Well I am all settled down here in Chinandega and things are excellent. In the change from Matagalpa I swaped long steep hills and cooler weather for perfectly flat streets, but unbearable heat. Oh well things can't be perfect. It has been nice to chill with an American comp though.
As far as this past week goes... The week started off with some soccer in the blazing heat followed by a nice relaxing P-day afternoon. Monday night was super nice too because we got to have a good lesson with Tia Nena (Hna Magdalena) who is preparing to be baptized this coming saturday and she just recently moved in with the part of her family that are basically all members so they are all way excited for her and they are alll super strong members. Her brother in law was even recently called as a patriarch. After our visit with her, we went to Familia Mejia´s for dinner and family night. They are a super awesome family of recent converts and reactivated members and they absolutely love the missionaries because their son is currently serving a mission in Belize. The are also without a doubt the wealthiest family I have met in Nicaragua and always provide amazing meals. The family night went really well and was even complete with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies which I have not eaten in literally a year and a half. I could probably use this whole letter to talk about their family, but I won't in order to get to the rest of the week.
Wednesday we had a multizone conference here in chinandega and it was a super good meeting. We had the privelege to watch a video of a tslk elder holland gave to all the mission presidents in the MTC a few weeks back and it was super good. We talked alot about the divine companionship and how every misionary companionship should incorporate the divine number 3 and always include the holy ghost in the trio. He also shared a touching story of a prodigals son, which I would recount if I could, but I am forced to just summarize it so I can share the part that called my attentiong. A youth from Pocatelo Idaho ran away with his friends and left the state to escape his parents and the church and then went 20 years without any contact with his parents. His parents prayed unceasingly in those 20 years with the hope that he was still alive and would one day come back. One day a pair of missionaries passed by this prodigal son in his house in California and were sure to stear clear of the house because of his angry expression and even angrier dogs that were ready to attack the poor missionaries. The missionaries however felt a strong impression to go back, which they follwed and turning back they aproached the gate and the snarling dogs. As they went to open the gate the dogs lowered their heads and retreated to the porch. The missionaries then entered and with a little bit of light talk learned that the man was originally from Pocatelo idaho as was one of the missionaries. After asking whether the man had known certain families one of the missionaries realized that he was talking to his long lost brother that he had never met. The younger brother then simply stated "God has sent me to invite you home". Then lots of things happened and the older brother did end up returning home as well as returning to the church and completely changing his life. what really stood out to me were how many people were involved in the salvation of one person and the role that the holy ghost played in the whole process. The parents listend to the holy ghost that invited them to pray unceasingly, The apostels had to follow closly the spirit when making the assignment of the mission for the younger brother, the mission president had to be guided by the spirit to put the missionary in the right zone, district, and area and the missionaries not only had to make their daily plans with the spirit, but also were responsive enough to act when they got the impression. It made me reflect on what would have happened if the younger brother had not been receptive to the spirit after all of the things that had been put into place perfectly according to gods plan. I'm certain that God would have been able tyo find some other way to accomplish his purposes, but the younger brother would have certainly lost the opportuniy and experience of participating in that great miracle. That is the difference between having the spirit in your life and not. Sure miracles will happen and the Lord will accomplish his work, but by not being worthy or choosing not to follow the promptings of the spirit you loose your opportunity to play a part in those miracles and lose the great change and eternal impact that those miracles can have on your life. It's like being in the championship game, but sitting on the sidelines the entire time. Spiritual food for thought..
To wrap up the rest of the week I absolutely have to talk about Walter and Myra who were Baptized on Saturday with there daughter helen. They are such an incredible family and it was a privelege to be able to visit with them and teach them these last few weeks. They were struggling with their scheduled date for baptism because the husband was working a ton and it was getting harder to find them and teach. The week before his baptism he got super sick, which gave us the opportunity to visit them, give a blessing, and to continue teaching him, but it also meant he was probably not going to be able to be baptized on his scheduled date because of his illness. Friday was the day of the interview so my companion and I decided to fast for his health and that everything would work out so the family could be baptized. In When we got there for the interview he was in a super bad state and hadn't been out of bed all day. His wife and daughter passed the interview first and then it was his turn and when he came out of the interview he told us he was already feeling way better, but wasn't sure how he was going to feel the next day. Saturday we started getting everything ready for the baptism with the faith that everything would work out and that's when we got a call from Walter asking Us if we could have the Baptismal service a little earlier because he was feeling great. The three of them were baptized that day and we even had the surprise visit of Elder Camey (of the seventy) who joined us for the baptism which was awesome.
There is much more to talk about, like this english professor investigator we have that insists that we teach him in english, but his english is terrible and he barely understands anything. Also theres bishop cordoba or "sam" who helps us out a ton and calls my comp "frodo" and me "Legolas" and never fails to great us with pretty much the only english frase he knows "I Love you my brother". Also there is family Baquedano who are literally helping us baptize their entire neighborhood. And also a dope food place that sells swarma.. You'll have to ask me for details some other time. Anyways, point is things are great here in chinandega. I love you all. Hope things are going well back home. Thanks for the emails. Talk soon
Fotos 1. San Cristobol. Definitely gonna climb it at some point in my time here. 2. Swarma on the roof with my comp. 3. Baptism of Walter, Myra, and Helen with Elder Camey.