Monday, June 24, 2013

And the letter!

Hola!! Como esta?! Well I have almost been here for a month! Nope, actually I start my 5th week today so that is pretty crazy!!! Things get better as I learn more spanish and get the hang of things!

This past week we had copaciation (leadership) training. It is to follow up on our 12 week training. For those of you who don't know because they cut down on our time in the MTC we train for 12 weeks with our first trainer. And every week they have things for us to do like start reporting the numbers daily to the district leader, start taking turns in finding situations, etc. We watch a lot of The District and more. But we did the meeting early because President Monestel leaves this week and President Russel starts! We actually write President Russel instead of President Monestel today. It will be interesting to see what changes! But the capacitation was so helpful! It is hard because there is always something we can be doing better and we can always do more so it is hard to feel like a good missionary but they teach us so much! One thing I learned is to use our investigar registro (don't know what it is called in English but it helps us keep track of what we have taught and how they are progressing). It is good for the investigators to see because then they know what they need to learn and feel ready for Baptism. 

We also had interzone cambio (that word just means change or divisions!). I was paired with a girl who leaves in 2 weeks. I had really been hoping to be paired with her and I was! I was able to learn SO much from her. She helped me figure out what I can do to learn spanish better, and how to teach better. Hermana Lorenzo is her name. I had to stay in my area probably to give me experience and help me learn. I really had no idea where I was going, but we had a member come with us. This boy is 18 and is already a missionary. He was great! And it ended up being a great day!

One crazy thing that happened with her was we were teaching at night at what is called a pulperia (which are everywhere and is where people kind of sell things out of their house like fruit, toothpaste, gum, it depends on the pulperia). But we were teaching the owners outside and this drunk man comes up and has a butcher knife in his  hand and he starts swinging it at his arm like he is going to cut his arm off. I was sure I was going to be scarred for life but luckily he didn't do anything and he just walked away. I have seen him later and he has both of his arms so all is okay with him. But whoo! But I was able to learn a lot from her and I am glad I got to do divisions with her!

Before I go on I will tell you how we is always by bus when it is not withing the city. And it may be like a school bus or like a poligamobile. And you know, a polygamobile fits probably 15 people, well they squeeze probably 30. People EVERYWHERE. And we travel like that for it depends, 1 or 2 sometimes 3 hours. Super fun! They pack people onto the big ones as well!! But this week for the first time I contacted the bus!!! I was with another companionship, it was after capacitaciones. My companion and another demonstrated and Hermana Escobar and I followed! It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! I find I don't really have a fear of talking to people, it is just actually talking :)

So we don´t have a ward we have a branch. There used to be 2 branches in Rivas but they were so small they combined them. It is in a nice building! Our ward is really really good at working with the missionaries. Some have to work a lot but we have a lot of youth willing to work with us. Our ward mission leader really helps us and is a little crazy but is awesome! Gets things done!

We were hoping to have 3 baptisms this week but have had to postpones some. Either because they didn't attend church or because they really need to time to build their testimony. We made it a goal as a zone to teach more slowly and make it real conversion. So that they don't leave right after being baptized. We have one really good family that we are teaching. There are a lot of kids and are the family with nothing. But the kids seem really interested and excited which is cool to see!! Whe then taught a woman who we walked 15 kilometers to teach and  is less active and her children. I could see in the eyes of some of the children that they had such a hard life. Such responisibility and hardship at such a young age. I hate seeing that and it is then that I really want to work hard. To help make them happy and show that there is hope and joy in this life. That it is not all about the bad. I hope we can bring joy. Another teenager we taught and she broke down in front of us. Her parents are having problems and she is hurting because of it. We all felt the spirit so strongly (and I feel it now as I write to you). We helped her know that her heavenly loves her and will listen to all of her problems. 

I want you to know that I know this chruch is true!! They tell us all the time that it doesn´t matter if we can´t speak spanish because it is the spirit and love that will teach them. President Monestel also told us that going home is not an option :) finish this journey to the end. But I tell my investigators that I know this church is true because I feel the spirit when I teach them. I know that the Book of mormon (libro de mormon) is the work of God and that it testifies that Jesus is the Christ. I have learned to rely on the Lord so much here. There are times when I pray every 10 minutes to help me feel love for the work, be strong, and feel his love for me. I know he will help us with everything! No matter how small!!! 

I love you all so much! Thank you for all of your love and support! Keep doing great things! So glad you are doing your own missionary work :) The church is true! 

Love, your Nicaraguan Missionary 


We are so thrilled to get these. :) Guess our computer has a new wallpaper!

Monday, June 17, 2013

2 Months Down!

Hello!!!! Today I have been in the mission for 2 months!! I have almost been here in Nicaragua for a month!! It has flown by!! I still wonder at times if I can do 16 more months but it is getting a lot better.
When we walk to people's houses we don't knock or ring a door bell but yell BUENAS!! And people come to talk. One interesting thing I find is that everyone will listen to us, say they like it, say they will read, say they will be baptized but then at the very end say "But you see, I am catholic" Or just not come to church. So that is our goal this week as a zone, to get the people we teach to come to church!
We have about 5 families with dates for baptism but only about 3 people have a high possibility to be baptzed (because they came to chruch). One is a mom Rosita and her dauther Jenifer. They have listened to everything, come to church twice! WE can't get her husband to come yet because he has problems with his knee. But we have high hopes for next week!!! And the other is a man Daniel Alverez. He came to church yesterday and said that he really enjoyed it and felt really good. His wife is catholic but we still hope that she will come to church once and maybe it will change her mind!
The weirdest thing that happened this week was that we took away a book of mormon that we gave a man and his wife. We taught them twice but it was really just more like fighting on why we had the authority to baptize. My companion took it away because she said that he wouldn-t read it, and maybe not do good things with it, and somebody else could use it. I would never have thouht to do it, and was pretty confused but just went with itª
Divisiones went well. I was able to learn a lot from the leadersª They work hard and really do their job. It is fun to go to new areas and see new people. But we have divisions again next week and I have to stay. Probably to help me learn how to do things on my own. I am nervous because I really don-t know my way around yet and have so much to learn and feel like there is a lot that I need to do. But it will be a really good learning experience I am sureªªª
Yesterday we taught this family in such poor experiences. I can-t tell if thy know that they are poor, they didn-t seem too unhappy. But they really had nothing. It makes me feel bad for every complaining about anything in my lifeªªª
My goal this week is to really put myself into the workªª I do notice that when I forget myself that is when I am happiest and the time goes by. When I think about home I try to say, noª At home it would still be hardª Maybe I wouldn-t want to go to work, or would not be getting a long with Clair:) etc. But so I am working and praying about puting my heart into the work and loving the people. Feeling the Love the Lord has for me, and showing that love for the peopl we teach. Because Yesterday I realized that my mission is a blessing. Hard, yes, but most of all a blessing for me and for the people I teachªª
I have so many people around me for good examples and help me outª I know they are people sent from the Lord to help me out. Sometimes I feel like a baby for struggling, but am glad to have them to help me outªªª
Thank you for all tht you doªªª I love you allªªª Keep doing great things and reading your scriptures and praying! I pray for you all all the time!
p.p. sorry for the excamation pointª It isnt working so well :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Getting the Hang of Things

Hola!! Segunda semana aqui en Nicaragua!!!!

It rains daily here. Usually at night which is good for us, but makes it hard to do
laundrey :) I learned how to do that this week! It is the kind of work like doing dishes or
mowing the lawn, where you can think about things. THe only problem is that it takes
time. My companion is so fast at it from doing it these past 4 months. I really think we
could find someone in the ward to do it, but it is a good skill to learn! My hands will be
so strong when I get back :) There are sinks to be able to do it. on the right it is full of water
and on the left is a sink type thing that has ridges on it. You soak whites and things that won't
blead in soap overnight. Then you just scrub away. I am not very good at it yet! My companion
helped me do half of mine last week! I have more to do. But içwhen you send a bigger package
I do need a bigger laundrey bag. You hold the piece of clothing with one hand and move the
clothing back and forth with the other. It hurt my and so they just need to get tougher :) I think
clothes get whiter and cleaner when washing them by hand. it is just harder on the clothes!

I do know a Frodsham! She was in my district in the CCM! When I have seen her she
has been having a hard time like all of us, but I saw her this week and she was doing
better. I think it is just so muh to take in all at once!!! But we do see some interesting
stuff here! I won't ever cry over a college apartment again that is for sure!! We had
divisions on Friday with another Zone so I went to a different area. IT was extremely
dirty but beautiful. Very cool there compared to Rivas :) But we taught this old old
couple who had cardboard for walls and a dirt floor!

But I learned a lot from my division! Like to ask people if they need help, if there are
things that we can do for them, etc. And then tomorrow I have divisions with the sister
leaders. That will be interesting! I know I will learn a lot again! I am going to a city called
Mesiah and my companion is staying here (because she knows the area).

One thing about Nicaragua here is how they do directions. I don't know if I will ever
learn because it is so hard for me! They don't have any street names or signs.
They have a point of reference (a park, a house, cemeter, etc.) And go from there.
Sometimes the point of reference isn't even a building that is there anymore, but for
example used to be a gas station. So confusing for me!

Sundays are pretty different here. We have what is called a mormon batallion before
church. We walk around and find all of the people that we invited to church and ask
them to come with us. It is hard because it is when the people who said they would
come really don't want to. And they say never come to church without an investigator,
recent convert, less active, etc. But what can you do? We walked around and then
finally the last house we went to the mom and daughter said they would come with us!
ANd they really enjoyed church. We were half an hour late but that was okay. I have
high hopes for them!!!

Then later yesterday we had a huge activity with the future misisonaries of the ward. We
set it up like a cambio (which is a change or when we switch companionships). We had
all the people in the ward who had served missions and paired them with future. Then
we had them go out tracting or teach lessons with less actives. I was paired with a girl
who got back from her mission the day I arrived. She is from here, and served here. So
she knew her way around!! We walked a lot and taught a lot of people!!! It was good to
work with her!

One goal we have here is to baptize 60 families a month. We haven't reached it yet but
we always have hope!!

WEll!! That is all for today!!!

Please tell Kelli DRiggs sorry she hasn't gotten a letter yet but that one is on the way!

Ilove you all soo much!! Thank you for everything!!!!

Love, Your Nicaraguan Missionary!

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Sariah and all her CCM friends. :)
My first week here in Nicaragua!!! It is nothing like I have ever seen or experienced before. The heat is crazy - I am never dry. But I try not to complain at all because I know it won't change anything. It is very poor and very dirty but the people are very nice. They will listen to you, the only problem is getting them to do it.

Wow is this mission thing hard. It is defenitely not for the faint of heart :) The president told us to try really hard not to get frustrated and to be patient. People make themselves sick over the stress I guess. One sister in my area told me to just roll with things and don't worry about things too much, to know that it will work out. This sister (Hna Hansen) has been my saving grace. She has answered a lot of questions and helped me a lot. I love my companion. We are able to communicate pretty well, actually! She speaks so slowly for me and will help me understand. She is a very loving person. Everyone she sees she acts like they are her best friend which is a good thing for me to learn!

The weirdest thing is probably not putting toilet paper in the toilet...but in a basket. But I am getting used to it. And then there are bugs everywhere. They are my little friends while I study and sleep :) The food isn't bad! I am really glad that I am ot a picky eater. We eat beans and rice daily. We have a cita who we pay to make us lunch. Others have citas to do dinner and their laundrey but we just have one! There are lots and lots of wild dogs (they make me a little nervous) and horse and buggies :) Right now it is the rainy season and it pours daily. you really have to carry around an unbrella or else you get soaked (you kind of get soaked anyways).

An interesting thing is that the Elders do not baptize their investigators (I think they can for the first or second one) but they want the members to do it so that they can have a strong connection with a member. A lot of members can't get their patrarchal blessing which I think so sad. And if they can, they can't get a copy. I can't imagine!
Another strange thing is that people will live is terribly poor circumstances and have nothing but have a smart phone or a really nice car or motorcycle. It boggles my mind! They will have a dirt floor but a smart phone.... porque?! It is crazy the circumstances people live in! I never would have thought. But people look really nice here. Not very many skinny peole because of all the carbs, but they look really nice :) Never thought I would see Aeropostale or Hollister here :) I really do love the people. You greet all the girls and women with a kiss on the cheek. I like that a lot. It is sweaty but very friendly!
Gotto go!!! Love you all!!! Until next week!