7.29.2013

I Am Staying in Matagalpa

Hello!

So the day before changes is super crazy. We have a big meeting in the morning as a Zone (like normal on Tuesdays). However, for this meeting we take pictures, play games, and sign each other’s "year books" lots of different things. Then we go work a little bit and that night we have another meeting. This meeting, for Matagalpa, is at a smoothie shop. MMMM! We all meet up, visit, take pictures again, drink SMOOTHIES and when the ZL´s get the call we all wait in anticipation to hear who is staying and who is leaving. And the results are.........I am staying in MATAGALPA with my COMP!! YES! I literally did a little yelp when they announced we weren’t changing. I feel like I am finally getting the hang of things here and I really wanted to stay. EVERY ONE says this is the best area in the entire mission. So I want to stay for a while! Changes this Wednesday were pretty crazy with the new Pres., tons of new missionaries and new areas. We left at 4 in the morning to get to Managua in time. The President is AWESOME and has a HUGE vision for this mission. His ultimate goal is 214 families in a month. He said we should be baptizing every week and we need two families baptized every change as well. WOOO. He is super big on the rules and Preach My Gospel. I like that a lot because I feel like it is something this mission is missing. I think utilizing the mission manual and PMG is going to help us in so many ways. So my District Leader/Papa in the mission, Elder Rasband, left for home this change and our Zone leader, Elder Mellars, was made an AP this change. I was super sad to see them both go. Elder Mellars is AWESOME! He will be such a good AP. This change we went from 2 AP´s to 5! There were also 4 new areas opened I think. There are also tons of new sisters! YAY it feels so good to not be the youngest anymore! Except for the fact that Spanish still sucks. At least I have an idea of what is going on now. So we have a new ZL and DL now. Our district leader is Elder Mich. He extended one change so he will be leaving us soon too. He is AWESOME though! The DL and his comp work really closely with my comp and me because we are in the same area. They are super fun to work with and I can already feel my Spanish getting better talking with him. I think it is because he teases me all the time in Spanish so I have to learn the words quickly to keep up with him.

So Thursday and Friday after changes were just Brutal! I think it was because I was counting on getting my letters at changes and that didn’t happen! That combined with the fact that I realized I had only survived one change and it felt like eternity were really weighing me down. Saturday I just decided I needed to change my attitude PRONTO! So I did and I started to feel better. We are working with a lot of less actives right now. I really like working with them and seeing the change the Gospel makes in their lives. It is so apparent in their faces. However, about everyone and their dog here have problems with the Word of Wisdom. UGH! That just is killing us right now. We are making huge efforts to help everybody with that issue right now. It is really hard to feel the Spirit when the person we are teaching is completely stoned. We have however, seen huge success with two of our less actives. Jesus is a member that hasn’t come for about 3 months. He really wanted NOTHING to do with us. Then we had a miracle. The Spirit pricked his heart and he decided to listen to us. Hector is helping us with him as well and he came to church this week! YES! He is also going to come to FHE in Hectors house tonight. I hope he can keep it up. Well the highlight of our week was Yudeimi´s baptism Saturday! It was SOO beautiful. The YW in this branch are so solid and they really helped out. The prepared a special musical number, talks and testimonies. There was such a sweet spirit during the service. That is a very special family I tell you. Yamili is going to be baptized this Saturday :)

Ohh man sleeping! Horrible! I don’t know what it is...my bed, stress, the food. No clue but I really cannot sleep. I just need to eat better STARTING NOW! We did get a pot yesterday so we can start cooking our own food now! YES!! We also got a fridge that works so we can store things in there now too. It was HILARIOUS! We had been begging for a Fridge and when Elder Mich (DL) got here he informed us that they had TWO. So they said they would bring one over for us Saturday night. Well.... we live on a freaking mountain! So about 9:30 we look out and see Elder Teban hiking up the mountain with a fridge strapped to his back. We WERE DYING laughing. It was super sweet though. Point is I am going to eat better...maybe.

Just found out our Zone Leader went to Managua today and he said he got all my letters for me! YES!!! I can’t wait to get those! Seriously I have been dying to read them. We also got a call today that my comp and I have a meeting tomorrow in Managua so we are going to leave tomorrow at about 4 in the morning to get there in time. I am pretty sure we will be hitch hiking... an adventure right? It takes about 3 hours to get to Managua.

I feel so strange. I don’t know how it is physically possible for me to feel all the emotions that run through my body everyday. I have moments when I honestly love the mission and love this culture. Then there are other moments...moments when I make the horrible, disgusting crying noise because I am sobbing uncontrollably. That moment usually happens in the morning during my cold shower with the cockroaches. I just need to learn how to remember those good moments ALWAYS! The moments we have with our investigators when I can feel the spirit, or moments when I finally understand someone, awkward moments that happen when I can't understand and we all just laugh nervously or fun times I have with our District. The culture here really is beautiful and fun! I need to remember that ugh!!! I hope I can remember that!! Hey I am 1/6 done with my mission though! I can do this. I need to make sure I am doing better at enjoying the mission and working with all my heart, might, mind and strength. I don’t want to come back and think "Oh my mission was pretty good". I don’t want to regret ANYTHING! I constantly have this quote in my mind " You have 18 months to serve a mission and then your whole life to think about it". I want to make the most of this time!

To all those I wasn’t able to respond to SORRY! The Internet this week SUCKS! So I don’t have much time to write back. I will try to write next week to you all! Know I love you and think of you all every day!!! I will always keep you in my prayers!

LOVES!

Savannah

7.22.2013

More Pictures of Life in Nicaragua



Our Room

The view from our room

Us after we got caught in a rainstorm

Making Pastries

Traditional Dance Costume

HILARIOUS masks we wore for an activity. 

Doing my laundry

Nackatamales with my comp. UGH MY LEAST FAVORITE!!

P-Day Activity at a Waterfall





Consumed by the Spirit


All right. This week has been hard for me. Changes are this Wednesday and we have 20 new Hermanas coming in. So it will be crazy with trainers, the new President and all the new ppl. I am trying to eat healthier. Today I was HORRIBLE. But last week I found nuts, granola, fruit and canned veggies. However, EVERYONE has been feeding us this week so I really haven’t been able to eat any of it.

I am not quite sure what made this week so tough but my speculation is as follows- first the Food. We have had breakfast with Hermano Hector EVERY DAY this week. It is seriously the sweetest thing ever BUT I don’t know how much longer I can do it. The food is always good but it is literally enough to feed a family of 12. My comp and I always leave feeling pregnant haha. We have had lots of meetings as well this week where they feed us ridiculous amounts of food as well. Sleep. It is nonexistent for me right now. I am not sure why but I literally wake up at about 4am every day and stare at the ceiling, rather the bottom of my comps bed in our bunk bed set up. So frustrating! I am considering buying some type of pill. The rain! It has rained all day, everyday this week! The rain makes it hard to work. We can’t get to some of our investigators because we would literally slide down the mountain. Hopefully next week I can find solutions for 1 or all of those situations.

Okay so Saturday was supposed to be our big day with Yamili and Yudamis baptisms. Sadly that didn’t happen. However, we had the most beautiful experience with them. So we went to Yamili and Yudamis house late one night when one of our other appointments fell through. We planned on just checking in and seeing how they were doing. When we got there we decided to share a little bit more about the restoration. The spirit was really beautiful and I knew they were feeling it. It wasn’t until the end of the lesson though that we were all pierced to the heart with the spirit. We finished the lesson and Yamili asked her mom to give the prayer. Her mom started to pray and we were all CONSUMED with the spirit. I was in tears and so were her girls by the end of the prayer. The next day we returned and Yudami agreed to be baptized as well as Yamali (she is still nervous though). They WILL be baptized this next Saturday. Such a BEAUTIFUL family.

We had another interesting experience this week. Do you remember Rafael and Heydaling (I was spelling her name wrong)? They had been so positive and receptive and then just as quickly as we found them they were GONE and wanted nothing to do with us. Well Tuesday we got a call from Heydaling saying she wanted to be baptized, her and Rafael wanted to change their lives around and they wanted to get married. If you remember Rafael is already a member just hasn’t been active for a while. We set a baptismal date for Heydaling for this Sunday. They will get married that day right before as well. It is all very exciting for us. However, we have a few reservations. We are really in need of the Spirits guidance with this. It is strange because they literally wanted nothing to do with us and now they are so eager and want to do everything VERY FAST. They found out we pay for the wedding and that is when their attitudes changed. We really hope that is not why they want to hear our message and be baptized. We hope the Lord pricked their hearts and they really want to get to know their Savior better. We are just going to pray and work hard with them. We are also probably going to start teaching her mom and her mom’s new spouse.

This week has been FULL of hilarious experiences with bugs slash animals. Okay first off, I have said it before and I may say it every week.... DOGS ARE NASTY!! My comp and I (okay mostly I) run around like a pyscho, making squeaky weird noises almost all day. The darn dogs do not leave us ALONE and they are EVERYWHERE! We have also had tons of cockroaches torturing us this week. I still refuse to kill those nasty things. Thank goodness for my COMP!! The best experience that happened this week was in our house. We were enjoying a nice quiet morning of personal study Thursday when SOME HIDEOUS FLYING CREATURE appeared in our room. I started screaming and waving my arms around. My comp was doing like wise. We ended up huddled up in the same chair; wrapped in each other’s arms screaming while this THING flew around our room. Finally it flew out and we could see that it was a BAT!! Yes a bat in our room. EWW! We see them all the time at night but in our ROOM.... are you kidding me. Haha o brother... Nicaragua you are testing me!

I think it is AMAZING you are working on making the home an MTC. It is so true that the Home is the best place to learn. To answer your question I would say first, study PMG as a family. It is all golden! There are some chapters that won't really be important until you are in the mission but it never hurts to read over it. I wish I had valued the scriptures more before the mission and worked harder to understand them. The stories really are so interesting and exciting. Most important though is the doctrine it is beautiful and for us TODAY! Last I would say study the life of Jesus Christ. He is the perfect example for us and studying his life will help you as well as your investigators. Oh okay one more thing. STUDY the life of Joseph Smith as well. It is so important to have a testimony of him and The Book of Mormon. OKAY OKAY that is plenty haha. You need your whole life to do all that right?

As always can you tell my friends, students and family I love them all and miss them as well!!

Ps I want you to know I am having great experiences. I have moments everyday when I just cant believe I get to be in Nicaragua with amazing ppl, teaching the Gospel and learning Spanish. I hope I can feel that more often and with even more power and strength.

loves,
Savannah

7.15.2013

CockRoaches Ewww!


Hola!

Okay first off I LOVED the picture of Grant and the boys on his birthday hahahah! I was literally laughing out loud. You guys are the cutest ever! No wonder I miss all your stinking guts! I am excited the boys get to go to High Cascade this week! YAY! That will be so much fun for them. I ALWAYS brag about how cool my bros are to all the Elders and Sisters here. I talk about your snowboarding and filming talents. Hehe I am a proud sister. I love being here but I love knowing everyday I finish here is one day closer to seeing you all again. Thank you for sharing your experience about your blessing in Spanish. It is awesome to know even YEARS after this my Spanish could still help people.

Well this week has gone by super fast and sadly I don’t have much to report so I will send pictures. As I said last week we have been working with two young girls Yamili and Yudami a lot. I think I also mentioned we reactivated their mom and she is now the Relief Society teacher. The change the Gospel has made in their lives is SO apparent to me! The spirit consumes me every time we have a lesson with them. The two girls are seriously so prepared! They KNOW this Gospel is true and love EVERYTHING about the church they are just so nervous to be baptized. They want to know EVERYTHING before they commit to baptism. I try to explain I still don’t even know everything but they are just giving us a hard time right now. Well we really tried to get them baptized this week but it just didn’t happen. They were interviewed and everything but just want more time. We will shoot for next week. Along with Yamil and Yudami we started teaching the MOST AMAZING family this week. The mom’s name is Cati (23) and the husband is Edwin (20). They have the two most ADORABLE girls EVER- Catia (3) and Eduada (6). Seriously those two girls melt my heart. They are constantly smiling, giving us kisses and drawing pictures for us. It is too cute.

Well we found this family at the start of the week and knew they were special. They are super positive and receptive. EVERY TIME we teach them a lesson the Spirit is bursting through the walls I swear. I always feel on the edge of tears because I am consumed with so much love for them. I can understand most of what they are saying but am still having a hard time communicating back. Anyways, they both grew up Catholic but don’t and haven’t attended church for a while. They love everything they are learning about our Gospel and are so good about their commitments. They read every day, pray and always invite us over to share a message with them. We were so positive about having them in church this week. It is a rule that the investigators go to church two times before being baptized. Well we really want them to be baptized this month to accomplish our goal of having 2 families baptized every month but more importantly because we want them to feel the joy of being clean from all sin. We want them to take that first step to being an eternal family! Well we woke up early Sunday and went to go get them for church. They had committed the night before to come with us so we weren’t too worried. We had prayed, fasted and done all we could to invite the spirit into their home. Well we got their Sunday morning and they just would NOT COME! They told us their parents (who are strict Catholics) just did NOT like the idea of them changing religion. They didn’t want them to talk to us anymore and definitely not attend church. We sat there and talked with them for almost an hour but they just would not budge. AHH I felt like my heart was being ripped out! We left their house and I just broke down in tears. It felt like all my prayers, fasts and pleading with the Lord didn’t work. I felt like my faith wasn’t big enough to get them to church. In that moment my comp had to remind me ppl still have their agency. We will do everything in our power to invite them to Christ but in the end they have their agency. We are still going to visit them this week but man that was hard. I have so much to learn here in the mission.

Okay little extra things about this week. Yesterday I gave my first REAL talk in Spanish is sacrament meeting. Man that was a challenge. I was assigned the topic of Inspiration. I talked about how as a dance teacher I was constantly looking for Inspiration for dances and how every day we need to personal revelation as well. I felt like I was speaking gibberish up there but everyone told me that I did good and they understood EVERYTHING!! Haha I have a feeling the people here are just really sweet Hehe. Everyone LOVES the fact that I am a dancer though and always start doing this weird like tiptoe circle thing when they see me hehehe. It is super cute. They also asked me to start teaching a singing and piano class. So once a week we are going to start a class to learn the hymns at the church. It is really going to help me more than them though. I really need to learn these hymns in SPANISH. I think it will help me a lot!

This week we had a HUGE activity in the Elders area. We spent all day Thursday making decorations, making treats and inviting people to hear a Gospel message. It actually turned out to be a HUGE success and the Elders now have 5 new families to teach. We are going to do the same activity in our area next week! I just hope my comp is still here after changes. This is her first change in this area as well but she has a feeling she is leaving. I REALLY HOPE NOT! She is so stinking patient and sweet with me! She is the BEST "MOM" I could ask for in the mission. We were crying last night thinking she might leave. We are both praying she doesn’t. Everything happens for a reason though...right? Last night we got in early because of a huge rainstorm so we asked the Senorita we live with if we could use her stove! She said YES! So we made pancakes and Hermana Justavino taught me how to make Atall. I am not sure if that is how it is spelled. I love it here in the mission though. It is a sweet, warm almost cream of wheat type thing. MMMM so delicious! It was my real first good meal here! We had so much fun last night. It was like our own little sleepover. I just love her!! I wish you guys could meet her. She promised to come to my wedding some day though so You WILL meet her then.

Okay Hermano Hector.... Oh how I love him haha. He is our dad here in the mission. EVERY morning this week he has showed up at our door or called us at 6 in the morning inviting us over for Breakfast. He is so stinking cute. He gives us a HUGE bag of mangos EVERY DAY! We give them to the senorita we live with and she makes us Mango fresco Ahh RICO (delicious)! Anyways for breakfast he always makes us Guacamole and a bean burrito. It always makes me think of you guys and our love for Mexican food :) Especially guacamole. He is feeling a little lonely and sad right now because his wife works ALL DAY and he hasn’t had a job for 13 years. He is the friendliest and most loving guy ever. I think he is about 65. He just doesn’t know why the Lord has given him this trial. It is so hard to see him struggle with this but we try to visit him often, share our love and remind him of the Lords love for him. I want you guys to come back with me some day and I want to introduce you to him. I know you would all love him.

Last funny story. We have been finding a lot of Cockroaches lately. EWWWWW!!!! Those things are freaking disgusting and HUGE! I am too chicken to kill them so my comp always does for me. I don’t know what I would do with out her! She is actually really great at English and is so funny because ever time we see one she runs over, starts stomping on it and yelling DIE JUST DIE!!! Hahahah while I run around in awkward circles on my tiptoes screaming. She thinking it is HILARIOUS!!! Every once and a while there are little baby cockroaches that we find as well. So last night after I used the bathroom I came out to wash my hands when I saw a baby cockroach CRAWLING UP MY ARM!!! Oh my gosh I was screaming bloody murder and running all over the place. I think my comp thought I had been shot or something haha. It took me a solid 5 mins to calm down and tell her what happened hahahah! She was dying laughing after. Oh the joys of Nicaragua.

Also this week we shared the movie about John tanner. And I remembered he is our ancestor! It was so cool to watch that movie in the mission. Also I LOVED reading your grandmas history and would love to read more about our ancestors. If you have any cool stories I would love to have them in a dear elder some time. thanks mommy!

Tell the fam I love them alll!!!!! Also to all my friends, students and other family members as ALWAYS I love them and miss them. I think of you all often and keep you in my prayers. Thank you for all your love and support!

Luvs,

Hermana Kendall

My Nicaragua Life in Pictures


One of the Mountains we climb.





One of our NICE areas because there are STEPS!
Of course there are a hundred steps but none the less real steps!




A nice home in Nicaragua.




My zone and the activity we did with the President and his family.
We are the hands of Christ here in the mission.




For my students hehe




In a members house



Learning to make Tortillas with Yamalis family.

7.08.2013

Pictures from the CCM

CCM District - May 2013
P-Day for the CCM District

Hermana Kendall and Hermana Teichert

Birthday Pranks

7/8/13

First I loved your guy’s email this week! I was thinking about you all a lot of the 4th! You are right it is one of my FAVORITE holidays and weirdly enough I was imagining you all in PARK CITY! It sounds like you all had such a fun time! We must do the same thing when I return.

Grant...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! You are 15! What the heck!? Where did all the time go? We have had a lot of birthdays here in the ward this week and every time we had a party I was thinking about you. Birthdays here are crazy! It is a day of pranks really. Yesterday we celebrated Fransiscos (the ward mission leader) and his son, Edwardos Birthdays. They are so stinking cool! I love them both very much. As a side note Edwardo got his mission call this week to El Salvador! He will be a TOP NOTCH missionary. Anyways for their birthday party we had Chinese food, games, cake and like I said PRANKS. One tradition here is to smash eggs on the Birthday boys or girls head haha. I did not see that coming. The whole house was covered in broken eggs by the end of the day. I am getting nervous for my birthday now. Hermana Nohela said she is already planning it! She has a new question for me every day like.... What is my favorite color? What is my favorite sweet? What do I want for dinner? What games do I want to play? She is so sweet! Anyways I hope you had a GREAT DAY!! What did you ask for this year? Do anything fun with your friends? Have any eggs smashed on your head??? LOVE YOU BUD!!!

Okay so this week has been really interesting. We have been working SUPER hard to find families. As a zone we have a goal to all baptize two families this month. Well it seemed like all our hard work was paying off because we found 3 GOLDEN families at the start of this week. We were so pumped! The most prepared family lives in a tiny little home at the top of a mountain.... of course. The husband’s name is Carlos 34 and the wife is Jackaline 17. It is really common here for the girls to be married SUPER young. Most girls start having kids at the age of 16 or 17. It is CRAZY to me. She has a kid with a different man but he is no longer in the picture. Her daughter lives with her mom about 6 hours away from Matagalpa so she likes to visit her every other week. Anyways they are just GOLDEN I tell you. Carlos is about prepared as a person can be. He is always so excited to see us and eats up EVERYTHING we share with him. He committed to be baptized the first day. Jackaline has been a little harder to work with because she is just so stinking young. Carlos is a great help to us though and is very supportive. She finally decided to accept the invitation to be baptized and get officially married after 3 lessons. However, this past Thursday she left to go visit her daughter again and was unable to come to church. We understood she needed to see her child though and still felt good about this family. Saturday night we went to check on Carlos and share the video Finding Faith in Christ with him. PS that video is so golden. Watch it for FHE tonight. Anyways after sharing the video with him and visiting we told him we would come back Monday night so he and Jackaline could accompany us to FHE in a members home. It was then he dropped a BOMB on us. He said that Jackaline had called and decided to bring her daughter back with her. Right now Carlos and Jackaline live with Carlos´s mom. When Carlos told his mom this, she said they had to move because she didn’t like the idea that this girl wasn’t his kid. So TODAY they are moving to a new home. He just wanted to give us the directions so we could visit them in their new home. He gave us the directions and we realized they would no longer be in our area...NOOOOO!!!!!!!! Ugh I felt like my heart had been ripped out. We are going to tell the other missionaries in that area about them but man that HURT!

In other news we had another baptism this Saturday! WOOT! It was of a cute 9-year-old girl Sintia. She is a daughter of a less active family. Over the past couple weeks we have worked with them and got them to start going to church again. She was so excited to be baptized and become a member of this church. It has been awesome to see the change in this family. The excitement they have to learn more about this Gospel is infectious. They live at the top of a HUGE MOUNTAIN. When we start going up the mountain ppl start saying the HERMANAS are coming and by the time we get to their house they are usually waiting out front so excited to see us! They have nothing right now. Not even food but they are so happy to just have this Gospel. It is pretty incredible.

Okay odds and ends. The language still sucks. I can feel myself starting to understand more but it is still hard to talk. In my setting apart blessing it said the language would come to me in this manner though. Whenever I say something in English in my head I quickly stop and think about how I would say it in Spanish. Then I say it to my comp and we both laugh about how off I am. The hard thing about Spanish for me is that it doesn’t translate the same. The order of which you say things is different, the words you would use are different and the verbs are just mean haha. I work at it everyday though and I know I am going to learn it through the help of the Lord.

I think I may have told you last week how much I hate the dogs here but I will say it again... I HATE DOGS! They are EVERY WHERE. This week a stupid dog basically attacked my comp one night. We were both screaming and running and I was trying to kick the thing before it bit her. I was too late...lucky it didn’t break the skin so she was okay. It has been SUPER HOTT this week and we have had some CRAZY rainstorms. It is so weird how fast the rain starts. It can go from absolutely nothing to a straight up down pour in a matter of seconds! Also the men here are RIDICULOUS! I hate going into the city because all the men start making weird noises, following me around and saying things. I am glad I can't understand yet. I just have to learn to ignore them. People here LOVE GRINGOS! Several times a day ppl stop to ask if I am from America and then take a picture of me. It is so odd. All the little kids call me princess or Barbie. I have been told I look like Ariel, Belle, Kirsten Stewart, and Carrie Underwood.... basically any American haha. I am starting to think all Americans just look the same to them here. I think I told you about the cute little sweet shop we found. Well it should be no surprise to you that it is now an addiction. We go EVERY DAY! My favorite thing there is this chocolate filled doughnut pastry type thing. I also get tres leche a lot too. MMM SO GOOD!

I think I have told you about Hermano Hector and how awesome he is! Well he has had us over EVERY DAY this week for a meal. It is so sweet. He has lots of fruit trees and always sends us off with BAGS and BAGS full of mangos and guavas. This week was no different. I tried a lot of new things at his home this week. Straight up rice, beans and a tortilla is still my favorite though.

So right now I am studying in Mosiah. King Benjamin is INCREDIBLE. You guys should study those first few chapters of Mosiah as a family. I am learning so much from him and the examples of his ppl. Their desire to keep the commandments of Christ is incredible! One of our less actives Jesus is really struggling with the Word of Wisdom right now. I think these passages are really going to help him. He just needs that extra push right now I think.

Oh and can you tell my students I hope the recital was a complete Success!!! I have been thinking about them and praying that their recitals were spectacular. I know they were! I CAN'T WAIT to dance with them all again and already have SWEET ideas for competition dances. One word BEYONCE. Love all you cute girls!! Keep dancing for me!

Oh and random fact for you mom... my eyes are GREEN! Yes straight up green right now it is so weird. Ppl comment on them all day long. It is the strangest thing. The members say I have cat eyes.

Okay I have to go now! I love you all!!!! DAD, BRANSON, GRANT, GRANDPARENTS, COUSINS, AUNTS, UNCLES, FRIENDS and STUDENTS!!!!! Until Next week!

Love,

Hermana Kendall aka SAVANNAH

Oh how I miss my name!

7.01.2013

The Wedding Planner

So this week has actually gone by really quick! The language is still my biggest challenge. I think I am worried because in my setting a part blessing it says I will understand first then be able to speak. Well.... I can’t understand yet. Darn it!! It is especially hard here because first off nobody pronounces their s´s, lots of the people don’t have teeth so that is hard, they talk really quiet, really fast and almost always mumble. It sounds like a bunch of baby sounds to me right now haha. I just comfort myself by thinking all I need to know is how to share my testimony and as of now I can do that! I can say small little things and understand the jest of what is being said but I still struggle big time. And sadly it seems like whenever anyone asks me where I am from or how old I am I think they are asking me if I understand so... I ALWAYS say mas o menos, which means kind of. Well that is a weird response to both those questions so we usually just laugh after that. The mountains are still kicking my BUTT!!! I don’t think I will ever get accustom to climbing mountains all day every day. When I leave the house each morning my backpack is as light as a feather and when we get home at night I feel as if someone has slowly put rocks in there. I need to toughen up!!! I will try and send pics of my house and what not! You can get a taste of my view, BATHROOM and laundry area. Laundry by the way is tough work! I deserve arms of an Olympic athlete after doing that every day haha. I will never complain AGAIN! So today for pday my comp and I celebrated her 6 months being in the mission and my 2 months! WOOT!! We went to a Dulce shop and pizza cafe! I got a chocolate cake and thought of you! I can’t wait to have sweets with you again mom!!! Cupcakes and chocolate domes especially hehe

So the food here is actually pretty good. I LOVE GULLE PINTO. I love just having rice, beans, tortillas and plantains’. The ppl think it is so boring though and hate making it. I wish they would more often though. It is my favorite thing here so far. The rest is usually like rice with some type of meat or soups, which really aren’t my favorite on a hot day haha, oh well. The senorita we live with us also makes us rice with warm milk and sugar on cold nights. MMMM I love that. It reminds me of what you used to make for us when I was younger. We also get ALOT OF FRESCOS. Like everyday. Oh and mangos and avocados. MMMM my favorite. Groceries wise it is hard for our other meals though because we don’t have anything to cook with. So today I bought crackers, Pringles, cereal and Oreos for the week haha. We usually get enough through out the day though that I don’t need much. Oreos seemed necessary though. There are little shops with snacks on every corner as well so I eat well. There is banana bread they make here that I LOVE and get at every shop. The bananas here are so cheap only one cortaba. Every American dollar is 24 cortabas. Everything is so cheap but it is deceiving to see 150 cortabas for cereal. I freak out every time and then realize that is next to nothing and am okay again haha.

Okay so this week was IRMA AND JORGES BAPTISM AND WEDDING!!!! Ahhhhh they were absolutely stunning. I am serious. They both looked so pure and just happy. Fransisco (the ward mission leader) baptized them both. It was such a beautiful service. I was brought to tears several times. Here we plan and prepare for the weddings. So all Saturday we did just that. We weren’t very effective because we didn’t know where to buy a cake, decorations and all the little things. Next time we will do better! We also spent time helping Irma do her makeup and hair. She was just stunning. She is pregnant right now with their first child and it was so amazing to see their FAMILY all in white taking the first steps towards becoming an eternal family. They will be such an amazing addition to this ward. They are both very social and friendly. EVERYONE loves them. There was such a sweet spirit surrounding them the whole day. It is very humbling to see how grateful and happy these ppl can be when they have absolutely nothing. I will love them forever! There family was able to attend the wedding and baptism as well. Afterwards they came up and thanked us for the beautiful day it was. They asked to speak with us sometime as well! YES!!!!

I think I told you Rafel and Eydalen were supposed to get married and baptized this week too. Well, we have run into some real problems with them. Rafel is a member and has been his whole life. Eydalen KNOWS the church is true and loves feeling the spirit that exists in the church. However, right now they are having a hard time because they are not living the law of chastity. They know it is wrong but they don’t want to change. As a result they are fighting a lot and now don’t want to come to church or really have anything to do with us. Her grandma is Evangelico and is really against her taking the lessons as well. So as of now we have to stop teaching her. It is really devastating because I know if they would just make the commitment to follow Christ and live his commandments until they can be married they would be so happy. I know life wouldn’t be perfect for them but they would be able to feel that sweet spirit and love in their lives so much more.

As of now, we are teaching two more investigating families and two young women. We just started teaching them so hopefully I will have more to report on them next week. The two young women have a baptismal date set for not this Saturday but the next. They were at church yesterday and loved it. I have a real good feeling about them.

So last night was probably one of the sweetest experiences of all my life. I think I have told you about Hector and Reyna. They are a sweet old couple that have been members for about a year now. He reminds me so much of papa. He is constantly buying or FINDING food for us, wanting to visit and sharing stories. He is so sweet and loving. Well we just found out he is having some problems with alcohol. AHH that just broke my heart. He and Reyna are preparing to visit the temple so we really need to help him with this issue. Last night we went to his home and shared the movie Finding Faith in Christ. It is a really beautiful video. The Spirit is so present anytime we talk about or testify of Christ. Well we had a great little lesson with them both, ate and left. That wasn’t the beautiful experience though. After we left we went to visit a different recent convert, Jesus. He is having a really tough time right now with a lot of different issues. He feels as if he has sinned beyond recovery. He doesn’t want to come to church because he feels so sick about some of the things he has done. It breaks my heart to know he feels this way and see him be clean from any sin. He knows it is true but is so afraid to change. Well we decided to share the same video with him as we did with Hector and Reyna. Half way through the video Hector showed up and watched the video with us. After the video ended we looked at Hector and Jesus to see them both with tears rolling down their cheeks. Hermana Justavino and I both took the opportunity to testify of the reality of Jesus Christ’s atonement. We were all in tears. The spirit in that room was so peaceful and sweet. Hector turned to Jesus and said “Anything is possible with Christ.” I have never experienced anything like that in all my life. I will never forget that moment and the Spirit I felt. That moment is what I came on a mission for. I know Christ is our brother and Savior. I know the Atonement is real. I know Christ died for each and every one of us. I also know He lives! I am so blessed to be able to share this message with the ppl here in Nicaragua.

One of my favorite parts of the day everyday is Study time. Oh man I hope to keep this habit all my life. STUDY THE SCRIPTURES!! Study them everyday. I know I needed to come on a mission so I COULD become converted to this Gospel, so I could realize the importance of it in my life and so I could strength my relationship with my Savior. The sweet, peaceful spirit I feel when studying the Gospel each day in undeniable and addicting. I eat up any book, video, pamphlet or magazine I can get my hands on. I love studying the life of Joseph Smith and the pioneers. I said it last week and I will say it again.... they were amazing! Their love, sacrifice and dedication to this Gospel are the perfect example for us all. I also love studying the life of Christ. I have so many things to learn and to grow in. I know I needed to come on a mission to learn to love, serve, share and attain more of the attributes of Christ. Whenever I am having a hard time I remember I am a representative of Christ! How great is my calling and how would Christ act if he were here in this moment. After thinking of this I try to act accordingly. I also remind myself that it was NOT easy for Christ to suffer and atonement for the sins of the world so this might be hard BUT because he did atonement for us all this is possible through him. I love my Savior so much and feel so blessed to be able to share his Gospel with the people here.

I miss you guys so much! EVERYDAY! But want to know my favorite part of this gospel? It is to know that our family is a family FOREVER! I love the plan of happiness and can’t imagine life any other way. So whenever I start missing you guys a lot I remind myself that this is but a small moment compared to eternity and that I get to help other families be eternal as well.