|Our bus ride from the CCM to the Mexico City Airport, 2:30 AM.|
Entonces, I still have a few stories about leaving the CCM. So a week ago Saturday, I thought I was feeling better from my cold/virus, but then later that night, I noticed my arm was COVERED in hives. I had been feeling incredibly itchy all day and didn't know why. Well, about 8:00 that evening, I realized I had hives covering nearly my entire body. I went over to the Infirmary and the doctor told me it was because of the virus I still had and the hives were the result of my body fighting the virus and my itching all day made it one-hundred times worse. So he gave me some Benadryl and this other stuff that was super sketchy, but since that night, the hives and virus haven't come back, so hopefully it is all gone now.
|Van ride from the Managua Airport to the Mission Home.|
This is one of the Assistants to the President who picked us up.
|First day in Managua, Nicaragua.|
|Me and my new companion, Elder Castro. He is from El Salvador.|
|Our new apartment in Masaya, Nicaragua.|
|Our entire zone minus 4 hermanas. We all went to the|
Masaya Volcano National Park for our P-Day today.
So apparently, our house in Masaya is supposedly the nicest one in the mission next to the office Elders' house. I sure hope that is not true, because it is really dark and danky. It does have an upstairs where we sleep. As for Masaya, I have never seen anything like this. I need to take some pictures of these houses we contact for next week. About 80% of the houses are tin roof garbage bag homes. You can tell how much money a family has by whether they have a tile floor or just dirt, but every single casa, guaranteed 100%, has a TV. Funny, but most of the homes only have one lightbulb and they cook over a fire every night, but they all have a television. TV is LIFE here for the Nicaraguans, and they always have them turned on with the audio blasted loud -- rather funny. Some of them can't buy enough food, but they have their TV! The slums here are literally slums! I can't believe the living conditions of the people here and I can see how this is one of the poorest places on Earth.
I was really frustrated with the Spanish at first, but already I feel like it has improved a ton! The first couple of days I couldn't understand ANYTHING, but I was actually able to say a lot. But if someone said something to me, even my native companions, I couldn't understand! I was constantly praying for help... CONSTANTLY, and guess what? By like Friday, I was already improving like CRAZY and I am actually, already, not even a week in Nicaragua for that, and I can understand most things now, and I can speak quite a bit. My companion told me that he has trained 4 different greenies (new missionaries) and apparently my Spanish has been the best of any of them.
|Standing in front of the Masaya Volcano.|
The work here is great, very tiring, and the thing about Nicaragua is that they don't know much about the outside world. Even some members of the church don't even know about temples, so we have to give members lessons about the church, too. Also, I found out our mission has the most baptisms of any mission in the world, but the problem here is getting people to come to church before and after their baptism. Every single contact says they will go to church. We contact them on Friday and make sure they're still good to go on Saturday, but then Sunday morning when we show up, surprisingly they aren't home, or they went into Managua that day or something comes up, so we don't take many people to church with us. I do already have a baptism scheduled for next Saturday, and yesterday I was able to stand in the confirmation circle for 2 AWESOME now-members (they have been my favorite to teach).
I'll be honest, though, I'm still struggling some times. It's just really tiring... one day my body is super ready to go and I get up right on time at 6:30 AM, and then other days I get up and feel like death because I'm so tired... so much to do. I miss home like crazy, and time seems to be going SUPER slow right now. I can't wait until I have a few months under my belt so I can be one of the cool missionaries that have all the experience, Spanish, and go home soon. Two years sure seems like a really long time, really hard for me to imagine how long this is really going to be. I'm trying to fight through it, but that's kind of hard right now. This might be a loooong 2 years for me, BUT I almost have 2 months under my belt now -- ha ha -- that is a little better than thinking I have only been out in the field for 7 days. Well, thanks for all the emails and letters from everyone (my cousin Ally sent me a letter already even).
|Close up pic of me in front of the Masaya Volcano.|