A dangerously acute account of 18 months in Nicaraguan Territory.
I felt like quite the traveler this week, only spending three complete days in my area and two nights in my assigned bed. Between Managua, Chinandega, and Chichigalpa, I think I’ve gained enough travelers points to hop on a bus to Japan! (ha ha as if there were buses that go all the way to Japan)
Something I loved was working with so many other Hermanas. It’s a weird atmosphere, the mission life. You actually hear about other missionaries you feel like you know them even before you’ve actually met. And when you do actually get to know them, you realize that their reputation rings true or it’s completely off base. That’s why it’s better just to think and hope the best about people you don’t know.
The same is true for the Gospel though; we think we can perceive who is going to accept the true message of the restoration, but we never know for sure. So it’s better if we just share it with everyone. It’s like Elder Oaks said “The Lord loves all of His children. He desires that all have the fullness of His truth and the abundance of His blessings. He know when they are ready, and He wants us to hear and heed His directions on sharing His gospel. When we do so, those who are prepared will respond to the message of Him who said “My sheep hear my voice…and they follow Me”. That’s really helped me to overcome my awkwardness of talking with everyone about the gospel, just knowing that He has prepared them and in my weak human state I have no place to judge which ones they are.
We had a conference in Managua on Thursday with both the missions and their Presidents, Bishop Dean M. Davies from the Church Presiding Bishopric, and Elder Ochoa from the Quorum of the Seventy and his wife. It was really neat to hear them all talk. I especially loved when the wife of Elder Ochoa mentioned that Christ lives and directs His work, and just as our mission presidents work with us in the streets, Christ does too. More or less, her message was work with Christ, every day, in every contact.
It was super funny for me to see Bishop Davies and his wife do their presentation. There was a big hula-ba-loo about it. The chapel was painted, there was a bunch of cameras…a big paparazzi almost! What made me laugh was about half way through the meeting…”Wait” I thought “just wait one second…I’ve heard this presentation before! But it was definitely in English. And it was definitely not with air-conditioning…I seem to remember the chapel heaters running. Must have been a devotional I attended while I was attending SUU!!!! It was still a great message… just a little déjà-vuish!
We were walking the other day and a guy on the corner just kept saying, “How, How, How”. I’m not sure if he just didn’t know how to finish “How are you?” or if he really was intending to greet me with a native American “How”. It was a rather odd moment in the heat of the Chichigalpa sun. I thought…”Whatever, like those Indians (and Annie Oakley) I’m an Indian too!!!
I’m so excited for one of our investigators Miguel! Quick background on him: 30 years old, lives with his member cousin, has been taking our lessons since the seventh of February (a REALLY long time for being Nicaraguan), finally chose to be baptized, told his dad, his dad disowned him, and for the first time in six months he drank again! We were super sad, thinking he would not be able to be baptized for long time. And the worst part was he kept saying, “Hermanas, I’m so sorry. Can I please still be baptized? What do I have to do?” Bringing our problem to the Bishop, he decided to accompany us to get to know the guy; Bishop talked with Him a good deal and then said, “Well, I think you’re ready for the first week of April” (Cue the Hallelujah Chorus!) Can’t wait to see him in the waters of a true baptism.
Can I just remind all you returned missionaries how awesome the mission is? And for all who haven’t gone, I hope you can see how wonderful a life can be when you share the gospel. I’m just looking forward to the Spirit World, where my time as a representative of Jesus Christ won’t be limited to 18 months (9, of which, are all that remain for me; Feliz Hump-Day). So here are some tips for this week:
1) Love someone enough to give them an Ensign or other church magazine.
2) Hum, Whistle, or sing a Hymn at work or school
3) Greet someone with “How”, if the awkwardness continues, you may add a “do you do?” afterwards!!!
Have a golden week!
hola! I'm Naomi and I love reading, my amazing family, and the color green.