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Elder Pemberton
Santo Domingo West Mission
C/ Hatuey #73
Urb. Los Cacicazgos
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana

Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012

Hello Ana,
My package came!!!! I couldnty believe it. The gift of sight is quite an amazing thing. BUT if yhou want to know honestly its not as great as I thought it would. Now its not that I'm not grateful. I am beyond grateful that heavenly father heard my prayers and that my package arrived. But its just that I got used to my glasses. And after I had my contacts I realized that my glasses weren't that bad after all. But it was great to be able to play basketball and soccer today and to be able to see. I tell you what I am most definitely looking forward to the resurrection :)

You know I've been thinking a lot of our ward at home in vegas. If any of you read my emails than I want you to know how much a love you and how much I appreciate everything that each and everyone of you have done for me. It because of you that I have been as prepared as I am to be a good missionary. 

This week has been a good one. My new companions name is Elder Poulson. He just arrived back to the mission one week ago. He had to go home for surgery and he said that as hard as it was to come on his mission the first time it was that much harder to come back the second. I'm really proud of him for coming back. I cant even imagine how hard that would have been. His spanish is.... a work in progress just as mine is. Its best explained by the fact that I definitely dont have Elder Stott to rely on. And actually now I have to make sure that the conversations are carrying on smoothely. Its hard to believe that the lord put us in this situation. But he must have faith in us that we can do. I know we can.

As far as teaching goes.... We basically opened an area. Its been a long time since missionaries have been here if though it was technically apart of the office Elders mission. So as the prophets of old would have said "it sufficeth me to say" that we've been contacting...... and contacting.... oh and more contacting. ha. I have a very strong testimony that the Lord strengthens his missionaries, because cantactiong for about 6 hours straight, well I definitely wouldnt have been able to do it without His divine help. In less than a week though Elder Poulson and I have met a little over 200 people. In that 200 hundred people we've had 9 lessons. And of those 9 lessons we've had about 3 new investigators. The Lord has prepared people for us as missionaries. Our job is to go find them. And boy are elder poulson and I doing our best.

Apart from that life is good. Living here in the mission office is a little different. Its a real plus getting to be able to see President Rodriguez every now and then though. We live here with 4 other elders. The assistants and the office elders. Its been a learning expereince so far. But thats what I'm here to do. Learn how to become a better person. 

Life is good though. I'm a happy missionary and I know our Father in Heaven is preparing me for every situation in my life here on my mission. I am so grateful for this opportunity to grow as a person and to grow closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that this is a divine work. And I know that this is his true church. Honestly it terrifies me to think that what if this church isnt true. And then I realize that anything negative does not come from the Lord. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints is the kigndom of the lord here on the earth. All of you that are truely seeking to follow christ, give our message a try. I know with out a doubt that it will strengthen your faith in christ. And if you are a true desciple of christ then you should be doing everything you can to do so. I love you all you are great. Sorry if this letter is short or boring for you but I hope my humble testimony will be enough. I know that christ lives and that he directs his church today through modern-day prophets and revelation. I know that he is the same yesterday today and for ever. And I know that he loves us. The question now to each of you members and non-members alike is: do you? If not what are you going to do to fix that? The restored gospel is here the opportunity to have eternal life is once again upon the earth. Dont let it slip through your fingers.

I love you all and I am grateful for the prayers the love and the support,
Elder Pemberton

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oh my beloved family!
Wow what a day Elder Stott and I had yesterday. We found out that IM GETTING TRANSFERRED?!?!?! This was definitely not supposed to happen, because the training program is for two transfers and you stay with your training for both of them. But we are are now going to have 6 elders in our area. Me and my new companion Elder Stott and his new companion and then the office Elders. I´m quite sad that we´re getting split up especially since elder Stott is going home right after this next transfer. But I have complete faith in our mission president and I trust that the Lord knows whats best and for whatever purpose this is what is best for this area. Elder Stott is going to stay in our apartment and I´m going to go live with my new companion in the Office building of our mission. Its going to be a little bit of a walk to get to our area everyday but its not too big of a sacrifice. It is just temporary until the office elders find a house for the four of us to live in here soon. With hope Elder Stott and I will be reunited very soon.My new companions name is Elder Poulsen. He actually just got back to the country today and I have yet to meet him. He was in the mission for 4 transfers and had to leave for a whole transfer back to the states to get surgery. I hope he comes back with a willingness to work because we´ve got a whole bunch to do. We will be in charge of the eastern part of our area the office elders when the get the chance to proselyte the central and elder stott and his new companion the western. This is probably the biggest change happening in the mission and I´m not going to lie... I´m pretty sad to be leaving Elder Stott. He´s an amazing missioanry and I look up to him so much.

Today being P-day was our last day together as companions. We´ll still be in the same district so it wont be too big of a deal but we still just took the time to hang out. We went on a run this morning along the Malecón, which is the cliffs of dead coral which is along the ocean. For lunch we went to a place called Adrians Tropical for lunch that was quite good and not too expensive. After that we just took some pictures. It was a good day I´m going to mis my "dad". But i know it is the lords will and I am willing to do whatever he asks as that is what I have signed up for.

I´ve really been loving the scriptures lately. I read Jacob five the allegory of the ollive tree and LOVED IT. For those of you who are members of the Church you might be thinking REALLY?! For those of you who dont know what i´m talking about forst I invite you to read it. Go to LDS.org and look it up in the book of mormon. But to give a quick explanation its a really long parable given by a book of mormon prophet. Its a chapter with 70 something verses and just talks about a guy and his servant taking care of his vinyard. But you want to know the secret to my success? Its actually quite simple. If you want to understand the scriptures, LIVE them. As a missionary we live the gosple 24/7 it makes it much easier to understand the scriptures if you are living its teahces and having the spirit with you.

My dear family and friends the mission is amazing. If your ever having a problem in your life and you feel down please go to the source of happiness, our Heavenly Father. And heavnly father speaks and comforts his children through the scriptures. Please if you feel like this pick up the book of mormon and start reading it. There is power in this book that comes from god. Put my theory to the test I promise you wont be dissappointed. Well I have 0 time left I hope you know how much I love you all. And thanks for the support! I recieved two letters this week one from Kelsey and One from My Aunt Jaynelle. Thank you so much for the letters they reall help. I sent one to Austin Jones Last week and then realized too late that i sent it to his BYU address and he probably will be gone by the time he gets it. Austin just know I love you k bud and that I´m so proud of you and your example keep it up!

Well i´m out of time love you all bye bye
Elder Pemberton

Have faith, be diligent, and be pacient and you will recieve the fruit tree of life, which is eternal life the greatest of all the gifts of god(taken from ALma 32:42

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012

Wow i can´t believe that I am already almost half way done being trained. It´s pretty crazy. Time keeps flying by no matter what I do. There are times where I feel like I have so much to do and it will be soooo long till I get to come home and see all of your loving faces. But then Heavenly Father blesses me with the knowledge that my time here is short and really I´m living a once in a life time experience. And also that there is SO much work to do how could I possibly leave here with out doing the best that i can to help these people accept the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. As they say here "todo marcha bien aquí" which means basically its all going well here.

I´ll tell you all that honestly it is the COOOLEST thing being a missionary. I´m so grateful that Heavenly Father created this experience for His children. It is an amazing work to be apart of and I am doing my best to take advantage of every little bit of it. Our investigator Anamaria is doing really well. We had a lesson yesterday in the chapel with bishop. We intended to teach her about tithing anjd then have him share a few parts, but as i have come to find out here dominicans LOVE to talk. So elder Stott and I humbly took that back seat and let the bishop basically teach the whole thing. After that we had a missionary devotional and the stake president came to talk about conversion. Ana was the only investigator there BUT she sat right in front of us sitting with her sister and her neice and it was amazing to see the effects of the messgae that we as missionaries share. If you take the time to listen and apply the principles that we teach your are promised nothing but more happiness and peace in your life. I´m really seeing this process take place in Ana and she´s such a golden investigator. Her baptism date is for the 5th of May and she is going to be so converted i can´t wait to see how much she grows as she makes covenents, receives the gift of the holy ghost, and begins to gain a new perspective on life that only comes to one who truly knows understands and beleives with their heart the gospel of jesus christ. 

Thank you all for the support the love and the prayers. Its because of you all that ELder Stott and I are having so much success and that I´m having such a great start to my mission. Please foprgive the shortness but I´m going to try to add some pictures if possible!
Les quiero muchisimo,
Elder Pemberton

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012

My dear loving family!

I hope everyone is doing so good and had a great Easter SUnday. Here they celebrate Semana Santa. and its actually a pretty crazy week, full of mostly partying and vacations. It sufficeth me to say that its a little bit more dificult to set citas and find people at home. But the blessing of the Lord are flowing in an abudunce and as Elder Stott tells me we had a really GREAT semana santa as they go when it comes to citas. Oh and citas are appointments and Semana Santa translates to Holy Week. You all need to work on your spanish!;)

This week like most I was having dificutlies with expressing myself and teaching clearly because of the langauge. Honestly there is true power in the Scriptures. As searched for something top study in Preach My Gospel for a personal study one morning I came across a scripture study portion that sais "what should I say?" I thought perfect!!! I didnt have much time but I went quickly to the first two scriptures that were found in the Book of Mormon. the first one is found in 2 Nephi 31:1. From this scripture I learned that Nephi spoke by the power of the spirit. I realized that I need to do all I can to be obedient to better have the Spirit with me so that he can help me testify and teach in coherent spanish and with some power as a representative of christ. The next was in Alma5:43-46. Here I learned that to be able to truly testy of our message obviously I need to have a strong testimony of these things myself. I committed myself then and there to pray more often to receive a reasurance that all the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly the kingdom of God upon the earth and that with it is taught the complete and restored gospel of Jesus Christ. As I closed my personal study with a prayer I asked my Heavenly Father for such a reasurance. ANd of course as always I received my answer.

We have a really awesome investigator who I mentioned last week, named Ana. Sheis really awesome. She ALWAYS reads and is really learning so much. She unfortunately didnt come to church this past week and that was pretty rough, BUT we ended up teaching her yesterday after church and we found out that she got a little scared. As she was reading 2 Nephi 31:14. We helped her resolve her worries and strengthen her faith. She´s so great and is really doing all of this because she knows it´s right and wants these blessings in her life. She has a baptism date for May 5th. I know she´ll be ready.

Sunday was rough we had absolutely 0 investigators come to church when we were planning on about 8 to show up. What made it worse was that Presdient Rodriguez and his family made a special vist. President has a son who´s going to BYU this coming fall. An this past friday was the day to pick on capmus housing. Needless to say as almost every BYU student has found out its a REALLY nervracking experiences. On top of that he had no idea what to and his parents had to leave for an important meetinjg. So Sister Rodirguez calls us right before a cita and asks us if we a¡can come help Jerald sign up for is housing arrangements. We gratefully abliged and went over there as soon as our cita was finished. I was really glad we could help him out. It reminded me of when I had a missionary help me come with my BYU stuff. It brought back good memories and Jerald is a great kid. He´s going to love the Y.

Well to answer a few question. My house is Great! We´ve got running water and light pretty much all of the time. Elder Stott´s a pretty good cook, and I do by best to contribute. He´s teaching me a few dominican tricks. We have a great area its basically all along one REAlllllly LONG street called Independiencia. When we have a cita thats far away if we dont have enough time we take public cars. Ha basically they fit as many people as posible in the car and will take you anywhere along this street for 25 pesos which is a little more than 50 cents. haha its a fun time.

As part of my trainign program we watch these video´s called the distrct. They recorded a district and parts of there mission to help other missionaries learn from expereince. The cool thing was is that i saw President Becksted our temple president in SA he was the ward mission leader in one of the wards in this district. 

Well thats all the time I´ve got but I love you all and hope you have a great week BYE!

Elder Pemberton

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012

Mi quierida familia.
Primero les doy gracias por todo ustedes han hecho para mi. Estoy muy agradecido por todos que ustedes han hecho para prepararme por mi mision aqui en La Republica Dominicana.
First I want to let you all know how grateful i am for everything that you've done for me. You all have played a big role in helping me be prepared to serve a mission here in the DR.
Next I want to say how sorry I really am for my last letter. I feel really bad and don't feel like it was very uplifting at all I hope to do better and hope that you all will continue to read my letters even though they're not the best. What can I so I'm no Elder Fausett thats for sure! But I will do my best to make them interesting and uplifting and help you all come just a bit closer to Christ through reading my letters.
Lets start with my investigators.
We've got plenty of investigators but I'll only talk about 2 today for times sake.
The first is named Anamaria and she's about 30 (we think). She is the sister of Hna Carrasco which is a very very kind member who's really really helped us a lot. Hna Carrasco is a convert but is currently seperated from her husband at the moment so she lives with her three kids at the house of her mom and her sister(which is our investigator). Our first lesson with Ana wasnt even planned. I think we went over there to give Hna Carrasco a spiritual thought and we were able to share with the Mom and Ana. At the end of the lesson she said that she would read a chapter in the book of mormon that we left. She said she had never read it so that was great that she was willing. We've had 2 or 3 more lessons with her since that first time. Our latest lesson being last night (after conference). Up until this point she said she hadnt really felt like she had recieved her answer. Well conference above other things is the place to receive answers I'll tell you what. So we go into the lesson hoping that she received her answer that all of this was true and that this was the path that she should take. We started to ask  her. She said she felt good. What Elder Stott told me that we needed to do was to help her recognize that she had recieved her answer, because there's no way to go to conference and not feel the spirit if your truly looking. She said that she felt really calm that she really wants to start a family of her own but that she really wants our Father in Heaven to be a big part of that start - a lot like the start of another relationship that i'm pretty familiar with ;). So she asked her sister if that was her answer and she said yes that it was the holy ghost testifying of the truth of the messages and of the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Anamaria now has a baptismal date for the 5th of May. I'm so very excited. Because when she accepted the baptismal date I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that she was going to get baptized on that date. After the lesson Elder Stott and I came out dancin we were so happy. Oh the fruits of the mission. :)
Well for times sake I'm only going to write about 1 so that I can add other stuff in here too.
We had intercambios this past thursday excpet this time elder Stott left me in the area..... (O_o) yeah it was rough. I was pretty stressed because citas were falling through and we had to wait for a member for like an hr so we were late to a lot of first lessons. Gosh it was stressful. BUT I'm honestly glad it was stressful because if it had gone all fine then I wouldnt have learned anything, and do I have A LOT to learn!
Conference has never gone by so quick!!!! Even when I would fall asleep for half of it it has never flown by this fast. It was all in Spanish so i didnt catch all that was being said. But I understood bits and peices and generally the main idea of the talk. But I really felt the spirit of conference. And I can testify to each and everyone of you that those men and women are called of god to be the leaders of our church and the auxilary organizations that help the wonderful family of disciples of christ run smoothly.
Now time for the fun stuff!!! Hna Carrasco has a 5 year old daughter that reminds me SOOOO much of Malak! except obviously she speaks spanish.... and well malak speaks... yes he does. haha But Elder Stott and I have gotten to be pretty good friends with her.
Ok the best thing here is JUICE!!!! oh my goodness... Juice is pretty AMAZING here in the DR. I dont know how I survived without tasting such deliciousness before coming here. The honest to goodness reason why its so good though is because of the fruit. Well I know you want to say "DUH Elder Pemberton, juice comes from fruit!" But hear me out first. When it comes to fruits... I swear they're liking making stuff up. There are so many fruits that i never knew i didnt know! like come on what in the world is mamon?!?! apparently it bread fruit. And zapote.... yeah I kid you not. But hey they make good juice so i'm not complaining.
Well thats about It here that I have time for. Please know that I love you all so much. And I want you all to know that everything that each one of you has invested in me is not going to waste I i'm trying my best to be succesful and being an intsrument in the hands of the Lord. So again thank you so much. I'd like to finish my letter similar to how Elder Niel L. Anderson finished his. I call out to all true disciples of Christ with good news. That His church has been restored upon the earth once more. And that His arm is extended and waiting to take you into His arms and bless you with all the blessings that He has in store for you. But like Peter we need to find His hand in this stormy sea of a world. We need to act as disciples of Christ and do the things that He asks us to do. All of His truths are found in only one church, His Church. I ask all of you who are not members of the LDS Church but are still true disciples of Christ that if missionaries pass by your house or if you have the opportunity to learn more about the gospel that i am preaching here in the DR, take it please. It can only bless your life even more if you just let it.
I love you all have a great week!
Love Elder Pemberton