Dear Fam (and everyone who reads these... ),
Well the changes were a little less exciting this time because I already knew where I would be going. Ciudad Jardin (Garden City – although inappropriately named, haha) is an area in Managua. I am working with Hna.Tunche from Guatemala and we are actually not really opening an area, just splitting an existing area in two. So there are also two Elders that are working in our WARD, yes I said ward. We are in a real ward in a fully funccioning stake and it really does make a huge difference. Hna. Tunche is tiny and cute. Kind of quiet but super nice and I immediately liked her. The apartment is one small room with just enough space for our beds and a desk (although we don't have a desk yet, which makes studying a challenge... my bed now doubles as a desk and luckily, so far I've been managing just fine not falling asleep while studying.) There is a bite-sized closet which really only fits half the clothes of one person so I'm living out of my suitcase which is tucked under the bed. And we have a tiny bathroom which is only a mite bigger than the one I had in Jinotega. But the house is clean and comfortable and we have two fans the we run all night long to keep us cool. Hna. Tunche made a little sign that said ¡Bienvenida Hermana! And put it above my bed so I felt very welcome when we first arrived!
We eat all three meals at the house of one of the pioneer families of the church here in Nicaragua. Familia Medina consists of Maritza (mom), Jimmy (dad), Jimmy (son), Jennifer daughter), and the other daughter who is serving her mission in Uraguay (I forgot her name...) But all of them have served missions and Jimmy(dad)'s father was the first branch president and then later the first bishop of the members here. They are really great and open and warm and take good care of us. Jimmy-dad is the ward mission leader and the whole family is extremely invovled and supportive of the missionary work here. This area has it's own unique challenges and problems as well, but so far I really like it here. It's way hot and I feel like I'm going to get run over by cars all the time, but most everyone has a bit more money here and the houses are nicer. However, that also means that the people are less receptive and you can even tell within the members that they resent the poorer members. The ward feels a little less unified than the branches I've been in where everyone is on the same level. It's interensting what having money does.
It's really nice to be close to everything though and instead of costing about 5 dollars and 3 plus hours to get to the mission conferences, it only takes about 13 cents and 20 minutes. How lovely. Tomorrow we have our send off conference, the last one we will ever have with Pres. Fraatz. I am singing in the choir and doing a duet with Hna. Lee. We're going to sing FOR GOOD from Wicked. It reminds me of when we sang it with our little cuartet with Deb and Jenn Weiss and I think Erin was singing with us at that time too. Good music, good times.
So I got the package with the books of mormon and other necesidades. Thank you thank you thank you! I loved the pictures of China and the planned add on looks awesome. You have my approval! Haha. And I think you are going to have to take me back to China. How gorgeous that country is. Also, I'm a little embarrassed that you spent so much on that scripture marking pencil, even though I love it. That was like 550 córdobas, which is a stinking lot of money. But thank you thank you. You do so much for me.
We have some good investigators that I want you to pray for. I'll write more about them next week when I have a bit more time but for now, just pray for Dennis, Axel, and Sofia y Erlin.
And I also wish I had more time to give my DADDY a proper Happy Father's Day tribute. I just can't find words for how grateful I am for my Dad. I have taken the priesthood power and having a worthy patriarch in my home for granted all my life. It just doesn't seem fair that I have been so blessed to have my Dad, my earthly example of my Heavenly Father who leads and
guides us humbly and righteously. Daddy, I love you. I don't know what I would do without you.
Being a missionary is the best thing in the world - even when your daddy is a world away.
Love, Hna. Crosland