It feels like an eternity since I've written or heard from you. I spent last P-day traveling and being oriented a bit. President Fraatz and his wife picked us up at the airport and we went straight to the main chapel in Managua where they always meet for changes. There, our suitcases were loaded onto a truck and we sat down with the 7 north american elders that arrived the night befoe fom the Provo MTC. I felt cool because I came with all the Latinos from the Guatemala CCM and we were all friends. I was speaking Spanish with them and the MA elders kind of stayed to themselves. I thanked my lucky stars for the chance I had to go to the Guat CCM. I certainly understood more and felt more comfortable speaking Sanish than they did.
No one ever told us the schedule for the day so I just took things one at a time, wondering when I would meet my new companion and find out whre I would be serving for the next 6 weeks at the least... But we pretty much just talked all day until about 6pm and then we went on something like divisions with some missionaries in the area and proselyted until about 9. That night I stayed with the two latina hermanas that came in a little "hotel" that, when I look back at it, was really nice though under construction. However, for whatever reason, the truck with our suitcases was very far away and the AP's finally arrived with them around 12:30am with MacDonalds. It was a weird night. Actually a weird day altogether.
We had the change conference in the morning where I found out that Hna Bustillos from Panama was going to be my new companion and we would be serving in the Nagarote area in the Sandino zone. It was an hour
and a half long bus ride south of Managua and near the ocean (so it's super hot) but not near enough that I ever see or hear the waves. Once we got to our little casa, right next to the church building, we set our stuff down long enough to grab a couple of Libros de Mormon and some pamphlets and then we hit the streets and talked to EVERYONE. That's pretty much how it's been all week. We seriously don't stop.
The tiny fridge in our room (our house is only one room with a pint sized and pretty scary looking bathroom that's all cement) is not working for whatever reason but we haven't stopped long enough to investigate and it smells like the worst thing ever. Every night when we come in I want to throw-up but we sit right down and start planning and by the time we're done, I've usually fallen asleep once or twice and only have enough energ
y to pray, wash my face, and fall in bed. It is so exhausting to try to understand what's going on all the time. People here are speaking french or something. They never say the last half of the words and drop most of the s's. But I understand more and more everyday. It's been a culture shock.
I wish I could send pictures, but it is taking so long to load that I decided to just write this week. I'll try again next week to send pics. The village of Nagarote is pretty small. Lots of dirt roads and houses made of plastic, cardboard, metal siding. There are a few nicer looking houses, but most have dirt floors. I've been surprized at how many people don't know how to read. That makes asking people to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon a bit difficult. We have to explain the gospel like we're teaching primary most of the time. It's a bit overwhelming how much work there is to do here. But I am determined to really learn Spanish and do all I can. The Spanish is coming. It's by far the hardest and most frustrating and tiring thing I've ever done to be here serving a mission. But being a missionary is the greatest thing in the world - even when I'm so worn out I can't think straight anymore. I have to go. I wish I could write more... but I love and miss you all "un monton".
Love , Hna Crosland
Love , Hna Crosland