Monday, June 6, 2016

Welcome to the Swamp

Bienvenidos a Granada -- so my new area is in Granada Zone on the outskirts of Granada City.
One of my good friends in Rivas who I
will miss a lot.
Well, some good news as I got transferred to a new area this past week. I am re-opening an area in Granada with a new companion named Elder Jimenez who is from El Salvador. I guess a few months ago, some missionaries got in some big trouble in this area and they shut it down and pulled the missionaries out. Elder Jimenez knows this area pretty well because he was trained here 20 months ago, and then he served in other parts of the Granada Zone for an additional 5 months, so he already knows the whole Granada Zone and a lot of the members here. And yes, if you do the math, I am "killing" Elder Jimenez as he goes home next cambios on July 14th, and then I will be going home the one after that on August 25th. Even though he will be going home soon, my new companion is still pretty awesome and we are making sure we stay focused on the work. In fact, we already found a ton of new people that we have started teaching, and some of them are already planning to get baptized the end of this month.

Some pics of my new area on the outskirts of Granada
Granada is the poorest area in our whole mission, and as a result, the people here are very receptive to the Gospel and this zone usually has the most baptisms each month. It kind of reminds me of parts of Ciudad Sandino, but definitely very poor people here that live in the middle of nowhere. There are only dirt roads in most of our area and when it rains, this place turns into a swamp. In fact, my area is on the outskirts of the city of Granada in a town that when it is translated into English means "the Swamp," and it has lived up to its name this week. Since I arrived last week, it has rained every day, so it has been a lot of fun. They also say that Granada is the hottest part of the mission, but I still feel like Rivas was hotter than here, but we'll see when it stops raining.
More pics of my new area.

I am still a district leader, but the Zone Leaders are in my district and in my ward at church, and they are both buddies of mine, so it should be a blast. Also, church doesn't start for our ward here until 2:00 in the afternoon on Sundays, so they say that makes it easier to bring people to church each week.

Granada is also the most dangerous area and missionaries get robbed here all the time, so we'll be careful, but it has also been a long time since they had a white missionary in this area. Even still, Granada will be awesome to end the mission because in the middle of the city itself, there are a ton of restaurants and some tourist attractions.
Our poor shoes... it definitely is a swamp when it rains.

On a bad note, on my last P-Day in Rivas a week ago, I lost my little passport zip bag while I was riding the bus, which had my Utah ID, my temple recommend, and all my money that I withdrew that day. Luckily, my Nicaragua ID was in another place and was fine, but I had to withdraw some more money for cambios.

The Cathedral of Granada off in the distance.
We did take a few pics today as we visited the city for P-Day, as well as some pics as I was leaving Rivas, but I won't be carrying my camera around as much in this new area in case we  get robbed. Anyways, I am about out of time for today. Thanks everyone back home for your prayers, letters, and support. I miss everyone, but I still got 3 more months to tear up the area here in Granada!

This is Xalteva Church on the
western side of the city.

View of Granada from the Xalteva Church tower.

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