We had our conferencia multizona this week which wiped out a good day and a half because of all the traveling, but it was really good to hear from Pres.Fraatz and have classes from the office elders. I always feel edified and leave with new goals of how I can improve. We didn't get Ronaldo y Rosa Idalia to church again... and neither of the other two families I told you about last week came either. Darn. But Osmin was there and we taught a really awesome lesson on the atonement in the class of investigators/recent converts. And Ivania and her kids came.
We had a baptism lined up with Concepción, a single mom with 5 kids under the age of 12. But since we had the conference in the middle of the week we couldńt go visit her and when the DL's came out to interview her Friday night, she had left to work. I was so frustrated. We had set up the appointment with her and everything. So we came back at 7 am the next morning and she had just left to go work again. We tried to get any information about where she was working from her kids and other people that live there, but only got the general area. So we went out to search for her for a couple of hours, but by about 9 we had our first appointments and the elders had to get back to their area. I had a bit of a breakdown and had a good cry, but then we got to work and the day went a little better. It's hard for Concepción because she is incredibly poor and trying to support five kids, so she is basically washing and ironing clothes for other people to earn money all the time. She comes in way late at night and often leaves at 5 in the morning. We'll keep trying to find her and help her understand how the gospel is going to bless her life even though it will take away some work time.
I am learning more and more what it means to sacrifice. We have been on a new schedule for three weeks now. Waking up at 5am instead of 630am and getting out on the streets to work at 9 instead of 1030. Honestly, I haven't seen a drastic improvement but I have faith the the Lord will bless us. And Presidente Fraatz said that it really has made a big difference in the mission because all the missionaries are doing it.
It has really started to pour super hard everyday. We've been lucky to be near houses where we can jump inside when it starts and haven't gotten drenched yet, but it tests your patience when you're stuck in someone's house for a good hour while the rain passes and you had bunch of people you needed to see. That's what happened on Saturday. We were working in an area called Los Angeles when it started to dump buckets of rain so we knocked on the door of a couple that we had contacted the week before. We hadn't had the chance to go back and visit them yet so we really didn't know them, but they were happy to invite us in out of the rain. Unfortunately when it's the enormous drops of rain are pelting the zinc roofs, no one can hear absolutely anything anyone says... so we tried to sing a hymn and then sort of sat trying to talk and mostly looking and smiling at each other until I started falling asleep. At that point the daughter invited us to come to the back and make tortillas with the mom.
It was pretty funny, because I'm still really bad at palmeando or making tortillas but they gave us all the ones we made to eat, probably because they were ugly. Then the daughter asked if we liked beans... funny question, what else are you going to eat in Nicaragua if you don't like beans? So we said yes and she proceeded to cook us a huge pot of beans and gave us each a heaping plate of steaming hot beans, three more tortillas and a bit of cheese called cuajada. And we had just eaten lunch... wow, I thought I was going to burst and out would spill all the beans from my belly onto the dirt floor. But I was really touched at how open and kind and generous the people are here.
They invite anyone inside to escape the rain and then give them all that they have. They are truly Christ-like examples in that aspect. I hope I can learn to sacrifice the best I have and to serve others like that, not expecting anything in return and not saving the best for me. I hope I am learning to sacrife my own wants and comforts to serve like Christ did and truly help others in every way that I can for the rest of my life. I think that mothers learn to do that really fast.
Congrats to my newest mother-friend, Ms. Erin Sorensen, may you find all the most beautiful joy in sacrifice with your new little boy. Well, my time is up!
Being a missionary is the best thing in the world - because sacrifice builds faith.
I love you all more than I can say. Thanks for your letters and words of love and support. They make a world of difference while we're a world away.
LOVE, Hna. Crosland
|Hna Juarez and I on the last P-day before she left|