Monday, March 24, 2014
Holy cow who is praying that my time here will go fast? Because whoever is praying for that has some serious power. Today I completed 8 months in the mission!! Where has the time gone. Seriously. I can't even believe it. Lets all start praying for time to go slower ok? Ok :) This week was a great one. Great because it was busy and great because I am a missionary. I have the best job in all the world!
This is going to be kinda like the letter last week where I tell you a couple funny stories and a couple spiritual stories and I am going to try to not make an English mistake this whole letter. Haha. I have probably already made one whoops.
Ok so this week I recieved a package when we were in a Zone meeting that supposedly was from my loving sister Kristy. Everyone wanted me to open it there so I opened it up. The first thing I saw were swimming goggles, followed by umbrellas, vitamins, the newspaper, and happy birthday cards that said "to Grandpa and Grandma" also one of those back scratchers. Hahah I was super confused because I had no idea who had written me these birthday cards. Everyone was watching me as I opened up this package and they all thought that my sister was a wacko. I told them that I think there was just a mix up because my name wasn't on the outside of the package. The customs form was just taped to the outside. So as you all can imagine I got some funny looks haha.
Haha so when they fumigate our house we always have a ton of dead bugs on the floor the next day right so on Tuesday we were cleaning the floor with our mop and soap and I accidentally kicked over the bottle of cleaner and it went everywhere hahaha so as we were trying to clean it all up it just got really bubbly and we decided to have a little soap fight. So we took our flip flops off and slid around in the bubbles for like 15 minutes. Then it took forever to try to get the bubbles all cleaned up... Mops don't work very well if anyone is wondering haha.
So in the branch there are 4 missionaries, us two and Elder Stark and Elder Vaquerano. On Friday Elder Stark came up to me with a big smile and said "you have to ask my companion what I taught him in English" So I asked elder Vaquerano and he looks me straight in the face and says "I like to cut the cheese." I laughed so hard and he didn't understand why. Elder Stark taught him the literal meaning so Elder Vaquerano didn't understand what he was saying. I laughed for a good little while. I took a video so I will see if I can send that to you. If not I am going to send a package home with my memory in it so that you can all see because it is hilarious.
This week we were blessed to have the baptism of Melido, I know I haven't told you all about him so I am going to give you the run down right now. He was a contact that we met 3 weeks ago. For his work he goes around testifying of miracles but he didn't belong to any church. He is a really incredible guy that knows there is a God but never felt right in any church. So he went to church with us for the first time 3 weeks ago and really liked it. Then we invited him to the Priesthood session of Stake Conference and he absolutely loved it. Not only that but he came fasting to know if he should be baptized the proxima fin de semana. And he got his answer and this Saturday he was baptized!!! Like always there is a little oposition before miracles but he did it and to make it even cooler my convert Juan gave him the Holy Ghost. That was incredible to see. He is the only convert that I have that has the Melquesidik priesthood. I think that is one blessing about being in the area for so long is that I get to see my converts grow in the church and help them along the way. It is incredible. I have 5 Converts with the aaronic priesthood and that is also a miracle.
The passed two weeks we have been working with a less active that was one of the first people to get baptized here in the branch. She has been less active for 12 years and many pairs of missionaries have tried to get her to go. To be honest usually when the situation is like that I don't usually try that hard but something in my heart told me that we couldn't give up on her. In her time there were 4 women that did everything in the church together for the missionaries and the teenagers. Washed the clothes of the missionaries, fed them, and hung out with them on Pdays. We had reactivated 2 of the 4 so we made a plan to bring Susan and Rosa (the 2 that we reactivated) to visit Guadalupe and Nagarite. Guadalupe wasn't home all this week so that didn't work but we visited Nagarite and to see the three of them all together filled my heart because they lost contact and hadn't seen eachother in a long time. These ladies are like what Annie Craig, Tyler Hunt and I are but about 40 years in the future. (PS I don't even know if annie and ty reads my letters but if they do... Here is a shout out for you two!!! Tearing it up out there in Brazil and New York !! Proud of you guys.) Anyway they are just the best of friends. And our plan worked. Susan and Rosa animated Nagarite to come back to church and on Sunday when she walked in a lot of the members of the branch were so excited because she helped out a lot in the beginning stages of this branch. Sunday night we took the three of them to go visit Guadalupe and the same thing. They helped animate her and we have Hermana Rosa assigned to visit her this week and bring her to churchh on Sunday. I want to testify to you all about how you can help the missionaries. Help bring people to church. Visit your neighbors that are less actives and bring them to church!!!! The power of the member is so vital in missionary work I can not stress it enough. It is something that we struggle with in this branch because there aren't a ton of members so those of you that are praying for missionary experiences, go talk to your neighbor and invite them for sunday. Visit those that are less active and help get them excited to go :) I love you all and I know that you are all loved by our loving Heavenly Father!!! Have a fantastic week!!!!
Next week I will know if I have transfers or not but I am praying that no... hehehe..
Love you all!
Monday, March 17, 2014
Hey there dear sweet family of mine :) I hope that this day finds you all well and happy and in good health hehehehe... I am still here doing great watching the weeks fly by like days and the days fly by like hours. It is a crazy thing to experience. But the best part of it is is that I know I still have time. So I just work really hard so that I don't have time to regret anything haha. Don`t you worry though I am still the same old me :) I am going to start you guys off with a couple funny experiences from the week.. This first one mom you might not like but I laughed my head off so I have to tell you. So I don't remember what day but one day this week we started the morning off normal.. Wake up, pray, eat, shower, study you know the norm. So I finished eating and headed off to shower. I had my Mormon Tabernacle Choir playing and I was jamming along at the same time. (Yes it is possible to jam along to the MOTAB) and all of a sudden my companion is pounding on the door yelling something. I couldn't understand and I was in the middle of showering so I just thought I would talk to her in a minute. Then out of no where this really really loud noise started happening. It sounded just like a really loud leaf blower... and since I have now lived here for almost 7 months I knew exactly what it was... Fumigation... Hahahahahahahaha so there I am with bubbles in my eyes and they are fumigating the house (Don't worry I was locked in the bathroom so they didn't come in or anything) and the gas was starting to leak in. So with suds still in my hair I put my clothes on as fast as I could and ran outside so that I wouldn't breathe in more toxic gas.. I am not kidding when I say I still had suds in my hair.. hahaha so I ran into our back yard and the members that we live with were laughing their heads off at me. So I laughed too and we had a good time waiting outside for the gas to leave our house. The funny thing is that it doesn't even kill the mosquitos I actually think it attracts more in... haha. Don't worry though my blood is Nicaraguan now so the mosquitos don't like me as much. I am sorry if my spelling is bad but I am sweating so my fingers are slipping all over the keyboard haha just kidding my english is just horrible.
Ok another funny story and then I will give you 2 Spiritual stories. So we were out working in the little neighborhood called "Sonrisa" again and there is a little school there that people always told me the "gringos" built. So one day we were walking and all of a sudden I heard a bunch of English and I was like what the... Turns out they are adding on to the school and there were a bunch of white people here working on it. So I went to the house of our investigator that lives right in front of the school and watched them for a little bit.. It was really really weird for me to see so many white people. You might think I am just exaggerating but I am being dead serious. I felt really weird... So I watched them secretly for a good 5 minutes and then I finally had the courage to go talk to them.. Hahaha so I asked them where they were from and all of that good stuff. They are a group from New York and they had been there for a week working on the school. Then the lady I was talking to asked me if I was from Nagarote... I was like... Lady I am white too.. Just kidding I didn't say that but I definitely thought it. Haha. I told her that I was from Utah and she asked me if I had spoken Spanish as my first language and I told her no and then she asked me why I had such a strong accent... I told her I didn't know I had one and she laughed at me. Hahaha I told her a little bit about the church but I felt really weird contacting in English.. I didn't know what to say haha. Silly white people. But then she started telling me that the living situation of the people here makes her want to cry. It kinda struck me weird because I haven't ever been sad for the way the people here live. They are all just so happy that I have never had to feel sad... or maybe I am just heartless who knows hhahaha. But even white people think that I am a Nicaraguan hehehe. I am going to practice my english before mothers day so that you don't all laugh at me. :)
Ok so a really espiritual experience of the week. We had our Stake conference this weekend and it was via satalite from SLC. Elder Oakes and Elder Perry spoke and so we knew that if we had investigators there it would be really awesome. The problem was that we had to go to Leon and it was going to be an all morning kind of thing. So we fasted a lot and prayed really hard that we could have investigators in the church we were able to bring 10 people and 2 families!!!!! It was a miracle because almost no one wanted to go all the way to Leon but all of these people that went now have heard messages from apostles and have such a strong testimony I know they are going to get baptized here pronto.
Ok this next story is a story of incredible faith. We have a family that we are teaching right now that we contacted the grandma in her store and she asked us to come teach her and all her family later that night. Of course we said yes. Haha. When we got there we got to know them and had a little lesson on faith (the plan was to talk about baptism but I felt like we should change it when we got there) so we talked about how the faith is the key to everything. At the end of the lesson the mom and grandma were in tears and they told us that her son Estephan had been really really sick for the passed 2 weeks not being able to eat anything and they had taken him to the hospital and they didn't know what was wrong with them. They asked us to say a prayer specifically for him inside the house. They asked me to say it and I was a little scared because to pray you used a little bit different spanish and I just felt like my companion could do it much better than I could but they really wanted me to do it. So as I prayed I had one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had, I felt the words flow out of my mouth with ease and the Spirit was so strong. I knew in that moment that Estephan was going to be healed. But it wasn't anything that I did, it was through the faith of these two women that recognized us a representatives of our Savior and had the faith that He could heal Estephan. When we came back the next day Estephan was outside running and playing around as if he had never been sick at all. Venus (Gma) and Lorraina (Mom) came out crying and hugged us. We told them that we didn't do anything, that it was through their faith that they saw this miracle. I am so grateful to be here as an instrument in the Lords hands. Striving everyday to do as He would. I have felt my Saviors love everyday and I will stand as a testimony that He lives and He loves us. Have the faith, have the hope.
I love you all!!!
Until next week :)
Monday, March 10, 2014
Well Family here we are again, another pday come and gone and i am still just here loving life! I am still here in Nagarote :) that is a blessing. Transfers are the first week in April. I realized that April is kinda a big month for me. I will be hitting my half way mark and turning 21, if anyone feels like sending me a little birthday surprise missionaries always love letters. :) Hahaha but seriously... Things are heating up here... literally and ummm the other way. The hottest months of the year are upon us and I feel like I am walking in an oven. Now don't you for one second think that I am complaining about the heat. Just that I thought I would let you all know that if you want to visit Nicaragua April probably isn't the best month. And if you start to wonder why I am red or brown in my pictures that would be why hahaha. But everyday that I am walking down the road sweating from every part of my body I just give thanks that there is no snow :) That would be much much worse. Haha. Sorry for all of you that are still suffering from the cold. I will think of you everyday and try to put myself in your shoes.
This week was a good week because I got to work. I have become an addict to working... I know big shocker right? Hahaha. I have been exhausted and probably dehydrated but SO SO SO happy. Not a day goes by without at least one moment of undescribable happiness. PAUSE I am going to apologize for my bad english right now..... Sorry I promise in 11 months I will improve haha. Lets see. This week we have been working a lot with asking for references from everyone. Even if they are just street contacts. WE ASK EVERYONE hahaha it is real fun actually because people think we are here to help people stop smoking and drinking so we get references to a lot of drunk people but we just laugh and move on. We have been waking up at 5:30 so that we can leave an hour earlier to work and it has taken a toll on me. We work hard, because I don't want to waste my time here. I know that this is a privelege and I don't want to have to come home with regrets. Also time is flying by so I want to give it my all.
This week I had to go to Chinandega to help with a problem there. 4 hours in a bus :( Luckily the Lord has blessed me with this incredible talent so that I can sleep in whatever place haha. So I took a nice nap and almost missed my stop hehe whoops... White girl problems.
Funny story of the week we were invited to eat at the branch presidents house monday night so we went and they served us our dinner. I don't know if I told you this but here no one eats with us. They cook it up and they serve it and then they go hide... I am never sure where it is that they go... but that is just how it is. Hahaha so they served us up and we started eating and I was like mmmmmmm this is tasty. So I asked my companion what it was and she didn't know either. Then we started talking about food we can't eat and I told her that the only thing I had heard that is super dangerous for us to eat is pig head because it made some missionaries extremely sick not to long ago. So we continued eating. After we went to go wash our plates and I asked the Hermana what it was that we ate... to which she responded that it was pig head... hahahaha ya... you can imagine the surprise.. So we left and went around the corner and I said the most fervent, sincere prayer that I could think of so that we wouldn't get sick because we needed to work hard this week. Well as you all know the mission is of miracles :) luckily nothing happened to us and we have been fine!!! What a miracle seriously..
We had some of the most spiritual lessons this week that I think I have had in all of my mission. It is incredible how strong the Spirit can be here in the mission. We went to go contact a reference that we had and we found out that his cousin had just died so we started talking about the plan of salvation. The Spirit was so strong that he started to cry (his name is Wilber). How great is it that we have the knowledge that families are forever? The peace that comes from this knowledge is life changing.
Ok last funny story and then I need to start responding emails. I forgot to tell you all this story last week and it was hilarious. I am not going to tell you where this happened or who did it.. just know that is it a true story... SO last Sunday was testimony meeting right and there was an old guy sleeping in his chair so a missionary got the brilliant idea to wake up the old man and tell him that it was his turn to give the closing prayer (the meeting had just started and only 2 people had given their testimony.) So the old guy woke up and started walking to the pulpit and before the missionary could do anything he started praying hahahhahahahahahahahah all the people in the congregation started looking around like what the heck is this old guy doing... After the branch president got up and said... "thank you for that inspired prayer... we are going to continue with the testimonies and finish 5 minutes to the hour." Hahahahahahaha oh man... what a funny story right. I hope that all made sense.. Writing stories is the hardest thing for me.
Anyway I gotta go now so that we can get to work. But I hope you all know I love you and I will think about you all everyday!!
Monday, March 3, 2014
Hey Family :) First off I want to wish my Brother Davie boy a happy birthday!! I know it was on Saturday but you better believe that I thought about you all of that day :)
Anyway I am sorry this is so short but we gotta go get to work. I hope you all have a great week!!! I love you all so much and before you know it you will have another letter from your favorite white Nicaraguan.
Well seeing as how no one mentioned anything I am going to assume that you don't know about the earthquake that I experienced this week haha. It was rated as a 6.2 and I believe it is the strongest one I have ever felt! But we will get there in a little while haha. Anyway this letter needs to be a quick one because we have a lot of stuff to do today so I am just going to hit on the highlights of the week. On Friday we had a ummmm I cant remember the word in English... Reunion?? Of 2 zones. President talked about how some missionaries have the Hakunna Matata attitude that we need to change. So we got to watch a little bit of Lion King haha. But that isn't the point...hhaha the point is that it got me motivated to work harder. He challenged us this week to wake up an hour earlier so that we can leave to get to work an hour earlier. The best part is the blessings he promised us if we sacrafice this one hour of sleep. VALE LA PENA!!!!!! So this week I will be waking up at 5:30 everyday. But I tell you what we have already seen the blessings. I was feeling a little down this week and I am not sure why, it is the first time in my mission that I have felt even the least bit homesick and there wasn't even a reason. So as I was doing my personal study the thought came to my mind that I should stop thinking about my self and I should go offer service to someone. SO that day we went and offered to wash the clothes of some of our investigators and our converts Edda and Juan haha. So you better believe I was out there with my bar of soap washing clothes on a rock :) I have a stronger testimony now that when we stop thinking about ourselves and do service for others we forget about our problems and our lives become easier. So if you are ever feeling down go wash some clothes on a rock hahahahaha that is the weirdest advice I have ever given.
Anyway on Saturday we had the baptism of Mariela. She is the other grandkid of Edda and Juan but she didn't want to get baptised last Saturday because she was scared of drowning hahaha I tried to explain to her that I am a lifeguard but she didn't really understand. It was really cute to see her get baptised. I have grown to love that family like my own. In my letter from Dad today he told me that when it is my time to leave Nagarote it is going to be hard. And I do not doubt that one bit. I dread transfers because I do not ever want to leave this area..... The people here are part of my family and I dont know if I will be able to leave them . SO I just don't think about it and I just live in the moments that I have here with them :)
This week we have been working in reactivation again and we found this one family that used to have the missionaries over everyday for lunch. This Hermana gave all to the missionaries and they always had a really good relationship. SO when we went to go visit her this week she was SUPER excited to see us. :) Her name is Hermana Guatelupe and she is so awesome. We already have a really good relationship with her and I know that if she becomes reactivated she will be super awesome for the branch here.
Ok so Saturday night I was sleepin like a baby right? Right.. and for some reason I woke up out of a dead sleep and I thought to myself what in the world am I doing awake. I looked at the clock and it was 3:37am so I was like what the... Then my bed began to shake and I was like no way!!!! WOOOHOOO I thought it was just gonna be a little earthquake but then it started shaking more and more and more and I was like wooooooaaaaaaahhhhhhh hahaha I am terrible at describing this but what it felt like was like I was laying on a tube at lake powell all peaceful and then a boat drove by and I was rocking back and forth on the waves. That is the only thing I could compare it too. It knocked out the power and made it so that a lot of people didn't go to church the next day but Don't worry nobody died haha-.
Anyway I am sorry this is so short but we gotta go get to work. I hope you all have a great week!!! I love you all so much and before you know it you will have another letter from your favorite white Nicaraguan.
Love Hermana Willie