Monday, December 28, 2015

A Feliz Navidad Indeed!

Pic with President and Hermana Russell at the Multi-Zone Christmas Conference
Having a super nice dinner with all the missionaries in Rivas.
This past week was fantastic! First, we had our Multi-Zone Christmas Conference, which was awesome. Plus, President and Hermana Russell gave us all microwaves for our apartments! We also got our Christmas packages and letters from our families.

We were fed again later in the evening on Christmas Eve. Great food!
Elder Jensen, me, Elder Foster, and Elder Smith.
On Christmas Eve, this wealthy guy from Managua paid for all of the missionaries in Rivas to have a super nice dinner, and it was a lot of fun getting together with all of them. We were invited to another dinner later that evening, so we ate well.

Then, Christmas day was the best because we had a baptism (see below) and then I got to Skype with my family. Although, after I finished talking to home, I thought of a billion things that I wanted to ask about. I was a little disappointed because I forgot all my questions.

Skipping with my family on Christmas Day.
B. and his family at B's baptism on Christmas Day.
On Saturday, the day after Christmas, we had three more baptisms. On Sunday, we were able to bring 6 investigators to church and all of our baptisms made it so that they could get confirmed.  All 4 of these baptisms will be some of the strongest converts of my entire mission. They all have goals to go the temple or mission plans one year from now! All of them were "eternal" investigators that have been working with the missionaries for many months, or years, but these past 2 weeks that I have been here, it has been cool to work with them and help them take that step to be baptized. It just seemed like it was a series of miracles throughout the week after they decided to be baptized, so it turned out super awesome, so I can honestly say it was a great Christmas.

Elder Smith, along with C, J, A, and myself
at the baptismal service on Saturday.
The first baptism, named B., seemed like he was pretty much ready for his baptism on Christmas by the time I arrived here, but the other 3 baptisms on Saturday were complete, last-second miracles. So, B. was asking us a lot about tithing because he wants to buy some land next year, but in the end he told us, "if I'm gonna have enough money for that, I will have to pay my tithing and receive the blessings" -- that is just how cool he is! He took this long to be baptized mostly because he had a hard time giving up smoking cigarettes, but he quit over 2 weeks ago so that he could be baptized on Christmas, which is a small miracle, and he is still going strong. His wife is also a recent convert who was baptized about 6 months ago. She has a calling in the ward and is always cooking dinners for us, so they have become another one of my favorite families here in Nicaragua.

On Saturday, two of the baptisms are sisters -- A. and C. They have wanted to be baptized for a while, but their parents are Catholic and very against them joining the church. The sisters are 18 and 20, so they didn't necessarily need permission from their parents, but they were hoping they would still consent to their decision. Elder Smith and I helped them see the importance of baptism and faith in the Lord, and they proceeded even though their parents were not happy about it. But both of them had finished reading the Book of Mormon and knew it was true, and now they are super happy to finally be baptized! After their baptism, they asked us for Triple Combinations so that they could start reading the Doctrine and Covenants.
Three of the people that I had been working with in Masaya who all got
baptized on Saturday. 

The third baptism on Saturday was a lady named J. Her husband had been baptized about 8 months ago, but she didn't want anything to do with the missionaries for a long time. However, one of the members of the ward helped out a ton so that we could finally teach her, and another miracle -- she decided that she wanted to be baptized during the Christmas holiday as well. I also just found out from Elder Nolasco that three people in my last area in Masaya were also baptized. I had been working for 3 weeks with a couple who we committed to be married and baptized last Saturday, so I was super happy to see that they kept their commitments and also got baptized this past week. So this past week just seemed to be a total series of miracles and it turned out to be a great Christmas.
One of the cool Nicaraguan traditions is placing these dummies filled with fireworks all around town.
Then at midnight on New Year's Eve, they all get blown up. Awesome!

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Christmas Miracle in Rivas

Our District here in Rivas
So our apartment here in Rivas is pretty nice. This is our kitchen area.
This past week, we had to go to Managua for the Newbies Meeting for my companion, Elder Smith. We had to wake up at 3 AM to catch a 3-hour bus ride to get to Managua for the meeting which started at 7 AM. The meeting lasted until about 2 PM and then we caught a bus back to Rivas that was so crowded we had to stand the entire ride. It was a pretty miserable journey because I am too tall and I don't fit, so I had to hunch down the whole 3 hours back home. As for the meeting itself, Elder Smith did great in the practice sessions, and they gave us Burger King for lunch!

This is our study.
Yesterday in church I got to meet a lot of the members of the ward, and a super rich family invited all of the missionaries in Rivas over for dinner on the 24th, so we should be eating well. We also found some way positive people that will hopefully come to church next week, so the area will start going better here in a bit, but this week might be a little rough on the area with all the conferences and Christmas and stuff, ha ha.

The house even has a big backyard.
We did have something super crazy cool happen this week -- really you could call it a miracle. So this eternal investigator decided she wanted to get baptized on Saturday, and we missionaries really had no hand in it. She said she just got in the holiday cheer and decided this would be a good week to be baptized. Plus we will be having a baptism on Christmas evening, so Elder Smith and I will be having two baptisms this week! Complete miracle!! My district also has 2 other baptisms, so we will end the year with a bang and a holly, jolly Christmas!!!

We got the Christmas ambience going in our apartment.
In fact, as a mission, we achieved our mission goal of 2060 baptisms this year, and as a result, the entire mission gets to go on a trip in January to San Juan del Sur, which is the nicest tourist place in all of Nicaragua. Funny thing is that it is located in my district boundaries (although we are forbidden to go there on P-Days, sadly), so it is just a 20-minute bus ride from where I am at here in Rivas. Also, because we are so close to San Juan del Sur, they have a lot more American brand items here because of all the tourists, so I will probably take out some of my Christmas money and buy some neat stuff and more food.

So the family of our investigator who is getting baptized on
Christmas cooked us some dinner and it was actually
super good. They are very, very poor, so it meant
a lot to them.
Tomorrow we have our Multi-Zone Conference and we will be leaving Rivas about 4 AM again. The conference is supposed to be exactly like last year and we should be getting our Christmas packages from home tomorrow. Anyways, so we have people feeding us on Christmas and we should have our packages, so this Christmas should be a good one, and I won't lie, this year I'm not nearly as sad as last year. Can't wait to Skype with my family on Christmas, and I hope everyone else has a great Christmas as well!

Elder Smith, Me, Elder Foster, and Elder Jensen, who is the District Leader of the other district here in Rivas
and who was in the CCM with me.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bienvenido a Rivas, Nicaragua!

Beinvenido a Rivas, Nicaragua!
This is one of the families in Monimbo that I will miss a lot.
Rivas is situated between Lake Nicaragua and the Pacific Ocean.
Well, I was transferred this past week! My old companion, Elder Nolasco, stayed in Monimbo for at least a fourth cambio and he will hopefully be able to still baptize all of our investigators we were working with there. Leaving Masaya was a little rough for me. Many of the people we were teaching told Elder Nolasco not to come back with the new companion if it wasn't me, including the people we were preparing to baptize this month, so hopefully he and his new companion are doing OK. We were looking to have about 4 or 5 baptisms this month, and then 2 more scheduled for January. I actually cried when I said goodbye to a few of the families in Monimbo, but I am also excited to get to experience more of Nicaragua.

My "son" -- Elder Smith, is from Denver, Colorado.
So now I am the District Leader in Rivas, Nicaragua! I am also training -- my "son" is Elder Smith. He is from Denver, Colorado, and he already has half of his training completed, so I will finish his training. I had heard about Rivas before that it is a lot like Masaya -- very, very Catholic and difficult to baptize. It is also a little hotter down here than in Masaya (the people say you sweat more in Rivas because of the lake and the ocean).

There are four missionaries in our house. Elder Jensen, who started his mission with me, is the other District Leader here in Rivas, and he and his companion, Elder Foster, live with us. The house is pretty sweet as it is a brand new house. So there will be four gringos in the house for Christmas!! There is also a basketball court close to our house and they have a basketball here, so we went and played some B-ball this morning for P-Day. Wow, I lost all of my endurance, but it sure was fun!

Essentially my new area here in Rivas was just barely re-opened by Elder Smith and his first companion, so it will be a bit of a challenge to get things going here. Rivas itself is huge and my district consists of four areas: my area, and then the other three areas all have Hermana companionships in each of them. When I got here last week, they only had 5 investigators, and then when I went to meet them with Elder Smith, they all dropped us except for 1 of them... and he is a super cool guy. His wife was baptized a while back and he has been investigating the church for about 5 months now and he wants to be baptized on the 25th of December!! So that will be kind of a cool thing for Christmas.

My first weekend here in Rivas was Stake Conference. We had to travel to the Stake Center on an 80-minute bus ride, so on Saturday we left at 1:00 so that we could attend the Priesthood Session and then we stayed there for the Adult Session in the evening and we didn't leave to return to our apartment until 9:00 that night. As a result, we weren't really able to do much work in our area, and it seemed impossible that we would really be able to bring anyone to church with us on Sunday morning for the General Session of Stake Conference. But miraculously, we had 5 investigators from our area show up on their own! They were mostly old investigators who decided on their own to come, so we are going to start teaching them again. Also, this next week we will be pretty much just looking for new people to teach. We will also be looking for someone that will let us Skype home on Christmas.
This is a pretty cool sign that was on some random business here.

Monday, December 7, 2015

La Purísima

Our last District Meeting together before cambios next week.
Well, this past week was kind of a bummer. We had to postpone another baptismal service. The investigator said she wanted some more time. She doesn't feel she is quite ready yet, and she wants her son to be baptized with her. However, her son has very little interest because he attends a Catholic school on a scholarship. Well, we have another baptism scheduled for next Saturday of the mother of the girl that was baptized last week.

This is another typical dish that we eat called "Tijadas with Gallo Pinto."
It is pretty good and tastes a lot like potato chips, but without
any salt or grease. 
This past week, we also had the AP's (Assistants to the President) come down and help out our zone. I got to work all day on Friday with Elder Kleiner and it was pretty fun. He got to see firsthand how difficult it is to contact new people right now because of all the Catholic celebrations. The fiestas have been crazy, and I think today might have been the actual day of La Purisima, which is the biggest Catholic holiday of the year. There have been all sorts of parades, singing to the Virgin Mary inside of houses (similar to caroling), and tons of firecrackers all day long. We were lucky that today was P-Day because it would have been very difficult to get much work done. Still, these parties last most of the month and continue on through at least Christmas Day.

This coming week we have cambios, and everyone is pretty sure my companion will be getting transferred because he has already been here quite a while. So next week I will probably have a new companion. Also, one of the Zone Leaders is finishing his mission and going home, so there will be a few changes in our district and zone. Last Friday was our last Zone Meeting and there are 3 missionaries finishing their missions and going home, so we had a cake and took some pictures. Sorry, but that's all I have time for this week. Love you guys!
The Masaya Zone

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Lunch and Viernes Negro

My Thanksgiving lunch -- it was actually pretty tasty
even though it was not traditional.
Thanksgiving was good here, but not really anything traditional as they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in Nicaragua. However, it was kind of weird because some of the bigger stores in Managua had 'Viernes Negro' sales -- Black Friday -- ha, ha. This year, though, we ended up getting a Thanksgiving lunch instead of a dinner, and we only had one hour to eat and relax with the Zone, and then we had to get back to work by 1:00. At least it was a free lunch, and it tasted a lot better this year than last year because our Zone went to a restaurant (it is actually the same restaurant we go too almost every P-Day, but it is a pretty good restaurant for Nicaragua).

M. and her mother at M.'s baptism.
This past week, we ended up only having one of our baptisms. M. is a 14-year-old girl and is the newest Young Woman in the ward. Her mother was supposed to also be baptized, but during the week she had some problems come up that we will need to work with her on, so she will be baptized in a few more weeks. We had another lady that was supposed to be baptized, but she had to unexpectedly go to Managua without telling us, so her baptism is rescheduled for this coming Saturday. We have a few more people scheduled for baptism in December, so hopefully we will have a good month.

I am super excited for another family that we have been teaching and they came to church for the first time yesterday. They are really cool and positive right now, which is good because it has been really difficult for me and my companion to be able to contact many new people right now. It seems like we have contacted a lot of the area already, and then right now there are Catholic festivals nearly every day that make it hard to work. I won't lie, it's rather frustrating, but we are working hard and the Lord is blessing us a ton here!

Today for P-Day, we went to the market to look around and I bought two new pairs of shoes for about 12 US-dollars each. They are even American brands, so I should be good on shoes for the rest of my mission now.

I am about out of time, but I just wanted to say that I am super grateful for my Mom. I am the man I am today thanks to her. She taught me so much, and made sure I was always being good ;) Sure love you, Mom!
Our Masaya Zone ordering Thanksgiving lunch.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Interviews, Flu, and Balleadas

Eating "balleadas" at the Zone Leader's
apartment today.
"Balleadas" are a Honduran food that
consists of tortillas, refried beans, eggs, and cream.
So this past week we had interviews with President Russell and it was probably the shortest interview I've had yet as it only lasted about 15 minutes or so. He was happy with the work we were doing and had no issues. I also got to see Elder Kleiner again and everyone got a chuckle as they watched run and give a bro-hug to each other.

I can't remember what I weighed before my mission, but for my health check-up at interviews, I weighed in at 173 pounds. I have pretty much lost all muscle (but I can still dunk a basketball!). Then the next day, me and my companion both got sick! I woke up with a serious stomach ache that turned into a huge pain in my back and neck. I took some medicine and got a little better, but my companion started vomiting. We tried to get some work done but had to take it really slow. 

Today we woke up feeling better and played some soccer for P-Day, so it was probably just a little flu bug or something. After soccer, we went to the Zone Leader's apartment and made "balleadas," which is a Honduran food that consists of a tortilla with refried beans, eggs, and cream. They are really good and pretty easy to make. Three of the four missionaries in the Zone Leader's apartment are from Honduras.
This is a really cool family that I actually met last year when I was in Masaya.
They invite us over for dinner all the time. Their 9-year-old daughter is working on getting baptized,
but she is waiting for her father to get ready and be the one to baptize her.
Yesterday we had 9 investigators at church from 2 families that we have been working with! Sadly, the lady that got baptized last week but didn't come to church to get confirmed, well, we went to her house Sunday morning and she wasn't there. We were calling her on the phone all morning and she wouldn't answer her phone. Finally, she did answer her phone and told us she would meet us at church, but she never showed up. So, unfortunately, we will have to try and help her re-commit and she will have to get baptized again, if she will come to church. We found two more families this week, but neither of them could make it to church yesterday, but hopefully we will have 5 people enter the waters of baptism next Saturday! The Hermanas had 2 baptisms this past Saturday -- they're on fire. Needless to say, we figured we better put a lot more emphasis on helping people understand the importance of going to church each week!
This is a popular chicken dish here that we have quite often
from some of the families in the ward and tastes pretty good.

I have been so worried about working in our area that I forgot Thanksgiving was coming up next week. For the Thanksgiving holiday, the mission lets us have dinner as a Zone, but we are never sure what we will eat. Usually just the same old rice and beans and chicken. I really don't think turkeys exist here in Nicaragua, but at least we get something -- so we can be thankful for that!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I made some new friends down in the plaza.
Hiking up to the petroglyphs.
I'm sorry I am writing really fast today because I am almost out of time. Yes, we did hear about the terrorist attacks in Paris from some of the members in the ward who were telling us about it... pretty sketchy stuff there.

Off in the distance, you can see a waterfall.
Well, we did have our one baptism this past Saturday, but unfortunately, on Sunday, she was nowhere to be found and did not make it to church for her confirmation. We actually had soooo many people to bring to church, we weren't able to run around Monimbo looking for her, so we will be working extra hard this week to make sure she comes to church so she can be confirmed.

Pretty views all the way around.
However, like I mentioned, we had a lot of investigators come to church, including the mother and her son who are scheduled to be baptized on the 28th!! The best part of the week is that we found four new families to teach -- two who already have baptismal dates that are super cool, and then two more with some serious potential. As we continue to work with them, these four new families will all be baptized in December, so it would be kind of nice if I can stay here to see them get baptized. The Zone Leaders and Hermanas also had baptisms this past week, so our whole district is doing pretty well right now.

Today for P-Day, we hiked up to some petroglyphs that are located in my area. By the end of the hike, we were sweating like crazy because it was so hot, which made it a little miserable. It was pretty cool because one of the security guards actually took us up there and showed them to us.

This next week, we have interviews with President Russell, but I am looking forward to them because we have been doing fairly well and we are working hard! Otherwise, not much else this week -- just teaching our investigators and looking for more people to teach. It's kind of crazy how fast we can go through investigators because one day they are all positive, and then on the return visit, they are hiding from us. One of our mission goals is that we should be finding three new people every day to teach and progress toward baptism, but if they don't stay positive, then we have to shuffle through them pretty fast. So that is about it for this week. I am healthy and happy and working hard!

Having a little fun on our hike today.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Interviews, Old Investigators, and Dancers

This is one of my buddies here who always goes on divisions with us.
Well, this past week was rather normal. There were a few days that I was out of my area doing interviews for the other missionaries in my district, and all afternoon on Sunday I was out of our area. As a result, we struggled hardcore on Sunday to bring our people to church. A lot of our investigators were hiding from us on Sunday morning before church, or they didn't make it. For example, we have been teaching a mother and her son for the past month, but they have only made it to church once, and they even showed up on their own that day. So yesterday, we stopped by before church and they were actually getting ready to go. But ten minutes after church started, they still had't arrived, so we called them and they said they were "on their way." In the end, they never showed up, so that was one example of how frustrating our day was yesterday.

On Sunday, they had a bunch of traditional dancers
going around everywhere and stopping on
street corners to dance to music.
Well, the Hermana in my district ended up not getting sent home for her knee problem, so there were three hermanas working in the area together this past week, just like before cambios, but two of the hermanas had been in the CCM with me: Hermana Haws and Hermana Powell, which was pretty cool to serve with both of them again.  However, today Hermana Haws had an emergency transfer because she was apparently only here temporarily until a call was issued to a member from the stake who will serve a mini-mission for about a month. It will be really interesting to see how that works out because not all of the people serving mini-missions are always as motivated as a full-time missionary.

A pretty awesome thing this past week was I got a call from some of the people I had baptized while I was in Ciudad Sandino (they were the ones that got married and baptized on Valentine's Day). They wanted to let me know that they were going to the temple again and they both got callings to serve in the ward. They also said that there are 6 missionaries now in the Trinidad Ward, and they like to go out on splits and work with them. So that was a really cool phone call.

The dancing was pretty cool, but they move reeeeeally slow!
I also got a call from Elder Rushton in Bluefields who wanted to let me know that they had baptized a guy named B. who I was teaching for my last few weeks in Bluefields. Another crazy thing is that I did a baptismal interview for a guy here in Masaya who the Zone Leaders have been teaching, and it turned out that it was a guy I had contacted last year when I was first out on my mission. I remembered the house, and when I met him, he recognized and remembered me too! We weren't able to teach him much last year because he told us he was never home, but we left him a pamphlet, and he still has it to this day! Unfortunately, he didn't quite pass the interview as it turns out he still needs to get married, so that's a bummer, but he will get baptized once the Zone Leaders help him get things sorted out.

It is really weird to be walking around in my old area from last year and seeing all the houses that I had knocked on their doors and they were super negative to us. However, there are also some houses of people that the Zone Leaders will be baptizing that I never talked to them and I think to myself, "Dang, why didn't I talk to them?"

Anyways, this next week we have a baptism scheduled for a 19-year-old lady named A. (she is a lady because she has 2 kids). So I actually met her last year when I was on divisions with the District Leader here, but she never got baptized. Then when I first arrived in this area, I remembered her and we found her and have been teaching her since. She is finally ready to be baptized and we are doing everything we can to help her make it this week.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Searching the Streets of Masaya

"Fritos" is a slang word we use for "lazy missionary," so we found this sign rather funny and had to pose.
This week was great! First off, we had cambios, but my companion, Elder Nolasco, and I are both staying put in our area. So with at least 6 more weeks here in Masaya, we decided to hit the turf hard again to start finding a ton more people to teach! We had some success, and we found another family who had talked with some missionaries previously, but they have never made it to church yet. Unfortunately, they weren't able to attend church with us yesterday, but we will try really hard to get them there next Sunday. We actually contact a lot of people every day, and most of them are positive, at least until our return visit, so we will just have to keep plugging away.

Some people have started putting this sticker above their doors
to discourage us from knocking on them -- ha ha.
With cambios this week, they did split our zone so now it is tiny, with only 14 missionaries and just 2 districts. One of our Zone Leaders, and one of my buddies, Elder Kleiner, was called to be one of the new Assistants to the President, so that was pretty cool. We also got two new Zone Leaders. One of the new Zone Leaders is a Tongan missionary who was one of the District Leaders in Masaya when I was here last year while I was training as a new missionary, and the other new Zone Leader was one of the other District Leaders in Sandino Zone when I was in Trinidad. Also, two of the three Hermanas in my district were on their last cambios and went home. However, the third Hermana who only had one more cambios left, well it turns out she is having knee problems and will be leaving tomorrow to go home to get medical attention for her knee. So the two new Hermanas in my district don't know anyone, so me and my companion will be going over there to help teach them the area (their area is the other half of the ward that we serve in together). Pretty cool, though, is that one of the new Hermanas is Hermana Powell, who was in the CCM with me! So it turns out I already know most of the missionaries in our little zone.

Sounds like everyone had a good Halloween back home. We didn't do anything for Halloween here because I simply forgot and Nicaraguans don't really celebrate it here. They already had their Dia de los Muertos last week. So, unfortunately our Halloween was pretty sad and boring here. Anyways, that's about it for this week. Nothing too terribly interesting or exciting -- just working and helping out my district after cambios.
I had to get a picture of this creepy wall mural.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Needles Turning Into Diamonds

Feliz Dia de los Muertas!
This week was a pretty good week even though we didn't have a baptism, but we found an awesome new family. Last week, one of the APs (Assistants to the President) came to our zone to pump up all the investigators scheduled for baptism this week. Well, the AP came to our area and got our investigator, F., all excited and ready to be baptized on Saturday. Well, after we returned from our Multi-Mission Conference on Saturday afternoon, we basically ran the entire way to his house from where the bus dropped us off. We were sweating like crazy and breathing so hard, and then as it turns out, F. had gone to work and wasn't going to get home until about 10:00 PM. He also had to work on Sunday, so we haven't been able to even meet with him since the AP visited, but hopefully we can reconnect and schedule his baptism for next Saturday if he doesn't have to work.

So we found a new family that immediately showed interest in our message. They have been having problems with their only son, who is 16-years-old, and we shared with them how the Gospel blesses families and the importance of marriage (because the parents aren't married). We also talked about the Young Men's Program at church, which they thought would be much better for their son instead of hanging out on the street corners with some of his gangster friends. Although they weren't able to come to church with us yesterday, they are committed to come this Sunday and want to work towards being baptized as a family! So we have a few really positive people we are teaching. Finding good people to teach is tough here in Masaya -- like finding needles in haystacks here, but at least all the needles we have been finding are turning out to be diamonds in the rough because these people seem to have all been prepared for us by the Lord!!!

This makes me miss making a haunted house in our neighborhood every year with Micheal for Halloween.
So at least the Zone Leaders and Hermanas had baptisms this past week, so our district overall is doing really well and we were the top district in the Masaya Zone for this month. President Russell congratulated us at the Multi-Mission Conference, which was pretty cool.

Speaking of the Multi-Mission Conference, it was really good except we had to wake up at 3:30 AM to catch the bus to Managua... and the night before we didn't get to bed until almost 11:00 PM, so it was a super long and hard day! Especially with our baptism falling through when we returned. Still, at the Conference we learned some cool stuff from one of the Church Historians. He talked to us about the history of some of the missions here in Central America, and the growth of the Church here. He also talked to us a lot about what we need to do to help the people here in Nicaragua be blessed with a temple. I was kind of bummed that the Elders from Bluefields didn't come, so I wasn't able to see them, but I saw a lot of other old friends.

So this next week is cambios, and they announced that our Masaya Zone is going to be split in half. We don't know who will be transferred yet. If I get to stay here in Masaya, that would be fine because we have some really cool families we are teaching right now, but if I get transferred, that would be OK also because this area is really tough and I have been in Masaya several months already (counting when I first came to Nicaragua). For P-Day today, we went with a lot of the missionaries in our zone and district and got pizza today and just hung out since we will be having changes this week. I hope everyone has a great Halloween!
Most of our Masaya Zone enjoying some P-Day Pizzas and Coke!

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Simple Wedding and Baptism Saved by the Holy Ghost

First was the wedding....
Well, everything this week turned out pretty good! The best news is that we had the wedding and the baptisms last Saturday!!! The family was sooo happy, but it wasn't all smooth sailing. In fact, we actually had a scare on Friday when went to visit them and found they had been fighting. So we reminded them about the importance of families and the temple and they talked about their daughter that had passed away a few years ago. Then they felt the Holy Ghost touch their hearts, and they got humble and made up with each other. Once the Holy Ghost was there, then they were back on track and super excited again!!!!

The rest of the week was actually fairly normal with most of our time spent looking for people to teach. We have been struggling to find more people to teach, but the investigators we do have are doing pretty well. So the past few weeks, we have been working with this guy named F. We first contacted him about 3 weeks ago, and initially, he was not very positive at all. He told us that he visited the LDS Church when he was younger, but he claimed that the LDS leaders wanted to send him off to Honduras...not sure what he means by that. He also explained that he's very Catholic and wants to die Catholic. However, we were able to convince him to come to General Conference with us, and then he completely changed and was super excited about apostles and prophets. Since that time, he has been reading in the Book of Mormon, and he even passed a baptismal interview, but then yesterday morning, for some reason he didn't want to come to church and he said he doesn't want to get baptized anymore. So we have a visit scheduled with him on Wednesday, so hopefully we can help him with his concerns and help him re-commit to getting baptized.

Then they were able to be baptized. What an awesome family!
In fact, yesterday, almost nobody would come to church with us, so we are working extra hard this next week to bring more people. Still, the new family we baptized last Saturday have been awesome, coming to church, and they love making us shakes (and we love eating them). This next Saturday, we have another Multi-Mission Conference and a Church Historian is coming, We are not sure what he's gonna talk about, but I hope it's something cool. Plus, here in Nicaragua, they will be celebrating Halloween this coming Friday, so it's going to be a crazy day and the streets get really full with people dressed up in costumes just walking around (there's no candy here, sadly).

Cambios are not this week, but next, and we all think my companion is gonna have changes and I will get a new companion. Otherwise, our district has been the top district in the zone, and the Masaya Zone is one of the hardest in the whole mission!!!! So me and my companion are doing well and all healthy now. In fact, lots of people have been giving us food lately.With 1 year under my belt, I feel like I know a lot more what I am doing and I don't miss home nearly as much as when I first came out. According to some of the other missionaries, they say the time starts going by crazy fast during your second year out, so I'm trying to work hard and make the most of it. Anyways, that's about it for this week. Thanks to everyone back home for all the emails and updates! Have a great week!