12.16.2013

Broom in the Oven

We made COOKIES this week!  My first cookies in the mission.
Yes, we suck at eating healthy. But they were delicious!
We were cooking in the church and after we had PREHEATED the oven to make the cookies I checked it to see if it was warm. I opened it to find a BURNING broom inside. I just gasped looked at Miller and shut it really fast. I told her about the broom, we looked at it and then thought we should take a pic haha. We were dying laughing! Nicas don’t even know what ovens are for so of course they would store the broom in it!!!

Okay, I am not going to lie the past couple weeks have been really difficult for us. Miller and I get along SO WELL. We are so similar and have a BLAST together. We are working really well together and we thought we would see a lot of success. However, the past couple weeks have been full of disappointment. We are finding TONS of new investigators every week and having really beautiful experiences with them however, one by one they all fall. As a mission, this month we have a goal for every companionship to baptizes one family as a gift to Christ this Christmas. We are doing lots of special fasts, studies, meetings, prayers.... everything so we can to make this happen. We both honestly believe in our hearts every companionship will baptize a family this month. We just don’t know how we are going to do it. We have been a little discouraged because all of our possibilities keep failing. We want to do this for Christ and we know it is his desire we just don’t know how. But we both have the faith we are going to make it happen. We are just going to continue working hard and searching for los escogidos.

This week we did a lot of divisions with the Hermanas we are over. Now the hermanas don’t work with their DL´s or ZL´s at all. So if they ever need help with a lesson or a family they are teaching, we go and help and teach with them. The only hard part about it is we are over the sisters in Esteli, which is 3 hours from our area by Bus. Therefore, we lose a lot of time each time we have to do divisions with them. We honestly believe if we put the hermanas first and their needs, the Lord will bless our area and us. This week we did divisions with a cute companionship working in Esteli. I worked with Hermana Lesher, who is a newbie. She was super cute to work with and we had a great time together. She is having a lot of the same stresses I was experiencing when I first got here.... Spanish, connecting with the ppl, knowing the material...the norm. We talked a little about it and I shared with her some things that I learned from the scriptures and PMG my first months here. I hope she went back to her area feeling a little better.

This Sunday was the Wards Primary program. I know I was shocked that existed here too. Only in MANAGUA!! Managua es la LEY! Anyways, it was super cute and there was a sweet spirit there. I felt like I was back in Utah watching cute Carter and all the other little bugs.

Well, we are busying getting ready for Christmas here. Christmas here is the 24th so that will be interesting.  We came up with an AWESOME idea to find new investigators and involve the members during this Christmas season. We are going to ask all the members if they would like to send a "Christmas Gram" to a family member or friend, in which we will show up at their friends house sing a Christmas Hymn and then share a 5 minute message about Christ (because who doesn’t want to hear about Christ on Christmas). Then after we will make an appointment to visit them later on during the week to share the missionary discussions. SWEET HUH! We are so pumped. We are also going to the Hospital Christmas Day as a District to sing to the Kids. I can’t wait! Christmas is going to be AWESOME. Oh and at night ALL the missionaries close by are going to meet at our food citas house to have a Christmas dinner. However, to enter you have to make a food FROM your country and you and your companion have to prepare a talent. It is going to be such a good time. We can hardly wait. We are also doing secret Santa in the Zone and our HUGE Mission activity is next Monday. We are going to have a Lunch, talent show and program at the HILTON hotel with the WHOLE mission! Minus the ppl in Puerto because there aren’t planes big enough to bring them all. So pres. and his family are going there later on.
Each zone has to plan a talent for the Mission Christmas activity and we have something SWEET planned! I will try and take a video to send it to you all. I also just got informed today by the AP´s that I will be singing a special number at it.... in front of all 200 missionaries!!! Lets just say I am terrified. I will let you know how it goes!

I just want to tell you real quickly about today. We had Christmas Olympics with our Zone and the Other MANAGUA ZONE!!! SUPER PDAY! It was SO MUCH FUN! We seriously all had a blast. We basically did a bunch of minute to win it games. We all had such a great time. I will send pics next week from it. I just love being with all the other missionaries. I can’t even explain to you how much I love them. We have all seriously just become a family. We all know, love and support one another in this important work. It is so awesome to be with ppl that understand the challenges you are going through and also the incredible joy you feel. Ahh there is nothing like the MISSION!

More than anything though today I want to testify that the Book of Mormon is true. This book has changed my life forever. I feel so privileged to have knowledge of these things and the opportunity to study them every day. I love starting off my day by Reading the words of Gods prophets. The experiences of Nephi, Alma, Ammon, Mormon... EVERYONE, give me the strength I need to face the day. I love Reading the things my Heavenly Father desires that I know so that I can better my life every day. My honest desire is that I can improve a Little every day. Every day I hope to become a Little more like my Padre Celestial and change my heart so I ONLY have a desire to do good. The Book of Mormon contains the answers to all of Life’s questions. I know whenever we need advise or counsel we can turn to the Book of Mormon and Heavenly Father will reveal to us what we need. I love this book and I know with all my heart it is true. I challenge you all to read it Every Day. I promise you that as you do you will see more blessing and peace in your life. You will experience a change of heart and you will feel your Savior nearer to thee. I would also like to challenge you ALL to share this incredible book with someone this Christmas season. Share these inspired words of God, this other testament of Jesus Christ with someone at this Christmas season. I know as you make an effort to find someone that is ready to hear this restored message of Christ through the Book of Mormon, Heavenly Father will bless you and put the ppl en su CAMINO! (In your path)

Okay talk to you next week! Probably just a quick one next week because we have our activity and are skyping during the WEEK! 

LOVES!
Savannah

12.09.2013

THE MOST BIZARRE THING I HAVE EVER SEEN


For Pday we played capture the flag in someone’s "backyard". Aka a huge JUNGLE. Yes, they had to pull my teeth to play because I was afraid of all the bugs and yes, I found a giant spider crawling up my leg...lost a few years off my life in that moment.
At my first consejos meeting with the other sisters!
Miller and I "on top of Nicaragua!"
President took us out to lunch this week..... a REAL RESTAURANT.
I didn't even know they existed here. It was a lot of fun! Oh and that is 
Elder Oldrod behind us haha what a goof. 




It sounds freezing there! I must admit I DO MISS THE COLD. I never thought I would say that but I really do. It actually isn’t too hot here right now but I am preparing myself for the upcoming months! Everyone says December is the coolest (I just feel like I am in Matagalpa) and then we all roast in an inferno for 5 months. Literally, Miller told me it is what she imagines Hell to be like......... uh oh 

I guess I should get telling you about this week.  Last Monday after I wrote you we had FHE with the cutest member family! Seriously these ladies are the most adorable ppl I have ever met. They have been inviting us over forever and we haven’t had time to go by. So when we showed up Monday they about through a fit they were so excited. The mom is exactly what you would imagine a Latin woman to be. She kind of has a dance motion in her whenever she moves, is so loving, gives lots of hugs and almost sings while she talks. I love her! She calls us her white babies. Haha so cute. She lives with her daughter and son. They are all members and so pilas. Love them. Probably one of my favorite fhe I've had. The spirit there was so sweet and tender. 

This week we’ve had a ton of meetings with President! Tuesday I went to my first "consejos". That is a meeting with all the ZLs, TLs, APs and president. It was there that I met Dennison and got to chat with him for a bit. It was fun to see all the other missionaries and catch up for a bit. At this meeting we present numbers for our "zones" if you are a ZL or the needs of the sisters if you are a TL. Then we all talk about our plans and what we are doing to have success or how we can improve. It is awesome because everyone participates and receives revelation for their callings and areas and how we can help the rest of the missionaries.  Anyways, after that we started discussing the needs of the mission. This time president presented a "desafio" or challenge to us. In which we all worked on for about 3 hours. It was basically the goals we think we should have as a mission and how we can help all the missionaries have success. It was really awesome actually. I kind of felt like I was in a meeting with the President of the country and we were all figuring out how we can save the world... strangely enough that is exactly what we were doing Hehe! 

Wednesday, Miller and I got invited to another meeting with president and some other missionaries. We were invited so we could discuss what we were doing to have success and how we can help all the missionaries have the same success. It was cool. I learned a lot from the other missionaries on how I can improve and what I can work on. Afterwards was the Pres. took us all out to a Restaurant! It was awesome we ate REAL FOOD. I even got mashed potatoes. Who knew such a thing existed in Nicaragua. It was so much fun to be with all the missionaries and visit. Some of the missionaries I was with in Tipitapa were there and they told me one of the investigators I was working with got baptized last week and Enrique was the one that performed the BAPTISM!!! So cool! They also said he received the Melchezedick priesthood and has just been called to be the Ward Mission Leader. HE IS SO AMAZING!! Ahh I miss Tipitapa SOO much and all the sweet ppl there. I already can’t wait for the last week of my mission when I get to go back and VISIT!  Only bad news is I don’t know if I will want to come home after returning and visiting with them! 

This week we have been working hard to find new FAMILIES and we have been so blessed. We literally found a super positive family EVER DAY this week. So cool. Every new family we found this week has either already received lessons from the missionaries a time or two or one member of their family is a member. How incredible is that. It is so much easier to work with ppl who have a little background with the church. I have to tell you about one family we found. Okay this couple is going to be my new Enrique and Corina. We were walking in the street one-day when Millers sock fell off so she was trying to get readjusted when a family walked pass. I wasn’t going to say anything because my comp was occupied but BUENAS came out of my mouth. We walked them back to their house and found out their son that lives in Chinandega is a member and so is his family. They even went to the temple last year so they are super pilas. They also told us they have been searching for a church to join but they just haven’t felt good in any church yet. They wanted to visit ours but they just hadn’t been invited yet. So we QUICKLY invited them and left them with a pamphlet of the Restoration. When we went back to their house his wife was really sick but he came out and talked to us for a little while. He said he had read the WHOLE pamphlet and he loved everything about it. He then went on to explain EVERYTHING he read. It was AWESOME. Most ppl just read it but he STUDIED it. He said how he didn’t know Adam was the first prophet or that there was an apostasy or that God called prophets hoy en dia. He was so interested about the priesthood and he can’t wait to start reading the Book of Mormon! I am telling you this family is GOLDEN I can't wait to work with them more. We found tons of other special families this week that we are going to continue working with as well. How neat! The Lord is really blessing us! 

Saturday Dec. 7th is a crazy holiday here where all the ppl worship the Virgin Mary. Seriously, this holiday was BIZARRE. It was SO HARD to work. Hardly anyone was home. I would say it is a combination of the 4th of July and Halloween. So I guess it is a Catholic holiday where they all worship and praise Mary. Everybody makes HUGE Alters or Presentations with statues or pictures of Mary in the middle and they put them in front of their house. Then all the ppl go house to house (adults and kids) and they have to do a weird chant or sing a song to the Mary statue. Then usually the owner of the house gives a little sermon or preaching session and then they give all the ppl and kids treats or food. This goes on ALL night! And it is not just Catholics that do it... everybody wants free food. There are also weird dancing guys on stilts throughout the streets with little kids surrounding them playing drums. At 6pm EVERY ONE sets off fireworks or firecrackers to signify it is starting and then at 12am every one sets them off again to signify it is ending. IT WAS THE MOST BIZARRE THING I HAVE EVER SEEN! I honestly felt like I was living in the Book of Mormon watching all these ppl worship FALSE IDOLS. Literally worshipping them. There was such a gross feeling in the air. It was just so apparent that those things weren’t of God. Definitely an experience I will never forget.  Seriously these ppl are crazy. They all start shaking when they are "filled with the spirit" and some ppl even fall to the floor. They also think they all receive the gift of tongues when the "spirit touches them" and they just start talking gibberish. Seriously they remind me of Steve Carell in Bruce Almighty. It is gibberish! But that is what they think the gift of tongues is! 

Yesterday night we were able to go to the Christmas Devotional! We brought 3 investigators and a less active. It was really special to watch it with them. The spirit was just so sweet and tender. It is impossible to doubt that this church is true whenever you enter one of our buildings. The spirit is so clean and pure. Completely opposite of how it feels out in the world. I love how I feel whenever I enter the church it is like all my stresses melt away for a quick second. I loved listening to the talks and songs though.

As a mission we are all working really hard to baptize at least one family per companionship this month as a present to our savior Jesus Christ. We are doing a lot of things to strengthen our faith and our efforts but I know we would love prayers from anyone and everyone... the WHOLE mission needs the help of the prayers of the members! 

Okay I love you with all my heart we will talk next week! 

Loves,
Savannah

PS  Oh I forgot to tell you we have a small family of RATS that lives in our house we just found!! It is so gross! We about die every day when they come running out from under the door. I hate RATS!!!! 


12.02.2013

Sushi for Thanksgiving!


This is from the Hermanas only meeting last week! 


With Hermana Chinchilla! She left this change! So sad because she was such and INCREDIBLE missionary. 

I have tons of pics from this meeting! Girls go a little crazy with the camera! 

Justavino and Corzantes! LOVE THESE GIRLS! P.S. Justavino got sent to PUERTO this week! PUERTO! How crazy. It used to only have Elders there because it is super dangerous and nuts. It is like extreme camping everyone says. There have been hermanas there for 3 changes now. The same time I opened Tipitapa. She will be great there and she is learning a new language there! She will only be teaching in Mesquito! 

Miller and I when we got stuck in a rain storm. LOVE MY COMP!! 

Our Thanksgiving dinner, SUSHI!! The perks of living in Managua. There is only one sushi place here and it is actually good! We even had it delivered to our house. We ate WAY TOO MUCH! But hey isn't that what Thanksgiving is about? It was super expensive but worth it! 

Eating my Thanksgiving dinner. I look a little crazy from a long day of work!


This week has been very interesting. Changes were this week and so the whole mission has been a little crazy.  I of course got here a week early so it was a little calmer for me but still a lot going on in the mission. We got a new DL and tons of new elders. We were the only Hermanas in the Zone, but they just put more in this change so it will be fun to get to know them. Our zone is SO FUN! I love everyone here.

Okay so I didn’t really get to tell you about our area last week. It is so interesting working in MANAGUA! We have to get EVERYWHERE by bus or taxi. Everyone here actually has a decent house and usually a car. Our house on the other hand is... horrible haha. We are definitely sporting the bucket shower and the bucket toilet. We NEVER have water so we are always stalking up and we most surely have mice friends living with us... NO! We have a nightly freak out session whenever one comes running out from under the door!

Our lunch and laundry cita is AWESOME! This lady is the cutest & sweetest person in the entire world. She takes such good care of us. She makes fruits and veggies EVERY DAY! She doesn’t even make us eat rice. I love her so much and her family. I wish you could meet her I know you would love her with all your heart too.

We have been working with two young adults.  They are both reading the Book of Mormon and have gone to church enough times to be baptized, they are just a little nervous to take the plunge and get baptized. It is so hard teaching ppl who know it is true but are just nervous to take this step.  Right now we are just trying to build their faith in Christ and hopefully they will be baptized this WEEKEND! They really are incredible and I love them so much. I can’t wait to see them feel at peace with this decision and watch Christ continue to change their lives.

We have also been working with one of the cutest young families of all time.  They are just two young adults, so in love with the sweetest little baby boy. They have such strong desires to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized. They accepted every part of our message so easily. They have been reading the Book of Mormon and know it is true. There is always the sweetest most incredible spirit in their house. We never want to leave because it just feels so good there. They have been preparing to be baptized and were supposed to be baptized and married this Saturday. Well Friday rolled around and they both had their interviews. During the interviews it came up that he is only 20 and therefore needs the signature of his mom or dad to get married. Well...that is a HUGE PROBLEM. His dad doesn’t believe he is old enough to take this step in his life. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! They can’t get baptized if they aren’t married. Well, we literally talked to EVERY lawyer in town trying to find a loop hole. We also had lessons with his mom and dad trying to convince them to allow their son to get married but they would not BUDGE!!! Long story short they weren’t able to get baptized because we couldn’t get them married. It was the saddest thing every. It broke my heart to see two ppl, a FAMILY that are prepared and anxious to follow Christ have to postpone that moment. Saturday night we were pretty devastated just because we really have no idea what more we can do to help them. We are going to continue to look for solutions though because we KNOW Christ and God want them to be baptized so we WILL find the loop hole and they will enter into the waters of baptism VERY SOON!

So this week we also started our responsibilities as Sister Training Leaders. We are over the Hermanas here in Managua and in Esteli. Esteli is 3 hours away from here by bus and we have to go EVERY week to do divisions! It is going to be really difficult to do so many divisions so far away but I know it is also going to be a great experience for us both to learn and grow. Basically, as Sister Training Leaders we do divisions and meetings with them to teach them how to work more effectively and also to motivate them. This week we did our first changes in Esteli. Miller stayed here in our area with one sister and I went to Esteli. First off, the buses that go there are LEGIT because the ride is so long.  The seats recline, there is sweet music (I heard a new BeyoncĂ© song hehehe), there are bathrooms and treats. It was pretty fun. Anyways, I got to Eateli and it was FREEZING! Seriously it was so cold there I was dying all night long. It was so awesome to work there though. It is GORGEOUS! Tons of trees and mountains. It reminded me of Matagalpa a little bit. It is a really rich area of Nicaragua as well. It was kind of fun to see the rich ppl houses here.
I was there with Hermana Corzantes, she is one of the trainers right now. She has been a little discouraged because they haven’t put very many fechas lately and they have been having a hard time finding new ppl to teach. Well, we worked like LOCAS I tell ya. We found so many new ppl and put 4 fechas. It was la LEY! I loved working with her and I learned so much from the experience. I feel like maybe I was given this calling just so I CAN LEARN. We both ended the day feeling so motivated and ready to face the work once again. I think I am going to love working with all these girls and getting to know them better. I can’t wait to learn a little from each Hermana and implement it in to my own work!

Today we went shopping at the GROCERY STORE here and I have never been so excited to grocery shop in all my LIFE. It was like WALMART!!! I was dying they actually had real FOOD! I was so excited. They also had body wash and soap. I was seriously dying the whole time! I even found caramel kisses!!! THEY WERE SO EXPENSIVE but I had to buy them. I know that is a HORRIBLE use of money, but I just had to do it. They also had GRANOLA BARS and salsa. I haven’t seen real food in so long. It was AWESOME!

Okay I have to go now. MAN the time goes by way too fast!!! I love you with all my heart!  I will talk to you next week!

With all my love,
Savannah