Tuesday, April 26, 2016

New Elder and Weekend Miracles

Hello all,

I'm coming to learn that there is no such thing as a normal week in the mission. This week started of rough because Monday the power was out almost the entire day, leaving us only about 30 min to email. Then on Tuesday we had to be in Managua by 8:00 a.m. for capacitación de nuevos, which involved waking up at 1:45 a.m. Tuesday morning to be sure as not to miss the 3:00 a.m. bus for managua, spending a ton of money on travel, and a 4.5 hour bus ride with zero leg room. The best part of the capacitación was the massive all you can eat lunch at a near by restaurant, although the messages and practices of the capacitación were also quite good. Also I'm grateful that I wasn't assigned to managua as my first area because even though it would be convenient for travel purposes, it is way hotter there than it is in Somoto. The ride back was also an adventure because the last bus for Somoto left like 40 min before the capacitación ended, so we had to take the Ocotal bus, which then dropped us off on the side of the road about 20 min from Somoto at around 9:00 p.m., so we then waited for someone who was willing to give us a ride in their pick up and we miraculously mde it back to our house by 9:30.

The new Elder is a mini missionary, who we meet up with in Managua and will only be with us for the remainder of the transfer. We had a couple semi normal days of work wich was a nice break from all the craziness before. Friday I worked with the mini missionary, Elder Meza, because Castro had to interview several of Elder Diaz's investigators. It was a little difficult starting out but we really got into the swing of things towards the end of the day and ended up getting five new baptismal dates set! Then I met up with Castro and we went to share a short message with Mama Nerly, who makes us breakfast and Lunch everyday, lets us use her washing machine on Pdays, and feeds us Sunday dinners all for a very reasonable compensation. Basically she's super awesome and has been an investigator for months, but has trial after trial come up that have kept her from getting baptized: her husband is atheist, her grandaughter is a disaster, her daughter's pastor periodically gives sermons on why not to listen to the Mormons, and since we eat at her restaurant everyday she hears a lot of peoples opinions about mormons all throughout the day. Everything started to fall in line though and she tenatively agreed to get baptized this coming week. After the message Castro and I shared, she gave a touching prayer in which ahe thanked her Heavenly Father for sending us into her life and she loved us like her own children and she promised she would be baptized. All in all a pretty fantastic day.  

Saturday we baptized three youth ages 11, 12, and 13. We are working on baptismal dates for of their respective families as well, but it is common for the kids to be baptized first because they don't have any problems, whereas the adults are always super hesitant about getting married or have some other trial that is keeping them from being baptized. 

On Sunday mission president asked us to send him photos of our sacrament meetings so he could send us funds to purchase a new meeting house if he determined that we needed it. We were nervous about getting enough people and since the people always show up late, when we started our first meeting there were only about 7 or 8 people not including us. Thoughout the meeting however more and more arrived until we were overflowing. The same thing occured in the afternoon meeting, giving us an incredible total church attendance of 55 people! It's incredible to see how quickly we are growing, seeing as my first Sunday here we only had about 28 people total and in 4 weeks we almost doubled the attendance. 

Here are some pictures of the two sacrament meetings and the baptism of Joudi, Lenin and Saydi.

Also here is a panorama view of Somoto. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Trabajando en trio

This entire week we have been working in a trio because the new missionary still hasn't arrived. Word is we will be getting a mini missionary from Chinendega, Nicaragua tomorrow. Working en a trio consists of a ton of walking, splits with members, not being able to visit nearly as many people, and sharing two beds. Luckily we have two preisthood holding young members who have been willing to help us out and them both being a little odd and usually aren't available the entire day, we greatly appreciate their help. 

Tuesday this week I went to Ocotal on exchanges to work with our zone leader Elder Cedeño, who is quite short but walks extremely quickly, so I had a very productive day working with him. We had a bunch of really good lessons and got a good number of baptismal dates set. Also he had to go interview one of the Sister missionaries investigators, which meant I got to talk to the Sister missionaries in ENGLISH which was nice, because I can converse effortlessly. 

Thursday we had another exchange, but this one was a lot more difficult because Castro left and Diaz was working with a member which meant I was the señor companion and had to run everything with Elder Reinoso only their for back up support in lessons. I still don´t know the area too well, but it was easier than I expected to remember where everyone lives. It was tough to lead the teaching, because some of the investigators I had only met once and didn´t have a very good idea of what lessons they needed, because I had been working in Diaz´s area a bunch. Over all though the day went well and I learned a bunch and realized that I still have a lot to learn.

Saturday started great because we had a baptism in the morning and a bunch of investigaders attended the baptism. Elder Castro baptized a older lady named Maria and it was rather an interesting baptism because immediately after being baptized she began to sing some song about being baptized. It was quite entertaining. She´s a little strange, but has an awesome testimony of the church that she shared with everyone last fast sundaySaturday night we have Noche de Hermanamientos, which is basically a short spiritual message followed by some game and then some snacks (which we buy.. one of the hardest things about being in Nucleo is not having a branch budget). The night started off great and Pricsila even had one of her friends there and she was super animado about the whole thing and even volunteered for the opening prayer, so we were stoked about the posibility of a new investigator. Then for the game all of the kids wanted to play asasino, which is really an innocent game where one person is it and winks at other people to get them out and the goal of the game is to guess who is doing the winking. Several of the people there were offended by the name of the game (we learned this afterward, they did not say a word in the moment), however and several people departed into the other room and it some how turned into this big thing where Pricsila´s friend left without a word, several other investigators expressed that they would not be attending church tomorrow. IT was a huge disaster. 

Sunday made up for the awful saturday night because there were a number of miracles. The first being the extended family of an investigader that we met when we were out reminding people to come to church. We invited them to come to church and it seemed for a while that they weren´t going to show up, but then near the end of sacrament meeting they showed up, the young mother holding her infant baby in one hand and pushing her mother down the hot, rocky road with the other hand and the 6 year old trailing behind! We had no idea the grandma was wheelchair bound or else we would have assisted them, but it certainly explained why they were late, because that is an extremely long way to push a wheel chair one handed over an incredibly rocky dirt road. Another miracle that occured was that we didn´t lose a single person because of the events the night before, every single person that said they wouldn´t come came and enjoyed the spirit that was present in the meeting. Another miracle was a woman named Rosibel, who is catholic and had only been to one of our activities in the past because her partner (not husband... literally no one is married.. so frustrating) dragged her along with him, but this Sunday he was out of town and when we passed by her house to see if she was coming, she wasn´t there, so we were ecstatic when she showed up to sacrament meeting by her own free will! In total we had a church attendance of 40, which was awesome.

All in all a good week.

Here are some pictures from the week. The first is of the three of us all crammed in a tricycle because we were extremely tired and didn´t want to walk all the way from Elder Diaz´s house to mine and Castro´s on the opposite side of the city with all our stuff. The second picture is Elder Reinoso, who is from the Dominican Rebpublic, and I at the house about to finish the day with some tacos from a delicious mexican restaurant. And the last photo is after the baptism waiting for a bus to take us all back into town. 

A ride in a pickup truck from Cacuali back to Somoto, courtesy of a very nice guy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Semana de destrucción

This week was rather crazy. Tons of changes happened. Tuesday and Wednesday were fairly normal, but then Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder De Leon, which was strange because I had to meet a whole new set of investigators and members and De Leon has a very different teaching method than Castro. It was cool though because one of our most solid members here in Somoto, Cristin, went with us most of the day and was super helpful because she was a member and church was held in her house, so she could invite people. De Leon is kinda funny too, he doesn´t have a whole ton of patience when investigators don´t answer the door. After the 5th or 6th ¨buenos¨ he start knocking on the doors and windows or if they had a gate, start throwing rocks at the side of the house. Also he isn´t afraid at all of inviting everyone to be baptized. Even the bolos (drunkards), who always accept baptism, but are impossible to find afterwards because they just roam the streets. Which reminds me, earlier in the week I was walking with Castro and there was a guy passed out in the middle of the street and I looked at Castro like ¨is that guy dead¨ and he just kinda shrugged and said ¨nah es un bolo.. es normal¨. Super sad. I always want to help the bolos, but there´s nothing you can do when they are intoxicated, and they are always intoxicated. Oh and another thing I just remembered. My strret name here is Chele Grandote. Chele is the word they use for gringo here and Grandote means super big. That´s what everyone calls me in the streets.

Anyways, after exchange with De Leon, I went back with Castro and Friday and then we got a call saying that Castro and I would be in a trio with Diaz today, because De Leon was leaving for Managua, due to some unexpected reason. We were all super surprised and sad to see De Leon go. We accompanied him by bus to Esteli, and then he went the rest of the way to Managua solo, and we came back to Somoto, but that whole fiasco took most of the day, so we had very little time and a ton of appointments in both our area and Diaz´s area. Saturday was super rough too because the three of us had to cover the appointments and investigators of both areas, so we ended up doing a ton of walking. Sunday was the hardest day of the mission yet because it was fast Sunday and we had a ton of work to do, to round people up for each sacrament meeting in our respective areas. Fortunately we were blessed with a cooler, cloudy day, because if it was a hot, sunny day I might have died. There was also some sort of festival going on where a ton of young kids ages 2-10ish (it´s super hard to tell because everyone here looks way younger than they are), that all came walking through the streets on a ton of horses and donkeys, it was cool, but I didn´t have my camera. Sacrament meetings went really well and in total we had an attendance of 37, so we will be looking to purchase a meeting place in the center of the city this week, so we can combine the two sacrament meetings and gain the status of Rama. We still have a ton of work to do though because we don´t have enough solid members and even our super solid members have much to learn. Like Hermano Alberto is probably our future branch president, but at church yesterday he began the opening prayer ¨in the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit...¨, it was a great prayer, but that first bit caught us all off guard. Both sacrament meetings went well, and although it´s challenging being in Nucleo and me, Castro, and Diaz having to give like 15 min testimonies each, it is really exciting to be building up the church from the bottom up.

Next week is looking to be really promising. The new Elder is coming in sometime today, and Castro and I have 5 baptismal dates set up for this weekend!

I don´t have much pictures from this week, but we saved a frogs life, so here´s that. And a picture of our house.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 1 in Nica

Ok so nicaragua is a tiny bit different than the MTC. The last week has been pretty crazy and I feel like a months worth of things happened, so there´s no way I can tell it all. We arrived on Monday and the mission president and two office missionaries met us at the airport and we went to eat and then to the office missionaries house to stay the night. My mission president and his wife are from costa rica and neither of them speak very much english. Mission president was impressed with my spanish, so he assigned me a latino companion for my trainer. His name is Elder Castro, he is from Panama and knows only a few english words and phrases. I´m his first north american companion. In fact, my entire district is latino, so after I left managua it has been 100% immersion, which is great for my spanish, but it also super difficult. Elder Castro is really cool though and he´s been out 17 months, so he knows what he´s doing. The first couple days kinda felt like a dream. Steaming hot, sitting in the most impoverished houses, and not really understanding much of what was going on. I can understand most of what people say, but there are a ton of words still that people use that I don´t understand and some people talk super fast or have a strange accent that just makes it super hard to follow the conversation. Usually I get the general idea of what they are talking about, but it is difficult to contribute to the discussion when I´m not sure exactly what they are saying. Elder Castro has been working on finding ways to include me in the conversation and letting me practice my spanish, but it´s hard because he can explain things so much better than I can. 

My first area is Somoto, which is the capitol of Madriz. It´s pretty far north; about 30 min from Honduras and a long 4 hour bus ride from Managua. The are is a decently new area. It opened a couple months ago but the first missionaies here had a hard time getting the church started. The week before I came up my companion baptized 8 people, so now we have a total of 10 members in our side of Somoto. The other companionship in our district has the other side of Somoto and have around 14 members. Currently we have separate sacrament meetings for our different sides of Somoto, but we have been looking to buy a new meeting place near the center of the town, so we can combine our sacrament meetings and get the last few members we need to become a branch. It´s pretty hard starting up a branch because there are a ton of churches around here and it´s hard to commit people to come to a small meeting in someones house. This week of course was general conference which was held in a cyber, whch we basically had to buy out for saturday andSundaySunday morning we were able to pull a pretty good attendance and had a total of 22 people all crowded around the 5 computers in the cyber with one of the computers hooked up to an amp. It was way hard to get much out of the conference messages because I was super tired and couldn´t stay focused long enough to understand the complete message, plus a lot of it was beyond my spanish vocabulary. 

So far though things have been going really well. The people are very open to listen for the most part and it is pretty fun to just sit down and talk to random Nica families, although most of the time I´m just sitting there trying to follow the conversation between my companion and the person. It´s really cool being immersed in the culture and the language though because I´m not learning what the words mean in english or what the culture is like, I´m learning in what circumstance different words and phrases are commonly used and I´m living the culture. One of the strangest things as far as the language goes is people use adios as a salutation as you pass. That was super weird my first day saying adios to people and them responding adios, instead of saying one of the greetings I learned in school, like hola, buenos dias, buenas tardes, or something like that. When I asked my companion why they do that he agreed that it was different, but it was just a custom. Also a lot of people talk in vos hear, which I haven´t learned. So It´s definitely tricky, but I´m getting better everyday.

As far as missionary work goes, it´s been super twanis. We got a total of 8 or 10 baptismal dates this week and a few of them are some pretty solid families, so we are stoked about that. I also performed my first baptizm this week! His name is Lester and his parent´s were baptized last week. The other missionaries, Elder Diaz and DeLeon, have been teaching his family, but when we asked him who he wanted to baptize him he said me and the other Elders were all for it, so long story short my first baptism was in my first week and we had to hike to a river to perform the baptism. 

I could go on about our investigators and more of the events that occured this week, but I have no time because today for Pday we took a bus down to ocotal to play soccer with the zone and that ended up taking a lot of the day. One thing that is super nice is one of our investigators owns a restaurant and we pay her every 15 days and she provides us with breakfast and dinner everyday and she does our laundry as well. It´s way nice not having to cook. Most meals are pretty much the same though. Gallo pinto, a small portion of meat, fried platanos, and juice of some sort. I still am not quite sure what half of the juices are made of, like mareculla (probably spelled wrong) and tamarindo, but they taste pretty good.

Ok I think that´s all for this week. Here are some pictures.

Friday, April 1, 2016

March 26, 2016

One Day Left

I don't have too much to report from this week. We didn't have TRC this week, so we didn't do much teaching. We got to Skype another member though, this time from Argentina, and he was pretty fun to talk with and then we just shared an Easter message with him. Easter tomorrow should be pretty awesome. We have a special Easter morning devotional that will undoubtedly be given by an Apostle, so we are all looking forward to that. We had to say good bye to all our teachers this week, so that was pretty sad. I'll probably email my teachers throughout my mission. 

I honestly enjoyed the MTC as a whole. It was a good experience and I feel like I learned a bunch and grew a bunch. That being said I'm pretty tired of the MTC schedule, food, provo and am really looking forward to being in Nicaragua! The rest of my zone is all flying down to Buenos Aires together, so it'll suck saying bye to all my friends and not have any familiar faces going to Nicaragua with me.  

That's really all I've got to tell for this week. Thanks to all of you that sent dear elders or other mail during my time here at the MTC! I enjoyed hearing from you and I'm sorry I didn't have any time to write back. Next time you hear from me I'll be in Nicaragua!

Elder Hamson

Heres some pictures with our teachers. Outside with Hno. Clark, in the class with Hno. Corbin, and on the stairs with Hna. Vargas. 

March 19, 2016

9 Days Left

Hello everyone!

This week has been great. Today started off with a bang because we decided to go to the temple early in the morning rather than the afternoon with the rest of our zone. We went to the 7am session and then got the best breakfast we've had since we've been here by far. They served belgian waffles, real hashbrowns and bacon at the temple and it was very well received. we're all pretty sick of the MTC food, so I think we'll probably go to the temple to eat one or two more times. The temple session combined with the breakfast were just a great way to start the day. 

This week was our last week of teaching investigators. We really enjoyed teaching our TRC investigator Viri and we invited her to prepare to baptism at the beginning of this week after a really good lesson. I extended the baptismal invitation she said yes, but I accidentally said ¨ser bautizado¨ instead of ¨ser bautizada¨ because we memorized it as bautizado, but shes a female.. oops. When I extended the baptismal invitation to Paula I corrected the mistake. We learned a ton from our teacher role playing Paula for our progressing investigator. We all can't wait to get out in the field to start talking to more people! We had our first skype TRC on thursday and that was way cool. We skyped Hermana Cortez, a member who lives in León Nicaragua, and it was super cool to hear about her life and share a short message with her. We were surprised to find that we could understand her very well even though it is kinda hard to hear over skype. Especially when you have a bunch of missionaries skyping in the same room and then on her end motorcycles passing by every few minutes. She shared with us her conversion story and told me a little about what the missionary work is like in Nicaragua. She said the majority of people are catholic, but most are willing to meet with and talk with the missionaries, the hard thing she said was getting them to follow through on commitments because most people aren´t big readers. It was way cool to talk with someone in Nicaragua, who I will probably meet at some point in real life. We have skype TRC again next week so I´m way looking forward to that. Most likely it´ll be someone from argentina this time. 

For the Tuesday devotional this week Elder Zeballos of the 70 talked which was cool because he came into our class on like the second day and role played as our first investigator. We watched a short clip of an Elder Bednar talk that is pretty exclusive, I think because he mentioned some specific blessing to the people he was adressing, so the church won´t put the talk up for viewing. Or something like that. Anyways he talked about how to recognize promptings of the spirit and he basically said ¨don´t worry about it¨. He said if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing and a good idea comes to your mind, just do it. You don´t need to sit there and question whether it is the spirit, just do what you feel to be right in the moment and the spirit will guide your thoughts and actions whether you are aware of it or not. Perhaps you´ll know it was the spirit in the moment, perhaps you´ll realize it was the spirit in retrospect, or perhaps you´ll never realize that the spirit was working through you. Oh and another random thought I had during this week.. None of the activities we do in the CCM are things I would consider fun. Studying, teaching, meetings,and waking up early are all not fun things. And I can't do all the things that I would consider fun like surfing, hanging out with family and friends, watching tv, using my phone. Yet somehow I'm happy and enjoying my time here. It's rather strange and also kinda cool. Ok that's all for this week!

Con Amor,
Elder Hamson

March 12, 2016 Birthday Week

This week flew by. A birthday in the mtc isn't the greatest thing ever, because you can't take the day off and relax. In fact my birthday was the busiest day of the week by far because we had to teach 4 lessons that day. It was fun to get a bunch of packages and letters though! The sisters in my district also got me some cookies and a drink and they made me this birthday crown, but it didn't take long for some old guy to tell me to take it off and keep up the appearance of a missionary:( I can't really remember all too much about what else happened this week.. it all just kinda blurred by. Oh yeah well Sunday was fast Sunday and that was super rough because it was a full 24 hour fast so that was an incredibly long day. Fast and testimony meeting was good though because we got to hear from all the people in our zone who were leaving for the field. After Monday we only had two districts left of our zone, but luckily come Wednesday we got a new district. It's nice to be the older missionaries in the zone now. 

The devotional this week was really good, because Elder Pino from the seventy spoke and he gave his entire talk in spanish with a translator, so it was awesome to practice listening and being able to understand what he was saying without the translator. Also it kept me awake during the devotional because it required some focus. He gave a good talk about how Christ teaches and how he calls us up to a higher plane of understanding, like with parables and such. He related it to our mission calls and how we had been called to a higher plane and as such need to comply to a higher standard of obedience than we were used to. I really enjoyed the talk. I the whole idea of thinking of people being on all sorts of different planes of understanding and God being on a perfect plane of understanding and Christ as the mediator being the only one able to teach to any plane of understanding to help raise us up to a higher plane of understanding. Also it applies to us teaching investigators and recognizing their level of understanding and teaching them according to their language and understanding like that verse in 2 nephi 31. I think it's like verse 3 or 4 or something. Anyways just an idea that made an impression on me. Hopefully the way I explained it makes sense. 

That's all for this week I think. MTC time is just cruising by and I can't wait until I get out in the field. I am still getting along great with my companions and the other two elders in my district. Pretty amazing how good of friendships can be formed in only a few weeks when you are spending every minute of the day with the same people. 

Hope everyone is doing well! Love and miss you all. 

Heres a pic we took with Tim.

March 5, 2016

One Day til Halfway

I leave the 28th of March, so tomorrow is officially the halfway mark! Things have been going really well here. The time is flying, probably due to the fact that more of our study time is spent teaching or learning from great teachers instead of just trying to study on our own. I forgot to bring my journal to the computer lab, so I'm not sure how much I'm gonna be able to remember from this week.. 

The highlight of the week was probably hosting because we got to spend a couple hours out in the sun meeting the newbies and both Tim and another guy that I know from my home stake, Elder Nielson, came in this week. I was trying to wait for Tim to show up, but they got directed to the other drop off zone, so I ended up just hosting for Elder Nielsen, which was pretty cool because I could talk with someone I know and let him know what to expect for the MTC. Turns out his classroom is just down the hall from mine, so I'll probably see him a fair amount. Or at least that's what I thought, but I've been seeing Tim way more frequently. Probably due to the fact that my district is always on the lookout for my super tall cousin. Another cool thing that happened this week is we moved buildings on thursday because they needed to do some renovation on our old building. We were really annoyed about it at first because the AC in our new room doesn't work, the building smells weird and there are only 10 showers (the old building had twice as many) for the whole first floor! It turned out being cool though because Tim is staying in the same building just down the hall from the new room we moved in to, so we can hangout and chat pretty much every day. 

As far as missionary stuff goes, this week we've been teaching a guy from the Dominican Republic named Elias Sanchez for our TRC. He's a super cool guy and the lessons have been going really well. Some of the TRC investigators are real investigators and some are members volunteering to play the role of an investigator. We are pretty sure that Elias is the latter because we saw the Gospel library app on his phone. He was really fun to teach though, because he asked good questions and was super light hearted and constantly joking around. He agreed to come to church with us tomorrow, so we'll see if he shows up. We learned that we are getting assigned a new TRC investigator next week, so we are super bummed about not being able to teach Elias anymore. We are also teaching Paula, who is being role played by our teacher Hermana Vargas. It is a little difficult to look at our Teacher as an investigator, but she is role playing one of her best friends who is an atheist and has a lot of interesting questions, so I am enjoying our lessons with her. It's also really nice to get feedback from her on our lessons. We taught her last night and gave her our best lesson so far. She said our tripanionship has a really good combination of skills. She said I was really good at explaining things and applying it to the investigator or helping it makes sense to the investigator (probably because I've been surrounded by nonmormons my whole life so I'm used to how they think about the church and what questions they have), she said Elder Pace is really good at declaring doctrine and is not ashamed to say it boldly, and Elder Nelson (who's spanish isn't very good right now) is the best at helping her feel the spirit because even though he has a hard time finding the words, she can tell he has a lot to say and is speaking from the heart. Now that we know what our strengths are it'll be easier to work together and utilize those different skills.

That's about it I think. I guess another thing I should mention is our other teacher Hermano Clark has played a big role in my enjoying my time here and class time going quickly. He is a great teacher and I always get a ton out of his lessons and enjoy learning both spanish and doctrine from him. We've had some really interesting discussions with him and he's completely open to discuss any of my doctrinal questions. Ok I think that's all i've got for this week. Talk to you all later!

Elder Hamson

Well at least in my head tomorrow was the half way point... I just did the math though and we're not quite there . Dangit. Oh well here are some pictures from the week. The picture with us in the classroom is our whole district (Hermana Vargas our teacher is the short mexican lady in the center). The Picture with that huge mass of people at the temple is our zone. Also sometimes I use study time for things other than studying. Aka trying to sleep. 
February 27, 2016   

Week 2!
The days are starting to move by much faster. This week was a blur. All the studying and teaching blends together and makes it impossible to differentiate the days. Things are going pretty well all things considered. All the guys in my district get along super well and we pretty much just all hangout together rather than splitting up into companionship and we manage to find ways to make the days fun while still getting everything done that we need too. It's really kinda amazing how we've all become such good of friends in such a short time. I think I forgot to mention this in my email last week, but I am basically the only Elder going to Nicaragua. My whole district and nearly the whole Zone is going to Argentina. So I am constantly getting singled out. It's cool though because I like being the unique one. Alsop in spanish they are all learning to pronounce 'y' and 'll' as 'ch' while I just learn the normal pronunciations of everything. 

As far as things that happened this week. We go to the temple every p-day, so we went last Saturday afternoon and we will go again today. Last week it was packed! They need a bigger temple to accommodate all the missionaries. We also go on sunday afternoon temple walks after church on sunday and people just meet up with friends and stuff, so there was just a massive pile of people outside the temple taking pictures and chatting. The pseudo investigator we have been teaching gave us feedback on our lessons yesterday and is now going to be our teacher for the next 5 weeks which I'm super stoked about because word on the street is he is the best spanish teacher in el CCM (MTC), and we got to know him and be taught by him last night and he is definitely un capo (a cool guyor a boss). 

Oops accidentally hit ctrl + shift and it sent before I was done typing. I guess that's pretty much it though. I'll send pictures when my comp is done with his card reader. Oh yeah and also my district was assigned to host for the new missionaries next week which we are stoked about. Is Tim coming in next week? If so I might be out on the curb when he gets dropped off. Ok that's all for know I think. Oh yeah and I'm really enjoying speaking a ton in spanish. It's pretty fun to practice speaking a bunch and I almost don't even remember how to say a prayer in english haha. Ok hasta luego. 

Oh yeah and here is a temple pic with the guys from my district. 

February 20, 2016

First P-Day

Hey everyone. 

Today is my first P-Day and it feels like a much needed break. Even though it's only been three days it feels like forever. 6:30 - 10:30 is a long time to study and learn Spanish. Luckily I got assigned to cool companions and a cool district. I am in a trio and I get along really well with my companions, Elder Pace and Elder Nelson. The other two elders in our district are cool too so we end up having a lot of fun hanging out together even though the classroom can get tiresome. So far the Spanish has been pretty easy, or at least it's easy to understand people when they speak to me in Spanish. We taught our first two lessons yesterday in spanish. The first one we taught was a family that randomly showed up at our classroom while we were preparing to teach an investigator last night. We practiced speaking to them in Spanish and then shared a short message. It was harder than I expected. It was actually pretty tough to figure out how to say what I wanted to get across in Spanish. The lesson went ok though and it definitely was nice to be in a trio because we could all help eachother when someone got stuck. After we finished teaching the family we learned that the guy we taught, Hernano Zevallos (I think that's how you spell it), was a general authority! So our first lesson ever was teaching a member of the seventy. Then he shared a short message with us about not worrying about making mistakes in spanish and instead just trying hard to just speak from the heart. Later we had a lesson with an investigator named Marcos Ramirez (pretty sure he was a rm pretending to be an investigator), but he didn't make it easy on us. he asked good questions and did not attempt to help us when wer struggled to find the spanish word to answer his questions. Somehow we managed to talk to him for a full 30 min and it went fairly well. At the end we got him to commit to praying and we will meet with him again tonight, but we have no clue what we will teach him next. For some reason the computers were having issues today so we have no time to write, so this is all I have time to say. Also it's only been three days, so not too much has happened yet. Also my computer is freaking out so I can't go back and fix typos sorry. Hope you all are doing well. 

Picture of my zone