Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Hello Hello from Nicaragua!!!!
How is everything going in everyone's life? Here has been pretty normal...bugs still eat me, and we walk a lot! But it has been a little cooler with lots and lots of rain. Last night we walked in POURING rain. It is incredible how much it rains. And it will just come, and go instantly!! It makes it hard to teach a lesson sometimes when you can't hear what they are saying over the rain, but it makes for fun experiences!!
We had two batisms in our district this week!! We helped an 8 year old get baptized who is the son of a less active family, and the other sisters had a young woman get baptized! It was fun and a good spiritual experience!! My companion has been really stressed out about not having baptisms so I hope this helps to lift her spirits! And we have found some new people to teach as well!
We had a zone meeting on Friday and they challeenged us to read the book of mormon in one month (in spanish, because there are less pages in english). So that is 18 pages every day!! It will be hard because I read so much slower in spanish and won't understand it all but I will do it!! I really have learned to love the Book of Mormon so much more here on my mission. I learn so much from it and feel the spirit. Every night I pray to ask if what I am teaching is true, and if the book of mormon is ture. I really feel the lord testifying to me that it si true!!
The spanish is SO hard sometimes when I really want to say something to a person but don't have the words. And I sometimes do not see the progress I have made. But 2 people this week told me that my spanish is doing well and that they can see that I am doing my best. That was an anwer to my prayers for sure!!!
One thing that was REALLY sad this week was there is a woman in our ward that is really incredible. 
Very strong and very happy through everything!! But her husband is not a member and drinks very heavily. Well apparently they don't have money to eat anything, and she is really struggling. But we really can'¡t do anythin to help her. I wish I had a lot of money to just be able to help these people who struggle so much!! I think being a missionary is hard, but some people have incredible struggles in this life that I can't even imagine. I know the gospel helps people and am glad to bring that peace and joy to them.
Also yesterday we heard that a family is moving out of our branch. The son has been an incredible strenght for us. He joined the church 6 years ago and whenever we need his help he comes and works with us. He has a great love for the work! He can serve in 2 years and I KNOW he will be an incredible missionary. He does not talk very much but has an inormous testimony and I know will change lives!!! We will miss him for sure!!

I don't know hardly any stories from you guys from your missions!! But I would LOVE to hear some if you remember them!! Mom, I don't know if you trained, how many times, about your investigators or converts? Same with you Zack and Hailey! If you have the time I would love to hear your stories! Maybe send a dear elder? I don't know, it would just be really cool to hear your experiences!!!
That is all for this week!!! Glad you are all doing well!!!
Make good choices and remember your testimonies!! I love you all tons and tons!!!
Love, your Nicaraguan Missionary!!
p.s. Thank you Aunt TAsha for the package!! I absolutely loved it!!!!
And I will send picures next week of the baptism it doesn't want to work today!!! 

22 de Julio 2013

Hello Hello!!!
The biggest thing this week was that friday was the independence day for Nicaragua! Which meant that EVERYBODY left to Managua to party and celebrate. and I mean everybody. There was hardly anybody in the street to contact and no one out to teach. This partying lasted until Sunday. It also meant that there were a lot of drunk people and fireworks at 4 in the morning :)  But it made me really glad that the U.S. helped them, and not was an enemy for the peopel or else I would have felt pretty embaraced. But it was a pretty sad day because I lot of people think about all the people who died and the sad things that happened. But it really made me grateful for the safety we have had in the U.S. for all of my life. I hope it stays that way for a long time :)

We also had intrevistas (interviews) with the president this week! It went well. He didn't have much to say to me, more to my companion but I really felt love and the spirit when I was with him. I felt refeuled to go on. His wife got after the Latinos for not learning enough english. I think she wants them to understand how hard it is to learn a new language. My companion thinks she looks like you, mom. What do you think:) But I know I will be able to learn a lot from them!!! And they did say they were impressed by how fast I am learning spanish, so maybe I am doing better than I think :)
We get a lot of Nortes here because of San Juan del Sur . For the past few sundays there was a norte with a girl from San Juan del Sur. After talking to them we found out he is from Sandy and was baptized but stopped coming to church when his parents divorced afterwards and hasen't really looked back. But one sunday he decided to come back! He comes every sunday and has been reading a chapter everyday!! I think he wants to come back to the church! He has demonstrated it! She is catholic so has a harder time, but teach them together. She feels the spirit in church!! We just hope that they can get married soon so that we can baptize her! They are very positive.
This week I have been reading about Alma the younger and his conversion up until Ammon has that talk with the king .I have loved these chapters because they have taught me about mission work and what I can do to feel the spirit more and teach better. The prophets in the BOM are so inspiring and I LOVE reading the stories and learning more from them!! It really is a powerful book.
For some reason I have been really avoiding marking my scriptures....so this week is a goal for me to start doing it....promise. You can all hold me to it!!
And also, we are planning a huge activity for the chidren and youth in Rivas and was wondering if anyone had ideas of good games to play with these age groups?
And other advice. My companion gets incredibly bad headaches and pain in her spine...does anybody know what she can do to help it? She is really good at going forward and teachig regardless, but I wish I could help her!! Any ideas?

I love you all so much!!! Thank you for your great examples and love!!!
Love, your Nicaraguan Missionary!!!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Latest and Greatest

Hola Hola!!!! Another week has gone by!! I can't believe it!!
I have officially been here for one transfer!!!! And Rivas is the same. No one is different! Our district leader is a little sad, he wants more elders here but what can he do about it!! I really like it here right now, so I am okay with no one changing!! Hopefully we can rock this next transfer and really help people!!! But the other hermanas here in Rivas with us slept over Monday night to wait for who would change together. We sat outside our tiny apartment and looked at the stars and marveled at the love the Lord has for us and talked about the mission a little bit. It was so good to be there with them. I felt so extremely happy that night I couldn't ask the Lord for anything in my prayers, only say thank you for all that I have. Thank you for this opportunity (no matter how hard it is) to change, grow, and help others. I need to remember that moment when times get hard :)

This week has been some of the best lessons with my companera!!! We have really felt the spirit. For example with Rosa we went planning to teach teh Law of Chastity but we asked how she felt about Baptism and she said she was not ready- she felt like she needed to know more. I told her that we got baptized when we were 8 and did not know everything, nor do we know everything now!! It is all a process of learning and growing! But she did tell us that she has problems with the law of chastity....so we have to work with her on that!! But I think that with her testimony she will get baptized! Maybe not by us, but by others! It will not be an easy or fun process of repenting, but so worth it! I really hope we can help her!!
We had a lot of good lessons with people. It is so good to feel the spirit and feel it guide us on what to teach the people. BEcause it is when we teach by that spirit that we can truly help people. Like Hailey told me they won't remember what we teach necessarily but rather how they feel. So I pray everyday to be able to teach like that.
One thing I learned this week (yesterday) is I need to have more patience with myself. I really want to be perfect right now and get after myself for not knowing everything. I really want to skip this period of learning and just get to the part where I know what to do :) So I feel bad for not knowing spanish very well, not knowing what to do, not knowing what to teach, not nowing ANY scriptures to share, etc. Am I a good missionary and a good companion? Am I teaching with the spirit or not? Things like that. But i need to be patient and realize that everyone goes through this period. That no one starts out a perfect missionary. I need to just tell Satan to stop it!!! I just need to work really hard on teaching with that spirit and pray everytime I feel insecure. Because I really feel the Lord strengthen me when I plead with him throughout the day.And people do say that my spanish is progressing well, so I just need to trust them :)
The people here in Nicaragua are a little crazy but great! It has really been raining here a lot and the people who have dirt floors really suffer. It makes me wish that I could help them! They are such hard workers and a happy people. Happy with what they have. When we take a paponi (a bike taxi) some will tell us they only have one day off a month....imagine!! And they spend all day everyday biking people around Rivas!!!
There was a couple at church last week from the U.S. And apparently they come every 6 months or so. And she told us that every time she brings about 5 suticases full of things that she thinks the ward here needs!! She said one time they brought enought money to help 6 families go to the temple.....WOW!!!! They came to the ward about 6 or 7 years ago and saw how much teh ward needed and started helping out!!! Exactly what I want to continue doing when I am done with my mission!! Such good kind people. Examples of Christ!!
Here also, everyone believes in God. Tons and tons are catholic but there is also a different church on every corner (you know how is Utah there is a different LDS chapel every corner, well that is how many different churches there are here). There are also many many many inactives. There are about 1,000 members here in Rivas but 90 percent are innactive. Part of our job is to help those people remember what they have chosen to forget!!! And help others to realize the truth of this Gospel!!
This work is hard....but so worth it!!!
Thank you for all of your love, support, and prayers!! I really feel it!!!
Keep saying your prayers, reading your scriptures (the two most important things!!) and having FHE!!!!!
I love you all to pieces!!! Keep doing great things!!!
Love your Nicaraguan Hermana!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Curse Technology!

We had a lot of technical problems emailing her this week, but thankfully we got the big one! Enjoy!!

Ayayay!! Another week has gone!!! I have now been here for one cambio (transfer)!!!! Tomorrow they call to tell us who changes and who stays. The liklihood of me changing is small because I am in training but who knows!! An Hermana in our area is nervous that she will be called and REALLY does not want to leave. But she feels like she will. She has been so nice to me and so helpful that I kind of don't want her to leave either, but the Lord knows who is needed here!!
But we met the new president on Tuesday!! He is pretty wonderful. Everyone was really sad and nervous to get a new president, but I think their fears are calmed. He and his wife are those people who love you immediately and have no walls (which president and sister monestel kind of had). I think they will be like my parents by the end!! He served in Spain, went to BYU, and has been extremely successful. He manufactured the plastic that wraps meat in the stores. His company was all over the world and he has been probably in every country. He is very very funny and had us all rolling with laughter. His wife does not know any spanish but will get there! I am excited to get to know them better!!!
For training I had to watch these videos on Family History work (which I guess we don't do here because people are freaked out by the dead (but thank you for sending the names!!!)). But guess who is the main missionary in them...John C. Hamilton!!! It was fun to see his face!! Let him know he is famous :) But I am sad that we don't work wth family history because I think it is a great way to get people interested in the church, and is such a great work!!! I will just have to make up for it when I get back!
One big thing here is stereos. No matter how poor people are they seem to have really nice stereo systems...and they love to blast their music. Our neighber likes to listen to his music full blast sometimes at 5:30 or 6. But I get to listen to a lot of Backstreet Boys, Nsync, and Britney Spears!! Making up for the time I didn´t liste to them when I was younger :)

Another thing about here in Nicaragua is they love love love oil. They cook everything in oil. They don't cook their rice in water, but oil. I will have to take a test when I get back to see how my collesteral is :) But it is alright for me right now!! Maybe later on my body will protest, but it is okay right now.
Okay. Now for our investigators!!! One that we started teaching when I first got here (Rosa) had been really not feeling ready for baptism. She was coming to church every week with her daughter, noche de mamamienteo (every wednesday is an activity for the ward to learn and have a spiritual thought, sometimes more, just depends), and accepting our lessons. But she felt like she had not gotten her answer to whether or not this chruch is true! She said she kind of prayed and had a strange dream but did not know if that was her answer. The other day we had watched The Testimants and Hna Cancinos was talking to her son and I took the time to figure out her fears about baptism. She said she felt like her answer should be something more. Something like a voice, or see something, or dream something. So I explained that what she was feeling at that moment with us was her answer. To pray again, and taht we would pray for her. And also that if she really did not feel ready for baptism, we would change the date. She came to church on sunday and told us that she had recognized her answer!!!!!!!!!!!! We hope that she will be ready for baptism this week that next week!!!! iT was one of the first times I felt like I was able to really help someone and felt joy in helping her!!! It is hard when I can't contribute too much to the lessons. But I learn more daily and it gets better.
A lot of our other investigators are hard. We can't tell if they want to progress or are done learning about the church!! So we hope to find some better people and families. But Saturday night we did find one family. The daughter had lived in the states for 6 years, but was back here. As we taught them she talked about how she had prayed many times before about which church is true. She seemed so prepared for our lesson! She read the book of mormon that night but did not want to come to church the next day (she said another sunday). So I really hope she decides to come with us!!!
I think that is all for this week!!! I am grateful for you all and for all that you do for me!!!! I love you all tons and tons!!! Te quiero!!!!
Love, your Nicaraguan Missionary!!!!!!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

And thus begins the third month!

Inline image 1

Inline image 1

Inline image 1
In front of her apartment!

Okay!! So this week has been kind of everywhere! On monday we had a crazy lesson with an investigator. After the lesson we had such a strange feeling while walking to a member's house so I said we should pray and we ran to the house. Don't know what happened but I was a little spooked. I am grateful for the spirit and for the guidance and protection that it gives me! I don't realize how strong the spirit is with me until it isn't there anymore and I feel pretty empty. What a great gift we have!! So make sure to do things to have the spirit!! :)

Then on Tuesday we were on a bus for 6 hours....yes 6. we woke up at 3:30 to get to Managua on time for the conference. It was really good. The whole Monestel family spoke. He was ready to leave, but his wife no. She has loved her time with the missionaries and is sad to leave. I didn't know that well, but know that they are an incredible family. A family who loves each other and loves the Lord!! So now we have a enw president!!! We meet him on Wednesday so we travel again!! It will be about 2 hour bus ride to Jinnotepe where we will meet the family with our zone!! Some missionaries are pretty nervous and don't want to meet him, but I think he will be good! The Lord has called him and we need his help!! New rules and goals, but it will be good!! I think it is like when we get a new president of the church. Different but good!!

Oh, and the changes the apostles talked about for the leadership meeting....don't go into affect here :) Not in a place where half the people don't have phones or computers!!!

This week I have been grateful for my leaders. They have been able to help me figure out how to be a good missionary, how to learn spanish better, and more. I feel like the Lord always puts people in my path that help me with all of the troubles that I have. I am so grateful for that!!! 

Another thing I have learned is about the gift of tongues:) I used to think it was this rapid thing. That after a month or two I would speak spanish pretty well!! But it is something that you really have to desire, work hard at, and struggle with. The Lord will help, yes, but not without work. And it is this way with all of the gifts that we want to develop in our lives. It is like that chapter in the Book of Mormon that talks about faith is like a seed. Jsut substitute faith for the characteristic!!! IT is hard, but I know the Lord will help me do it!! 

It was pretty sad because a lot of our investigators have fallen through. They don't want to commit, do the things, and are tired of listening. So we really need to work on teaching slower, shorter lessons and building their testimonies! I think that they want to learn, but get a little tired. We talked as a zone how the most important thing for them to do is to come to church on sunday. Because that is where they take the sacrament and feel the spirit!! So we will see what we can do with that!

It was also hard this week because my companion has been so sick. She got a bad cold and then the past few days has been throwing up. She is better today, but I hope I don't catch anything!! :) I seem to have one heck of an immune system though, so I hope it stays that way!

Some more things about the culture: beans rice and rice and rice:) We drink a lot of drinks out of bags (it is more environmentally safe because everyone just throws it on the ground). Here fasting they fast dinner and breakfast and eat lunch on sunday. ummm.... my nickname is Calocha (curly hair). Seriously....everyone calls me that. They all love my hair! (This is probably our favorite part of the whole thing :) )

Thank you for ALL of your love and support!!! I love you so much!!!!

Love, your Nicaraguan Hermana!!

Keep doing great things!!! And tell me about them :)