A dangerously acute account of 18 months in Nicaraguan Territory.
People tell me it’s winter and I almost believe them…until I walk outside. That’s ok. I’ll just keep singing songs from Frozen and thinking cool thoughts like “ice bath” or “Snow cone”. I also feel the need to apologize for starting off all my letters talking about how hot it is. But it’s just something I have yet to get used to. And I probably will still be saying that a year from now when it’s time to head back home. It’s weird to think that tomorrow will be my fifth month out in the mission. Well, time flies when you’re having fun.
It was quite diverting this week because we were once again investigating a new part of our rather large area. Not only was I stumbling and tripping on every ridiculous rock on the path, but I’m also sure that the skirt I chose that day was not my most attractive. So it was no surprise that when we went to ask for help with our directions, the people were chuckling at this poor stranded group of girls, one of which was looking extremely distraught (and she was a gringa, to top it off). So we asked them how to get to a certain street and the reply we got was something like this…”Go straight on this street for two blocks and then take a left, stay on that path until you reach the house of the gringos…” I stopped listening after that because it just gave me the giggles. They didn’t say, “oh the red house” or “the house on the corner.” No, it was the house of the gringos. I laughed for about thirty minutes (which probably destroyed my image even further, but it was funny) Maybe I’ll start giving directions like that when I get home: “Well, you get to the high school and take a left for three blocks and at the house of the gringos…” Ha ha ha oh the simple joys of a Utah missionary in Nicaragua!
My companion and I have also been invited to participate and help out the ward youth choir, who will be singing in the Stake conference this Saturday and Sunday. We were practically commanded by the Stake President’s wife to wear a white shirt. You know what that means: SHOPPING!! We found a fairly good priced paca (think of D.I., but with clothes a lot more unattractive) we didn’t find any white shirts, but I did discover that my companion has a very serious shopping addiction. I mean, one can only buy so many skirts at one time! J It was a fun way to spend our p-day!
This week I really saw up close something I’ve never really witnessed before. We are teaching this thirty year-old guy named Francisco. His mom is a member that’s less-active, but one day we passed by and she introduced us to her son. We talked a little bit about the gospel and he told us that he had a lot of serious health problems because of things he had done in his youth. We gave him a pamphlet and said we’d come back the next day.
When we came back, he had read the whole pamphlet and only had one question about the apostasy and that was it. *Note: it’s rare for a Nica to only have one question. We left him with a pamphlet for the next lesson, the word of wisdom. Knowing his past, we approached the lesson very delicately. But as soon as we started, he jumped right in, pointing out things in the pamphlet and how they corresponded to teachings of Jesus Christ. He said he wanted to change his life and become a member. So, very happily, we left him a Book of Mormon and gave him a reading assignment.
And the next day, he had read it! At this point, we’re literally clicking our heels all the way down the rocky road (which is very hard to do by the way). Could an investigator get any more golden? we thought. Oh, how wrong we were.
The next day we show up and he isn’t there. So we teach the mom and at the end of the message he shows up. Shirtless with hooded eyes, he is the complete opposite: He hates his mom, doesn’t believe in God, doesn’t want to listen, doesn’t want to change, and all this because he was drunk. I thought that after watching enough Hogan’s Heroes shows, I would know when someone was drunk.
But the real test is you see it in their eyes. You smell it on their breath, and just like the liquor they drink, their face is hard, unfeeling of all the emotions that come from God. They’ve willingly given up their ability to choose and thus suffer the consequences of a degenerated body.
The Word of Wisdom isn’t just a silly rule a man made up; It’s a principle with a promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, showing forth the will of God for our Temporal Salvation. It is our protective shield against the elements of this world which would have us unhealthy and unhappy. We should keep this commandment!
--Hermana Naomi Beatty
hola! I'm Naomi and I love reading, my amazing family, and the color green.