Tuesday, March 28, 2017


March 27, 2017

Hi Fam!!

  As always, what I expected to happen in changes didn't happen.  I thought I'd be with Elder Lunt for a while longer but he got changed.  My new companion is Elder Guzman, from Santa Barbara Honduras.  He's awesome, I've been in his zone earlier in the mission. He has the same amount of time in the mission as me and we both go home in July.  We are no longer in the weird jumble of Ward Monimbo and Ward Cuatro Esquinas.  We are officially designated to Cuatro Esquinas now.  We lost the part of our area that belongs to Monimbo and gave it to the Sisters that are now assigned to Cuatro Esquinas and we gained the part of their area that they had from Cuatro Esquinas.  It turned out really well for us because most of the cool members live in the part we just got so we spent a lot of the week working with the members to get to know all of the members  and we got a ton of references.  We also inherited a couple investigators the sisters were teaching.  One of their names is Micowl (pronounced like Michael).  He's 17 and cuts hair in a member's hair salon and they are helping him a lot.  Also there's a guy named Johnny but we haven't been able to find him.  This week Oscar and Margarita went to church as well as Micowl.  Unfortunately Otilia didn't.  She didn't really like finding out that her evangelist baptism wasn't performed under the correct authority and really doesn't want to get baptized again in any church.  The familia Arias (the lady with cancer and her sons) didn't go to church this week but they are going to go to general conference on Saturday.  

   It's pretty weird that I made it for almost 20 months of my mission without a latin companion, and now that I have one It's actually not what I thought.  He's pretty cool.  Also I've cought myself a couple times now when I start talking to a gringo I say about two sentences in spanish when I realize that they're gringo and should just speak english.  

   Today for pday the zone went to a turf soccer field and we played soccer for a while.  I suck at soccer haha.  Then we ate at Papa Johns (of course) and now we're writing.  Oh and we got our hair cut.  Myra and Arecelly are doing great.  They both went to church and have goals for the temple.  We still pass by for Myra but Arecelly lives in what is now the sisters' area so we passed her off to them but she's in good hands. 

   This week we're going to go to Managua on Wednesday for leadership council with president, and other than that we are just super busy with passing by our investigators, looking for references from the members, finding and visiting less-actives etc.  I'm just super pumped for the addition to our area because the members are so willing to help us out.  

  Well have a great week!  Eat lots of good american food for me.  Rice is still aweful.


Elder Smith

Papa Johns

Elder Smith and Elder Guzman

District picture  (Front left is Cody's new companion)

On the bus to changes 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Baptisms and fire trucks

March 20, 2017

Hello Fam!

  We had a great week!  It was kind of busy because me and Elder Lunt had to run all over the zone doing baptismal interviews for the DL and we had to go look for a house in another area that is going to get opened this week.  But we found the house and did the interviews and still found some time to work in the area.
  On Monday some members set up a family home evening with a reference family they gave us.  So they set everything up and we just kind of showed up.  It was awesome.  The lady has cancer so the members taught about faith and tried to encourage her.  She had a chemotherapy treatment on Wednesday and still felt sick yesterday and couldn't go to church.  But she is a new investigator.  Her name is Damaris (or something kind of similar to that).  Her family is really busy all the time and so we've really only been able to teach her since Monday.  

On Wednesday night we had a meeting with President Brown, the stake president, and all of the bishops from the stake to discuss how we can work better with the members and how they can work better with us.  It was good.  The best part is that one of the members of the stake presidency works at Papa John's and they got pizza for everyone at the end.  YES!!  

   We were talking with Arecelly this week (that's how you actually spell her name) and she straight up told us that she was completely ready to get baptized and we agreed.  So we asked if she just wanted to do it with Myra and some baptisms for the sisters this week in the same baptismal service and she was fine with it.  So we baptized Myra and Arecelly this week.  It was awesome because I'm sure that In about a year both of them will get sealed in the temple to their husbands (both of which are active priesthood holders).  We were a little stressed before the baptism because Masaya is notorious for not having water.  So to be prepared the ward filled up the font a couple days early.  And sure enough, on Saturday there wasn't water.  So we had water in the font but it was only about 70% full because some water had leaked out.  And it was clearly not enough water for the baptisms (and to make it worse Arecelly is pregnant).  So we started brainstorming with the bishops to see what we could do.  So we suggested that they call the fire department because occasionally they've helped other missionaries in tight situations with water.  The bishop said that the fire fighters would never come just to fill a font another 8 inches and even if they could it would take too long.  But we convinced them to call anyway and try.  And well, within 8 minutes the firefighters were here helping us out.  And they did it for free.  Great guys.  I ended up baptizing both of them. (Myra and Arecelly, not the firemen)  I lost my baptismal pants so the only ones I had were big which is why they look funny on me.  Sorry.

   On Sunday Arecelly and Myra got confirmed.  Arecelly got confirmed at 10:30 church because she is from the boundaries of the Monimbo ward.  And at 2:00 Myra got confirmed because she lives in the boundaries of the Cuatro Esquinas ward.  So we got double church again.  Yay!!!  But we have changes this week and we'll be assigned to one ward or the other so we can go back to normal.  Which will be very nice. 
   That's about all that happened this week.   Nicaragua is in mourning because their national pride, Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzales, light weight champion of the world, lost this week, lost his title, and is no longer undefeated.  

   I'll let you know what happens with changes but I think I'll still be here with Elder Lunt.  

Love you!

Elder Smith

Myra's Baptism

Aricelly's Baptism

Ready to fill the font from the fire truck

Filling the font from the fire truck

Monday, March 13, 2017

Interviews. And Managua... Again

March 13, 2017

Hello family!

  We had a great week!  Although we had less time in our area than normal we got a lot done.  On Wednesday we had interviews with President Brown.  Me and Elder Lunt had to be there with him all day to make sure the missionaries from the zone came at their scheduled times and to make sure that everything went smoothly.  Because we have a large zone it took almost all day (9:30 AM to 7 PM).  My interview was awesome as always.  President Brown is awesome.  

   On Thursday we went to Managua to do divisions with the APs.  I worked with Elder Diaz from the Dominican Republic.  It was good.  Managua is hot.  It's nice to be in Masaya.  We took advantage of being in Managua and stopped at McDonalds and got triple bacons. 

   In stake conference  yesterday we had three investigators, Myra (who came with her RM fiance), Areceli (who came with her husband Sylvio), and the mom of a recent convert.  The conference was good.  President and Sister Brown spoke and did a great job.  The stake presidency also did well.  

   This Saturday Myra is going to get baptized.  She's very ready and excited.  We had a funny experience with her this week.  We were teaching her on a bench in the park (they were working in her house where we normally teach so we couldn't there) but there was a lot of music in the background from some catholic festival that was going on and it was hard to hear.  And we were teaching Word of Wisdom and she had some doubts about coffee.  Then this random guy (not drunk surprisingly) came up and shook our hands and asked, "Are you guys preaching?" So I was like, "well ya I guess".  So he just sat down and was like I want to hear.  I was kind of worried because we were just talking about why coffee is bad and that's all the guy heard.  He stayed there for a couple minutes then his wife came and he just left.
   Areceli is doing great.  She stopped drinking coffee completely since we taught her Word of Wisdom and she hasn't fallen even once.  Her baptismal date is for the 25th.  

   Oscar and Margarita didn't go to church.  We've gone by a lot this week but haven't really found them so I'm not sure what their problem is.  

    For my personal study I started doing something that President Nelson did that showed up recently on LDS.org.  I think it's called like 2,200 scriptures about the savior in six weeks.  I'm just going through the topical guide and looking up all the references under all of the Jesus Christ sections.  I think it'll take me more than six weeks though.  It's already helping me have more faith in the Savior and understand his mission better.   

   On Saturday I got pretty sick.  I think it was another bacteria.  My stomach had hurt pretty bad that day, and then at night I just felt weak and I got really cold (which doesn't happen here) and altogether crappy.  I had a fever of like 102 so I went back to the house and just laid in bed.  And under my covers I was freezing.  It was the weirdest thing every because it was probably close to 90 degrees outside and I was under my covers with my fan turned off.  But I took some tylenol and my fever was gone by the morning.  I did have to get up five times during the night to go to the bathroom though.  Maybe not details you really want to hear... Sorry.  In the morning I popped some anti-diarrhea pills and more tylenol and I was good enough to survive all of sunday.  Now my stomach has just kind of hurt off and on for a while.  I'm really just treating sympoms and not the problem though.  Oh well, we'll hope my immune system get's rid of the problem.

   On Friday night when we were in the house I heard an awful scream from Elder Lunt.  I went over to investigate and he screamed because a huge tarantula had crawled over his foot while he was standing at the sink.  He felt it, and then freaked out.  The tarantula went and hid in the corner.  So I killed it with permethrin.  He put up a valiant fight though, it took a lot of permethrin to kill it.  

   Also we haven't had water like half the days in the last two weeks.  Which means.... Bucket showers!!  Those are my favorite!  Not.  Oh the joys of living in a third world country.

   Other than that things are going  pretty good.  Have a great week!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!!


Elder Smith


Taking a selfie of the sisters taking a selfie

Tarantula in the apartment

Nicaraguan tacos for lunch

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Back to Managua

March 6, 2017

Hello Fam!

  I made that the subject line because I've been basically going to Managua once a week.

  So we had a pretty boring week this week.  The only thing that changed it up was consejo de lideres (leadership council) on Tuesday.  We went in to Managua at like 9 and first had a meeting with just the zls, sister leaders, APs, and president.  With that group we discussed the goals the different zones have for baptisms this month and set a goal for the mission for March.  It was very spiritual and we received definite confirmation from the spirit that the goal we set was what God wants.  That took longer than expected and then we had lunch and then the DLs joined us and we had a training from president Brown and the APs.  It was good.  Then we went home at like 5 (we took advantage of being in Managua and got McDonald's on the way home:) )  There must have been a crash or something because traffic was at a near standstill from Managua to the entrance to Ticuantepe.  We didn't get back until like 8 o'clock.  

   We've been getting used to the new schedule and waking up at 6 every day.  It's pretty tough to get up at 6.  But leaving at 9 to proselyte is nice because the people have been pretty receptive and a lot of people like meeting in the mornings.  After lunch the nap before doing comp study is really nice as well. 

    On Sunday, because our areas havent been changed to accomodate the new ward boundaries, we went to both churches.  Monimbo and Cuatro Esquinas.  in the morning we had Areceli come with her husband, and she liked testimony meeting.  She even stayed for the classes.  I had to lead the music in that sacrament meeting. This week Areceli received her answer and she's going strong for her goal of getting baptized on the 25th.

    At the second ward at 2 pm  Myra came with her now-fiance.  She also got her answer this week and is pumped to get baptized on the 18th.  She liked church as well and was even participating in Sunday school like a normal member.  

  Unfortunately Oscar and Margarita didn't show up, and we still don't know why.  They were very committed to coming.  

   After church (ended at 5) we took numbers which took a long time because someone in our zone had emergency changes and the APs forgot to tell us so we had to figure out who was actually in our zone.  Then we ate dinner with some members who gave us Honduran Baleadas.  

   Today we didn't do anything as adventurous as recent pdays.  Sorry I don't have cool pictures like the last few weeks.  We just stayed close by and played basketball with some other missionaries and then got pizza. 

  This week we have interviews and we're going to go in to Managua to do divisions with the APs (to cover our weekly trip to Managua).  Should be good.  On Sunday we have stake conference.  

Have a great week!  

Elder Smith