Sunday, January 19, 2014

Safari Princess

FAMILY!! How is my wonderful family doing? I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the cold. Don't worry, I am with you on this one. I am DYING here in Esteli. Literally, I have worn a sweater everyday and sleep in my comfy blanket. I am missing summer! But as you all know, I got transferred to Esteli. Well here is the thing, my area is an hour and a half away from the actual city. I am serving in Ciudad Dario which is about the size of Holladay or a little smaller in the middle of nowhere. You all know me, I like being around people so it has been a challenge being in the middle of the mountains without lots of people. But Esteli is so beautiful! There are green mountains surrounding me, some farm fields that reminds me of Grandmas house. The houses vary from rich to very poor, as in like cardboard walls poor, and there are bulls (cows) everywhere. Out of all of my areas this is the prettiest! There are cute little houses, a white catholic church which is really pretty, a park and cute little cafes. However, this has been my toughest area yet of my mission. First off, NO ONE wants to listen to us and we have zero progressing investigadores. It is so hard.  Well, let me talk about the Rama. So, technically there are 400 members here in Dario. Only 30 attend. Yes, 30. The size of the young women. The church is just a little house and the missionaries literally do everything. For example, I gave a talk in church on Sunday (MY first talk in Spanish woohoo!), I taught gospel doctrine class, and I taught Relief Society. Oh and did I mention that I didn't know in advance either! Great right?! So that was overwhelming knowing that my Spanish is still pretty limited. So in my area there are only 4 missionaries, me, my comp, and two elders. Then everyone else is 2 hours away so we are practically by ourselves. But we all are becoming good friends which is good! 

My Safari net and my companion
I am going to be honest, this week has been extremely difficult for me. First, was our house which was more terrible than my first house where I bathed in a bucket. It was insanely filthy. Cockroaches, rats, and scorpions were our roommates and poo from the rats were everywhere. Last week a scorpion bit my comp but luckily she is all good. I was so scared of waking up with rat poo on me that I slept in my mosquito net so THANK YOU dad for making me bring that. Secretly, it was kinda fun sleeping in that thing. It was like I was a Safari princess! So my first priority was to find a new house. So today we moved houses and are renting a room which is a lot nicer. 

There is so much work to do here  that I have been so overwhelmed. So the companion of my comp was never in Dario, she was always in Managua for meetings, so my comp knows very little about the area and there aren't really any investigators so it is basically like opening a new area. I don't understand directions at all and I don't know why but I can't understand what people are saying here. It is like the Spanish changed or something! So that has been a struggle. So basically we have been starting from scratch but it is so hard to find people who have the potential to progress here.
Hra. Zepeda and me

Now for my comp, Hermana Zepeda. She is from Mexico and she has today two months in the mission as of today! She is really cute and fun! We get along really well.  This whole week we have been relying on our strength, energy and faith and I am so exhausted. I am lost at what to do as a trainer, I feel so inadequate.

With all of these challenges this week, I have never felt so close to my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Since finding out I was training and moving to a new area, I have relied on my Father in Heaven to direct me where to go, what to say and especially to know what to do. Seriously, without the help I have received this week, I would not be able to do this. I have received so much strength and comfort from Christ and Heavenly Father that I know he is by my side, directing and helping me. I truly believe that during difficult times, Christ carries me. Though this is so tough, I know that I am suppose to be here. I Know that I am suppose to be Hna Zepedas' companion. I have really started to forget about myself and focus on this work. Being put in the position of responsibility I have stepped it up and have tried to be the best example for my companion. I really do love her so much! 
This week has been very humbly for me and I have only relied on the strength of Christ. I can't do his work without him.

I am so grateful for all of you and feel so blessed for having such an amazing family. I hope you all are doing well! I love each and every one of you so much! have a wonderful week and I will talk to you next week! LOVE YOU!!!

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Howell 

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