A dangerously acute account of 18 months in Nicaraguan Territory.
It’s an interesting thing to note that it doesn’t matter where in the world you attend church, Relief Society will always get out late. The look on the husbands and kids faces is the same; as they wait impatiently outside, opening the door every five seconds to see if they’ve FINALLY finished. I imagine it’s just typical Mormon tradition.
We had an amazing baptism! Guadelupe stepped into the cleansing covenant waters (even though she and the rest of us were already soaked to the skin because of the pouring rain.) [see attached picture] Even though she laughs quite a bit, she’s so awesomely pilas (that’s Spanish for “cool/hard-working”). Almost every member has commented on how they see her in her hammock, almost always reading the Book of Mormon. I’m excited to watch her keep progressing and learning about this wonderful gospel.
This last week was spiritually full! (Note: There is hardly a week in the mission when I don’t feel spiritually “full”), but this time we had tow member of the Seventy come speak to us! Elder Snow and Elder Alonso were our honored guests and let me just testify; They are called of God! Here are some favorite quotes- “Missions are a blessing” (Sister Snow) “If you can do a mission you can do pretty much anything” (Elder Snow) “We’re very happy for what you have achieved, now are you ready to double it?” (Elder Alonso) The whole meeting was just a spiritual buzz!
Just to close this rather short newsbit, can I excite you to go look up a song that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang this past conference? It goes something like this: “Our God is a God of love, Our God is a God of love, Love is His greatest gift to us; Love is our greatest gift to Him”
God’s love is so enormous that it covers anything and everything: Unpaid debts, hurt wounds, unjust acts, unreasonable illnesses, unexpected happenings, owies, and a lot more. Let His love fill you and I promise you will be happy. And it won’t just be a happiness you get when your mom buys you the cool fun-dip sucker with two flavors instead of one. It will be a happiness that is steady and sure, just as is your faith in Christ. After all, “Our God is a God of love.”
* Waiting with Hermana Walker at Immigration for 6 hours!
*My Guatemalan twin (glasses)
*Guadelupe's baptism...we all got soaked!
*Waiting for interviews at Pres. Collado's house
by Winnie the Pooh
It's so interesting how quickly a foggy mist can get you soaking, dripping wet. What seems to be a sweet summer drizzle quickly becomes nature's deadly weapon to get you soaked to the bone and sweating. It's been quite fun these past few days seeing the near-slips that we almost get ourselves into. We've learned which dirt/rocks to trust and which dirt/rocks not to trust. Sometimes I wish it would rain this much back home, but then I realize that the sewage systems there are probably even less prepared than the sewage systems here. So best we just keep to the norm and trust that the Lord will send sufficient water to keep going, keep living.
This week we returned with some ex-investigators we were teaching three months ago. Their manes are Alvaro, Lucinda, Alvarito, and Lourcles. It's quite a cute little family, trying to change their very catholic traditions. We were discussing this very topic when Alvaro asked me "Hermana, how do I do it? How do I just jump up and change what I've know and done my whole life?"
Well that put me to thinking, seeing as I've never actually belonged to another religion. I don't know what it's like to change my religious practices. But I do know how to change habits and actions. It all starts with the goal (in this case, the goal would be "change religions") which is then followed by plans of things to do (ex. reading the scriptures, praying, going to church). These plans are transformed into actions, which change our habits which change us.
I tried to explain it to him like this: "Your question doesn't really have to do with changing religions. what we're really trying to do here is bring our lives in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is a way of living and seeing as no "unchanged" thing can inherit the kingdom of God (Alma 40:26). We are here in this life to change. Don't think so much about changing church buildings. Think more about following and doing the teachings of Jesus Christ."
He seemed half-satisfied with that answer and said "that was a good answer, It made me think".
It became a testimony to me that even though I may never recall being Catholic or Jehovah's witness, or Evangelist or Baptist or Apostilic, I'm not looking for or living a religion. I'm living the Gospel! After all, the gospel "is a joyful rehearsal-a preparation for inheriting the grand glory of the eternities" (Dieter F. Uchtdorf)
I hope we all can help others come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel by faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. And while we're at it, why don't we do it too ;)
Fruit smoothies here are the best!!
General Conference with a few investigators
Gringa Divisions (that means only speaking in English and sharing all the treats that we may have received from the states)
"...we're looking for something fun to do.
Hey Baby, I think I want to marry you!"
Well, I didn’t elope to Las Vegas, but Yamilett did! Well, not to Las Vegas but to Nicaragua. It was so awesome this past week to see her get married and baptized! As to her marriage, I can’t give you too many details (that story will be told upon my return home and only by request). Her baptism however, was marvelous! She was so nervous she just kept laughing and laughing, when she finally came up out of the water, she kept laughing, but her laugh was a little more happy, a little more grateful, a little more reverent.
Even better than Yamiltett’s baptism was…(I know what you’re thinking: what could possibly be better than a baptism?)…giving an accounting to President. In other words give stewardship, take responsibility, for the things we have done in the past few months. Preach My Gospel explains further “The principle of accountability is fundamental in God’s eternal plan. We will all stand before the Lord at the last judgment and give an accounting for what we have done with the opportunities He has given us” (pg. 150) A supporting scripture puts it this way, “And verily in this thing ye have done wisely, for it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity, for he who is faithful and wise in time is accounted worthy to inherit the mansions prepared for him of my Father” (D&C 72: 3-4) It makes sense and simply because we all have something to be responsible for, whether it be some calling, a spouse, children, or ourselves. God will take account of all this in the last day and reward us according to our works.
Anyways, the mission President does this to help us know how to do it and to make us more responsible. We did it as district and I was first. I didn’t reach my goal this past trimester, but I wasn’t pulling out my hair about it. I just presented my achievements and then asked for council. I was prepared to do whatever my leaders told me so that I could do better.
Whoa! What great council! The spirit was so strong as President Collado began speaking about planning and prayer. He made such promises! To me! It amazed me how personally the spirit worked in my heart! My spiritual batter was super charged!
Let this be a testimony to everyone who reads this that the Lord is alive, giving real personal advice so that we one day might stand before our God! Let us be anxiously engaged in a good cause, that we may give a glad account of our acts in that day!
May God bless you, everyone!
PS Sorry for that last line, the Christmas anti-scrooge spirit just took over for a moment and Tiny Tim came out!
Funny Faces and a typical Nica lunch when it isn't rice and beans
"...and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings...
these are a few of my favorite things!"
from The Sound of Music
This week was indescribably AWESOME! There are various explanations why it turned out to be so splendid. Said explanations will be discussed in the following paragraph(s).
First off, a delicious package was received! (Thanks Mom!) It was received on an unforgettable Tuesday morning and it had my two favorite things inside: skirts and medicine! Wahoo! Oh and a chocolate bar:) that was good while it lasted :) It made me laugh to read my mom’s note and see that she had written “a lot of Chocolate”…perhaps in a universe where sugar doesn’t exist is the only place where 1 candy bar would be one too many ;) or it could be the Nicaragua Postal worker got hungry and ate a lot of the “A lot of Chocolate”. Just know that the package was well received. *note from mamabee…I had put in 2 big bags of reeses pnut butter cups, a bunch of kit kats and other favorites..grrrrr)
Other favorite things..Little old ladies!!!! In Nicaragua there are two types of man-huddles. 1. The teenage boys who are waiting to play futbol in the street, and 2. The semi-drunk buddies who have nothing better to do. The first group is pretty chill. You’ve just got to kick the ball a few times with them and then they’re your instant friends and a great set of extra-eyes to watch out for you. The second shady group is a bit more difficult. You’ve got to walk quickly at the side of your companion and look straight ahead, all the while listening to their terrible language and jeers. This last week we passed by a particularly rough group, the which was well on their way to being completely drunk at 10 A.M. We kept to the standard procedure but they were being unusually valiant today. One foolishly brave lad jumped up real close and followed us. His beer stained breath saying such vile things. We kept our cool though and made it to the member who was sitting outside her house watching the whole gross scene. We promptly said “Hi, Hna Helen, How are you? Can we share a message with you right now? In your house please.” She didn’t look like she was listening, but she replied “Sure, sure, Hermanas, just wait for me two moments.” The hefty Hma. Helen lifted herself from her chair and started waddling towards the way that we had just come. Upon drawing close to the grouped men, she put her hands on her large hips and began the greatest chastises known to man. I wouldn’t know how to translate its awesomeness, but it had a “don’t-make-me-snap-my-fingers-in-a-Z-formation” type of attitude. I love Hma. Helen and her valiance in dealing with drunk men.
And General Conference was amazing! Wasn’t the spirit just raining in those sessions? I could feel it so strong, just leading and guiding in my note-taking and listening. I know Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, that he and the twelve apostles are ordained of God to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ. By following their counsel, we are happier! We are more blessed! We become more like our perfect example, Jesus Christ.
Surely it was they (and us) of whom God spake to Abraham concerning the many noble and great and good souls that were organized before the world was, saying “These will I make my rulers.” (Abr. 3:22-23)
May we follow their teaching and reach our goal… Exaltation!
This is a cloud from the Nicaraguans point of view :)
papusas with little old Nicaraguan Ladies
Freshly showered and ready for General Conference
hola! I'm Naomi and I love reading, my amazing family, and the color green.