Hmm where to start. The language still sucks! I think the hardest part is that I don’t feel myself improving. I mostly sit quiet and smile. I want to say stuff and be goofy and fun but it is hard when I CAN’T SAY ANYTHING. I always share my testimony in lessons and just to give input every once and a while. I want to visit and interact with everyone but I just can’t. Like I said before my comp is GREAT! She is so patient and helpful. I still never know what is going on though which is hard. She also isn’t real big on visiting with people which is why I so wish I could. I mostly hug ppl a lot and smile at them. A hard thing about the language here is that everyone speaks really BAD Spanish. By that I mean they don’t pronounce their s´s, they slur their words really bad and talk super quiet. It makes it almost impossible to understand. Okay enough whining I want to tell you about the week!
First I am glad to hear that Youth Conference was AWESOME! I have no doubt you and dad put on the best youth conference. I am jealous I couldn’t go! Also, so cool Jenna made top 20! PLEASE record them ALL for me to watch when I get back. And I don’t know the other girl. Maybe if I saw her face I would recognize her. Thank you for your advice about the music. I have thought about that often. I hope that might help me. Also thanks for your words from Josh and Tels blogs. It helps to know others are experiencing similar things. I think about you, dad and the boys ALOT. I try to just think of how grateful I am to have such an incredible family. I love you guys so much and miss you!! I know things will get better as I continue to work.
The flies here are insane! I have never seen so many in all my life!! Seriously at any given moment I probably have about 10 on me. ALSO there are dogs EVERYWHERE!!! Eww they are so gross too. I just try and keep my distance. I will pray for rain for you guys!!!! Besides the flies though I really haven’t seen too many bugs. I have a few fleabites but that is it! I have seen some GIANT bugs but not in the house. Which makes me happy! I wish I could describe what I am seeing to you guys but it is simply impossible! Maybe someday we can return together and then you will know. Maybe not for a while though. I am not sure if you want to know hahah just joking..... kind of.
Today for pday we went to a waterfall in the Jungle! It was crazy!!!!! Oh and so Gorgeous. It was fun to spend time with the zone and get to know some of the other missionaries. I also experienced my first bus ride. Well that was INSANE! I am pretty sure there were about 100 too MANY on that bus. I am still not sure how I even got on, fit and then got off haha.
Okay so this week Irma and Jorge decided they wanted to be baptized!! YES! This family is amazing I tell you. Irma is pregnant right now and Jorge is a solid guy. They are so positive and happy. They are always at all the activities and are so friendly. I know they will be a family that could go to the temple. I love them a lot. Everyone here lives with FAMILY- brothers, sisters, aunts, and parents.... whomever. Jorge’s Mom lives with them and makes pastries for a living. Thursday before teaching a lesson we helped them roll the dough and she rewarded us with her DELICIOUS pastries. Seriously SO GOOD. All the desserts here are made with cinnamon, caramel, sugar and milk. They have lots of pastries, cakes and rice/milk desserts. They are great. It was fun to work with them. Speaking of desserts I have been thinking about the cupcake shop you talked about.... AHHH please keep it in business I must try it. Anyways.... Wednesday night we were returning to our house when 2 elders came running up to us. They said a girl had stopped them on the streets and said she wanted to be baptized! She wasn’t in their area though so they found us! This girls name is Edalyn. She is 17 years old and SO prepared. Her husband is a member and really wants her baptized. They lived in Costa Rica for 8 months before coming here and attended church the whole time. After teaching her once we knew she was going to be a golden investigator. Her baptismal date is this Saturday as well.
Okay so more about our area. I NEVER WANT TO LEAVE for a different area. It seriously has to be the best area in Nicaragua. The terrain is SO HARD but the weather is absolutely perfect. I really don’t even sweat most days. There is usually a nice breeze and it always rains. I don’t wear sunscreen right now and I am still as white as when I left. There were some days this week when I was even cold. Weird right?? The food is really delicious but doesn’t really agree with my stomach yet. I was pretty sick one night so we went home early. I think the biggest problem for me here is all the DRINKS! Everyone gives you a drink with the meal. It is usually some type of Fresco with mangos or guava. It tastes really great but is made with the tap water. I am not allowed to say no so I just have to drink it.... and a lot. I hope I will adjust soon. I am almost done with all my vitamins WOOT! MOM thank you so much for helping me back all the stuff I could ever need. We don’t have a Wal-Mart here but we do have a market. We can get almost anything there, HOWEVER, we hardly get any money for the month. Only enough for food really (if you are carefully). I am so glad I have everything I could need. I try to save my money also because we are responsible for paying for investigator’s weddings. I have been saying Irma and Jorge are married and I talked about Edalyn and her husband but they really aren’t legally married. So Saturday we will be having 2 weddings and 2 baptisms. Big day right?? Okay back to the area, like I said before we literally hike a mountain all day everyday. It is CRAZY! My legs are going to be as strong as an Olympic Gymnasts I tell you. It always astounds me when I see 70-year-old men hiking up these mountains everyday. HOW!!? I wanted to tell you about the Branch Presidents family for a little while too. President is probably the most loving and sweetest man. He cares so much for the members and will do anything for this work. His family is AMAZING. Like I said before his daughter Nohel cooks our lunch everyday, so we get to see them each day for about an hour. I love Nohel and her son Fernando. Fernando is 13 and is a spiritual GIANT I tell you! I love how involved the members are in missionary work. They all are so willing to help. Presidents 2 sons are constantly studying and preparing for their missions. Fernando knows all the lessons and talks about how much he loves the mission videos we show at lessons sometimes. I haven’t even seen all those yet. Fransisco is the Mission Ward leader here and he is AWESOME! He speaks great English so I love talking to him. He is a lot different than most the people here. He isn’t lazy one bit. He is so motivated and anxious to learn more. Nohel and Fernando are trying to learn English right now. They always ask me for help. It is so sweet to see how they just eat up anything I say. They always tell me how learning English will truly change their lives. It is very humbling to be here.
Last night we had dinner with Fransisco and his family. He said SISTER KENDALL if you ever need food give me a call. If we don’t have any I will tell you sorry BUT if we do I will personally bring some to you. How crazy is that! He doesn’t even know if they will have food the next day but is already offering to share if he does. These people are just incredible. That is why I want to speak with them so BAD!!!
Friday night we had an activity at the church for Fathers day and it was a riot!! Hermana Justavino doesn’t really like parties or those events but I tell you I LIVE FOR THOSE. It was awesome!! We started out with talks, lessons and food. Then the real party began...We had sisters performing salsa dances, the men all know how to play guitar so we had songs going, funny skits, the whole shebang! I felt like I was back in the states at a ward activity. I loved it!!!
So I have been studying Joseph Smith and the pioneers a lot. This mission is SO HARD FOR ME. I have moments when I want to come home. Studying the pioneer’s history gives me great strength. They sacrificed far more than me for this work. They suffered beyond comprehension because they loved the Lord! I am so grateful for their example. I love having my personal study time each morning. I wish we had more time to study. I want to know EVERYTHING about the Gospel. Sometimes I get ahead of myself trying to learn so much. It is then I have to remind myself personal study time and learning more about the Gospel isn’t just a mission thing. I get to do that my whole life! The missionary books you got for me for Christmas are AMAZING! I would highly recommend them all. They are simple yet powerful. I love studying them. I am also reading in 2 Nephi right now. Nephi gives me great strength. He endured so much and all with gratitude! Study time really is so important for each of us. Thank you for teaching me how to study this Gospel and why it is important. You and dad are AMAZING!!!! I really can feel my testimony growing each day during that time.
Some one once told me you have 1 and half years to serve a mission and all eternity to think about it. I want to make the best of this time and do all I can! It is difficult right now but I know the Lord will help me. This is not done in my strength but in the Lords! And the comforting thing to know is that the Lord can do anything.
Haha I got so many emails today and no time to read them. I am out of time for today BUT I LOVE YOU!!! SO MUCH!! I will hopefully have time to send pics next week. I LOVE YOU, DAD AND THE BOYS!! Also tell my friends and other family I love them too. Also TO all who emailed me this week THANK YOU! I can feel all your love and will hopefully be able to email next week!
LOVE YOU ALL!!