"Life doesn't come with a manual, it comes with a mother."
I want to begin by saying that I understand so much better during this time in the mission just how important family is. Being away from my family, being immersed in a culture rife with different family traditions, and teaching how families can be united for eternity thanks to the authority and mercy of the Lord, my testimony of families grows every day. As children of God, the importance of family, community, and love is grand, and all this starts with a mother. And honestly, there is no better mother around than mine. I say that unapologetically. I'm trying every day to learn to be a little more like her, as loving, as intelligent, as faithful, as strong as her. My family is one of my greatest blessings, and the joy and love we have in my family comes from the love and joy we have in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and for that reason, I am here to help other families learn to have that same joy.
I know I've been a little silent on the blog for the last few weeks, and that's largely due to my sickness and preparation days spent in the hospital, but these last few weeks in Managua have been great. I've been learning to conquer my fears, learning to love strangers, learning to laugh at myself, and learning to be patient with myself in the same way the Lord is patient with me.
And speaking of mothers, I now have the opportunity to become a "mother" here in the mission. Yes, friends, it's time for changes in the mission, again, and my companion, Hermana Argueta, is leaving the area and going to another part of Managua, and I will be receiving a brand new missionary as my companion. She's never been in the mission before, and thus, I am her "mother." I will teach her to walk like a missionary (quickly), eat like a missionary (gratefully and politely), sleep (always with fans, thanks to the mosquitos), talk like a missionary (with everyone, with love), and how to make friends, how to trust, how to smile, and how to find joy. I am so excited for this trust, and a little overwhelmed, but, as with everything else I've learned in the mission, I know that I can do it if I trust in the Lord. With him, everything is possible.
I love you all, and God loves you a whole lot more than I do,