Monday, August 7, 2017


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

Elder Hamson

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. 

Crazy week

This past week was pretty craz and also very tiring. I'll keep this update relatively short, but here is the brief rundown. Monday was a bunch of fun. We went as a district to a place called Peñas Blancas which has a pretty sweet jungle hike and an awesome waterfall. Up at the top we had a humble Nica snack of tortillas and cuajada that we had bought on the way up. We feed 9 people and only spent like $2... actually kinda similar to the jesus feeding the 5,000 miracle... kinda, jaja. Anyways it was way fun. Pictures attached below. Nicaragua is a beautiful place. Tuesday was a regular day of work that was really solid and succesful. On Sunday we brought 11 people to church and all enjoyed the experience and even some knew a bunch of people at church. For example Carmelo came with his kids and turns out he knows the bishop really well and was good friends with some other guy in the ward, plus they know Xiomara and her whole family super well! So yeah that was awesome. On tuesday we visited them with a member who used to be evangelical but now has 19 years of being a member to share his testimony with Carmelo because Carmelo has some very hardset ideas from his past pastors and has a hard time with certain doctrines. The visit went extremely well and it turned out that the member we brought was a business associate of Carmelo's wife! Everything seemed to be playing out perfectly as we kicked off the week. Then everything got flipped upsidedown when My Comp got sick. He was completely unable to leave the house and we couldn't get a hold of anyone to help us do divisions to be able to keep working. All day was spent in the house. The next day we had our regular zone interviews with president, so i took advantage of the fact that all the Elders in the zone had to come to matagalpa and I went on divisions with the missionaries in La Dalia which is almost a 2 hour bus ride out of the city. I like La Dalia because it is a pretty decent sized little town way back in the mountains that is just way tranquilo. It's nice sometimes to go work in other areas, but at the same time it meant abandoning my area because my comp was still to sick to do much work. Friday my comp was in better health but I had to spend alot of the day doing interveiws for other companionships and again we were starved of time to work in our area and the little time we did have noone was home! Saturday was extremely nuts because we had to move houses, which we had planned on doing in the morning, but there was atorrential downpour and the person who had agreed to help us out with a truck, first said he wouldn't be able to help until the afternoon and then fell through completely. We had to move houses that same day, so we were left frantically looking for someone we could hire to help us move the stuff and after a ton of time calling and walking in circles we finally found someone and were able to get moved despite the rain that never ceased, but almost the entire afternoon was taken up. Not to mention I also had to go to San Ramon to do another interview. By the time night time rolled around we were exaughsted but happy to be in the awesome new house that we had found, but then we got a call from president letting to inform me that I would be moving to Chinandega as ZL and that our area would be closed and all of our investigators would be left to the Sister missionaries! It was a huge shock and sucked because we had just moved and have so many awesome people we are working with, but oh well, thats how transfers go. It was sad to leave my brazilian son behind to have someone else finish his training, and to leave behind all the people that we had met in Matagalpa, but I know lots of great things await me in my return to chinandega! Sorry for such a short and simple letter, but more than anything it is just a quick update and I'll send more stories and details in the next one. My new companion is Elder Packard who is actually my first companion from north america haha, so that'll be fun. 

Hope you all are doing well. Thanks for all your prayers and letters! See below for fotos of Peñas Blancas. Until Next time!

Elder Hamson

Changes in Matagalpa

Hello everyone, yet another transfer has passed and my previous comp Elder Perez packed his bags and took off to Esteli!Lot's of things have changed in fact because almost all of the companionships in the zone had changes, plus we got our ward limits changed and a new bishop called! As for me I am still here in Yaguares, Matagalpa as district leader and I am training a brand new missionary from Sao Paulo Brazil! Changes are great so I'm excited to see what all these changes bring. 

With all the changes that have happened things have been super busy. Last Saturday We had the baptism of Benjamin, which was super awesome and his mom, aunt, and several cousins all came to support him and he is super happy to be able to have made these changes in his life and have a fresh start in a path filled with learning and blessings. Sunday we had a two ward conference to announce the boundary changes and the new bishop, Obispo Celedon. Sunday was full of goodbyes because lots of people were leaving. Incluiding my comp Elder Perez, Hermana Marquez who finished her mission and Elder Mendez who got sent to puerto, which basically means he drops off the face of the earth for the next 8 months. 

Monday I left for managua in the morning with everyone that had changes so that I wouldn't have to travel alone Tuesday morning. I spent Pday in Managua, which was fun, cuz in the afternoon I got to work in the Maximo Jerez and visit some converts and member families from my old area. It was good to see that they are all doing well and enjoy sometime with them. On tuesday we had the trainers meeting and then we met up with our trainees and I was pretty stoked to get put with Elder Maciel (pronounced like Masiou), who looks like he could be a utah boy, but is from Sao Paulo Brazil and speaks Portugues! I'm way excited to show him the ropes and also to learn some portugues now that I've got spanish down.

Wednesday-Sunday passed by super quickly, but we got a bunch of good visiting in and have lots of really cool people that we are teaching right now. Xiomara and her family are still doing great and she is just trying to work things out with here husband so that she can get baptized, but she is totally ready and even started paying her tithing last week! Marisol just started work in a new restaurant and it has made it very difficult to keep teaching, but this week her schedule should be more normal and we should be able top help her keep progressing. Claudia and her family are also all doing super well and on tuesday made a traditional Nicaraguan Dinner for my new comp to try for the first time. Unfortunately they weren't able to go to church because her husband flew in for mothers day and took them all around Nicaragua over the weekend. We also met a new family, Familia Centeno, that have been investigating the church for some time now, but are now in our area due to the limit changes. We just got to know them this week and on saturday they surprised us when they called us asking if we were home, because they were gonna stop by and drop us off a pizza they had bought. Such cool people.

It is setting up to be an awesome transfer here in Matagalpa and I wil surely have much more to report in the coming weeks. I had a bunch of fotos to send this week, but my cameras memory got a virus and almost all of the recent fotos that I had got damaged... Such a bummer. Oh well, I'll just have to take more. Until next week! 

Love Elder Hamson

Here are some older fotos... 1. Eating homemade pupusas with the zone. 2. Zone foto at the end of the change. 3. Pancha the Monkey eating icecream.

May: Matrimonios, Milagros y Mother's Day

We are already half way through the month of may and it is making for a pretty awesome Month here in Matagalpa! I recognize it's been a few weeks since my last weekly update, and I apologize, but its just due to lack of time. As such a brief summary of the people we are teaching will have to do to bring things up to date. I have now been in Matagalpa for a full 5 weeks meaning this change is already coming to an end and I will likely be getting a new companion. The last 5 weeks have been pretty awesome and in this month especially we have really started to see the fruits of our work and Matagalpa is growing on me more and more. 

To start the month we had the Wedding and Baptism of Noel and Elsa. The wedding was a bit of a headache on our part because we had to put ourselves incharge of the whole event planning in the church and trying to get members to help out. I don't really have much experience planning a wedding, but all things considered it went pretty well and they we so excited to be able to take those two important steps in there lives. They have both been warmly accepted into the ward and are having a hard time accepting the fact that they have to wait a whole year until they enter the temple together. Since their baptism, they got the attention of lots of friends and family and they have been inviting tons of people to get to know the church. We have already started teaching one of Noels brothers and his friend and two of Elsa's daughters from her previous marriage have been to church with them twice now. They have such a strong desire to share the gospel because they have such fresh conversion stories! I'll attach some fotos with them below. 

Other than their family we have been working with several other really awesome Families. One is a Family of 6 and they have been super solid. Xiomara and her three daughters have been to church every sunday for the last like 4 weeks straight now without fail. Xiomara and her oldest daughter, also named Xiomara and Liz are all preparing for baptism next weekend. They are all super awesome and love church so much. Xiomara is way excited to be able to be baptized and they are all ready, but her husband has been a little bit of a roadblock, because he is buddhist so he doesn't believe in God, nor does he believe in marriage. We have been working really hard with the whole family (except the oldest son who lives with his girlfriend and works from 6am-10pm everyday..) and we have really seen a major change in all of them including Jose the buddhist and he is now willing to get married to support his wife in her beliefs! His wife hopes he will continue to open his heart to the gospel and he really has been alot more receptive even though we have basically zero experience teaching atheists (very rare in Nicaragua). It also doesnt help that he studies every Sunday all day. We have really become close friends with the whole family though and it will be awesome to see them make these important decisions in their lives. 

A third Awesome Family we have been working with is a part member Family that is super big and is super close with their extended family. UNfortunately they live all spread out, but we have been able to teach Magdiel and Tatiana who are a newly married young Family as well as Tatiana's Sister, Mara. Each of them have been facing lot's of opposition, but they have been strong despite the trials and are preparing to get baptized the first weekend of june. 

Before concluding I must mention Benjamin who is preparing to be baptized this week! He is a youth who we found one day outside of his house and since then he has been to almost every activity we invite him to and we learned that his mom actually had met with the mission previously and remembered alot about the church. She has been difficult to teach though because she works in Managua all week long, so is never home. She fully supports her sons baptism though, so he will be baptized next weekend. 

In General things here have been really good and we are seeing tons of growth in the Yaguares Ward. We now have like 4 sundays where at least 10 investigators have come to church which has been way awesome and has really helped the members have a greater desire to bring their friends and several members even decide to just come support us in our Gospel Principles class on Sundays. As far as other news we are about to enter the rainy season, which will likely be pretty strong since we are up in the mountains. The good news is in my area, we souldn't have to much troubles with flooded streets, because none of the streets are flat haha. Anyways that's about all for now. I will try to get more updates out, but in the meantime enjoy some photos attatched below. 

Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers!

Elder Hamson

The first photo is with Noel and Elsa before the wedding at the church. The second is them right before the baptism and the last photo is of some of the Elders in the zone at Hermana Reina's house doing some grilling on Pday.