A dangerously acute account of 18 months in Nicaraguan Territory.
...I'm glad you came, I'm glad you came!
So, last week we had the joy of ten minutes of writing our families because the power went out. Oh how lovely are the Thunderstorms of Nicaragua :)
This week we had a ton of Divisions. I was with three different Hermanas, three different days of the week. I´m telling you, You can really learn a lot about how to teach when you watch the different methods of the others who teach as well. I was really surprised about which scriptures they chose to use, how they interacted with the investigators, the things they said. It was good and bad, but in the end, good.
We have a baptism today of the sweetest poorest couple you will ever meet, Anna Maria and Alvaro. We started teaching them just two weeks ago and they told us that the moment they realized they wanted to be baptized was when we put a fecha with them in the first lesson. Apparently, the missionaries had never invited them to be baptized as a family. It really affected them. Never before had they done anything as a family and now was their opportunity. It´s going to be a really special baptism and I´m excited to see where it goes.
Really, Can I just get a ¨whoop whoop¨ for the awesomeness of General Conference that´s about to occur this weekend? What a great opportunity we have to listen to the Prophets (in spanish or english, whichever the chapel has on;) I cannot tell you how many people we´ve invited to come listen! If there is someone in our area who doesn´t know, I would be really surprised. The thing is, this is such a wonderful time to renew our testimonies. Like we´ve been explaining to everyone, Go, listen to the words of these humble men, and if the Spirit testifies to your heart that the words they are speaking are really the words of God, BAM!!! Instant testimony that this really is the church of Jesus Christ, restored again on the earth. Go, listen, and receive the revelation like dew from heaven.
P.S. See those volcanoes in the distance? Can you say ¨zone activity next week¨?
P.S.S. Did you know that all of the drinks here are handed out in bags? Don´t worry, I´ll teach you how when I get back ;)
P.S.S.S. Life is good when you go with your zone to burger king
The lovely Hma. Maria Victoria with me and my companion, Hma. Gonzalez
This first week in Leon has been crazy!
Literally, knowing no one, we´ve been walking around talking to everyone! We've learned a lot about our ward and about the people in Leon, how they are, how the city bus works, things like that. An angel in disguise has been this wonderful lady pictured below, Hermana Maria Victoria. She lives about five houses up from us and was the first member we were able to get help from. Not only that, she takes care of us as if we were her own. Even more, she does visits with us! It just amazes me that an 84 year-old lady would be willing to spend 4 hours walking and visiting with the missionaries. She´s awesome and I hope one day to be like her!
While we´ve been busy walking and contacting, our friends back at the house have been busy destroying the place. We have a few lovely colonies of ants living just outside our window, each of a different annoying species. Oh how they love to crawl on the walls, on our desks, just about everywhere. What a joy it is to have them in our humble abode :) Of course, I teach them about the spirit world real fast every time I smack one dead. It´s funny because some of the Latina Hermanas get angry when we kill ants. They say we´re going to see all of them when we die and they´ll tell Dios ¨she killed me¨. Well, I guess we´ll find out one day if all ants go to heaven ;) (please tell me someone got that last one!)
Our hardest problem we´ve encountered thus far in our area is the number of less-active women who refuse to go to church. A lot of them have had a temple marriage and then their husbands leave them, sometimes for another woman in the ward. All I can say is, I´m so grateful for Temples. The things we do there are the greatest blessing we will ever receive in this life. Whenever life gets you down or you feel discouraged, remember the House of God, the Mountain of the Lord, where we can all go to receive comfort, guidance, and peace. Got Temple? Go visit!
Happiness is literally receiving letters!!Pizza! (happy cumplimes to me) with Hma. Gonzalez and Hma. Ewing
That´s right everyone! I´m out of the frying pan of Managua and into the fire of Leon! I´ve been here for four hours now and haven´t noticed a gigantic difference, but then again, there were clouds. I´m so excited to be here with my new companion (step-mom) Hermana Gonzalez. Basically, we´re going to convert this whole area. Plan on it :) I´m going to miss my old area and the amazing families there, but I know that if we never have changes in our life, we can never learn. So......yeah :)
Last week was really fun, with lots of rain. I had never experienced this before my mission, but here it happens almost every day. First, it gets a little windy. Then the breeze calms, but in its place you hear this noise just charging towards you. It´s getting louder and louder and closer and closer. So you run to the nearest Shelter, but that doesn´t stop it from getting you! (does anyone else think this would make an awesome horror film? just imagine the ´Psycho´music! :) My companion and I got caught in a downpour, but no one would let us in. So we just walked our way to a member’s house. Yes, we were drenched. But how awesome is Conny, taking us in, giving us blankets and towels and dinner! What a fun time we had.
I also feel the need to tell you that we found Harry Potter, sleeping outside a members house in the middle of the day (see attached photo and be sure to zoom in). I just wanted to wake him up, look him in the eyes and say, ¨I am Lord Voldemort¨ Or something odd like that :)
Goodbyes are hard. I´m pretty sure the hardest one I´ve made is leaving my Father in Heaven to come here with all of you and experience this joyfully tough life. But, as I said before, it is only through changes, through trials, that we really become better. Changing our habits, our desires, this is why we´re here. To prepare ourselves to meet our Heavenly Father in the next life. So this week, change something! We all can find one thing to do better, to better prepare us to return to Him.
This sleeping Harry Potter look alike has a similar lightening bolt on his forehead!
Dear human kind,
What a lovely week this has been! We´ve made excellent progress, my companion and I, especially in the way of walking faster. We can now go at the speed of ants without pushing ourselves ;) the good news is, she´s off of crutches and out of her cast! Before you know it, we´ll be running all over this area.
I feel the need to inform you about this amazing fruit they have here called a Manzanita, or in other words, little apple. The trippy thing is, it´s a banana! WHAT?!? That´s right; a little banana that tastes like a green apple. Bet you never thought you´d hear that. This gives me hope that one day there really will be “pinecados” (shout out to dad)
Just to give ourselves a little break, we met up with all the Hermanas in our Zone today and made cookies. Or we tried to make cookies. It´s a little difficult because things are just different here: the weather, the ingredients, the cooking utensils. It all turned out fine and it was just good to talk to some of the other Hermanas. You really can learn something from everyone you meet.
Speaking of learning, we had a meeting this past week with Elder Alonso, first counselor in the Central America Area Presidency. He had so much to say, so much wisdom to give us. One of the first things I feel the need to mention is that he made so many promises. This month, we have the goal of baptizing 300 people in our mission and he promised we would do it if we did certain things. He also strengthened our testimonies through scriptures and videos. He shared a beautiful message about the Savior´s atonement, crucifixion, and resurrection, about the Sacrament, the reality of it´s cleansing power. And then he asked us, ¨what are you going to do to remember him always? you promise to do it every week when you partake of the bread and water, But what are you going to do? What are you going to do to remember him always¨ this question really touched me. We´ve been asking the same question to our investigators and recent converts and they always say, read and pray, but really, we have to do so much more to remember Him always. So my question is, what are you going to do this week to remember Him always?
-Hermana Naomi Beatty
Pictures are: Making cookies, My Manzanita, and my soaked companion and I after a ridiculous rainstorm that we couldn´t avoid.
(continued from subject line)
Who talked to everyone and baptized the whole world
and she looked so glad in her photograph
Nica´s absolutely love her,
when she Smiles
To all within the sound of my voice,
I´m pretty sure I live in a country that, though awesome, does not quite know what it´s doing. They have a million methods for bug extermination, but I´m not quite so sure that all of them are 100% safe. The worst one that I´ve experienced thus far is are the dreaded leaf-blower people. They walk around with these machines that look like leaf-blowers and just spray their evil fumes around all the neighborhoods and houses. It´s quite choking. I was introduced to another method just recently, one in which you throw this sand type stuff into the pila (sink filled with water). But we have no idea what we´re supposed to do with it now. I just imagine me sticking my hand into the sink to drain it and suddenly having my hand crumble to stone as I yell ¨what is this magic?¨, in a very Querill-y way. Would that not be appropriate? (Prof. Querill is in the Harry Potter story)
This week was extra special because we baptized a whole family. Well, basically a whole family. The dad, Filidelfo, was baptized when he was 15 and immediately became inactive. We found him, reactivated him, and taught his wife, Conni, and three kids (Christopher, Wendy, and Mararys), the gospel lessons. They were baptized on Saturday by the Bishop of our ward and the actual ordinance was beautiful. While we helped Connie and Wendy change, the Elders showed a video ¨Gracias a El¨or in English, ¨Because of Him¨. We walked in just at the close of the video and I glanced back at Filidelfo, who had taken refuge in the very back of the room, rocking his five month old daughter. I cannot even begin to describe what I saw. His face didn´t even know how to show the emotion he was feeling; that is how happy and grateful he was. How grateful was I, to have been an instrument in the Lord´s hand to bringing Filidelfo and his family such happiness, bringing them to the knowledge of Salvation.
Conni invited us over afterwards because she said she needed to ¨give thanks to God¨ :) We went with them and all of their family who had come to the service. They gave us................... (wait for it)........ CHOCOLATE CAKE AND PEPSI!! Wahoo! Never had cake tasted so good! In fact, I think I´m going to order myself a Costco cake when I get home and eat the whole thing. Maybe, Just maybe, I´ll let you all have some frosting ;) And I never really was a Pepsi person, but Grandma J, I understand now :) It was really fun to share such deliciousness with them, but also, we were able to have a lesson with all of their cousins and parents and brothers and sisters who had come. Essentially, we are going to baptize and eternalize this whole family so they can all party with cake and Pepsi in the celestial kingdom (that is, if Pepsi is allowed there ;)
On our way home, I asked Filidelfo how he felt about the Baptisms. He told me that he was happy because now they were united for this life. But in one year, they were going to be united for eternity. This gospel is so merciful. This gospel changes lives. It takes people who stop washing their car and run and hide into their house and changes them into people who can´t wait for their families to be sealed, to people who have the temple as their background picture on facebook! This family can be together forever! And we can too! If you know this, and you´re happy, clap your hands! Smile a bit more! Because we can all return to our loving Heavenly Father, our Brother Jesus Christ, and we can do it, as a FAMILY!!
That is all
-Hermana Naomi Beatty
hola! I'm Naomi and I love reading, my amazing family, and the color green.