Guess what Im in Nagarote right now(aka Im sweating really hard, but dont worry I puto n deoderant today)! I had to go to Managua to renew my identificaton card and President gave me permission to go visit the members in Nagarote and say goodbye. I LOVE IT. Its amazing seeing people and having all the memories come back. It was SO hard learning Spanish and adjusting to the culture here but it all seems so silly now. I LOVE these people so much. Its amazing how you can say “adiós” to someone in the Street, they say it back to you, you dont even know them, but your love grows. Thats pretty much how Ive been feeling today. I know that the Lord called me to serve here and in every one of my áreas.
We continue to look for the chosen families and the Lord continues to bless us as were trusting in him. While we still arent seeing many results the Lord is teaching me how to make realistic goals and accomplish them. Hermana Chinchilla got called to be a leader of the sister training leaders so she came and worked with me in Esteli this week. Cool huh? It made me nostalgic working with her again. But we worked hard and found 2 new families.
We have been using a book our zone leader, Elder Yardley, gave us to try to get more references from members. Its really good to be more involved with them. It has pictures on it and you ask them questions like “Do you know someone who likes to watch movies?” And then we write down the first person they say and ask directions afterwards. It hasnt been successful so far. For example we asked our rc anali if she knows someone who has had someone pass away and she gave us the name of the deceased person. But were working on it and I know the Lord will bless the members for getting more involved.
President just gave all missionaries a fresh copy of the book of mormon. Were going through highlighting all references to Christ and his attributes. 1 Nephi 21:16 has been on my mind a lot this week: Behold, I have graven thee upon thepalmsof my hands; thy walls are continually before me.The Lord really knows us and loves us. He knows our every pain, joy, and trial and will continue to go before us and prepare the way. I know this is true. We just need to continually trust in him and remember that he knows best. I know He lives and has a plan forus.
Well its super strange to think that Im going to be with you all in less than 3 weeks. I love you all and hope you all are doing well. Thanks for all of your love, support, and advice.
-So the way of greeting people is dift. Here---I make a kissing sound and put my cheek on the other persons cheek (have ben demonstrate). Obviously I only do it to women as a missionary. But yesterday I had some really awkward dodges as men that I contacted decided to try to greet me like that. I offended one of them.
-I had a man ask me and Hermana Chinchilla what types of sicknesses we had. We said we didnt have any and then he assured us that we did. All women have cáncer in lots of parts of their bodies. But dont worry I dont have it anymore because with his authority he has he healed us.In other words Im coming home healthy.
Look who came to District Conference! Friends from Ocotal! So happy to see them!
While I like the slogan " We love to see you smile" better, "Im lovin it" just applies to my attitude towards my mission right now. Its seriously the best. Despite many moments of difficulty at the end of the day and week, I have a million things to be grateful for and many miracles to confirm my testimony that THE GOSPEL IS TRUE!!!!
My companion and I are unified and having a really great time together! She isnt that afraid to contact or teach anymore is great because I feel like were sharing the weight---its wonderful. Were moving forward with faith....its been tough because none of the families were teaching are progressing. One of our families, Reynaldo and Marcia have gone to church 3 times but they dont understand how important it is to read the scriptures and pray every day and wont accept a baptismal date- but were working with them!
Our main goal in the mission is to help families be baptized and help them stay active. President Collado says in order to do this "Obedience is the price, faith is the power, love is the motive, the Spirit is the key, and Jesus Christ is the reason." Its been great applying this and helping us stay focused on the most important things. He said something about faith this week that I really love. "People with faith always focus on the future, while people without faith always dwell on the past." We can always change and be better on the future, why focus on our failures or things that havent worked out?
Feeling a little frustrated with barely anyone being interested in our message I offered a prayer this week. I asked Heavenly Father if he could have someone call out to us and ask about the church, desiring change. Well this week we went to the houses of all our investigators before church----no one could come. My comp. and I said a prayer that the Lord would guide us where we needed to go to help someone come to church. We contacted every family that we saw going to church (on a street we dont usually take). After contacting one family, we saw a woman cleaning her porch and she called out, " Hey are you the Mormons"? Anxious to talk to her, I walked over, "Of course we are." She said, "I was baptized in the church last year in Virginia and havent been able to get in contact with the missionaries." Turns out that she, Isavena, was baptized in August and moved here in December. She went to church once but got a little discouraged because none of the leaders visited her. So she hasnt gone. On Saturday she was looking on the church website and chatting with someone to try to get in contact with missionaries....but no luck. Then we passed by her house Sunday morning. He didn't answer my prayer in the way I expected it, but he answerd my prayer and answered her prayer at the same time. The Lord knows us individually and is in this work with us. Im so grateful for this knowledge that God is our loving Father in Heaven and is aware of us. I love this work and love that I can be such an active part of it. You all can be too. Dont stop praying to have missionary experiences!!!!
Love you all,
Random fun moments
-sitting on the stairs of the bus for 2.5 hours at 5.15 in the morning.....call the night before to reserve your bus seat----recommendation.
-getting a requested "journal" from mom and dad. journal= blow pops, mentos, tootsie pops, gum, and 2 bags of starbursts. you rock parents.
-seeing another bus on the side of the road that had crashed because it hit a cow....dejavu???I didnt know that was a common thing....apparently it is in Nicaragua.
I really do love how my mission focuses on finding families. All missionaries should develop what I call the "family radar." You can be talking about anything with your companion walking along the street, but once a family comes into sight, we drop what were doing and go to talk to them. This week the family radar of Hermana Corzantes and Hermana Pearson has worked and we have found 3 new families!
None of them are progressing a ton but were working on helping them read the scriptures and pray so they are coming along. Can you please pray for them to all have the desire to come to church this week?
Marcos and Carla have 3 girls- 1 pair of 12 year old twins and a 14 year old that is adorable. The girls came alone to a plan of salvation activity that we had the other week and it really helped Marcos and Carla have an excitement to listen to us. They have both gone to church in the past because they were curious and entered. Their difficulty is that they both work at the hospital (Carla is a doctor) but they are willing to change.
Maria and Michol have a cute little boy and girl. We found them on a day where all of our appointments were falling through and feeling a bit down. But we were able to walk with them to their house and teach them right away after contacting them on the street. They are really willing to learn.
Leonel and Maria Christina and 4 children and all of them are married. When we entered their house Leonel was really sick. He is alcoholic but to the point where he desperately wants to give it up. He has had this disease for 12 years. Im loving teaching with Hermana Corzantes because she is learning to really teach with the spirit. We were able to teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how change is possible. When we taught them for the first time I pictured them as Christ would see them and had such a love. Wouldnt our perspectives of everyone be so much better if we saw them as Christ does- not their flaws but their potential?
Remember Federico, the investigator that I found with Hermana Chita? This man is amazing. He just found out he has cancer and he had his first chemo treatment on Friday. He was still at church on Sunday. He still needs a divorce and needs to get married to be baptized but there just arent any jobs or money. I pray that a miracle will happen so he can progress. I wish we could all be more like Federico, so willing to try to change and do what we can to come unto Christ.
It was SUPER hard to say goodbye to Hermana Chita when she left for Puerto Cabezas. She is SUCH a special friend and such an example to me.
Being a Training Leader is a wonderful experience but challenging. I go on divisions two times a week. I have to travel 2 hours to go to 2 of the areas. We have 8 sisters but they are all hard workers so its fun to work with them. I love helping them improve and seeing how every sister has something special to offer. Its fun learning from them.
I know that Christ lives and loves us. He wants us to work hard to be better every day. All we need to do is repent and let Him change us.
Just found out changes and I dont have any but Hermana Chita is the first sister in history to go to Puerto Cabezas. So I will be finishing off my mission in Esteli! Can I just say Im so grateful for the little blessings that Ive had through out my life.....for example......family dinners. I think I took those for granted! I was talking to all of the Latin sisters and none of them ever ate with their families growing up- only on Sunday. What a blessing it was to get to know the family better and pray together every day. Thanks mom and dad.
This week we had the opportunity to go to a conference with Elder Ochoa. It was incredible. We learned lots of amazing things but what was the best part is what the spirit taught me. For example, I had the feeling to study the atonement more and every day I have studied it every day since then and it has been incredible. I have so much more love for the people and for myself. Read Mosiah 4:19-20----its amazing. And the talk by Linda K. Burton - Faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ written in our hearts.
Sorry for the lack of details mom but I only have time to share my testimony. I know I say every week some of the same things, " I know Joseph Smith is a prophet," or " I know the Book of Mormon is true." And I do. I know that the restoration of the true church of Jesus Christ took place. Christ chose Joseph Smith to receive the power and authority to restore the church and to give the world evidence of this authority, the Lord commanded him to translate the Book of Mormon. And because of this, the world can now have a complete and full knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ's sacrifice- his infinite atonement- for each one of us- I KNOW its true. I KNOW Christ suffered for us- to make us clean, whole, happy, NEW- to save us from the effects of sin. And what does He ask us to do to receive this cleansing? REPENT. Leave our sins and keep the commandments of God. When we do this- we will truly be free. I know Satan tries to get us down and tell us were not good enough- that we will never measure up- but its not true- every child of God can change and become new. Im so grateful for Christ and his atonement for us. I hope you can all apply it in your lives this week. I love you and Im thinking about you!
So mom, it was nice and all that you got me some snow shoes for Christmas, but would you mind sending me some mud shoes? Its raining like crazy here and the crocs just arent cutting it. Really you would all have been laughing pretty hard at me Friday and Saturday. One of our areas is really hilly and paved roads dont exist so I was walking around ( or attempting to do so) with 2 inches of mud caked to the sides of my shoes for quite a while.
Vilma was baptized on Saturday! It has been incredible seeing her conversion. I have never seen someone so prepared for the gospel and ready to change. We went to her house on Monday to confirm the time for the baptism and see if she had any doubts or questions. All she said was, " Im more than ready." Her mom has diabetes and this week has been in horrible health and she has had a cold as well. She shared with us that she knows that these are just trials and that Christ will help her get through them.
The day of the baptism was a bit interesting as the electricity went out and so did the water. Thankfully the pressure of the water to fill up the font is good and it only took a half hour after the water came an hour before the baptism. Lots of the family of Vilma and also of Maico and Blanca(the family of Hermana Chita) were there. We the sisters sang a special musical number "Lead Kindly Light" and the spirit was really strong. It was so wonderful to see all of these wonderful people ( and future leaders) enter the waters of baptism. The crazy thing is that right when Vilma (the first one to be baptized) was entering the water, the lights went out so everyone had there cellphones out for the baptisms, and then the lights came right back on!
Im continuing to learn so much from President Collado. The bar in the mission has definitely been raised and obedience is improving, along with the way were being taught to teach and find people. We were challenged by the area authorities to pray with our companion to know what area we should work in this week. I have always heard stories when missionaries look at a map and feel they should work somewhere but have never had that experience...until this week. I felt that we should work in an area but didnt say anything to Hermana Corzantes. I told her we should pray about about area. After the prayer, she said the area I was thinking of. It was so neat. Were working hard to find new families in this area- Alfredo Lazo. Elder Ochoa from the seventy is coming this week.
President Collado said something I really like this week---" Intelligence is man´s capacity to solve problems." Its so true. Were all going to have trials that are really hard for us to go through. But what attitude are we going to take? I read some really good talks this week about how we can feel accepted by the Lord in our weakness and how to go through trials---from the last general conference---"Being accepted by the Lord" and "Beautiful Mornings." Really the key during trials is to NOT FEAR and trust in the Lord. Im so grateful for the eternal perspective we have with the gospel. Im also really grateful to be a missionary in Nicaragua. These people, even if they dont have a religion, believe that if it werent for Jesus Christ, they wouldnt be here. I love how so many believe....our role is missionaries is just to help them see how they can convert this belief into FAITH and act in the savior. Im so grateful for the Savior and his love for us! I love all of you and miss you.
Well the internet connection is not working well....time is so short....I willl try to send pictures next week. I hope everyone had a great week and is working hard and loving life. I know I am!
We're working hard to find more families to teach and having a lot of difficulties with finding the families we're teaching at home. But we're praying the Lord is preparing a great family for us to teach.
Vilma is getting prepared for her baptism this week. She is the sister of a member in our branch and we found her as a reference. Her faith amazes me. Pray that everything goes well.
Well its been a busy day and a busy week. I hope you all remember the importance that each one of you has for Heavenly Father and for so many others. I love the quote Ben sent to me: "Trust in the Lord, do your best, then leave the rest to him." Its so true. We just need to work hard and do His will and He will be happy and bless us. I love Hel. 10:1-5 when Nephi had this realization. I know this gospel is true and am so grateful for this knowledge. I love you all and be ready for a longer email next week.
Love you all,
PS Random fun fact: There is a place here called "Jalapa" and the people from there are called "Jalapenos." Cool huh?
Arent we so lucky to have the knowledge that families can be together forever? Thinking about it makes me teary. No Im not trunky. Just grateful to be part of such a wonderful family. So many missionaries come from broken homes and so many of our investigators and people we meet here have so many problems in their homes. I know our family is not perfect, but Im so grateful we have the gospel at the center of our lives. Thanks for all of your examples. Im so grateful for all of your examples---especially of member missionary work----so grateful we can quicken the work of salvation together.
We planned and had the baptism of 8 yr old Jesnat Anali Blandon Moreno. She is what I call the Nicaraguan version of Hannah Stansbury because physically she reminds me of her and her personality is identical----super cute, energetic, spiritual and happy. The only difference is that she knows how to ride a unicycle (so Hannah, youll have to learn that soon so you can be twins). I dont know if I have told you about her but she is the granddaughter of a less active, Magda who I found with Hermana Henderson about a month ago. Magda is basically her mom and Im so excited for them to both be active in the church. We had the baptism right after church which was perfect because lots of members and investigators were there to support them.
We have seen so many miracles in member missionary work this week with Vilma. She is so prepared. She accepted a baptismal date for August 24th. This gospel is changing the lives of the Corrales family. She is not even a member but she is already a missionary. This past weekend, her brother, who is an alcoholic got really sick because he got really drunk. He called her for help. She told him the only way to get out of this was God and invited him to church. His wife goes to an evangelical church but said she would listen to the missionaries if it would change her husband around. They both showed up to church on Sunday along with Vilma and her daughter and granddaughter (who live in Ocotal). Hermana Corzantes and I had such an amazing lesson on the word of wisdom with Vilma. We knew she had an addiction to coffee so we were curious to see what would happen. When we got there we asked how she was doing. She said, " A little sad because I have to give up my vices." When we started the lesson she explained how after she had read the pamphlet the day before how the Lord had helped her. She prayed to him and the next morning she only drank a tiny bit of coffee. She accepted a priesthood blessing to receive more strength. Without knowing it was inspired, the day before, I had given her the talk on obedience and the talk on faith by Elder Holland from this past general conference. These helped her understand why the word of wisdom is so important and she believes its true and will bless her life. I wish I could express all of the miracles I have seen taking place in this woman. She is amazing.
How is your level of hope right now? Sometimes I have to reevaluate my hope level and see if I really believe that good things will happen when it seems impossible. I love what James E. Faust said: "Hope is trust in Gods promises, faith that if we act now the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future." We just need to have faith and act and the Lord is obligated to fulfill his promises----we just need to have an active hope that he is moving ahead of us preparing good things. I read Jacob 5 this week and being a missionary has made me LOVE this chapter. The symbolism is amazing. Read verses 21-23 and 75. Maybe you feel like the Lord has placed you in a position that seems horrible or impossible but really there is always an opportunity to grow if we accept the Lords will and dont seek to counsel him. I know the were not in this work alone and the Lord is with us. The Lord loves us so much. Im so grateful to be a missionary for Christs true church. I love you all so much!!!
What an amazing week. End of email. Okay, i know mom just wont take that for an email so Ill expound so you have a little bit more detail.
This week we have received a lot of great instruction from President Collado. We went to a training meeting for trainers and greenies and then a leadership meeting as well. I feel such a responsibility and such a blessing to serve in this mission. I continue to be thankful for a mission president that is so humble and willing to serve us.
Unfortunately we have had to stop teaching a lot of our families. But we continue to look for more! Were prepping the granddaughter of a less active we found about a month ago for baptism this weekend. Her name is Anali and she is the sweetest.
So you know how every missionary wants to find an investigator "who (is only) kept from the truth because they dknow not where to find it—" ? ( D &C 123:12). Well I have always wanted to have an experience like that and the Lord answered my prayers. Her name is Vilma and she is the sister of a member in our branch, Gloria Corrales. Really, we have only been the teachers to help Gloria and her family teach Vilma. Vilma used to be very involved in the Catholic church,left that because she still felt an emptiness, found the evangelical church, and left that because she still felt empty. Gloria invited her sister over for Sunday dinner and Vilma asked why they were dressed so elegantly (missionary moment!).They explained about the sabbath day, it sparked her interested and they invited her over for a family home evening. They explained so much about the gospel before we even entered the picture.
Gloria called us on Tuesday and we came to teach on Wednesday. As we shared the first vision, everything made so much sense to her. We also talked about how families can be together forever through the priesthood authority and she believes it. She lost 2 daughters at birth and has always felt an emptiness that she didnt realize she had inside. She asked us what she can do to prepare to be a member and said she has been looking for the truth for 12 years and hasnt been able to find it. Really there are people prepared for us to teach and bring the joy that is missing in their lives. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most important thing. It helps heal us and make us whole. I love being a missionary and hope you all continue to serve and change the lives of others. There is no work more important! Sure love you all.
Have a great week,
Ps thanks for the package!!!!! I LOVED ALL OF IT! you all are da best.
My family tree in the mission
President Collado, Sister Collado, Hermana Corzantes, Hermana Pearson
The subject of this email is a comment comes from a letter I received from Joei Tyner. Thanks for making me feel pretty Joei. Sometimes all of the shine from the Nicaraguan sun makes me feel not so hot. Hows it going? I hope swell. This week has been one of adjustment. First I “killed” my companion, Hermana Henderson. She went home to California. It was sad because she was such a great comp. Transfers meeting was great! I got to sit and translate for the new sisters fresh from the states and it was really fun and challenging. Then I received a new comp! Hermana McDonald….fresh from the CCM! I was really excited. Well that companionship was the shortest one of my life because then we realized there was a mistake made and the elders messed up where our pictures were supposed to go on the powerpoint…so just kidding….Hermana Corzantes from Guatemala. Another Chapina. She is 19 and has been a member all her life. She is really excited to be on a mission.
This week all the members in the branch went to Honduras. Two families were sealed. They bore their testimonies at church and I have never seen them so happy. One has been members 13 years and the other 2. I really hope my recent converts can make it in 1 or 2 and not 13.
Man time has run out. Not much has progressed with our investigators but were working a lot more with members and hope it improves. Im happy and still loving the mission and trying to pray to be able to cope with all the challenges. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ so much!!!!! Sorry this email is lame. I hope to be able to send pics next week.
So glad to have you all as my family. Thanks for all of your love and support this week. I feel so blessed and loved to have family that always remembers me and makes time to think of me.
This week has been one of a lot of learning---we have been struggling to know how to help the families that we have progress. Maria and Luis seem to want to change because they are reading the Book of Mormon and asking lots of questions but they lack the ability to keep their word at times. They expressed the desire to get to church early (it starts at 8 now) but when we passed by their house on Sunday, they werent there….were not sure what difficulties they are having but were trying to pray to know. We met Rosa and Jose contacting. We had a great lesson with them last Sunday but when we came back on Tuesday and Wednesday they refused to pray like we do and said because they cant read they cant do it. Were pretty sure some members of their old evangelical church have spoken to them and they dont express the desire to progress.
On the bright side, I had the opportunities to go on splits with Hermana Barcenas, the branch presidents wife, (RM served in Honduras) and we found a family- Eddy and Carla (20 and 19 yrs old-can you imagine getting “married” at this age Jane?). They have been together for 4 years and in the lesson they expressed a lot of interest. Hermana Barcenas said she and her husband will pass by for them on Sunday to go to church. I LOVE it when we have the help of the members to help our investigators progress.
Companions are the best. Its crazy but Hermana Henderson is going home this week. I hate tracting in silence on my mission. Ive realized that being silent for too long is not good because its a great opportunity for negativity to creep in when were walking underneath a really hot sun and not having success in finding people. So H. Henderson and I made a goal that everytime we're in silence a little too long we ask the question "What are you sinking about?" (in the accent of the german guy on the youtube video). If its something trunky or negative, the other person needs to help to change the thoughts and help lift their comp. It worked great for us this week.
The transition to a new president has been the easiest thing for me. President Collado and his family are amazing. All of the things that the mission and missionaries need improvement in are their strengths and their goals for the mission and I love it. We just had interviews with President this week and not only alone, but also with our companion which I loved. He is going to try to change the attitude in the mission from "Baptism is the miracle"into "conversion is the miracle." This will really help members to stay active.
I know that every trial were faced with, the Lord gives us strength to overcome. He knows the whole picture and is preparing us for every trial and preparing the way for us. I love the story of the Brother of Jared and when they went out to sea.
24 For behold, ye shall be as a awhale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the bwinds have gone forth cout of my mouth, and also the drainsand the floods have I sent forth.
25 And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?
Well the mission continues to be challenging and rewarding. Im so grateful for this gospel and all that is has to offer us---to comfort us, strengthen us, and give us hope and joy. I hope you all continue to have missionary experiences. Let me know about them!
Dont have much time today but just wanted to share a couple of thoughts with you.
Ever since President Collado and his wife re-committed us to be the hands of Christ I have been praying for more opportunities to do more little acts of service. Because we are in dresses people think we cant wash, clean, etc when they are in need---but that is what we want to do! Well the Lord answered my prayers this week. It happened on a day that was pretty difficult...all of our appointments had fallen through and we werent finding that many families that were interested. Then we saw a man and woman hauling huge suitcases and went to help them. they allowed us because they said they were going really close by. 20 minutes later after going up to steep hills and down one, we got to their house. They didnt want to learn about the gospel,but this experience helped motivate us and the Lord blessed us to find 2 interested families on the way down the hill.
I forgot to share an experience with you that I had in Ocotal last week. We helped carry firewood for a family that the Elders were going to baptize and I had a chance to meet the wife. When I saw her, she looked so familiar. I realized that I had contacted her and her husband two times when I was serving there and had felt something special about them. But her husband worked on Sunday and every time we arrived to their house they werent home. 2 months later, members (that were I tried to help activate but never became active til now) gave this family as a reference to the elders---the husband doesnt work on Sunday anymore because he changed his job. Im convinced that the Lord is always preparing families to receive the gospel!
Finally, Maria and Luis came to church this week and we also had another family, Rosa and Jose show up. Please pray that they can keep their committments about praying to know if the church is true and that we can know their needs to help them!
During personal study one day, I was pondering about the Atonement and what it means to me. One of the ways that I experience the blessings of the Atonement is through prayer. What is amazing to me is that if we have sincere prayers, every member of the Godhead is included in this process. We pray to the Father, our desires and gratitude arrive to him through our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost visits us with comfort or revelation. Im so grateful for the Atonement, so our prayers can be answered and our lives have meaning. I know this church is true. I know the Lord loves us and will help us overcome every difficulty in our lives.
Hope everyone is happy and loving life. This week was great. It started out with me going to Ocotal on divisions with Hermana Teichert a new sister in the mission. I also got to visit my recent converts and teach them. Hermana Teichert has been struggling in learning Spanish so it really was a confidence booster for her to see that it is possible to learn Spanish.
GUESS WHAT? Claudia and Javier are GOING TO HAVE A BABY! She has gotten pregnant and lost the baby a couple of times in their 16 years married and she hasnt been able to have one. But Im confident that if its the Lords will they are going to have this one because they are serving him and trusting in him more than ever before in their lives.
Update on families that were teaching...........Maria and Luis are the greatest. When we taught about the word of wisdom they were totally committed and Luis hasnt been smoking and Maria hasnt drunk coffee since the day we taught the lesson. They are reading the Book of Mormon and committed to pray before and after they read it to know if its true. They are awesome. Unfortunately Satan attacked their 2 year old son with a virus on Thursday night and he was sick throwing up all night so they couldnt go to church on Sunday. Segundo and Vasilia have had some trials too. Their daughter arrived that is Evangelical and planted some ideas in Vasilias head due to some rumors she has heard about Mormons and now Vasilia doesnt want to visit. But Segundo has cut down a lot on smoking and were really hoping we can still help them to discover the truth.
On Friday, The Collados came to meet our zone. They came with their 3 children- 14, 12, and 8 years of age. I was a bit nervous to meet them. Losing President Arredondo and his wife felt a little bit like when I found out President Hinckley passed away.....like no one could replace them. But I remember when President Monson was called and the first time he spoke and a peace entered my heart.....I felt the exact same way when The Collados entered the room. They have SUCH a love for us already. They asked us some questions to get to know us and we all put our fingers in paint and put them on a banner to become recommitted to being "the hands of Christ." That is their motto for our mission. President Collado is really loving and so is his wife. And his wife has a PERSONALITY- she is really fun and loves to voice her opinion. We had our first council meeting with them yesterday and got to know them a lot better when we went out with them to Papa Johns afterwards. They are truly called of God. They are so young and have made such a sacrifice to come here.
Im continuing to work hard and trying to be better each day so we can receive direction to find the chosen ones. Well got to go but dont forget that youre all so important to me and more important to the Lord.
First of all shout outs to Becca that thought of the subject for my email when Ive run out of ideas. Second,how the world are you all doing? I hope great because youre all my favorite.
To answer moms questions and let you all know at the same time....Hermana Henderson only has 3 weeks left on her mission but thankfully she is not "dead" yet and still working really hard with me. Also, as training leader sisters, we are responsible to go help train sisters that need more help. For example, tomorrow Im going to do divisions with Hermana Teichert in Ocotal to help her with her Spanish and help find more families for them to teach. But we dont do divisions a lot because, thankfully, we have pretty obedient, hardworking sisters.
So as you know, we have been struggling to find positive families but the Lord heard our prayers this week and has blessed us with two new ones. First Ill tell you about Vacilia and Segundo....So we eat lunch every day with Sister Alma Iris. One day last transfer her aunt and uncle(Vacilia and Segundo) were visiting her. She told me where they lived and I realized it was in the other sisters area. I told them about it, but they never ended up visiting them. Now, Im in that area....so we walked by their house last week and I recognized her and we came in and visited them. She has been going to an evangelical church but is open to learning about the church since her niece loves it so much and is willing to change---she told us " I dont like lying, if I come and like church, Im staying in it, If I dont, Im not staying!" Segundo has never gone consistently to a church and is really open to changing. He smokes about 10 cigarettes a day but he really wants to change. We were really happy when he came to church yesterday. Unfortunately she couldnt go because she had to stay at the house because they cant leave it alone or people will rob it because its not secure. Im so happy were teaching references of members! Its the best way to do missionary work.
Now for another positive family we have Maria and Luis. So you know how Ive always been kind of clumsy (remember the dansko clogs mom...)? Well it came in handy this week and helped us find this chosen family. We were walking down a hill and I ended up skidding on some gravel and almost falling (didnt :) ) Then I realized that a girl walking in front of us had done the same thing and it was a good icebreaker to start talking and joking around with her. Anyways....we ended up walking with her to her house in a neighborhood where addresses are impossible that they dont even know their own. So we were trying to figure out how to write down their address asking people around and a woman we asked went and got her neighbor, Luis, who is really good at giving addresses. His wife came to the door too and I could sense they were postive. He let us in and we shared a message with them. Whenever we start with a prayer I pretty much always say to the man, " As the head of your home, you have the right to choose which one of us will say the prayer, and dont say either one of us or you lose and have to say it." They usually laugh and then choose one of us. He just said, "Okay, Ill say it." It was great. During the prayer I was praying to say an inspired question to know their needs from the beginning since I already felt they were so positive. The spirit gave me the same question that we used with that woman a couple of weeks ago and I asked him why he thinks God sent the missionaries to his house. He ended up opening up and telling us a couple of years he had been in an accident and been electrocuted by 15,000 volts. He should have died right? He made a promise to God in that moment if he let him live he would pay him back. Well about a week ago he had been praying to Heavenly Father wanting to know how he could serve and if it was too late, and then we came to his door a week later. Isnt it amazing how the Lord can use us as instruments in His hands? Im so glad we found them and Im really excited to be teaching people who want to learn and change.
Since the broadcast of the work of salvation, my branch president has created an amazing plan. Im seriously so impressed with President and Sister Barcenas. He presented a class in the combined class on Sunday and made goals with the members to read Preach My Gospel in about 3 months and wants to make our branch " A Branch of Preach My Gospel." I finally feel like all that is in Preach My Gospel about working with leaders finally applies in my mission and were going to be able to work with members a lot more. There are also 3 other future sisters in the other branch we share the building with and one future elder that is our ward missionary leader. We are going to start going on splits a lot helping them prepare and its so great. Its always been hard to work with members for the most part but Im so pumped to do it here! Im so glad the Lord has changed my attitude about being in Esteli. I love it. I love being on a mission. I love my Savior. I know this is His church and his gospel in its fullness. If you dont have a strong testimony,pray to get your own. I hope you all have a fantastic week and remember that I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!
Meet Alberto Gutierrez. When he was 9 years old he had a dream that he should carve out pictures on rocks on his familys farm land. When he was 35 he started to do it.Now he is 74 and is a tour guide. I wish I hadmore time to tell about this fun experience.
We went back to Estanzuela. You can tell its been raining a lot more by the size of the waterfall huh?
This week was filled with events. We went to Managua on Monday for choir practice, had our leadership council meeting on Tuesday, and the farewell meeting for the Arredondos on Wednesday. So this email is going to be very scattered if you dont mind……
First off, update on Cesar and Daisy. We arrived to their house this week when an evangelical preacher was there. We were confused because they thought they werent going to that church anymore. She left and we came in to share a message. We tried sharing the message of the Restoration but they bécame close minded all of a sudden and cant accept The book of Mormon or Joseph Smith because its not in the bible. When we asked them if they would pray, they couldnt accept it. They are not interested in learning anymore. Hopefully they will find the truth in the future.It was pretty sad, but the important thing is that H. Henderson and I still know its true and it strengthened our testimonies. But hopefully they will come around. Were hoping the Lord is preparing a positive family for us to teach soon!
This week I read a great talk by Elder Holland on lessons learned in Liberty Jail. Anyone who is having a hard time in life should read it (problema is Im not sure exactly what its called). But he talks about how Liberty jail was a prison-temple experience for Joseph Smith and how trials can be times where we can receive a lot of revelation if we keep on trusting in the Lord. He said, “The real test of our faith and our Christian discipleship is when things are not going smoothly. That is when we get to see what were made of and how strong our committment to the góspel really is.” Another great example of how we should act in trials is demonstrated by the Jaredites in the Book of mormon: Ether 6:5-12. I love how there are so many examples of people of faith in The Book of Mormon and Bible!
In Managua after the leadership meeting I got to be Hermana Mannings companion! We went and did retention work visiting her recent converts and contacting. It was incredible seeing this sister that could barely speak a lick of Spanish in the MTC and thinking she would never learn, converted into a powerful testifier of truth.
A story Id like to tell:
Meet Elder Kirk, fresh out of the MTC and first day as a missionary in Guatemala. He and his companion contact a house and teach a Young man. All heknows how to say in Spanish is, “I know this church is true.” But he repeats it over and over again. The spirit confirms to this man that the church is true with this simple phrase and he is baptized.
Well this Young man was President Arredondo and at the farewell fireside this Wednesday, we had the opportunity to meet Elder and sister Kirk that are now serving as a couple here in Central America. What an INCREDIBLE experience for Elder Kirk to see how the Lord used him as an instrument to baptize a Young man and now he has changed the lives of hundreds of missionaries and many more in various church callings. We also learned that Elder Hatch, someone that served with Elder Kirk, taught and baptized Hermana Arredondos family. Thanks to these two elders, I have my misión president and his wifeJ The point of teling you all of this? In missionary work (as members or full time missionaries) lots of times, we dont know the impact our choices will have on the future of others. If we can be bold and do the Little things we can be instruments in changing the futures of thousandsof people.
The farewell to our misión president and his wife was really amazing. Something significant that was presented in the meeting is that in their time here, 2450 families have been baptized. In 2010 there were only 160 missionaries and now there are 250 missionaries. So much has changed here thanks to them. We sang “Abide with me tis eventide” as a choir. It is President Arredondos favorite song and it was a surprise for him. We sang the first two verses as a choir and the third verse all of the missionaries stood up and sang. What an incredible spirit.
Im so grateful for all they have done for me and most of all have changed the lives of so many missionaries that come from some really hard home situations. I will miss them but Im excited to meet President Collado and his wife because I have Heard they are pretty great.
I know this church is true and that the Lord is always willing to help us in times of trouble and is truly aware of our every need and interest. I love all of you very much!!!
Sister Anne Pearson
We were walking by a group of boys and one burped really loud in my face. At first, I was ofended. Then H. Henderson and I started laughing really hard. Only in Nicaragua.
Right before we came in a lesson I got the hiccups. They still hadnt gone away but I decided to sing the opening hymn anyway hoping they would go away. The third Word I sang confirmed they hadnt and I had to stop singing because I was going to start laughing.Well Hermana Henderson couldnt hold back the laughter either and we both burst out laughing. Then the wife did too. The only person that didnt think it was too funny was the husband (he was kind of embarrassed for us). Luckily everyone was very happy and receptive to the spirit in that lesson.
June 17, 2013 Dear Family, Lets just say it has been QUITE the week with lots of new changes! We were anxiously anticipating changes on Tuesday night because we, the sisters of Esteli, felt like there would be at least 2 of us that would get changed. I felt that I was going to get changed so I wasn’t surprised when the zone leaders told me I was changing. I felt strange considering I have been in the area for such a short time, but excited to go to a different zone. After we found out President and Hermana Barcenas treated us to pizza and we went home and had a long night of packing (Hermana Ramirez had changes too). Wednesday was a very emotional day at changes. It was our last transfer meeting with president and his wife. They were emotional too. I just have so much gratitude for all they have done for me and all the missionaries. We learned a lot from them (more to come) and then he announced the changes. I was SO surprised when it was announced that I was going BACK to Esteli. Aka, after I had packed up all of my bags, I was moving back to the same house and just changing comps and areas. It was kind of a shock to my system. Too many emotions in one day. But by the end of the day I was fine with the change. Hermana Henderson is now my companion---first gringa!!! We are the training leader sisters and our first day together was so great. Right off the bat we started applying some of the things that President taught us and we are going to teach our sisters to have our own kind of culture of Esteli. To try to help the sisters rely more on each other and less on the elders. I also went back on my notes the first day and felt that everything President had said was meant just for me. He talked about how Alma was sent to Ammonihah and rejected there but then was sent back and accepted (Alma 8). I felt like the Lord is calling me back and this time there will be people that will accept this amazing message. Hermana Chita is TRAINING! Our new house mate is named Hermana Ochoa from Guatemala. She is really sweet. They are still visiting Federico and Aura. We had a really cool experience with Aura the Tuesday before changes. We came up to the house and asked if we could talk to her and she said pretty rudely that she was busy and that she didn’t have time for our visits every day. We explained why the visits were so frequent and then she said, “Look, Im just going to be honest, Federico and I are in adultery because he is married to another woman, and I feel really bad living in this sin.” We explained to her we are here to help and if she puts forth the effort she can get out of this sin. Well this week H. Chita and Ochoa have been working with them and they say they have seen a change in Aura and she has accepted a baptismal date. Federico is so happy and were hoping everything goes well with the divorce so they can get married and baptized. They have 3 kids together (Federico has other children that are full grown with his first wife). Do you know the painter Minerva Teichert? Her great granddaughter just arrived to the mission and is in my zone. We found a family on Saturday night named Cesar and Daisy. We invited them to church and they came the next morning. Please pray for them so they can progress! Well its strange to think that tomorrow will be my year anniversary for when I arrived to Nicaragua and I didn’t know a lick of Spanish and barely anything about how to be an effective missionary. I love my mission so much and love how it is changing my life and the lives of the Nicaraguan people. This work is so important and I hope you all will get more and more involved in it every day! Love you, Hermana Pearson
I hope everyone had a great week. This week had its ups and downs but turned out to be amazing.
We have had some difficulties in helping Pabel and Marlene progress this week but were hoping this week they will start to read the Book of Mormon more. Jader knows one of the members, Antonio, that has been branch president and we had a great lesson with them last night. Teaching with members in Nicaragua is really hard considering lots of people dont like making committments to say they will be somewhere or be available at an assigned time, but its ALWAYS better.
We found a golden investigator this week. His name is Federico and we met him while contacting on Thursday. We invited him to church, talked a little bit about The Restoration, and left a pamphlet with him. When we came back to visit him and his wife, Aura, the next day, he remembered what apostasy meant and remembered Joseph Smith. Very uncommon that people remember these words, let alone read the pamphlets. We came back the next day and he expressed concern about not coming to church with a tie (sign that he was actually planning on coming). We came by to remind him at 830 on Sunday morning for church and his little girl came to the door all dressed up and said they would come alone. When we got to the church at 930, he was there in his best Sunday clothes already talking to members. Turns out,one of the members, about 20 years younger than him, has known him his whole life, so he sat by him the whole meeting. In Sunday school, he was asking questions and making comments. He said that he used to live close to the church and would walk by, but never knew when the meetings were but always wanted to come in. It was really incredible finding him and an answer to our prayers. Now we just need to work to help his wife come to church and understand how this gospel can bless their lives. She is pretty positive but just had to work on Sunday.
So I prayed this week to have the ability to teach with the spirit more and ask more inspired questions to help know the needs of the people we teach. We were contacting and met a woman named Carolina that is evangelical and active in her church. We invited her to church and normally we would move on since it was pretty clear she wasnt interested. But she told us she lived alone and that we could pass by anytime to visit and I decided that we should come in and share a message with her. I decided to talk about The Restoration, but she wasnt understanding it very well, we could tell it wasnt what she needed. But then she opened up and told us about how she had been abused by her husband for 20 years and a couple of months ago had built up the courage to leave him. In this moment I tried to search for some topic of the restored gospel and trying to think of some committment I could help her make to improve her life, but nothing came. Then I thought to ask her, "Why do you think that God sent us here today?" I looked at Hermana Chita and was about to ask the question when Hermana Chita asked her the exact same thing I was thinking. Carolina said, "Because I was praying that God would send someone to me today." It was so incredible to me that Heavenly Father would use us as instruments in his hands to answer the prayer of this woman, and answer my prayer at the same time. The Lord really knows and loves every single person.
If anyone is struggling with some problem in their life (who isnt) I LOVE this quote by Elder Holland, " Everyone of us has times when we need to know things will get better....My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need. There IS help. There IS happiness...Dont you quit. you keep walking. You keep trying...I will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come....Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some dont come until heaven, but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, THEY COME." I love Jesus Christ and the comfort his restored gospel gives us. I LOVE ALL OF YOU!!!!
I feel like a real Tom boy here because Im the only sister I know (besides Hermana Henderson) that will pick up toads and frogs. Its kind of fun to scare the other sisters with them.......When we were tracting this week I picked one up and a little group of 10 year old girls saw me. They became instant fans of me and Hermana chita and tagged along behind us at the next 6 houses. It was funny.
If any future or current missionaries havent read "The Fourth Missionary" by Brother Corbridge, you should---its really motivating. I read it this week and it helped me improve this week.
Greetings from very green Esteli. I think Im going to grow fins because weve entered the rainy season here. I have had wet feet 4 nights of these week. I might send a thank you letter to president of Crocs because Im getting my use out of them.
So when I wrote you last week I was a little bit down and really yearning to have success in the form of seeing investigators progressing. In our mission its about the worst thing to not bring anyone to church and I havent had anyone investigating in church for a month. ITs really hard to see that when you work so hard all week to find and teach. Well the past 2 Sundays I was feeling really sad and got into the trap of comparing myself to other missionaries and wondering what Im doing wrong when Im praying hard and working hard. But in this last week I have learned A LOT about how praying and trusting in the Lord can completely change our attitudes. I have learned 2 key things this week.
1. Dont compare yourselves with others. We need not have a fear or not measuring up with others, but a fear of not measuring up with the personal standards the Lord has for us.
2. Sometimes we need to have trials and not have certain types of success to learn to walk with the Savior. I have pondered a lot more on his life this week and how alone he must have felt at times. But he didnt consider his will important. All he wanted to do was the Fathers will by serving others and seeing their happiness.
While I had the same sort of situation on Sunday (0 people in church) I was okay. The Lord has blessed us to know that the work were doing is pleasing to him and has blessed us in this last week to find two really positive families- Pabel and Marlene (Marlene is an inactive member, her husband was in the US when she was baptized) and Jazmina and Jader (a family that already knows a member of the branch presidency). Im praying we will be able to follow the spirit to discern their needs and help them progress!
I know that the Lord knows us on a personal basis. He is so mindful of us. Im so grateful for the atonement. I sure love all of you and hope you have a great week!
PS The comp has been really slow lately. Stay tuned for pictures.......
-you know those really cool barbie cars that kids used to drive around the cul-de-sac? In the park of the center of the city, kids can go and pay to drive them around. Kind of like a merry go round but cooler. Its a great job idea for college grads for anyone that cant find a job.....
-So I have always heard of missionaries saying words wrong in their mission languages that ends up being really bad or really funny and I havent had many of those experiences....until this week. I was talking to this man and he asked what my name was. I said it and he didnt get it. I tried explaining it was like "piercing"pointing to my earrings (people usually get that). He then asked me what it was in Spanish....he wasnt getting it. So I tried using an example I would use in English (not logical in Spanish dont know what I was thinking) and said "son of pear." The problem is Im a little too good sometimes at rolling my rs and instead of saying " hijo de pera-son of pear" I said "hijo de perra"- son of a female dog- yeah its really bad in spanish too. I didnt realize what had happened in the contact but H. Chita told me afterwards and we died laughing.
Man it was so good to talk to all of you yesterday. You looked SOOOO GOOOD (said in teen girl squad voice). Thanks so much for talking a little bit to Hermana Chita yesterday. Everyone else in the apartment had already talked to their family and she wasnt going to get to do it. Luckily we were able to get her in a video chat with her mom today after about 2 hours of running around trying to find a good internet connection and computer that worked….gotta love Nicaragua.She is such an amazing person. At the end of her phone call she bore her testimony to her mom about the Book of Mormon and the church being true and challenged her mom to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. She inspires me and really makes me laugh too. Basically I love my companion.
This week I have been learning to focus more and more on teaching by the spirit. We went to visit a less active named Felix. He had a ton of Doubts and questions about the church. I shared the typical scripture references with him but it didnt seem to clear up any of his questions. Hermana Chita knew exactly what to say and seemed to help him understand what he needed to do to clear up his doubts.After the lesson I turned to her and said even though I have more time on the mission lots of times I feel like she knows how to listen to the spirit and knows what tos ay more than I do. She told me that she thinks I do know how to teach by the spirit but I just need to listen more. We have a really good relationship so I took this constructive criticism and put it to the test. In a lesson that night with Jami and Alejandro (our most postive family right now) I made a goal to only teach what the spirit told me to and rely on Him. During the opening prayer I was praying in my heart to know what tos ay and trying so hard to listen. It was very quiet but the spirit told me , “repentance” and during the middle of the lesson the spirit told me to ask, “ Have you ever wanted a change in your life?” It turns out that by trusting in the spirit and acting on these impressions, we were able to discern some of the needs of this family and gain trust with them. I realized that the spirit it always trying to guide us but sometimes we dont listen or dont act on these impressions. President always tries to help us focus on this. Every meeting that we have, we recite D and C 50:13-14 along with D and C 4 and our purpose. “Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question—unto what were ye aordained? To preach my gospel by theaSpirit, even the bComforter which was sent forth to teach the truth.” I really hope that you can all make it a goal to teach and live your lives more by the spirit. He knows a whole lot more than we do. Well I sure love all of you and hope you continue to do well!!!! Hermana Pearson PS
You know that I love telling dumb one liner jokes in English, so naturally I would like telling them in Spanish too……
How do you say aguacate in English? Watercate
How do you say repollo in English? Rechicken
PPS I tried sending pics today but the internet just wont let me do it. stay tuned for cinco de mayo mustache pics......