Hey mom and dad,
To answer your questions while they are still in my mind, Presidente Arredondo asked all of the North Americans if we could ask our parents to just send an additional package when they send one to us. But you have a good point because there are a lot fewer North American sisters than Latinas. Right now I think there are 16 sisters in the mission and only 5 of us are gringas. Maybe just send two generic packages if it is not too expensive, instead of gift bags for each one. I don't know. Or maybe one generic package that one of the sisters that never gets any mail can have and a package with gift bags for all of them (I think it would be about 11 but probably more will be here by Christmas, so maybe 15). Anything will be greatly appreciated but I don't want you to go into debt sending mail to Nicaragua or making Christmas joy for all the orphans in the whole world...
Um, what else? Yes, they do celebrate Halloween here in some way or other I think, and actually the day after Halloween is kind of like their memorial day, but instead of giving it a nice name like memorial day, they call it the day of the dead or something equally macabre. But I really don't know what Halloween will be like because I wasn't here in Halloween last year, I was confined in the Guatemala MTC practicing Spanish verbs, with my companions nametag on instead of my own, for a lame excuse at a costume. So, I'll let you know how Halloween goes. Is it this week? Wow, how fast
the time is going.
Um, um, umbrella. I think that a high tech umbrella would be very useful here. And I've been wishing I had one for about 4 months. Haha. The problem would be lugging it around. But especially after the monsoon we had yesterday and the trashed umbrella that I was under, which did virtually nothing for me because we arrived at the closest house as if we had swam there, I think a rubber jumpsuit might be better suited.
Well, I don't have a ton of time left, but I wanted to tell you a little about the "new doctrine" that we are putting into practice now. It is nothing new really, just PMG applied and more direct. We are focusing even more in inspired questions and learning to listen to the investigator as well as the spirit and then discerning what to teach instead of arriving at the house with a set plan ahead of time. It is a little more exciting because it's much more comfortable to go with a nice little plan of everything you're going to teach, but we have had a lot of good experiences. The inspired question is the key. It is a question that really hits home with the investigator, that makes them examine their lives and the deepest desires of their hearts. And then the spirit lets us know which doctrine we should teach them, always with questions. It's really been exciting to put this method in practice and we had some really great lessons. I wish I could tell you about all of them and about all of the people we're teaching right now, but maybe next week...
I do want to tell you about some crazy things I experienced yesterday though. Yesterday was pretty much a crappy day. I'll just say it. Out of the 17 positive investigators that told us they would come to church, only 1 actually came through. Even after going by all of their houses Sunday morning to pick them up and help them get ready. In sacrament meeting I stared up at the ceiling fan, working feverishly to keep the congregation cool, and tried to keep the tears back. It was pointless. I felt defeated. Well, after that, pretty much nobody was home. But actually, the monsoon, instead of dampening my spirit body along with my physical body, really lifted my mood. I just like the rain. I can't help it. Even when the rivers flooding through the streets are brown, smell like poo, and the floating trash makes you sick. Haha, that's just Nicaragua.
Well, when we finally found some investigators that were home, we went in and started asking them questions. We starting teaching about families and about our loving Father in Heaven, when some vagos started throwing rocks, one landing in the back patio of the house where the niños were playing. That sent papa Juan into a wild rage and he stormed outside and basically started a brawl. There were death threats flying back and forth, and then they threatened to pull out a pistol. They threw more rocks and hit Juan in the back. Then they started calling each other stupid, which is like insulting your ancestors and the very core of your soul. Basically the lesson didn't turn out so well in the end. We left when the family was storming out to go to the police, because they never answered the phone.
Well, as we were walking down the street a few minutes later, a truck passed with the truck bed stacked up with decapitated pig carcasses. Yummy. But the funniest thing was the muchacho sitting on top of the pile waving at us like, "No big deal, I sit on dead pig bodies with no heads every day," which truly is probably the case. Well, sorry for the mega paragraph today. My thoughts were a little unorganized. But guess what? I love you all a whole lot. Thanks for all you do, for your prayers and cares and thoughts and especially emails.
Being a missionary is the best thing in the world - some things only happen in Nicaragua. :)
Love, Hna. Crosland
P.S. Tell Brookie that I love her and that yes, I did get at least one Dear Elder from her. The thing is, I'm just a really bad pen pal... I will try to send her a letter soon. BBYYEEEE!