A dangerously acute account of 18 months in Nicaraguan Territory.
Let me tell you about my new companion, the famous Hmn. Aplicano from Honduras. First off, she knows English, second, she loves Japanese music and anime. Thirdly, she gets excited about everything. Fourthly, she is an excellent missionary. In just one week, we’ve had a million memories made and really helped out the area and the other Hermana missionaries. I love her so much. And I really have been waiting for a girl like her since my second change. Hooray for blessings from the Lord that come in unusual ways!
We did quite a bit of traveling this week, from Leon, to Managua, to Chinandega, back to Managua and then we returned to Chichigalpa. It is quite nice that now all the bus drivers recognize me as the re-headed gringa missionary. I can say that I’ve never felt so…unforgettable with all this traveling, I learned a LOT from lots of different people: My companion, other missionaries, and President Collado and his wife. There is just something special about people when they are called by the Lord. And when they talk with the spirit, there is no denying their words. I sure learned a lot, but one thing that stuck with me is this: As members of the church, we teach “the Lamanites” the “Why’s” so that they figure out the “How’s”. (wow, I just made a joke there and didn’t even know it). It’s so true that we really just teach “why’s”, because once we understand why, we can figure out-- how. Once we understand why we should repent, we will know how to do it. Once we know why we’re here on earth, we’ll know how to live here in a happy life.
We had a really neat experience with this concept. We stopped to contact a family and the only normal part was when we said our names and asked theirs. From that point on, we totally didn’t follow the usual “contacting” map. I asked, “do you have a question for us?” “Yes” they responded “why are we here?” Golden opportunity: we explained the why, and then asked, “How can your family prepare to meet God?” They stated, “Looking for His ways and repenting.” This just gets better, we said, “Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized to receive a remission of your sins?” “Si” they said. Now this contact is definitely worth 10 very big bright stars. And that’s how it is when the Lord puts people in your path J
PS Who has He put in your path?
…(from the song Solitaire”)
go listen to it now…it’s beautiful! …..Mamabee
As the subject title so delicately describes, there was (and is) a man, a lonely man. His name is Juan Pablo. He is married and has three kids. Why, then, was he so lonely? Well, it might be because his wife went every night to her church, leaving her husband alone in the house. But instead of playing solitaire, he read the bible. One day, he went with his son to the park. On his return journey home, two young women approached him. They introduced themselves as representatives of Jesus Christ. “An opportunity to study the bible,” thought he so he gave them his address and forgot about them. But then one lonely night, they came and taught him. “What a confusing religion,” he thought, but he invited them to return. And soon one lesson led to another, which led to an invitation to go to church, which led to more lessons, which landed him in the firm conviction that this really is the Church of Jesus Christ.
The next logical step was baptism, but we all know that if we choose to follow Christ, there will always be trials. This trial, specifically, came in the form of his wife. After talking and talking and talking, he consoled her enough to allow him to be baptized. And now he was that much more firm in his own decision. It was so lovely to see the changes he has made. You can see it in his eyes. And now "solitaire isn’t the only game in town", He’s received the Holy Ghost and a whole ward of members to accompany him on this mortal journey. Isn’t this gospel just awesome ?!? I think so J And being a missionary is one of the funnest things I’ve ever done!
Remember the story when Jesus was tempted three times in the desert? Well, I’ve definitely been tested three times, once in every area, all with the same exam. This exam is one I hope to pass soon and finally graduate from this university. What shall we call it? Maybe, R.O.U.S (Rats of Unusual Size) Why do they follow me wherever I go!?! I guess I should remember that I’m in Nicaragua :/ While cleaning this morning, we discovered four eaten skirts and a 72 hour kit that was left without food. The impressive part was that they ate the backpack where the food was stored. If only I could learn to be as persistent as these rats! J
We had a zone conference with our Mission President. He shared with us this year’s youth theme: “Oh ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” It was amazing how he applied it to our lives as missionaries and as sons and daughters of God. I shall try to help you just grasp the slightest bit of what he taught us. First off, God is a God of order. He always does thing in an orderly manner. Thus, 1- Heart, 2- Soul, 3- Mind, 4- Strength. In this order specifically. Now, let’s say that each of these has a deeper meaning.
1. Heart…our obedience
2. Soul…Faith, trusting
3. Mind…Planning, goal setting
4. Strength…Working, walking, doing
Trying to put them out of order, or only doing a few just doesn’t work. To have success and to really serve God, we have to give ALL our heart, ALL our soul, ALL our mind, and ALL our strength. Only then will we be able to stand before Him completely satisfied that we did ALL we could.
Now for the real question:
What is your “ALL”?
Dearest World: I’m sure you all understand what I’m talking about when I speak of the overwhelming sensation of “awe”. “Awe” is what you feel when you see something you never had imagined or when you discover something new. You feel it when you witness a thing of beauty, something more delicate and wondrous than the rough human hand can make. “Awe” is given to us to remind us of our potential, and thus we feel “awe” when we accomplish something we had never thought we would do. Considering all of the above circumstances, it couldn’t be a surprise that I felt this feeling of “awe” when I climbed a volcano last week.
It was one of the less-touristy volcanoes that we visited (when I say less-touristy, I mean that we had to hire someone to show us the way and the only living things that we ran into were some cows). We climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed. For FOUR hours! I just kept singing in my head “pioneer children sang as they walked and walked…” Walking is easy for missionaries, climbing is a whole different story. While our guide literally chopped the way with his machete, we followed, climbing over 21 fallen trees and crawling under eleven partly fallen others. Think not that I exaggerate that which actually happened! This was literally Indiana Jones/Romancing the Stone scenery. Maybe that’s one reason why I was so awed when I finally reached the top. I thought to myself, “I just climbed through a jungle and now… I’m on top of a volcano” Definitely awesome!
Another reason for the awe: The View! I literally felt on top of the world! We could see all of the other ten volcanoes in the region, not to mention the ocean and El Salvador and Honduras. It was a vision that only the human spirit could capture, with the jutting volcanoes, the peaceful sea and the howling wind. The name of the volcano is something like Cosiguina. Look it up on the internet if you want some real information about it, but just know that it is quite unique. https://vianica.com/attraction/52/cosiguina-volcano Instead of having bubbling lava, it has a boiling lake. Just to sit on the top and take everything in was an experience I’ll never forget.
Physical visions and exertions give us “awe” but I also recognize that the spiritual “awe” we feel really is the Holy Ghost and only He is able to make this emotion come alive within us. This past week we were able to put baptismal dates with quite a few investigators, one of them being Juan Carlos. Twenty-four years old, with a firm job, life is going pretty good for him, in fact, life is much better for him than most people. But he always had a question, Why did the Lord save his life in the terrible accident he had? Then one day, he was sleeping at his friends house and two young ladies come to visit his friend. They invited him to listen to their message and when he did, he felt this feeling. He found his answer to his question. And he had a desire to feel the Holy Ghost, this “awe” in his soul, all the time, and not just when the Hermanas came to visit him so when they invited him to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, of course he said yes.
And that, my dear friends, is why everything which creates awe…is of God!
Love Hermana Beatty
P.S. Shout out to Ben: EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!
hola! I'm Naomi and I love reading, my amazing family, and the color green.