How are ya’ll? This week really flew by it seemed. Hey I got Paige’s package today! I’m so happy that it arrived and it was so awesome to see the pictures and get the letters. I also got letters/Christmas cards from the Wilsons and the Swifts. How great it was to hear all about the Wilson clan and to receive love from the ward. All my love and thanks to the Wilsons and Swifts.
I’m so jealous about your China trip. I hope you are still saving up money to come and pick me up and see Nicaragua. And tell Will that if he doesn’t get to go to China, he can come see Nicaragua too.
My Spanish is definitely getting better. These last three and a half weeks have been really good for me, not having a senior companion to hide behind. I still struggle for words and make a lot of mistakes, but I understand most everything (when I am concentrating) and am able to communicate while teaching and also while chatting. I definitely have a specified vocabulary but it’s growing…
Thanks for the big email this week. It was fun to hear from the whole gang. I love hearing from my missionary aunts and I am way impressed with Amie and her musical and Heather and all she is doing with missionary work. That is so cool. We don’t see much of the technology the church uses here (the branch doesn’t even have a computer) but it’s amazing to hear about all the ways we are spreading the gospel.
I’m also glad you are having fun in the snow. This week was especially hot and I kind of feel like I’m melting all the time. I miss snow.
This week our new challenge is that the branch president is in the hospital. He has something wrong with his prostate (I don’t know if it is as serious as cancer… ) but that is really going to be a challenge. The counselors are pretty unreliable and don’t really know how to do a lot of things (such as do confirmations, lead the church meetings, give priesthood blessings) because President Antonio really did everything himself. So we are missing him and relying on the elders in the nearest area. Wow, the priesthood is so important and vital in running the church.
My favorite Nica words are:
salvaje = wild, sweet, crazy
tuanis = cool, awesome, great
como no = yes, sure is
de le pues = alright then, okay
asì es = that's how it is, that's right
So I thought it might be fun to give you a few scenes from my life…
Scene 1: I am now the proud owner of a hello kitty wallet in which I keep all my cordobas. It is red and pink and does just what a wallet should do. I had been using that plastic Ziploc bag to keep all my money in, hoping I’d find a really cool artisan wallet hear but necessity called and I bought the first one I could find. Hello Kitty is my constant companion, along with Hna. Pineda and the Holy Ghost, verdad?
Scene2: I have nicknamed Hna. Pineda “The bone cruncher”. You should see this girl eat chicken. She cleans the bones right up, chomping and swallowing cartilage and all. It’s actually pretty disgusting to hear her crunching and look up to see a squeaky clean chicken leg bone…
Scene3: We found a huge scorpion running around in our casa. We chased him around with the broom until he ran under the beds, so we used it to sweep him out and then Hna. Pineda gave him a good pounding with a rubber rain boot that was left in the casa by the last missionaries. Ha, take that scorpion man. It was about the size of the palm of my hand.
Scene 4: I really felt like a pioneer this week. We have an investigator who lives in an area called Sonrisa de Dios (smile of God) where most of the houses are plastic and cardboard and none of them have running water. There are actually a few houses spread out around the area that have been built by the government and have cement floors, a main room and two bedrooms and are actually pretty nice and Maria Cristina lives in one of these houses. But she still has to take her cart to the community water spigot to fill up her buckets and yesterday we found her in the middle of that daily chore. I felt close to my pioneer heritage as I pushed the two-wheeled cart full of buckets of water, up the dusty hill to her house. It was actually pretty fun and then we taught her a great lesson about how we can feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost. She is really progressing, coming to church, paying tithing and I know she has a testimony. She has two cute kids that want to be baptized as well. The problem is, she’s not married to the man she’s living with and he is actually still married to another person. Big problems right? So hopefully there will be a divorce and another wedding in the near future.
Ah! I wish I had more time to write.
We baptized Napoleon and Belkys this week (Napoleon is Maria Cristina’s little brother) and they are doing great. We had a lesson about temples and eternal marriage this week and I got a glimpse of how wonderful their future could be as we were talking about when they could go to the temple and be sealed. Hna. Pineda is from El Salvador and the temple that is being built there will be done by the time that Nap and Bel have one year, so Hna. Pineda might get to go to their sealing. How amazing would it be to be in the temple with people you had taught and baptized? Wow. I feel so urgently that we need to really take good care of Nap and Belkys in the next year to strengthen and support them and continue to teach them. I hope that the next missionaries here will take good care of them and all of the people we’ve baptized. It made me look at the rest of the recent converts here differently. They were baptized before I got here, but they were some missionary’s converts and I know that that missionary is hoping the same thing, that Hna. Pineda and I are taking good care of them to help them become deeply rooted in the gospel. I hope all the members throughout the world and paying special close attention to the recent converts in their ward and helping to point them towards the temple.
I’m out of time, darn it. But I just wanted to let you all know that being a missionary is the best thing in the world – it’s being able to see more clearly the eternal possibilities of people’s lives.
Love you all so much,