Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Mission, the Mission

Rivarivariva RIVAS!!!!! That is the cry of the buses as they go by. Calling out the name of wher they are going. We spent 6 hours on the bus today going to and from Managua. Woot!!! Fun Pday :) But I got my cedular (ID) and am officially a Nica!!! And a lot of the girls from my MTC district were there. It was SO good to see them all and catch up. And I also got to see one of my best friends from the mission who has helped me a lot. She leaves for home next week so I am sad about that, but so glad I got to know her!!

I CANNOT believe this month is almost over!!! We have changes (maybe) next week. It has gone by so fast!! I really can't feel if I will stay or go....we will just have to see!!! 

Ah, the mission, the mission. Sometimes you have really good weeks....other weeks everyone falls through!!! We had hoped to have 4 baptisms this month....and they all fell through. We won't have a single one. But oh well. Hopefully we are planting seeds!! There is a woman named Ruth who has been really great!! She has recognized her answer and really chosen to follow it! She knows that this is the way that will bring her happiness and joy and peace through her problems!

Right now starts the really raininy season. yesterday we walked in pouring rain to pick up our invistigators. But we had fun! A good teenage boy followed us all morning )he was the first one we picked up). I know he will get blessed for his efforts!!  Church attendance was very low, but it was good!! My companion taught a class on the talke My Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox. Such a good one!!!! 

Nothing too much to say!!! Working hard here in Rivas!! It is a test of our faith, but we are going to keep working hard!! We are working on being braver and not regretting any day that we have here. We don't want to go home feeling bad about a minute of our mission! 

I love the church!! I love the Lord!! I know he answers our prayers and is there waiting for us!!! And I have a testimony that Charity is SO importnant in this life!! To feel that love for everyone is crucial!!

Keep working hard!! Know that I am praying aobut you a lot!!! Don't forget to do those little things like FHE and prayers and reading your scriptures!!! 

Love, Your Nicaraguan Missionary!!!!!! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fear Conquered I cumplir 5 meses aque en la mision!!!! I can't believe it!!! It has gone by very fast, but at the same time it feels like I have been here in Nicaragua FOREVER!!! Our district leader (he has 11 months in the mission) said he can't even remember what his house looks like on the inside. I haven't gotten that far yet...

This week was pretty incredible. I really felt the Lord working through us and felt him answer our prayers and give us miracles!!! So much has happened this week!!

So first off: Not last week but the week before Hna. Perez told me she was going to have me be senior companion for a heart sank and pounded when she said that but I said I would do it. Then when the week came to a close I prayed that maybe she would forget...she didn't :) Monday she reminded me and told me what my responsibilites would be (start the lesson, lead in contacting, practically everything).Tuesday I must say was rough!! I have been so used to following and just sharing little bits and pieces of the lesson but letting my companion do most of the work. So this gave me the opportunity to see how much I really do know and be brave enough to do it!! And also to follow the spirit. I survived the day, though!!!!

Tuesday night we came home from a REALLY long day. We were VERY tired. We went to unlock the door...and it wouldn't open!! And we couldn't take the key out either. I just thought that we would have to sleep with the other Hermanas. We called the Senor to our house to come help us and he tried some things but resulted to breaking the door open (that was interesting!). But he ended up breaking the key in the lock....we were safe for the night. The only problem is we couldn't leave all the next day (because if we left we couldn't get back in!). And we were waiting for a locksmith to come and replace the lock and ended up spending all day in the apartment. at around 4 Hna Perez said she wanted to try and contact outside the house with the door open to work just a little (all the contacts were difficult) and then the wind blew and shut the door. So another 45 minutes locked outside our house. Lets just say it was an interesting day :)

Then Wednesday night we went out to eat at an El Salvador restaurant with the Hermanas. We were feeling a little down. We have been working and contacting like crazy but have been feeling like NOTHING has been paying off. Rivas is known as a pretty difficult area to find and baptize people, but we tried not to think about that. We made some goals to work on having more charity for the people here and to be more obedient. One Hermana said that we should work on putting ourselves in their shoes and how they feel. So we went home with these goals in mind!
Thursday was INCREDIBLE!!!! We went to an area named Apataco which is about a 40 45 minute walk away from our house. We went to teach other investigators but they were not there. We stopped by a contact named Rosa. I have never felt the spirit so strongly as I did with this woman. I felt like she had been prepared for us to come. It was very easy to talk to her and she opened right up to us, telling us her story. She talked about how her children are very religeous and have been trying to get her to back to church (any church). But she said that she did not feel right in any chruch. She had had the oportunity 3 times to be baptized, but couldn't go through with it because she wanted to know more aobut the church and about baptism beforehand, but no one would teach her. So we told her we would help her with that. She has SO much faith in our Heavenly Father and wants to do what is right. I could feel the love our heavenly father has for her. She couldn't commit to a date for baptism and didn't come to church on sunday...but I hope that she can remember how she felt with us and progress. We left her house and looked at each other saying ´'did you feel that?!!? That was an answer to our prayers!!!!'
    Then we went to her daughter who lives next door and had another experience. Just feeling like she was prepared and waiting for us. She also couldn't come to church because she teaches in her church, but I believe she can be very positive. So we left Apotaco feeling the Love of the Lord (we even saw many beautiful skies to remind us). We also had a reafirmation that the Lord guides our work and has people wating for us....even here in Rivas :)
      That night we stopped by to teach a reference from our District Leader. We had just started teaching them once before and had come to follow up. Only the daughter was there (she is 15). We taught lesson one and it went very well! She is very inteligent and accepted our invitation to be baptized!!! Then we asked if she had prayed since our last meeting, and she said she had received her answer that this is
        WHAT A DAY!!!!!!!!
Friday was a pretty normal day. We taught our favorite Investigators Sonia and Leonardo. Leonardo is so prepared we don't have to do too much with him but teach the lessons and really just chat with him! But he still feels like he needs to know more before baptism and wants to be baptized in December.....we are trying to help him with that!!!
  Sonia is pretty great too, full of faith and a desire to do what is right. When we taught Word of Wisdom she said 'oh! I didn't know coffee was bad, I won't ever drink it again!!' And she hasn't :) She if very special. Hopefully she will be able to be baptizedon Saturday!! She couldn't come to church yesterday (they need to come 3 times to be baptized and she has only come 2) but we may be able to get permission because she has been following through with all of her commitments!

This is a lot, I know, but I have one more person to tell about. Ruth. We were trying to contact a reference and contacted a house. It wasn't the contact but someone else. We talked with her and she was very accpeting. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted!!!! She said it was logical and that the Lord would answer our prayers. She came to church with us Yesterday :) I asked her in Gospel Principles ( a class for converts and investigators) how she felt. She said that she felt good and that that was her answer!!!!!!! Holy Cow!!! I couldn't believe it.

The Lord really has been working through us! Our work has been paying off!! I just hope I get to stay at least one more transfer to see some of these wonderful people get baptized!! The Lord really loves them all! 

This week was hard being senior companion....but I have learned a lot. Learned to overcome my fear and just do it! I still get nervous sometimes but Hna. Perez said yesterday it is when we have that fear that we really need to do it because Satan doesn't want us to work and contact these people. I am building my confidence! Spanish is still pretty rough :) My lessons are rough :) But I am getting better. Little by little. And Hna. Perez really has been incredible in helping me. I love her! I know we were meant to be companions!! 

So....this week has been good!!!! My testimony has been built!

I know that was tons of info, but hope it was good and made sense!!!!

I love you all so much! Glad you are doing well. It sounds like you are loving life!!!! Keep up the good work!!! 

Love, Hermana Colocha (Hermana) de el mundo de ormigas (ants) and gallo pinto (rice with beans) :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Paiz de Ants

Hola hola!! From the paiz de ants!!! That is my new nickname for Nicaragua:)
I hope all is going well with all of you!! Sounds like beth is doing well with being all alone...don't know about you, mom. Is there enough to do to keep you busy or do you come home to an empty house?
This week has been a lot better!!! I decided this week that i was going to really put my heart into the work, and just do my best everyday. The Lord really has helped me out. I felt last week and the begining of this week that things were just so hard and I didn't know exactly what the Lord wanted me to learn from it. But the Lord really does give miracles. But those miracles come after we have done everything that we possibly can. I had had a few hard days, and thenThursday was a GREAT day. My companion and I were working well together, taught great lessons, and found positive people. The Lord really is there.
Tuesday we went to a multizone activity that was REALLY godd. The topic was come, follow me. So there were talks and workshops on how to be one with our companion, with Chrsit, with our bishop and ward, and more. The spirit was very strong and we were all lifted up and feuled to go work hard again for the week. The President and his wife really are called of God and know how to strenghten this mission! We spent all day in Managua for the activity. It was fun to see some of the other missionaries serving here in this mission! Missions are great!! Everyone has the same goals (or at least we hope!) and we all build each opther up.
We have this really great investigator named Leonardo. I found him with my trainer one day. we were walking from an appointment and he was out working in his yard/hill. He called out to us and asked us a question about where in the Bible it talked about the BOM. Iu thought he wanted to fight with us. but we gave him a pamphlet of Lesson 1 and left. The next time we saw him he talked about how there was a need for the restoration (wow!!). So right now he is our favorite investigator. He has such a powerful testimony!! He knows that God lives and the spirit is very strong when he talks with us. The only problem is his health (he is pretty old and has lots of problems). Sunday we were sitting in church, and none of our investigators had shown up...then 20 minutes before sacrament ended he walked in!! That was another miracle!! He said he wants to know more about the chruch before baptism (he wants to wait until December....yikes!!!) We are trying to help him change his mind about taht oine :)
One of our investigators (justo cesar). The teenager who was one of my favorites does not know if he wants to be baptized....that is KILLING me!!! He has GREAT potential. I can see him as a leader in the church. But he won't be clear with us as to what is wrong. he says the church has too many rules and he can't have fun. So we think that he has broken the Law of Chastity and feels bad. We hope this week to help figure out what happened with him! his friend Lornel won't be able to be baptized right now because he has been drinking and smoking.....that makes me sad, too. I hope one day he can realize the church is true and how he felt with us!!
We are still contacting like maniachs here inBuena Vista! Trying to find those ready for the gospel. It is hard, but we are working on it!!!
But his week I have learned more about myself and strenghtened my relationship with my heavenly Father. Learned to rely on him, and feed off of his grace. Learned more about how the Atonement applies in my life. Because it really applies to every single facet of our lives. There is no part that it doesn't help with. i know he lives, and taht he died for us! There are some people who don't believe taht, and i am glad taht I do know it! So...follow christ!! Put him first in your life! EVerything will work out if you do. He always blesses us. Sometimes I have to look at the small thigns like the sky (which is beautiful here!) or plants or something to remind myself. But he is always there, never leaves us alone!!!
hope you are doing well!!! I love you ALL to pieces!!!!
Keep doing great things and making great choices!!!! you are the best!! And don't forget it!!
Love, your Nicaraguan Missionary!!!!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Learning Confidence

Hola hola!!! Another week has gone by!!! This week has been....hard. But I will tell you the good things that went down rather than the bad :) 

It was sad because our Zone leader last week said he didn't feel like he could do it anymore and asked for emergency transfers....It makes me sad to think of that!! He was a good leader!! But so now almost everyone in our zone is different. But we had Zone Conference on Friday and they really have a good vision for our zone. Good goals and plans on how we can be better. They really want us to be unified from our companionship up to the mission which I like a lot.

We found a young woman in our branch who in the past left with the missionaries daily. So she knows ALL the lessons, how to contact, and knows our whole area. Which is nice because neither of us knows our area well. She is a very upbeat girl and fun to work with! We are blessed to have her. 

On Saturday the Hermanas in Rivas had 2 baptisms and it was very spiritual. One of them almost didn't show up but did eventually. And the teenager who was being baptized started tearing up before because he felt the spirit so strongly. The only sad thing is that on Sunday the girl did not show up to church to receive the Holy Ghost...I don't know why!! That is the crucial part. We just hope that she comes next week so that she can complete her covenant with the Lord!!

I don't have too much to tell!! Nothing too interesting has been going on. Just a lot a lot of walking, and lots and lots of contacting and talking to people. I still am working on being more confident in my teaching. It is hard but I pray hourly for the Lord's help!! My companion is a hard worker and she really does not like feeling insecure or afraid. I know I will learn a lot from her!!! 

I know that the Lord does love me!! I forget at times, but when I pray I feel it stronger. I know he puts us in places and with people to learn a lot and change the bad. The mission is the hardest thing ever, but I know I am a different person and just hope I am becoming the missionary and person the Lord needs me to be!!

I pray for you a lot!!! Keep doing great things and making good choices! I love you tons and tons!!! Ustedes son Salvaje y pilas, y tuanies!!! (the words of Nicaragua).

Oh!! Mom, Ask uncle Chris about what districts he served in Nicaragua!! I would love to know where and if I ever serve in the same area!!!

Love, Your Nicaraguan Missionary!!! (hermana Calocha!!)