Can you believe it?! I’ve been in Nicaragua for 3 weeks, and 2 months in the mission! Wow! Thank you so much for supporting, loving, and helping me here in the mission! Also, thank you for ALL the letters. I love them, and you!
Well, of course the language is a challenge and I am not always able to express the way I’d like to, or even understand most of what people say. However, Elder Putt, my district leader told me something he did that helped him to become fluent. He said he would read jut a little bit every day en el libro de Mormon. He also said in the beginning he had the Spanish and English Book of Mormon right next to each other as he read. Then after a while he used the English one less. One he stopped reading it in English he only used a dictionary. By the time he finished el libro de Mormon he became fluent. Challenge accepted!!!
I love my district so much! They, and my companion Hermana Fuentes are my support here in the mission, plus, they’re so much fun!!!! For last P-Day we went to la playa in San Jorge! Ahhh, I hadn’t been to the beach in so long, it was SO nice! Looking out over the water and sitting in the sand was so relaxing. While we were there we walked around, talked, took some pictures, and played "Ninja Destruction". Hahaha....I’m really not with it early in the morning. My companion and I had to wake up at 5 to get ready and go to the beach. I left our apartment without eating breakfast, grabbing snacks, or my camera. Hermana Ross took great pictures of us so hopefully she’ll send them to me. By the time we got to eat I was SO hungry! We went to a place in town that actually had hamburgers and fries. But don’t get your hopes up, it’s very different and tastes like the cafeteria kind I had at Mark Twain Elementary, haha. While we waited for food we played UNO. What a great times with Hermana Fuentes Hermana Ross, Hermana Aguilar, Eler Putt, and Elder Herrera.
So a couple days ago I got to go on a companion exchange in Diriamba. My companion for the day was Hermana Garcia. She’s from Guatemala and speaks great English! I learned so much from her! She’s so brave and forward with people while contacting and teaching. We also made every message brief, simple, and sincere. We were able to get so much work done, and even teach new contacts from that day! One contact we had went SO well! An elderly woman let us in and her daughter. I ended up talking about The Restoration in more detail for my very first time! Woo! I was so nervous and the whole time I felt like I might have a heart attack! Almost every time we teach my stomach goes crazy and I get so nervous. My teaching and contacting keeps getting braver and better. Woop woop! Honestly though, the Holy Ghost is my guide and puts the words in my mouth through God.
Thursday was an especially fulfilling day! Hermana Fuentes, our recent convert Michael and I went to his Uncle Javier’s house for our second time. Javier is a great man and very kind to us. We talked a lot about the importance of baptism and the importance of showing our faith in Christ. Toward the end of the lesson my companion asked him if he would be baptized the third or tenth of May. After a moment of silence he said he would be baptized on the tenth. At first I didn’t know if I had heard correctly, he was so calm in his response. Once I realized he said he would like to be baptized on that date I got so excited for him, so as we left I smiled really big at him and said, Felicidades! He smiled back, so I hope my excitement then made up for the slow reaction I had the first time. We also met with Edwin, Marlyn, Elder Putt and Elder Herrera, for the baptismal interview. Edwin and Marlyn get married and baptized this Saturday!! Woo hoo!!!! I’m so happy for them!! My love for the people here keeps growing. I truly am so blessed. I don’t know what I did to deserve such blessings or people, but I am thankful.
Hehe. I have a funny little story. There is a family in the ward and their name is Oporta. We have been to their home twice for dinner. They are such a nice, happy, friendly family! They have a son who is 3 who looks and reminds me so much of Ezra Noorlander. His name is Joseph Smith, but they pronounce his name as "Joset". The first time we went to their home Jospeh gave me almost all his toys and told his sister in the other room that I am his novia. Right after that I received from his sister, from him a bright pink flower. This week when we went to visit the second time for dinner, he had picked 3 flowers for me and proceeded to give me gifts, including a nail, and a giant sparkler. He told his abuelo this week that I am his wife. Hehe, he’s such a cutie.
Wow!! Conference went by WAY too fast. Fortunately, I got to watch it in another room, in English, with Hermana Ross. Conference really is like getting hit with water from a fire hydrant. I received so much of what I am to do. In the past I have not gone to re-read the talks or go over notes much. So to change that I decided I must follow-up as M. Russell Ballard stated. I have created little notecards that have the inspirations and scriptures I felt prompted to take note of during conference...and take action on what it says. I will continue to use these cards until the next conference, and then I’ll make new ones. I don’t feel like in the past I have taken a lot of action or any to live and truly understand all of what we are given during Conference. I don’t want to be like that anymore. I know I sudy my scriptures and do my best to follow the words of prophets and apostles of old...but I must also study modern day revelation. What a gift! What a gift we have, to have scripture and revelation for our day, right now. To truly learn and live gospel principles, we must give heed to all counsel. As Boyd K. Packer stated this conference, "Things cannot be taught, they must be learned." I truly know and feel like true learning is living eactly the way we are asked to do so.
I know that Thomas S. Monson, the aspostles and all righteous leaders of the church are true disciples of God. There is not doubt. We do have have the evidence. And for those are unbelieving are lost, and we must help them come back to the fold. WIlliam R. Walker quoted this scripture I now treasure myslef, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they folow me" (John 10:27). People are unbelieving in this world and reject the message because they have not truly found Christ. Let us help them, and realize how blessed we are. Let us never be found ungrateful.
-Funnies for this week:
I had pescados en la sopa, but the fish was cooked whole without the bones removed. So I didn’t always know exactly what I was sgoing to bite into. Haha, now I can say I have had fish eye gruel. It was very good and extremely fishy at the same time....even more so than lobster bisque, haha.
So, my lower legs look really spotted. Just when my bites go down in swelling I get more. Haha, I don’t know why! The cream and spray I have kind of works with the bugs, but not so much. Hermana Fuentes said, "Su sangre es dulces por los insectos," meaning my blood is candy for the insects...I think it’s because I’m a gringa, hahaha.
I love you all so much!!!!!! Ready for another week!!! :D