put your faith in God

Monday, May 2, 2016

It has been another awesome week here in the mission!

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El Socorro

This week we have been focusing on the needs of our investigators so that they can grow and progress. I have learned in the mission that life can be hard. When life gets hard there are really two options:

1. Put your faith in God.

2. Put your faith in the things of the world.

Obviously, when we draw nearer to our Heavenly Father we can grow and be strengthened. It is a real opportunity for us to learn and grow, to become something better. This week I have been trying to focus on truly loving these people. At times it can be frustrating – when someone slams the door in your face or when they shout at you in the streets – but if you focus on loving them then the work becomes so much easier. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord and to help others come unto Christ.

Helping an investigator fill up his supply

Helping an investigator fill up his supply

This week we had the opportunity to give service. In a part of our area there is not running water available. So, there are two options: either bring it in by truck or to bring it in by hand. One of our investigators can’t afford to bring it by truck so he has a little handcart that he uses to haul his water. We decided to help him by pushing his handcart to help him out.

Right now we are teaching the husband and son of a recent convert. They are progressing well in the Gospel and we have seen so many blessings in their house since we have started to pass by and teach them. I know I have said it before, but the Gospel truly blesses families.

Love you all so much.

Elder Wagstaff

  • What’s been the best part of your week? Just making the most of every moment.
  • Has the rainy season started yet? The rainy season has started a little, but has not rained too much.
  • What’s been the best thing you’ve eaten this week? Today we ate at a gas station and I got a bacon cheeseburger. haha
  • What investigators can we pray for? William, Marta, Felix, Ali, Karen, Dennis, Carmen, Jimmy
  • How can we be more helpful to you and the work you are doing? Things are going well. Not a lot of needs.

changes!

Monday, April 25, 2016

So this last week has been really awesome!

My new comp is Elder S!!, the same comp I had in the MTC. He is so awesome and I am so excited to be with him again! When President called us to be together again we both got so excited. We were already sitting next and we just stood up. I feel like there is not a lot of differences [from when we were first together] other than our knowledge about the Gospel and we are more bold.

my 'new' comp

my ‘new’ comp (4/2016)

My companion

my ‘first’ comp (mtc 7/2014)

I am also with another missionary from Guatemala named Elder C. Elder C is the one I work with mostly. He is really awesome and super friendly. He speaks another language called qechi [K’iche’/Quiche’ – a Mayan language of Guatemala]. I am also with Elder L still. I am so excited to see what our companionship can do. It’s going to be such a fun change. We have been seeing a lot of blessings in our area. I know that this work is not possible without the help of our Heavenly Father.

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Elder S and I have been doing a lot to get the missionaries in our zone excited to work! Today we had a zone activity and we went to the church and played basketball and ate pizza. It was pretty fun.

I love this work and I know that we are going to see a lot of miracles in the lives of these people.

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Love you all so much!

Elder Wagstaff

  • What can we do to help you this week? Do you need or want anything? Have you received any packages lately? Yes I did get those packages! Thank you so much. Love the letters and the treats!

positive people

Monday, April 18, 2016

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Right now we are teaching a lot of really positive people that are trying to overcome their problems to follow Jesus Christ. One of the people we are teaching is a family. His name is R and hers is J. R has been fighting really hard to overcome his problem with cigarettes. When we met him he was smoking about 20 every day, but this week we made a plan that every day he would smoke one less. He is now down to zero and is following his plan really well. They are receiving so many blessings through this Gospel and their family is becoming so much stronger. J explained that their communication has gotten so much better and overall they are a lot happier.

This week we had a meeting with the Stake President and all the bishops in the zones of Carazo and Jinotepe. We had to present how the wards could better help the missionaries. I got to hang out with Elder S (first MTC companion) for a while so that was really awesome.

I found out today that I will not be having changes and I am really excited because I love the people in this ward so much. Changes are tomorrow (Tuesday, kind of weird) but I don’t have changes, but Elder H does. Hope everything is going well there.

Love you all,

Elder Wagstaff

  • Anything good to eat this week? No this week was pretty normal – rice, beans…chicken. haha
  • Tell me something fun or something new that has happened this week. I found a kid with a skateboard, so I got to step on that for a minute and that was really weird. haha

building testimonies

Monday, April 11, 2016

So this week has been a good testimony building week.

This week we had a meeting with President Russell and the State President in our zone. We just talked a lot about what we need to do better in this area and how the missionaries can work better with the members.

Yesterday here ins San Marcos there was a big party that they call the hipica. It is a crazy party where there are a bunch of horses and a lot of people drinking alcohol. They also give alcohol to the horses. It was so crazy trying to get from place to place avoiding all the craziness.

This week we have been focusing a lot in finding families to teach. We have been trying to contact and teach more families and have seen a lot of blessings in their lives. There is a family that we have been teaching that when we first started teaching them the husband and wife would sit on opposite sides of the room from each other. They always seem to be fighting over the littlest of things. At times I feel like they are 14. haha. But, yesterday when we went over yesterday they explained that they have seen a lot of small changes since they have centered their family in Jesus Christ. They explained that they now spend more time together and there is less fighting in the house.

I know that the Gospel blesses families. I know that if we turn to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, that we will be lifted. We will be strengthened so that we can overcome whatever trial that life puts in front of us. And most import, I know that families can be together forever.

Love you all and have a great week.

Elder Wagstaff

  • When you think of grandma, what word comes to mind? More than anything, just the love she had for her family.
  • How are your companions doing this week? How much more time is in the transfer? Is it all going well? Comps are doing really well. Transfers will not be this week, but the following. This are going good.

conference weekend

Monday, April 4, 2016

image

This last week was overall a good week.

Here in the mission there is a rule that you have to bring at least 4 investigators to every session in order to watch General Conference. This year was pretty successful because we had 16 of our investigators come to Conference with us. I always love General Conference because it is such an amazing opportunity to learn new things.

I really enjoyed something that was said during Conference…”If life were fair, we would not have the opportunity to be resurrected.” I have never thought about it like that before. Thinking about the love that our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ have for us…To break the bands of death so that we can have the opportunity to be saved…So that we can have the chance to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. I am so extremely grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is through and only through Him that we can live in a state of never ending happiness. I am so grateful for His sacrifice.

3 Nephi 9:21-22:

Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin.

Therefore, whoso repented have and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and I have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.

I hope you all had a great Conference Weekend. Love you all so much.

Elder Wagstaff

CATEGORY:WEATHER

IN NICARAGUA:

IN K-TOWN:

Fill in the blank…
The weather outside is…

hot

always different

Typical seasons include…

rain and dry

everything

My favorite time of year is…

May because there is rain

really tough…love snow, but also summer…

Three words (other than hot and cold) to describe the weather are…

in an oven

always really different

When it is hot, all I can think about is…

water

swimming

When it is cold, my favorite thing to do is…

work

snowboard

When it is raining, I find myself…

running through puddles

inside or in a car

When it is windy, I feel like…

a lot cooler

a lot cooler

The best way to cool off is to…

drink water

find A/C

The most unusual weather I’ve seen is…

rain

snow then sun

The most amount of rain I have seen is when…

I was running in the street

I was inside

When I look up, I mostly see…

blue sky

clouds

Most people use …(what?) to protect themselves from the weather…(sun, rain, wind, snow, etc.)

nothing

coat, umbrella

An average weather day reminds me of…

an oven

depends what season

The weather mostly reminds me of…(name another location)

Arizona, but humid

home

The coldest place in Nicaragua is…

probably Carazo

week of miracles

Monday, March 28, 2016

This last week was awesome!!

This past week I had a lot of really awesome experiences that helped me to strengthen my testimony.

First of all this past week I did a lot of work working with other missionaries. I did back to back divisions this week both Thursday and Friday…so I went two full days without even sleeping in my bed, went on divisions Thursday, came back to the house Friday just to change out my dirty clothes and got on a bus to go on division again. I also love divisions because it can be such a great learning experience for me. [I went to La Concha and to San Rafael del Sur. San Rafael was really really hot. But every area is unique in its own way.]

District Masatepe

District Masatepe

This week we also had a multi zone meeting. It was really awesome and I enjoyed how Sister Russell talked about the importance of repentance. Also Elder H and I were given the opportunity to teach a class about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon and prayer.

This week I also got to see a lot of blessings with my investigators as they completed with their commitments. It can also be so rewarding when someone has the desire to complete with their commitments because they progress so much faster. They actually have the desire to follow our Savior Jesus Christ.

Right now we are also teaching several FAMILIES. I love teaching families because you can see how the Gospel can strengthen them to become something better. You can see how it can help them to become more united.

I hope you all had a great Easter weekend and were able to think about the importance of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; that you all were able to reflect on the importance that he plays in our lives. He can heal us and it is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can become better.

Love you all and hope you all have a great week.

Elder Wagstaff

  • How did you celebrate Easter? What do the Nicas do to celebrate? We didn’t do a lot to celebrate. It’s called La Semana Santa. It’s basically a Catholic holiday where they parade around all week.
  • What are you liking most about your companions these days? I think they are just really easy to get along with and hard working.
my new friend. This is the first pet monkey I've seen. It is a pet of a member. Not a lot of people have pets here besides dogs, cats and parrots.

My new friend. This is the first pet monkey I’ve seen. It is a pet of a member. Not a lot of people have pets here besides dogs, cats and parrots.

They drink this stuff like water...haha. Thanks for the package.

They drink this stuff like water…haha. Thanks for the package.

the work

Monday, March 21, 2016

It’s been another awesome week here in Nicaragua. The weather here is getting really hot as we are approaching la Semana Santa (Holy Week). I am so very lucky to be in Carazo where the weather is a lot cooler. But I still feel like I am dying of the heat sometimes.

This week we did a lot more work out in El Socorro. I came home on Sunday and my shoes were so dirty inside and out. I love teaching the people and getting to know their needs and how the gospel can help them. I honestly love these people so much.

Love you all so much and hope you all have a great week.

Elder Wagstaff

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A lady that is a “little” shorter than me. (Grandma and granddaughter…awesome, genuine people.)

  • How has this week been? What has been positive about it? What has been a challenge? The week went really well. We have seen a lot of progression in some of our investigators. At the same time we saw some investigators take steps backwards.
  • Any funny experiences this week that brought a smile to your face? Not anything in particular, just trying to make the most of every moment.

    CATEGORY:

    TRANSPORTATION

    IN NICARAGUA:

    IN K-TOWN:

    Fill in the blank…

    My most common form of transportation is…

    moto taxi, bus

    Suburban

    When I need to travel less than two miles, my usual mode of transportation is…

    my shoes

    Suburban

    When I need to travel more than five miles, my usual mode of transportation is…

    moto taxi

    Suburban

    When I need to travel long distances, my usual mode of transportation is…

    bus

    Suburban

    Most people in the area travel by…

    bus

    car

    The majority of roads are in:

    a.    excellent condition

    b.    good condition

    c.     poor condition

    poor condition

    excellent condition

    About how far would you say you walk in a given day? That is a very good question…at least a few miles but I have no idea how much. ??
    Road conditions become hazardous when…

    when people are driving, haha

    snow

    I would describe most drivers as…

    terrible drivers

    pretty good

    It is…(describe level of difficulty)…in obtaining a drivers license.

    pretty easy

    pretty easy

    Pedestrians have the right of way…(yes or no?)

    kind of…not really

    yes

    The closest gas station is…(how far away)?

    really close

    really close

    A liter or gallon of gas costs…(how much?)

    25 cords

    who knows??

    The most unusual form of transportation I’ve seen is…

    horse and cart

    ??

    It is not uncommon to see…

    wrecks and a whole family on a motorcycle

    fast cars

 

love the mish

Monday, March 14, 2016

This week has been another great one.

This week there were changes and my comp Elder H had changes. So once again I am with Elder H and Elder L in a trio. It can be a little weird sometimes because we don’t know who will talk next in the lessons, but it will just take some getting used to. It will be a great opportunity to work with members and other missionaries.

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Right now we are working in a place in our area called El Socorro. It is a very, very poor location where pretty much everyone has a tin/plastic house. It is very dusty and there are no paved roads. When the wind is blowing it can be pretty hard to see. One of the biggest problems that they have out there is there is no running water. So they have to walk a pretty far distance to go get water and carry it back. They are very humble. W is one of our investigators that lives in El Socorro. He is progressing a lot in the gospel and is very grateful for all the blessings that he has seen in his life. He has turned his life around a lot since we have been talking with him and he is very excited to continue to follow our Lord and Savior.

I love teaching the people of Nicaragua. I know that this church is true.

Love y’all,

Elder Wagstaff

in a moto taxi in El Socorro

in a moto taxi in El Socorro

  • What has made this week great? Just continuing to see blessings. W is doing really well and continues to see a lot of blessings in his life.
CATEGORY:LIVING CONDITIONS IN NICARAGUA:

IN K-TOWN:

Fill in the blank…

I spend the most time with…

My comp

Family

My days are typically filled by…(doing what?)

Teaching

Playing

I would best describe my home and living conditions as…

Sufficient

Very well off

I would best describe the living conditions of others in my area as…

Very Very humble

Very Very well off

I share my home with…

My comps and animals

Family and dog

When I look out my front door I see…

Humble people

O’s front door and the Great Salt Lake

Most homes in the area are made of…(what type of construction)

Tin and cement blocks

A lot of things

Most homes in the area have …(what type of)… walls

Tin and cement blocks

Drywall, wood

The most common decoration in a home is…

Pictures

Pictures

I sleep with a:a.    fanb.    air conditioner

c.    heater

d.    mosquito net

e.    other

Fan

Mosquito net

AC

Heater

If I can’t sleep it is usually because…

Always fall asleep

I have slept too much

My bed is:a.    Papa Bear – too hardb.    Mama Bear – too soft

c.     Baby Bear – just right

Papa Bear to an extreme

Baby Bear

My bathroom has:a.    cold waterb.    hot water

c.     flushing toilet

d.    shower

e.    bathtub

Hot-ish water

Flushing toilet

Shower

All

I have running water:a.    all of the timeb.    most of the time

c.     some of the time

d.    never

All of the time

All of the time

I have electricity:a.    all of the timeb.    most of the time

c.     some of the time

d.    never

Most of the time

All of the time

My kitchen has a:a.    fridgeb.    stove

c.    oven

d.    microwave

e.    hot plate

f.     dishwasher

g.    toaster

h.    pantry

Fridge

Microwave

All of the above

Homes in the area have (what type of flooring):

a.    carpet

b.    hardwood

c.    tile

d.    linoleum

e.    cement

f.     dirt

Dirt

Cement

All, (except dirt)

(Who)…typically washes my clothes

Member

Mom

My clothes are washed by…(describe method)

Hand

Washing machine

(Who)…typically prepares my main meal

Restaurant

Mom

killer week

Tuesday, March 7, 2016

Another awesome week here in Nicaragua.

This past week it has been another testimony strengthener about the importance of prayer.

This week I have learned more about the importance of specific prayer. We have been trying to find a lot of new investigators and we have been trying really hard to find those people who are just waiting to hear the gospel. This past week as we were contacting an area pretty much in the middle of nowhere we found a man that was really excited to hear our message. This area is all dirt roads and is really dusty. This man went to church and loved to hear what we had to say. He is very excited to learn how the Gospel will change his life.

I challenge you all to make your prayers more personal and strengthen the relationship that you have with our Heavenly Father.

Love you all,

Elder Wagstaff

Misión Consejo con Elder y Hermana Ochoa 26 Febrero 2016

Misión Consejo con Elder y Hermana Ochoa
26 Febrero 2016

For the next few weeks, we are going to post a few comparisons of life in Nicaragua as a missionary vs life as Elder Wagstaff remembers it in his home town. This week’s category is “food.”

CATEGORY:

FOOD and FLAVOR

…IN NICARAGUA: …IN K-TOWN:

What is the…?

…most common food or basic meal?

  -breakfast: rice and beans

-lunch: chips and bread

-dinner: rice, beans, chicken or pb&j

-drink: coke

-dessert: doesn’t really exist

-breakfast: cereal

-lunch: sandwich

-dinner: anything

-drink: milk

-dessert: brownie

…best thing to drink on a hot day?

Water

Gatorade

…most common ingredient?

Oil

Sugar

…most common fruits and veggies?

Oranges

Rice and beans

Strawberries

Carrots

…most common seasoning or flavor?

 Salt

Still salt

…something you love to eat when you are hungry?

Pinguinos

(like hostess cupcakes)

Anything in the fridge

…strangest thing you have eaten?

Chicken guts

Snail

…best restaurant in the area?

Pizza 2 Go

Arbys

How are most foods prepared or cooked? (fridge/pantry to plate, oven, stovetop, bbq, microwave, fire pit, etc.)

Stovetop

Everything

What utinsels do you most commonly eat with? (knife, fork, spoon, hands…)

 Fork

Fork

Can you drink water from the tap?

 Yes

Yes

What does an average kitchen look like? Are they inside or outside?

Mix of both

(inside and outside)

Always inside

How casual or formal are meals? (sit down, fully set table, on the run, etc.)

 Sit down, on the run, set up

 Sit down

What holiday has the best food associated with it?

New Years or Christmas

Thanksgiving

What food will you miss or do you miss the most?

 Gallo pinto

BBQ and berries

 

time goes fast

February 29, 2016

Wow, this past week went really fast.

This past week we had a multi zone conference where we got to hear from Elder Ochoa. It was really awesome to hear all the inspiration that he had for our mission. One thing that stood out to me was that he focused a lot on the importance of repentance. I feel like it is something that often gets overlooked, but something that is really important in order to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. It is something that can truly help us find greater happiness in life. It is something that we truly need to apply in our lives and especially help our investigators understand the importance of this step.

We had a baptism this past week. We baptized a little girl who her mom is a less active. It is awesome to see how happy their family gets when they make this step. Also, to see how it can help the family get excited to go back to church.

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I know that this church is true. I know that through repentance that we can become better and stronger.

Love you all

Elder Wagstaff

members

members and missionaries

  • Have you done any leaping today (2/29)? Today was just another day of making up sleep. Get up, study till 10:30, go back to bed till 1. haha
  • What has been the highlight and what has been a challenge this week? We had a baptism this week. We didn’t do so great at bringing investigators to church.
  • What is the biggest strength of your companionship? Just workin hard