Monday, February 8, 2010

Letter #20 - February 8, 2010

Hey lovelies,

Another week has come and gone and now it’s nearly time for changes again. I can’t believe six weeks has gone by already. And I’ll hit my sixth month mark in this next change. Crazy. It still feels like I have an eternity left, but time sure is flying. I am worried that I'll be leaving Nagarote on Wednesday... President Fraatz actually told me in our last interview that I would be staying here for quite a while, but who ever knows, and with our branch bishopric suffering like it is, I think President will put an elder in here as branch president until Pres. Antonio gets out of the hospital. Really, I have no idea, but I've loved serving here despite the challenges and I will be devastated when I have to change areas. I'll let you know what happens next week.

The big news is that in June, when President Fraatz finishes as mission president, they are going to divide the mission! So Nicaragua will have two missions and will open a whole bunch of new areas. Each change, following the one in which I arrived, we’ve gotten about 20-25 new missionaries and only ten have gone home. And that is how it will be until the mission divides. So we are getting a ton of new missionaries and right now, President Fraatz is really trying to train a lot of the younger missionaries to be zone leaders and district leaders. It’s an exciting time. Also, Elder Whitney Clayton of the presidency of the Seventy is coming to speak to all of Nicaragua on the 18 of February. I’m excited to hear him speak and to listen to what counsel he has for Nicaragua. I was also told that the church has begun to look for a temple plot in Nicaragua. That makes me happier than I can express. How wonderful it will be to have a temple here.

So this week mom turns 29! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA! I didn’t get a letter in the mail last week for you, so I’ll have to try extra hard today and you’ll have to forgive me that it won’t arrive in time for you to read on your birthday. But I love you endlessly. I hope you have an amazing birthday and that you get to do exactly what you want to do all day.

Last Monday after I wrote, we did some service with the ward. They told us we were going to clean the church property (the plot of land where the chapel is going to be built). I was expecting to pick up garbage and such, but what the members had in mind was a big different.
They all showed up with their machetes and sandals ready to hack down all the plants growing on the property and with matches to burn the trash. The culture difference was funny. We also picked up bricks and rocks and piled them up near the front of the property. It was fun using the machetes and hacking away at the plants.

Of course there was the weekly baptism crisis this week. We had the baptism of Jose Antonio Olivas, a 14-year-old who is really solid, planned for Friday this week since there was an activity Saturday in the morning and the afternoon for the branch. He was all set to go, so I
wasn’t worried about him. We walked out the door of our casita to see water seeping out from under the door of the chapel. Hmmm… I thought, it has to be the day-of-a-baptism disaster. The crisis came in the form of a flood. Yep, a flood. “That’s a new one, Satan,” I thought, “but nothing we can’t handle!” Turns out, someone had left water on in the bathroom and that room, the room where the YW meet and the chapel all had about an inch of water (give or take, because the floor is not that level). We we grabbed a couple of brooms and went to work sweeping all the water out and onto the street. Luckily there is no such thing as carpet here to ruin, so once the tile dried, we were good to go. The baptism went just fine and Jose was confirmed this Sunday.

We have found a few new families to teach, but of course none of them are married. In particular we have been teaching a man named Maikel (pronounced like Michael) who is really ready and prepared to change his life. He made a goal to get married this weekend and quit smoking and we are going to start teaching his wife this week too, so hopefully they can be baptized together soon. It was awesome in our last lesson, we had given him the pamphlet of lesson 3 about faith, repentance, baptism, the holy ghost and enduring to the end, and he told us he had read it twice and wanted to talk about the atonement. Wow, that like never happens. He is solid and ready to commit to the gospel. I love teaching people the truths that will change their lives for eternity and bring them more happiness that they can imagine.

Being a missionary is truly the best thing ever – the Lord is preparing people’s hearts, we just have to find them.

Love you all to the moon and back,
Hna. Crosland

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