I´m just going to dive right in and tell you about our miracle this week:
A few weeks ago (or maybe like a month and a half), we received a reference from one of our zone leaders. He told us that a man had approached him and his companion in the bank and that he wanted to be baptized. (Just another day in Nicaragua!) So, we´ve been trying to contact this guy for weeks, but he lives on outskirts of our area and he never showed up when we set up appointments in more central locations. But this week, we went with our ward mission leader to finally meet the reference. Andres Alvarado is his name, and he´s a 27-year-old medical student. He´s Nicaraguan, but was studying in Costa Rica when he met the missionaries there. He immediately felt the Spirit with them, but continued receiving lessons and attending church for four months because he wanted to be sure of his decision before getting baptized. He had his interview, and all was set for his Saturday baptism. Then, on Friday, he received word that his younger brother in Nicaragua had died. He packed his bags and boarded a bus that night for Nicaragua. So then, he has no contact with the church for two months until he sees these missionaries and later when we meet him on Tuesday. We talked to him and he shared his testimony, which is strong... he is truly converted! We set up his baptismal interview for the next day, and he was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. Is God not a God of miracles? I have no doubt that He directs this work, and that none of His sheep are ever truly lost!
Another cool experience this week was ¨La tormenta.¨ Seriously, this storm was wild. We were contacting in an area we weren´t all that familiar with when all of a sudden it starts to rain... like REALLY rain. We hurried onto someone´s covered porch, and when we knocked and yelled ¨buenas,¨ nobody answered. We ended up sitting on that porch for over an hour as the rain poured, lightning flashed, and thunder boomed. The power went out. It was super cool to watch for the first 20 minutes or so, but then we got a little numb. Anyway, it finally died down enough to walk home. However, the street is pretty inclined in that area, and it had become a raging river. We carefully stepped through the neighbors´ yards to avoid getting our feet wet, and were feeling pretty good about ourselves until a little further ahead, when our tiny cell phone flashlight illuminated a veritable lake across the entire width of the street. Hermana Aquian and I had no choice but to hike up our skirts and wade through knee-high rainwater. Hahaha, so much for staying dry!
Oh, and yesterday was ward conference. Basically, the best Sunday of my entire mission so far! Have I ever talked about ward choir? I´m the pianist, and we´ve been rehearsing for weeks to prepare for the conference. The first few rehearsals were the biggest workout of my life as I tried to remember how to play the piano after months of not touching one, translating the choir director´s instructions (Spanish and music terms), watching the conductor, playing the different voice parts, and trying to finger pedal since there´s no real pedal... it was exhausting, but so fun! Anyway, the choir sang in the conference, and it was a huge success. Also, everyone got spiffed up and looked their best... Hermano Leslie and Julio wore ties to church for the first time, it was my favorite! Plus we had two super positive investigators, and Andres got confirmed. Wow, Sundays in the mission are always great, but this was exceptional.
Okay, I always have a ton more I could tell you, but I want to include photos too. Also, transfers are this week... little bit anxious, but ready for change. Change helps us grow, and Heavenly Father qualifies us!
Love you lots!
-Hermana Ali Hansen