Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2015

Hello family!  Happy Thanksgiving!

So no, the Nicas don't really celebrate Thanksgiving, but luckily President Russell does so we´ll get a little extra money on Thursday from the mission to get some food.  But yes, on Thursday we´ll essentially be working as usual.  On Thanksgiving we´ll probably have rice and beans for lunch  but for dinner we´ll maybe get pizza or a chicken or something.  We´ll see.  We really only eat rice and beans for lunch and every once in a while dinner.  Turns out that we get $4 for food on Thursday.

 This week was a good (and pretty stressful) week.  Tuesday was really tough, we had a lot of rejection and didn´t really find any cool people.  On Wednesday we found some really cool people though, that kind of made up for Tuesday.  On Thursday we had interviews with President Russell.  I had to be at the church basically all day because the zone leaders had a lot of stuff to do (make sure everyone was ready for their interviews, go with Sister Russell to do house checks etc.).  My interview was really good.  Since I´m still in my training I got a pretty short interview but it was good.  I learned a few things that I could be doing better (ie. being a bit neater in my planner).  Friday was pretty normal, we found a few more cool people.  

All week we had been going by Adolfo and Dany to make sure everything was good for their baptism.  They were good to go and excited for their baptism at 4:00 on Saturday.  So on Saturday we passed by at like noon and Adolfo had gotten work off at 4 and Dany was super pumped.  So we came by again at like 3:30 to take them and Dany was ready and so was Jessenia.  But Adolfo was nowhere to be found.  So we called him and he said he was at work but would get home later that night.  So there was nothing we could do so we just took the baptism we could get and went and baptized Dany.  It was a good service but only like three people from the ward were there even though we told everyone about it in correlation meeting.... That wasn't great.  So after Dany´s baptism we went back to Adolfo and Dany´s house to wait for Adolfo to get home from work.  We waited and waited and eventually when we called him he said he wouldn´t get home until 1 AM.  So on Sunday morning we went right to Adolfo´s house and woke him up and took him to get baptized.  Me and Elder Hanson went to the church with them while Elder Merrill and Elder Medrano went to bring other people to church.  To do a baptism you need three priesthood holders (to baptize and witness) so we had to wait a long time for a recent convert to show up (Mario Roque who always baptizes for us).  So we set the font filling up really slowly so Adolfo didn´t wonder why we weren´t doing the baptism yet.  So eventually Mario showed up and we baptized Adolfo.  Dany came for Adolfo´s baptism so we kept them both there until 9 when church started to make sure they got confirmed and everything went smoothly.  We just had to babysit Dany who is quite a handful.  It was cool to baptize Adolfo and Dany because I remember my first week when we contacted Dany´s mom Jessenia.  It was raining really hard and we were soaked and just hoping that she´d let us in to teach her so we could get out of the rain.  I remember when me and Elder Vasquez were teaching Jessenia and Adolfo walked in from work and we got him to stay for the lesson and put a fetcha with him.  It´s really cool to see that despite the many frustrations of a mission I´m actually helping people here.
We think there´s still a chance we can get Jessenia baptized if we can get her to understand that her baptism the other week lacked the proper authority.

Other than Adolfo and Dany we didn´t get many people to church.  I missed out on bringing people to church in the morning because of the baptism but Elder Merrill and Medrano said that it was the same as always, with people hiding and lying etc.  Please continually pray that the people here will keep their commitments and come to church.  
Today has been a good Pday, we came to the church and played soccer with Adolfo, Dany, Elder Cuevas, and Elder Miculax (and Merrill and Medrano).  That was fun.  We´re making some more pumpkin bread also for Thanksgiving.

Since I talked about Jeffrey, the pamphlet reader, we haven´t been able to find him.  He works out of town somewhere in a mine.  But his neighbor was redoing his porch and found two snakes when he pulled up the concrete.  They were really small but pretty cool.  Also Elder Medrano had a huge scorpion on him that was in his backpack but I wasn´t there to see it.  

One of the biggest miracles of the week (other than getting Adolfo and Dany baptized) was that I finally got two letters from mom.  Just so everyone knows, don´t ever send money or anything valuable in a letter here because letters are often "ripped" and then taped because the postal workers check for money.  But thanks mom, I greatly appreciated the letters.  

I´d like to take a moment in the spirit of Thanksgiving to express my profound gratitude for all of the blessings in my life.  It´s such a wonderful opportunity to be here spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and trying to help the lives of these people.  I´m so thankful for all of my family that I know is continually thinking of me and praying for me, and I hope you know that I always pray for you.  I´m truly blessed with wonderful people in my life.

Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Smith

Park at Boaco during the rain

Hamburgers with Elder Merrill in Boaco

Baptismal font in Boaco

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