Monday, September 16, 2013

Pictures from week 2 in Nicaragua!

What the Crab?

Hey there family!!
Man can believe that I have already been in Nicaragua for 2 weeks? Sometimes I believe it and other times I don’t haha. It has been really good though I am learning so much and I absolutely love it here. It is funny to see people in coats in pictures because I am still just sitting here sweating haha. I love it though! I would much rather be hot than cold J And it just going to get warmer. We have really good rainstorms here. The lightning is always so close that the thunder hurts my ears haha. It is way exciting. There is a volcano only about 10-15 miles away from us so that is really cool to see. There is usually a pretty sweet thunderstorm right above it. Nicaragua is definitely a different world. I have a couple of funny stories this week that I will tell you about J
Monday was pretty great and definitely needed. After we wrote our emails we went home and had family night with some members then to celebrate making it through the first week here the 4 Elders we eat lunch with and me and my companion all went and got ice cream. You all know how much I love ice cream J!!! And it is like 100x better here. Don’t ask me why it just is haha.
Probably because it is pretty warm haha just the way I like it.
Tuesday we had a zone meeting in the morning where we learned about how to tell our companions they are doing something wrong lovingly haha. It was slightly humorous I won’t lie. Then we went and taught Ingrid and met her boyfriend (but father of her 2 children) Jose. They are so awesome. I love that family so much. They have two kids, Manuel (9) and Sarah (5). And we invited them to be married and baptized and Ingrid was all for it but Jose wanted some time to think. Which I completely understand.
Wednesday was Hermana Lopez 14 month mark so we made a goal to contact 14 families but we ended up only having 2 hours to contact so we basically contacted everyone and reached our goal. We went back and visited Ingrid y  Jose and taught them the restoration. Jose is really difficult for me to understand because he talks super fast and swallows half of his words. But Ingrids friend Hazel was there too with her daughter Roxanne who has become my best friend. And we taught her as well. She is super interested but needs to talk to her husband and get him to come too. But she is so so great. I told Hazel that I liked her nails and she told me to wait, then she left haha I was a little confused. But she returned with her bag full of nail polish and such and took my hand and painted my nails while we taught haha. Her daughter Roxanne (6) only wanted to sit on my lap and play with my hair. She is seriously adorable I will try to get a picture with them soon.
Thursday was awesome!!! Jose and Ingrid accepted our invitation to be married and baptized!!!! I honestly have never felt so much joy in my entire life. If this is how I am going to be feeling then I want to be a missionary forever. They will be married and baptized on the 28th and we are trying to get it approved to be at the BEACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You better believe I am so excited! How awesome would that be?!?! Man seriously. I love this family so much and seeing them take the steps to be together forever fills me with more joy than I thought was humanly possible. So pray for them to stay ready for the 28th of this month.
Friday was pretty normal we tracted and visited Ingrid, Jose y Hazel and taught them some more. Roxanne did my hair and gave me a huge hug and then so did Sarah and Manuel haha. I don’t know why but the kids always take interest in me. I enjoy it J After lunch we had a little bit of time so I played baseball with the members we are staying with. And yes I did it in a skirt with class!
Saturday… oh man… Our baptism with Jerry fell through L So that was sad but it got better. We were eating lunch and it was soup (don’t ask me why they feed us soup when it is 100 degrees outside.) and I felt something hard in the bottom of my bowl so I scooped it out and there was a whole crap. Head, eyes, everything haha I started laughing so hard and the Elders thought it was funny that I thought it was funny so they started laughing and basically we were all just sitting there laughing for like 5 minutes. It was definitely necessary haha :) then we went over to Jose y Ingrids and they fed us dinner and gave us coke J So even though it was kinda a rough day it definitely had its good moments! 
Sunday was good, we took Ingrid y Jose to church with their kids and I played the piano in sacrament meeting. It was actually really funny, after sacrament meeting was over this swarm of people came up to me and all started talking to me at once and I couldn’t understand anything. Then the old women all grabbed my hands and kissed them. I felt like a rockstar, needless to say I think I will play in church more often J The people here are so loving and so so humble. I love them more and more everyday. I didn’t think it was possible for me to love a group of people so much in my entire life. But I love them so so much. They have become my Latino family. I had a dream I was Latina this week too haha.
We found out today that we are going to Managua tomorrow for a training and we have to leave at 5:30 in the morning Yikes. Haha. For lunch today we had fish, but it was all still intact head gills everything haha but it was super tasty! I ate it all! My Spanish is finally starting to kick in. I can understand almost everyone if they talk slow and most of them will talk slow for me. I taught a lesson in English this week and it was difficult because some things I only know in Spanish haha. I don’t speak much English at all so I know it will be a struggle when I come home. This morning we went and bought a couple things and then went to see if we could find another house to live in. We are still living in our little room. Haha pray that we can find a house. We really need it!
Anyway that is about all for this week!! I love you all so much and I will try to get more pictures of Nicaragua this week it is just dangerous for me to carry around my camera. I love you all!
Hermana Willardson

Monday, September 9, 2013

First letter from Nicaragua.

Hola family!!!
Man do I have so much to tell you!! Right now I am in a little internet cafĂ©. It is pretty crazy. The keyboard doesn’t work super well so if I don’t spell something right it is the computers fault ;)  Man I don’t even know where to start. Just like ever letter.  So we will start from the very beginning.
So Monday: We had to stand in line at the airport for 2 hours because there were problems with getting into El Salvador which is where my layover was. But we finally made it through and I got to call home and hear all your beautiful voices J That was awesome and really hard all at the same time. Haha. Then we flew to El Salvador and for some strange reason the three of us that were flying to Nicaragua all were in first class. You better believe I loved that! They fed us dinner and it was the best food I have had in 7 weeks! Haha so delicious. When we landed in El Salvador I realized that our plane was going to leave in 10 minutes so we had to run to catch our next flight. We got there and we were the last people to board the plane. It was crazy but we were in first class again. It was a super short flight from El Salvador to Nicaragua. When we got here we went through coustoms and our mission president and his wife were there to great us. They helped us with our bags and took us to get some food. We had chicken J then they dropped us off at the Mission nurses house for the night.
The next day we got picked up and taken to the Presidents house, which is like a mansion. They fed us pancakes WITH SYRUP!!!!! Crazy right? Yes. Syrup. Ahhh heaven. Then our companions were going to take a while to get to us so they gave us blankets and beds and told us to sleep. You can believe I didn’t turn that down haha. Then I was awakened and taken into the Presidents office (He only speaks Spanish) an he told me that my area would be Chinandega and my companion would be Hermana Lopez and that we will be opening the area and they don’t have a house for us right now but they would find one. That was kinda a lot to take in right after a nap haha. Then Hermana Lopez came and gave me a huge hug. She is super super awesome and I can already tell this is going to be one of my best friends. Lets see, then we had this presentation and the put us on the bus which was supposed to take us to another bus that was supposed to take us to our area. But the traffic was so bad that we missed our bus and ended up having to just have our bus driver drive us to Chinandega, we were on the bus for 6 hours. It was super exciting. When we arrived they still didn’t have a house for us so we had to stay at another sisters house and they had 2 twin matteresses for 6 of us. Haha needless to say I didn’t sleep much that night but it was super exciting. Chinandega is the hottest city in the country so I am nice and warm don’t you worry J I actually really love it though. It is like the perfect temperature. I sweat a lot, I know you all wanted to know that. But I can’t help it, with the humidity and how much we are walking.
Wednesday morning they found a little room for us to stay in at some members house and they said they were still going to look for a house for us because the room is 6ft by 10 ft with a little bathroom attached. Haha nice and cozy. So after we got all settled in we took a quick shower and then went to the bank to get our money for the next two weeks. Then we went and started contacting. At 7:00 our area gets much smaller because it isn’t safe to walk some parts once it gets dark. Opening an area is pretty difficult and I am not sure why they are having a greenie do it but I know I will eventually figure out why I am here J I love it so much, yes there are hard days but there are definitely moments that make up for it. We have a foodcita which is a lady that makes our lunch and it is super delicious everytime and a ropacita which is someone who washes our clothes J I tell you what, I am living the live here in Nicaragua.
Thursday we have district meetings in the morning (Tuesday too) and Hermana Combe is in my zone!! It was so crazy to see another beetdigger here in Nicaragua but at the same time super comforting. So we studied in the chapel and then had our meeting and then played Mafia in Spanish J People were surprised at my mafia skills, little do they know I am pretty boss at it. Haha. I also took a ride in my first Triciculo which is like a little cart attached to a bike I don’t really know how to explain it. But they are all over here and they are super fun to ride in. I will try to take a picture of one soon. I have learned that I have to walk with my head down because the men here always stare and I am not supposed to make eye contact. I have never been a minority before so that is weird for me. I stick out like a sore thumb. I have had people come up and touch my hair and grab my face to see my eyes. I have even had people tell me that I am the first white person they have seen in real life. It is crazy. They old ladies especially love my eyes haha it is really funny. They are so cute. Anyway back on track…
Friday we were teaching Jerry and he accepted a baptismal date for this FRIDAY!!! Hopefully everything will go well and I will have my first baptism this week. He is 14 and lives with his grandparents.He is super super awesome. Umm lets see, oh ya so we were teaching him and all of a sudden my legs were on fire, seriously, so I look down and there are fire ants all over my legs..... Ya it hurt a good bit. haha. So that was an adventure, my whole leg swelled up hahahaha now that I look back on it it is actually hilarious. Oh man. It rains here everyday around 6:30 and I welcome it with open arms. 
Saturday we met Ingrid she is probably in her 40s and is super nice. We taught her a lesson and told her we would come pick her up for church on sunday. Her niece was there and I gave her some princess stickers and we instantly became best friends. She was bringing me flowers all throughout the lesson :) So cute. Then we were tracking again and got chewed out for the first time. That was exciting. Haha not. So then we were in a bummer mood so we decided to go get some food. Turns out the little shack we were buying food from was owned my members so they gave us a free smoothie too :) That was God picking us back up after we had fallen. 
Sunday was awesome, well for the most part. Ingrid didn't come to church with us but its ok. I was the only white person there which was strange haha and no one could play the piano but I didn't find out until it was too late so we sang all the songs accapella.. it was... beautiful hahahahaha. I am going to tell the bishop that I can play though don't worry. Sunday though was so hard for me to stay awake, I have never had to fight sleep that hard in my life. It was interesting. Lets see then I gave my friends Jolly Ranchers and they all loved them it was pretty funny. 
Today we played with our zone. They filled up sacks with flour and we threw them at each other like dodgeball. Then we played this other game where someone writes down like a color or a name of a prophet and if you guess it right they throw a cup of water in your face hahaha It is so strange but so fun :) I enjoy it. Then we ate lunch in the park and I bought my first coke in a glass bottle. And now I am here in a little internet shack writing you all!
Fun facts about Nicaragua, it is just how you picture it, tin roofs dirt floors, half naked people, lots of chickens and dogs. And so warm :) I love it. Oh quick funny story, so we were contacting on thursday and we were talking with this man and he told me that he would join the church if he could have a baby with my eyes. That was weird but super funny. 
Well my time is about up. I know that it wasn't super detailed but give me some time and I will send another detailed one. 
I love you all!!
Hermana Willy.
P.S I don't know if Nate reads these letters but I have 2 things to tell him.
1. I go by Hermana Willy because no one can say my last name 
2. I met an Elder Giron and he said you served in his branch or something. He wanted me to tell you hello :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

The awkward moments of taking pictures with boys!

 Loving the Rain!
 Her Crazy family, district in the CCM
 The district with Pres. Machado
 District with her teachers
 Breann and her CCM teachers and Companion
 Catching a butterfly
 Playing in the Rain!
 Study time payed off!  She loves Spanish!
Translator equipment makes them look like Drs.

Last week in the CCM!!!

Oh my sweet family and friends,
Can you believe it has already been 6 weeks and I am on my way to Nicaragua?? It blows my mind on occasion. Ha ha. All my bags are packed and weighed and I think I should be ready to go :) I filled my carry on with all my books so it weighs 40 lbs...ha ha ha hopefully they don't weigh that.. but we will see!! I am so excited to get there today! Crazy stuff that the next email you will be reading from me will be from Nicaragua! I have already grown such a love for the people there and I can not wait to actually get there. In 10 hours I will be there :) YAY! So not much happened this week but I will fill you in on everything.
Tuesday we got to see a live broadcast from the MTC in Provo and Neil L Anderson was giving it. There were 4137 people watching it from MTCs all over the world. It is the largest audience the devotionals have ever been broadcast too. Pretty much I just get to take part of a little history in the making :) It is really cool. We have about 850 missionaries here already and it is just going to keep growing. The Mexico MTC will shortly be the biggest one in the world. SWEEET!! Maybe they will get Dear Elders figured out eventually :)
Wednesday we had our review with our first investigator from our first lesson to our last. It was really nice to see his remarks and how he was feeling during the whole thing. Then we set a goal as a District to reach 30 contacts by Friday (2 days) so we spent a lot of our time outside contacting other missionaries :) Much better than being in the class room! We even practiced with a couple of the natives and I felt super cool when we could have a conversation and I could communicate what I wanted too. I have been super blessed when it comes to the language. I have still had to work hard at it but it came to me a lot faster than a good majority of people. Major blessing. Then we had a service activity which was washing the walls of a building haha. I love doing service here because I think they try to think of the most random things for us to do and then have us do them. It was really exciting :) That night they gave us a brand new schedule to take effect on Thursday. Which was weird because we leave today.. but oh well
So Thursday was our first time with this new schedule and we had gym right after breakfast which I wasn't sure how I felt about it. Haha but it ended up working out just fine. Not a whole lot happened this day. I did finally get my itinerary which was nice because I was thinking I would be leaving tomorrow not today. That was about it for Thursday.
Friday we had In-Field Orientation, it was probably one of the longest days of my life. Haha we started at 8:00am and we were in the same room until 9:00pm only taking breaks for food. It was an incredibly long day but I did learn some stuff and got some pass along cards for the airport so it was productive!
Saturday I was able to contact my family and tell them about my flight plans and such. I started packing some stuff up because I didn't want to have to pack on Sunday. Then we had our last classes and our teachers just told us mission stories and gave us advice pretty much the whole time. It was pretty exciting!
Sunday was awesome, it was fast sunday and our last day all together in the District so we did a lot of stuff together. We took pictures with our teachers and with the branch president and basically just went to regular meetings and hung out together all day. The Elders in my district have become like my little brothers. They will be sad to say goodbye to. Ummm a ver, we had our usual devotionals and meetings and we printed off our boarding passes. Then we went to the movie and after we all sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" In spanish because 2 of our elders left at 3:00am today. Ugh that would be awful. But anyway we said some of our goodbyes and it was pretty sad but we are all super excited for each other so it wasn't too bad. Plus all but one of us are from Utah so we will see eachother most likely.
Today we got up early and showered and started our last little bit of laundry and packed everything else up. Then we went and weighed our bags and I am cutting it pretty close but I think everything will be good :) as long as they don't weigh my carry-on. Hermana Kent has this thing that we were using to weigh our stuff but it wasn't working out so well and we ended up breaking one of the cupboards above our closets... hahah don't tell anyone. And now we are here just writing off our final Mexican emails!! I have some parting words for you all :)
The sun is just rising in my life, and these are the years where I am deciding and I am defining the way I will go. In these moments of my youth I wanna live everyday in the light of His truth. The story that I want to write is one of strength, filling each chapter with faith and with laughter. I won't forget I am a child of the Father. I want to live everyday of my life with honor. I want to look back on this time and be proud of how I spent my days and the person that I have been. I want to know the choices I make won't leave me wishing I could make them again. That during these 18 months my devotion was set, I want to look back on this time with no regrets.
So here it is, I am finally getting ready to be a real missionary! I can not ever thank you all enough for all your prayers and emails. I know I couldn't do it without every single one of you. Thank you for your support!! I have the greatest family and friends in the world :) but most of all I want you all to know that our Savior lives. He loves us all so perfectly and individually. All he wants is to hear from you, so pray. He is there I promise. I have already started to form a better relationship with Him and I want to do is make it stronger. I know that my Redeemer lives and He will come again.
Hermana Willardson
I forgot to tell you all something humorous. We didn't have hot dogs all week and I was so happy.. then last night they gave us the hot do omlette that I told you about a couple weeks ago. Basically it is an omelette but instead of using eggs they use hot dogs haha and for breakfast this morning? Corn dog. Haha I couldn't help but laugh at the fact that the last two meals I will eat here are Hot dogs and corn dogs :)