Monday, December 23, 2013

Cumpliendo 23 in Nicaragua!

So I turned 23 on the 13th. And the Hobbit 2 came out. That were the two biggest pieces of news for the day. Here's what went down in Esteli in the course of that week:

My lunch cita made us a special chicken dinner when she found out it was my birthday. And it was super delicious. And had garlic. That is a treat. (my comp doesn't like to count when she takes pictures. I get lots of candid shots)

Hermana Alba Iris. She is an angel, and so faithful. She is so sweet, and reminds me of Aunt Sylvia. She loves the missionaries so much, and takes such good care of us. She invited all four of the sister missionaries in our branch to eat dinner at her house for my birthday. On my plate are "manuelitos," basically thick crepes filled with syrup and cheese. Weird, but good.

After eating dinner with her family, we played "What If...?" in Spanish. Some of the golden moments were:
"What if Hermana Ferrin danced on her head? She'd lose 30 pounds."
"What if Hermana Corzantes were a model? We'd know she was an imposter."
"What if Hermana Merrill were gordita? She'd find herself a cowboy like Hermana Ferrin found." And that is a story in and of itself that I have yet to recount here. Maybe next week.

This week Nicaragua is celebrating my birthday with fireworks. Actually, it's the Patron festival of Esteli, which means we get gigantonas (giant creepy dolls that dance in the streets), fireworks, the biggest rodeo in all of Esteli, and a noche de compras, full of music and food in the streets and parties and dancing...which means they're celebrating my birthday all week.

For my birthday, on pday, I went on a shopping spree. There are these lovely things called "pacas" here where they sell new and used American clothing for what is a lot less than it would be in the states. So I bought all this for about $50, give or take. I feel like such a girl. And shopping here is so EASY! There's always stuff in my size, since no one else is as big as me. :)

We were going to go to a super ritzy place for my birthday, but ran out of time. We ended up eating hamburgers and batidos at Toto instead. The batidos were SUPER HUGE.

On my birthday, we were going to have our mission president visit us to do interviews and work with the areas who are struggling the most, but he changed the date. So instead, I went to the house of a member who reminds me of Aunt Sylvia, since she'd offered to cook for all four of us missionaries for my birthday. And it was wonderful, and we stayed and visited with her family for a long time. Her son is about to leave on his mission to the D.R. tomorrow, and he's been our branch mission leader.  The day before, we contacted someone who turned out to be a really rich guy, and while visiting with him in his house he was showing me his collecting of grammars of miskitu, a native language on the coast of Nicaragua. He had a duplicate, and when he saw my interest in linguistics, he gifted it to me, not even knowing it was my birthday. And aside from all the other birthday songs and wishes from other missionaries, my District Leader (thus, my "mission papá"), not knowing of my own dad's tradition of singing las mañanitas to us on the guitar for our birthdays, called me and sang me Las Mañanitas with guitar accompaniment. It was pretty awesome.

This week, our ward went on a temple trip, and one of the families here was sealed. After three years of working towards that. It was beautiful to hear them talk about how much they loved that experience. I'm so grateful to see the members here gaining the blessings of the temple. I'm starting to love these people a lot, and it's starting with the members, who are so faithful even though there are so few of them.

Still loving it here in Este Ley.
Hermana Ferrin

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