Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Still catching up: more pictures from my first week in Nicaragua

My artsy shot from the top of Mirador Tisey, a the highest mountain in the Estelí area. This is my life, now. I. Love. Nicaragua. Always green, always huge, blue sky. That's right. Be jealous you're not me.

Our district in front of Salto Estanzuela. You can't tell how cool this waterfall is from this picture, but the important part is how cool the district is. 

In front on the left, we have Elder Yardley, who "ya se va por su casa" this change (he's headed home now). He and the gringo in the blue shirt, Elder Witt, were our Zone Leaders, and were awesome. Elder Larson in the red shirt is from Mesa and is pure cowboy. We get along great. He knows Cowtown Boots and Bill Johnson's Big Apple and Snowflake, AZ. His comp in the blue polo, Elder Tercero, is from Chinandega, Nicaragua. He was here in Mision Norte for 8 months waiting on his visa for his mission in Guadalajara Mexico. Elder Barton and Elder Giron are the other two in front. Elder Giron is my district leader, as I mentioned before, and Elder Barton is a democrat. Enough said. And the other Hermanas, Hermana Merrill and Hermana Aparicio, lived with us for a whole change before they finally found a house of their own. President wants us to be living only 2 missionaries in each house, so they left for a more fachenta casa (ritzier place), but still serve with us in our branch and we still hang out together to do girl stuff on pdays. They're the best. Hermana Merrill is from Utah Valley, so luckily we'll be seeing a lot of each other even after the mission. In this first change she was our Sister Training Leader - basically the female version of a zone leader.

My first week was full of culture shock and drowning in the new language and new culture of mission life, and each day felt like an eternity. I got to Esteli on a Wednesday, worked until Sunday, went hiking on Monday with the zone, and went to multi-zone conference in Matagalpa on Tuesday, where I finally had my first interview with the president, where he told me he could already see an improvement in me. ! I was still drowning, gosh dang it! Thank heavens for a good branch president, a good mission president, and other good missionaries. There is a support system here, after all.

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