Monday, February 9, 2015

Multi-Zone Conference, Fist Bumps, and Dr. Pepper

La Plaza Hugo Chavez in Managua
A patch of green in Managua.
So this past week we had a Multi-Zone Conference that was super cool. Elder Duncan, the Area President of Central America, came and spoke to us. He was really focusing on making sure we are having baptisms and retaining the converts afterwards. That's a huge problem here in Nicaragua -- a lot of converts never go back to church, sometimes even after the Sunday they get confirmed a member of the church. Three zones were at the conference: Managua, Masaya, and Jinotepe. I was so glad Masaya Zone was there because I know just about everyone there, plus a bunch of my friends from the CCM were there also! Nobody has heard anything about our CCM friend, Elder Bronson. He had to go home about a month ago because he was pretty sick, and nobody has heard when, or if, he will be coming back to Nicaragua to finish his mission.

Also this past week, I got a package from my parents that had a copy of our family Christmas slideshow. Oh my gosh -- it was so awesome! That really brought the Christmas spirit, ha ha. I was also really glad they sent me some chocolate. I immediately put it in the freezer to stop melting. I haven't eaten all of it yet, but it tastes so good!

So something kind of funny this week -- I found out this week that I am now officially a Nicaraguan! Today me and my companion went to the Immigration Offices in Managua to get my Cedula, or ID. While we were there in Managua, we were able to go shopping at the Plaza Inter (Mall) they have there. It's all right, but everything there is super expensive! However, we were able to eat lunch at McDonald's and I bought some Dr. Pepper!! Woo hoo!!

I finally found a store here that sells Dr. Pepper, so I stocked up!!
As for our investigators and the work in our area, this Saturday we are hoping to have a marriage of the parents followed by the baptisms for that super positive family we have been working with (the ones with the Mango tree photos last week). It's a lot to plan on for this Saturday, but if all goes well and they pass their baptismal interviews, we will get to see four of them get baptized (the parents and their two daughters)!! The whole family was able to come to church with us this last Sunday, and it was a super awesome experience! So a quick story about this family -- I don't think I had mentioned before, but their family also includes 2 special-needs boys who are aged 18- and 12-years-old. They both have Down Syndrome-like conditions, and they have a really hard time leaving the house. That was part of the challenge of having the whole family go to church together because the boys can't be left alone at home. Well, yesterday was the first time their older son, A., (18-year-old) had left the house in 5 years and he came to church with the rest of the family!! It was such an incredible experience -- everyone in the church was greeting the family and greeting A. -- he went around and gave a fist bump to every person that passed by him, and it was super funny. So this family is really awesome, and if all goes well, we will have a wedding and the 4 baptisms with this family on Saturday!!!

Well, I am running out of time. I have been battling a cold this week. I don't know how or why I caught one because it is actually getting hotter here in Nicaragua, and Ciudad Sandino is known as one of the hottest spots in Managua. Still, I've had a runny nose and sore throat, and it hasn't gotten better yet, ha ha, it's pretty weird. I was super jealous to see the photos of my siblings and Dad at the BYU Men's Volleyball game -- I definitely want to go to some of those games when I get home -- heck, I might even want to try out to be on the team! How cool would that be? I don't think the people in Nicaragua even know what volleyball is and I've never seen any of them playing it. 
Elder Rodas and I in Managua today.

Other then this stupid cold, I'm doing really good right now. I get along OK with Elder Rodas. He is pretty funny, cool, and he makes friends with everyone, but I do have to push him quite a bit. Also, my Spanish is doing really good and people don't believe I have only been on my mission for 5 months now, so I am really happy about that. The Spanish does seem pretty easy now, and I have no problems being out here without being able to use English now. Anyways, I am really enjoying my mission right now and we are having a lot of fun. This week is going to be crazy working with our family for the wedding and baptism, and trying to find new people to teach and bring to church.

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