"Firsts in the Dominican Republic"
Elder Darrel L Hammon
Here are a few of the firsts in the Dominican Republic:
- First time driving—This has been an experience.
- First time going to the Santo Domingo Temple—What an experience this was! We were the witness couple. Mom went through in English, and I went through in Spanish. Whew! Lots to learn.
- First time walking the streets—Joanne and I went down to the ocean front and walked on Saturday morning. Gorgeous views.
- First time witnessing a DR baptism—We went to a baptism out in the campo on Saturday. We were humbled by the surroundings but enlightened by the spirit of these pioneering people.
- First time going to a DR branch—President Glazier, the MTC (CCM) President here, gave a pioneer presentation to a branch way out in the campo. Again, these are humble people with huge, huge hearts. They were very welcoming to us. Just an incredible experience.
- First time eating at a McDonald’s—It cost us about $18.00 for a Big Mac/Chicken Sandwich combos and one apple pie. I guess we had a fruit juice as well.
- First time eating at a true DR restaurant—The food was good. We ate at a second on Saturday out by a beach. It was called El Mesón. Delicious and plentiful.
- First time teaching a lesson in Spanish—Yes, I have taught a lesson already. President Glazier from the MTC asked me to teach the Priesthood lesson in Spanish.
- First time visiting with Elder Viñas, the Area President—He is such a nice man. His wife is wonderful.
- First time visiting with Presidente Hernandez and his wife—He is the Mission President of the Santo Domingo East Mission. We have been assigned to his mission.
- First time collecting water in a blue jug—Yes, we have to go for our water in big 5-gallon jugs. Fortunately, the water store is about two blocks away and costs about 20 pesos (about 50 cents) to fill it. Actually, it is a very cool process. You place your blue jug on a conveyor belt. It goes to a scalding/washing center. Then, it moves to a filling station. After it is full, it goes to another station where the attendant places a cap on the bottle and sends it through to be sealed.
- First time drinking a mango smoothie—Joanne has got this down: mangos, pineapple, and orange juice mixed together. It is absolutely delicious.
- First time using a water purifying on our faucet—Yes, we have to filter every penny’s worth of water.
- First time attending FHE with senior couples—They have this every Monday night. We will be going and becoming acquainted with the couples. They are all very, very sharp and have led incredible lives. We talking to you about some of them later.
- First time going to a DR Bank—The people there were very nice and accommodated our check-cashing needs.
- First time going to a DR grocery store—Actually, we have now gone to three or four. One is like a giant Costco (Price Mart). Another is like Walmart (La Serena). One is a Supermercado Nacional, much like any giant grocery store. We like the Jumbo. We went to one in Talca, Chile, too. Very nice and very clean.
We are sure there will many more firsts....