Well, the time has come. Saturday night I was called by the secretaries to tell me that my cèdula had arrived and was ready to be picked up. Needless to say, I am more than a little excited. Though not so much about packing.
Lots of goodbyes today. Many of the older missionaries will have left for home by the time I return from Puerto Cabezas, be it 4 months or 13 months (those are the two extremes for serving that I've heard). I'm a little sad, but my mind is kinda going in a ton of different directions right now, so it's kind of a mix.
Got two packages delivered to us on Sunday! One was from Aunt Kim and Uncle Shane (please tell them thanks a bunch), and the other was from you guys! Tons of candy, some supplies, and a few Halloween decorations. A little sad that it came a week late for Halloween, but Spence and I stuffed ourselves on candy and oreos. I really really love you guys.
So, on Thursday and Friday we had the opportunity to build a roof and a door for this old lady that lives out by Lake Nicaragua. We used a plastic tarp, some twine, nails, strips of fabric, and ballpoint pens. The thing was, this lady is SUPER Catholic. She didn't want to hear ANY of our message. But we offered to help with anything that she might need. So we ended up building a door (wood, metal, nails, and hinges) and a roof. She wanted to hear our message after that.
It reminded me of Aaron vs. Ammon (sons of King Mosiah) in the Book of Mormon. Aaron just went out and started preaching to the people, but nobody listened to him. Ammon, on the other hand, offered to serve King Lamoni for awhile. Impressed by Ammon's example and willingness to help, Lamoni and his household listened to Ammon's spiritual message about the doctrine of Christ. Eventually almost his entire kingdom was baptized.
So, service works. More of a "teach by example" moment, I guess.
I love you all. I head for Puerto tomorrow; I'll see if I can shoot you guys an email once I'm there.
I love you Mom, Dad, Alex, and Bree.
1) Tell us about your new companion, Elder Spence? Where is he from? How long has he been out? How’s his Spanish?
*Elder Spence is from Riverton, Utah. He came six weeks (one transfer) after my group did. He's been doing pretty well here in Tipitapa. He's been on his mission for 3 months. His Spanish is improving daily. He actually has quite an amazing conversion story. He fell away from the church when he was 14-15, and unfortunately became caught up in the world. Early August 2013, he awoke in the middle of a park after a particularly rowdy party, and decided something needed to be done to change his life. So he came back, cleaned things up, and is here now with me serving his mission. I know he can do great things here.
2) Has the situation calmed down since the “proposal incident”?
*The missionary who proposed has been moved to Leòn for the last 3 weeks of his mission, so things have calmed down. But the zone here is beginning to come down off of its high streak. I foresee difficult times ahead here.
3) How big is the ward in Tipitapa? Are you finding your way around okay?
*I'm finding my way around here great. The branch is super tiny, but it continues to grow.
4) Have you gotten any new packages? I know my parents sent one. We are waiting to hear if you got our Halloween package.
*I got TWO packages! I'll explain in the big email.
5) Describe one uplifting event that happened this week. Where you could see the hand of God in your life.
*We had the opportunity to build a roof and a door for this lady's ramshackle house by Lake Nicaragua. The spiritual aspect of it I will explain in the big email.
6) Describe one culturally unique thing there. How was the Dia de los Santos?
*Nicaragua doesn't really have a culture. They didn't do anything for Dìa de los Santos, but the Catòlicos have weekly parades in front of their chapel. Not many other cultural things happen here.