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