Learning New Things Is Exhausting AND Invigorating

Confession: I copied a lot of this blog post from an email to a friend. The email is the reason I felt capable of putting up a blog post so, thank you, my new friend, for being an inspiration to me and a beautiful encourager.

I hope you are well 😊.
I can’t speak for Mr Hot Stuff, he’s more competent and practiced at office-y things than I am, but for me, I have (barely) survived our first week in the area office, lol. It’s been so exhausting learning 500 million things about how the area office runs, and how to interact with people in an office setting. I’m naturally an introvert and meeting so many people whose names I can’t yet remember is SO HARD.

I understand more Spanish than I thought I would, but not as much as I wish I could. I know it will come with time and effort. The harder thing is opening my mouth and trying to speak myself. I generally feel tongue-tied in social settings in English. Spanish is even more awkward.

There have been some very kind people here who have helped me feel more brave and encouraged. I’d say the thing that I’ve learned more than anything else this week is how valuable it is to be an encourager of others. There have been other missionaries here who have helped me feel more confident about finding my way around the building and our part of the city. There have been people who work in support roles here in the office who have helped encourage me in the language. All of them have been part of many prayers of gratitude on my part.

Out getting a little exercise in the park. I love that there’s a little library by el café pequeñito del parque. It’s such a tiny little café, but very popular.

There’s a wonderful park across from the Santo Domingo Temple. It’s a lovely place to take a walk now and then to get the cobwebs out of my brain. Sometimes it’s also nice to go out and walk around the temple grounds. It helps me ground myself and remember Who sent us here and buoy up my determination to keep going.

The temple grounds are so beautiful to walk around in. Just make sure you don’t try to do it when the sprinklers are on!

I know I’m making it sound like it’s only hard, but truly I have a lot of hope moving forward to do this work. Mr Hot Stuff has been a big help to teach and encourage me in all the office processes that I’m so unfamiliar with. I do love learning and feeling productive, so hopefully that will help as we go along.

As a writer, I’m so used to just going into my office and hanging up my sign that says, “Leave me alone, I’m writing.” I’ve never really had to interact or collaborate with other people in a business setting, so this experience is stretching me. I find myself trying to think of ways to communicate my appreciation and care that rely less on words and more on actions. I know that with the Holy Ghost I will be able to learn what is important and needed.

“If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”

1 Corinthians 12:17–25
These little lizards are so important here in controlling the insect population. We actually found a tiny gecko in our kitchen sink. It was so small it was translucent. Mr Hot Stuff caught it and released it out the window. If the tiny lizards can make a good difference here, so can I.

I know that I’ve been called both for who I am and what I can do, as well as for what I will learn to become and to do, and Jesus Christ will help me.

If you are looking for an experience that will uplift and inspire you this weekend, I invite you to watch a session of the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Here’s a link so you can do that: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/?lang=eng

Have a great General Conference weekend!


  1. Loved this. I love your engaging, real and humous voice. Please remember to give a hug to Marlena Mercado for me, if and when you finally meet her. I come away from this wanting to be an encourager of others, and also feeling grateful because I have felt you encouraging me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it. It’s astonishingly low odds that I will ever meet any of the young missionaries here in the DR, or throughout the Caribbean, since my mission has us inside an office most of the time. But maybe I’ll bump into a few when we go shopping or to church. It’s actually been one of the hard things for me to adjust to – my expectation of what a mission should be, vs my reality – being in an office all the time.
      I’m glad you have felt encouraged by me, and that it’s helping you to be encouraging to others. 💕


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