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!
Hermana Anne Pearson
PS If you have any questions or Im leaving things out let me know!!!!
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!
August 20, 2012 Well folks the rainy season in Nicaragua has begun! We had 3 afternoons of thunderstorms which made it difficult to contact and work due to the fact that everyone is locked inside their houses. But thanks to the rain, I was cold for the first time in 3 months and didnt have to sleep with a fan. Glorious.
Ben motivated me to do something crazy last week. He challenged me to contact a bus. And after a couple of weeks of putting it off. I did it! It was nerve wracking but it felt really good to conquer some of my fears. We werent able to get any good contacts but hopefully the pamphlets I placed will get in the right hands and people who are searching will find the gospel of Jesus Christ to bless their lives!
So remember from stories Brad and Michelle have told that people in Ukraine are superstitious? Well people here are superstitious here too. They are obsessed with temperatures. Most of the latin missionaries I have met get really nervous and think they will get sick from entering into an air-conditioned chapel after being in the hot sun. Others I have met say it is scientifically proven that if you take a cold shower at night after being in the sun all day too much, you will have problems with your bones in your 30s.
Rogelio was baptized this Sunday! He came to church with a white shirt and tie all ready and excited to be baptized after the meetings. That is sometimes rare for members and even more rare for investigators. We were very impressed. The baptismal service was wonderful. He has a lot of friends in the branch and I can see so much potential in him. I pray he has the faith and motivation to go on a mission in 2 years!
Elder Martino of the 70 is coming to speak to us on Wednesday and Thursday. Im really excited to sing for him in the chorus and hear what he has to say.
I know this church is true. I know that the Lord protects us and that prayers are powerful. Im so grateful for a Savior that is there to lift us up when we are down. Im grateful for the opportunity to improve and serve and enjoy every day. Hope youre all doing well! I love you and miss you!
August 13, 2012 Wow. I just have to say I have family and friends that are super salvaje. Literally translated that means youre all wild but here in Nicaragua it means youre AWESOME. Im grateful for all the support I have back home. Thank you for all your emails and letters!
Updates on our current investigators......Francisca and Santos suddenly moved. We came to their house one day to teach them and see how they were doing and Franciscas mom told us they moved. So hopefully some missionaries will contact them in Leon and they will be ready for baptism and full time activity in the church later in their lives. We also have been teaching Micaela(22)and Isidrillio(23) and Micaelas sister, Magaly (20). They have 2 kids and Magaly has 2. We taught them the Plan of Salvation 2 Saturdays ago. Its interesting how some people seem to already know what we have to teach. After we taught each principle, Magaly said, "I know that everything you are saying is true." They came with us to church for the first time for fast and testimony meeting. I was a little nervous that they wouldnt understand what was going on and would be confused. When we asked them how they liked the meeting, Magaly said that she wanted to share her testimony of Jesus Christ but didnt know if she could because she wasnt a member. Wow. This is just a witness to me that we should never be afraid sharing our beliefs or inviting people to an activity. If they are ready, they will feel the spirit and know that this church and gospel is true. All of them know that they need to be baptized and love the church, but both of Magaly and Micaelas spouses have problems with drinking. Please pray for them to be converted! Were hoping for a miracle. Their families are so amazing. Were also teaching a 17 yr. old boy named Rogelio. He is a contact from a member. He has decided to get baptized this Sunday! He has a family that doesnt take very good care of him and Im glad that he has the opportunity to join the church and feel more love in his life.
So I have never been a member of a branch but it is a lot different than being the member of a ward. Example: Last Sunday the 2 women that are in charge of the primary didnt show up to sacrament meeting, so, knowing that I like kids, the assistant to the branch president decided I would be the primary leader for the next 2 hours and announced it at the end of sacrament meeting. Surprise! Primary consisted of a prayer, coloring and a whole lot of the song heads shoulders knees and toes since that is the only song I know in Spanish. Except its more of a work out in Spanish because we say its translated to head, face, shoulders, feet instead of head shoulders knees and toes. Its a lot easier as a child to touch shoulders and then feet really fast......................
I had some interesting experiences with my eyes this week. People kept referring to my eyes as cat eyes. Whenever someone has eyes that are a different color than brown they are cats eyes here. Ha. One woman said she wished she cut take my eyes out of my face and put them in her baby. Creepy. We were standing in the dark in a park and a woman said I had pretty eyes. Dont know how she knew I had blue eyes in the dark but my companion said they are a lot prettier in the daytime and if you come to church with us you can see them! Sly.
I have such a strong testimony that the same church that Christ established when he was on the earth has been restored to the earth. We have prophets and apostles, modern revelation, the authority of God, and the scriptures. Im so grateful for this knowledge. I know that we can read the Book of Mormon and pray to Heavenly Father to know that this is true. God answers prayers!
Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad tomorrow!!! I hope you do something really spesh. Have fun in Utah for me!
Mom informed me that my email ended pretty abruptly last week. Sorry about that- not sure what happened. Well, this week a lot happened. On Wednesday, we had Cambios(transfers as their known as in the states). We have them every 6 weeks. I thought for sure that H. Abrego was going to get transferred, but lucky for me she is staying for at least another 6 weeks. The day before cambios is exciting and nuts because we dont find out if were getting changed until 7 or 8 pm the night before and then a bus picks us up at 6 the next morning to go to the conference and all the missionaries come. Its really fun to see all the missionaries and how theyre doing.
Francisca and Santos didnt get baptized this weekend. Francisca was having problems with her hips but that isnt the reason that she didnt get baptized. She and Santos live with her parents who are inactive members of the church. Everything was going well with them and they were keeping committments reading the Book of Mormon. Francisca also attended church for a year, just never got baptized. We think that her parents have been trying to influence Francisca and make her doubt because she starting lying to us and avoiding questions when we came to prepare them for their baptism. We are praying and working to help them.
Ben told me last week to focus on and believe in miracles. I have been trying to do that and saw a miracle happen this week with one of our recent converts named Luisa. Someone is considered a recent convert if they have been baptized for less than a year and it is the responsibility of the missionaries to visit them 3-4 times a month. When I first arrived in Nagarote we went to visit Luisa. She opened the door with a very angry face and told us not to come back. My companion said we needed to. The second and third times we came her response was that her partner didnt want the missionaries to come and that we couldnt share a message with her. This week when we came and asked if we could share a message she said she hadnt showered yet. We said it didnt matter and she let us in. She was so happy and a completely different person that the woman I first met. She proceeded to tell us how she has been trying to read the bible every day. We then read the Book of Mormon with her and had a really positive experience and I feel like she learned a lot. While she still has a long way to go and needs to learn the importance of attending church, Im really hopeful that people can change. Never give up on someone that may need your help.
For the next 2 p-days I am traveling to Managua to participate in a missionary choir. We are going to sing for a conference when Elder Martino comes to speak at the end of August. The conference will be in Chinandega one day and Managua the next. Were singing "I know that my Redeemer lives." We have already had two practices and its been really fun to see Hermana Manning and Heiner who are also participating. Elder Martino is the president of the area 70 in Central America and Im excited to hear him speak again (He came to the CCM).
Well I sure love you family and Im praying that the drive to Utah goes well. Whoever is sitting in the front seat.....just hit mom's hand a lot and she will stay awake. I did this a lot growing up. The gospel is true. Keep spreading it through example and word.