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.