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.
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!!!!