Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 4: La semana de los jovenes

Querido familia y amigos,

Wow, has it really been a week since I last wrote?  Time goes fast when you´re a missionary!

The weather this week has been delightfully cool.  Everyone tells me it´s frio, but I don´t believe it.  I´m in the coolest area at the coolest time of the year... what a great place to be born!

This was the week of the youth for us; almost all of our solid investigators are between 14 and 18 years old.  Jesenia is 17 and asks great questions in our lessons (like who created God, and how do you become a missionary).  She accompanied us to a David Archuleta broadcast thing with the youth on Tuesday and an FHE the night before that.  This ward has been wonderful at befriending her and making her feel welcome.

Time out while I talk about how great this ward is.  We have around 90 people at church every week.  Our ward mission leader and his wife are returned missionaries of about 4 years (they served in the same mission) and are super supportive.  They came with us to visit some less actives yesterday.  Hermana Jill, the gospel principles teacher and choir director, is super intelligent and a great teacher.  Hna. Mansanarez, the YW president, knows each young woman and helps each to feel included.  Hna. Maria, our lunch cita and the seminary teacher, is a friend to everyone and also very willing to come with us to lessons - three this week!  Ah, it´s going to be rough to leave Monte Fresco when the time comes.

Other investigators: Julio, 18, is about the same size as Hermana Aquian.  He told me I look like a model in my picture on the church bulletin board... does that mean I look terrible every day here, or is it just a great picture?  Haha, it was a little uncomfortable.  Anyway, we´re also working with Jahoska (15, special friend of recent convert Moises) and Katherine (16, sister of recent convert Jordan from my first week´s email).  Again, I´m telling you, we have a great ward!  Way to go, mini missionaries!

Oh, I have some great bus stories this week.  Riding the micro buses to our area is a daily adventure.  Once, on a super packed bus, the cobrador told me to sit on some man´s lap because there wasn´t room anywhere else.  Um, no thanks, buddy... kind of against the rules.  Let´s just say it´s a good thing I´ve been doing wall sits during morning exercise, because I ended up doing an awkward one-legged squat thing to avoid sitting on this  man for five minutes.  The other story is that we got on this bus that for some reason, couldn´t or wouldn´t stop for passengers to get on or off.  The cobrador just lifted us on and off by our waists... just another day in Nicaragua!

Anyway, I´m learning patience every day with the language.  I want my progress to be exponential in my speaking and teaching ability, but I know it will come with time.  Baby steps, and giving thanks for the little bit of progress I see every day.

I feel your prayers and the help of Heavenly Father every day.  I can´t even express how blessed and protected I feel!  I know that on my own, I wouldn´t be able to face the demands of mission life (bug bites, walking and climbing, teaching, learning the language), but that with the Lord´s help and your faithful prayers, I am enabled to do what is required of me.  It´s true, everyone!

Well, I love you bunches!  I´m praying for you all too, and often the investigators pray for our families as well.  Feel the love!

-Hermana Hansen

P.S. New nicknames to add to the list: gatita guapa (bonus points for alliteration) and ¨las elderes¨

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