Monday, September 21, 2015

i'm alive and these keyboards are weird!

September 21, 2015

hello everyone!

  i made it here safely and i dont have a ton of time to write and this keyboard is weird so in the interest of time im not going to use very good punctuation so forgive me.

  So the plane landed at like 8 last monday and at the airport president and sister Russell and the APs met us.  We talked for a couple minutes then the APs took me and elder diaz to their house that they share with all the office missionaries and we got to bed at like 11 monday night.  Then on tuesday we went by taxi to the mission home and trained all day with president and sister russell and the APs about rules and expectations and contacting and such.  Im in a very good mission because a lot is expected of us.  We are expected to get 24 quality contacts every day per companionship, teach 7 lessons per day, 4 of them member present, and every week bring 6 people at church per companionship.  On tuesday for lunch we had authentic Nicaraguan food.  I looooovvvvveeee Gallopinto, and all the meats ive tried so far.  Gallopinto is the big staple here, rice and beans mixed together thats a reddish color.  Ive had queso frito a couple times and i dont love it but its ok.  its just fried squeaky cheeze but its got a weird flavor.  its not just like the cheddar cheeze at home.  and there were fried bananas and stuff.  tuesday night i went out with elders henriquez (probably spelled wrong) and Rodriguez and we placed 5 baptismal dates.  We call them fetchas.  What our mission does is when were introducing ourselves to someone we talk about who we are and ask them an inspired question then tell them how our message can help them and ask them that when they come to know our message is true and when god answers their prayers if theyd rather get baptized in four or five weeks (ie oct 10 or oct 17).  Its not a yes or no question, its a yes or yes question and it works pretty well.  oh before we went out on tuesday they gave us pizza that tasted pretty dang american surprisingly.
    then tuesday night we slept in the same place and wednesday morning we had change meeting and I got my trainer.  My trainer is Elder Hanson.  Hes from sandy and went to Brighton but Ive already forgiven him for that.  hes been here for just over a year and i love the guy.  hes super patient with me and my lack of spanish ability.  he gives me plenty of chances to stretch my spanish and grow but hes always there when I get stuck or cant understand someone.  He has a blog so if you go to that mission website with all of the blogs youll probably find it.  He doesnt hunt but he does flyfish, hes going to byu after his mission, hes the oldest out of like 6 or 7 kids.  so on wednesday we got our  comps and then they gave us burger king and sent us to our areas.  My area is Juigalpa, its like two hours by bus from Managua.  Its kind of out in the Boonies and there are a ton of hicks out here.  managua is actually a legitish city and has a burger king, mcdonalds, pizza hut and some three story buildings.  But juigalpa just has a bunch of street food and pulperias.  

The work here is good i think, as i dont have anything to compare it to.  We brought over 6 people to church placed a crap ton of fetchas and met our goals for the week.  This saturday Daril is going to be baptized.  Shes 14 and her family is less active.  hopefully she doesnt drink coffee.  pray for her.  Theres a chance that Daisy will be bapized, her husband was baptized a couple weeks ago but she hates her mother in law and that might keep her from being baptized this week but anyway pray for her too.  We contacted a lady a couple days ago named jesenia and shed been to church four times in the past because her sisters a convert.  she went to church yesterday with us and brought her son.  hopefully her appointment wont fall through tommorrow because shes looking pretty hopeful.  
   i know youre dying to know about the culture and heat and rain and such so ill try to explain what ive gathered so far.  to tell the weather you just look at yourself.  if youre hot and wet and your shoes are dusty and dirty its sunny.  if youre hot and wet and your shoes are muddy its raining.  if youre hot and wet and youre not wearing shoes you just took a shower.  if youre not wet youve been laying in bed for two hours with the fan blowing on you.  the sweat here is constant.  its so ridiculously hot and humid all the time i cant explain it.  it rains about every other day.  usually when it rains theres about ten or twenty minutes of downpour then its over.  So far every time ive worn my less sturdy shoes its rained so i must have done something to offend the rain gods.  We have a lunch cita (appt) every day.  The lady that cooks for us is named hma Fatima and i love her cooking.  For lunch we have a plate with rice, beans, some sort of meat that I always love, and a couple tortillas.  Its very mild food but I love it.  one plate doesnt sound like much but this food is super filling.  and yes, thats coming from me.  For breakfast Ive been eating a lot of the crap i brought from the mtc like chips and jerky and such that other elders that didnt have room in their bags gave me.  for dinner we go to a pulperia and buy something like chips or wafers or something.  lunch is definitely the big meal of the day.  During the day i drink a lot of coke because the coke here uses real sugar and its really good and the people here are addicted to soda so its pretty cheap and refreshing.  
    The people here are really nice, humble, and friendly.  They live like I imagine americans lived about two hundred years ago except everyone has a phone and a tv and a motorcycle.  The houses are usually like half the size of our back garage with concrete walls.  The floors are usually concrete or dirt but occasionally tile depending on how much money people have.  our house has four rooms.  a bedroom where the four of us sleep, me elders hanson, napauto, and vasquez.  Elder hanson and napauto are the zls for this zone.  the shower is cold but thats actually a good thing.  i wouldnt have it hot anyway.  and its not like biting cold because its so hot here that the water is never really cold.  the toilet is pretty normal and works fine, theres just one tap thing that acts as the sink.  we have to use a bowl to scoop water out of the big basin the tap fills and the water has a bunch of mosquito larvae in  it that float and wiggle around.  Needless to say i use the filter there.  i use the filter as much as possible but not when someone offers juice or something.  i havent felt sick yet but as of yesterday I started getting the runs a bit. everyone says thats inevitable so thats ok i guess and i dont feel sick at all.  on saturday we had to take two more passport photos to take to managua today for immigration stuff.  it ticks me off because i dont think they even did anything with the ones we already sent to salt lake.  it also kind of ruined pday today to take that long bus ride to managua and back because we only just got back and pday is almost over already.  elder vasquez and naupoto took mine and elder hansons clothes to the lady that does our laundry.  She actually has a washing machine apparently.  at least in managua we were able to eat at the pizza hut and we got a stuffed crust pep and it tasted like it would at home.
    So spanish... its coming. These people are super hard to understand because they talk really fast and drop all of their ss.  When i do understand i usually know what i can say to them but my pronunciation is awful.  simply awful.  Someone thought im from russia and someone else thought i was from china.  i had to bear my testimony at church yesterday and i was pretty nervous.  i dont think people understood me very well but oh well.  if you see the sister from new guinea tell her that i feel for her.  its tough when people dont understand you.  the people are nice and dont tell you when they dont understand you they j ust kind of wrikle their noses like we would do when we smell something gross.  i wish they would just tell me when they dont understand me.  i dont need their politeness, i need to be able to communicate effectively.  oh well, i know the spanish and pronunciation will come, i just need to be patient.  i hope this email pleases you, i tried to vomit as much info as possible.  sorry for all the typos and such.  since this is a spanish computer it has a red underline on all of my words so i cant just tell when i miss spell something.  oh well im pretty sure youll get over it.  

   Good looking antelope delaney, congrats!!  is it bigger than dads?  peyton, you looked pretty at the dance, good luck in moab.  i already knew about the college football games because word spreads fast around here.  good luck with the potatoe fundraiser.  mom i have no idea how mail works, sorry.

love elder smith

Elder Smith and Elder Hanson in Boaco for district meeting

Pizza Hut in Managua

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