Monday, November 30, 2015

It's Getting Cold

November 30, 2015

Hey family!!!!  

You´ve been cold out there in Utah I know I know but I just wanted to let you know that it´s getting a bit chilly in Nicaragua too.  This morning in the shower I was actually a bit chilly.  And the wind started blowing a bit which was super nice.

Sounds like you had a pretty good Thanksgiving as always so that´s good.  I´m glad that everyone got there safely in spite of the snow....  It was definitely weird because I knew basically what everyone would be doing and where they would be the whole day.  

 So it was a very normal week except for Thanksgiving.  On Tuesday and Wednesday we worked as normal.  We´ve been doing a TON of contacting just trying to find new positive people that will come to church.  We found a guy named Oscar who was baptized seven months ago but left for Costa Rica right after his baptism and only got back this week.  It was actually a miracle that we found him like the day after he got back because we were looking through our area book and came across him on Tuesday.  So we retaught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then we came back the next day to teach his mom.  The lesson with his mom (not a member) was really good and she was super positive.  We also found a cool guy named José and when we asked what he wanted in life he´s just like, "I want to find a church to join so I can be like you guys and help others be saved".  So we´re like ok, we can help you with that.  Anyway he was super positive.  

Then Thursday was Thanksgiving and it was pretty much like a normal.  We woke up as normal, studied as normal.  But for lunch we had an activity with the ten missionaries in Juigalpa and we ordered some pizzas and soda.  I ate all the pizza I could and had a ton of Pepsi.  Then we went out as normal and worked.  At about four in the afternoon we went out to dinner at a relatively nice restaurant called La Hacienda.  I ordered chicken fajitas and it was actually really good.  It reminded me of fajitas you would get at Chili's except with the nasty corn tortillas they have here.  And they only gave me one tortilla so I ate most of it with a fork.  But I was still pretty full from the pizza so I was stuffed.  But really it was a pretty normal day.  The people here didn´t celebrate Thanksgiving at all.  Nobody really even knew what it was.  The Nicas have already been ready for Christmas for weeks.  
On Friday Elder Medrano and Hanson went to Boaco for District Meeting and I worked here in the area with Elder Merrill.  We had a pretty normal, uneventful day.  
In the mission Saturday is a special day, the day we get ready for Sunday.  We go around and teach everyone we committed to go to church during the week and recommit them to go to church and help them understand the blessings they´ll receive when they go.  So we went around and got everyone super pumped for Sunday.  Oscar´s mom was super excited and said she already washed the clothes so she could be ready on Sunday.  José wasn´t home though so that worried us a bit.  
So Sunday rolled around and....   disappointment.  Oscar´s mom wasn´t even at home in the morning and we found her walking away from her house in the afternoon with Oscar and her other son who was drunk.  They said in the morning they had to take the drunk son to the hospital and they were just leaving again for the hospital because right when they got home from the hospital the son started drinking again and got more sick.  I don´t know if I believe them but in the end we couldn´t get her to church.  We passed by José and he wasn´t home.  We passed by another five or six people who weren´t quite as positive but still had fechas and they either weren´t home, were hiding, or just wouldn´t go.  In the end we got the unbaptized son of a less active to go that turns 9 in January, two investigators of Medrano and Merrill that I hadn´t met yet, and a lady that showed up with her daughter.  One of the guys that came that Medrano and Merrill have been teaching is named Rolando and he´s amazing.  He´s done a lot of bad things in his past but truly wants to change.  He´s super excited to be baptized but we´re not sure when we´ll be able to baptize him because of how long he would need for repentence.  So ya, it was another frustrating Sunday but we got 5 people to come and it was better than most Sunday´s I´ve had so far.  
It´s pretty likely that this will be my last full week here in Juigalpa.  Typically people are only in their first area for two changes but you really never know.  So we´ll see but for sure I´ll be here still next week.  I know there are some people that have sent me packages but sorry, I still haven´t gotten any.  We can only get them when the zone leaders go to managua or when someone from managua comes here.  Last week when president came here for interviews I only got letters and this week nobody has come or gone.  I´ll probably get them this Wednesday when the zone leaders go to leadership counsel.  I´ve got my fingers crossed:)  
Thanks for giving me the cool news dad like the A380 landing in SLC.  Someone was telling us this week about the hijacked airplane that miraculously landed in SLC and I was able to let them know what really happened, how it actually wasn´t hijacked, how significant and cool it was that an A380 landed in SLC, etc.  But I had no idea how to say runway in Spanish or really any words that would be necessary for a conversation like that so I had to get a bit creative in describing what happened with words I knew.  
I hadn´t even heard of the church´s new Christmas video but I just got an email from president Russell telling us it would be a good idea to use it.  We probably won´t use it much because nobody has a computer or internet really and this isn´t exactly an ipad mission.  Maybe if we go by a rich less-active´s house or something and they have a computer we´ll show them.  Also to answer a question I got last week, nobody in this mission has cars or bikes.  The only exception is that the senior missionaries (two companionships) and the APs have cars.

I hope you all have a great week!! Enjoy the Christmas season!!  It´s really is the most wonderful time of the year.   Pray that people will come to church this week!!

Love Elder Smith

At Daryl's house

Personal Study Time

Thanksgiving lunch

Wearing out the Bible already

This moth was larger than a man's hand

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