Monday, December 8, 2014

Big Changes in the Mission

Hey all!

So, this week was pretty chaotic. End of November, heading into December, end of one transfer, heading into another. This month the Church has been organizing a Christ/Nativity themed video called "He is the Gift" ("El es la Dádiva" en español). You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzjFEMmM0Xs

Check it out. It's awesome.

So anyway, they're closing down a few areas of the mission because a ton of misioneros just completed their missions and are leaving, with very few to replace them. I`m pretty sure it's a seasonal thing. Like, there'll be big waves of newbies and small waves, depending on the time of year. This is kind of a "low tide" point in the mission.

Anyway, as part of the "Dádiva" event, all the misionaries of Puerto Cabezas gathered together in the Parque Centro (this big plaza at one end of town) and started giving out little reference cards to everyone. We also showed the "Dádiva" movie on this TV we'd hooked up to some speakers and a laptop. It was pretty legit. We also ended up having a ton of people pass through and see the movie (we had it repeating now and then), so it was pretty awesome overall.
Flex off

A little blurry, but very festive.

But, we ended up having to carry the church's tables all the way back to the chapel, a mile or so away. That wasn't too awesome. But it all turned out OK in the end.

So this week, Lawrence and I were contacting this one house when these two young Nica ladies answer the door. They let us in right away.
Then it got weird.
The first three questions they asked as soon as we sat down were:
1) Do you have a girlfriend?
2) Are you married?
3) Do you have kids?

Needless to say, we cut our message short to a simple invitation to church and got the heck outta there faster than Joseph with Potiphar's wife. It was super awkward. Gotta love the randomness of a mission.

Oh! I need to ask: what are the ring sizes of each family member? Dad, Mom, Alex, and Bree. It'll be a surprise. Please send me the info by next week.

I love you all. I love you Mom, Dad, Alex. and Bree. Stay strong, Mom. I am praying for you every day.

-Zach

QUESTIONS

 1. What do Nicas do to celebrate Christmas? Even the Moravians. Any parades or caroling or decorating? Any nativity scenes?

* I'm not totally sure what the Nicas do to celebrate. Some of them have put up Christmas trees; others put up little altars of Christ. There are neither parades nor caroling, so we're kinda missing the "Christmas Spirit" here. But they've been launching a few fireworks every night since the start of December. No nativity scenes either. You wouldn't know it's December down here thanks to Nicaragua's eternal summer.

2. Did you get your water filter working? Are you still healthy? No problems?

*The only water from a pressurized source here is unclean, so we buy all our water in bottles or I wire-filter it into my Nalgene bottle and then Steripen it. I haven't used my gravity-fed filter at all since I arrived here. I'm doing fine, though. Haven't gotten any weird sicknesses. Yet.
    
3. Have you eaten anything crazy there? Has the food situation improved for you? We are getting ready to send a package with some Ramen. I figure you can add a veggie and an egg for a little variety.

*Haven't eaten anything crazy here yet, either. I'm still waiting to try Tortuga (turtle) while I'm here. Actually, they do sell Ramen here, and Cup of Noodles as well. I really appreciate the Ramen-sending, but you don't have to send much, if any. They sell it here super cheap.
    
4. Have you gotten our Christmas package? We sent it on Nov 8.

*Yes! Thanks a ton! I received it on Tuesday when the ZL's (who travel to Managua once a month) returned to Puerto. THey bring the mail with them. I really liked the little scriptural references that matched with the gifts. Yes, I opened them already. Sorry! I couldn't wait. But seriously, thank you guys a ton.

 5. Will you be traveling back to the mission home for a Christmas mission conference? If so, will you fly? (Remember, you can always pay extra for baggage fees if you need.)

*All the missionaries on the West side of the mission (i.e. everybody but Puerto) gets together at the mission home for a Christmas celebration. We as a zone (just Puerto- all 26 of us) get together for our own little Christmas reunion, which Presidente Collado comes over to oversee. I won't be flying back to Managua for a while.




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