Monday, May 30, 2016

Nothing New in Rivas

Well, I don't have my camera today, so sorry there are no pictures. Not a whole lot to report on this week.

We do have cambios this Wednesday, but we won't find out until tomorrow if I am transferring. There have been some legit rumors saying that I will be staying here in Rivas, but we will see. I really hope not because I have been here 6 months now and I am more than ready for a change.

So our baptism for last Saturday was postponed. The AP's were even down helping in our zone this past week and they stopped by and visited with the little girl and her parents, but in the end, they still decided to wait on her baptism. On a positive note, the little girl and her parents did all come to church again yesterday.

One of the companionships of Hermanas had 2 baptisms last Saturday, and we were helping them out with that. Me and my companion found a few new people to teach, but nobody super positive at this point, and none of the new investigators made it to church yesterday.

Today for P-Day we had a zone activity in Jinotepe and we played soccer with water balloons, which was a lot of fun. But otherwise, not much else going on this week. We will see what happens with cambios on Wednesday.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Travels to Jinotepe

P-Day activity today....
Well, this week was an exhausting one. We had to make three trips to Jinotepe, the main area of the Zone, which is about 80 minutes each way. Our first trip was last Monday for the district leaders to meet with the Zone Leaders and discuss things we're doing to meet our baptism goal as a zone. Then we went again on Tuesday for our interviews with President Russell. Then we travelled there a third time on Friday for Zone Conference with the whole Zone. The topic of our conference centered on doing all we can to reach our baptism goal as a zone. Of course, for my whole mission, most of the zone conferences have focused on finding and baptizing more, but this zone, Zona Jinotepe, never has had a lot of success like in my other areas.
Me and Elder Cuyan

My interview with President Russell actually went really well. I was pretty nervous going in, but he didn't talk to me about baptisms. He talked to me about developing more leadership skills and helping the Hermanas in my district more, and at the end he talked to me a little bit about school in the Fall. But it was a little bit sad knowing it was my last interview I will have with him. When I have my very last interview of my mission, it will be with a new mission president that doesn't know me at all, so it turned out to be a nice interview and a little bit sad. I will miss President and Hermana Russell.

So during this past week I worked a lot with the Hermanas because they have quite a few possible baptisms for next Saturday, so I was going and helping them work with their investigators to keep their commitments. As May comes to a close this week, we have a few positive investigators we have been bringing to church, but we haven't really found anyone new to teach this week. We are also planning to have a baptism of our own this Saturday of a 10-year-old girl who's mother is a member, but she hadn't come to church since she was baptized about 17 years ago. We are also teaching the mother's future husband, but he has a lot of issues to work on before they can get married and eventually baptized as well. However, their daughter is still planning to be baptized this next week, so prayers would be appreciated that everything works out for her.

So my eyes are doing better. I have been taking all of the drops, so the redness and itchiness has gone away. Honestly I think when I get transferred from Rivas, my eyes won't be bothering me as much anymore. This last week it hasn't rained a drop here and it has been blazing hot and sunny and miserable to be outside. It is also pretty miserable inside as well even with a fan. In fact, all of our investigators and contacts turn their fans on us when we enter in their homes. Still, pretty hot and miserable.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, this past week we watched some of the members shoot a pigeon with a slingshot and then they immediately cooked it and gave some to us. So I also tried some pigeon for the first time in my life. Seriously, though, it tasted just like chicken.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lame Week in Rivas

Well, this week was kind of a bummer. Our baptisms scheduled for Saturday fell through as the grandmother felt she wasn't prepared enough yet. Even when the Zone Leaders came for the interview and talked with her, she just didn't feel ready for now, so we will have to keep working with her and her grandson to help them feel ready.

Iguana for dinner! Tasted pretty good.
We also spent about two-and-a-half days outside of our area this past week so that we could work with the Hermanas, and then another day with the Zone Leaders in the Hermanas' area again. We also spent one day going to the hospital for my eyes again. By Friday, my eyes were really bad again, so we went to the hospital and they gave me 3 more types of eye drops. I have to put in like 8 drops per day between all the medicines. At least my eyes are feeling better now.

Elder Cuyan enjoying his iguana dinner.
Tomorrow we have our interviews with President Russell. This is his last full month as our mission president, and the new mission president will be arriving soon. However, in preparation for our interviews tomorrow, all the District Leaders were called in to a meeting this morning and it took most of our P-Day today. We had to review our numbers and how many baptisms are scheduled, and then to prepare for how upset they will be for not having more baptisms scheduled.

On the other hand, my companion is awesome. He is not one to take the lead, but we get along really well. He and our roommates are teaching me a lot of Guatemalan sayings. As for any Guatemalan food, they all basically just complain about the rice and beans here, but none of them has money to buy the food to make any Guatemalan dishes. Still, they are a lot of fun.

Well, sorry for the lame email this week, but that is about all that is going on for now. Hope everyone has a great week back home.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Iguana: The Other, Other White Meat

Wow, it was sure great talking to my family yesterday. I might need a map just to find my way around the house as my folks have been busy remodeling. I also can't believe how much my little brother and sister have changed. I can hardly recognize them! However, I am pretty sure I am still taller than my brother, and now I might even be taller than my dad.

So last week I printed off my re-acceptance letter to BYU and was showing it to some of the other missionaries and members. Even though I don't have my exact release date yet for when I am coming home, my mission president did say I would be home in time to start school at BYU on August 29th, so he told my family to go ahead and start making preparations for school in the Fall. It should be exciting even though I plan to go home as many weekends as I can to chill with my family.

Well, this past week, our investigator who had committed to getting baptized last Saturday changed her mind at the last minute. I guess her extended family convinced her that she will be a Catholic until the day she dies. Her son is a member of the ward and he said that she has done this before, so unfortunately we didn't have a baptism last week.

However, we have 2 investigators scheduled to be baptized next Saturday. They are a grandma and her grandson. We found them a few weeks ago, and they have been coming to church and finally feel ready to be baptized, so prayers for them would be great. Overall, I think the area is going a little better, but we are still searching for more new investigators.

Also this past week, Elder Martinez (the other District Leader who is in our apartment) had to travel to Granada for a leadership training. Glad to say that I got to experience Granada before I go home because everyone says it is the hottest city in our mission, but I didn't even break a sweat when I was there. Doesn't seem to really be much different than Rivas, but it has a lot more tourists and attractions there, and the LDS chapel in Granada is much bigger and nicer than the little chapel in Rivas. So it was a bit of an adventure.

Last Saturday we did help the other Elders in our apartment with a baptismal service, and after the meeting was over, we went out on the grounds of the church and caught an iguana. The cool thing is that our pensionista said she would cook it for us to eat as they are supposed to be quite tasty. Then today, we played soccer at the church for P-Day, and when we were finished, we caught 2 more iguanas. So now we will have 3 iguanas to eat tomorrow night. I'm pretty excited to try it.

Well, I had to reassure my family that I am not getting trunk yet. All is well here in Nicaragua. My eye infection is getting better, and I'm going to work hard these last 3 and a half months to bring a few more souls to Christ. Well, have a great week everyone!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Rainstorms in Rivas, Murals in Managua

Another cool mural we found today in Managua.
Some Nicaraguan cuisine.
Well, this past week Elder Cuyan and I have been working a lot with our investigators and we were able to bring them all to church yesterday. Unfortunately, we were not able to find any new, positive investigators this week, but we are working hard with the ones we have. Hopefully, we will have a few baptisms in the next two weeks or so.

One of our investigators is the mother of our Ward Executive Secretary. She has been Catholic her whole life, but decided she wanted to get baptized. However, some of her other family members are fighting against it and telling her not to do it, so we are hoping for a small miracle that she will be strong.

Luckily my parents sent me a new pair of shoes this past week,
so I can put these ones out of their misery.
Today for P-Day, we had to go to Managua again to straighten out some problems with the baptismal records and I got to see Elder Perry, but honestly not the funnest P-day. That makes two weeks in a row with 3-hour bus rides both ways. The Hermanas in my district are also struggling a little bit to find some new investigators and they don't have many baptisms scheduled yet for this month. However, I am optimistic that we will get some soon.

Sometimes you have to make the lessons a little
more fun for the niƱos.
The best part of this past week is that it finally started raining! It has rained almost every evening and also some mornings. Kind of funny but the rain makes us sweat (due to the increased humidity) and we look like we got soaked in the rain even though it is just sweat. However, the rainstorms make the nights a little cooler, and now the plants will start turning green again instead of dry and yellow. So now it is "winter" time here in Nicaragua, but it doesn't get cold, just rainy.

Well, I have a bunch of emails to respond to, so I hope you all have a great week. I can't wait to Skype with my family this Sunday for Mother's Day!

A cool mural we stumbled across today in Managua.