From: Ethan Cade Brimhall [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2017 1:29 PM
This week was a little harder than most because my son is leaving me after almost six months. We got transfer news telling us that he is leaving for Yemoh Town in Bo, adjacent to my previous area there. He will be companions with Elder Okwir, one of my TC’s. Elder Patrick, also one of my TC’s, will be coming to replace him as my companion. I’m still district leader. I’m still in Hangha Road.
We went to a sweet zone activity at a river with a tiny, and I mean tiny dam that supplies water to the surrounding area. There was a vine swing I found and I channeled my inner monkey to enjoy the forest. It was a lot of fun and I ate too much. (see photos below)
Unfortunately, we had to drop most of our investigators (which is a lot of people). They just weren’t keeping commitments. We did our best to teach our message, but I guess it just fell on some stony ground and was scorched by the sun. That’s part of a parable, obviously, but it’s scarily literal.
That gave us time to work on members. We are preparing people for branch conference this week and training our branch missionaries. Five were just called recently and we want to help them understand all they can do to help. They’re a huge help to us not only with the language, but also knowledge of the area and customs and ability to relate to those we teach. The theme for conference is “Lay down the weapons of your rebellion.” One speaker for conference is talking on obedience, and we were a little afraid she would get up and just start throwing fire at people. A great principle I have learned here is that an understanding of doctrine is what changes people, not shouting hell and damnation at the pulpit (which I am sometimes tempted to do). As we discussed, she was able to bring out personal experiences and remember scriptures that would help her get her message across. She has had a rough life, but God has literally sustained her as she has obeyed His simple commandments with unwavering faith in a heavenly promise She’ll do great if she remembers our discussion.
On Sunday, Elder Kabosha and a few members totally cried as we sang the classic goodbye hymn “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.” Elder Kabosha usually leads, but I convinced a member to do that one since I knew he would break down. A few members pulled me aside to ask what he would like for a gift. He is so very loved by his first branch. I’m proud of all that he has done here. At times, many times, I felt like the one being trained. He is and will continue to be a great missionary. It has been a privilege to serve with him. Despite our differences, we found a way, the gospel way, to work it out and force a friendship that probably naturally would not have turned out. I love him like a brother. It goes to show you can befriend anyone as long as both of you are willing to try.
After YSA and choir practice, a few members presented Elder Kabosha with a new umbrella, rain boots, and legit Toms (something I’ve not seen since being here). It was a combined effort of several people who he has obviously had a great effect upon. He almost cried. It was touching to see.
A huge shout-out to my cousin Elder Cameron Harris who returns home with honor thus week! I’ve read many of his weekly emails home and he is the epitome of consecration. His love for the people of the Dominican Republic lasted to the end of his mission and I’m sure it will continue for the rest of his life.
Also a big Happy Birthday to my wonderful grandfather Dave Harris. He was fairly recently called to be the stake patriarch where he lives and his dedication to the Lord throughout his life inspires me, not to mention his story-telling skills and legendary sense of humor. Love you!