Sunday, February 19, 2017

1 Year!!!

This week was actually a pretty exciting week. It started off with a bang because on Sunday we received a call from the APs about some emergency changes that would be taking place, one of which involved a new records secretary coming to replace my companion Elder Galo! so that took us way off guard and we weren't informed why but we found ourselves at mayoreo that night to pick up Elder Chinchilla who will be my new comp! Elder Chinchilla is from Costa Rica and therefore perfectly completes my Central American trick because I now have had a companion from every country in central america: Castro (Panama), Galo (Honduras), Cordova (El Salvador), Ramirez (Guatemala), and Chinchilla (Costa Rica)! Alright so I guess that just leaves out Belize, but no one really talks about Belize being part of central america, plus there aren't any missionaries from Belize in the mission, so as far as I´m concerned it doesn't really count. Elder Chinchilla only has 6 months in the mission which I used to see as being pretty old in the mission, but now it seems pretty dang young! He is super cool though, is a great missionary, and even speaks decent english because he worked in tourism before his mission. I hope we become good friends because that'll give me a reason to go back and visit costa rica post mish! This week and next we will be in trio (Me, Chinchilla, and Galo), because Galo needs to train him in his responsibilities and then at the end of february Galo will get sent off to who knows where and I'll stay with Chinchilla. It's probable that I'll be receiving the next Financiero to train this change because I'm at about 7 months in the office as Financer, which is a long time!

As exciting as it is to have a new comp, the highlight of the week still goes to the last minute visit from Elder Rasband!. I say last minute because the meeting plan was changed like a thousand times which was a bit of a headache for us here in the office, but all in all it turned out great! Elder Rasband was coming to Nicaragua to speak with President Daniel Ortega, who is the eternal President of Nicaragua. Apparently Daniel Ortegas Office didn't want to release the exact meeting time until the day before, so we had no clue what time the meeting would be at, nor what time it would end, nor exactly how many people would be coming, all we knew was that Elder Rasband and Christensen were going to be in Nicaragua and were going to try to meet with the missionaries. We finally got the call confirming the schedule of the conference with Elder Rasband on Monday at 6:30am and were faced with the task of getting everything ready for the meeting which would be the following day. The good news was that lots of the meeting set up was taken care of by Church HQ, but we were assigned by Elder Ochoa to set up a Lunch for all of the General Authorities and there wives (which number about doubled every 4 hours throughout the day), plus the normal responsibilities of setting up transport for all of the far zones as well as food for all the missionaries. Needless to say Monday was a rather busy day.

Tuesday was the least significant Holiday for a missionary ( Valentines Day), but it turned out to be a pretty significant day as we got the opportunity to meet with the south mission and get a personalized session of General Conference. We had the privelege to listen to Elder Rasband of the Quorum of the 12 and his wife, Elder Christensen of the Presidency of the 70 and his wife, Elder Duncan (President of the Area 70 for central america) and his wife, and Elder Ochoa (first counselor to Elder Duncan) and his wife.. Also in attendance were all of the stake Presidents in Nicaragua and there wives as well as Elder Maravilla, the area 70 over Nicaragua. It was a very spiritual meeting and there was a huge focus on the fact that Nicarguans are a chosen people and the our job to love them and to help them from the moment we find them all the way until they arrive at the temple. There was also a huge focus placed on the importance of the united missionary workforce of the church and how we should think of members as our companions in the work instead of just sources of references (and food lol). I don't have time to get into all the details of the meeting, but a lot was learned and we are all hopefully awaiting a temple in Nicaragua pronto. Later that afternoon they would be meeting with President Daniel Ortega, and Elder Rasband Promised us that he would preach the gospel to him! Here is the link to the article about it in Nicaraguas national news website.

As far as the rest of the week went things were relatively tranquilo and we were able to get a TON of work done in our area because we are 4 including Kevin, so we were able to do divisions everyday and cover all of our area! We had a few setbacks with a few of our investigators, because Joseling and her family suddenly dropped off the map and then a family member of Luzmara and Angela passed away, so they were out of town all week. Everyone else is doing really well though. Angela and Antonio are still working toward getting married and baptized at the end of February, so we will be visiting them constantly to help Antonio stay clean and put alcohol behind him. We were able to find a ton of new people this week as well like Carmen, Carolina, Javier, Joel, Cipriano, mykelin, Carlos and more! All of whom gladly listened to us and wanted to hear more, which is something that is really incredible about waspan. Everyone is so receptive to contacting! I can't get in to much detail this week, because I've gotta send this out, but more details are to come and we are excited for what is to come here in Waspan.

Love and miss you all, and see you all in less than a year!

Elder Hamson

Photos. The first is a picture of me and Elder Chinchilla in front of the mini version of the ancient cathedral. The Second is a picture of me in front of the full size version of the cathedral. And the third is a picture with Bishop Morales and his wife, who are actually from Ciudad Jardín, but we went to eat lunch with them today since Elder Galo will be on his way pretty soon. They are super awesome and also have an infinite source of food.

Here are some more photos. 1. Me at the replica house of Ruben Dario. 2. Me flashing back 1 years time in the airplane at salvador allende. The last photo is with Luis and Rafaela, wheo were two incredible investigators that Elder Galo and I found in Ciudad Jardin, they were baptized shortly after we left, but we went by today after eating at the Morales to felicitar them and say hi. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Waspan, part two

This week went really well. We finally got the office moved over to Waspan which makes a huge difference to have the office in our area. We've had a bunch more time to visit people and we are falling in love with Waspan! For a quick description of Waspan and the people here see James 2:5. The members are awesome and have even set up a schedule for feeding us lunch and dinner everyday except pday which is pretty incredible. Also Kevin has been our Amulek here in Waspan because he works with us practically everyday and thanks to him we never get lost! He got his mission call like two weeks ago and will be heading to Guatemala on the first of March.

Another cool thing about Waspan is that there are tons of mototaxi/camponeras to get around on for super cheap and it's always an adventure because they don't really comply with any kind of safety standards. Lots of missionaries have flipping over in camponera stories and we got our first last Saturday. We felt something was off with the driver, but Kevin wasn't with us so we didn't know how to find the direction on our own, so went with it. But at one point there was a massive pile of dirt in the road and instead of going around he drove right up it and we quickly jumped out as the camponera rolled over backwards on top of the driver! He was fine and didn't even seem to care really and as we helped him right the camponera we realized he was really drunk, so we just went the rest of the way on foot.

We have found some more really cool families to teach recently as well. We are teaching two matrimonios were the wife is a member and the husband isn't. Well Yadder and Crystal aren't married, but are planning on getting married at the end of March and my last visit with them Yadder told me that he would like to get baptized the same day as his wedding and he's visited church a bunch with his fiance, so he is pretty solid and wants to make changes in his life! The other couple Anivel and Flor are already married, but Anivel is a skeptical guy and has lots of questions he wants answered, but we've become pretty good friends with him, and his wife is stoked that he is listening to us and actually looking into the church. She also introduced her to one of her neighbors, Katalina who is super awesome, but also super busy. She shared with us her interest in findint truth and figuring out what it is that God wants for her. We also found a family of 5 that was eager to hear us that remind me a lot of Saida and her Family from Somoto or Angela and her Family from the Maximo, who are both awesome converts, so we are pretty excited about being able to continue teaching Joseling and her 4 kids. Finally we met Angela (there are lots of Angelas here) and her granddaughter luzmara who are both tons of fun. They both gladly received us and we had an awesome plan of salvation message with them and they were both touched by the message and amazed at how everything fit together. Angela is hilarious but I can't even explain her funniness.

Anyways that's about all I have time to report today. It's been an awesome week of finding and teaching inactives and we are looking forward to seeing the progress of each of the people we have met! Hope everything is well back home, until next week!

Elder Hamson

Photos: The first photo is just to explain the difference between a camponera and a mototaxi. The motorcycle with the bench attached to the front they call a camponera here and is what we rolled over in. The little three wheeler car looking thing is what they call a mototaxi here. Both excellent means of transport. The second photo is of typical Nicaraguan fritanga (there is a whole pile of gallo pinto underneath. And the last photo is of my new office.