Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 6: Una semana en fotos

Hey family and friends!

I wrote more individual emails today, which leaves me less time for the general letter.  And if you´ve emailed me and I haven´t responded, it´s not because I don´t love you. I´m keeping track, and I´ll get back to you all eventually!

I´m going to let the photos do most of the talking today...

1. These are remolachas, and they are delicious.  Hermana Maria, our lunch cita, makes them for us every once in a while, and they make my whole day.  Fried tortilla, spread with beans, topped with "ensalada", then special Nicaraguan cheese (not sure what it´s called, but it has a distinct flavor), and some cream to top it all off.  Yum!

2. Julio got baptized!  He´s 19, and yes, he´s very short.  He tells me I´m "grande."  He already has a bunch of friends at church, so that makes my heart happy.

3.  Oh, that´s just a tarantula on the wall of my bedroom, no big deal.  The pictures do not do it justice, it was huge!  Hermana Richins was talking to me, and all of a sudden her eyes get huge and she points to the wall: "Please tell me that´s fake!"  We all squealed and laughed and called a member to come kill it.  I mean, I can kill spiders, but that was an animal.  Ew.

4.  This picture says so much.  Moto taxi (we fit 8 people in that thing), street vendors, people in the background staring at us.  Just another day in Nicaragua.

5.  Ah, I love Nicaragua!  The ward mission leader, his wife, and their cousin took us to Crucero for P-day today.  It´s cool and foggy, and we took pictures in the rainforest, which is always right off the road.

6.  The view from Crucero.  Yep, I live here.

Ah, it´s killing me that I can´t tell you everything I want to!  Perhaps next week I´ll just take pictures of my journal entries and send those, haha.
Now I´ll copy over my letter to the president, since I´m out of time:

It´s been a week of progress here in Monte Fresco! We focused a lot on finding new investigators this week, and the Lord has blessed us for our efforts. The members have also been great at fellowshipping the investigators on the three occasions that different members have accompanied us. We´re super excited to start teaching a family that´s relatively new in the area and is friends of some members here. The wife, Yasmin, is very receptive to the message but has a little bit of doubt about the importance of priesthood authority. Anyway, we´re going to return when we can teach both the husband and wife together. And another woman, Ana Maria, is also really receptive. She reads all of her pamphlets and has great questions. It´s true that the Lord is preparing people for us to teach!

The other way I´ve seen progress this week is in myself. I realized that when I´m focusing on myself, it´s harder to feel the Spirit and be effective in finding and teaching. Even thoughts like, "I wish I could speak Spanish better to communicate what I want to say," or "I wish I was (a better scriptorian, a better teacher, friendlier, etc.)" are focused primarily on myself. Christ never focused on himself, only those around Him. When I stop worrying about my own faults and weaknesses, I am better able to feel His love for His children. Then He qualifies me to do His work. I´ve seen it come in moments during the lessons when I can speak Spanish fluently or connect with the investigators. I am only an instrument in the Lord´s hands; I can help this work by refining myself so he can work more effectively through me, but I can´t be a perfect missionary solely by my own efforts. I´ve found that I´m much less stressed and more effective, more led by the Spirit with this mindset.

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