Monday, June 29, 2015

Beinvenidos a Bluefields!

Bienvenidos a Bluefields!
Well, this past week we had cambios, and you will not believe where I got sent.... Bluefields!

In fact, Elder Hansen (we were in the CCM together) basically just switched me areas. He is now the District Leader in Sandino and I am the District Leader here in Bluefields. My new companion is Elder Passey, from Washington State, and this is his second transfer after he finished training.

Goodbye lunch city with Elder Salmeron, Elder Hinojosa
So, let's just say it was a crazy week thanks to the long, eventful trip it takes to get out here! On Tuesday, Elder Hinojosa and I both got the telephone call telling us we would be transferring. On Wednesday, we went to the cambios meeting with all of our stuff packed, but they changed the meeting now so that the President doesn't actually tell us what area we will be going to -- he only tells us our new Zone. So we get on the bus with our new Zone Leaders, and as the bus travels and stops along the way, the Zone Leaders announce who needs to get off because they are in their new area. The bus ride from Managua to Juigalpa is about 3 hours, and there were only 2 District Leader spots available for me, but I kind of had an idea anyway.... So after the 3-hour bus ride, they tell me that I am the new District Leader in Bluefields!

Goodbye to some of my best friends, Stephanie and Liam (he is
my Nicaraguan twin if you couldn't tell)
We spent the rest of the day in Juigalpa working with the Zone Leaders (me and another missionary who was also transferring to Bluefields to be in the other companionship). Then, at 3:00 AM, we got on another bus and rose for 6 hours to a city called Rama. Once we were in Rama, we got onto a little boat, called a 'panga.' We rode on the panga for 2-and-a-half hours from Rama to Bluefields, and then once we arrived at the docks, our new comps were there to pick us up.

A view of the jungle during the 6-hour bus ride from Juigalpa to Rama.
So now I am in the Bluefields Ramma (Branch). It was very difficult to say goodbye to Sandino, and I already miss all of the people there. But, I know I need to adjust. This new area in Bluefields isn't doing very well right now. We had to drop basically all of the investigators and families that were being taught before I arrived because they just weren't progressing. We have been searching support hard to find new people to teach, but it has been pretty hard right now, and we weren't able to bring many investigators to church yesterday, but hopefully we can find some new people to teach.

More jungle during our bus ride to Rama.
So Bluefields is pretty cool. It's a completely different world from the rest of Nicaragua. There are a lot of black people here, and almost everyone can speak English, although it is more of an English Creole. Sometimes I feel like I am more in Jamaica than in Nicaragua, but there are still also plenty of Latinos as well. We still teach most of the time in Spanish, like around 80% of the time, which is good. It's extremely humid here -- I have never sweat so much in my life! It isn't as hot as Sandino, but I still sweat a ton more!

So, the work continues.... Our daily number goals have been raised, and there's a lot of pressure on our shoulders, but I am still trying to enjoy the mission despite that, ha ha. Hope everyone is doing well back home and has a great Independence Day next week!

Our panga (little speedboat).
Read more about Bluefields here: Bluefields, Nicaragua

View from the dock in Rama looking down the Rio Escondido.

Selfie from our panga, and yes, we did put on life jackets before we launched down the river.

My new comp, Elder Passey, is from Chenney, Washington
and has been on his mission for almost 6 months.

El Distrito La Costa! Elders Hernandez, Page, Passey, and myself.

I can smell the ocean!! The view from our apartment.

This place kind of reminds me of a mixture of the video game
"Assassins Creed: Black Flag" and the fishing village from the Hobbit movies.

View from the dock in Bluefields.

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