A dangerously acute account of 18 months in Nicaraguan Territory.
*quick shout out to the epic rendition of this song, only done on the infamous movie “Rocketman”
Oh sweet world, shall I tell thee of my adventures?
I can officially say that I live up to my name of “valiente”. Would you like to know why? We got home and Hermana Aplicano discovered a gigantic tarantula in the bathroom. We were kind of freaked out, my three companions more than I was. We called for help, but it was too late at night for the Quintanilla boys to come. So, I was given the responsibility of disposing of it. With my sturdy broom, I mounted the step between the shower and the sink. With many deep breaths and summoning all my strength, I spear-hurtled the broom at my unfortunate friend in the corner. The first blow; although quite forceful, did little but cripple the beast. Upon seeing it emerge limping, but crawling frantically for safety, my companions abandoned me to a life or death fight between my foe and I. Regaining my temporarily- forgotten confidence, I attacked with renewed vigor, injuring the enemy a little more with every stroke of my broom until at last, it curled up, the only signs of its once thriving-life were the occasional and intervaling twitches of its legs.
Quite sure of its death, I was left alone with the corpse, looking for the most convenient way to dispose of the dead but still poisonous creature. Looking in the back of the house, I discovered a shovel, which I used to bring the body to the dirt in front of the house. Quickly digging the grave, I saw my companions watching through the front window, still with fear in their eyes. Putting the animal in its shallow resting place, I returned to the house and quickly forgot about the whole matter.
It taught me a lot about fears. I was thinking a little bit later, what would have happened if all of us had been afraid of the spider? Well, let’s rephrase that question because I was also afraid of the spider: what would’ve happened if none of us had faced our fear of the spider? It would probably still be in our bathroom and the four of us would be suffering to relieve our natural needs. But, one of us was brave enough to face the fear, and thus all benefitted. As the scripture says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear”. Why need we fear anything if we love our neighbor and our God, who loves us more than we can possible imagine? Looking at it that way, fear should not exist; fear of heights, small spaces, and tarantulas should be done away with! J
This past Saturday was the long- expected Tarde Blanca (for all you non-Spanish speakers that would be “White Afternoon”). It was an event that we had planned in coordination with the Stake President for over a month. The idea was this: All the wards in the stake assemble in Chinandega to view the baptisms of all the missionaries in one day. There were lots of details to be sorted out (lots of white clothes, invitations, transportation, a complicated Skype system to view the Baptisms from the sacrament chapel). But in the end, it was one of the most beautiful days ever, to see so many people in white, ready and willing to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and receive a remission of their sins.
Juan and Esmeralda (mentioned in last week’s installment) were married and entered the waters of baptism together. I know you weren’t there, but you should know that they definitely deserve a romantic sigh! Just one year from now, and they’ll be headed off to the temple!
I know it’s hard to imagine this beautiful day, but just think: peace, happiness, white, clean, crying, perfect. It was a blessed taste of the potential we have to live with Heaven on Earth.
so this is Love, so this is what makes life divine.(Cinderella)
I’m not quite sure why Valentine ’s Day hit us so hard this year, but it came in like a wrecking ball. Actually it came in much harder, like Optimus Prime fighting with the evil guy whose name escapes me.
ANYWAYS, the first love shock appeared on Tuesday when I received a very lovely and delicious package from You-Know-Who (not Voldemort, but the other one). Thank you so much! I love you!
My second love shock almost ended in tears. It occurred at 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning, when the alarm went off and ended one of the best dreams I’ve ever had. Are you ready for this? We were doing what missionaries always do, tracting and talking to people, but, this time we were accompanied by three young men from our ward. Two boys and…(wait for it)…Josh Groban! And the best part: He was singing primary songs. Can you just imagine it? Tracting through the jungles of Nicaragua while Josh Groban walks with you and sings “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus, I love to hear” Ah!!!! Words cannot describe how sweet this dream was.
More love yet to come: A lovely couple that we are teaching are called Juan and Esmeralda. They’re about 50 years old, but are expecting a baby. (we’ll see how that goes; a real “Sariah” experience). They were SUPER positive and they went to church the Sunday before, so we were passing by to teach them, but it was real difficult to find them in their house. For, five days we passed by and no one was home. On Thursday, we went with Bishop to try just one more time. “Buenas” we said… nada (nothing). With heavy hearts we trudged through the path, with Bishop behind us lighting the path with his motorcycle. Wait! Oh! What’s this? A couple is approaching… Maybe we should contact them. Wait, it’s Juan and Esmeralda! I don’t think I’ve ever greeted someone so happily! While we walked back to their house, they told me a story that still has me chuckling.
In their own words: “Hermanas, where have you been? You’ve both lost us! We were wondering what in the world could’ve happened to you or maybe that you forgot about us. We saw that the gate was open in the church, so we went to look for you. But there were only a bunch of youth.”
Can I just say that investigators are quite golden when they go looking for you? They’re set to be married and baptized this Saturday. I’ll be sure to fill you in on the details.
One way that has really helped me increase my love is to be with my companions. We are now three missionaries and one young single adult, or as we call them, “mini- missionaries”. It’s been quite the adventure, working in all of Chichigalpa with a different companion every day and living with all three of them. The roughest part is training them. One has three weeks in the field, and the other…, well zero weeks in the field, so we’ve all gone about learning little by little.
Finally, on Saturday, we had a baptism of Steven, one of the sharpest 12 year old Nicaraguans I know. I’m not sure why he didn’t get baptized when he was eight, but it was so fun teaching him and reactivating his family. We all had quite the giggles the other day singing, “We are all enlisted”. I’m sure every family has experienced the inevitable giggle-fit at one time or another. There is just no denying the truthfulness of this gospel, and I’m so grateful to have been an instrument in the hands of our Heavenly Father to help bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of Steven and his family!
Like the Beatles say,
“All you need is love”
-Hermana Naomi Beatty
(clap along if you feel like a room without a roof!)
You know, sometimes birthdays are crazy. Sometimes they are happy, and sometimes they are both crazy and happy. J
This past week was SO fun! It all started off by going to the lovely land of Corinto. I don’t know if my mom sent the pictures out, but there really isn’t much more to add to them. Just so you know, if I was a salesman, it would be quite easy to sale a piece of land there. It amazed me to just be there for two hours. The zone was there, but literally no one else. Just me and the sand and the breeze and the sound of waves….(sigh) paradise.
The rest of the week was really fun too. We had interviews with President Collado in two zones, so that meant two days of not doing normal missionary work. But I learned a lot and came out super excited. My companion and I just started tearing up Chichigalpa. I really have no idea what happened to us, but we both just changed super fast. I think it’s probably what President taught us about not wasting out time as servants of the Lord. So we changed our tactic. We started contacting like this: “Hello, I’m Hermana Beatty, this is my companion Hermana Aplicano and we’re missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we are inviting everyone to receive a remission of their sins through baptism by someone who has the authority of God. We’re preparing baptismal services this 7th of march. Will you prepare to be baptized on this date?”…First off, let’s clarify that this would sound absolutely absurd if this happened anywhere else (cough, the state, cough) and secondly the miracle is that people actually accept it. “Sure, what do we have to do to be baptized?”
Now if that isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is. More than anything, It helps us find the people who are ready and makes us feel like we’re becoming brave missionaries, like Paul, Peter, Ammon and Alma. It’s an empowering experience. Feel free to try it sometime, but I would suggest that you practice a time or two, it’s a little hard to get out the first few times. J
In one of our lessons, we brought along a cute little man named Julio, the President of the Elders Quorum. He just gets so excited about the priesthood and the Temples that he forgets that there is an order in teaching. There we were, calmly teaching, when he burst in, “Yeah, the faith we have is what saves us, but it’s more important that we obey. We need to obey the commandments, like the commandment of baptism when are you getting baptized? Have they invited you to be baptized? Did you invite him to be baptized? I don’t think I’ve seen you in the church, but so you know, there is where we take the sacrament every Sunday to renew our covenants, and covenants are important. That’s what we do in the temple and after you’re baptized, you wait a year and then you go to the temple. And at the temple…”
…..it’s quite fun to see him get all worked up, he talks really quiet and really fast. And the best part is that we try to jump in at every end of the sentence, but he just keeps going. Ok, Hermano Julio! You go Hermano! Three shouts for adorable old men with tender testimonies.
This past Saturday was a special one. Not only was it the last working day for Hermana Galeano and the first cumplemes for Herman Blanco but it was also my twentieth birthday. (Yeah, I know, I’m old. The stake President and his wife kindly prepared a delicious dinner for the three of us, and then the meal quickly turned inot a joke-fest. We laughed a good, long while and then called it a night.
But later, I was thinking: What have I learned in twenty years of laughter/tear-filled life” That’s when the scriptures came:
“Oh my son, I would that ye should learn wisdom in thy youth, Yeah, learn in they youth to keep the commandments of God.”
And if you do that, you will be able to write as Nephi did….
“And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of HAPPINESS”
Wow, this is the worst when you have awesome pictures to send, you do not have time, and the cable stops working.... umph.... just know I will send out an awesome very well prepared email next week.
Just tell everyone I dropped off the grid this time ;) hahaha
We did get a few photos before the cable went down...
hola! I'm Naomi and I love reading, my amazing family, and the color green.