Managua – Week 46
[Week 5 in Managua (Ruben Dario Area, Las Americas Zone), week 5 with Elder Baxter]
I wandered around trying to get my camera fixed, but nobody could fix it. They think it must be the lens and they don’t have the parts to fix it. So, I’m bummed about that. I guess I’ll have to send it home to get it fixed. So, I don’t have any pictures
We had normal studies, but we were both really sick to our stomachs. My comp had a cold on top of that! We were dying! We tried to do our visits, but we were just too sick. So, we went to a recent convert’s house. His name is Harry and he’s 22. So, we talked to him. We got to watch Freetown (a movie about some missionaries in Africa) with him. So, that was pretty cool. We made a ward directory and updated our area book too. We couldn’t do much because we were so sick!
We visited the Majilla family again. Jason is really cool. He’s trying to overcome his addictions. He really does have a desire to be baptized. His younger sister, Rachel doesn’t have as much of a desire. She hasn’t made it to church yet. Daisy is always working and won’t commit to going to church. She used to live in the U.S. though, so she likes practicing her English on us.
We picked up our laundry from the lady we pay to wash our clothes by hand. We just don’t have time to do it.
Wednesday, I directed our District Meeting in the morning. We all talked about the people we are teaching. We finished really early, about 10:30 and the meeting is scheduled to last until noon. So, we played games. Then, I did divisions with Elder Rodriquez who was with me in Matagalpa. He & Elder Hughes are my Zone Leaders here. They are both really nice and loving and they don’t focus just on the numbers. So, that is super cool. (Until this transfer, Cayman has struggled with his zone leaders because they seemed to focus too much on the numbers and are very critical of the missionaries). Elder Hughes is a surfer from CA, so we talked a bit about surfing. So, that was awesome! They are both really good friends of mine. I went with Elder Rodriquez to Loma Verde, a little suburb of Tipitapa. We traveled there to do two baptismal interviews. One of them was a 22 year old awkward kid who was very doubtful. He didn’t seem to know what he believes. The other one was named Jefferson. He’s like 20 years old, but he’s a psychologist who thinks he knows everything. Throughout the entire interview he was commenting on my body language & what it was telling him about me. It was interesting! It was really hard to get through the interview because he wouldn’t focus. Rodriquez treated me to a fast food chicken. This restaurant had a play place & everything! It was really nice of him! The fast food restaurants here are sit down & they have waiters to take your order.
The next day, we got up super early to get back to my area for a multi-zone conference. My comp was super sick; red eyes, fever, coughing the whole time. The conference lasted a long time! We had some good talks & got some Pizza Hut. That was awesome! We found out that Pizza Hut will deliver to us for free! So, when I have some money, I’m definitely doing that! We finished up the multi-zone at 4:00. I had 30 min. to go home, shower, and go back out again on divisions & do more interviews. I interviewed a guy named Javier who is about 55. He was really cool! He knew a lot and really wanted to get baptized. Then, I interviewed a girl named Anna who is like 20. She’s only known the missionaries for 2 weeks, but she’s been to church twice and she’s been to two baptisms. So, that went really well! There are a lot of members there that are helping out in this small area!
We woke up early, had breakfast, and did another interview with a guy named Kenneth. That went really well. We stayed there for lunch and then ended divisions and came back to my area finally. Our missionary funds were disbursed that day. In Spanish, we say, “the money fell that day.”
We were going to baptize Adrianna this week. She’s 14 and been to church four times! Half of those times, she’s come without us stopping by to get her! We’ve been teaching the whole family for awhile & they go to Family Home Evenings & activities like that. So, we didn’t think it was going to be a problem for her to be baptized. She really wants to be baptized, but her mom won’t let her. She doesn’t really have a reason. She tells us that if Adrianna really wants to be baptized, she can, but whenever Adrianna says she wants to be baptized, she hits her & punishes her. So, that’s been difficult. Adrianna was really sad. She sincerely wants to be baptized. We are planning to visit her & her mom this Wed. with the Bishop. Hopefully, her mom’s heart will be softened and she’ll allow her to be baptized. We’ll be prepared “to throw some fire” (as they say in the mission). We just need to talk to her mom and see what her hang up is. We’re hoping for a miracle! At the end of divisions, we fasted that she would be able to receive permission to be baptized.
NAOMI & PATRICIA Friday night we had a FHE with two of our investigators, Naomi & her mom, Patricia. There are a lot of families that live in their house that we’ve taught, but Naomi & Patricia seem to be the most interested. Naomi has been to church twice. They were going to go to the conference, but the invitations led them to the wrong place and they couldn’t find the chapel. So, that stunk! We taught them how to make crepes and for the first time ever on my mission, we had strawberries (which are super expensive in Nicaragua) to go on our crepes! Afterwards, we showed them some conference talks. We had downloaded the talks on a memory card so we were able to stick it in one of their phones and show it to them. It’s difficult to share videos here because they don’t have TVs that can read the memory cards, and they don’t have wifi. We shared Elder Costa’s talk that contained some advice for investigators and Pres. Monson’s talk about the Book of Mormon. They liked it and had a lot of questions! Naomi has read like 16 chapters of 1st Nephi in the Book of Mormon & she started telling us all about Nephi! It was great!
We had our “white afternoon” where the whole Stake had baptisms at our chapel, which is also the mission office. So, we have some nice perks, like air conditioning, there! There were 7 baptisms as a zone, 4 from my district. So that was awesome! We had 13 investigators preparing for baptism this week, but a lot of them were unable to get permission, and things just didn’t pan out. So, it wasn’t as successful as we had hoped, but it was still good! Naomi & Patricia came to the baptism and asked a lot of questions and we were able to teach them throughout. We’re really hoping they will continue to pray and read their scriptures so they can progress towards baptism. Right now they are the best investigators that we have because they are following through on their commitments. In fact, Naomi has met all the attendance requirements for baptism. Now, we just need to help her understand the importance of the gospel and the restoration.
After we had filled up the font and we had begun the baptismal service in the Chapel, a crazy guy came into the church. He talked to some of the missionaries. I’m not sure if he was drunk or just insane. He found the font full of water, got naked and started to bathe in the font! So, when we went in there to perform the baptisms this guy was in there bathing! The Stake President had to pull him out and help him to get dressed. He hung around for the baptismal service and talked to my Mission President and his wife afterwards for like 15 min. It was hilarious! That gives you a pretty good idea of what Nicaragua is like! We didn’t tell any of the people who got baptized because we didn’t want them to know they were being baptized in some crazy guy’s bath water!
Other than that, it was a pretty normal week! It was a busy week with all the divisions. Between being sick and divisions, I’m completely wiped out! I’m still having problems with my eyes. Being diagnosed over the phone, is probably not the most accurate way to diagnose someone!
We couldn’t get anyone to go to church with us this week. We were going by people’s houses, calling them on the phone, etc. but nobody would come! Norland brought a friend who rents a room in the house where he lives to church though! This is actually her second time coming to church! We are planning to start teaching her soon! After church we stopped by some of our investigators homes…
MICHAEL & WENDY
Getting married July 22nd! We’re not paying for this wedding. So, that’s good! They haven’t committed to being baptized yet, but we’re hoping they’ll get baptized a week or so after the wedding. They’ve been coming to church whenever they can. They are both going to school and study some Sundays. Michael’s mom is a recent convert and she’s really awesome. We’ve done a lot of Family Home Evenings at their house. They are always down to play games & feed us! Their kids Ronnie (13) & Rueben (16) are really cool! They just got a new Playstation, which is unheard of here!
THEORY ON NICARAGUAN EXCUSES
There are two excuses and they work any time you want them to. If it’s not raining, you say, “you have to do the wash because you have to hang them out to dry before it starts raining.” If it’s raining, you just say you don’t want to get wet. We had several people here say they didn’t come to church today because it was raining. Today, The Stake President told everyone they have to stop using that as an excuse. So, that’s a little taste of the Nica excuses that you hear every Sunday as a missionary!
MONDAY: P-DAY PLANS
We’re not going to play soccer with the rest of the zone because its far away and we’re lazy. Two other missionaries are going to come to our area to chill with us. We are going to go to La Colonia which is like a big supermarket. We’re going to buy brownie mix, make them, and take them to a member’s house & play some Spike Ball. So, that should be fun!
MOSQUITOS I’m getting eaten alive by mosquitos. I got 10 bites today on my elbow during lunch. My ankles are swollen because I have so many mosquito bites! I’d show you pictures, but I don’t have a camera!
Hope everything is going great and everyone is having a good summer! We don’t really have summer, just rainy season. The rain makes it less hot, but more humid, so you can’t really win. It’s been pouring today! Love you! Sorry that I’ve been too lazy to send out group emails. It’s just so easy to make recordings to the family. Bye.
Love, Elder Williams