a lot. It was fun to people watch but i knew i had to just start talking. So we went to an area and i was about to walk past this group because of my nervousness when i just said what the heck go talk to them. It turns out its a christian group of friends that meet there everyday at the same time to study the scriptures or have conversations about the gospel or whatever. I get to talking with one of the guys there that seemed willing to talk to me inspite of my broken spanish. I derfinitely didnt understnad all of his words but i think i got the right gyst of it. He was nervous about the book of mormon because of the scripture in the back of revalations that warns against adding to or taking away from this book. I didnt know exactly how to give an answer to that but i simply said. If i told you that there were more words of christ and that I had the book that contained those words would you want them? He was still a little bit sketchy about it. But there was a girl there who said do you have one of these books that i can have. And me getting excited said"si si yo tengo un libro para usted!" haha it was fun. We challenged the group to read the 1,2, and 3 books of nephi. And with out even ecxpecting anything they challenged us to read the 4 gospels because we said we hadnt front to cover yet. I just started luke yesterday after finishing mathew and mark and oh my goodness the life of christ and his miracles are SOOO amazing. If you all have the time read it. It's an amzing testimant of our savior jesus christ and his purpose and gospel which he shared here on the earth and also which has been graciously restored to us after the great apostasy.
The rest of the weekend was good. And then came tuesday..... let me tell you first of all: this church is true. Tuesday we had a devotional with Elder Bednar, Elder Gonzalez of the presidnecy of the 1st quorum of the 70, Bishop McCullin of the presiding bishopric, and then also our area presidency. Elder Bednar described it in military terms. "He said this is what the military called overwhelming force. There's 6 GA's here and only 24 missionaries." It was an awesome experince. And to top it all of it wasnt just a talk that Elder Bednar gave. Nope it was a straight up question and answer session. I asked the question, "how can i be a great companion or help my companion." With that he asnwered be who you want your companion to be. And then went into explaining about the strengthening power of the atonement. Did any of you back home know that there was a strengthening power opf the atonement? Cuz i sure didnt! What an amazing opportunity it was to make eye contact with an apostle and to have him speak directly to you. And the end of the meeting we were about to sing "how Firm a Foundation" and Elder Bednar gets back up to the mic and says, "Elder Pemberton." and i was like oh no.... what did i do. "You were the one we talked about the strengthening power of the atonement with right?" and i just nodded "this song is about that principle, specifically in the 3rd verse." And i looked down at my hymn book olny to realize that it was in spanish and i had no idea what it was saying. My good friend here elder Grover hurredly handed me his english one so that i could pay attention to the meaning of the hymn. Wow. It was amazing! After the prayer, we all got to shake his hand and i swear i felt power just rush through my body. That man is a man of god and there is no doubt in my mind about the truthfullness of that statement.
Well to give you some more information about my life here. Have i mentioned the food is amaizing yet? just checking. My companions name is Elder Rainey. He's from Gilbert Arizona. He's also my co-district leader! yeah sorry i forgot to tell you but i'm a district leader here!. We have a total of 6 elders in our district including us. Elder Rainey and i have different personalities and his version of working hard is different than my version of working hard. but that's ok I'm leaning patience and learning to love him. Life here is good. I'm loving learning how to teach and i'm loving this language.
I havent recieved any letters yet. Not that i'm complaining just making sure you all know my new address and didnt send it to the Provo MTC by accident. I know one person did but that ok :) Also just checking to see if Maddy and Kelsey got my letters?
Ana: Seriously really want to see video or picture of malak and Karate. I'm so proud of you for being sooooo strong. I hope i'll be able to find a wife that is as much of a hard worker and as independant as you are. Thanks for being a great example to me i love you and miss you lots. Speaking of my wife. My expectations have gone up so much for her since i've been here. If you want a good section to read on how to support the priesthood holders in your life then read section 25 of D&C.
Dad: Hey i'm glad your doing great back home. I kept meaning to tell you that make sure that you are always worthy of the spirit. I know that it will protect you on your mission just as much as it is protecting me on mine.
To my friends back home in Vegas: I'm not sure if you remember Izzy Garcia or not but if there is anyway possible please please get him the missionary discussions. This gosple could be such a blessing in his life. He gratuated in 11 so he's not at legacy anymore but I know there are some of you that are still home Zach, Travis, Austin, Kendall that can be a big help to your friends and the missionaries in our home ward. I love the Eldorado Highlands ward and i miss you all soooo much.
Well i think thats about it. Please stay in touch with quick emails or letters. I love you all and please please please stay close to the gospel. Study the scriptures because they were written for you and pray to your father in heaven. He loves you and really wants to here from you. The church is true. i know that Jospeh Smith was a prophet and that the book of mormon was translated and preserved by the power of god. I'm grateful to be blessed to have this gospel in my life and i cant wait to share it with others.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Hola mi familia y amigos!He tenido un buena semana! So we got here on thursday night super late! Then friday was straight back into lessons and the studies. Its almost crazy how much we study! The day here goes like this.6:30 wake up7:00 go eat breakfast- which isnt generally anything big. Just some weird looking oatmela, cereal, toasted special kind of bread i dont even know what its called, and juice.7:30 we have personal study for an hour which is time for like scriptures and what not. I try to spend the time thinking if i can about my investigators and what they need.8:30 we are supposed to language study on a program called TALL (i have know idea what it stands for)9:30 is class in which we'll teach our progressive investigators learn a grammer principle and have a lesson that in some way will help us be a better missionary12:30 is lunch...... oh my goodness gracious.... the food.... is .. AH-MAZING. Holy smokes and there is soooo much food during lunch. We generally have rice and beans with two different kinds of meat maybe a pasta or potatoes. Some of the elders here get tired of it. But i love it!1:30 we have language study and personal study. So its pretty much reading scriptures and doing whatever you need to do to help learn the language better3:55 we have gym and a lot of the elders here like to play basketball so we go outside and play for the whole 50 minutes generally. Its a lot of fun and a nice break from the studies.5:15 is dinner and its something pretty easy we have just some halm and potatoes yesterday. Lunch is the main meal around here. My body is still trying to get used to the eating schedule.6:00 is class time where we do pretty much the same thing in the morning.9:00 we have daily planning time to plan for the next day9:30 is when we get together for family prayer.So yeah there's my day! its pretty great and the days are going by pretty quick so far.Life here is good. I'm really enjoying the time we're getting to prepare to be the best missionaries we can possibly be. Our teachers are all natives from the island and i think all served here too somehwere in the different missions.So if my last email was posted and sent out to the masses you will all know that this MTC experience is MUCH different then the one in provo. In provo there was 2000 plus missionaries there. Here we have 20 plus! Its soooo crazy! haha but its really awesome we have about 22 elders and 2 hermanas. The CCmm president is President Glazier. He's an amazing man who knows sooooo much docrtine. he's been in institute most of his life either teacher or being in some sort of leadership position. Him and his wife really are sweet. Along with the elders and hermanas that came with us all the way from provo, we have 6 elders that are from the islands that came striaght to this MTC. there are two from Jamaica, one from Antigua, and three from Guyana (which isnt really an island but they have that kind of accent so theyré just all mixed up in my mind) five of them are going to the west indies and one is going back home to jamiaca. Theyre really awesome elders and its a huge testimony building experience to see first hand that the church really is ecerywhere. Did i mention that the CCM is on the temple grounds! Its such a beautiful temple and its such a blessing to have it so close.I really am loving it here though. Its such an amazing country and i'm really loving the people soooo much.Now enough about me on to you all!Dad: holy smokes i cannot believe you got called to be a seminary teacher!!! thats sooo awesome. That will be really good for your testimony and will help strengthen your knowledge of the gospel. you are able to learn so much more when you teach. Kind of an interisting paradox huh? I'm so happy for those elders in your ward. They are for sure being blessed with all of those investigators and contacts and converts. tell em i'm proud of them and thanks for the awesome example they are setting for me. And yes if you couldnt tell by now i understood pretty much all of your email. There were some words i'm going to have look up in the dictionary but it was great. Keep sending em like that. I loved it.Ana: I'm so happy that your growing closer with your girls in YW. You were difintiely called to that calling for a reason. I know it. I know it's because you have the skills and the things the girls need. As for pictures its fine to email them. Also please send them! and video's of malak doing karate!!!! if i have time a little later I'm going to try to write a little something to the YM in the ward. Tell them i really apprecxiate the support. So happy that your having a mssionary experience with your new friend brook. I'm really proud of you Ana. Sounds like the family is doing great! I hope the kids are learning to get a long better. Life is soooo much better when your siblings are your best friends instead of annoyances. Thanks for the love and the support always. I'll try to write more a little later today if i can!With lots of loveElder pembertonP.S. elder bednar is coming next tuesday!!!! soooo excited!
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Dad, we got off the airport and i could have sworn i was back in puerto rico! The people here are a lot darker haha but very similar.
Well family, i am so excited to be here and be among the people! the mtc is on the temple grounds and is pretty awesome. I love the weather and the vegitation. Its so great to see all the green! So we got in last night around 11:30 DR time. which is 2 hrs from tx and 3 hrs from utah. Also we traveled with about 18 other missionaries and thats about all we have in total here at the mtc its crazy going from 2000 to a mere 20.
heres my address here:
Elder James Pemberton
Centro de Capacitacion Misonal
Avendia Bolívar # 825, esquina Ricardo Rodles
Los Robles, Santo Domingo, Rep. Dom.
Well this was just to let you know i'm safe. We have P-days on thursday so i will talk to you all then. I'm super excited and loving it here! I feel like im home already!