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.

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