Monday, October 26, 2015

What a week

Oct. 26, 2015

Hello Family!
    You might have thought I had a crazy week or something based on the subject line of the email but I was saying that for the family at home!  Good job mountain biking Peyton!! It sounds like you had a really good season!  I hope you had fun at St. George too with Matt and Taryn!  But wow, dad in the Bishopric.... Crazy!!  I honestly can´t think of anyone else more suited for the calling!!  One thing I´ve learned here on my mission is that two of the most important characteristics of a good leader are humility and love, and dad is the most humble and loving man I know.  When I get home and dad´s on the stand and I´m in the congregation I wonder what he´ll do to tell me to add up the hymns... I´m sure he´ll think of something creative.  I also wonder how he´ll check my answer...  I guess Peyton can tell me how that works next week.  
   This week we had two baptisms.  I´ll talk about them later but I thought I´d let you know now so you didn´t have to wonder the whole email.  Last email I told you about a bunch of positive people we found and such, well basically they all fell.  Everyone started hiding from us and lying to us.  One lady promised like ten times she´d come to church then we went to her house and she said she couldn´t leave her house unattended but her brother was there and so we asked him when he would be leaving and he said not for a few hours and that he could watch the house while she went to church.  So we eliminated all her excuses and she still wouldn´t go and we reminded her that she promised god that she would go and that she´d be lying and sinning by not going and she didn´t care.  And she´s the one that actually was reading the Book of Mormon.  Que triste...  Que triste.  Oh well.
   On Tuesday we had to go on a last second trip to Boaco for Hanson to do an interview for the sisters there.  So by the time we got back at like 6pm we didn´t have a ton of time to work so we didn´t even come close to completing with norms.  Wednesday was a good day, we put like five fetchas and worked really hard.  Clearly the fetchas weren´t too good because we couldn´t get any of them to church.  Thursday was a hard day.  Nobody would listen to us or let us in or anything (Delaney´s probably not amused).  We worked hard all day but barely completed with our norms, it was just rough.  Also on Thursday I think it was Daysi fell.  She told us she was happy attending her old church (which she told us she never goes to) and a bunch of other crap so she´s gone.  We´ll keep trying with her but it´s not looking very hopeful.  Friday we had zone meeting.  Your mission vocabulary word for the day is machete, it means to get mad at someone or call them out or tell them they suck.  Machete can be as little as telling someone they shouldn´t have dropped a paper on the floor to as big as telling them they´re an awful missionary that should go home.  So when I use the word machete in my emails don´t assume it means we got yelled at or in horrible trouble or anything.  But anyway our zone isn´t doing too hot and the rest of October and November were pretty dismal based on the people the rest of the zone is teaching so we got machete´d (no idea how to spell it, pronounced like macheteed) because we promised the lord 26 baptisms and only ended up with 18 in October (next Saturday will count for November).
  On Saturday we had the multi mission.  We woke up at 230 AM and went to Managua in a rented bus with the zone.  We got there at like 630 and the meeting started at 9 so we sat around for a long time.  Our mission is very competitive so the aps told us to be there so early to beat the north mission, which we did.  The authorities that spoke were:  Elder snow, church historian, Elder Alonso, and Elder Turley.  Only Elder Alonso spoke in Spanish, which I understood completely, but it was nice that the other two spoke English.  All the latinos had to wear headsets for translation.  I´m amazed they had so many headsets.  I learned a lot about the importance of having a vision of our areas and how much the church is growing here in central America.  And a lot more that I won´t bore you guys with.  It was a bit frustrating to have this multimission on a Saturday with baptisms.  So we left the stake center in Managua at like 1, after the mission took a picture together, we went to Mc Donalds again and I just got some chicken nuggets to hopefully not wreck my bowels too bad.  We got back at like 5ish I think and got to work getting Miguel baptized.  We called him at like 5:20 and he wasnt at his house but said he´d be home at like 6 so we went to another investigator who wasn´t home and came back and just waited for him.  Well 6 came and went with no sign of him and we couldn´t call him because the service was being stupid and we were worried he had his phone turned off to run from us.  Anyway, he finally showed up at like 6:30 and said he had to run some papers somewhere for his sister so we went with him.  On the way we asked him if he knew what today was.  He said, Saturday.  We said yep, you´re getting baptized today remember?  He said oh ya, ok but first we have to run these papers over.  So we paid for a taxi, took the papers and went to the church.  We had a little baptismal service with us four missionaries, and a recent convert named Mario (that baptized him) and Mario´s wife.  It was cool because he actually wanted to do it and smiled when Elder Hanson talked about how this is a decision to follow Jesus Christ.  He had school Sunday morning when he was supposed to be confirmed but he told us he´d miss school to come.  So on Sunday morning we went to his house and he  wasn´t there.  So we called him and he said he was going to school.  So we high tailed it over to his school to wait for him to make sure he didn´t go in.  After we waited for a long time he didn´t show up so we called him and he told us he was actually on the opposite side of town but that he´d be at the church at 8:45 and we didn´t have to come get him.  Well we would've come and got him anyway but he didn´t tell us exactly where he was so we wouldn´t have been able to find him anyway.  And his phone started being stupid again and we couldn´t contact him after that.  Rule #1 of this mission is that if you want an investigator to come to church you have to bring him, or they won´t show up.  But we were helpless.  Anyway 9 oclock came and he still hadn´t showed up, so me and Elder Hanson hit our knees and prayed that he would come.  Five minutes later he showed up.  Just in time for his confirmation.  That´s the miracle of the week.  We also baptized an investigator that Naopoto and Vasquez taught named Luis Oporta, he´s a cool 80 year old.  So ya I guess I get to count Luis as a baptism even though I didn´t teach him and Naopoto and Vasquez get to count Miguel even though they didn´t teach him.   But it doesn´t matter, we´re here to bring souls to Christ, not for a stupid number.
   The food´s still good, I´m still healthy.  I´m not sick at all, feel great.  The spanish is coming along.  I basically understand everything in Spanish in a gospel setting now, but I struggle with non-gospel conversations.  My comprehension is growing way faster than my speaking ability at this point.  Transfers are this week.  We expect everyone in our area to stay except Vasquez.  It´s typical for you to stay in your first area two changes to complete your training so I should stay but like mom said, ya never know.  
   Today we haven´t really done anything noteworthy or exciting.  Im glad the super-hurricane missed us, it was a pretty dry week this week.  The rumor is that Nicaragua was the hottest country in all the americas this week.  As it´s getting darker earlier at home just remember that it gets dark here at like 5:30 every day.  But that´s a good thing because it cools down a bit.
   Oh I saw a dying cat yesterday.  That was sad.  One thing that I know I´ll enjoy when I get home is all the nice looking, fat dogs and cats.  They´re very mangy and emaciated here.  Keep loving penny and Bo for me.

Love Elder Smith

Miguel's Baptism

Luis Oporta before his baptism

Zone Meeting at the church

Scorpion at Daryl's house

Scorpion after Hanson stabbed it with a fork

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