Well, Dad’s predictions about changes turned out to be incorrect… I’m now serving in the city of Jinotega in the North end of Nicaragua, bordering Honduras. It’s in the mountains and it’s actually cold enough to merit a sweater in the evenings, which is a blessed change from the heat of Nagarote. They left Hna. Pineda in Nagarote (with my heart) and put Hna. Lee, the mission nurse with her. Hna. Lee is awesome and I’m glad Nagarote will stay in good hands with those two. However, no Elders to help out with the leadership.
My new companion is Hna. Aguilar from Guatemala. She is hilarious, short and chubby with attitude to boot. Pres.Fraatz pulled me aside after the change conference and told me that the Lord wants me to learn how to work like Hna. Aguilar because she is the best sister missionary in the mission. This is her last change plus a few weeks because she extended and I’m really grateful to get to work with her and soak up all her knowledge. So far we’ve had a lot of fun. Jinotega is a lot bigger and busier than Nagarote. We are still in a branch, but it’s bigger and functioning a lot better than the one in Nagarote. And the church is super nice with a big sports court outside. It’s so nice to have a good church building with a baptismal font. Everyone here wants to learn to play the piano so we are going to start holding classes from 3-4pm every Saturday. It will be a good chance to find positive people to teach and get the members excited. I’ve never taught group piano lessons with only two pianos but we’ll see how it goes. Also, I had another rock thrown at me. A real rock this time, but they missed. It was close though. There is a noticeable change in the opposition to the church here. I think it’s because it’s a bigger city. We have a recent convert who’s only 13 and her neighbors have been telling her ugly things about the church and now she doesn’t want to come to church and wants to give us the Book of Mormon back. She is really confused but seems to be scared to investigate and truly find out the truth. It’s frustrating.
We travelled today to meet with our Zone in Matagalpa. The bus ride is about an hour and a half through the mountains and it is seriously gorgeous. Wow, beautiful and green. I really like it here. Matagalpa is a big city, bigger than Jinotega and I’ll be getting to know a bit of it too. There are sisters serving here and since we have zone meetings Tuesday mornings, the Mondays that we come out, we’ll stay the night with the sisters here and go back to our area after the meeting Tuesday morning since the bus ride is long and kind of expensive.
This Wednesday we get to hear from Elder Whitney Clayton and I’m way excited. We have to take a bus at 3:00am to make it to the conference in Chinandega in time but it will be salvaje. Also, our Zone is singing Fe en Cada Paso (faith in every footstep) so that should be interesting. There aren’t that many good singers here, but we do our best. At least we have an Elder who plays piano pretty well.
So more news about the mission split: Mision Nicaragua Managua Norte will be under the direction of Presidente Arredonde from Guatemala and Mision Nicaragua Managua Sur will be under the direction of Presidente Monestel from Costa Rica. I guess they are dividing the Managua stakes right down the middle. The south mission will be a little sparse at first, but will have a lot of potential to grow. Good times. We’ll find out which mission we’ll be in next change.
As far as the shoes go, I’ll send pictures next week but go ahead and send the Borns. I don’t know what model mine are but I’m pretty sure they are size 7. Do they look comfy with good padding? That’s all I really care about. I’ll be fine for quite a while, so no rush.
Give Sean a big hug for me and ask him if he ever got to meet or serve with Sorella Cuzzens. I was in the Provo MTC with her and she was a great. I’m pretty sure she went to Sean’s mission.
Thanks so much for all your love and support. I love hearing the tidbits of your lives, especially your spiritual experiences. I hope you are all cultivating spiritual experiences each day. I got some dear elders today from Feb. 4, super fast! Thanks to Mama and Aunt Ruth. I love hearing about things you remember from your mission. Haha. I haven’t experienced the rain here yet, but I’m sure it will be amazing. Lots of mud hills to slide down.
Being a missionary is the best thing in the world – it doesn’t matter where in the world you are!
Love you a million times over,