Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fear of Pigeons and Crocodiles!

Hola to the most wonderful family in the whole entire world! I hope you are all doing well and had a wonderful week! So as of today, I have been in the mission field for 5 months. Crazy right? I really only have a year left and then I will be home. Woah. It has gone by fast and then slow at the same time. But as I was "born" in Leon, I am in Leon today! So to make a crazy and long story somewhat short, I had divisions with the sister training leader so I came to Esteli to work with hermana Ferrin. Well her and another sister here had to go to Managua today to get their cedula and another sister had to go to Leon for some stuff so I ended up going to Leon with her! AH it was so fun to go back. I saw my old Bishop and then some of the members. We went and visited mami Elbita, the woman I lived with before, and she made us lunch and everything. It was so much fun to see all of the members! Leon is gorgeous. I visited the cathedrals again and had fun going back to the area that I was born in. It was cool to see the progress I have made from the first day in the mission field in Leon. After a long day of traveling, I finally made it back to Esteli and will be going back to my area tomorrow.
In addition to talking in sacrament, teaching in Relief Society, Young Women's and Sunday School, I am officially the Seminary teacher for the youth in Ciudad Dario. Say what?! yep that is exactly what I was thinking. The stake president of Esteli tried to find an adult to teach seminary but couldn't find one so he gave the responsibility to me and my comp. He came to my area on Saturday and gave us like an hour training and now we are really just going to figure it out on our own. I would like to give a shout out to every single one of my seminary teachers: Brother Cook, Brother Geilman, Brother Prestwich and all the others I have had in my life. You really don't know how hard and how big of a deal seminary is until you have to become a teacher. Realamente seminary has a HUGE impact on youth during high school. Seminary is the place youth can go to and be spiritually restrengthened during the day which will help them stay on the right path during high school. I am so grateful for all of the wonderful seminary teachers I had that now I can use their example and teach the students I am in charge of. Since the church is new in my area, there are only three enrolled youth and they are all in my branch. Yamilet and Thania are sisters who help me and my comp all the time and are my friends so it will be fun teaching them! Overall I am a little nervous about this but it should be fun! I am grateful for all the opportunities I have to teach on my mission but I have decided I don't want to be a teacher when I grow up...I think I will stick to law.
This week was really tough for me. Every day I would wake up in the morning having no energy. One day I was feeling very down and so I just turned to my Father in Heaven in prayer and asked for help to overcome what I was going through. After praying, I instantly felt the Savior lifting me up and felt the spirit comforting me. A friend suggested I read Alma 38 so I turned to this chapter and read it. It was like my Father in Heaven was speaking to me! This chapter brought me so much comfort and energy to continue forward. I also read my favorite scripture, D&C 121:7-8, and was reminded with patience, I will be able to endure everything. Really my time here on the mission in short. In 13 months I will be able to rest and spend all the time I want doing things I want with the people I love. So in reality, I am fine. I have never felt my Father in Heaven so close to me before in my life. This mission has helped me so much strengthen my testimony in my Savior and in my Heavenly Father. I know that they are there for me and lift me up when I think I cant move on.
One of the exciting moments of my week was seeing a crocodile in the river in my area! Usually we only have seen the eyes and noses but this time we saw half of its body. Half of its body was on the bank of the river and the skin color totally blended in with the dirt so if I wasn't paying attention I probably wouldn't have seen it. The crocodile was pretty big! It is so crazy to think my area has crocs. Sometimes I am just amazed that I am living in Nicaragua!
So remember my investigators Francisco and Victorina? Well I had a wonderful, meaning the most hilarious lesson with them, this week! So they have pet pigeons that live in this tree we sit beneath to teach. Well one day we were teaching and I was so paranoid a pigeon was going to poo on me because in an earlier lesson a pigeon almost pooped on Victorina. So we were all paranoid of the pigeons and kept looking up to see what was going on above us. We were in the middle of teaching a lesson when all of a sudden, SPLAT. Victorina started screeching; a pigeon pooped on her head. We all just started screeching and dying of laughter! Francisco got a towel and got some of the bird poop out of her hair. For literally the next five minutes we were all laughing! Every time we would stop laughing, someone would chuckle and then we would just start all over again. In this moment of laughter, I just felt pure happiness; I was surrounded in green trees, teaching the gospel to people I love and laughing. Couldn't get much better than that!
Well I hope you all have a wonderful week!!! I love you all so much! Keep firm in the faith and be stellar members.
Con mucho amor,

Hermana Howell

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