Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 32: Hello from... GRANADA!

Hello, family and friends!
So... I've been transferred!  First time out of Managua, woohoo!  I'm in the historic city of Granada, area Pancasan 3.  Wow, we're a five-minute walk from old Catholic cathedrals, tile roofs, cobblestone streets, brightly colored buildings, etc.  Look up Granada on Google images and think of me walking around those streets here on P-day. I love it!!

The area we actually work in is more tranquila.  The biggest changes are that here is flat; after seven months of climbing hills in Monte Fresco and Loma Linda, my leg muscles crave that exercise!  There's less noise, trash, buses, etc. than in my former area.  The people are friendly and happy to listen, even though there are more Catholics here.  I feel like a city kid that got sent to the country, and the stress in my shoulders is melting away!

My companion is Hermana Perez.  She has three months in the mission and is a sweetheart.  She's the ninth of 12 children and was a preschool teacher before her mission.  We get along famously and work hard, which I love!

Most of the recent converts and investigators here are children.  Perhaps for pressure to baptize, it's that way.  But we also have some "sacerdocios" (men older than 18) that are progressing, so that's good.  I'm excited to get to work in this area and see what the next few months bring!

Pancasan is a branch, not a ward.  The church building is similar in size to a double-wide trailer, but it's a slightly more permanent structure. :)  The advantage is that here there are two branches that meet, one at 9:00 AM and one at 2:00, so that means twice the opportunity to get investigators to church!

It was hard to say goodbye in Loma Linda.  Hna. Elizabeth and Hna. Gladys were the hardest.  Our "chavalos" Geovanny, Erwin, and Gerald were all at SOY (EFY) all week, so I didn't get to see them.  I guess I'll just have to come back to visit in a couple years!

Spiritual insights for this week:  I loved Elder Lynn G. Robbins' conference talk, "Which Way Do You Face?"  and also the Relief Society lesson on Elder Benson's talk about loving God above all other things. Man, this is such a true principle!  Do what you can this week to put God first and watch the unneccessary things fall out of your life.  Please God before pleasing man.  It's my goal to become a more dedicated servant of Him... feel free to join me!

Lots of love!
Hermana Ali Hansen


1) My favorite children ever... Cony and Caroline.  Caroline, the little one, talks a ton and always says in a very earnest voice, "Ver-dad, 'manas?"  (Right, Hermanas?)  I'll miss their hugs and cheek kisses!

2) Jamileth and Noel, recent converts in Loma Linda who we visited a lot

3) Hermana Gladys, my mission abuelita

4) Officially my nicest bathroom of the mission so far!  Mire, que fachenta!  Also, the first time having a showerhead, and the water is often warm because it's so hot here.  I could get used to this!

5) With Hermana Perez!  I know, my cheeks are huge and my companion is tiny.  Don't worry, "Operation: Shrink the Cheeks" is already underway.  Step one: Don't live close to Hermana Gladys. :)

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