Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Miracle in Granada

My district here in Granada consists of me and my companion, as well as the two Zone Leaders and both of their companions, plus one pair of hermanas and another pair of Elders (so 10 missionaries total counting myself). Every day we eat lunch with one of the Zone Leaders named Elder Nave and his companion, Elder Marler, who is from Idaho and just started his mission. However, Elder Nave and I were in the MTC at the same time (he was in a different district), so we will be going home at the same time. Plus, Elder Nave is from West Jordan and went to West Jordan High School, but he lives closer to Redwood Road.

So the Hermanas and the other, non-Zone Leader Elders all serve in the Sabaneta Branch, which meets every Sunday morning at 9:00 in the chapel, and then me and the Zone Leaders all serve in the Granada Branch and we meet in the same chapel at 2:00 on Sundays.

Anyway, the reason I bring all this up about our district is because we are on fire right now -- this past week our district had 9 baptisms! I don't know if you remember me mentioning, but my companion (who goes home in 2 weeks) started his mission here in Granada. Well, this past Saturday, me and my companion baptized a boy named J. who is the son of a convert who was baptized by my companion when he was here almost 2 years ago. There were also several young men baptized at the same time. I had to call President Russell yesterday and talk to him about some of the baptism interviews for next week, and he told me how happy he is with the Granada Zone right now because of how well we are doing.

There was a scary moment with J.'s confirmation yesterday, though, because he got called into work Sunday morning and his mom showed up to church alone. He works on the boats down at the beach, giving tours on pangas kind of like the ones I would ride in to Bluefields. So we had to run down to the beach to ask him to come to church so he could get confirmed. We tried everything to help make it possible for him to come, but he told us he couldn't. So Elder Nave and I left the beach super stressed out, and then on our way back to the church, his companion called him and told him that 2 of their young men who got baptized had left for Masaya Sunday morning and weren't going to make it to church to get confirmed either.
We got caught in what felt like a hurricane! Elder Nave and I had
to walk almost 2 miles in the pouring rain with lighting all around us to
get back to where my companion and Elder Marler were waiting
for us. I don't if you can tell, but we were completely soaking wet.

So as we were sitting in church, it was about 2:40 and we were in the middle of Sacrament Meeting feeling kind of bummed out, but then I felt a strong impression that we needed to go back to the beach and talk to J. again. I was a little hesitant because we would have to take a taxi and they are expensive, but Elder Ellison (the other Zone Leader) and I went back to the beach. When we pulled up, we saw J. and ran towards him, but he shook his head and told us again that he couldn't come with us to church. I was sad and confused as we watched him wade back down in the water and he started getting another boat ready to depart. We were about to leave when he suddenly turned back around to us and starts walking back to the beach. With a smile on his face, and even though he is sopping wet, he walks up to us and says, "let's go to church." We were shocked, but before he could change his mind, we ran and got another taxi to take us back to the church. We rolled into the chapel a couple of minutes after 3:00 and my companion and Elder Nave were sharing their testimonies and stalling until we returned (kind of like the miracle in Rivas). So at 3:05, J. was confirmed just before the meeting concluded. We were so pumped at this little miracle!

So next week we are planning another baptism of B., who is a Young Woman from El Salvador but her father is from Arkansas. Anyway, she was an investigator we found on our second day here in Granada, and now she is getting ready to be baptized. However, she has lots of friends who are members, so we had some help on this one.

Well, sorry to say that this week I did not eat any chicken head and foot soup, and quite frankly, that is a dish that I hope to never eat again. However, one of my new favorite drinks is Fresco de Grama, or grass juice. The boil this special long grass and sweeten it with sugar, and it is only found here in Granada.

Granada is generally very poor and humble, especially in my area, so the food is very poor also, but I am loving it. I am very happy to be in this area to finish off my mission even though it is extremely hot when it is not raining, and then when it rains it becomes muddy and swampy. Right now it is rainy season and it floods like crazy. The streets become rivers full of mud and debris and it's a mess. Otherwise all is good and we're working hard -- my companion doesn't have a chance to get trunky! Well, lots of other emails to answer today. Have a great week everyone!

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