happy thanksgiving

Monday, November 24, 2014

Alex

So it was overall a good week, a little weird, but good.

On Saturday we did service. There are some people in our ward that are pretty rich and have a pretty big house. They also have a pool. So we had the opportunity to help drain rain water out of the pool. It was all done by buckets and it took forever, but it was good to serve.

This week I also saw something really weird. As we were walking in the street I saw some school kids cutting the grass just outside their school. But, it was not done with a lawn mower or some other tool like hedge cutters, but done with a machete. I was thinking that no one in the states would ever let this happen and if it did happen someone would be fired. But it’s just a perfectly normal day in Nica.

I feel like this past week has been a little slow because my comp that I have been working with for my time in Nica is going home this week. So this week I feel like I have been sitting and waiting for end of mission interviews and other stuff to get done. But it’s all good. He has been such a great comp to me and I have learned so much from him. I will be a little sad to see him go, but change is good and I need to be grateful in every circumstance.

Love you all so much and have a great Thanksgiving!!!

-Elder Wagstaff

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Mom – You sound so good! I am so grateful for your attitude and all you are doing to have a great experience. With your companion going home, do you think you will be transferred? Or will you stay there?

A – think the odds are i will have transfers but anything can happen

Mom – What day are transfers? The reason I ask is that the woman in your ward that came to the states…her daughter contacted me and I sent a package to her mom. She will be leaving to go back to Nica/your ward on Thursday. She has a package for you from us so I need to help her know what to do with it.

A – wednesday….

but i did get my backpack and halloween card and dear elder

Mom – Finally! Yeah for deliveries! Who cares if it’s a little late. How do you like the backpack? So I guess there is another package headed to the mission office and then the one I sent to California. 

So if you get transferred, any idea of where you would like to serve?

A – love it thanks so much. and i loved the treat in the letter that was an awesome surprise.

I have no idea what to do with the package. maybe have her sent it to the mission office when she gets there???

But i have heard of a few places that are really awesome here but i love my area a lot. But i have heard mosiah, granada…

Mom – Oh that’s good. I’m glad that you like it. We were laughing because we thought that the fruit leather in the envelope wouldn’t get there because people would think it was money. Haha.

I will call the lady’s daughter and tell her that you may be transferred. I will have her send it or take it to the mission office. Then you can get it when you meet the office people again.

I cannot believe that students are allowed to wield machetes during class time. That would never happen in the United States with lawsuits and potential risk for harm to others. Sounds like anything goes in Nicaragua!

Did you know that you have been on your mission this week as long as you had your mission call before you left? That’s pretty exciting.

A – Thats pretty weird but a little scary because there is so much more i want to do

Mom – Time flies! Abbi reminds us that you are one sixth of the way through your mission. You have been out for four months!

Abbi also wants to know how your experience was getting your wisdom teeth out. She is taking a poll and is getting very mixed reviews.

A – tell her that for me it was not bad at all. first day i played wii all day. the next day i skipped school and went golfing with dad. the next day i went snowboarding. so it was not bad at all.

Mom – Hopefully she will take after you!

Is that your zone? I love the pictures they look like you guys are having a lot of fun!

A – ya its our zone

Mom – I love getting your pics. Your smile melts a mama’s heart. Thanks for sending them. What pic did you like the most from this last week?

A – liked the one of our crazy district and the car one.

But kind of a random question… Do you have a pic of my baptism. If you have it handy could you send it over email. I think it would help the investigators relate more.

Mom – I love those pics too! 

I will do some checking on a pic of your baptism. Were you baptized on the same day as BB? Maybe I can see if J has one too.

A – perfect thanks so much

Mom – Is there anything you need or would like to have? Anyone we should be praying for specifically?

A – right now i think that im good. maybe pray for J and W

Mom – Absolutely! Are they members or investigators?

Abbi wants to know what the best thing is that you have eaten…

Do you do anything for Thanksgiving, even though they don’t celebrate the holiday?

A – investigators

i honestly love the gallo pinto but mcdonalds is pretty awesome

i think we have a thanksgiving lunch here

Mom – Glad you are having a thanksgiving celebration. It’s funny how something that you didn’t really love before (mcdonalds) has a whole new perspective. Super glad you love the gallo pinto/local food. 

It will be exciting to hear about your upcoming changes and whether or not you stay put. Please let your comp know that I appreciate him for allowing you a great first experience in Nica. Let him know I am grateful.

How is the language feeling to you?

A – still little by little

Mom – I am proud of you!!!

Both grandparents are wanting to give you gifts for Christmas. I told them that maybe the best thing would be to put $ in you acct to spend on pizza or burgers or things you need. Your thoughts?

A – ya that sounds good. how do you feel about me buying food and stuff with my card. because pretty much every monday thats what im doing

Mom – That is totally fine! Spend what you need to.

What kind of stores are they…how would you describe them? 

A – here in managua its pretty normal but ive heard its pretty weird in other parts of nica with hardly anything

Mom – That sounds like what I would expect. Can you buy pretty much anything and everything in Managua?

How’s your stomach been? Have you been sick at all?

A – There have been a few times when i have felt sick but not too bad. It was kind of funny one time i was throwing up right after we contacted someone but we just kept working after. but overall pretty good

Mom – It’s good to hear that overall you have been healthy. Funny and horrible that you can’t stop the work even when you are throwing up. That’s my boy.

With your comp leaving 1) what is one thing you really appreciate or like about him? 2) what is one thing you have learned from him? 3) what is one thing you’ll miss?

A – he is a really hard worker and can be really funny/chill at times

just to always have a good attitude

just a comp i get along with because i know its not always this way

Mom – You should make sure you tell him all of that. He sounds like a great guy! Again, thank him for me!

How are the other comps doing? Do you relate well to them?

A – ya they are usually good but have their ups and downs for sure but for the most part are awesome

Mom – Of course, that is how life goes. Hopefully overall everything is more positive than not.

Do you have much contact with Elder S? What are you hearing about his experience?

A – I have seen him 2 times at meetings but i write him every week he is doing really good

Mom – That’s good to hear. Glad that he is doing great! Hopefully the two of you can stay in touch throughout your missions.

Is there anything you want to know about things back here at home that we have overlooked telling you?

A – no not really but i need to go now love you tons and hope you have a great week.

If there is anything i can do from this end let me know.

week ???

Monday, November 17, 2014

Another great week.

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It was really cool this week because I had the opportunity to see LA, one of our converts, baptize another one of our converts. I love seeing the progression of this great and marvelous work. Not all of our investigators progress at the same rate. Some take a few steps forward then back and some are bounding forward. But this was such a great experience for me.

I went on splits with a missionary this week and he was telling me how much time he had in the mission. “Ya, I have 4 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, and 3 hours left in the mission.” I will never be like this. There is a word for this in the mission. TRUNKY. It makes me so mad when people are like this. I know that when you stay focused the work is so much better.

Love you all,

Elder Wagstaff

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A – im on

Mom – Wahoo! How’s your day going?

A – Things are great its been a pretty low key day

Mom – Glad to hear you are doing well.

A – do you want to find a photo of me right before i cut my hair because its hard for people to believe i had long hair

hows your day

Mom – My day has been great. Dad took the day off today, so I am a happy girl.

It is cold here…14 degrees this morning.

A – that is insane

Mom – Have you gotten any packages or letters yet?

A – so the packages are sitting in the office and i will go pick them up tomorrow.

Mom – I love that you will never be trunky! Love that you want to make every day count.

Super happy that you have packages waiting. The one in the padded white envelope is for Christmas. The one in the box is your backpack. I am glad things are arriving so we can send more. Did you or do you have to pay customs/duty for them? How much?

A – no   I dont think so

Mom – That’s good. So you can choose if you want to open them all or wait. We will send more and hopefully they will arrive sometime before Christmas. 

I am glad to hear about L. It sounds like a fabulous experience and opportunity to witness the progress.

How are other investigators coming along? Anything you want to share?

A – not anything super big right now.

but when you send another package will you have abbi get a scripture mastery card from seminary. i lost mine and want another. not a big deal but just whenever

Mom – I will for sure have Abbi send a scripture mastery. Why don’t you open both packages. There are some things that will probably be better the sooner you open it.

Is there anything else you need, want or wish you had?

A – no not really but thanks so much

are you sure you want me to open it

Mom – Ya. We will just send more in hopes that it arrives for Christmas. If there is something you’d like, we’d love to send it.

Tell me, how’s the new camera?

A – its working great

Mom – How do you feel like you’re adjusting? What’s the best part? Hardest part?

A – i feel like im adjusting great. best is teaching, hardest when people dont commit or go to church

Mom – That is a good assessment. We will pray for the people.

How’s the language coming?

Are you gaining/losing any weight?

A – its coming i feel a lot better about it

at one point i was up 7 but im not sure what im at now

i think im leveling but i want to gain more

Mom – How are you getting along with your comps? Any idea how long you might be in that area?

A – comps are great

have to go now

love you

have a great week.

my week

Monday, November 10, 2014

So I’m not sure why, but this week our area was kind of hard to work in. The people went from being super accepting to not wanting to have anything to do with us. Of course this is not true with everyone, but we got shut down a ton this week. But I’m super optimistic that this coming week is going to be so much better and we are going to find a ton of new investigators.

I had the opportunity to work with one of my comps and an assistant to the president this week. We got to go around to people that had baptisms for that week and take around a packet that had stuff like a magazine and other stuff that had to do with baptism. It was way cool because you get to be way excited for them and it’s awesome to see how excited they get over this packet. It was a way awesome experience.

Saturday we had a baptism and it was a little crazy. When we went to go prep the fount (font) for baptism, we got about 4 inches of water in the fount and then the water in the pipes ran dry. It was a few moments of panic because we somehow didn’t have a person to baptize also. After many calls, we finally moved the baptism to a different church and everything worked out fine. It was a pretty strange experience.

Also on Saturday there was a birthday in one of the families that we are really close to. When we went over to their house to wish her a happy birthday we did the same thing we do in my house in Utah. We went around saying what we liked about her and why she is special. It was awesome to have something that related myself back to home.

It’s been a great week here in Nica and hope all is well there.
Love you all so much,
-Elder Wagstaff

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ya, I have a pretty great district

Mom – You sound great, despite the fact that you had a few setbacks. I was just reading a study from Harvard on happiness and health. Turns out a positive outlook can prevent a lot of issues. 🙂

How is everything? Anything you need?

A – things are great.

no i bought a camera today

Mom – Wahoo for the camera! What did you find? What kind did you get? Where did you get it? 

A – got it from an appliance store.

sony w800 for 4700 cords i feel like it was a ton of money

Mom – That is great. Now you can snap away! Thanks for making it happen. Glad you don’t have to worry about finding a camera any more.

Have you received any letters or packages that we’ve mailed?

Did you see the Christmas card photos? Are you good with them?

A – no i have not yet. but pres russell said to only use united postal service. because usually this is the safest.

ya im good with all the pics

Mom – That is helpful. Everything we’ve mailed has been through the USPS, so hopefully you’ll get it.

Who did you baptize this week? What is their conversion story?

A – LC, has been super positive throughout the entire process

Mom – That is fabulous! 

How are your companions? How is the elder from Utah doing?

A – he is doing really good. he seems to never stop talking but he is good

Mom – Glad he is doing well. Funny!

What about your Spanish? How did it go for you this week?

A – poco a poco.

Mom – Haha. You are going to be fine! It will come.

How’s the weather? Still super hot?

A – It actually has felt a lot cooler to me. still hot but im not constantly sweating buckets

Mom – Well that is good. Sweating buckets is never fun. I saw my first snowflakes today…blue skies with a few flurries.

What do you like most about being a missionary?

A – simply bringing people closer to Christ and helping them live happier

Mom – Verdad! You are so right. What an experience you are having!

Anything new on the menu this week? Do you guys make any of your own food?

A – rice and beans

i got to have mcdonalds today so that was a plus

Mom – That is exciting! Big Mac? Or what did you order?

What did you do for pday today?

A – played basketball. just a hamburger

Mom – Do you mostly do referrals or go contacting?

A – mostly contacting.

have to go now but i love you so much

have a great week

obra

Monday, November 3, 2104

So this week was pretty standard, but did have a few highlights.

So right now I feel so weird about my Spanish. I can understand a good portion, but the trouble is for them to understand me. For example, this week I was just having a simple conversation with a kid probably 12 years old. We went up to the house and started talking, asking if his parents were home and just the basic questions. I just simply asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “I don’t speak English.”

Right now this is the story of my life. I don’t know if they just give up trying to listen or if there was a car driving by or what. But the struggle is so real.

We also ran out of water in the house. Of all the nights to run out of water. We came home and I was super thirsty. It was not fun at all. We came home and planned for the next day and I went to bed super quick because I thought if I can’t drink I’ll just go to bed and when I wake up in the morning it will be better. We had water in the morning, which was great, but it was not fun. I guess this doesn’t happen very much because it was my companion’s first time running out of water too.

I love you all so much!

I’ll try to have more details next week.

-Elder Wagstaff

 

Mom – Thanks for the email. I always get so excited to hear from you. I was dropping Abbi off at ballet and was just able to pull over to the side of the road to chat with you. I am super excited. Sorry to hear about your water situation…is it fresh water for the house? That sounds rough.

A – I actually have no idea of what kind of water it is

Mom – Was it drinking water from the tap?…is it water for showering and stuff like that? Do you use your water purifier?

A – ya i have a bottle that i use but i think all the water is safe but i still use a bottle

Mom – Of course, that makes me so happy to know that you are taking precautions with your water. 

I am thinking as far as your Spanish goes that there could be a bit of a cultural issue. Maybe they are not wanting to give Americans as much credit. You are being so patient. I am so so proud of you!

Are you doing ok?

A – ya everything here is super great

Mom – Glad to hear it.

I sent you a Halloween card. Let me know if you get it.

What is the situation with your ward/branch? Are you a ward or how many members are in the area?

A – thanks for the card

we are a ward. but there are probably 50 member in the church every sunday. but there are a ton of inactive

Mom – Wow! How involved are you each Sunday? Do you teach lessons?…what are your responsibilities on Sundays?

A – not a ton of involvement. just mostly show up and learn just like normal church

Mom – Well that’s good. I am sure you are contributing a lot just by being there with your amazing self.

What kind of interaction do you have with Pres. Russell? How often do you meet with him?

A – not a ton every once in a blue moon. probably 5 times being here

Mom – Well that’s pretty good, considering there are lots of missionaries. Do you know how large your mission is? 

I am thinking about your Spanish and maybe you should start singing in Spanish. They say that music is the universal language. If you sing then everyone can understand everyone. Ha ha!

A – haha maybe i will give it a try this week…

i still havent bought a camera. and i would love to pick up a guitar if i can find one. but there is honestly not a ton of stuff to buy here

Mom – Hopefully you will be able to pick a camera up fairly soon. Let me know if you decide you want us to send you one. 

Will president let you have a guitar? That would be cool if you could find one. Even a uke would be awesome.

What is Pres. Russell like? Who does he remind you of?

A – ya i think we can…

he is super strict but is an awesome person. he kind of reminds me of a reed s but can be super strict when you dont follow the rules. he is known for letting missionaries know they did something wrong. but i couldnt ask for a better president.

loved the pics of the week and the pics of mis amigos

Mom – Sounds like he will keep the mission running like a tight ship. I think you are in good hands.

Your friends really are interested in how you are doing. They always ask about you and how things are going. You have great friends!

What is your favorite thing about Nicaragua? What do you love most?

A – probably the culture difference. its like nothing else i have experienced before but its good to see what other people live like.

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got to go now but i love you so much.