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.
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!