Monday, March 14, 2016

Definitely A Trying Week...

Hey all!
Here's this week's recording!
So technically I have two companions at the moment: Elder Spencer during the day and Elder Vega at night.
No small amount of stress, though honestly Elder Spencer is a lot more humble and chill than Elder Vega. Don't wanna talk bad on anyone, but I will say that this past week has been one of my biggest patience-testers in my ENTIRE mission.
I can get through it. Don't worry.
Love you all!
-Zach

Monday, March 7, 2016

Photos!

[Mom Note: It's hard to upload photos sometimes at different ciber's. So, many of these photos are actually from earlier dates.]


Dead Rat






And The Chess Match Continues....

Well!
Lots of changes here and there!
Here's my two recordings for the week. Enjoy!

-Zach





Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Threw Me For A Loop

Hey all!
Well, I'm writing you guys from Waspan, Managua.
Last night at 6PM my ZL's called me and informed me that I was being transferred to Waspan tomorrow.
This is the same area that I started the mission in, so it's kinda surreal to be back here. At least now I can speak Spanish pretty well.

My new comp is Elder Martinez from Huehuetenango (way-way-ten-ahn-go), Guatemala. He's got 10 months in the mish and he's pretty chill.

So, yeah. My head's still spinning right now, but I'm here again.

Also, got the endorsement done from both ends, mine and Prez's.

Love you all!
-Zach



Saturday, February 27, 2016

Service

[Mom note: I was sent these photos from a family from Utah who are working on building a community center in Nicaragua.]

Thank you for sharing your sons.
D. M. Young

Work!

With shovels.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Happy 20 Months!!

Here are my two recordings.
Love, Zach







QUESTIONS

1) I’m assuming that you got the log in info you needed for your ecclesiastical endorsement? Any problems?
*No Problems there. Did my part; now I just gotta make sure Prez holds up his end.


2) Do you know anyone going to BYU that you may want to room with? We are leaning towards the dorms for at least the first month. Do you have thoughts on that?
* I think the dorms would be a fine Idea.


3) Easter is coming up soon. What are you plans for celebrating? What do Nica’s do for it?
*Dunno what I'll do to celebrate. I'll think of something.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy Singles/Aloneness Day!

Hey all!
This week was definitely pretty positive.
We baptized and confirmed J________ the past weekend. She's really one of my most studious converts, with a sincere desire to follow Christ and a profound interest in the Restored Gospel. I am extremely grateful to Heavenly Father for giving us the opportunity to teach and convert such a soul. I know that if she continues faithfully in the Church, she'll be able to serve a mission in a year and perhaps bring many more souls unto this Gospel.
 
Much more than wishful thinking. I'd call it "faithful thinking."

This Thursday we got a Multi-Zone meeting with Chinandega and Chinandega-Oeste (plus our zone, Leon, so three in total). I'll get to check up on Lawrence again (serving his last 6 weeks of the mission in Chinandega), and possibly a few other familiar faces. A nice little boost of morale.

As for investigators, we are in search once more. We've recently decided (Davidson and I) to retrace our steps and re-contact a lot of the old investigators in our area. There's surely some success to be found in that regard.
 
By the way, I have almost 5 months (4 changes) in this same area and zone- which marks the most time I've ever been in one single area. I'm surprisingly not tired of it in the least. I feel that there's many souls here searching for the truth, though they might not know where to find it yet.
 
By the time I finish this change (last week of March), I will have served 6 months in Leon-- a quarter of my mission here.
And I love it.

I also love the newfound drive to share the gospel back home- I've got our guys' email on-screen as I'm writing this. Good for you guys. I'm so pumped that you want to share these bountiful blessings with your friends and associates.

Also also, Happy Last Valentine's Day Without Being Able to Share it With a Cute Girl.
Yeah. Looking forward to dating in 4 months. Gotta be honest.

I love you all!
-Zach

P.S. Please respond to my urgent request by tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Under 20 Weeks!

Hey all!
Still waiting for your guys' email, but I'm gonna go ahead and send my own.
Not a bad week; but definitely not the most eventful.
Most of our investigators fell through, for one reason or another. Basically a sudden lack of interest. Not totally unusual; I've seen this many a time.
One of our most positive investigators at the moment is a young lady named J_______. She's the bishop's niece. Her mother is a less-active member who's sadly become more interested in the local evangelical churches and has long since stopped attending the LDS church.
However, J______ grew up in a very Bible-centered home and at a young age developed an interest in the scriptures and doctrine. We met her a few weeks ago and were able to share some of the Restoration with her, connecting it to several key points of doctrine found within the Bible.
Her reception was very positive, as she was able to see the doctrinal connection between old and new.
She's come to church several times now, and participates actively in discussions. She's got a baptismal date for this Saturday.



Also also, BRONCOS WON. 24-10.
That's all I have to say about that.
Let's just say I've got some really good member friends who I happened to eat dinner with last night.
Yeah.

And, Congratulations to Alex for her recommendation AND her dance proposal (that's what it's called, right?) and Congratulations to Bree for All-State. I knew you'd do awesomely.

As to the trip, when would the time frame be? I want to be home at the start of August so that I can welcome home a couple of my friends from the mission- namely, Elder Choque (He ends August 2 and he invited me to his homecoming). Personally, I'd prefer a trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, but if it doesn't work, the other option's fine.

Just received your email as I finish writing this. Whew, you guys had me worried for a sec.

I love you all!
-Zach

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Changes, or not so much?

Hey all!
I've got a couple recordings for you on account of size limits to the email.
Hope all is well!
-Zach








QUESTIONS

1.     Have you moved? Or had a transfer? Or change of companions?
*No, no, and nope. In that order.

2.     The big news here is the danger of the Zika virus being spread by mosquitos. It causes microcephaly and/or severe brain damage. I hope the government takes some kind of prevention measures. It’s way worse than Chikangunya.
*They're finally taking "preventative measures" and sending members of the "Ministry of Health" (Ministerio de Salud) to check on people's houses. I need to explain; there are TONS of neighborhoods with unpaved roads. So, when it's the dry season (NOW), things get REALLY dusty and desert-y. A lot of houses in these neighborhoods have this really nasty water pit right next to their house that they draw water from to toss on their dirt ("watering the dirt"). IT happens to be a major spawning point of baby mosquitoes, which is why all homeowners found with these pits are currently fined money.
They're also burning all piles of garbage because the smoke supposedly kills mosquitoes.
Glad they finally got on the ball.

3.     What was up with your stomach bug? Was it a tapeworm?

*Dunno. Don't really care; it's gone now.

4.     Did you get to finish the BYU ecclesiastical endorsement stuff that we sent you? The next step might be registering for classes or for housing. Let us know when you are ready to move on.
*I'm working on it now.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Happy 19 months!

Hey all!
Here's my first recording in a while. So happy to hear Dad's back!
THe meeting with President Christensen went quite well. I had no idea that both he and his wife speak Spanish.
All in all it was very spiritual.

Love you all!
-Zach
 
 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Feeling a lot better

Hey all!
Well, this past week was a rollercoaster of miracles and weird physical infirmities, but thankfully it's all resolved itself now.
We found a TON of new investigators; most of them were references from members in our area. We're back in business. All are at varying stages of positivity, but that's to be expected.
One of my favorites is a guy named C_____. He's never considered himself to be particularly religious, but his older brother was a bible studies teacher some years back. So, not really isolated form religion either (his older brother's a nice guy).
We contacted him while trying to locate a separate reference, and ended up sharing a great deal of our message with him. We didin't think much of it at the time but when we passed by the following day, he'd thoroughly studied the entire pamphlet we gave him (a rare thing here) and wanted to know more.
After some inspired teaching and elaboration, he expressed his desire to walk in Christ's footsteps, but that he wasn't sure how to do it.
Davidson and I kinda glanced at each other, then jumped into the prophet Alma's invitation to baptism. He accepted.
Those are my favorite type of lessons, I've come to realize. The ones where the people we are teaching express a desire to repent and start anew before we present it to them. I feel that it makes the whole scenario a bit more spiritual.
Anyway, not much else happening here.
Things are pretty rough with Elder Davidson right now. I feel that it might be the culture gap, but I'm not sure. One minute everything's going great between us and the next he's super pissed off.
I dunno. I need to find how to be more Christlike to him.

I love you all.
-Zach

QUESTIONS

1) We’ve been worried about you all week! Are you feeling better?
-I am feeling much better, thank you.

2)  Did you take any medicine?
-I took some anti-bug stuff (Mebendazol) over a period of 3 days.

3) Was it viral or bacterial or parasitic?
-Dunno. But it was high time I took some anti-bug stuff again.

4) How was your singing event?
-It will take place on the 25th of January (Happy 19 months)

5) Are you still with your same companion? How is that going?
-I'm in a really rough patch with him right now, even though we've been having a lot of success lately. I'm doing my best.

Love you too.
-Zach

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

...wow...

Well.
It appears that many things have transpired in a short time.
Mom, Alex, and Bree, I want you to know that my heart and my prayers are with you, even though I myself cannot be right now.
I love each of you so much.

I just got back from Managua (again). I've been invited to participate in a dual-mission choir (North & South Missions) for a multi-mission conference that will take place on January 25. We'll get to enjoy talks by President Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy and Elder Alonso of the Seventy as well.

Last night, I came down with a terrible illness. At least, I felt terrible. My whole body ached, I lost my voice, I had a pounding headache, and my back muscles began spasming involuntarily. Fortunately, I managed to sleep most of the night.
I have no idea what the sickness was, but I offered a fervent prayer to Heavenly Father, asking that both my body and my voice might be healed for today's travels.
I woke up this morning with neither sore throat nor body pains; just some soreness from the spasms last night.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that the Lord loves us deeply and just like He's promised SO many times in the scriptures, He will watch over us and answer our prayers.
Never Forget the power of prayer. It is real and everyone can partake of its blessings.

I love you all so much.

-Zach

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

First Email in 2016

QUESTIONS

1) How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? Was it filled with escapades of drunk people chasing you through the streets of Leon? Or was is more low key and you were able to sleep uninterrupted all night?
 -We spent New Year's Eve with the extended family of some members in our ward (they're awesome). More details on the recording.

2) Did you have a chance to set some new goals? We talked about them over Christmas. What are they?
-Perhaps a more detailed recording would be better. I'll make one for next week.

3) You mentioned that your tummy was bugging you earlier. Have you taken the medication you took before to get rid of your parasite? If not, you should do so now, and then again in a couple of months.
-Will do.

Love, Zach