So this week was filled with meetings. We really didn't even teach that much because we had so many meetings. Wednesday was quite an interesting day for me here in Nicaragua. We had a trainer and new missionary meeting in Managua so we woke up at 4:30 am to get ready and hop on a bus to Managua. I hadn't really seen Nicaragua during the day because every time we travel is at night. So, I was finally able to see the country I will be living in for the next 16 months! Nicaragua is drop-dead gorgeous. The sunrises and sunsets are stunning. The sky is a pastel blue and is lit up with vivid shades of orange and yellow. There is so much foliage and all of it is a dark lush green. So, at the meeting today with President Collado, I got to see Hermana Rogers and all my other ccm sisters! Ah it was so awesome! We attacked each other with hugs. It was so good to see her and catch up. The meeting was directed by President and Sister Collado. I love my mission president! He has such a marvelous vision for this mission and is really focused on baptizing and retaining families. Hermana Collado is so sweet and cares about all of us so much. In the meeting, which was all day, we learned a lot about our objective in Nicaragua and how to become better missionaries. This meeting was exactly what I needed. We watched a video about Christ which touched my heart so much. To learn of Christ, we have to walk the path of Christ and experience the pain he felt. This was never easy for Christ so why would it be easy for us? This work is difficult because salvation is not a cheap experience. This just lifted me up so much and encouraged me to have more faith during times of trial. During these times, I learn so much more about my Savior.
|6 Hermanas in one Taxi-without a driver!|
Later in the meeting, we had a get to know you kinda thing. I found out I am the youngest sister in the whole North Mission! Woot woot represent! So Hermana Collado made me stand up in front of about 60 missionaries there. Yeah, I went bright red. So the meeting ended at 4pm and it was time to head back to Leon. What happened next was one of the most hilarious moments of my mission. From the church, the six of us hermanas that are serving in Leon piled into a taxi which would take us to a bigger bus, which in itself is dangerous. So, we are driving in the crazy streets of Managua and suddenly the taxi starts sputtering and slows down. The taxi stops in a four lane, crazy road. We are out of gas! Our taxi driver makes some grunting sound, gets out of the taxi, hops in a different taxi, and drives away without saying one single word to us! So, six of us girls are stuck in a car in the middle of a crazy road. We had no idea where our taxi driver went and even if he was returning. What made matters worse was the doors were on some child lock so we couldn't get out! I was dying of heat. School buses, other cars, and bikes almost hit us. I was laughing so hard of the ridiculous situation we were in. To pass the time we took pictures of our lovely situation. Luckily, thirty minutes later, our taxi driver returned with some gas. That was a once in a lifetime (hopefully) experience!
On Thursday I went on interchanges which is where I go with some other Hermana for 24 hours and their comp goes with my comp. So I went with Hermana Devey to the village of Nagarote! She was the cutest girl and so sweet. What is crazy is she is from Utah, so we are both white, and she has only been out in the field for two months as well. However, she minored in Spanish so she is ahead of me with the language. But it was so crazy! Nagarote is a little village an hour away from Managua and is so pretty. There is so much foliage and is what I pictured Nicaragua to be. Hermana Devey and I worked great together and it was a lot of fun to be with her. But I missed my comp and Leon, so I was excited to return the next day! However, I had some interesting experiences in Nagarote. So, there are chickens. Like everywhere! And I hate chickens so it was just bad. Did you know that chickens can climb trees? Yeah, I didn't. They are in trees here which makes me so paranoid that they will fall on my head during a lesson. In one lesson we were teaching, the person we were teaching probably had like 20 chickens just roaming around. We were teaching and this demented chicken, its leg was backwards, starts charging at me. WORST NIGHTMARE! I flip out, jump out of my chair, and run away yelling "No me gusta pollo." hahahaha I was dying but the other two probably thought I was psycho.
That night when I returned to Leon I had a break through in Spanish! It was a straight up miracle. The gift of tongues is real!! So my comp and I were street contacting and some hermana called us so I answered the phone and was talking to her. She suddenly is like "Wait, this isn't Hermana Mendez. This is Hermana Howell?" Yeah, a native hermana thought I was my native comp. WOOHOO! The hermana I was talking to on the phone was like what happened and was freaking out. Biggest confidence booster of my life! The rest of the day everyone was commenting on my Spanish which made me feel good about my Spanish. Ever since then my Spanish has been improving little by little. My comp gives me more opportunities to speak in lessons and contacting and other people give me some respect now. Such an awesome feeling! I am so grateful for the help God has given me. Now I just need to continue to have patience and have faith that in six months I will be fluent.
|Me and my Comp, Hra. Mendez|
You realize you know more than you think you do when you are thrown into crazy situations. On Friday we had so many appointments so my comp suggested we do divisions. So she went with some other member and I went with some random member who I had never met before- she was my age. I was freaking out! I can't speak Spanish fluently, or even understand what people are saying to me, I don't know where our investigators live, and I have only been here for 3 weeks! You can't leave me in Coyolar basically as a trainer! I prayed so hard that I would be guided to find the houses and teach by the spirit and I was! I felt like a pro, haha just kidding. I remembered my way around Coyolar and all the lessons went well. I contacted basically for the first time all by myself and it went great! So the girl I was with had to leave at 6pm so I was going to go with another member. Well, at 5:55pm this other member texts me saying she can't come anymore. WHAT? The girl I was with is like "I need to go home." Um, I can't just be left by myself! My comp was twenty minutes away in a different part of Leon and we are the only missionaries in Coyolar. I was just imaging the worst scenario; me alone in Coyolar, being my myself at night, and not being able to speak Spanish for help. Before I started to really freak out, a miracle happened. Two other hermanas who are in my district walked around the corner. Their area is nowhere close to mine so it was a miracle they were in my area at that exact moment. I stayed with them until my comp returned to get me. This just testified to me that God is watching over me so much.
Well those were practically all of the crazy moments of my week. I am looking forward to what else is coming my way this next week! I hope you all had a wonderful week! I love you all so so so much! Also I sent you letters today so I think you should get them in two weeks! LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!
Jessica (Hermana Howell)