9.30.2013

Rain Boots


We had a big rainstorm this week so I was decked out in my rain gear -boots and ALL. The streets are absolutely flooded here when it rains, I am soooo grateful for my boots. HOWEVER, I don’t know if I will ever be able to wear them again because EVERYONE just wanted to talk about my boots and how cute they are haha. I never knew there could be so many questions about rain boots. 


Hermana Lopez and I already for the day.

This was taken outside of our house.
This is the pathetic shower curtain we found for our bathroom door.


First off...I am SO jealous I am missing out on the Mexico trip! I am sure you guys will all have a great time though! I can’t wait to hear what it is like there. I like talking to the Mexicans here in the mission because their Spanish is a lot clearer and they talk slower. Everyone tells me that the Nicas and Guatamaltecas talk the fastest! I BELIEVE IT! We have some ppl here that I swear they could be speaking English and I wouldn’t understand haha. I can’t believe it snowed already! I am so jealous. I would do anything to get a little cold air haha. I am sure you never thought you would hear me say that. But yes I miss the COLD! I will never complain AGAIN...probably. I am glad Branson and Grant got to go snowboarding. I am sure they were in HEAVEN.

Well this week has been interesting. Hermana Lopez has officially left for Argentina :( I miss that girl so much! She sent me a picture today from Argentina and it is SO BEAUTIFUL! I definitively want to visit one day. She was in a coat and hat! Haha poor thing is dying of cold weather. Anyways now it is just Hna. Morales and I. I am learning A LOT from her.  So I have been talking with my District leader a lot about some of my concerns and stresses. He has been helping me a lot and this week after talking with him I felt really impressed to fast with my comp. She agreed to fast with me and in return we saw miracles immediately!! Honestly I can’t even describe how incredible that day was for me. I remember anytime I felt thirsty or hunger I just began to pray a little harder and tried to remember the sacrifice of our Savior. That day we placed 3 baptismal dates! THREE!!! I felt like I was in a bubble filled with the spirit and floating for house to house. I can’t describe the joy that I felt when those three ppl accepted our baptismal invitation. Enrique and Cornia were the first two to accept! They are the family I told you about last week. AHH they are incredible. I know they will never leave the church. They are two of the happiest ppl right now and it is such a privilege to know them. I don’t remember if I told you last week but.... We gave them a Book of Mormon last week to start reading. The first two lessons I left chapters with them to read but the third lesson he told me he wanted to start reading the WHOLE BOOK. So we showed him where it starts and he began reading. Corina can't read so every day he reads allowed to her and then they discuss the stories. HE LOVES Nephi! He is always talking about Nephi and Enos. It is the cutest thing EVER! Anyways he finished the Book of Mormon in 4 days! Yes 4 days... God is a God of Mercy. I don’t know why I have been so blessed to get to know them but I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for this tender mercy. Enrique has a coffee addiction and the past couple days have been really hard for him. When we taught him the Word of Wisdom the first thing he said was " Coffee is bad! Oh no I am so sorry I didn’t know." Then he said, " I know that this is what the Lord wants but sometimes he wants hard things!" Ahh he is the cutest. That day he quit drinking coffee because he wanted nothing more than to be baptized. Well YESTERDAY we baptized them and married them!! It was such a beautiful service and Enrique COULD NOT stop smiling. It was the sweetest thing. I can’t wait to see them go to the TEMPLE. Just one more year. All I can say is that I am so grateful that I had the chance to be a part of their lives and help them get to know their Savior a little better. I will NEVER forget them.

We also placed a date with a sweet Grandma, Francisca. Her brother is a member and we just started teaching her. She loves learning more about the Gospel and accepts everything with an open mind. She even showed up to church all by herself! That NEVER happens. We are helping her prepare to be baptized this SUNDAY!

I am pretty sure I have also told you about Carlos. He has been investigating the church for about 1 year now. His wife has been baptized and he comes to church with her and his daughter EVERY WEEK! He just always wants to feel more sure and more confident in his decision to be baptized. In reality he wants to know EVERYTHING before he is baptized. Well this week we saw a real miracle with him. We got to his house late one night just to share a small scripture and make an appt. for the next day. Well as we were there I felt impressed to share some different thoughts and scriptures about the atonement. We ended up having an incredible lesson and a beautiful spiritual experience that I will NOT forget. Right then and there I tried to commit him to baptism (probably for the 20th time in his life) and..... he accepted. WHAT THE!? I didn’t know what to do for a second because I wasn’t prepared for that response. I am so happy for him and his wife though. We are going to do everything in our power to help prepare him so he can feel confident and good about his decision. We will baptize him the 13th of October :)

Okay to answer a few more of your questions. I DON'T want you to come get me here in Nicaragua! Haha. I don’t think I want you guys to see what it is like here better to just hear the stories. I don’t know if you could fall in love with it here with only a couple days. Also, this week is General Conference but if I get to see any sessions it will be in Spanish :( So I would love if you could send me the Ensign with the talks! Also tomorrow I will complete 5 months in the mission!!! Sometimes it feels SO FAST! Other times I just miss you guys and it seems like I have a lifetime left. But I know the time is going to fly by so I will make the most of every second. I remember my first day here when Hna. Justavino had 5 months in the mission. Yesterday I got a call from her wishing me a Happy 5 month anniversary and I wished her a happy 9-MONTH anniversary. I can’t believe she is half way done. I know the time is going to fly for me too.

I have been getting emails from my Recent Converts and members in Matagalpa. I miss them all so MUCH! I hope I can go back one day and visit them all. Hermano Hector had a brain aneurism, he is not doing well at all and is in the hospital. Hermana Justavino is going to call me the next time they go visit him though so I can talk to him.

Now I am just stressed about finding new investigators but we are going to work super hard and I know the Lord will put his chosen sons and daughters in our path if we are giving our all. I have learned a lot about sacrifice here in the mission. It is something profound to me. Here in the mission we sacrifice all our time, efforts, strengths and heart to try and find those chosen children. However, how much of a sacrifice is this really. The blessings, the joy and the peace far out weigh any sacrifice we could make. In the bigger picture our Savior, Jesus Christ, sacrificed his life for us. He suffered every class of pain, affliction, trial and difficulty that we could imagine. Because of this great sacrifice of Love we don’t have to wander lost in pain, despair or sadness. Because of his sacrifice we can experience more love, peace and joy than imaginable. His plan is PERFECT! His life was perfect! And his sacrifice was perfect. We can rely on him and find rest. I love my Savior. I love this work. And I hope one day I will be able to return and live with our Heavenly Father if I live worthy of such a blessing in this life.

Okay okay I have to go now....  :( I miss you guys! I love you!!  I have now been here for 5 months! Soon it will be 6 and then I will only have 1 year left! WHAT THE! It will be crazy once October is over to think "this time next year I will be home". It doesn't seem real. It seems like this is my life now. I cant imagine it any other way right now. Well I love you with all my heart! Give my love to the boys and daddy as well! Oh and nana, papa, grandma, grandpa, the whole fam, friends and students!

Love,
Hermana Savannah Kendall

P.s. I hope you guys are recording modern family and Sherlock for me!


9.23.2013

Adventures on the Bus

This is when I first found out Hermana Lopez was my new companion.


Hermana Lopez and me


I love this girl.  I'm going to miss her.


Elder Burgos's Birthday - Covered in eggs.


All of my district at Hermana Scarlet's house (she is our lunch cita) for Elder Burgos Birthday


Hermana Lopez and me in front of the church.







Hello everyone,

I am doing pretty good. This week was so stressful and I am pretty sure I have lost about 20 years of my life over the past 4 months of my mission from stress. BUT things are good. I do feel a lot more comfortable here. I have adjusted to life here a lot faster than in Matagalpa. I am pretty sure knowing Spanish better has something to do with it. The people here are pretty incredible and they have welcomed me with open arms. So grateful for their generosity and patience. 


This week started off with a trip to Managua. All the trainers and their "children" had a meeting with Presidente this Tuesday. It was really great and I learned a lot of things that I am anxious to apply in my teaching, training and just work over all. I also loved seeing Hermana  Justavino, her new comp "my sis in the mission", the other Hermanas from Matagalpa and meeting all the newbies. I must say it feels so good not to be the newbie anymore. However, I am the youngest trainer (I have the least amount of time in the mission) and I still have so much to learn! Everyone and their dog wanted to hear my Spanish though because they were all shocked I was training. It was good to feel like I have improved but it still sucks to know I am not even close to where I need to be. I will keep working though! Afterwards the Elders dropped us off at some bus stop and told us it would take us home. Well, we trusted them and jumped on the first bus back......Sadly we still don't know the area very well and had no idea where to get off. We started to panic after about 40 mins on the bus. I started calling all our Elders for help. My district leader was trying to gets points of reference from us but it was wasted effort on me.   All of a sudden we saw two of our Elders walking down the street; we yelled to the bus driver to stop and we jumped off as soon as possible. Somehow we ended up literally one block from our house.... IT WAS A MIRACLE! We were pretty grateful we didn't end up in some foreign part of Nicaragua...that could have been bad.

The next day President came to Tipitapa for interviews. I got a call from him early in the morning saying that my comp. - Hermana Lopez- was leaving for Argentina TOMORROW and I needed to find a member to be a "mini missionary".  They would live with me until the end of the change, have to follow all the mission rules and he wanted to interview them that day in 3 HOURS!!! Ahh I was a nut case and so was Hna. Lopez. We were both so sad to part and I was stressed out of my mind trying to find a mini missionary. The Elders were running crazy trying to find someone as well. We didn't end up finding anyone by the time President got there. He told me not to worry though and maybe I would just go to Managua for the rest of the change and then come back for the next change. He was going to work it out. Well we had our interviews and then one of the APs wanted to do a exercise with my comp and me. We left the church and he said we were going to the park to contact someone and make a baptismal date during the contact. I haven't ever done that before and I was a little nervous but ready.  On the way to the park, a bus passed by and the AP RAN to catch it and we all jumped on. He then informed us we were going to contact on the BUS!! WHAT THE!? I have NEVER done that and I was freaking.  He stood up in front and started. He said that we were missionaries and we were here to bring people to Christ through baptism. He bore his testimony and it was so POWERFUL! Afterwards, he said we would be coming around to each person to talk to them and give them more information.  I started talking with an old man about Christ and his healing atonement. I invited him to be baptized and he said ESTA BIEN! WHAT THE!? I am pretty sure he just didn't understand my Spanish but still he said yes. Sadly, right as he was saying yes we had to jump off the bus. I said okay GREAT! And then jumped off the bus haha.

After we got off the bus the AP, Elder Clawson, told us now it was OUR turn to contact in front of the BUS and invite everyone to be baptized! Are you kidding me!? I thought I was going to throw up. He then asked who is going to do it.  I knew right then and there that I was going to have to do it. I am Senior comp and have to be the example....so I agreed. Then my comp said "Well, can't we do it together!" Ahhh bless her heart. We decided we would get up there together and face our fears. Elder Clawson told us to find our pastor voices and we jumped on the next bus. I am sure you can only imagine what happened next. I got up there, a young gringa girl and started talking. Of course, I have the highest voice ever and it is only worse when I try to talk loud. So there I was squeaking in SPANISH- "We are missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ. We testify that he lives and through his blood we can be cleansed. We are here to help everyone come unto Christ through baptism!" Honestly, I have no idea if anyone understood me and Elder Clawson was in the back of the bus smiling the whole time BUT I DID IT!!! And now I have NO FEAR to do anything! Seriously, that was probably the best thing he could have made me do.

Honestly, I learned how important it is to place baptismal dates in the FIRST LESSON or even contact. We are here to find the prepared and chosen children of God during this time. We can't waste our time if the people  aren't ready to accept the Gospel right now. We can only know if they are ready if we INVITE them and then if they say no, address their doubts so they can make the best decision. We put that into practice a ton this week! And a lot of people rejected us but we have found a few of the chosen children here in Tipitapa!

So back to Hna. Lopez leaving. All the commotion was a little premature. Nobody knows when she is leaving. Probably sometime this week but no one is for sure. I am SO SAD she is going to leave me. We have already become so close over the past three weeks. We are very similar and she has been such a help to me here. We learn a lot from each other and teach in a great harmony. I really don't want to see her leave. Nobody knows when she is leaving so they sent me a mini missionary Thursday. Her name is Hna. Morales. She is 24, from here in Nicaragua and is preparing to leave for her mission in November to Honduras. So right now we are in a trio. I am terrified for Hna. Lopez to leave because now I am working with and training someone that hasn't even been to the MTC!!! WHAT MORE CAN YOU THROW AT ME PRES!!

So this week we found the most INCREDIBLE family, Corina and Enrique. Enrique is a CHATTER box! He is so awesome. And Corina is one of the best listeners. She listens and understands EVERYTHING. We found them at the beginning of the week and I knew they were special. They keep ALL their commitments. It is unlike any other Investigator I have ever had. After the first lesson they committed to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and if the Church is true. They also committed to read the first pamphlet and fill out the questions. Corina can't read but Enrique reads to her and she listens. We went back the next day to find out that they had read EVERYTHING, they practically taught us the first lesson. They had also prayed together and received the answer that the church is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. WHAT THE!? Ahh it was such a miracle. They are so prepared. We taught them about the Book of Mormon, gave them a copy and committed them to reading together one chapter. Once again we returned the next day to see that they had read the chapter and they remembered EVERYTHING -Enrique thinks Nephi is such a stud haha- They had also prayed together to know if the Book of Mormon was true. They were so excited to tell us that they know it is the word of God. Wow this family is so solid. God has really blessed us with a Miracle family. He is a God of MERCY. This Sunday was one of the happiest Sundays of all my life because ENRIQUE And CORINA came to church with us! AHH it was so awesome. As he walked in he said "So this is the house of the Lord Wow I can feel it in my heart." AHHH I am telling you this family is incredible. He was going around talking to everyone and she was more than happy to follow by his side. They loved everything about church and invited us over after church. I know they will be baptized! I know it! They just don't want to except a date yet. However, I have been praying a lot and so has my District Leader and we are confident that they will be baptized and married this Sunday. We are going to see a miracle I tell you. They have been together for 32 years and have 3 kids. One of their daughters passed away 15 years ago. We had a beautiful experience teaching them the Plan of Salvation. I can't wait to see them married and baptized and start their journey towards becoming an eternal family. They will be FIRM in the church I know it. He reads a chapter to his wife from the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY. How much better does it get!?


I have to go now.  I love you all. 

Loves,
Savannah





9.16.2013

6 Screaming Girls!


I will always love the people and time I spent in Matagalpa!

Fransisco came to the bus stop to see me off.

The Senorita I lived with in Matagalpa



Hector seeing me off at the Bus stop.  He is so sweet.  I'm going to miss him.



All my suitcases
My companions so far!  I am so short.

The Church across the street from our house.

My New Bed
Our House
Our Study Area
We played pool as a Zone today for Pday and yes I was terrible, but I have other strengths. ;)

Hello!


Sounds like your guy’s week was great! A good football game at AF? Pretty shocking but AWESOME! Also all the spiders...EW! We are dealing with a ton of spiders in our house right now too...so gross. Today we decided to clean the house and try to get rid of them. We took a broom to EVERY nook, cranny and corner! In return I think we just made all the Spiders mad. There were spiders crawling EVERYWHERE! I may have turned into a psycho for a moment or two. There was lots of screaming and I literally had 2 pairs of shoes in my hands trying to kill all the spiders, as well as stomping all over the place because I figured I would get one or two. So horrible! I am just praying we got the majority of them and I'm not going to find any in my bed tonight. Sounds like the missionary night was great as well! I am sure everyone learned a lot of valuable information. And yes I am a little sad I didn’t get to see the house COVERED in goodies for the activity Hehe. 


Well this week has FLOWN by. Seriously we are just so busy. I have so much on my mind and we are working so hard the time just ZIPS by. I am always wishing for more time at the end of the day. Then I hear my feet SCREAMING at me because they are so tired and I know it is time to go back to our house. Like I said last week we have a ridiculous amount of recent converts. We have been working hard to visit all of them this week and help them have spiritual experiences. It is really hard teaching them because literally more than half don’t know who Joseph Smith is, don’t have a Book of Mormon and don’t know how to pray. OF COURSE they aren’t going to feel a need to come to church if they don’t have a testimony of those things! So we are literally starting from ground zero. We are trying to help EVERYONE gain a basic understanding of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and also of the Importance of prayer! We really need EVERYONE to pray to our Heavenly Father so they can receive a testimony and witness for themselves that this church is true. We are also reading the Book of Mormon with ALL the Recent Converts we have. I really have such a strong testimony of the POWER of the Book of Mormon. There is a whole chapter in Preach My Gospel about the importance of the BoM in ones conversion and the power it has. We are working hard, visiting as many ppl as possible, studying and doing our best to follow the spirit. However, we are not seeing as much success as I would like. I am really stressed right now because I have a LOT more responsibility. If we aren’t baptizing or if we don’t have very good retention the fault falls on my shoulders. I am trying not to let those thoughts run my actions though. I am just trying to work with the Spirit and follow its guidance. God is merciful and I have confidence that if we are doing everything possible he will make up for our shortcomings. And the things that we will learn along the way are just as valuable experiences! This week we have had to really search for new investigators.   Everyday we had a goal to at least find one new family to teach and we DID IT! Not all of them are super positive but now we have a pool of ppl to teach. 

This Sunday was SO HARD! We left really early once again to go by all our converts’ houses and SATAN attacked. As soon as we left it started POURING rain and the streets we completely filled! We couldn’t get to half of our converts houses and nobody wanted to leave their house in that weather. Ugh it was so disappointing. It literally took everything in me to not break down into tears right then and there. I didn’t though. In that moment I had to remember what I have been telling all my converts, that God puts trials in our lives so we can grow. He knows exactly what challenges we need and he will never give us something we can’t handle. We just have to remember that during tough trials we are growing the most. I hope that is what was happening yesterday.  I just needed to show my faith, diligence and hope and I know we will see the miracle.  Maybe we wont see the miracle we are hoping for but I know the Lord is watching over us, he is conscious of our efforts and knows the intentions of our hearts. He won’t let us fall! 

I am doing pretty well! I am getting eating ALIVE here but good! The bugs are called sancurro or something like that. I think they are some type of Mosquito. My legs and feet are COVERED in bites. Seriously, it looks like I have a disease. The members are starting to get worried so I asked them what I should do and they said Put GAS on our feet. Like car Gasoline!  Well I decided that probably wasn’t very safe so I am stinking with the Terrashield.  I have that Benadryl spray to help with the itching and it works really well.

I am my own personal trainer right now and sometimes my training includes lying on my yoga mat while the fan blows warm air on me haha. No, I try to work out everyday. It is SO hard sometimes though because it is ridiculously HOT! Seriously I am sweating while sleeping so if I even start to exert any type of effort I am DRENCHED! It’s pretty gross. I can’t even imagine how weird it will be to not be sweating 24/7 when I get back! What's worse is we don’t have a mirror in our house so I cant even try to make myself look better. Thank goodness I don’t have to worry about boys in the mission and dating! I really have been trying to eat better. Last week I went on a sugar free diet and I have done super good (except for the food members give us of course. That is unavoidable but not very common). So the sugar free is going good, however, the ppl here just eat HORRIBLE. EVERYTHING is fried in a huge pan of grease. Yesterday for dinner a member literally gave me a BLOCK of fried cheese to eat.

This week the power went out 3 TIMES! I hate when that happens because it is dark here by 6 and without the power you really cant see ANYTHING so we cant work. Well one night the power went out so sadly we started heading back to our house. One of our investigators, Carlos, lives about 4 houses down from us so we decided to stop by his house. I had my tiny flashlight and cell phone for light and we decided that was sufficient for a lesson haha. Well we stopped by and he really didn’t want to talk but finally he decided to let us in. Ahh it was such a blessing that we were able to talk with him that night. There we were, my companion, Carlos, his wife and daughter (who are members) and I in their little house, gathered around my flashlight and we had one of the most beautiful lessons I have had in the mission. I have never felt the Spirit guide me like that night. I literally felt like the Lord was FILLING my mouth with the words to say. I am so grateful for that experience, that chance we have to know him. He still hasn’t committed to baptism but I know if we can continue to help him have these spiritual experiences we will be able to make the right decision with confidence.

The Elders in our District are really sweet. They are always watching out for us and trying to take care of us. My District leader is awesome. He reminds me of Brandon a lot. He is always calling to check on us and see if we need anything. It is super sweet and kind. I just hope we get some more Hermanas here the next change. I miss having GIRLS around. The ppl HERE are freaking out whenever they see two Hermana’s. EVERYONE is always telling us how crazy it is to see girl Mormons and they didn’t know we existed haha.   Flirts here are called MUSAS or MUSOS! We have tons of musos it is so hilarious. The Elders are always running over to ppl and saying...HEY you cant say that to the Hermanas. THEY ARE MISSIONARIES! So funny. We get a kick out of it!

Tomorrow we have to go to Managua for a Trainers and Newbies meeting. So... I get to see HERMANA JUSTAVINO!!! YES!! I miss her so much. Sadly I don’t get to see Hermana Teichert. I am really sad about that. But I do get to see the other two new Hermanas that were in Matagalpa with me. They are both very sweet and I am excited to see them! 

There is a rumor going around though that Hermana Collado is going to make sure we all get stoves in our houses within the next couple changes so we can COOK! She is AWESOME!! Seriously she is really looking out for us all. She is making 72-hour kits; we now have more money for food because of her and now the stoves! Seriously Presidente and his wife are AMAZING! They really do want to take care of us. I am so grateful I came to this mission when he was made president!
I got a bunch of letters this week! Ahh that was the best surprise I could ever ask for! Getting letters really is like Christmas. I eat up EVERY WORD! I love dear elders never be afraid you are sending too many letters.... its impossible! THANKS TO EVERYONE that sent me a letter!

I just have to tell you about our latest bug scare.  The other night I saw this super tiny bug crawling on the wall. I thought it was a spider but as I got closer I saw that it was in fact a SCORPION!! So of course I did my usual freak out thing. My comp was in the bathroom and came running out to help me! I got even more worried when she, a Nica, started to freak out as well!! She killed the scorpion and then told me she was stressed because there is never just one baby scorpion. There is always a Mama and tons of babies. Well we searched our room but didn’t find anything.  Well I had forgotten about the scorpion, then two nights later we had the scare of our lives.  We were sitting at out desks talking Thursday night when all of a sudden I see a HUGE SCORPION crawling down our wall. My mouth just dropped! Hermana Lopez was facing me and just said...I don’t even want to know. She slowly turned around and started screaming. We were quickly both running around the room screaming!! The Lady who owns our house has a little daughter and she came running to see what was wrong. When she saw the scorpion she went WHITE and ran off screaming to get her mom. I was actually pretty terrified by this point after all these Nicas were freaking. Well the senorita came running in with her broom followed by her 3 daughters. So there we were, 6 girls screaming and squealing while Senorita Teresa, killed the thing! It was quite the sight I must admit. I just hope we don’t have any more visits from Scorpions in the near future. The ELDERS were absolutely no help. They are actually pretty disappointed we didn’t take pictures...I am too haha
Well I have to go! I could stay here all day but that probably wouldn’t be very good. I love you with all my heart! I miss you all terribly!!  I will see you all SOON!!! The time is passing by super fast! Soon I will have 6 months here! Then I will practically be coming home! OKAY I LOVE YOU WITH MY EVERYTHING!!! I MISS YOU!!!

Until next Monday!
LOVES, 
Savannah



9.09.2013

Here I Come Tipitapa!

Hello,

Remember how I thought the first week of my mission was hard? I WAS SO WRONG!  Monday we got together as a Zone at the smoothie shop like last change to hear who had changes. We got there and were all having a great time visiting and guessing who would leave, who would stay and all that good stuff. I was pretty nervous my comp was going to be changed but like I said last week we were all POSITIVE I wouldn’t have changes. Well it came time for them to announce changes and my life was flipped upside DOWN. They announced EVERY area before ours and finally got to YAGUARES 1-my area. Elder Palma, my ZL, started singing I Stand All Amazed and looked right at me. I HAD CHANGES! I can’t even imagine my face. I know my mouth dropped to the ground. Then Hermana Justavino and I looked at each other and just started BAWLING! Seriously it was horrible.  Only the ppl that have changes go to Managua now, meet up with their new comp or someone else from that area and leave together. SO.... that night they told me where I would be going. Let me just paint a picture for you.... There I was already bawling and shaking because I was so nervous when the ZLs say okay now do you guys want to hear where you are going!? Everyone except my comp and I started cheering OF COURSE! They start rattling off areas get to me and stop. Elder Kunzler says okay and now for Hermana Kendall...She is going somewhere SUPER AWESOME- TIPITAPA!! What the HECK!? Okay Tipitapa is an ALL ELDER ZONE! There have never been Hermanas there because it is pretty dangerous. YES my comp and I are the FIRST HERMANAS in TIPITAPA! Well I was already DYING when Elder Kunzler said WAIT that’s not all. Hermana Kendall will be FINISHING the training of her comp and will be SENIOR COMPANION! What in the WORLD is going on with my life! YES this is all real... So I am currently in TIPITAPA, with ALL ELDERS, TRAINING and TRYING to be senior comp (whatever that means). This week has been so insane. Traveling SUCKED!  It was hilarious actually. I traveled with a couple other missionaries that had changes and they helped me out with my bags. We had to go on a public bus and then stuff 5 of us- each with 2 to 3 suitcases in one taxi! It was actually pretty hilarious and I am sure really safe. We were all squished and sitting on each others laps. My suitcases are totally trashed now too because the roads here are terrible. They are just dirt roads with tons of potholes.

Tipitapa is about 30 mins outside of Matagalpa. It is SO HOT here. I was so blessed to be in Matagalpa because this is miserable I am ALWAYS sweating. Even in the shower, if that is possible. Our house is right across the street from the church so that is nice. If we ever get lost, which happens a lot, we just ask for the directions to the church. We live in the house of a sweet old lady that lives with her three daughters and their families. It is pretty nice. The Elders told us that they were searching for a nice house for us for a LONG time, so we are pretty grateful. We have a ton of bugs but my comp usually takes care of those. I still refuse to smash a cockroach they are horrible little creatures!

My comps name is Hermana Lopez. She is from Nicaragua and is just serving here while she waits for her visa. She is super sweet and helpful. She only has one change in the mission and I only have 2! I can’t believe they put us together here and that I am supposed to be teaching her! I am just realizing how amazing Hermana Justavino really was and ALL she taught me. I am so grateful for her. Because of her I know how to start lessons, share stories from the scriptures, ask inspired questions and just WORK. As senior comp I have to start all the lessons, come up with the scriptures or lessons we will share and really just direct where the lesson goes because my comp really doesn’t know. IT IS SO HARD. However, I have already had so many INCREDIBLE experiences when the Lord helped me and strengthened me.  My comp really is so sweet and kind and has a desire to work. The only bad thing is that she is from Nicaragua...well okay it is good and bad. Let me explain. Nicas have the WORST SPANISH out of seriously any other country. They don’t say their s's, they talk super quiet and mumble and she is no different. It is good because my ear can get a little bit more used to listening to Spanish but she is SO HARD to understand. Hermana Justavino talked very clearly and at a normal volume. I could understand almost everything she said. I can understand the missionaries from Guatemala pretty easy as well. It would be a lot easier to learn Spanish from someone I can understand and that talks clearly so I can implement what they are saying into my own speech. I will just have to study harder.

Our area is HUGE! Seriously it is like three times the size of my other area however there aren’t any mountains. It is awesome how easy it is to walk around all day now. I just wish the weather was the same as in Matagalpa- that would be the IDEAL area. We have SO MANY recent converts we have to take care of. A normal list of RC (recent converts) here is about 20-30. Our list has 60! Yes we have 60 recent converts we have to visit every week. The Elders that were in this area before us baptized someone every week for 13 weeks. It is INSANE! I can barely remember half of their names. It is super hard when the majority of them are named Fransisco or Jose. We have been lost so many times this week trying to find all our converts houses. I hope this week will go better. I am so stressed right now. I have never felt like I had such a huge responsibility on my shoulders! The first day I wanted to go home so bad.

I am not sleeping very well right now. We live on a main road so it is super loud. We hear all the huge trucks all night long. I sleep with a fan RIGHT ON MY FACE all night long and I still sweat the whole night. We have a lady that washes our clothes again. I made sure of that Hehe :) We eat at a member’s house and she is super AWESOME! I will take a picture of her and her family this week to send to you. I was sick the first couple days trying to adjust to her cooking but I feel better now.

We don’t have a kitchen just a fridge so I bought cereal, yogurt and bread today for dinner. There aren’t a lot of options here. My other apartment was nicer but this house is a little bigger. It is hilarious though because we don’t have a door for the bathroom so we have to warn each other when we want to go to the bathroom. We have a TON of bugs! I am getting eaten a live. We seriously had nothing in Matagalpa compared to here. I started using Terrashield though and it is helping a lot. The majority of the ppl here are "middle class". Middle class for Nicaragua that is. In Matagalpa there were super poor ppl that lived in mud huts and super rich ppl that had houses that could almost pass for a house in the states. Here most of the houses are made of tin and have about 3 rooms.

It is hard being the only Hermanas as well. I just want to talk to a GIRL! Hermana Justavino called me this morning and it was so nice to talk to her. OH Ya now I have a phone...yes I am pretty cool. And yes it is a flip phone haha. But it was so good to talk to another girl. I hope they will put more Hermanas here sometime. We are testing it out right now. I am not sure what will happen. Oh and the phone is a blessing and a curse. I love talking with the different Gringos but SPANISH over the phone is HORRIBLE! My District leader has to call me every night for the numbers and I seriously say a prayer before I answer the phone that I wont embarrass myself too bad. He is from Guatemala so he talks super clear but SUPER fast as well. Oh brother.

Yesterday in church we had a crazy experience! I don’t know if I should tell you...well nothing really happened so I think it is safe. So we were sitting in Sacrament meeting yesterday listening to a talk when all of a sudden we hear a SUPER loud GUN SHOT! All the members started screaming, running around and looking out the windows. I was so startled and scared so I just sat there. The elders ran over and were like are you guys OKAY!? " Don’t worry everything is fine and taken care of." I was pretty confused but eventually everyone sat down and we started sacrament meeting again. After Elder Este, my ZL, told me it was a fight RIGHT in FRONT OF OUR HOUSE! Nobody was shot it was just to scare them. That is when they made the rule we have to be in our house by 8:00. Everyone is taking care of us though- the Elders, members and investigators. It is super sweet.

During the day I feel pretty safe but nights are pretty sketch here. The Elders told us we HAVE to be in our house at 8pm. And they call us EVERY night at 8 on the dot to check on us. There are just a bunch of drunks out on the street and most of them walk around with their machetes. It is INSANE! I don’t want to scare you with things like this but I have to TALK TO SOMEONE about it. Honestly though don’t worry. We have 20 Elders here that are taking care of us as well as the LORD. I know we wouldn’t have been sent here if it wasn’t safe. Even my blessing when I was set apart said I would be safe. It also said I would be opening new areas...I just didn’t know IT WOULD BE HAPPENING THIS SOON!

We work like CRAZY! My poor comp probably thinks I am psycho. We practically run to every appointment. Once we know the RC, ward members and area better I think it will be easier. Oh and we have an activity every week called the Noche de Hermanamiento and OF COURSE we had to teach this week. Hahaha I am sure I made a GREAT first impression in front of the whole Branch with my broken Spanish. I am sure they have tons of confidence in me to lead this area.........

I don’t have pics of my house yet but I will take some today.  We found a HUGE COCKROACH in our sink today. I WAS SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER and woke up my comp. I of course wouldn’t touch it so I watched as she scooped it into a bag, threw it outside then ran and smashed it. YES I was doing the girly squeal while fanning my face and running on my tiptoes the whole time.

The sucky thing is my plan to eat healthy has gone DOWN THE DRAIN! I have eaten like CRAP this week. I justified it with the fact that this week sucked though and that we didn’t have a fridge yet or anything really. Also with the fact that it is SO HOT and I just want ice cream all day long haha. We have a fridge now though and had the chance to go shopping today ( the grocery store here sucks :( ) so I WILL EAT BETTER FROM HERE ON OUT!

Oh we had a funny experience this week with one of our recent converts. He is 25 and the BIGGEST FLIRT EVERY. Seriously he tried to kiss me the first time we met and I did some weird squirmy thing to get out of the way while saying uhh errr no podemos no podemos- we cant do that hahahah. My comp was like STOP to him. He also kept trying to sit closer and closer to me. I kept scooting closer to my comp and she practically fell off the bench trying to help me out. He always wants to accompany us to lessons or ANYWHERE. At least we will have one person at church haha just kidding that is horrible....but true.

I can’t believe how hard it has been raining there. Everyone told me that this week in their emails. SO CRAZY. That is great the boys went to help out though. It rained super hard here the first night and we were stuck in a member’s house for about an hour. After we took one step out of their house and fell into a giant puddle haha. It was so dark and the streets were FULL of water so we didn’t really make much of an effort to avoid the puddles after that.

Also here the showers are almost WARM. I am pretty sure it might just be my steaming body warming the water. I almost wish it were a little cooler some mornings.

Okay I have to go!!! I love you with all my heart and will write you in one week!!!! I love you!!! Oh also know the Lord is helping me so much. He is putting the words in my mouth and the scriptures in my mind. I am so thankful for his help! Okay I love you!!!! BYE

Savannah

9.02.2013

Birthday Celebration


20th Birthday Cake

Birthday Dinner - Fried Chicken and French Fries

Elder Palma rubbing the egg all over my head. Thanks elders.... haha

Cutting the Cake - Can you see all the egg in my hair and on my skirt?


We found this cute Italian Restaurant today that had MARGARITA PIZZA!! I thought about mom the whole time of course and it was actually pretty good. 

My moms in the mission. They take care of me! 


Hello Everyone,


Well this week has gone by SO FAST! Seriously probably the fastest week of my whole mission. Nothing super miraculous happened this week but we worked hard and are hopefully going to see the fruits from our labors in the upcoming week. This week we just have been working super hard to find new families to teach. We are teaching TONS of ppl right now and are just really trying to discern who is truly prepared to make this change in their lives right now. I think I have told you about Bydon and Fransis. We LOVE teaching them. They are so prepared and sweet. They keep all their commitments and always want to learn more. They have committed to be baptized the 14th. The only problem is.... THEY CAN NEVER COME TO CHURCH! You have to go to church at least 2 times to be baptized and they just never make it to church. Every Sunday we leave the house early and pass by EVERY SINGLE person’s house to try and get them to go to church. Members, investigators, less actives...EVERY BODY! Seriously Sunday mornings are so HARD! We work like maniacs to get ppl to church. I imagine what Sundays will be like when I return and it feels like a dream. It feels like I will always be leaving at 7 am to drag ppl to church haha. Anyways every time we stop by Bydons house they have some Catastrophe! It sucks!! SATAN knows they are ready and he is working so hard on them. Hopefully we can get them to church next week.

I think I have also told you about Edwin. He is supposed to get baptized this SATURDAY! YAY I am so hungry for another baptism! I love the spirit in the baptismal services. And watching someone enter into that covenant with God is super special. I can’t wait for his baptism. HE is SO READY. He came to church all on his own yesterday. It was incredible. Especially since his whole family attends a different church. He participated in all the classes and loved it. What a sweet experience it is to watch him come unto Christ and get to know his Savior.

So Thursday was our meeting with President and one of the Seventy, Elder Ochoa.  The meeting was seriously so great. I understood EVERYTHING!! Ahh that was a pretty awesome feeling. The spirit was undeniable and I learned a TON. It made me so motivated to just continue growing and to become the best missionary possible. I want to teach with all the clarity and power possible so there is nothing standing in the way for the investigators to feel the Spirit and make the decision to change their lives. AHH there just aren’t enough hours in the day to learn all I want to in order to be a powerful missionary. For now I will just focus on improving EVERY SINGLE DAY! If you aren’t going forward you are going backwards and others will pass you by. I want to get better EVERY DAY!! We also had our special musical number. We ended up singing my version of I Stand All Amazed. One of the Hermanas in my zone heard me playing it and singing it one day and decided we HAD to sing it. So we had a small choir of 5 ppl. I sang the first verse. Then I and one of the Elders sang the Second verse then we all sang the chorus. It was really beautiful. EVERYONE LOVED IT! I was so nervous though. Standing up there looking at the President and one of the 70 was intimidating. Hermana Teichert was there as well! YEAH! I love that girl so much! She had a cute little birthday present for me and we got to talk for a while. It was so great to catch up with her.


So FRIDAY we celebrated my birthday. What the HECK! I am so old.... I cant believe I can know say I am in my twenties. However, this year of being 20 is going to be pretty incredible. Can't wait to see all that is in store. During the day was pretty normal. We worked and visited a ton of ppl. That night we had dinner with a less active family the Elders are teaching. They were so sweet! They sang, danced and cooked for me. Afterwards the Elders told my comp and I that we needed to stop by Fransisco and Yudidas house real quick. (Fransisco was the Mission Leader that I have talked about a lot. Now he is Second councilor. We work with him and his family A LOT. Love them!) Anyways we stopped by their house real quick and all their family as well as Nohela and her son were they’re singing happy birthday and taking pictures. It was super cute. Well we sat and visited for awhile and Yudida kept saying things like AHH why didn’t you tell us you were going to come by we would of baked you a cake! I just kept saying oh don’t WORRY ABOUT IT! Well mid-sentence all the elders in our district come walking in with a huge CAKE singing Happy Birthday and doing a funny dance haha it was priceless! Afterwards, everyone said I needed to take pictures with the Elders and the cake. So I grabbed the cake and we started taking pictures. Next thing I know the Elders are SMASHING EGGS on my HEAD! Hahaha yes we got it all on film! I guess it is tradition here. It was super fun and the Elders thought it was hilarious. Afterwards the sang happy birthday and I got my face smashed in the cake. Haha it is a different kind of love here. But it was AWESOME! They even went to Tip Top - the only fast food restaurant here- and got us all dinner. We had fried chicken and French fries! It really was a great birthday. The real kicker though is that we got back to our house and didn’t have ANY WATER. There I was was covered in eggs and we didn’t have water...lets just say it was pretty smelly. We had a TINY bucket with a little bit of water that I splashed on my head. I am just going to pretend that the egg moisturized my hair.... or something like that.  I also got to read all my letters!! YES! That was my favorite part of the day. Seriously thank you to EVERYONE who sent me letters. It made my day. And I definitively cried when I read yours, dad's and the boys. I just love you guys so much!! Thank you for the earrings they are beautiful!

Well Changes are a lot different now with the new President. He is just trying to follow the rules and suggestions as closely as possible. It is great. However, we don’t really know how things are going to play out still. Supposedly we are going to find out tonight who has changes and then those ppl will go to Managua tomorrow to get their new companion and find out where they are headed. I am pretty sure I will be here for a little bit longer but no one knows for sure. I hope Hermana Justavino and I can stay together for at least one more change. I heard President Hinckley once suggested to try and have the missionaries in the same area for about 4 changes and supposedly President wants to try and do that. I will know soon and you will all know next week! Fingers crossed I can stay here a little longer!

At the end of every change (my two whole changes I have here have given me the right to say things like that haha) we play this game as a zone called Kingdom of Matagalpa. Basically we vote on who is the most Spiritual in the zone, hardest worker, goofiest, funniest, prettiest, laziest...just a ton of different things. I actually hate the game but it is tradition. Well this change I was voted most Spiritual and Prettiest...uncomfortable. Anyways, whoever wins the most categories is Crowed king or Queen of Matagalpa. Last change no one won more than one category so we didn’t have a queen or King. Well this change I was CROWNED QUEEN OF MATAGALPA. Yes that is right your daughter is Queen of some area here in Nicaragua. Haha I get to pick where we eat for pdays now.... if I stay!


I really am enjoying my time here a lot more now. I hope I can continue to develop my personality in Spanish as well as regain it in English. Sometimes I feel super awkward in English too now. I got so used to not saying anything and not understanding that sometimes I do that now in English. I am feeling more comfortable now though and I know it will just keep getting better. 

OH I was going to tell you! The power has gone out 4 days this week! It has been CRAZY!!! It is pitch black here without the power at about 6:30. The streets are super dangerous with out the power so we have to go home early and just chill in the dark. I have that tiny little flashlight so we usually sit in the dark with my little flashlight and talk.

Okay I have to go now :( I love you with all my heart though and I miss you!!!! Tell the boys I love them too and think about them every day! Ahh I don’t want to say goodbye. I know the next Monday will come fast though. Okay I love you to pieces!!!


LOVES!!!

Savannah