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.