Wednesday, July 29, 2015
This week has been really great. I’m really tired, but I love this missionary work. Last night I fell asleep on my knees praying for probably about an hour. haha
We have been really busy here in the office preparing for the upcoming changes. It’s always really crazy these next few weeks, but I know that everything will go well.
This week we had a baptism. We baptized a lady named M. She is so awesome. Her daughter and son-in-law are recent converts and have been a great support to her. This week as I was on divisions with one of the missionaries in my district, my comp was at mission correlation. As we passed by M’s house at about 6:30 I decided to give my comp a call to finalize all the baptismal plans for the next day. We were all planning that the mission leader would be the one who would be baptizing her. My comp said, “Why don’t we have M (her son-in-law) baptize her?” I explained that he couldn’t because he had to work the next day. My comp then said, “Why don’t we do the baptism right now?” I thought about it for a second, then thought that that could work. As I was talking on the phone in English with my comp, M didn’t have any idea of what was going on. As we finished the plans I asked M, “So we were thinking that it would be really special if we had M (son-in-law) baptize you. He can’t do it tomorrow, so we were thinking we could do it right now.” She thought about it for a second then said, “Let’s do it.” Nothing like a late night “shotgun baptism” haha. She was really happy and everything went really well.
When life gives you a citrus tree, play baseball.
One thing that we have been doing lately is playing baseball with some kind of fruit that grows on a tree in our backyard. I’m not sure if it’s a lemon or an orange or what it is, but it has been really fun.
I hope all is well at home. Love you all a ton!!
- How are you doing? I’m doing really good. A little tired because we had to get up at 4 this morning, but really happy.
- How has your patriarchal blessing helped you on your mission? Do you read it very often? I actually read it last night. I think it’s so awesome how real this blessing is. It can help me remember that if I work hard that I can receive these blessings in my life.
- Do you see President much? What do you think you’ve learned the most from him? I see him every Monday and occasionally in the week. But usually he is off working with other missionaries. The importance of hard work and exact obedience.
- Are you driving much? I don’t get to do a ton of driving, but occasionally. It’s so much fun.
- What is your comp’s personality like? How long has he been in the office and how long on his mission? He is really funny. He has been in the office for 4 changes and will be leaving the office this change. He came with me, has one year.
- What is the hardest thing about your work in the office? Hardest thing is not getting behind. You have to deal with all the new things that need to get done right then and there and also with the long term things that need to get done.
- When do you meet with your investigators? Do you get much time for contacting? How often do they make it to church? If we are lucky we can get to the area at about 3 or 4. It’s unfortunate, but we don’t have a lot of contact time. This area is really blessed. We usually have a lot of investigators in church. Last week was really hard because not a lot went, but we will have to work harder this week.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
So as many of you know tomorrow I will be hitting the one year mark!!!! That is so crazy because it seems not long ago that I was saying good bye to everybody and getting ready to leave. The time has gone by so fast.
- I have learned so much in my short time here in Nicaragua. My testimony has been strengthened and I have learned so much more about what really matters in life.
- I have learned that really without our Savior Jesus Christ we would be so lost and hopeless. Really without him we are nothing and would have no future.
- I have learned that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can be blessed. We can learn to be happier and we can eventually return to our Heavenly Father.
- I have learned that this life is full of challenges. Life can be far from easy, but when we put our faith in Jesus Christ we can be lifted.
- I have learned to get along with people that are so much different than me.
- I have learned that there are so many people out there with so many different backgrounds and experiences. We should not be too quick to judge.
- I have learned that the church is still true, even here in Nicaragua.
- I am so excited to have had so many more experiences and learn so much more.
So this week has been really great.
On Saturday we had the opportunity to baptize one of my favorite investigators that I’ve had here in Nicaragua. Her name is T and she is such an amazing person. Her son is a recent convert and her husband is less active. At first it was a little hard for her to open up to us, but when she did she loved hearing about the Church and how she could become better. She explained to us that after every lesson she has a notebook that she writes down everything that she can remember that we taught her. It has also been amazing to see her family strengthen through her conversion process. Before she was even a member she was bringing other family member to church to show them how great it is. It has been amazing to see her family strengthen through this process. My testimony of the importance of families has grown so much as I have seen the gospel change the lives of families.
Being in the office can also be very crazy. You are always on call to drop whatever you are doing at anytime. The hours we work can also be very crazy. A few days this week we had to get up very, I mean very early to take care of some things. On Monday we got up at 3:45 and Tuesday at 2:45 in the morning!! The hours can be very weird, but its such a great learning experience.
I love missions. I know that they change the lives of many people. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true.
Love you all,
- What have you learned from your companions? Does having a companion teach you life lessons? From my companions I’ve learned that it does not matter if we have different personalities or interests because we are here to invite others to come unto Christ. It can be very easy to disagree or fight with them, but if you are doing that you won’t have much success. So it does not matter what other people think in life, you should just learn to get along with them.
- As you have mentioned the people of Nicaragua live on much less than we do. Do you think there is a benefit to living with less?
I won’t say living with a lot of stuff isn’t nice, but I think people often over do it.
- Are the children or adults more receptive to the message? I would say that children are more receptive to the message.
- Do you feel you have changed much in the past year? I dont feel like I have changed that much. I feel like Im still the same Alex that left a year ago. But my testimony has grown and I would say that I can be much more open to people now.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
So this week has been a little crazy, but really good. It’s been pretty crazy because everyone in the office has been running around getting ready for the multi-zonas which are meetings where all the missionaries get together. The preparation has been crazy, but things went really well.
This week we had a way awesome experience as one of our investigators explained that she had the desire to get baptized. It’s really awesome because her husband is a less active member, her son is a recent convert and it has been amazing to see the family grow spiritually. She has been one of my favorite investigators to teach. She explained to us that after every lesson that we had with her she would get out a notebook and write everything that she could remember about the lesson. She is such an incredible person.
Today we played tennis with President Russell. He whooped every single one of us. Man I’m terrible!!! It was so much fun because tennis is not something I have played much in my life, but it was still way fun.
Hope all is well!
Love you all tons,
- How is your companion? He is super patient with me, which is awesome.
- Challenge from Alex to his family at home: Continue with family prayer everyday and assign someone to give a daily spiritual thought.
- How have the meals been in your current area? The meals have been really great. I hope I’m gaining some weight, but not really sure.
- How has the week been? Really crazy week, but good. The office has been really busy. This week we are planning on baptizing T.
- Have you been sick recently? No, knock on wood. I feel pretty good.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
So this week has been really awesome, but really busy.
This week there were a lot of deadline dates for projects that needed to be turned in. There are many times that I felt that I was drowning, but I got everything done. I am learning so much here and it’s such a great experience.
This week I had a really awesome experience. Some of my recent converts shared their testimonies during sacrament meeting this past Sunday. We challenged them earlier in the week to do it, but I honestly didn’t think that they would. It was such an amazing experience to see their growth and progress. They are such amazing people and always get really excited when we come over to share a message. Right after we finished fasting my comp and I each chugged a two liter bottle of orange juice. That is not something I recommend at all, especially coming off a fast. We felt so sick after, but it was a hilarious experience. Good times in the mission, haha.
Well, this weeks challenge is to write down your testimony or share it with someone, and to chug a two liter bottle of orange juice.
Love you all and hope all is well.
- You’ve said you’re learning valuable life lessons in the office. How is that experience helping you most? Well I am learning some things that I have never experienced before. For example, this past week has had a lot of deadline dates for projects that need to be finished so I have been working a lot with those types of things. I think this will help to figure out what a real job setting is like.
- So glad to hear you got your package. Is there anything else you’re needing that we could help you with? What about the Nica culture have you grown to appreciate the most? What have you learned from the people? A lot of people here will listen to you no matter what. I have learned to appreciate the culture a lot more here and understand the background of the people.
- Is there anyone we could be praying for? How are your investigators? Ya you could pray for T, A, J, M, and Fam. W. All of these people are really awesome investigators that we are teaching right now.
- How have you seen the Atonement help those you’re serving? The Atonement is such a big part in our lives. A lot of people think that the Atonement is only to be clean of our sins, but really it plays so many more parts in our lives. To know that every pain and hard experience that we feel in this life…Jesus Christ has felt that same feeling.
- How has being in Nica helped you grow closer to our Savior? I think I have truly learned to put my faith in the Savior. I really couldn’t do any of this without Him.
- Do you realize you have less than a year until your release date? July 5th. How does that make you feel? Ya my comp mentioned that this week. That is so insane. The time goes by so quickly. Have not seen any big snakes lately luckily.
- Are there any experiences throughout your mission that have really stood out to you? Or investigators that you’ve grown especially close to? That’s a big question… I guess just finding people to teach that are positive is really awesome. I have grown close to a lot of my converts in a lot of different ways. It’s awesome to learn to love these people.
- Did you do something to celebrate the 4th of July? Haha that was a pretty funny experience. We got up and said the Pledge of Allegiance to a tiny little flag.
Wednesday July 1, 2015
So not a ton of exciting stuff has happened this past week. We have been trying to pick up the pieces from all the missionary changes that happened this week and trying to stay afloat. I am grateful to be in the office because it’s a mission experience that only happens once. I am learning so many valuable life lessons that will set the path for later in life. It’s not always easy, but I am grateful for my circumstances. This reminds me of President Uchtdorf’s talk that was written a while back about every circumstance is a blessing because something can be learned from it. That is such a big part about our message. How everyone has challenges and hardships, but that is one of the reasons why we have come to earth. We are here to learn how to overcome challenges through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know that if we can put our trust in him we can become great. I love a quote from President Eyring which say: “If your on the right path, it will always be uphill.”
Today for pday we went out and played soccer with some recent converts. It was way awesome to play with them and help them have more friends in the church.
Not a ton to say for this week, but I’m so grateful to be a missionary.
Love you all,
Questions this week:
- Looks like you are wearing your hair a little shorter. Does this help with the heat? The hair cut….haha…that would be a communication mishap where I thought I wanted it a certain length but when she started cutting I changed my mind, but it was too late.
- Have you gained any weight? I think I’m starting to gain a little bit more. At one point I was up 9 lbs., but now I think I’m only up 3. But I’m not certain.
- What is the best thing you have eaten this week? The best thing that I ate this week would probably be Pizza Hut.
- How many members are in your current ward? About 170 come to church each week.
- How big is the primary and young men/women in your current ward? Primary has about 20 kids in the primary and about 25 youth. It’s a really good ward.
- Now that you’ve been out almost a year what is something that you really love about Nica? I really love the people. The people our so humble and genuine. I really really love them.