|Enjoying ice cream with the Elders on P-day.|
|Having some mango sauce at Hector's house. It is like apple sauce.|
I'm doing pretty good. I am so full haha. That has been the theme of our week. We changed Lunch citas this week because we were paying A LOT of money for our other cita and she wasn’t giving us very much food. We were sad to change because she is really sweet but we honestly needed more food. Well ask and ye shall receive. We are now eating in a member’s home -Hermana Verna. She is honestly probably one of the sweetest ppl on this planet. I think she is going to end up being my mom for the mission. She was baptized 5 years ago and her whole family has now been baptized as well. Her brother is even serving a mission right now. She is married with 4 kids and they have been sealed in the temple. They are a SPECIAL family. Anyways she feeds us SO MUCH! I don’t know how I fit it all in my belly but I do. She makes us rice with warm milk, cinnamon and sugar like you used to make for us. It always makes me so happy and reminds me of the family. Right now it is really pretty chilly in Matagalpa. We always have to wear a jacket and it rains EVERYDAY so the warm rice is a nice little treat.
This week has actually been really hard for my comp and me. We just have been struggling to find ppl to teach and then struggling to feel the Spirit really strongly when we teach them. It has been frustrating for us both. We had a good talk yesterday and have come up with a plan for the up coming week. I had gotten to the point where I kind of shut down and she could tell because I wasn’t really talking very much. Yesterday she said, "Hermana are you okay? Because you are a real chatter box and this week you have been pretty quite." After that we just talked and we both felt a lot better. It is so much better to just express my frustrations instead of keeping them bottled up. I have really learned to cherish my prayers. The sacred time that I have to talk with My Heavenly Father every day is really precious to me. I like to go outside and pray out loud in the morning. It is the only prayer I offer in English during the day and I feel like my Father can understand me and respond. I feel like I can pour out my feelings and he understands exactly what I am going through. I love that time! But I know it is important to talk with my companion too about the same things. About my stresses and frustrations because she can help. Often I just think she has NO IDEA how this feels because she speaks the language. She has no idea how alone and hard it can be. BUT that is the point, she my not know exactly how I feel but God has put her in my life at this point because I can learn something from her and she can help me. SHE DOES KNOW THE LANGUAGE! And she is willing to help me.
Oh and as for my sleep.... UGH nothing! Seriously I cannot sleep. I wake up every morning at about 4 and my mind is just full of SPANISH. It is so frustrating. I try not to think about it and calm my mind down but the Spanish is even taking over my DREAMS. Maybe that is a good thing I don’t know. I just hope I can get some sleep at some point.
Okay in response to your guys emails this week.... Sounds like a fun week! And I can’t believe school is starting so soon. Summer flew by this year didn’t it? It sounds like the Highland Fling was fun. Misti wrote me this week too saying that she saw you and loved talking to you. I get new ppl every week writing me and saying sweet things. And it is so sweet of ppl to be telling you they pray for me as well. Please tell them THANK YOU so much for their prayers, support and love. It really means the WORLD to me. Also that is awesome that you guys were able to spend a little bit of time with Travis´s family. Sounds like fun! Oh as for my soccer skills...still pretty horrible. It probably has to do with the fact that I refuse to play haha. My comp and I usually just go into the chapel and practice piano. She wants to learn how to play better and I have to practice for Sacrament meeting so it works out pretty good. ALSO I can’t WAIT to see the new video in the TEMPLE! I miss going to the Temple sooooo much! Seriously I am so anxious to go again. Also tell Branson buen hecho with the new camera dolly and I hope he is getting excited for SENIOR YEAR! What the? AND GRANT!!! CONGRATS on making the GOLF TEAM! I had no doubts! Good luck this year! Oh and we have a dvd player here so if you guys ever send a little video I can watch it!
So this week I GOT MY LETTERS!!! AHHHH! Seriously best day EVERY. I think my comp was a little worried about me by the way I TORE through the letters like a ravaging (is that a word? haha) creature, poured over EVERY WORD, cried, laughed and then read them again. I got the ENSIGN! YES!! Thank you so much! I love reading it! And thank you for the Plans of Salvation kits. They are PREFECT! The package with the Ensign was stamped June 19th. YES it arrived June 19th. 9 days after you sent it I think. Ugh I wish it could have just been sent to our house. Oh well I eventually got it. ALSO to EVERYONE that sent me letters THANK YOU!! I can’t say thank you enough times. It felt like Christmas! I am so lucky to know so many amazing ppl. LAUREN you ROCK! Okay enough said. I will try to write you all back with in the next couple weeks. Thank you!!
Okay so Tuesday we had a meeting with President in Managua. We woke up at 3 AM and had to be at the bus stop at 4:30 am to make it to Managua. We didn’t know where the Bus Stop was so SWEET HECTOR woke up early and walked us to the bus stop at 4 in the morning. Seriously what a great guy! We just love him. The meeting was for all the Trainers and Newbies. I got to see Hermana TEICHERT! YAY I always love seeing her. It was also fun to chat with all the other new girls as well. I was also pleasantly surprised that for the most part I understood the whole meeting without a translator and I could communicate with a lot of the Latinas. They all were so sweet saying how great my Spanish was. EVERYONE says that though and I have feeling they say it to everyone.... Oh well I will take the compliment. THANK YOU! The meeting was really great. It made me so excited to get to WORK! President is seriously AWESOME! He is changing so many things for the mission. His focus is Preach my Gospel, the Missionary Manual and the Book of Mormon. Everything a mission should be focused on. He is ALL about the Rules. I LOVE that. I also feel like he is really going to take care of us. He wants the missionaries to be safe and healthy. I feel like he is going to be really involved in the work with us. He already is giving us more money to buy food and changing some of rules the old president had put in place to help us be healthier. He is receiving a lot of amazing revelation for this mission right now. I just love that he wants to use all the resources the Church HAS for us missionaries. We received the Training manual that we are supposed to be following. Sadly I am starting my 12-week training 7 weeks late but at least I have the book now and it is AWESOME! I am learning so much from it. The meeting was a real success.
This week was a big week for us. Rafael and Heydaling were married FRIDAY! Yay they looked just stunning. They were both Glowing! Right after the wedding Heydaling was baptized. Ahh she is going to be so solid in the church. I am telling you this girl was PREPARED! She loves everything about the church and is so excited to finally be a member. After her baptism I asked her how she felt and she said, "Hermana, I just feel clean. I feel like everything bad has left and I can start a new life. I feel the presence of my Lord and Savior." The girl is 17 years old! She is such an amazing example to me. And now we are teaching her Parents. I don’t know if they are going to accept the Gospel right now. They are a little tough. We are going to continue to work with them and if nothing else, prepare them for missionaries in the future.
Saturday we had another baptism - YAMAILI! Yes she was finally baptized and now their family is complete. Oh I will NEVER forget their family. They are so so special. I have no doubt they are going to stay strong in the church all their lives. They have some of the most beautiful, caring and sweet spirits... ALL OF THEM - the Grandma, their AMAZING MOM (who I think I told you we reactivated last month and now she is the 2 counselor in the RS) Yudeimi (who wants to serve a mission and loves going to lessons with us) Yamaili and their cute little sister atsidis who ADORES US. She runs up to us everyday, gives us giant hugs and doesn’t let go. You guys will have to come back with me one day so you can all meet them.
It has been a great week in ways of baptisms for us! Yesterday I was asking my comp stuff about the numbers and how all of that works. And how our numbers compare to other missionaries. Because I know in way of baptisms we are doing pretty good. The old goal was for every companionship to baptism 1 family each change. Now it is 2 families and President wants us to be baptizing other ppl as well. He said we should baptize EVERY week. Well as far as baptisms we are doing pretty good but our families numbers aren't good. We are working so HARD, keeping all the rules and Heavenly Father will bless us for that. We were the only ppl in our entire district that baptized last change. We had a goal of baptizing 15 families as a zone and we only hit 8. 5 families were from one companionship of Hermanas! It was a new record. They both left the mission for homes that change-great way to end a mission. Anyway our goal this change is 24 families! The record is 18 I think. We have decided to EXERCISE faith. We all have faith in our individual companionship goals and from that we have come up with this goal. We are going to work with FIRE! Our zone is going to lead the mission after this change! We have the faith to do it and God will help us.
I have been studying the attributes of Christ from PMG Ch. 6 especially Faith and Hope. I know as we strive to develop the attributes of Christ we will feel the Spirit more abundantly in our lives. I love learning more about my Savior. He is the perfect example and he lived a perfect life. I want to represent him the very BEST I can. I wear a badge every day carrying his name. I never want to be caught acting in a way that would embarrass him. We are literally the hands of Christ here in Nicaragua at this time. I want to do this work just how he would. I know he died for us and lives again. It is through his atoning sacrifice and infinite grace we can live as a family FOREVER! For that I am eternally indebted to him. It is pretty amazing I have this short time to serve him in this capacity. I can NEVER repay him but I am happy I get to share his message and help others feel the hope his Gospel brings to our lives! We are so blessed. That I KNOW!
I have to go now! I love you so much!!! I miss you all!!!