Saturday, December 29, 2012

Feliz Navidad!

Hey family,

It was fun hearing your voices for a wee bit, seeing Janes beautiful teeth, ben and beccas beautiful faces, and mom and dads barely wrinkled faces.  Im excited to talk to the whole fam on Wednesday in the morning.

Well this has been a pretty nutty week. Were still trying to get used to working in the huge area that we have and are facing lots of problems knowing how to not waste time when we have so much to do in so little time and such a large space. Hermana Rodriguez has had some crazy blisters in her feet and we have both been sick for a couple of days (i miss my neti pot dad) but were both getting better and Im praying that the blisters can heal in her feet. We have been working on finding more families and Im really excited for this upcoming week to make goals to be more effective with our time.

Update on Yelba and Cesar.....we visted Yelba practically every day this week and she is really excited about her baptism. She also went to the Christmas party and was making friends so we were excited about that. Cesar has been out of town all week but we finally met with him with the district leader on Friday. The district leader spoke to him to work with him with his fears of getting married and Cesar made the goal to get married and baptized this Saturday. Were really excited for them and are going to work hard this week with them to make sure they make their goal. All of his family is Catholic but they have all mentioned to him how they have seen a change in him since he started studying and learning with us and have told him to continue in whatever he is doing. It is so neat to see people change and even neater when they and their family recognize the changes that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can make in their life. 

Our zone did a really cool activity  Friday,  Saturday, and Sunday night. They set up a projector in the park with a video of the birth of Jesus Christ and had a table with pamphlets and free videos. We helped out last night along with all of the missionaries in the zone and in total about 300 families were contacted throughout the 3 days. I love missionary team work. Another great idea that missionaries have thought of in our mission is setting up a table that says free family photos. We take their photo and then ask for their direction to visit them and give them their photo. Perfect excuse to visit them at their house :).

To answer some of mom and dads questions.........we all thought i was senior comp. with H. Chinchilla but turns out I wasnt and she was but we shared the responsibility which was really nice. H. Rodriguez is senior comp. To make you feel better mom lots of ppl got packages at the Christmas party but definitely not everyone. At our Christmas celebration we played sports the whole morning and then had a catered lunch and had a devotional where every zone sang a Christmas hymn and H. and Pres. Arredondo sang a duet together. All of the missionaries were there so it was really fun to see everyone. 

I was not nervous when we were detained, just frustrated. I feel safe in Ocotal. It is SO different than Nagarote. People dont really know how to give their directions because they dont know where is north, south, east west sometimes so we have had some challenges with finding people. Im learning tol ove maps like mom already does because it helps us not get lost as much. 

I really know that this gospel is true and that Jesus Christ, our Savior, was born to live and die for us and to bring us back to our Father in Heaven. Repentance is real and Im so grateful we have the promise that if we do this we can live with our families forever. I sure love you all more than you know. Have a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas! 

FELIZ NAVIDAD!

Anne

Ocotal!

Dearest fam,

Im happy to hear that all is well in Loveland and Lehi and that youre enjoying the holiday season. Where do I start? Its been a whirlwind of a week and a half. As I said Hermana Rodriguez is my new comp. She is from Panama and she is almost 24. She goes home in February. Im really glad that she still wants to work hard and isnt super trunky because that would be hard. She has been companions with both Hermana Abrego (my trainer) and was just comps with Hermana Manning (MTC comp) so we have lots in common just for that.

Hermana Chinchilla and I both had changes from Nagarote. She went to Managua and I went to Ocotal. Elder Lopiano from Conneticut and Elder Mich from Guatemala (for the third change in a row) are my zone leaders now in Esteli. All of the missionaries from Ocotal (2 elders and 2 sisters) were taken out so Elder Perez, Kasper, Hermana Rodriguez and I are reopening the area. I will never complain here about feeling like I have contacted every house because the area is HUGE!!! Every Tuesday we go to Esteli for our zone meeting which is 2 hours and 15 minutes away. 

Missionaries have only been serving in Ocotal for 2 years now so its exciting to be in an area where the church is so brand stinking new. There are only 45 members in the branch and 30 to 40 go every Sunday. The branch president is Hermano Chavarria. He and his wife have been part time missionaries for about 7 years helping the mission president where there help is needed. We live in the same house as them on the second floor. We have water about 2 times during the week because the water never rises to the floor. hahaha. I shower with cold water out of a barrel. Dad would be proud because I now take showers in 4 min. or less.

So transfers were on Dec. 5 and I basically didnt start working in Ocotal until Dec. 7th. And no.....Hermana Pearson is not being a slacker......we just had a few challenges getting to Ocotal. First, we had to stay in Esteli on Wednesday night and then had planning in the morning. Thursday we finally left for Ocotal at 1. Hma Rodriguez and I were so excited to start contacting and teaching. Then the police pulled the bus over and asked everyone to take out their papers. Turns out H. Rodriguez and Elder Mich both had expired identification cards(they were going to go on monday) and Elder Kasper has been in Nicaragua for 4 days so he didnt have any paperwork. So we had to take all of our suitcases off the bus and got detained on the side of the highway 20 minutes outside of Ocotal for about 3 hours. Then we had to go back to Esteli on Friday. We were excited to finally start working on Friday night. 

Were teaching a really great couple named Cesar and Yelba. They have a 9 year old named Cesar. The first time we taught them we only taught him and he confessed to us that his wife was at a purisma. Purisimas are when Catholics walk down the street with a virgin Mary statue worshipping her. We invited him to church and told him to remind his wife. When we came the next morning the family was ready to go(super rare here). Unfortunately he couldnt go but Yelba and little Cesar loved church. The members were REALLY enthusiastic and happy to meet her and asked her when she was getting baptized. I really dont like pressuring people so I felt a little uncomfortable but Yelba is super pilas (means hardworking and AWESOME) and said she was getting baptized on the 22nd. We didnt even have to put a baptismal date with her because she decided it in the middle of church. We have worked hard with their family all week and Cesar went to church yesterday and loved it. They are learning hymns, reading pamphlets and the Book of Mormon together. Cesar has a little bit of fear about getting married (people really dont like committment of marriage here) so please pray for him because he knows the gospel is true he just needs to take a leap of faith. Last night Yelba was telling us all about the changes she has seen in their relationship and family since we started teaching them and she loves the gospel so much. It makes me so happy to see people embrace and love something that brings me and my family so much joy.

More details on Hermana Rodriguez.....she really is an answer to my prayers. While Im having a difficult time learning how to find the balance in teaching with her (she tends to talk a lot more than me) she  is teaching me so much. She is really good at teaching effectively with the teachers and asking people questions to get them thinking when contacting....2 of my weaknesses. She cames from a difficult background. Her parents were both converts so she was born in the covenant but they ended up having lots of problems and her dad left. They didnt know where he went and ended up finding  him when he was really sick and on his death bed. This was motivation for her and her mom to go back to church about 4 years ago and now she is on a mission and while she has been on her mission her brother has become active and his wife has been baptized. While the cultural differences are really hard (sometimes Latins dont like to get communicate and get annoyed when I do) I really love the experience Im having and am growing so much. I know that this gospel is true and changes lives. Have a great week before Christmas!!!!!


Love you,

Hermana Pearson

I'm Alive!


Hey mom!

Well today we had our Christmas activity in Managua and didnt have time to write BUT I just wanted to write you to let you know I had changes! Im now in Zona Esteli and in Ocotal which is about 20 minutes from Honduras. My new companion is Hermana Rodriguez from Panama and she is really fun, hardworking and awesome. Im feeling really good about this change. Its hot during the days but super cold at nights and I hate showering now because its so cold (when we have water). Im happy and healthy and I love you all. Please forward this to the rest of the family. LOVE YOU,

Anne

Cambios?

Well, Ive now been in Nagarote for about 6 months so everybody thinks that Im leaving here on Wednesday. I find out tomorrow in the night. Im a little sad-nervous-excited. I really love the people here and have had really great experiences but Im also ready for a change so.....we will see!

Sometimes we have last minute emergency zone conferences. Last Tuesday was one of them. We got a call from our district leader last Monday at 950pm. He told us we had to be in Leon at 6 am to catch a bus to be in Esteli by 8. So we took the first bus out of Nagarote at 430am. I LOVE hearing from President Arredondo. He loves the missionaries and the people of Nicaragua so much and helps motivate me to be such a better missionary!!!! He talked a lot about how we need to help focus on helping the families we teach make the following new habits to lead to true conversion.....sacrament every sunday, personal and family prayers, scripture study, and family home evening. He also talked about how important it is for every missionary to truly have a testimony of the book of mormon so he challenged us to finish it by march. He really is an amazing mission president. We got back to Nagarote really late but ended up contacting two women that ended up being two families that are pretty positive!

Ive been pretty shocked at how young the women get married or leave their families to live with someone. Two of our recent converts left their families to live with someone at age 13 and had their first babies at age 14. We were helping one of our converts Claudia wash clothes and I asked her how she and her husband met and she told me he always passed by the house to see her. She also said she could never leave alone with him only with her sister. It didnt make sense to me how she ended up leaving to live with him so I asked her how she ended up leaving and she said, "Well my mom always hit me and sometimes you just think, well maybe he will give me a better life than I have here, so im leaving." I was shocked. Im so glad she has now found the gospel and can make a better life for her children. I now have a new understanding and am not as judgemental as I was before, because its really easy to judge when so many people are living in sin. 

Were trying hard to teach members more and decided to bring Hermano Antonio to teach Christian because we found out they were friends last week.Right before we entered the lesson we asked him if he could bear his testimony about a couple of different things we were going to teach. Before we could open our mouths to ask who Christian would like to say the opening prayer, Hermano Antonio started talking about how baptism was the best decision Christian could ever make, how its changed his life, how he needs to do it soon, said some things about witnesses in the temple, members that have been baptized and gone inactive, etc etc. It was SUPER hard to control the lesson and we didnt teach what we wanted to, but then we asked Christian to say the closing prayer. I love it when he says the prayer because we find out exactly what he is thinking. He asked forgiveness in the prayer that we didnt study the scriptures much and talked a ton, and told Heavenly Father that he was going to get baptized. We were so happy. Maybe the lessons arent as perfect as we want them to be, but if the spirit is there, he can teach, and thats all that really matters.

Xiomara and Jorge got baptized this week! They got baptized right after church, so thankfully we had a lot of members there to support them. Hermano Antonio baptized them. We asked Jorge (dad) to bear his testimony and Beberly(mom) to give the closing prayer. Beberly is really shy so she asked me about 3 times, ideas for what she could say, but she did it and I was so proud of her because she was really nervous! Crazy thing.....the day before the baptism, we were talking to Xiomara about a river that is near by randomly and she mentioned she doesnt like going into rivers or bodies of water because she has had some bad experiences. We didnt think anything of it and she didnt express concern in being baptized. But Hermano Antonio had to attempt to baptize her 3 x because she was so nervous about going all the way under the water. She was pretty embarrassed but she did it!!!! She looked so beautiful in those white clothes. Its so amazing to think that all of those sins she has committed over the years are completely washed away and now she just has to keep coming to church and learning and her life and Sebastians life can be completely changed.

We were also really excited last night because Jorge (dad) talked to us about how he is so excited for his sons future in the church and how he can go on a mission and do all the things that he didnt have the chance to do growing up. He told us how he has been talking to beberly a lot how they need to be a lot stronger in the church for their children. We have seen such an amazing change in them and Im so grateful to have been a part of their change in coming back to the church!

Felix ended up going to Chinandega to work for 15 days so we werent able to teach them as a family this week but Meyling is reading the Book of Mormon.

Randoms
1. This week I was in a rush changing out of my pday clothes into my church clothes. After changing and taking a shower, I couldnt find one of my shoes. I looked everywhere for it, thought H. Chinchilla hid it (she didnt) and was so confused as to where it would have gone. Then I looked in my dirty clothes....stuck in my pant leg. A mission makes you crazy sometimes.

2. I kicked something on the road last week in the dark and freaked out because I thought it was a cow pie because it was wet. Turns out it was an orange. H. Chinchilla laughed really hard at me.

3. I have now taught H. Chinchilla the game, "Everythings perfect, BUT." While we have to walk for a long time and dont see anybody, its great to keep us excited and pass the time.

I know this church is true and I know that Jesus Christ lives and loves us. I know that blessings come when we make sacrifices to do what is right, despite what others think. I sure love you all and Im praying for you every day!!!!

Love you,

Hermana Pearson

A week of Miracles

Im glad to hear everyone had a great Thanksgiving. For Thanksgiving dinner I ate maduros and a toasted bread pastry. I thought about buying a turkey from one of our recent converts and killing it with my district for about 40 dollars, but there just wasnt enough time.

This week was full of little miracles. Lets start with Christian. Christian didnt go to church last Sunday because someone called and he went to play baseball instead because they needed him as the pitcher. When we went to visit him this week he told us how guilty he had felt that he didnt go and felt he really needed to go this week. One night we passed by his house and waved to him and saw that he had all of the pamphlets and Book of Mormon on his lap and he was going through and marking them---a missionarys dream! When we visited him the next day he told us how he had stayed up til midnight reading and marking all of the scriptures in the bible and book of mormon. When we invited him again to church again he said he was for sure going. I told him that Satan always tries to put things in our path to keep us from doing the right thing to remind him to stay committed and he told us an experience he had the day before. First of all Christian makes furniture and business has been really poor lately. A man asked him one day to help him with some work on Sunday morning. Christian told him know because he knew he needed to go to church. He came to all the meetings on Sunday and seemed to learn a lot. Its so refreshing to see people exercising faith!

Next Meyling and Felix. We taught them the law of chastity this week and were pleasantly surprised that this young couple is already married which is very uncommon here! I always feel the spirit strong while teaching them. The biggest problem that we have when we arrive at their house is that their 1 yr. old Kimberly cries when she sees strangers. She cries so hard that she falls asleep. Its sad, but funny. Ayways....Felix didnt firmly committ to coming to church unfortunately because he drives a bixi and Sunday is one of the best days of work but Meyling was committed to coming. When I got to her house Sunday morning she said, "Ill come next Sunday because I have to go get some vegetables with my grandparents." Good excuse, I know. I tried to convince her to go and promised some blessings but she said she would come the next Sunday. Both Hermana Chinchilla and I arrived to church with no investigators and we were bummed because we had worked hard teaching and committing people all week. But in the end, 5 investigators came to church! The miracle is that Meyling was one of them. She told Hermana Chinchilla she wasnt going to come and then thought, " No its better that I come" and she came! And  Kimberly didnt even cry. Unfortunately Felix didnt come, but we will work with him :)

Next Xiomara. We have been praying for a while that Xiomara would find a place to live so she could leave her horrible situation. We came on Wednesday to teach her and nobody was there. We talked to her neighbors (the relief society president) and she said that Xiomara left in the night and asked for our phone number to contact us. We kept waiting for a phone call and never got one but kept praying she would come to church so we could find her. Late on Saturday night, we were walking along and a little boy said, "Hola hermanas" and I said, "Hola" and realized it was Sebastian, Xiomaras 3 yr. old! We looked up and saw Xiomara and she was SO happy to see us. She has found a place to live for now and a little work (pray for her to find more) and is now going to be baptized on Sunday!

Unfortunately Jorge cant receive the priesthood after being interviewed by president because he has some things to work though. But were hoping President can work with him. But little Jorge is going to be baptized the same time as Xiomara this Sunday. Im so excited for them!!! Jorge is reading the Book of Mormon and has already learned a couple of articles of faith.

A little thought, do you ever underestimate the impact of your words on others? I sure do. But the words we say can really change the perspectives of others and help people more than we will ever know. Have I told you about Hermano Antonio? He is one of the first converts here in Nagarote and has been a member for 14 years. One Sunday I was feeling sad because we hadnt taken that many investigators to church. Hermano Antonio came up to me and started telling me what a great missionary I was and how maybe I am not helping many families come into the church here but how Im going to go to other areas and bring many souls unto Christ. I hadnt said anything to Hermano Antonio about how I was feeling. Maybe he didnt feel like the spirit prompted him to talk to me. He just decided to say what he felt and express his love for another person and acted on it. We never know the impact our words can have. I hope you all remember to express your love for others. Thanks for your love and support. I really appreciate it.

I know that this is the work of the Lord. I know that Jesus Christ only established one church when he was on the earth and that it has been restored once again. The prophets have the authority of God and will lead us to Jesus Christ and true happiness if we follow them. I love this gospel, my family, and my life.

Love,

Anne

I am on a mission....that's pretty neat!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Becca suggested that I wrestle down a turkey to eat for Thanksgiving dinner this week and I think I will do that because turkey is nowhere to be found in the grocery store. Or maybe Ill just eat rice and beans instead. Yum. 

I had a pretty good week of lessons with some new families that we found. Unfortunately Diana isnt listening to us when we come, just Christian. He is reading the Book of Mormon and praying but unfortunately didnt go to church on Sunday because someone called right before to ask him to play in a baseball game. Frustrating when people cant see the blessings they could have when they make sacrifices. Xiomara still hasnt found a place to live unfortunately but we keep praying for her. Jorge didnt receive the priesthood this week, but the whole family came to church and he is hopefully getting it this sunday. Its so hard when we as missionaries want things to happen on our time and try to emphasize "the sooner the better" to people, but people like to take their time and Jorge and Beverly had to leave the church after the first hour so he couldnt get interviewed.

Its so important as missionaries to ALWAYS contact. This week I had a cool experience with contacting. H. Chinchilla and I took a bixi (bike that carries people in front) to the grocery store- Pali. Lots of times we just like to relax and not talk to the driver but I made a new rule for myself to always contact. I dont know why but it seems like bixi drivers are always single and are notorious for always cat calling at us. But this bixi driver, Felix, had a wife and little girl and said we could come visit him. We went the next day to visit them and its a miracle that we found their house because they live with a lot of family and you have to walk through the first house that is closest to the street to get back to their house. We taught the restoration and they received the message well and really seem positive. They were really sincere and told the truth about some things we asked and sometimes thats hard to come by because people dont want to hurt feelings here or its just easier for them to lie. 

Its very rare for people to give us food here but we have taught Jorge and Beverly on Sunday nights and they have given us dinner the last three Sundays. Its amazing how bad/good you feel when people that only make about 120 dollars a month and have 2 kids share food with you. These people live in such humble situations and I love them so much!

Ive thought a lot about listening to the spirit and following the spirit. I think a lot of it just comes down to being obedient and doing the best we can. I love this quote from Elder Bednars talk "The Spirit of Revelation" : "I have talked with many individuals who question the strength of their personal testimony and underestimate their spiritual capacity because they do not receive frequent, miraculous, or strong impressions. Perhaps as we consider the experiences of Joseph in the Sacred Grove, of Saul on the road to Damascus, and of Alma the Younger, we come to believe something is wrong with or lacking in us if we fall short in our lives of these well-known and spiritually striking examples. If you have had similar thoughts or doubts, please know that you are quite normal. Just keep pressing forward obediently and with faith in the Savior. As you do so, you “cannot go amiss” (D&C 80:3). "

Just be obedient and have faith and the Lord will help you do what you need to do as a family member, church member, and citizen. I know this church is true and that Heavenly Father is guiding this work to gather his children. I sure love you and miss you all!

Hermana Pearson

Fun facts:
1. Met a woman this week who has a 3 yr old that she named Joseph Smith. She knows he is a prophet but she just really liked the names.
2. One of the members this week (about 65 yrs old and the cutest thing ever) wore a shirt to church that said "I am from Mars."

The Hottest Birthday I have ever had!

Hey cuties,

Well this week was a good one! Thanks for all the birthday love. My day was pretty much like any other day in the mission. But what made it extra special is that 2 of the elders in my district bought me some icecream and a big bag of marshmallows. They wanted to get me a cake but there wasnt one to buy. It made me laugh. I wore short sleeves on my birthday for the first time in my life.

We have found some more families to teach!!! I wont take the time to tell you about all of them but were teaching a man named Christian. He doesnt go to any church and is really discontent at the fact that there are so many religions. He reads everything that we leave with him and is gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. His wife was just baptized in an evangelical church last year but listens to us. She is very discontent with the way her pastor teaches and seems unhappy with the doctrine. I really hope she will start to act on some of the committments and come to church with her husband this Sunday. Its so fun to teach Christian because every time we come, he is so excited to learn more.

Xiomara is amazing. She always reads the scriptures and prays and has come to the church for the last month. She is trying to find a place to move so she can leave Javier. He is an alcoholic and the only real reason that she lives there is because she doesnt have anywhere else to live. She really wants to be baptized so were praying that she can find a place to live and change her and her sons life.

Jorge and Beverly are doing great! Unfortunately Jorge couldnt come to church this Sunday to be interviewed to receive the priesthood but they are doing really well and at least 1 of them with their kids have come to church the past month. Im hoping little Jorge can be baptized by the end of December. Jorge has been a member for 18 years and his wife for 7 and it makes me so happy they are making the steps to become active in the church. Were trying to help them focus on making it to the temple.

. I was feeling a little frustrated one morning and started reading a talk by Neil Andersen about preparing the world for the second coming. I dont know why I picked that talk, but it was just what I needed to read. There was a part that talked about a senior couple that served a mission and helped reactivate a family. He talked about how happy the couple was to see the dad baptize his son into the church. In this moment, I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the progress that Jorge and Beverly have made and how we have been in instruments in helping them make this progress. The Lord knows us and what we need.

I hope youre all doing great. I really love you and know that this is the work of the Lord. God loves us, knows us, and will help us if we turn to him.

H. Pearson

Orphan Zone


So this week was full of a lot of changes and learning. Remember how I go to Leon every Tuesday to meet with my zone? From now on were not going there anymore. Heres what happened. President Arredondo showed up unannounced at our zone meeting.  He usually doesnt come to zone meetings but felt like he needed to come to motivate us to work harder and find more families. He is such an amazing man and inspires me every time he talks. For a while I have felt like I have gotten into a routine of contacting people and sometimes lack the ability to testify of truths because the contacts need to be quick. I have known that I needed to change but didnt know how. President gave us some really good advice on testifying more to people. Sometimes we ask the Lord how to solve our weaknesses and sometimes your mission president just tells you what they are :). Im so grateful for the inspiration that my mission president receives to guide us as missionaries. President also said that Nagarote, Mateare, and Paz Centro are now not going to Leon every week and will just meet here in Nagarote. ITs kind of weird to be seperate from the zone. Our zone leaders cant come here anymore to help us so weve given ourselves the nickname- orphan zone.

I also have learned a lot about charity this week. My district leader, Elder Swanson (from Farmington Utah and has been in the mission 3 changes) shared the scriptures Moroni 7:40-48 about how we need to have hope. How do we have hope? We need to have faith and charity. Ive been trying to apply this lately and encourage you to read these and apply them too.

This week was crazy in Nicaragua- Nov. 2nd was The day of the dead here and everyone goes to the cemetery and puts flowers on graves of loved ones. The street smelled so good (rare) because so many vendors were selling flowers. My old district leader, Elder Balux, took his whole district to the cemetery and they set up a table and contacted people- I was so proud. Yesterday was crazy because people voted for the mayor. Nagarote is mostly conservative so there werent any fights but I heard lots of missionaries had to go in early in other areas because fights break out among the different political parties.

Xiomara is really progressing. She is reading the Book of Mormon, is praying,  and has come to church every Sunday. Were really praying that Javier can change too and they can get married, but he wont admit that he has a drinking problem. Alcohol is so addictive and I really hope he can let go of this vice. Were going to try to help him with this problem or help Xiomara get out of the situation.

We have been visiting a family of less active members lately- Jorge and Beverly. He has been a member of the church for 18 years and she has been one for 7, but when we found them a month ago and taught a lesson on temples and the priesthood, they barely knew what they were. They have come a long way in their knowledge and Jorge is going to talk to the branch president next week to prepare to receive the priesthood so he can baptize his son Jorge (11). Im really happy to see their progress.

I feel so blessed to have been born into a home that had the fulness of the gospel. I know that God speaks to prophets today and prophets lead us to believe in Christ and let this knowledge change us. If anyone is reading this and hasnt read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it, I encourage you to do it, because it will change your life for the better.

I sure love you family!

Anne

Nagarotenan

Beloved Northamerican family,

Boy do I love you! Im glad to hear that everybody is safe and sound. Happy to hear that Wills bday party was a blast and am excited to hear how Janes play goes this week! Yes, as the subject says, Im now Nagarote├▒an because I wasnt transferred out this week. At first when I heard I didnt have changes I was a little bit disappointed because I feel like I have contacted every house and am just not having success finding families that are interested in learning about the gospel. A little bit after I found out we were both staying, I started to focus on the positive....Im really excited to still have Hermana Chinchilla as a companion and know that there is more work for me to do here (obviously because I wasnt transferred). Hermana Chinchilla and I are going to make some new goals to help more less active members and recent converts come to church and find some more families to teach!

We have had a big struggle this week with finding people to teach. We found a really great couple named Veronica and Carlos and were really excited to teach them and their two girls. He has diabetes pretty serious and really wants to find the true church before he dies.  We taught them once and they were excited to go to church. I felt the spirit so strong when we were teaching them and thought they would for sure go. Then we came by on Sunday and they didnt come. When we came back in the night, Carlos said that we were really nice people so he wasnt going to lie to us anymore and say they are studying with Jehovahs witnesses and trying to find out if that is right and dont want to be confused studying lots of different religions. I was really disappointed because I felt so positive about them. We told them that we will always be passing by so if they want to learn more, were always here. Hopefully they will have a change of heart!

While we feel like Xiomara and Javier really want to change, we have a big challenge as we found out that Javier is an alcoholic (or if he isnt he is on the verge of being one). Xiomara told us when we were not there and said he is not himself when he gets drunk and becomes really mad, so the next day we came to teach the word of wisdom to try to help him. The problem was that we couldnt talk about his drinking problem because we didnt want him to get mad and take it out on Xiomara for telling us so we had to beat around the bush. When we asked him if he had a problem with any of the things in the word of wisdom, he said no. We have been reading the book of mormon with them in Alma 5 and talking a lot about repentance and are really hoping he will act on his desire to change. 

Ive almost finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish and its so great to look back on my progress from where Ive come since the CCM reading verses really slow and out loud to myself. While there are days where Im really frustrated with my ability to express myself quickly in Spanish I have come a long way and am so grateful for the help of the Lord!

While there are extremely hard days in the mission, I LOVE IT. Im learning so much about making and keeping goals, the blessings of obedience, and how loving others and following the spirit are two of the most important things we need to learn to do. Im so grateful for my knowledge of living prophets, the plan of salvation, and the gift of eternal life that the Savior offers us if only we do our part!

Im happy. Im Healthy. Nos vemos.

Hermana Pearson

I have a new Nephew! (October 22)

Hey family,

I cant tell you how excited I was that Max is a new member of the family. It was really fun for me to tell all of the investigators/members about his birth. I got to meet Jimena (Marias new baby) on Friday morning which I was really excited about. I just pretended she was Max :)

It has been a roller coaster with Juan Carlos and Juana this week. We went about every week to help them prepare for their marriage and baptism. There has been a definite change in Juan Carlos. He is always excited to see us and talk to us. We had some lessons with our zone leaders and them teaching about the blessings of marriage, baptism, and the word of wisdom. Juana has been ready for weeks to get baptized and married but Juan Carlos has let his fears take over and has decided he doesnt want to make the committment of marriage or baptism. I was pretty sad when he told us on Saturday that he doesnt want to go through with it anymore. Hermana Chinchilla and I tried to bring them to church on Sunday and they didnt want to go either. Juan Carlos just isnt progressing and doesnt have the faith to turn his sins over to the Lord. We have now taught them for about 2 months and they just arent ready. Needless to say, were really sad that we have to stop teaching them and hope missionaries will find them in the future when they are more prepared. The problem here is that people living together is such a problem. Most people live for years together with kids but arent married still and its normal. I have seen a lot lately how Satan uses fear to stop people from making changes for the better in their lives.

The good news is that we found a new family to teach last week named Siomara and Javier that have a cute little boy named Sebastian. We have now taught them the first two lessons and they went to church on Sunday. Talking about Sundays here.....I know that its the Sabbath Day of the week but for us it doesnt feel that way! We leave 2 hours before church starts, go on divisions with 2 girls that want to go on missions in the future, (like Becca :) ) and split up to remind/bring families to church and then do all we can to help them come....wash clothes, help make breakfast, clean, or just wait (because they usually wont come on their owns because people seem to be shy here). But yesterday, Siomara and Javier came to church and were going to have a family home evening with them and a family in the ward who are their neighbors. Theyre not married so I hope they can have  the desire to do so!

We have changes this week and everybody thinks that Im going to go. I really love Nagarote and the people here but am hoping for a change as I feel like I have contacted all the houses and walked the streets a zillion times (I know I havent but it feels like that after 4 months). Who knows what will happen, but the Lord knows what I need so Im ready for whatever he has in store for me.


Random tidbits......
1. Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America. That being said, sometimes people buy their clothes in BULK. They buy a huge pack of clothes of all different sizes and wear what they get. That being said, people tend to wear some shirts that are pretty random. For example, this week a man we were teaching had a shirt on that said,  "YW Camp 2006: The girl I should bee is up to me" with a cute little bumblebee below. I couldnt believe it.
2. I walked past an old man and said, "Adios" which is the custom here. He turned at me, stared, and "whistled." But he didnt have any teeth so it wasnt really a whistle.
3. Hermana Carmen (the woman that cooks for us) is hilarious. She is 60 years old but very young at heart. For example, she tells your mom jokes. She made a cake this week and asked her son how he thought it turned out. He said, "ok." She said, "Your mom." I died laughing.

I have been thinking alot about the scripture Alma 37:6 lately, "And the Lord God doth work by ameans to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very bsmall means the Lord dothcconfound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls." Its so true that the little things make a big difference. Heavenly Father promises us great blessing when we do the little things: read our scriptures daily, pray, fulfill our church callings, serve others, etc. But Satan is smart and works the same way placing small doubts in our minds to impede us from doing the little things. We just need to have the faith to conquer these doubts and make the sacrifice to put the small, most important things first and then all of the great blessings we can have will fall into place. 

I really cant believe that I have already been on my mission for 6 months. The time has flown. Im learning a lot about myself and how the gospel of Jesus Christ, once again restored to the earth, can change lives, if only we will let it. Jesus Christ lives, knows us personally, and wants us to be happy. Im so grateful for the gift he has given us to repent and change our lives for the better every day.  Im loving and praying for you!

Love,

Hermana Pearson

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Another week in Nagarote!


Hey fam!

So its a given for most people that Im from the US here, but an investigator this week asked me if I was from Mexico. And the next day she forgot where I was from and said, "You're from Mexico right?" Have you ever met a Mexican with blue eyes? I haven't.

So to answer some of mom's questions.... there are about 40ish people that come to church every week. The church has had a branch in Nagarote for 15 years and there are about 3 families have been in the church that long. The other strong families that always come have been in the church for about 2 years. There are only 3 active complete families (husband, wife, kids) and the rest are single women, single men, or single women with children. Some of the single women and men are so inspiring. They never make excuses for not coming to church and are there every week. One example is Felipa. She is 85 years old and can't walk very well (she looks about 95 so Grandma and Grandpa you really look young for your age). She can't read and asked us to help her fill out her tithing slip this week. It was 5 cordobas (about 25 cents). I love the people here!

Butterfly whisperer?




We had so much hope to bring families to church this week and had about 5 families committed but weren't able to bring anyone because they all had excuses---someone went to visit their grandma at the last minute, another had a family member get sick, the water went out so people couldnt bathe before church....the list goes on. Satan is really good at making people do good things so they can't experience great blessings. We were a little bit frustrated after church and then we got stuck in a huge rain storm and walked through a river up to our calves in the middle of the street. Then the rain left and the hot sun came out. Then the sun left and the lights in the street went out when it was dark. And we laughed the whole time (okay maybe not the whole time but most of the time.....). We had a trial of our faith, but I know if we keep working hard this week we're going to see miracles! I love the quote that dad sent me from Elder Cristopherson, ¨"There is, however, a level of faith that not only governs our behavior but also empowers us to change what is and to make things happen that otherwise would not happen."

Im excited to watch general conference this week and hope you all are too. Love you all a whole bunch!


H. Pearson



Felipa!




Ants in my pants!

HOLA!

Well dad made a comment about the ants that I wrote about last week and said, "at least the ants arent in your pants." Unfortunately, his statement was incorrect and this has happened about 2 times. I know, TMI.

Well its about 80 to 90 degrees here every day so its definitely not feeling like fall. But as a reminder of this season Hermana Chinchilla and I ate caramel apples last night (and caramel covered oreos too.....thanks mom).

So I love Nicas(ppl from Nicaragua). They are so kind and loving and always accepting. Most of the time, even if people arent interested, they will listen to us, because to them it is a sin to reject the word of God. Others dont like to reject us bluntly so they do things like run into their house and hide every time we pass by, lie and say that someone is not home when we just saw them enter the house, or give us an address that doesnt exist to come and visit them at their house. This keeps things very interesting and lots of times make us laugh. 

We havent been successful in bringing any families to church for 2.5 months but yesterday Juan Carlos, Juana, and their 2 yr. old son Danny came to church! Having investigators and recent converts come to church is one of our biggest challenges here. I was so happy to see them come even though they only stayed for sacrament meeting. They are not married but really want to change their life and Im hoping we can continue to help them learn the blessings that the gospel of Jesus Christ will bring into their lives. 

I really have seen some miracles happen this week. They seem small but they are huge to me. Background information....before my mission 2 returned missionaries from  Nicaragua Kristen Lee and Michelle Crosland both showed me pictures and raved about how much they loved their missions. A couple of weeks ago I thought how great it would be to have the names of all their converts so I could find them again and help them rediscover how enduring to the end will bless their lives. Well I never did it. But this week we were contacting and met a man named Immanuel. He told us we could come visit him and also told us that his parents were married in our church and baptized. When we came back the next day we met his dad-Marcelino. Marcelino talked about how Hermana Crosland had taught him and his wife before their baptism and Hermana Lee had visited him for some time after Hermana Crosland left the area. We shared the message of The Restoration with them and the importance of taking the sacrament. Marcelino testified of every principle we taught and shared his feelings with his son. It was amazing to see the power of his testimony. Im hoping that we can teach Immanuel and his wife and help Marcelino and his wife come back to church. 

I know that I was called to serve in Nicaragua for a reason. I love Nagarote and I love the people here. These people are so humble and so often are struggling day to day to find work to pay for rice and beans for their family. We are so blessed to have what we do. I pray that we can work hard to follow the spirit and do everything we can do to love and serve others every day! I sure love you all and pray youre doing well. The church is true and our Savior loves each one of us!

Love,

Hermana Anne Pearson

Yesterday, one of the members invited a friend to church. They forgot to explain that we dont clap after talks. He only clapped after the first talk. We laughed pretty hard after sacrament meeting.

Im starting to forget how to pray in English. Hermana Chinchilla likes to correct me. Yikes.

New Companion...she's awesome!


Hey family!

Como estan? Well as you well now we had changes this week. I was nervous and excited to get a new companion. But now Im just HAPPY! My new companion is Hermana Chinchilla from Heredia, Costa Rica. We were roommates in the CCM in the Guatemala and were companions intransit from Guatemala to Nicaragua. We both freaked out (in a good way) when we found out we were companions. She has studied English since she was 9 and worked in a Marriott hotel before her mission so she is practically fluent in English. Its so cool because we have a secret language to speak when we dont want people to know what were talking about and I have my own personal dictionary with me all day so Im learning how to express all sorts of phrases in Spanish. Its really fun! And then we speak English when we are in the apartment so she can improve her accent more. She is such an amazing person. Her whole family are members but theyre converts. She started going to church when she was 12----went to seminary and church and was basically an active member but didnt get baptized until she was 21. Now she is 25 and serving a mission!

While Im really excited to be Hermana Chinchillas companion, the night of changes I was really nervous. I was really intimidated to teach her the area (I barely knew it by myself), be senior companion (talk on the phone in Spanish and all that jazz), and have to prioritize who we were going to teach, etc. With all these negative thoughts entering my mind and wondering how Im going to do this, I knew I had to pray for peace and comfort and the ability to do this. The next morning I woke up and I felt a little bit better but still nervous. Through out the day we worked really hard contacting, visiting members and investigators and trying to find our way around. By the end of the day I felt great. We have been working really hard. I really have a testimony that faith is a principle of action (aka hard work) and that the Lord magnifys those that are called. We're learning a lot together.

We're having a really hard time committing families to come to church but are going to work really hard this week to commit people to come! Were teaching a couple of families and hope people can progress soon. I know this church is true and that Jesus Christ lives and answers our prayers. When we have struggles we need to do all we can to find answers in the scriptures and through acting and the Lord will answer our prayers!

LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Anne


 Meet Hermana Chinchilla!  So happy to be with her!



PS Ants in Nicarauga are SOOOO smart. I put the oreos mom sent me in a plastic bag. They chewed through the plastic bag and 2 rolls of oreos and 1 granola bar wrapper. They got into my vitamins in a plastic bag this week too! And I found a couple in my peanut butter. HOW DO THEY DO IT? Im going to outsmart them. I will.

No I am not a 30 year old Jehovah's Witness!

Dear family,

I have a problem. The Jehovahs witnesses in Nagarote go contacting every week. They wear skirts and always have umbrellas. So we look like them and people think we are Jehovahs witnesses and dont want to talk to us. Sometimes I wish I was wearing a white shirt and black pants like the elders. And yes, everyone, except for members of the church, think that Im 30 years old. Alas.

Things are going better here in Nagarote. We have found some more families to teach and are now teaching 4 families. I still dont know them very well so Ill let you know more details later. We have transfers on Wednesday and my companion was already told that she is leaving the area. So Im going to have a new companion (my step mother as they call it in the mission). Im sad/nervous/excited all at the same time. Change is hard, but good.

We have struggled with some of our recent converts lately- helping them see the importance of taking the sacrament every week by attending church. I tried to explain the importance of the atonement and how we can be forgiven of our sins every week by taking the sacrament and had an aha moment. Sometimes I think we focus a lot on how the atonement only saves us after this life. While this is true and very critical to understand, I know that we can be saved through the atonement of Jesus Christ every day. With his sacrifice in mind, any sacrifice that we need to make to come closer to him is possible and worth it. I know that Jesus Christ lives and is there for us in every waking moment. We just need to work to have this knowledge with us on a more regular basis.

I know that this gospel is true and that we can truly change and become more perfect every day by living the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Anne

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

PICTURES!




 This beats a car anyday!
 Fresh Coconut milk!
 Brown or Black shoes?
 Those feet need some soaking!
 Happy missionaries!



Don't Eat Pete has made it's mark on Nagarote!


Hola,

This week FLEW! I just had the chance to eat Quesillos (tortillas with cream and a whole bunch of cheese) with Brother Rindlisbach and his friends from Managua. It was really good to see him and also strange because sometimes I started talking to him in Spanish and forgot that he didn´t speak it.....I guess thats a good sign that Im learning the language right? He was so kind to come and see me! I still havent had a chance to look through the package and read your letters but thank you so much!

This week we had the opportunity to teach some of our recent investigators how to have a Family Home Evening. The hit of the night was Dont Eat Pete. We also played it for the game on Tuesday at the Noche de Hermanimiento. It was really fun to see one of our favorite family games come alive in Nicaragua. The people loved it!!! I really feel like Im becoming friends with lots of the members and trying my best to help the branch president- President Roman. This week we planned an activity for this Saturday that is focused on families. Were only inviting couples and planning lots of games for spouses to plan to try to strengthen some of the marriages here in the branch. Another one of the purposes of this activity is to try to ask for references in an indirect way to try to work more with members to find people to teach so converts already have friends in the church. Working with members is one of the hardest things to do considering time is VERY RELATIVE here, but were going to try to do it more!

I dont know if you remember her but Maria Theresa was just baptized on the 26th! She was supposed to be baptized the week before with Rogelio, but she got scared and it fell through. We went to visit her a couple of days after her baptism and were casually chatting. She then mentioned that her nephew might get baptized. Thinking I probably didnt know him, I decided to ask what his name was anyways. She said, "Rogelio." WHAT?!?! Members of the same family got baptized without us even knowing it. Im really praying they can be a support for each other since they´re the only members in their families and be an example for their families.

Right now were really struggling to find families to teach. Were continuing to work and fast and pray to find families every day but appointments keep falling through. Im praying for the ability to connect with people more and teach by the spirit. Please pray for the people in Nagarote!!! Im so grateful to be a member of this church. Im grateful for the ability to repent and come closer unto Christ every day. I love you familiy and hope youre all doing well! 

LOVE YOU!

Hermana Anne Pearson

PS If you have any questions or Im leaving things out let me know!!!! 

I'm a Chela!


August 27, 2012


Dearest family,

I had a GREAT and unusual week. I had the great opportunity to participate in a traveling choir of missionaries on Wednesday and Thursday. We had a multi zone conference with Elder Martino and President Arredondo on Wed. in Chinandega and Thursday in Managua. Because I was in the choir I had the incredible opportunity to be taught from a member of the quorum of the 70 two days in a row. We sang "I need thee every hour." I learned so much from him and President Arredondo! I was thrilled that I was able to understand almost everything they said. I didnt understand my mission president very well at the beginning of my mission so this is definitely an improvement. I made a goal in the CCM to read the Book of Mormon in Spanish every day  and I know by being committed to this goal I have blessed to understand. There messages and ideas to be better missionaries were so motivating. Here are some highlights and ways that we can all be better missionaries....

-To be a great missionary we need to TEACH more and PREACH less. When we ask inspired questions we are able to know what investigators are thinking, what there needs are and then know how we can help them.
-A quote he shared that Elder Nelsons wife said, " Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles."
-If we pray in general, we will receive general answers. If we pray specifically, we will receive specific answers.
-When were having difficulties in companionships, marriages, or any relationship in general, we need to remember the following phrase, "If it is to be, it is up to me."

I wish I could send you all my notes or a recording of the conferences, but those are some highlights that really hit home. I was so grateful to have the opportunity to reevaluate the kind of missionary I am, and how I can improve. During the conferences I also got to meet and spend some quality time with other missionaries that come from all different backgrounds. Im really inspired by the sacrifices that others make.

Now for some random experiences.......

Everyone has heard that people from the US are called gringos when they go to Nicaragua. Im called that a lot of the time but people also call me "chela." I had no idea what the word meant until last week. You know those little white boogers that you get in your eye sometimes? Thats a chela. Yes, Im being humbled every day with experiences like this and  laughing alot.

So Ive lost some weight. Dont worry....not much. Just enough to make some of my skirts not fit very well. One day this week my comp. and I are walking to our lunch appointment greeting everyone on the street. As we were just about to arrive, I realized that one side of my skirt was well below my waist. I quickly pulled it up, told my comp., we laughed and I hoped no one saw. But no........Sobeida (daughter of Carmen who cooks our food) arrived after we did at our food appt. and mentioned seeing me. As we would say in Spanish....Que verguenza! 

Lots of times in Nagarote, we lose both the water and the lights. Today was one of those days. The light went out at about 9 in the morning. I wrote some letters, worked out, and cleaned all my shoes. And then I went to shower. No water. Yikes. I decided to be creative. So I took a shower with 4.5 bottles of water. Im sorry for all the times that I complained about low water pressure in Ohio.

I hope youre all doing well fam. I love you all SOOO much and am glad you had fun at the family reunion! The church is true. Be a friend to others and spread the gospel!

Love you,

Hermana Pearson