Behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. ~Alma 37:6

Behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. ~Alma 37:6

October 25, 2010

Buenas Familia!!!

This is so awesome! I am finally in the mission field and can´t believe it. I am having so much fun! I am glad that Hermana Monestel emailed you, she is so nice. So is President Monestel, they were waiting outside the airport for us with their family: two daughters and a little muchacho.

So I guess I will start from the beginning to answer your questions. So we got our luggage, walked out, shook the President and family´s hands and this beat up old red truck pulls up and people start throwing our luggage into the back. Turns out it was a local bishop’s truck that came to help out. So we pile into this old van/bus thing and start driving. I think he told us we were going to get some dinner first before getting dropped off at the house.

So I was so excited. Just this Chele (Nicaraguan term for white American aka gringo (everyone likes to call me this, for a while it was the only word I understood) grinning ear to ear with my nice suit and bags. I was super excited when I finally figured out we were driving around to go eat.

So Hannah, guess where we went to eat, for my very first meal in Nicaragua. We slowed down and turned.... right into the drive way of a MCDONALDS!!! I was so mad! We actually got out and went in to eat. And I am pretty sure it was better than in the States, but still, I purposely ate a hamburger my last meal in the MTC because I wasn´t sure I would (I was hoping I wouldn’t) eat another for two years. But that dream was shattered. Oh, but our drinks were Nicaraguan. Some soda that tastes like bubble gum. It was alright I guess, apparently it is their unique soda. It’s called Rojita, I think.

So we drove to the house where the office missionaries live. That’s the Mission Home right? Anyway, they have a bunch of bunk beds there and that is where we slept for the next two nights. It was pretty crowded and not the cleanest but wasn’t too shabby. Just like a dirty house that you are scared to walk around barefooted (especially in the shower). Don´t worry, I didn’t Mom. But I liked it.

At first all the new Latino missionaries and cheles were kind of separated in their groups. Probably mostly because there was a bit of a language barrier. But I tried talking to them and there were a couple patient enough to talk back and eventually everyone was joking around.

Oh so I forgot, when the plane landed, before we made it to the actual gate, all the windows were fogged up. When I walked off the plane it was like walking into a cloud. A hot cloud. The first night I was worried about sleeping. First, because I was afraid I would be eaten in the night (there was an open window right next to me) and second because it was so hot. But I slept great.

The next day, I woke up with only one or two bites. It took a while to get ready because it was so crowded. And then we went to the Church. The Church was actually really nice, it’s pretty new too. The President, his wife and the AP´s talked to us. We actually had the white AP translate for us because the President and his wife don´t speak a bit of English. They said they are trying to learn though.

So that was interesting during my interview with the President. He kept saying blah blah digno blah blah blah digno... And I am just sitting there smiling because I didn´t understand a thing he was saying. Turns out digno means worthy. So after I finally figured that out, the interview went great.

We had breakfast at the church (just like a roll and a drink). That was funny because they gave us programs for the day and on the program it said who was giving the blessing on the food. So all us cheles were sitting there waiting... while everyone else including the President and his wife started eating. Finally, she looked up and realized it and I think she said that it was for lunch. So we said personal prayers and ate.

We went to lunch at a nice Mexican restaurant which means it was pretty much the same as the Mexican restaurants at home. I think the President was trying to be nice, or he just didn’t want us to be sick while we were still with him.

At about six was when things got interesting. We went to another Church in Managua to meet up with a zone and do splits with the new missionaries. I got paired with a Latino companionship and another Latino new missionary. The senior comp spoke a little English so that was nice. We walked for a while and waited for a bus for a while. Ha ha the bus was fun, totally packed. You are mushed between people. Oh and the driving in Managua is crazy.

We got out and walked and they decided we were going to split to visit people. And for some ding dang reason they paired me with the Guatemalan comp that doesn´t speak English. We walked for a while and came to this block where all I could see were giant blanket tents like the ones we would make at home.

We walked to the investigators´ house, it was literally just blankets held up by sticks. The older man there was about to get baptized. But as we talked to them I think he was trying to make up an excuse about his back and not being able to. The mom and girl had not read their scriptures either. Now you have to remember that I am just smiling the whole time and nodding my head. They are talking a ton and really fast. They asked me to say the opening prayer (pretty much everyone does this still).

For some reason during the opening prayer I started crying. I don´t know why. I guess I just really cared about these super humble people I hadn´t even met and really wanted to understand what they were saying so I could help them. Anyway, after I finished the prayer their whole attitude kinda changed. Probably because they felt bad for me. But whatever it was they went and got their scriptures and we taught them. I bore my testimony about the scriptures and prayer in broken Spanish and (I think) after we left the man was still going to be baptized and the mom committed to read her scriptures.

I think my comp for the night started to get a little annoyed with me not understanding or being able to talk but the night went alright I think. I think he was flirting with this one girl we talked to and this one girl was trying to flirt with me but no big problems. We went to his casa to meet up with the other two and the bishop’s car (the red beat up truck) and they climbed into the back. I am pretty sure the Pres. had said that day not to do that but I´m afraid I don´t think I could have done much anyway. So I got in and went back to the church.

My MTC companion was in the bathroom and it turns out he threw up on his splits, he said it was because he was dehydrated. I actually ate a lot of stuff on my splits. A banana and pineapple at the house made out of blankets. And some drinks at others and a hot dog bun. Guess what! It has been a whole week and I have not been sick at all. My stomach feels better now than it did the entire time in the MTC, seriously. We had pizza for dinner.

Next day, we went to the Church and had a big companion exchange meeting. People talked, the people leaving and the newbys bore their testimonies. I tried to make a little joke but I don´t think it made sense. Then we had an activity where we hit piñatas! (outside). The whole meeting everyone was having fun. Then we got to the comp changes. They had a PowerPoint with pictures.

Elder Coj and Elder Hardy

Anyway, my trainer is Elder José Patricio Coj Bocel. (Elder Coj). He is from Guatemala, it is his first time training, he has never had a chele companion and he doesn't speak any English!!! It was a little interesting as we went to our area because we couldn’t communicate very well. But I love him. He is awesome, he is a good teacher and we get along great. We joke around all the time with each other now.

We are in a place called Boaco! It is beautiful! In the mountains in the jungle. So cool. The people are awesome. Ugh no time. But it is great. Our house is so nice we live under Beto´s Restaurant. They are members and feed us great food which is why I’m not sick.

I Love You,

Elder Hardy

Sorry we have to pay for the internet in a place and I ran out of time. But I love you.

P.S. Boaco is the safest place. No worries, seriously very tranquilo people.


Marijke said...

Glad he's doing well! Crazy place to live/serve!

Claybourne Home said...

I laughed so hard about his sitting there smiling. He is a great writer I am looking forward to reading all of his letters. Thanks for sharing such precious moments with us. I love and admire your family they have taught me a great deal as have you. Thanks for your friendship.