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Letter From Rhys - Week # 49 – T.G.I MONDAYS!

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Feliz Lunes from the topical land of the Republica Dominicana!
This week was a week full of interesting events.The one that sticks out the most is what happened this past Friday! So Last Sunday, we heard that the youth of the ward were going on a temple trip! One of our recent converts was a youth and we’ve been teaching the rest of his family. So, he comes to his mom and says they’re going to the temple on Friday! When we heard this, we jumped on board and said we could all go to the temple together and give them a tour of the temple grounds. All was good to go, until Friday!
Friday, I had some interviews for some baptismal candidates in the afternoon before the trip to the temple. In our effort to find a man to leave with us, the second counselor of the bishopric told us that the temple trip started a 4 not at 5 and that changed everything!!!
So, scrambling ourselves to get everything ready for this sudden change in schedule was hectic! We scrambled about looking for a man, we f…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 48 – The big 11!!!

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Feliz Lunes from the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana!
Today marks the day of month number 11 that I have officially been a missionary and in the Dominican Republic! Wow time flies doesn’t it?! It’s almost all down here from here people! This past year has been full of awesome fun and adventure and it’s time for me to start working even harder to bring more souls unto Christ.
I only get 2 years to wear this black nametag and I’m almost halfway done! And there so much I still need to do!!!!! People who need to hear the Gospel! Lessons I still need to Learn! And most important, fun I still need to have!!!
Speaking of fun, today we went to the caves again close to our area! Its transfers so we can’t leave our zone though there’s no change with Elder Rodriguez and I for the next 6 weeks.
Anyway, this week was a little tougher in the mission department; we had many appointments fall and lots of opposition. Though I was able to work out a few kinks that I had with my comp this…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 47 – Las Cuevas of Brisas Del Este!!!!

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Feliz Lunes from the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana!
This past week, we were blessed with a very fun and awe-inspiring zone conference! We learned what we need to do to be more consecrated missionaries and the sacrifices we need to make to help bring people closer to Christ. Hermana Smith even built a small cardboard alter made to look like rocks, to offer our sacrifices for the things of the world that are needed in the mission. We wrote the things that we needed to sacrifice on little paper hearts and then tore them up and threw them in on the alter. They told us we were going to burn them, but I’m not sure if they actually did or not...
We also had a baptism this weekend!!!! Let’s go!!!!!! The baptism was held yesterday after church. Recently, our Mission President has been wanting us to try to have a baptism every weekend of every month! So far, we’re on it because we have 4 or 5 more people scheduled to be baptized for the next 3 weekends!!! They are all super solid…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 46 – Bautismo!!!!!!!!!

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Feliz lunes from the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana!
This past week was awesome!!! Filled with fun and adventure and the best part... Getting Wet!!!!!! From the baptismal font that is.
The weather has actually been very dry... but humid...Anywho, on Tuesday we ran to the church in the next ward over to play basketball with some people from the Brisas Ward. We ran a solid mile and I was still hot and pumping lots of energy to play some basketball! I also had a nice exchange with some of the members in my district. I went to Boca Chica with Elder Roberts, and his companion Elder Chadwick came here.

Elder Roberts is super cool and works super hard. The Following day we had our district meeting and interviews with President Smith!  It was also Hermana Smith’s birthday, so the zone put together something special to wish her happy birthday! It was a wonderful surprise and to top it all off, her son and his family came to visit us as well.  
Their son ended up giving us a less…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 45 – Fun times!

Feliz Lunes from the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana!
This past week we’ve been having a lot of fun preaching and teaching and finding awesome people to baptize! We had an intercambio with the Zone Leaders last week and I learned a lot of how to talk to the youth and get their friends to come to church!
In the process of teaching these youth we found a couple others as well who are prepared to be baptized. We found another family the other day, when a little girl brought her friend to a so called "English class with the missionaries" No one else showed up so upon request we taught them how to read music.
Afterward, they told us they were going to come to church on Sunday! Because they’re awesome, they did!!!! And we were able to talk to one of the moms of one of the girls, last night! She was super receptive about our message and told us to come back as soon as possible to teach them more! She also was super glad that her daughter had a lot of fun at church and…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 44 – Timing Couldn’t Be More perfect!

Feliz lunes from the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana!
This week was a ride and full of hard work and much more opposition. We were supposed to have two baptisms this past weekend! Their names were Emely, one 10 and the other 19. These two young ladies are amazing people and love the message of the gospel. Each one, however, had their own difficulties.
This past weekend we tried super hard to get the permission from the younger Emely's parents so we could baptize her. We got super close!!!! So close I wish we were doing government work! Or lobbing hand-grenades. Or playing horseshoes. At the end of it all, the mother refused to give the permission claiming that we were obligating her to sign the form.She denied her daughter the opportunity to not only be baptized but to have any connection with the Church. This was not somewhere we wanted to go.
My parents have taught me that the Lord’s hand is in everything we do and in every part of the work. Though this girl was su…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 43 – The good things of Life

Feliz Lunes from the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana!
This past week, as you all know, was the first week of a new transfer! My new companion is sick [really cool] and he’s always using the word "dope." All the time! His name is Elder Rodriguez and he’s from Texas though many people think he’s Latino!
It doesn’t help though that he does look Latino and his name is of Spanish origin. He has one transfer less than me but he is just under an year older than me. He’s super cool and is helping me a lot to remember some of the basic things that I may have forgotten in the terms of teaching and the importance of staying focused on the work.
We are actually a really good team and every day I get more pointers on how to be a better District Leader from all that are under my leadership. This past week, I had my first experiences giving the baptismal interview before an investigator is baptized. It’s a new perspective, definitely, being on the side of the one giving the i…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 42 – Transfers!

Feliz Lunes from the wonderful tropical paradise of isle Dalphino*oops* I mean the Republica Dominicana!
This week flew by faster than usual. So, many of you don’t know, but this past week was the last week of the transfer. Usually the last week of the transfer is super long because all are anticipating the sudden change in scenery or companions!
But, not for us! Elder Rich and I had really no concern nor worry that we were going to leave this area after 6 weeks together. We honestly thought we’d be together for another transfer! But This is what changed! Elder Rich for his 4th transfer in a row is leaving to go to my old Zone! OZAMA!!!
In Maqueteria, I might add. And I am staying here receiving another from La Romana named Elder Rodrigez from Texas, with me being a District Leader! WOOOOOOOW! After receiving my call from president, the weekend went by so freaking slow!!! I don’t know why at all!!
This week not much happened! It all just kind of blurred together. But hey!!!! I’m …

Letter From Rhys - Week # 41 – Memorial Day Celebrations!

Feliz Lunes from the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana!
Today, we all know is the wonderful day of cookouts and parties as we remember the sacrifices our families and friends have made for the sake of our freedom and happiness! There are many moments not only in our lives but in the scriptures in which the Lord has helped his people be freed from bondage and tribulation. Actually, on a daily basis, I find myself singing the Battle hymn of the Republic. The last verse really has a powerful impact and is too true about the plan that our Father has for us all.
In the beauty of the Lilies, Christ was born across the sea, with a fire in his bosom that transfigures you and me. While He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free, While God is Marching on!
His truth is marching on and I know it to be true! Every mother, father, son, and daughter that has died for the cause of liberty has felt the love and experienced a part of the life of Jesus Christ as he died so all of us can h…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 40 – More meat, More Shenanigans!!

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Feliz Lunes from the tropical Land of the Republica Domincana!
This past week was a lot of fun and full of Shenanigans! On Wednesday we went to Zone Conference and were wiffled [blown away] with inspiration! However, on our way home we got stuck on the metrobus that takes us in and out of the Capital to our area of Las Americas! It was our normal 4 missionaries Elder Esserine, Elder Martinez, Elder Rich and myself! Also with us were the Zone leaders, Elder Magleby and Elder Lopez, and The Hermanas!
Hermana Black and Hermana Haz! If in the future you happen to meet anyone on this list, this is a fun story to ask about. We got on the bus that has a maximum legal capacity of 87 people. When we got on and as we continued our travel to our area, the bus I’m almost certain reached a capacity of 115 people!!!!!! We were tight like unto a dish, packed like a can of sardines!
Hermana Black almost fell on me too at one point because the OMSA [transit authority] has a habit of making standar…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 39 – Mother’s Day Celebrations!

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Feliz lunes y dia de madres [Happy Monday and Mother’s Day] to all those moms out there supporting their sons and daughters throughout the world!
This is Elder Wheeler, reporting from the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana!
This past week has been full of fun and adventure! We had our interviews with President Smith on Tuesday, and the Zone Leaders announced that the district meetings will know be changing from Thursday to Tuesday! This was done so that way we can apply more throughout the week what we are learning in the District meetings. There’s much flow of inspiration in these meetings so immediate and constant application is necessary.
We also had much success (though I was super stressed) with preparing one of our investigators, Eliel, for his baptism this past weekend!We did it and I think I lost a little bit of hair but it was all unnecessary. The stress that is.
Why you may ask? Because, we had to push it back a week anyway due to the fact that his grandma left fo…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 38 – The Chosen!

Feliz Lunes from the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana!
This Past week we’ve had a blast and quite the bit of rain! Apparently, the rainy season has started up and we have rain every single day with overcast constantly. It’s really nice, but doesn’t bring down the heat much! Nevertheless, this past Monday, like I had stated before, we camped up on the roof of our apartment! It was super fun, and we woke up the next morning soggy from the dew! It was nice and fresh, maybe a solid 50 some degrees.
Elder Esserine’s Dominican companion was freezing and freaking out so hard! It was quite the sight! We also forgot to take the mattresses back down on Tuesday so we did it again Tuesday night. The skies were clear with no clouds in sight! About a half hour after we fell asleep, I woke back up because I felt some water hit my face! It started to downpour in 5 seconds after I woke up and we freaked out a little bit(a lot)!
We had to quickly carry our mattresses under a shelter and ev…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 37 – A Week Rich of fun!

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Feliz Lunes from the tropical paradise of the Republica Dominicana!
This week was such a blast!To keep things as simple as possible, on Tuesday, I received and welcomed my new companion, Elder Rich, to the area! Elder Rich has 4 months in the mission and fresh out of his training. This guy is so humble but is so ready for the work! He’s 19 and is from South Jordan Utah! He plays baseball and is part of a set of triplets. All are serving missions.He’s here and his two brothers are in Africa and New Zealand. He also has one younger sister who’s 16.
This week has been an adventure because every single day this week, we made plans and back up plans and they all fell! We did a lot of walking and contacting this week and we are still exhausted after a nice P-day! Also, as you all may remember, we are without electricity in our house.
We learned that about 5 years ago someone stole our electric meter. Soon after, a member hooked our power up directly to the line and we’ve been stealing po…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 36 – Transfers! Let’s shed a little light on the Subject!

Feliz lunes from the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana!
This week is the week of Transfers, and let me tell you people the all-American Elder Wheeler has been rejected at his request for a transfer! (I didn’t actually request for one, the sentence just sounds cooler that way!)
In short, I’m staying, but my companion, Elder Walker is going to the Los Resturadores zone. I will be also receiving a new companion from I think the U.S. named Elder Rich. I’ve asked many people and no one knows who he actually is. I don’t know anything about this guy. I guess you could call him the Riddler of the mission! But I feel slightly bad for my new companion because we don’t have power in our house! YAY no lights!
To cut a long story short, we’ve been two weeks without power! Recently we learned it was because our house hasn’t had a contract for lights for almost 10 years! It’s a miracle they hadn’t cut it sooner! The mission has been working on getting our lights back so we hope to have i…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 35 – Water Fun!

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Feliz Lunes from the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana! Shout out to my awesome niece Lily who turns 5 today! Happy Birthday Lily! I Love you and miss you and Christopher a lot!
This past week, we had our interviews with the mission president and it was fun. We were some of the last ones so we didn’t get back into our area until like 6 pm Tuesday night and we started at like 10:45ish. Also, during this time we had a little lesson from the APs about the unity of the zone and every companionship. We learned that the zone is only as strong as its weakest companionship. Like the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It was really cool because later that week I was able to tie this lesson to the state of a ward in the church.
We are only as strong as our weakest members and we need to take care of the weak before we fortify the strong. Christ taught that if we love him, feed his lambs and then feed his sheep. It was a new piece of revelation for me that I thought that I s…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 34 – Improvement and Confession!

Buenas Lunes From the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana!
This past week we have had the wonderful opportunity to hear something awesome from my comp! After 3 or 4 weeks of saying he doesn’t speak English, he confessed! He Speaks ENGLISH!!!!! I KNEW IT!!!!!!!!! It annoys me a little but it was able to get over it really fast.
The week started off a bit slow because as many of you know I lost my last P-day to the renewal of my residency. So, I wrote you all on Tuesday and it was a very brief message.
Well, to keep it short, the week before last, I had been having a lot of problems with my companion and he was not wanting to cooperate with me in the work together as a team. After talks with the district leader and zone leaders, I hoped things were going to get better. Well... they didn’t... But fear not my humble followers!
Two weeks ago, we had General Conference! After the conference finished, we continued to try to work a little more together. This past Wednesday, our com…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 33 – No time and very late!

Hey all this is going to be really brief because I don’t get much time to write today. This past week has been pretty slow, we didn’t get to do much this week because of holy week. Everyone left for the country side. No one was home and we couldn’t teach much.
Anyway yesterday was Monday so I am writing late, yes. This is because we had to go to Gazcue to renew our residencies to stay living legally in this country. It was a lot of fun to get to sit down and talk with some of the people in my group from the CCM. They all have become so much more mature and its more enjoyable to be in their company.
The mission really changes all who serve. They become someone better or worse depending on the type of missionaries they are. I’m on the positive side of the spectrum, I promise! Anyway, I know that the work that we are doing is extremely important and that it really blesses the lives of all who are involved, whether it be directly or only relative through blood or personal friendships.

Letter From Rhys - Week # 32 – I Love to see the Temple!

Hey Guys! Feliz Lunes from the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana!
This week as been a blast! We got to go to the temple with the mission! It was a super cool experience to go and participate in the ordinances of the temple! I was able to receive so much inspiration and a high spirit for the work as I went prayerfully seeking more knowledge!
This past Saturday as well, two more missionaries moved into our apartment! Elder Esserine and his companion Elder Gamas! Elder Esserine is super cool and was in my previous zone for 3 of my 4 transfers there. But something else happened at the temple that I forgot to mention! I got new Spanish Scriptures!!!! POR FIN!!!!!!! Its super cool but they didn’t have a case for me to use so I have been working on making one with an old cardboard box in our apartment! It’s turning out really well, I just need some glue and something to make it look pretty!
Other than those highlights, this week has been pretty boring in the uniqueness department.…

Letter From Rhys - Week # 31 - A New area, A new Personality!

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Feliz Lunes from the tropical land of the Republica Dominicana!
This week, as you all are well aware, I have been moved to a new area! It’s called La Llave! The roads are mainly dirt with 4 main streets of asphalt in our area. Its Tiny!
The members here are fantastic! They work so hard on making sure we have references to teach and they are always focused on sharing the gospel! My companion, Elder Walker, is a hard worker! He really works and focuses on helping people enter the waters of baptism. He’s about 6 feet tall, very scrawny and only loves to cook. Apparently, he doesn’t like anything else other than music. He’s also never specific about anything, so don’t ask him what type of music or food he likes.
All I know is that he hates sweet and salty but loves hot stuff or picante. Though he’s from Jamaica, he says he can’t speak English. However, he can read and teach English without a hitch. He can translate from English to Spanish, and when we accuse him of being able to speak E…