I am going to be honest. Thanksgiving was pretty tough for me because it was my first holiday away from home and I knew exactly what you guys would be doing for that day. That morning I was reallyyy homesick and was crying and being a baby ha. However I turned to my Heavenly Father and the scriptures for strength and was comforted. I turned to the scripture in 3 Nephi 7, 3 which says, 'For the Lord shall comfort (Jessica), he will comfort all her waste places and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found there in, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.' When I read this scripture I thought of the lesson Hermana Pratt gave in the CCM. We are constantly put in new places which at first are like the lone and dreary wilderness but become our garden of Eden. Throughout the day I was strengthened and could feel the love of my Father in Heaven.
So, after a long day of traveling, getting forgotten about, and waiting for someone to bring us to the church building for changes, I finally made it to my new area - La Primavera. I love being in the city! The houses and streets in my area are the same in Leon but it is fun to have McDonald's, Subway, La Union, a mall and American stuff close by. However, the only one bad thing is that I live close to the airport so I hear airplanes a lot here...talk about trunky. La Primavera is by Lake Managua so I can see the lake at some points in my area but we aren't allowed to go there because it is dangerous. My zone leaders and district leaders are awesome! We are the only hermanas in our district but there are six companionships of hermanas in my zone. And guess what? WILSYNN is in my zone!1 AHH! Seriously how fun is that! I was dying of happiness when I found out. So our house is straight up disgusting. There is a layer of dirt everywhere, the mattresses look like they are from the 1800s, cobwebs are everywhere, we don't have running water in the morning, I bathe with a bucket, I flush the toilet with the bucket, my comp got sick from our house, my skin is going crazy because of the dirtiness of the house and our house used to be a bar! FUN huh! And it is in a dangerous part of town. Well luckily, after a long day of walking around our area, we found a place we can move to which we are actually moving later today. We are moving into a room with a member family so hopefully that will be a little better. Honestly, showering with a bucket isn't that bad. It is just the dirt that bugs me. hahaha every time I go to bed I think of you mom and how you would die if you had to live in the house I live in.
The church in La Primavera isn't very big so I am in a Rama. Church this Sunday was empty. Like only thirty people came! But our goal is to make this rama into a barrio! The members here are just incredible! This one member we are with a lot. She is 24 years old and has the cutest daughter. Her family is so awesome! She is just the cutest chica ever! She cleans our clothes and cooks our lunches and has come with us everyday to help us which is so nice. haha cultural fact of Nicaragua. Novellas are HUGE here! When we go to her house to eat, all of the family is gathered around the TV watching La Tracion. All of the members are so excited to have us HERMANAs and are so willing to help us in this work. La Primavera has never had sisters before so we are the first! Woohoo represent! So there were elders before us and they left no information of investigators or whatsoever so we are legitly starting from scratch. So this week we have been contacting a lot to get investigators. The people here though are so ready for this gospel! One woman we are teaching now we met the first day here. We found her standing in the street and asked her for help with directions. We ended up making a teaching appointment with her which was amazing! We taught about the restoration and she said she knew the BOM was true, Joseph smith was a prophet, and she wanted to come to church. (which she didn't.) We found another woman and she is stellar! She visited a little with elders before and has been going to church here and there. Well, we have committed her to baptism this Saturday! AHH my first baptism! She attended church Sunday and I guess the Sunday before so we can baptize her.
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I had the most amazing experience ever in my mission yesterday! So since it is the first week of December (say what!?) it was fast Sunday. Presidente Collado asked the mission to fast that we could find a family to baptize before Christmas. So my comp and I were fasting for this purpose. So, two days ago (Saturday) we we were contacting in the street and we decided to go up to this house and see if anyone was there. Well, it was dark in the front porch so we only saw this older man sitting in a rocking chair. We approached him and introduced ourselves. While we were talking to him, a man and a woman came out of the darkness. They told us they wanted us to come and visit them so we went yesterday to teach them about the gospel. The lesson I had with them AND THEY ARE A FAMILY, I will never forget. We started out the lesson just getting to know them and then transitioned into teaching about the restoration. After we finished giving the lesson, the father opened up and shared how when he was 6 years old he left home because of the bad family situation he had. During this time he experienced many trials and began to wonder which church is true. He got baptized in the Baptist church but he didn't feel good about it. He then said he felt like he was supposed to meet us. He saw us in the street, particularly me, and was curious. When we approached the door of the older man, he had this strong urge to get out of his chair and talk with us which he did. He told us of many experiences that day that guided him to be in that chair at that exact moment we walked by. Everything he shared I could see the hand of God guiding him and directing his path. All of his questions, the church had the answers. He then told us he had a dream; his wife was in a white dress and he was wearing a white tie, shirt and pants and they were in this beautiful building. They were surrounded by people wearing the same clothing. He told us he wanted to stay in this place and he remembers being so happy. He dreamt of the celestial room in the temple! HOLY COW. Throughout the rest of the night he kept saying he felt a warmth in his heart which we told him was the spirit testifying that what we were saying was true. I invited him to be baptized on the 21st of Diciembre which he answered, no. My heart just dropped. Are you kidding? We just had this amazing, really spiritual lesson with you and your answer is no. However, he then replies saying he wants to get baptized BEFORE the 21st. I just had the biggest smile on my face and so much happiness. We set a baptismal date for them on the 15th of Diciembre right after church. I know that God has prepared this family for the Gospel and that I and my comp were the ones that they needed. I know that fasting and prayer has power and that when we have faith and hope, all things are possible. Bringing others into the gospel truly does bring true joy. (I was tearing up the whole lesson, embarrassing I know,) I know I am suppose to be here in Nicaragua and specifically in La Primavera.
I am so grateful for you all and your love and support! Especially I am so grateful to have such an amazing family. I can't wait to see your beautiful faces in 23 or less days!