This is from today at the Park of Monkeys. This is me freaking out while trying to shake the monkeys hand. All the Elders thought is was HILARIOUS! I was definitely squealing.
When I actually got the courage to hold his hand.
The monkeys trying to take off Elder Copes clothes haha so hilarious!
Some of the Elders and Hermanas in our Zone at the Park of Monkeys today.
This is the life size First Vision we made for the activity.
How are you doing this week? I miss you guys! Guess what I got sunburned for the first time today! It has been so HOT this week! This week we have had little to no rain. Which has sucked because it has been so bloody HOT! Here in Matagalpa it is super humid and while climbing mountains it is hard to not be constantly sweating! After today though I am terrified of going to any other area that is hotter because it has been miserable. It did just start raining though and this is the rainiest season of the year so I am sure things will cool down soon...I hope.
Okay so I want to tell you a little bit about this week. So this Tuesday our WHOLE ZONE had changes with each other. We got the call Tuesday morning that we needed to be at the Church in one hour for Changes and Hermana Justavino would be the one going to a new area. I WAS TERRRIFIED! Since I was staying in our area I had to be Senior comp with whomever I had changes with. WHAT THE!? I don’t know Spanish; I can't direct the lessons or find investigators on my own! I seriously didn’t know what to do with myself. So we got to the church and I found out my comp was going to be HERMANA Txraza! (She is from Guatemala and has 5 months in the mission!) She is super sweet but super quiet at the same time. With these changes we were also given a set a goals that we were supposed to try and accomplish. The changes consisted of two days and two nights. I have never been so nervous in all my life. Our first day, Tuesday, was just crazy. We had a ton of goals we needed to accomplish and not much time. I stepped into the shoes of Senior companion and we WORKED! Seriously I have never worked so hard in all my life. I started EVERY lesson. I guided us through the area. I found the new investigators. And started all the contacts. It was just insane. I could feel the Lord sustaining me like I have never felt before. I had know idea I knew that much Spanish. I know it wasn’t perfect but the ppl understood me and responded to my questions. I had full on conversations with ppl and taught complete lessons. I was guided by the spirit to know what to teach and what scriptures I needed to share. I have never felt the spirit like that in all my life. I know the Lord was carrying me through those two days. They absolutely FLEW BY! And I learned so much about my abilities. I really had to learn HOW TO BE A MISSIONARY. It was really incredible. I wouldn’t trade those two days for ANYTHING. Hermana Txraza and I had some unforgettable experiences. Those two nights we had together in the house we had time to reflect on the events for the past two days and share our testimonies with one another. It was seriously such a blessing and a confirmation to me that I can do this and that the Lord really does sustain his missionaries.
So my favorite experience from those two days was with one of our Investigators Edwin. His wife was baptized but has since joined the Evangelical church and is dead set on staying in that church. We tried teaching them last month but really could not make any progress with him while she was present during the lesson. This week we found him by himself in the house and took advantage of the opportunity to teach him. I started the lesson that day about Baptism. We talked about covenants, repentance and the opportunity we have to be clean through Christ. The Spirit during that lesson was undeniable. He was very attentive and also bore testimony that he knows Christ is his Savior. He experienced his desire to follow Christ and receive his salvation. At the conclusion of the lesson we invited him to be baptized and.... He ACCEPTED! Ahh I thought I was going to stand up and scream right then and there. Afterwards Hermana Txraza and I did just that!! It was a beautiful experience that I will NEVER forget. We are going to continue to work with him and prepare him for his baptism.
So this week was the HUGE activity we have been planning as a Zone for the District of Matagalpa. We just have enough members here to make Branches and a District. The activity consisted of Classes about Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, a question and answer session and the video of the Restoration. The purpose of the activity was to help strength the testimonies of the members, less active and recent converts. The church is very NEW here. Most members don’t have more than 2 years in the church and most of them really don’t know the basics of our church. We really wanted to help answer questions and help build the testimonies of the members so they would have a desire to come to church and to share their testimony. We were shooting for about 400 ppl there and WE MADE IT! It was a really beautiful activity and EVERYBODY loved it! The members couldn’t stop talking about how beautiful it was. I hope this excitement will stay with the members and we will be able to get the numbers up for church attendance. Our rama/branch did awesome with the number of people at the activity we had about 80 ppl attend. Members, less actives, recent converts and investigators!
The last little exciting thing that happened this week was with the parents of Heydaling. She really has been so excited about becoming a member of the church and wants to share her knowledge with everyone! We started teaching her parents and younger brother who is 11. They ALWAYS come to all the activities and church. They love everything BUT don’t really want to get married. And there lies our problem. Well we were talking to the Husband yesterday alone when he told us that they are actually already married. He tricked her in to getting married one day by telling her she was signing some different legal document and she has no idea they are married. What the??? We don’t know if we believe him and told him we need to see the paper for proof. The problem is if he tells her it could potentially tear their family apart. We really don’t know what to do with this situation. We are going to see if the papers are legit and then talk with the Zone leaders for help. They did tell us last night though that ALL 3 of them want to be baptized!!! How incredible! If we can sort through this situation they will be baptized soon. We are seeing miracles here I tell you!
Also I think I told you we changed our lunch cita. It is awesome! It is with Hna. Berna and she is the sweetest ever! She also washes our clothes now! Our clothes smell like flowers, are ironed and folded now. It is a dream! Also I found Maxi Pali, a branch of Walmart! I felt at home and the meat was kept somewhat COLD! It was a miracle. I think we are going to start shopping there. Also one of the new girls told me that they just switched houses and they have HOT WATER!!! I think Hermana Justavino and I are going to look for a new house now. The only reason we don’t want to leave is because we like the Lady we live with. Sometimes she makes us food and it Is DELICIOUS! But the hot water out weights that in my eyes haha. Also the fact that the ppl that live above us BLARE mexi rap every morning, the Lady we live with has a nasty dog that poops every where and we have tons of bugs makes me okay with leaving. I think I probably have at least one more change here and so does Hna. Justavino so we are going to start searching. This president doesn’t like to have a lot of changes. There are ppl here that have been in this same area for 7 months. It is fine with me though because we have the BEST BRANCH EVER! And the BEST MEMBERS ever as well. Also I am not ready for any hotter weather. YIKES!
I love you so very much! I think about you all every day! I know I always say it but it is true! I keep you in my prayers and can't wait to see you all again!! I love you all so very much and miss you! Let my friends, family and STUDENTS know I love them as well and am so grateful for all the letters and emails. They give my courage to face the hard days! Thank you for your examples!!