Monday, January 20, 2014

The Busy Mission Life

So, this week certainly has not been boring. Such is the life of the companion of a Sister-Training Leader. I think I mentioned that last p-day we spent 5 hours in a bus to go to Managua to practice with the choir for our multi-mission confernce with Elder Soares on the 24th. Well, we did the same today. And I have spent way too much time in a bus this week, 14 hours in total, I believe, and I am way too tall for Nicaragua, so I am in a bit of pain all over my tall body as a result. But such is life and the sacrifices we make for the good news of the gospel. And the good news for today is that I bought a camera to replace the one that got stolen, ate REAL BACON at Subway in the mall (goodbye mall, no more chances to visit you after the multi-mission confernce), and saw a half gringo/half latino Fundamentalist family in the food court. I was flabbergasted, and have a fantastic picture to go with that, but that will have to wait.

Tuesday was more or less normal. We're still loving working with Nelson and his family, and preparing him for baptism. His wife and son are inactive members, and he's separated from his wife, but lives close to the family to be around for his kids. He's been making good changes in his life and is finally ready to be baptized. There are challenges, of course, because there are always challenges, but he's going to make some big changes and it's going to be great.

Wednesday I went to Ciudad Darío, a town in the mountains about an hour and a half outside of Estelí to do exchanges with a Mexicana, Hermana Zepeda, so her comp could do exchanges with Hermana Ayala. That town reminded me of Panguitch, don't ask me why. It was tiny (compared to Estelí) and pretty and there were breezes that smelled like nature instead of exhaust and burning garbage, and I was enchanted with all the mountains and nature. The church is still pretty small there, an Elder is the branch president, but it's awesome. And one of the member families we visited is super pilas, and not just because they fed us rice, beans, and rojita (it's a weird, but good, red soda. Look it up), so I fully expect them to get ready to be branch president sometime soon. And then later, the lunch cita fed us dinner when we returned to have a lesson in her house. And apparently no one ever gives the sisters food there; only when I'm visiting. :) We had a lot of fun, not only because everyone fed us and I introduced Hermana Zepeda to tajadas, but because she has one change less than me in the mission, so it was up to me to set the tone, and it turned out to be a slightly goofy tone, and we laughed a lot and struggled and had fun. It was one of the best day of my mission. 

The next morning we went to Estelí to trade companions and have our interviews with our mission president. My first interview with him since I got here. And boy is that man inspired. I talked through all of my questions with him, and he had good answers, and told me again that he sees a lot of potential in me, so basically I need to prepare myself well and prepare myself better every day so that I can contribue all that the Lord is expecting me to and so I can become who He needs me to be. Tall order, eh?

The next day, Friday, I went to Managua to work with one of the Sister Training Leaders of the Sister Training Leaders (Leaders of the Leaders of the Sisters) while her companion did exchanges with Hermana Ayala. Lucky me. Seriously. I'm not a leader, but I got a chance to work with another "Sister AP," like when I did exhanges with Hermana Ayala in the last transfer. And I was working with a chela from Draper, Hermana Raymond. Because of her crazy schedule, we spent 5 hours together in the bus (round trip, to Managua and then back to Estelí the next day) and time studying together for companion study, but only about 4 hours out working, in which one of the families we were visiting fed us tostadas and fruit salad, which here is actually a really delicious cinammony drink filled with fruit. I was in love. And was keeping up my record of eliciting offers of food from strangers while on exchanges. But my time with Sister Raymond was like what would have happened had I had 5 hours plus companion study in which to talk to President. One of the most important things she told me was to let myself love this work, because she can see that I do, even if sometimes I forget. She's kind of inspired. And kind of awesome. And not just because she bought me Pizza Hut and we studied and joked in English. 

Saturday and Sunday Hermana Ayala and I were working to get people to church, and to write our talks because the four missionaries spoke on Sunday. President and Sister Barcenas (the branch president) fed us lunch on Sunday, and we google mappd our houses. Apparently you can see not only the two cool trucks in front of our house, but also the BYU windsock and the We Are BYU flag in the window. Creepy, but cool.

Anyway, life is good in Estelí, the work is ever marching forward, the church is true, and I love you all. Pictures to follow, I hope.


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