Monday, November 2, 2015

happy día de los muertos‏

November 2, 2015

Dear family,

Hello, it´s been a fairly long and boring week except for changes on Wednesday.  Me and Hanson are still here but Naupoto and Vasquez both got changed, which surprised us because we thought Naupoto would die (complete his mission) in this area.  So our two new companions are..................... Elder Merrill (coolest last name ever right dad) and Elder Peterson.  Elder Merrill has like 17 months in the mission, is the new ZL here, is from bountiful, went to bountiful high, played basketball baseball and football, is exceedingly tall, and has a full ride basketball scholarship to Utah state.  But he´s really cool and humble about it, I didn´t know he was going to play college ball until like Friday or Saturday.  He´s training a brand new missionary out of the MTC named Elder Peterson.  Elder Peterson is from Morgan, played football, and is pretty cool.  He really just reminds me of myself six weeks ago.  It´s weird to say that because you would think that six weeks isn´t a very long time but that´s a lie.  I´m a very different person than I was six weeks ago.  Elder Peterson´s Spanish is more or less what mine was when I got here and now I can really see just how much I've improved. But ya, now it´s four gringos in the house.  They´re much more obedient than those they replaced, which is nice.

So this week.  I don´t really know what happened.  We worked super hard all week, completed with norms every day I think except maybe pday and Sunday.  Coming off of the two baptisms was hard because now the only progressing investigators we have are Adolfo and Jessenia.  And this week Jessenia said she goes to another church (she´s very bipolar about the whole conversion process) and Adolfo wouldn´t come to church.  I think it´s because we taught law of chastity this week and they have a few major problems with that (completely separate problems as they are brother and sister).  This week both companionships worked super super hard and we found some cool people and had like 15 people completely committed to church.  To make a long story short: All but one of these people either hid from us, lied to us, or just refused to go even though they knew (and we reminded them) that they had committed to God.  So the one we got was very hungover from a night of partying.  We also pulled one guy off the street in front of the church and got him to go with us, and two nonmembers showed up with their family in our branch so our total number in church was 4.  The norm is 12.  It was frustrating to say the least.  
This week will be interesting.  Tomorrow Elder Hanson and Merrill have a ZL meeting in Managua with president Russell.  They´ll be gone all day.  Which means that it will be me and Peterson alone in the area working all day.  If a native here speaks 100% Spanish, and an old missionary that´s fluent like Hanson or Merrill speak about 75-80% Spanish, then me and Peterson combined speak maybe 30% Spanish on a good day.  I hope that made sense, but the moral of the story is that we don´t speak very much Spanish and have essentially no experience teaching.  We will appreciate your prayers tomorrow very much.  Very much.  It´ll be a perfect opportunity to force us to rely on the spirit as a teacher and not ourselves.  Then on Thursday me and Hanson have to go to Managua for my 8 week training with President Russell.  Then on Sunday President Russell will be in our branch.  So we´ve got a busy week ahead.

I assume people might want to know what Halloween here is like.  Basically everyone knows about it but doesn´t do anything.  A few people said that because we celebrate it at home we´re devil worshipers.  The only celebrations here are at the clubs.  The Nicas just use it as an excuse to get wasted and do stupid things.  Today is the real holiday here.  it´s el día de los muertos.  People basically just go to the graveyard and decorate graves with flowers and stuff.  Right now the roads around the cemetery are all closed off and full of people selling flowers and crap like that.  I guess it´s kind of like a weird version of memorial day.  I´ll attach a pic.

To celebrate Halloween we had some of Elder Peterson's american candy he brought from the MTC and I also had some Fazer chocolate.  Haha someone tell Delaney or Kim that you don´t need to go to Scandinavia to eat fazer on your mission.  Hanson´s mom sent him some ingredients to make pumpkin bread so we´ve been doing that today.  We also organized all the supplies that had been dumped on the floor from the move from the old house today.  So ya the bread is in the oven here at the church right now and smells super good.

I´m glad that you all had a good, uneventful week.  You don´t realize how nice those are until they´re gone haha.  

Have a great week!!

Love Elder Smith

Some answers to questions you asked:   on a typical day we just go around the area according to our plan hitting the appointments we´ve made and going to less actives and recent converts and if we don't have any appointments or less active or recent converts we just contact.  usually we get like 30 contacts a day, 9 lessons, and 4 less active or recent convert every day.  Then we go home, snack on a bag of chips or something, plan, take numbers, and go to bed.  I don't have any trouble getting to sleep haha.  The senior missionaries here teach piano lessons and it´s always like 13 year old girls doing a horrible job of playing simplified hymns.  I've never had to worry about playing because Hanson can play the piano.  I could only play Nearer My God to Thee anyway or Joy to the World.  I never have to teach classes.  The missionaries are often in and out of classes because we have to herd investigators.  The teachers here suck.  They never prepare and just read out of the book.  way worse than america.  They have ym/ym but they don´t meet during the week.  There are only like 2 ym and 1 yw.  I had to share my testimony my first week and that was it.  They are known to randomly call missionaries to speak though.  They use 2 or 3 sacrament trays, depending on how many priesthood show up.  Usually there's only 1 or 2 Deacons there.  They use tap water, luckily it´s blessed.  The sacrament is the same, just much shorter because of the size of the branch.  The primary program was good, very well organized and planned because the senior missionaries did a lot with them.  A ton of less actives showed up for it.   No one has visited the recent baptisms but missionaries.  Once we get transferred if the ward doesn´t pick them up I don´t have very high hopes for them unfortunately.  In ward counsel yesterday we asked for them to assign home teachers for Miguel and Luis and a couple other menos activos and the Elders quorum president straight up refused.  We probably wont take any on splits because Luis is 83 and doesn´t move too well and still has a lot of catholic in him.  The other day in the middle of his prayer he started praying to Mary so that wasn't good.  Miguel we can barely find, so no.  The good news was that Luis showed up to church yesterday on his own.  we reteach everything after baptism.  We also teach about lesson five, which is like priesthood and missionary work and such.  

I cleaned the bathroom.  I put bleach in water and used that to clean the floor.  It made me a bit nostalgic because it smelled like the pool.

The street by the cemetary for día de los muertos‏

Making pumpkin bread at the church.  It ended up being pretty expensive bread by the time we bought a bowl and a spoon.

The pumpkin bread came out perfect and smells really good.  We´re just waiting for it to cool off so we can eat it.  It´ll be like eating real (non junk)food from home finally. n

What it looks like with Elder Peterson in my room

After we cleaned the materials from our move.

No comments:

Post a Comment