Saturday, December 3, 2016


This is a week late because I didn't have a normal pday last week. It was really a wonderful thanks giving week though. A super busy week, but at the same time things were really relaxed and I was left with lots of things to be thankful for:

1. On last Sunday we talked with Romulo about moving his baptism because we were going to be occupied all of thursday and he said he would like to have it on Tuesday! So we rushed to get everything ready, which was actually a little crazy because there was some problem and all missionary phones stopped working on tuesday, so we could no longer communicate with members to help us get things set up nor with the Zls to show up and take care of his interview. Since we didn't have anybody to help us we had to go first to the chapel to start filling up the font, then we had to go make sure Romulo was in his house and was ready for his interview, so we quickly walked to Romulo's while the font was filling up and waited for the Zls to show up, hoping they would get there soon so we could do divisions and run back to turn the font off. Luckily they showed up on time and we were able to get everything ready for the baptism. The baptism went really well and Romulo was so happy to be able to be cleaned from his past mistakes and follow Jesus. One funny thing that happened was when we were changing into our baptismal clothes he pulls out an armed concealed pistol, from who knows where and sets it on the sink. He must have seen the look on my face, because then he said "nadie entra aquí verdad?" and I was like umm this is a bathroom.. People come in here all the time. So he just wrapped it up in his clothes and trusted that it would be safe since we were in a church. All in all though it was a great baptismal service and it'll be awesome to have his family as an addition to the ward.

2. Erick! I don't know if you all remember Erick, so I'll provide a quick refresher. Erick is someone we met in my first few weeks here in Managua. He had lived a rough life full of drugs and alcohol and wanted so badly to leave it all behind. He amazed us at how he faithfully showed up to every activity and meeting and completed with every assignment we left him. He was what we call in Nicaragua a "super pilas investigador" he was baptized and because of general conference and other complications he was confirmed on the same day. Shortly there after satan attacked and he fell back into the horrible trap that is alcoholism. Literally he went weeks at a time without ever being sober. It was the saddest thing to pass by everyday and to have his little sister tell us he was still drunk and out on the corner with the other bolos. His poor mom suffers too, because she has already lost one son to alcohol poisoning and has basically accepted that the same will likely happen with Erick. Now to the good news! One day we were passing by to visit a recent convert and he was drunk in the street. I didn't see him, but all of a sudden I heard "el ruso!", (when he's drunk he thinks I'm russian), so we said hi, but didn't expect to talk too him long because he was plastered drunk, but he completely opened up to us like alcohol often helps do and he poured out all of the guilt and regrets he has and how he needs help because he can't live like this. It was really sad, but there is really not a whole lot we can do for him when he's that far gone, so we just prayed with him and told him to go home and sober up so we could talk to him the next day. When we came back the following day he was home and mostly sober, but extremely sick from alcohol poisoning. We prayed with him again and continued coming back the next few days as he slowly came back to his self. And for the first time in like two months we got to see the real erick again. He is an incredible person when he is sober. We started teaching him again and giving him assignments to read and it was so incredibly good to see him at church on Sunday and also at Romulo's baptism on thursday. I am determined to work with him and do anything we can to keep him from falling again, because he really needs the help. It just sucks because with our limited schedule its impossible to visit him every day.

3. Juan Jose was also baptized last week. Which was super awesome, but also a very long process because of his physical condition. To baptize him we both had to carry him down into the font and I held him up while my companion did the ordinance and then we both submerged and brought him up. It was a really unique baptism and awesome to see how happy was afterward and to have his wife and son there supporting him. He even said that now that he is baptized he feels at peace to leave his suffering earthly body. We'll have to see what God has in store for him. Now it will be a matter of getting the ward involved with helping him get to and from church.

4. The Poncios! The Poncios invited us over for a thanksgiving dinner at their house. It was way nice to have a big plate of turkey, mashed potatos, stuffing, bread, and gravy, and then finish it of with pie. We really are so spoiled to be close to President and his family. They are such an awesome family and it really is a pleasure to work with them in the mission. They will continue to do great things for Nicaragua through their mission service.

5. Health. I am really grateful for my good health and it really is something that we sometimes take for granted. There are so many people here that we meet that have all kinds of health problems and life really becomes a lot tougher when health issues come into the equation. Even our bishop who tore something in his knee, probably acl, but doesnt have the money to pay for the sugery so he just limps the 8 or so blocks to church every Sunday plus during the week whenever he is needed. I don't think I've mentioned it before, but let it just be said that Obispo Madrigal is awesome. But anyways i'm just way grateful that I can enjoy things like the fútbol we got to play on thursday with some inactive youth and their friends. I've regained a lot more appreciation for soccer on the mish. Such a fun sport. I don't really have the foot control that all latinos are born with, but im getting better and I destroy at corner kicks because all they have to do is kick it up into the middle and i'm the only one that can get up high enough to header it in.

There are really a lot of things im thankful for, but I don't have time to get into all it. Things are great here though. This week was insanely busy trying to get everything ready for next week which is going to be an insanely crazy week because it is transfers AND Elder Ochoa is coming and leading two multizone conferences, and then leaders council. Its gonna be a crazy week and every one in the office is pretty stressed except Elder Gonzalez because he's finishing his mission in 4 days! All of December is gonna be nuts though. Because after this week we have a few more meetings and then a ton of prep for the mission christmas activity, then the next week is the activity and christmas weekend, then the last week of december, President Poncio, hermana Poncio, Elder Neilson and I will be driving out to Puerto Cabezas for a christmas activity for the poor Isolated Puerto missionaries, which will take up three whole days because it means a 12 or more hour trek across the country through uncharted territory. Should be an adventure. On top of all that president needed us to go help out an area in Managua that has been suffering, so Elder Galo and I will be opening area. I'm not really sure how much we'll be able to do with our limited time, but president asked us to go work with the bishop to bring the area back to life so ni modo, we'll have to figured out a way to do it. Even though I'll still be living in my same house and it really isn't much of a change, it still sucks leaving all of the recent converts, members, investigators, and just all the awesome people we've met in the Maximo. I may just use my Pday time to visit them.. I'm excited to start work in the new area though because its a huge area and has a ton of potential, plus the bishop is way excited to work with us. The area is called Ciudad Jardin and it includes a portion of lake Managua and the mercado el Oriental, which is the biggest mercado of all Central America. Should be pretty fun. Other news with transfers is that Elder Diaz, from my Somoto days, will be the new AP, which is crazy because he is still young in the mission, but he has been doing extremely well as a ZL, so president has decided to bring him to the office to replace Gonzalez. As a refresher, for like two weeks of my first transfer I was in trio with Diaz and castro and then when Elder Galo came, it was me and Elder Galo, and Elder Diaz and Elder Mendez. Elder Galo and I have been back together for two changes now and with Diaz coming to the office, we are only missing Mendez to make the Somoto reunion complete!

Anyways thats all for now because I've gotta run. Love you all and hope you all had a good thanksgiving. Until next week!

Elder Hamson

Here are some photos!

Bautismo de Juan José

Friday, November 25, 2016


Well these past weeks have been busy as usually, but we managed to find lots of times to work in our area and we are teaching some incredible families. Next week we will have two baptisms. You may remember them from the last email I sent out, Romulo and Juan Jose. Romulo is a young father, who's wife is inactive, but she was happy to receive us when we met them for the first time. Romulo was a little skeptical at first. Like I mentioned last time he works in the intelligence division of the police and he heard rumors from his police buddies that missionaries were US spies and work under the supervision of the CIA to gather information. We joked a little about the absurity of that idea and reasured him that wasn't true in the slightest. We then started teaching him and his wife and even though he had lots of questions and doubts, he really had an open mind about it so we were able to discuss things and even his wife helped because she knew lots of the answers. He has been progressing really well these past weeks despite his busy work schedule that takes up a lot of his time. Last week they hit a speed bump because his work kinda feeds his paranoia and distrust, so he and his wife had gotten in a jealousy fueled fight and he left the house for like 4 days. Luckily we were able to run in to him the day he came back to talk with here and we were able to teach that families are important! And the role that the gospel of Jesus Christ plays in strengthening families and creating succesful families. It was a very spiritual discussion with the two of them and they were able to work things out between them. Romulo will be baptized this thursday and hopefully he'll be able to present their little 6 month year old girl some time in December!

Juan Jose has been coming to church faithfully even though its means a rough journey for him in wheel chair. He is always in lots of pain because of the illness he has in his tendons and bones, so the journey to church over not so smooth Nicaragua roads isn't the most fun for him. But when we asked him if he wanted to take a break in the shade he said "no hermano, no quiero llegar tarde! Si Cristo aguantó todo, ¿para que no voy a aguantar yo?".  Translation: "No, brother, I don't wan't to be late! If Christ endured all, why shouldn't I endure as well? Such a strong guy with an incredible desire to follow Jesus. His main worry with baptism is the logistics, of everything because of his condition. Everything will work out great though and he will be a great example for the rest of his family. 

Another awesome Family we have been teaching that I contacted at the start of this transfer has been progressing really well and finally accepted a baptismal date. Ernesto and Karla are both workers for the state, so they were extremely busy during elections so they haven't been to church yet, but Karla has free this week , so she will be able to come to church for the first time with one of her sons. They have three kids: Roger 17, Josue 13, and Juan Carlos 6. Roger and Josue volunteer at a local church on Sunday so they won't be able to make it, but we hope the following week we can get the whole family to come. They have lots of questions and curiosities so they are always a fun family to teach and it's been really hard to keep the lessons under an hour. Sometimes it's good and even necessary to have long lessons like that but when your area time is as limited as our time is, an hour long lesson takes up a lot of valuable time. Wednesday we were really far behind on our schedule so we were sprinting from place to place and we finally got to their house an hour and 20 minutes later than we had told them we would be there. They let us in and after some brief talk they confessed to us a big domestic problem that they were in the middle of. It's kinda a long story, but basically Ernesto's sister who lives in the same house had been causing them lot's of problem and ended up getting the family in legal trouble. Ernesto was furious with her and was just waiting for her to get home to go off on her when we showed up. We decided we would share a short message with them and shared a couple scriptures and with the last scripture we shared the spirit communicated to them the message they needed to hear. Ernesto now completely calmed down thanked us and explained that that was exactly what he needed to here and that he could see God was with us because we were guided to share the message he needed at the exact time we needed it. Then when as we were finishing the lesson we asked them if they had been praying about the truthfulness of the message we have been sharing and whether they had received an answer and Karla said, well we have been praying and I know that God sometimes gives answers in signs and I think it was a sign that you guys showed up exactly at the right time even though it was much later than you had planned and the message you shared was what my husband needed to hear. I think that shows that you are guided by God. It was an incredibly spiritual lesson and we invited her and the rest of her family to prepare to be baptized and testified that as they continued listening, praying, and going to church they would be able to continue to receive confirmations of their answer to be able to feel ready to be baptized. 

The fourth incredible family we have been teaching is the family of David Perez. He is awesome and has been coming to church regularly, but there were a few weeks where we were only teaching him because his wife didn't want to listen to us. He feels that this is truly the church of Christ, and wants to be a member of Christ's church, but values the unity of his family and doesn't want to let this to be something that causes problems between him and his wife. These last two times we have visited them we have been able to teach them both together plus one of their daughters and his wife has been a lot more receptive. She has been listening and asking questions again and refuses to let us leave without feeding us something. We and David are fighting to get her to come to church at least once, but she works on Sundays and is still hesitant to sacrifice a few hours of work. We are hoping that her heart will be softened a little bit and she'll be able to get to know the church, so their family can enjoy the blessings of the restored Gospel. 

Ok that's all I got time for this week. Things are going great here and it's nice to be coming up on Christmas. Also this last week I hit my 9 month mark! cannot believe how quickly 2016 has passed by. Unfortunately thanksgiving isn't a thing here, but President and his wife are going to invite us over for thanksgiving celebrations, so that might end up being my pday and if I don't write next Saturday it'll be because I'm working in my area! Love you all and wish you all the best!

Elder Hamson

Only two pics this week. Christmas in the mall with Elders Galo, Neilson, and Gonzalez. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Area time is precious

This last two weeks have been extremely busy. Tons of little things added together to make these transfers extra busy, but the main thing was the fact that transfers week was the last week of the month, which is generally my busiest week anyways. We ended up getting something ridiculous like 7 hours in our area this week. It's rough now too because now Elder Galo and I are a separate companionship because the APs have a special assignment. Like 7 zone leaders finished their missions this week and there weren't a ton of missionaries that had the leadership qualities president was looking for, so he felt inspired to call two really young missionaries  to be Zls for Bello Horizonte, which is the zone that includes the office. They only have a few changes in the mission, so president put them together with the APs in a foursome, so the APs are effectively running the zone while training them to be good Zone leaders. It's kinda cool because now we have 6 missionaries in our house and in our area, but the hard part is now Elder Galo and I have to find a way to accomplish what normal missionaries get done, but in less than half the time... We'll see how it goes, but starting this week with only 7 hours in our area it was a rough start. Nonetheless we are ready to take on the challenge. 

In other news we baptized our first convert who lives in Los Robles, which is a super rich neighborhood in our area. We rarely work their because the people work all day long or are all closed up in their houses and are not very receptive at all. We met her from a member from the states that was visiting on business for a few weeks and he ran into in his work and brought her to church. From there we took over, but it was slow going, because she was always working and never had much time to visit, but she was coming to church every Sunday, and then a little ways back she lost her job, so these last two weeks we were able to visit her frequently and teach her everything and since she already had a testimony forming from the times she was able come to church, plus she always asked a bunch of questions during the gospel principles class, so in these last two weeks she was able to understand everything and felt ready to be baptized. It goes to show that there are people who are ready to hear our message everywhere, so if we don't work in all parts of our area we won't be able to find the people that God is preparing. It's still difficult for me to find the animo to go contacting in Los Robles, because we have so little time that I'm afraid of wasting valuable time with investigators and converts in other parts of our area. I'll have to think of an intelligent way to go about it. We'll start with getting references from her if we can.
Another unexpected blessing we received this week was that several missionaries had to come to Managua  from Puerto Cabezas to get their residencies, but there weren't any return flights until today, so they stayed with us yesterday, which was the one day in the week other than Sunday that we were able to work, so we were able to take advantage and Elder Galo went with one and I worked with the other and we were able to visit all the people that we hadn't been able to visit in the week.

Two of our most positive investigators right now are Romulo and Juan Jose. Romulo is in the intelligence division of the police and his wife is actually a member of the church but she has been inactive for a long time.  I love teaching him because he has a ton of good questions and also he's just a cool guy to talk too. We've only taught him a few times, but he has been receiving the lessons really well and has been reading the book of mormon and the pamphlets. His work schedule is pretty rough, and in general he works two 24 hour days and one 36 hour day in the week and then he studies  at the university on Sundays. Last Sunday he decided to sacrifice some study time and came to church for the first time! This week we have only been able to visit him once because of our conflicting schedules, but he should be coming to church again and he is preparing to be baptized towards the end of November. Juan Jose and his wife Bernarda are a tiny old couple of like 70 years or so. The are the nicest people and Juan is good friend with the first counselor in the Villa Flor stake. His biggest struggle is he can't walk and doesn't have a good wheel chair. So he still hasn't been to church, but his wife went last sunday and his friend found a wheel chair to lend him, so we'll be wheeling him o church this sunday. He is also preparing to be baptized towards the end of November. 

Anyways things ar good here and it felt really good to finally get a few hours of time in our area yesterday after a long week of having to do other stuff. Nothing beats some good time in the area meeting new people and teaching people about jesus and the book of mormon and see their faith and desires to follow christ. There are so many incredible people here!

Ok talk to you all next week. 


Elder Hamson

Here are some pics. Me and Elder Galo in the airport saying goodbye to my dad (trainer) in the mission, Elder Castro. Crazy that he already finished his two years, seems not too long ago that he was just completing 17 months. Who knows if I'll ever be able to make my way to Panama and see that guy again. Great Missionary. The next pick is me with David Chamorro who was our ward mission leader and will make one heck of a misisonary in Guatemala. He helped us out a ton, and I am stoked to hear how his mission goes. We were in the airport on other errands, so it was cool to cross paths with him and get to see him off. The last picture is a picture of our zone in the last multizone conference we had. 

Getting friendly with the local wildlife

Ginormous dead bat

What inevitably happens when you stop for a red light--los motos squeeze to the front

Monday, October 17, 2016

Never a normal week

Last week and the start of this week consisted of lots of time in the office, which isn't much fun. Last week Elder Galo had his first big deadline as Records Secretary and was stressing to get everything done and calling missionaries to send records so Tuesday and Wednesday we were in the office almost all day. I spent a good portion of the time helping him and let me just say I don't think I have shared enough about Nice addresses. Addresses in the states are so boring. Two of my favorite addresses that showed up on baptism records were, "de la palmita 35 varras al sur, Tipitapa, Managua" (from the little palm tree 35 rods to the south) and the other "detrás del muro de los mormones, Puerto Cabezas" (behind the wall of the Mormons). Hahaha good stuff.  Quick Nica vocab lesson: "Varras" are frequently used in directions and it took me a while to catch on, but essentially one block equals 100 varras, so saying something like 35 varras tells you, that you need to go roughly one third of the block. Anyways continuing with my week.. Thursday I had to do all my errands since Elder Galo had been busy the first part of the week. So we spent most of the day driving around to the bank, sinsa, disnorte-dissur, etc. Then Friday it was looking like we were going to get some solid time in the area, but things ended up coming up and we didn't get to the area till late. And then Saturday was pday, which was also extremely busy because a pipe broke under the concrete of our side porch, so I had to call the owner to get permission to have someone come cut the concrete to fix the pipe. So that whole fiasco took most of the morning. Then we had a few hours of solid pday time which we used to play soccer, eat, and write, but then our writing time got interrupted because we had to go to the hospital to pay a bill so they would let a missionary leave and from there we just ran to price smart to buy some food and that was our pday.

This week was supposed to be the Audit, so all day Monday and Tuesday I was in the office with Elder Neilson going though all the documentation we have archived and resolving all the other little things, but then Wednesday afternoon we got a call saying they were going to have to postpone the audit... That was good and bad news really. Bad because we spent a bunch of time preparing and good because it meant we no longer had to be in the office and could go work in our area. The only problem was when we got to the area we had zero things planned because we had planned to be in the office all day, so it was kinda a lot of visiting people who weren't home or just passing by to set up an appointment for a different day.

Thursday however we were able to plan and we had a great day in the area that started with the baptismal interview for Johnny who is super awesome and was a member reference. Members have such an incredible ability to find the people that are most prepared. All of the baptism we have had in my time in Managua except one have been member references.  Generally I think members are constantly consciously or subconsciously preparing all people in their circles, whether it's through little conversations or just through an example, so all it takes is a receptive heart and open mind really and boom you instantly have a perfect investigator. It seems like just yesterday that I was invited by Hermano Ramos to come over after work to meet Johnny and in the last month Johnny has progressed extremely quickly and has been going to church faithfully and his Baptism will be today in the afternoon! Also thursday afternoon we were able to meet up with David Perez who we have been struggling to run into. He was the last person I contacted with Elder Ramirez and after our first visit he went to church and then got a job that has him working almost 24/7, so when we have come by he has either not been there or its late like 8:30 and he's just getting back from work all tired because he's like 63 and his days of manual labor should be behind him. Anyways he had gotten home early, so we were able to talk to him and he let us in for a short visit. He wasn't sure if he is going to be able to make it to church this week because his granddaughter is turning one and the whole family is going to celebrate all day. He was sure to invite us to the party Sunday afternoon though to come eat with them. He is just the nicest guy. I always really enjoy our lessons with him because he is so excited to learn and he just gets it. I like his wife too because she just has an endless list of brewing questions for us that come to her mind at random points during the lesson and she doesn't hesitate to ask them in the same moment they occur to her. We were talking about keeping the sabbath day holy with them and out of nowhere she asks us if we smoke or drink. We said no of course and gave her the short reason why and then this evangelical lady that was listening in adds that we don't drink coffee either, in an attempt to make us look weird. The lesson was actually great until she showed up. The last time we had a good lesson with David and his family she showed up as well. She is like a fellowshiper or missionary of sorts for the neighborhood evangelical church and I think God doesn't want us to leave the family alone with her haha because both times she's come there we've been almost leaving, but each time a sudden torrential downpour of rain kept us stuck inside the house. She is always kinda looking to compete with us, so this time after we decided we would wait out the rain she casually explained to the family that we believe that jesus was a prophet. We just kinda shrugged and said well a prophet is someone who talks to God and then teaches the people Gods will, so then yeah Jesus was definitely a prophet, but seeing as he was the savior of the world and the son of God he was also much more than just a prophet. So from that she then said oh yeah that's another thing you guys believe that prophets have seen God, but that's not true because no one can see God. Elder Galo shared a scripture in Matthew that says that the clean of heart will see God, but that then sparked an argument about whether that was talking about after death or in dreams etc and I just said nothing because she was just trying to pick a fight, so then after going back and forth with my comp, she asked me why I was speechless and I said I just didn't want to argue with her, to which she got all defensive saying that's absolutely right, arguing is of the devil. I've kinda learned that when people start getting argumentative or heated it's generally best just to say nothing and wait. I then asked if I could share a scripture if she wasn't going to argue. So I just went to exodus 33:11 which is extremely clear and straight forward. Most importantly that was enough for the doubt to be resolved for David and his wife, and even though the evangelical lady didn't give up her position the discussion basically died down and David offered us a soda and a donut, which we gratefully accepted and by then the rain had slowed down enough, so we took off to get to our next appointment. Even though the rain had slowed down a bunch, the streets were rivers and after looking for a good place to cross we ended up giving in and getting wet up to the mid shins to cross the street, which is always good fun. Overall the lesson ended well and I think everyone was able to feel the spirit despite the spirit of contention that wanted to make a presence. The spirit of contention and the spirit of God can't be present at the same time! A lesson I learned from a different family in the same week who told us since we had started visiting them she and her husband hadn't argued at all which she drew the conclusion must have something to do with the messages because normally they argue all the time! 
The big disappointment of this week was that Julieta was stuck in Masaya all week. We were hoping to get her interview done on Tuesday because she is completely ready for her baptism. When we called her Monday night though she was in the hospital because her daughter got sick, so she wasn't gonna be able to leave Masaya until her daughter got better, but then whatever virus her daughter had passed to her granddaughter and then towards the end of the week she got it, so she ended up being stuck there all week long, so we'll have to move her baptism to next week.

Today we had pday with president and we all went to chocoyero which is a wild life reserve here in Managua and consisted of a short hike to a waterfall and back. It was a pretty nice jungle hike and we took a bunch of fotos together. Then we went to laguna de apoyo for lunch which is a giant lagoon that is in the crater of an ancient volcano and is a really beautiful spot. We grabbed lunch at one of the many restaurants there overlooking the lagoon. It was a great Pday, but took most of the day and we have Johnny´s baptism tonight, so we're in a bit of a rush! 

Until next week,

Elder Hamson. 

Photos: The street we had to cross after leaving Davids house. My family in the mish (My dad Elder Castro in the middle and my only brother Elder Vaides). Some of the sites on our hike. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Busy Conference Week

It's October! September just flew by, and all things considered it was a good month. This week was kind of hectic though.

Sunday we saw a bunch of miracles, undoubtedly resulting from our dedicating more time in the area. We had one of our most positive investigators, julieta, finally get over her biggest challenge (coming to church), because she goes and visits her daughters everyweekend in Masaya which is several hours away. This Sunday however she made the sacrifice and we all lit up when we saw her walk into church. Also the dad of a big family that we contacted last Friday, showed up to church on his own! And was super interested in the whole thing. We also had two members bring non member friends with them, so we got lots of surprise visitors along with the ones we brought ourselves. All in all it was a nice Sunday and awesome to see the additional blessings added on top that we received for our diligence in the week. The sucky thing is after such an awesome week and a ton of new investigators at church we had a ton of stuff come up this week and struggled to find decent time to work in our area and visit all the people that came on sunday.

Monday we were in the office until very late because Elder Ramirez had to teach Elder Galo everything he possibly could about being records secretary because he was leaving Tuesday.

Tuesday we had consejo de líderes, which is always nice to hang out with all my friends. This time we had basically my entire Somoto district there so we all took a picture together. Elder Castro, Diaz, Galo, Méndez, and Reinoso.  It was cool being with all of them for the last time because my dad (trainer) in the mission, Elder Castro, is leaving at the end of this transfer among with a whole hoard of other awesome Zls. After consejo we had to go drop off Elder Ramirez at the bus station with all his luggage, but due to traffic it took about two and a half hours to do that and get to the office. Elder Galo had to get a bunch of forms ready for the interviews on Wednesday, so that took up the rest of our night.

Wednesday was setting up to be a normal day, and even though I was booked with end of the month stuff, we were planning on getting to the area at 4pm, but plans were changed because there was an earthquake in León! Here in Managua we got a decent little shake, but nothing too strong, it just lasted a good little while and since we were in a giant office building we felt the movement pretty strongly. But over in momotombo it was the strongest and the walls of the house the missionaries were living in got cracked all the way around, so they had to move out immediately. Which basically meant we no longer had much hope of spending much time in our area because we had to help them out. We ended up getting about 2 hours of time in the area.

Thursday we were finally able to get to our area at 4 and we got a ton of bendiciones, or blessings, which is how we refer to contacts that are presented to us by members. Alma, who is a super pilas young woman went with us and our ward mission leader to meet two of her friends. The first one wasn't home and the second one was working and didn't have time to talk. Despite starting off not so well, we asked her if she knew anyone else that we could visit and she agreed to take us to one other family who ended up being decently positive and accepted a book of Mormon. From there she she recommended a house to buy donuts from, so we went to buy donuts and started talking to the lady who sells donuts and she turned out to be super positive and even insisted on giving us her number so we could set up a time when she wasn't working. She also accepted a book of Mormon. Then a friend of hers showed up, so we also talked to him and set up a day to go visit him in his house as well. Then Alma had to go to seminary, so we thanked her for her help and continued to our appointment with julieta. After julieta a man on a motorcycle pulled over to talk to us and totally took us by surprise by saying he was a member from Rubén Darío, but he has family in our area who aren't members and just live a block away, so he told us he would go ahead and when we passed we could go act like we were passing by chance and say hi to him and then he would introduce us to his family. Sounded like a good plan to us, so long story short we meet Jorge and kennith who seem interested in talking to us and we have an appointment to meet with them next week and left them with a part of the book of Mormon to read. The blessings didn't stop there because later in the night while our Zls were doing a baptismal interview, we went out to invite David Perez, who came to church for the first time last week, to conference this weekend and on the way back we passed by a member named Martha who offered us Jamaica and tacos and then proceeded to introduce us to two family members and two friends that we visiting her and aren't members. Then to finish off the night perfectly, Sinai passed her interview and is all set for her baptism. All in all it was a great day and honestly felt like God was compensating us for the fact that we haven't had any time to work in our area.

Friday we had our interviews with president which went really well. Interviews are a little different in the office because we are in constant communication with president so theres not a whole lot to be discussed. President ended up finishing the interviews early so he decided to accompany us for Sinai's baptismal service. The baptism went really and we are hopeful that she can be the key in reactivating her mom and helping her dad join the church. I don't know if how much I've talked about Sinai in my emails, because pdays always sneak up on me and I just write what ever comes to mind (this pday being an exception because it got postponed due to conference). But anyways she was actually investigating the church when I first got to the Maximo and for my first 2 weeks she was pretty positive, but then things got complicated because her boyfriend is super evangelical and   wouldn't let her go and so she wasn't going to church and stopped progressing. So we dropped her for a few weeks and then picked things up again and she has been super awesome now and has even been going to seminary most days. She'll be an awesome addition to the ward and like I said will hopefully help her family along the path.

Saturday was just a lot of alternating between being in conference and inviting/bringing people to conference. Which of course meant pday was out of the question, but weeks go by so quickly it'll be no time at all before our next pday. Conference was awesome though and today we added up the weekly numbers and as a mission we were able to bring 669 investigators to conference! A nice testimony that the work is hastening and the words of the prophet are reaching the ears of new people every 6 months. 

All in all it's been a good week and I'm looking forward to the meeting we have tomorrow for all trainers and trainees which add up to 96 missionaries, which is about half the mission! And someone has to buy food for them all, oh wait that's me.. That'll be fun. 

Until next week!

Elder Hamson

Here´s a few photos. The first two are photos of one of the stranger fruits that I have eaten here called licha or mamón chino. The third photo is of Sinai´s baptism. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Hey Everyone. Last Week was changes which meant the week was mostly a blur, with tons of running around and very little sleep. After 6 weeks as financial secretary I cam into these transfers much more prepared and things went really smoothly which was way nice. Also I now know the route to the airport well enough to do it with my eyes closed, which is a skill that comes in handy after two or three mornings of getting up at 3:30! The worst part of changes week is not actually the early mornings, but rather the fact that we have barely any time to work in our area. The week went really well though overall and we are really excited for this new group of missionaries because the seemed like a group full of future leaders. 

This week has been great up to this point. We have been able to get out of the office early almost everyday and have seen many of the blessings that come from diligent missionary work! Including several new awesome families. One of the highlights for me this week was getting our house all organized and cleaning out the old stuff that we no longer had use of and taking it all to a poor neighborhood in our area and giving it all away. It is way nice to have all that stuff out of the house, but it was even nicer to see all that stuff in the hands of people who really needed it. We just parked the giant truck and had a member spread the word and in a matter of minutes the truck was emptied. It always feels good to give away and see brighten someone elses life. It is often so easy to take for granted what we have and the ability we have to improve the lives of others. Now of course that was a good reminder of how we have something else to share that doesn't just provide happiness in the moment, but can really help people have a happiness that stays with them. The Gospel really is the gift that can do the most for people in their lives if they chose to accept it.  

Alright that's all for this week. Take care.

Elder Hamson

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Life in the office

I can't believe it's already P-day again! The weeks feel incredibly short in the office. Probably because we don't have enough time to do any of the things that we have to get done. And things are actually about to get more busy because this transfer is already running to an end which means we have to get everything ready for the 24 new missionaries and the 16 missionaries that are leaving. Also there is an Finance audit coming up so I have to make sure everything is ready, which is going to be a lot of work because I inherited quite a few problems.

Monday I remember basically nothing.

Tuesday was Leadership council which is always fun because I get to see my Panamanian brothers Elder Castro and Elder Diaz who are both ZLs now. Unfortunately for me the day was rather complicated because Ramirez had to stay in the meeting running the power points, while I had to go pay for and bring the lunch that Hermana Poncio had planned, from a place I had never been to. Addresses don't exist here, so I was just told what the house looks like and the general area where it was and then it was up to me and Fernandes to go explore Managua. It actually didn't end up being to hard to find it though and I did get to know pretty well the layout of that part of Managua. Tuesday night I went out to work with Ramirez and Fernandez in trio which went pretty well. We have an investigator right now named Eric who came out of nowhere and is incredible. He is a friend of Alenka who was baptized last week, and before her baptism she started to invite him to church and since then he has come to every activity and church meeting that we have invited him to without fail. He is an inspiration in the way that he completely changed his life around. He has been a well known bolo for many years and has stolen to support his drinking habits and been in and out of Jail, but we got to know him through Alenka and he immediately took to the church and the teachings and from one day to the next completely stopped drinking and has shown up to every church activity that we have had and yesterday he got baptized! But I'll get to that later.

Wednesday I had to go to church HQ in Nicaragua with Neilson to talk to the Financial adviser about the upcoming audit, which basically left me with a lot more homework, but also was really good, because now I have a much better idea of what the procedures are and what I can and cannot do in my position. Wednesday night I worked with Ramirez because we've started rotating companions every week between the five of us that are in the office. We've hit kind of a rough patch in the area because a bunch of the investigators we have found are not progressing, so right now we only have a handful of investigators that are really positive. So in the night we basically just did a fair amount of contacting with not too much success.

Thursday we had a bunch of errands to take care of all morning in the office, but nothing very exciting. In the evening we had our ward Noche de hermanamientos which went really well and afterward we had a last lesson with Eric and then the Zls came over for his interview. Then we had a little bit of time in the night to work, but we were feeling pretty down with our contacting luck and had been rejected most of the day, or people weren't home, so the last 30 min we decided to apply a piece of advice that president had shared with us, where instead of doing a normal contact just go up to a house and ask them if they'd mind if we said a quick prayer with their family kneeling down together and then just leave without any questions asked. We tried it with the next family that we saw sitting outside on their porch. When we approached them they were pretty quick to tell us that they are catholic and we already well set with their religion. We told them we just would like to pray with them, so they let us in and we had a kneeling prayer with the whole family. Then as we were leaving one of them said "solo tengo una duda" "de que consiste su religion", which we happily answered and from there they asked five or so more questions and we ended up teaching a full lesson and giving a book of Mormon to one of them who was particularly curious about what the book talked about and she agreed to read it and pray about it. It was pretty cool to see how instead of trying to gain their confidence with our words we just had a short prayer with them and let the spirit do the work.

Friday we had Erics Baptism. It has been way cool to see how happy he is about this change he has had in his life and how happy his family is as well that he has turned his life around.

Until Next time,
Elder Hamson

Pictured below: Erics baptism (hermano Chepito baptized him). A picture from Hermana Poncios surprise birthday visit last week, (I'm taking the picture). Some typical food at a members house (a mountain of rice and a little bit of meat). Monday nights in the office. 34 fans packed into thhe truck. The truck is already top heavy as it is, plus the delivery guys didn't do a very good job strapping it all on, so I drove very slowly.