Monday, February 22, 2010

Letter #22 - February 23, 2010

Hey there one and all,

So this week it was awesome to hear from Elder Clayton. He spoke a lot about the importance of the Spirit in missionary work and it was nice to be able to understand everything, in contrast to the new week-old Elders sitting behind me. A couple of other Elders were translating for them and for a moment, I could really see how far my Spanish has come. That’s not to say it’s very good yet but I’m so grateful I don’t have to start back at the beginning again with the language. We lost a good part of the week due to traveling because we stayed with the sisters in Matagalpa Monday and Tuesday night, arriving back at in our area with only enough time for one appointment Wednesday night after the conference. The lack of work really showed yesterday in church as we had a less than steller attendance. We also didn’t have a baptism this week which is a big downer. It’s the first week in a while I haven’t had a baptism. But we are pumped up and ready to really work hard this week to improve.

Jinotega is seriously cold. I thought I was going to die a few nights ago. I had on one of my thin sweaters and the suit jacket of a lady in the branch and was hugging Hna. Aguilar’s arm to keep warm in the wind. Really it was probably only 55 degrees or so, but with the wind I was freezing. My body really got accustomed to the heat after 3 months in the oven of Nagarote. Let’s see, the apartment is two levels but super small. Our front door is a nice celeste (blue) and when you walk in the stairs are on the immediate right and the desk where we plan and eat is in front of you. The little space further in after you pass the desk has the stove top the kitchen sink and bathroom. Ha, the bathroom is the smallest one I have ever seen. The door barely clears the toilet and the tiolet hangs over into the shower and when sitting on the toilet, your knees nearly touch the wall in front of you. And since it is colder here, logically the water is colder too. It’s way hard to take showers, but always worth it! :)

So back to the apartment... at the top of the stairs there are two small rooms. One has just enough space for our two twin beds and about two feet to walk between them. The other has two small tables where we study. We spent about two hours cleaning the house today and it was disgusting. Elders had been living there for a long time before Hna. Aguilar arrived in the area the change before I did and consequently it was in desperate need of some deep cleaning. I think I inhaled something along with the mountains of dust though because now I can’t stop coughing. I hope I don’t get sick.

The piano lesson went pretty well. I only had three students so that was a lot more managable. I am learning lots of new vocab words to teach music in spanish. It’s fun.

Um, yes we have zone conferences every week and yes, three hours is a lot of time to lose in the bus, but it’s only once a week.

We are teaching some interesting people right now. Camilo is in his mid or early thirties, divorced and he just lost his father a few months ago. The death of his dad was really hard for him and he started drinking pretty heavily but we’ve been teaching him and he came to church yesterday and he hasn’t been drinking for a week now. We’re pretty excited about his progress and he has a baptismal date for this Saturday. We’re also teaching the wife of one of the recent converts in the branch. She is pretty closed right now and I think has a lot of issues from the past to work out with her husband, but she is starting to open up and I hope we can help her realize the eternal possibilities of her family and bring some hope to her life.

I’m learning how important it is to work with the members from Hna. Aguilar. She is really good and building strong friendships and relationships with the members. When we gain the trust of the members, they are willing the help and support us and without them, we truly can’t work effectively. The work does not progress without the strength of the members. Also, Hna. Aguilar keeps me laughing which is wonderful. She pushes me out of my comfort zone with teaching, contacting, and chatting with everyone which is also good even though it scares me sometimes. I’ll be sad in 5 weeks when she heads back to
her casa in Guatemala.

Well lovelies, I miss you all with all my heart but I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else than here in fridged Jinotega. At least it’s hot in the day and a lot warmer than where you are!! Haha.

Being a missionary is the best thing in the world – who needs a comfort zone anyway?

Love, Hna. Crosland

P.S. Just keep sending everthing to the mission address. It comes through the pouch fast enough. Just the packages take a while because we only get them when we go to Managua for multi-zonas, but that is the same as before. Loves.

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