Tuesday, February 14, 2017


February 13, 2017

​Hello family!

   Well, I got changes.  I found out on ​Tuesday afternoon that I was out.  I was kind of worried about going to a difficult area because a lot of the ZL areas are pretty tough.  So I got to the change meeting and found out I was going to be the ZL of Zona Masaya with my comp, Elder Lunt the other ZL.  I was stoked because me and Elder Lunt are really good friends from when he was a DL in Managua a couple changes ago.  But... I knew I'd be stuck with a tough area because the ZL area in Masaya is notoriously difficult.  But then we found out that they moved the ZL area from Masaya to the neighboring area called Monimbo.  So I'm in an area in the city of Masaya that is called Monimbo.  If you look on a map of Masaya we're from central park, to the south and west is all our area.  The area extends to laguna Masaya to the west (with volcan Masaya overlooking us on the other side, and yes it's the volcano I hiked up last year and looked into the lava pool and yes, you can constantly see smoke coming out) and to the south extends to several little towns outside of Masaya like Niquinohmo, Nandasmo, and San Juan del Oriente (Niquinohmo and Nandasmo actually used to be in my area when I was in Masatepe but the boundaries changed).  I'm excited because I'll finally have a big area again and I'm out of dirty, scary Managua.  Masaya is nice, smells way better, and is way prettier and less like a big city.  And it's nice because more on the edge of Masaya the houses are humbler and the people are more receptive.  Central Masaya is notorious for being very catholic.  There's also a ton of tourists here and it's weird to see a bunch of hipster European backpackers all the time.  There's also a huge market here with everything you can imagine.  It's awesome but I think if you guys came and shopped in it you'd just be kind of freaked out and think it's scary and stinky.  But I think it's nice.  We've already had a bunch of adventures this week like going to Tisma (where Elder Evans is DL and training) to do a baptismal interview.  Also we tried to take a shortcut through a jungly thing because we were kind of lost and it didn't work out very well and we eventually came through somebodies back yard but we just said, "Con Permiso" (directly translated means with permission but it basically means excuse me) to the guy in is house and he happily let us through back to the street.  The people here are so laid back!  Luckily they didn't have guard dogs.  

    So My comp is Elder Lunt who has 6 weeks more on the mission than me and goes home in June.  We think it's very possible that we'll be comps here for three changes and he'll go home then I'll be here one more change and then go home.  This could very well be my last area.  I'm excited to be here with Lunt because we get along very well and it's definitely a relief to have an experienced comp and not be training because there just isn't quite as much pressure.  He's from Gilbert Arizona.  We realized that there are a lot of things that either of us could do but it doesn't really matter who like who takes sunday numbers or who has to do the baptismal interviews so we made our "magic quarter" which is a quarter that has an L on one side and an S on the other to decide who has to do everything.  I had to do the first baptismal interview and he had to take sunday numbers.  

The ward here is really cool.  It's probably the biggest ward I've ever heard of here in Nicaragua with around 250 active members.  There's talk that it'll get split soon.  The church is also really nice because it's a stake center and it's like half a block from our house.  We have one investigator named Oscar that went to church for the first time on Sunday and really liked it.  He's really the only positive investigator we have right now because the other missionaries didn't leave us with much.  

   For Pday today we shopped for a bit at the market and I got some new fake vans for like 15 bucks that look pretty legit.  Then we went to a town called Catarina that has a cool overlook of a lake called laguna de apollo (I went there once last year)  we hiked down a bit and saw some monkeys and found out we were on the wrong trail and had to turn back.  But it was an adventure.  

Well I love you!  I'm sure there's questions I didn't answer but I'll get to them next week.  

Elder Smith

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