Hey Ma and Pa,
I feel like I'm writing just to you two today for some reason, and it's kind of nice. It's a smaller more intimate crowd. First of all, answers to your questions. My toe is feeling just fine, thank you :). This week was insane with all the planning. The church is new here and the district (stake) leaders are still learning how to do things on such big level. Basically we pulled off an activity that would have taken months of planning in Utah in just a week. And when I say we, I mean the missionaries. I don't really know how we ended up being in charge of mostly everything and actually I don't know if the district intended us to be either, but we spent a big chunk of the afternoon planning on Tuesday after the zone meeting, Tuesday night and Wednesday Hna. Juarez and I worked in our area and then Thursday morning we caught the first bus back to Matagalpa to finish planning and buy all the things we needed and set up for the activity which took place Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We butt heads with the district a little bit when it came to the budget and we found out that we had been planning things a little bit differently. I don't know how they were thinking to pull this activity off with trying to plan everything the day before.
It was a good thing that we took the initiative and had detailed plans for the activities and the decorations. Friday evening about 150 young single adults arrived and we had a brief spiritual meeting with a hymn, a welcome, a brief message from one of the district counsellors, a testimony, and I organized a last minute missionary choir (yikes). Then everyone went in to the cultural hall which we decorated with a huge net filled with balloons hung from the ceiling and big letters that said CONVENCIÓN JAS 2010 on the wall in back of the stage. We also covered the light on the stage with blue crepe paper and it looked really cool. The noche de talentos went really well but I don't know what happened with housing everyone that night because we weren't in charge of that part and I think a bunch of kids ended up sleeping in the church. The morning activity was a hike which also turned out to be terribly unorganized but the scavenger hunt that we planned for the afternoon was awesome and everyone had a really good time. Hna. Juarez and I left in the afternoon before the fiesta but they told us that it turned out to be really fun. They all had a testimony meeting Sunday morning at 6:00am as well and the Presidente of the district told us that it was really spiritual and he was really pleased. Well, all in all it was a success I guess. Now they will be able to learn from the mistakes to make the next activity like this much better. Phew!
As far as teaching and contacting this week, it was pretty sad. Like I said, we only worked in Jinotega for a day and a half and I am really worried about the area. Our church attendance dropped by about 25 people and we haven't been able to go back and teach a lot of our new investigators. And now I'm back in Matagalpa in a trio with the hermanas working here until the changes this wednesday. Hna. Juarez left for Managua to have her final interview this morning and she leaves for Guatemala tomorrow. I already miss her a ton. She taught me a lot about the kind of missionary I want to be. Always positive, and never doubting. That girl really knew how to get things done. She was not an excuse maker, just a do-er. Yep, I want to do that too. Well, I'm a little bit nervous I might train this change. I don't think I'll be leaving Jinotega since I'm the only one that knows the area right now, but we never know. I'm really excited to get back to a normal schedule though and work in my own area. As fun as party planning is, it really has been the strangest week of my mission.
Congrats to Will on making snare. That is awesome. It will be a fun summer for him on the drumline again. I'm sad I'll miss all the shows... but for his senior year I'll be there! How's good ol' Dr. Fullmer doing? How crazy that Will is going to be driving soon and have his braces off. Everyone is growing up, seriously. So weird. Help Will work hard in his calling. He can do a lot to strengthen his quorum. I never realized the importance of every member and every calling in the church. We are called to build the kingdom everyday in every calling that we have and the Lord uses us, very plain and ordinary people, to accomplish miracles if we are willing to work with an open heart and mind to heed the guidance of the Spirit.
I wish I could see Ali dance! Oh what I would do to have been at her final concert. I hope you recorded it so I can watch it when I get back. What a fun and exciting (and hard) time she is embarking on. I know she'll shine too, mama. She always has. Is Megan still up there at BYU-I? That will be such a great experience for her.
Well, my time is running short. Thanks for your beautiful words full of wisdom and gratitude daddy. I feel just the same. Being here has opened my eyes to so many problems that I never saw before. There is so much work to do. It's a lifetime calling. And it makes me tremendously grateful for my family and all that the Lord has blessed me with. It has also given me such a clear vision of what I want my future to look like. Thank you for being such beautiful examples to me. Sometimes I feel like I'm spinning my wheels, like nothing is getting through, like I can't possibly make a difference. But I know that I am here for a wise purpose and as I continue to do all in my power and then more with the power of the Lord, He will make up the difference.
Being a missionary is the best thing in the world - building the kingdom one nation-wide single adult activity at a time.
All my love,