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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Epic Sunset

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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.

the field

Monday, October 27, 2014

This week I had the opportunity to go work with Elder H solo.

It was pretty interesting to see how far my Spanish had come along. As you know this was Elder H’s first full week in the mission field. While our trainers were off helping other missionaries in other areas it was just us two white Americans trying to figure this thing out. It was pretty entertaining at times trying to get our point across. Haha. But overall I was pretty satisfied with our day. I am super impressed with Elder H’s Spanish. For only having a few weeks here it is pretty good. There are times when he will actually correct me on my Spanish. He is way smart.

Also this week we had the opportunity to baptize J. This is the guy with the lottery ticket. This guy is always so happy every time I see him. He is so faithful. It was awesome to see the process of conversion with him. Every time we taught him something he would always follow up our commitments. We taught him the word of wisdom; he quit drinking coffee. We taught him about tithing; the following day he paid his tithing even before he was baptized. It was pretty amazing to see the full process of conversion. He is such an amazing person. I think this is what they call the perfect investigator. This just comes to show that there are people out there just waiting to hear about our message.

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People are waiting we just need to open our mouth and show that this gospel brings happiness and benefits our life so much.

Love you all tons

-Elder Wagstaff

 

Mom – You sound so great. I am thrilled to hear about your week. Sounds like you and Elder H are doing awesome and a great support for each other. How are you doing?

A – Things are going pretty good here.
sorry about the letter i kind of threw it together last minute

Mom – We absolutely loved getting your letter! It was such a highlight for us!

Congrats on J. That is such a cool story. What an experience you are having being able to see lives change for the better.

Glad the Spanish is starting to click too. Can you see how far you have come?

Have you been able to find a new camera?

A – There are times when i think my spanish has improved a ton but then right after i cant even talk. its weird
I have not found a camera yet but i think next pday i will.

Mom – I am sure your Spanish is improving every day! Just be patient and keep working at it.

Hopefully you will be able to find a good camera soon.

You are emailing earlier than normal. What do you do on your pdays?

A – pdays are really so random. sometimes we actually do stuff but today was kind of a waste. but i think in a few weeks we have a planned day to play sports which will be a lot better.

Mom – Sounds like a mix of things. Sorry today was not very exciting.

Is there anything you want us to send you for Christmas? Have you heard if missionaries receive packages that are mailed? Any special requests? I am thinking I need to get something sent as soon as possible…

A – no not really. maybe a good shirt from my closet or some more gym shorts but if it costs a lot dont worry about it

Mom – That’s helpful! When you say a shirt, do you mean tshirt or golf or long sleeve? What are you hoping for?

A – just a normal tshirt

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Your apartment looks great! I am thrilled to see a toilet and rooms. Haha. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I think you really may be at the Ritz! Thanks so much!

So what kind of food do you keep in the kitchen? Anything you are craving?

A – we dont really have a kitchen… just a frigde. But things are great. one of your hamburgers….

Mom – No kitchen. Hmmm. That sounds like a challenge.

I wish I could make you a burger.

How hard is it to wake up at 6:30 every day?

A – honestly its not that hard for me… i usually wake up at 628 by myself.
got to go now.. love you tons
have a great week

things are shakin’ good

October 20, 2014

So this week I had my first real earthquake!! (10/13 @ 9:51 pm – magnitude 7.3, struck 42 miles west-southwest of Jiquilillo, Nicaragua)

It wasn’t huge, but it lasted a good 20 to 30 seconds. We just got done with planning and I was writing in my journal. All of the sudden the table started to shake. One of my companions started to freak out and ran down the stairs so fast. I have never seen him move so fast before. But everything is perfect fine. It was a pretty cool experience.

This week was changes. I now have my same trainer, but also have 2 new companions. Elder H and Elder M. Elder H is brand new and is from Tooele, Utah. Elder M has about a year in the field and is from Costa Rica. They are both awesome missionaries. This week I did a ton of work with Elder M. He has taught me so much in the few days that I have been with him. He will only speak in Spanish to me and I think that my Spanish has improved so much this week because of this. I am super excited to see what kind of energy this companionship brings to the people of Nicaragua.

This Sunday I had the opportunity to witness L receive the priesthood. It was such an amazing experience. It was cool to see the process of not knowing hardly anything about the church to gaining a testimony, being baptized and receiving the priesthood. I am so excited to see him continually progress and become such an amazing person.

Things are continuing to run fairly smoothly here. I love this experience so freaking much. I am so glad for this opportunity to be a missionary.

Con amor de Nicaragua!!

-Elder Wagstaff

 

Mom – I am so glad you are safe and all is well. If you have pics of your new comps, I’d love to see them! Can you tell a difference in new missionaries vs those that have been out a while? What do you notice most?

A – ya for sure.
The biggest diff. is confidence. They can really talk about anything for ever. Vs me and my new comp are struggling to find words. i dont have pic with them but ill send other pics

Mom – That makes sense. In time, you will be able to communicate like you want to.

I am sure it is so cool to see L progress in the gospel. What a neat thing. You said they remind you of home. In what way?

A – They are one of the only families that seems to be really close and have a testimony of the gospel its rare to find both of the things here

Mom – That is a good observation. We are blessed! I am sure you will stay close to L forever.
Describe your new comps. Do you work mostly with Elder M?

A – Ya elder m and i did a lot of work this week. He is pretty tall and skinny. He is a great comp
how was the beach?

Mom – That’s good that you are being productive and working hard! Sounds like you are a good match. How is the rain? Your shoes holding up? How much walking do you do?

A – We pretty much are walking all day and my shoes are great. The rain boots dont let any water in they are awesome. It rains off and on here.
So just buy a camera

Mom – Glad to hear your shoes are working well. Yes, buy a camera! We put $ in your acct so you can get one.

The beach was so nice. The water and weather were perfect. Abbi and I just wish everyone else could have come.

Why do you have more than one comp?

A – we are a companisho of 4

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Mom – Looks good! What are you eating?

A – the food is basically rice and beans

Mom – Yummy! How late can you go contacting?

A – we are supposed to be at the house at 9.
so that is usually our goal but often we are a few minutes late

Mom – Are you a quad companionship for safety reasons? Or what is the reasoning behind 4 and not 2?

How big is the area you cover?

A – its because both of my comps are leaders so some days we travel to other areas.
I have to go now but hope you have a great week.
Love you tons

it’s been a wet week!!

October 13, 2014

So this week has been super exciting!!!

The first reason why it has been a wet week is because it has been raining a ton here. I have very mixed feelings about the rain. The rain is nice because it’s a chance to cool down. As you know, it can get extremely hot here and when it rains it can be super refreshing. When it rains, it’s nice because when we have an appointment, they usually always let you in because they feel a little bad for you. The reason why I don’t like it is because it is extremely hard to contact in the rain. There is never anyone in the street to contact, so it’s really hard to find new investigators. But, overall, the rain is nice. At the beginning, on the mission, I hated the rain because I felt that you couldn’t do anything in the rain. But I have grown to appreciate it.

The second reason why it has been a wet week is because I had the chance to baptize!!!!

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It was such an amazing experience. It was one of our investigators named L. He is about 25 and is such an awesome person. Most of his family are recent members, but for whatever reason he decided not to become a member until now. This family is so amazing and they remind me a little bit of home.

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But I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to baptize this amazing person. To be honest, I was a little nervous to say the prayer in Spanish, but it all went well. When it was all said and done, the spirit was so strong. It was amazing!!! This is for sure my favorite moment of the mission thus far.

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I am super excited to teach more people and bring more people unto Christ. I am not 100% sure why I am called to Nicaragua yet, but I know that there is a reason. I know that God did not call me here to fail and that he won’t give me a challenge that I can’t overcome. The mission is not always easy, but it’s the days like these that make this thing so great. Missions are great….
Hope you all have a great week!!
-Elder Wagstaff

 

Mom – That is SO neat to learn about your first baptism!!! We are thrilled for you and how you are being an instrument of The Lord. I can’t imagine how that must feel. Way to go! We have been praying for L here. It was a wet week!

Would you like me to send you a copy of the letters I email?

A – ya that would be nice
how are things there

Mom – We are great! Especially hearing from you.

What do you know about buying a camera there vs us sending you one? Is there a better option? I am trying to get some reliable info of how to best mail one to you. What do you think?

A – im am not really sure. I can try to do with what do you think is better

Mom – If you can get a quality camera there, it may be the best bc to mail packages may be sketchy. It will probably cost a couple hundred dollars to get one here. But if you can’t get a good one, we will send one.

Are there very many good electronic stores there? Do you think we should just send you a camera? Does that make it easier for you?

What did you do for service today?

A – ya there are electronic stores…just let me know what you think will be better. i am open ears.

no service today its tomorrow

Mom – Ahhh. Keep up the good work. What happened with your wardie who came to Utah? What did you learn?

A – I honestly think she might still be there so keep waiting….
But the baptism was super special because our president made a rule that you can only have one physcial baptism. It was so awesome

Mom – What does it mean to have one physical baptism? Does that mean you can only be in your whites once and then the members do the baptizing for the other people who are being baptized?

We will keep waiting on your wardie.

A – Ya exaclty i only wear white once… I love the family and they asked me to do it so i thought it would be a great opportunity.
I would wait at least another week before you do anything because the wardie offered to take stuff back. but i dont know how much she was planning on taking..

Mom – The pic of you and L is absolutely amazing. You can feel how happy both of you are!!

That is super helpful info about your wardie. I will hold onto the stuff and then mail it if she doesn’t call. How long should I wait…what day should I send it if she doesn’t call? Do you know if she will try to call or how she will get ahold of me?

A – I honestly have no idea. I will let you know if i see her or talk to her this week. But i would wait at least another week.

Mom – Okay. Sounds great! How do you feel your Spanish is coming along?

A – poco a poco
little by little. usually there are times when i feel like i make a really good comment then the next lesson i cant say anything its weird. but i know it will come

Mom – For sure it will come. I know that it must’ve been an amazing experience to testify of the Savior in Spanish and also to perform an ordinance in Spanish. What an experience you’re having!

I love you!

A – ya its pretty amazing

Mom – Love the pics! Abbi won her first debate today! And, she also got 100% on her Spanish test today so things are going really well here. Anything new or interesting food wise?

A – There are some really weird food. there is a drink called pinolia that the first time i hated. I thought it tasted like dirt, but now I like it…kind of weird

awesome to hear about abbi and spanish, sounds like shes doing great in school.

Mom – Abbi is working really hard as is Liz. How are you sleeping and how is the bug situation with all that rain?

A – i sleep great as soon as i hit the pillow i am out.
the bugs are not bad in my area

Mom – Any pictures of your inside of your apartment yet?

A – sorry i am waiting to have a clean appartment to take pics
but i will for sure send in the near future

Mom – How scary is it? Does it need to be cleaned because of missionaries or need to be cleaned bc of life in Nica?

A – Mostly because of us but a little bit of both.
But i am staying in the ritz of nica.

Mom – Haha. Bigger question, are you making your bed every day?

A – yes i have only missed a handful of times

Mom – That’s awesome. Way to go! Hey wondering what you mean when you say it’s the Ritz of Nicaragua? Try to describe that for me.

A – give you more details next week and hopeful pics
got to go
love you tons

one month in nica

October 6, 2014

So I’ve been in Nica for offically one month!!!

This time thing is super weird. I don’t know if it’s been a super long time or if I just got off the plane in Mexico. It’s crazy.

So this week has been great. I had a really weird experience about 2 am last night. I woke up super stressed. I think I had a dream last night that I was teaching someone or that I was tracting or something because when I woke up I felt like I needed to be doing something. It was so terrible. It took me a while to calm myself down and tell myself that I wasn’t wasting my time sleeping. It was so bizarre.

I loved General Conference.
So our mission president made a rule that you have to have at least 4 investigators in a conference session to watch. So Saturday morning we went to pick our investigators up and we didn’t have much luck. We ended up with only 2 investigators in the first session. So me and my comp went looking for people to try to bring in to the conference. We came across a group of boys that were playing basketball. We tried and tried to get them to come with us. We decided to say that if we play a quick game and beat them that they had to come to the next session. So my comp and I played them and obviously won. It was weird because I never thought in my whole life that I would be playing basketball during general conference on my mission. Kind of funny.

We luckily got to watch the rest of the conferences. I got to watch the Priesthood session and the 3rd session in English!! I really enjoyed the talk by Henry B. Erying in the 3rd session. I truly feel like it was an answer to my prayers. And of course, I loved the words of our Prophet.

This week we had an awesome experience with one of our investigators. We were contacting on the street and we came across a man of about 70. We started talking with him and invited him to church this week. He said that he couldn’t because he had to work because he just crashed his car and it would cost about 300 cords (cordobas) to fix. We explained that if he came to church that he would be blessed. He showed up to church. A few days later he got a slip for a lottery ticket for 1200 cords. He truly believes that God blessed him. The moral to this story is not to go out and buy a lottery ticket and go to church, but to have faith that when you are obiedient you will be blessed.

I know that God is in our life and blesses us.
Hope everyone had a great conference weekend!!!!
Love you all so much,
-Elder Wagstaff

 

Mom – Hey! Sounds like things are going well. Sorry about your dream last night. You also were in a dream I had last night. Maybe you had anxiety because of my dream. Haha.

Any word on your camera?

A – no go on the camera

Mom – Ok. We will send you a new one. We will mail it to the mission home.

Turns out our water usage is down. Two months in a row! haha. I wonder why?

How has your day been? Are you set up in zones and districts?

A – good we painted a house for pday today. set up in zone of managua, district of lp

Mom – What color was the paint?

Do you know how long you will stay in lp?

A – white

till at least end of november around thanksgiving

Mom – That’s good you get to be there for a little bit.

Do you cook most of your meals or how does that work? Also, how is the laundry situation working out? Who does your laundry?

A – we have someone cook lunch and do our laundry

but the food here is all fried or cooked in oil

Mom – Wow! Sounds like a bit harsh for the digestive track.

Do you have any pics for this week?

What is the funniest thing that has happened this last week?

A – no pics this week, sorry

Mom – That’s ok. Can you print your emails and read them later or do you have to read them at the church?

A – I think i can print them but am honestly still trying to figure things out.

hey i met someone in our ward that is going to utah tomorrow she offered to take a letter are you ok with that

Mom – Of course! That would be great! Thank her for bringing the letter. Is she going back to Nica? Could I send a camera back with her? Anything we can send you or that you need?

A – ya i think so…

only a backpack like i told dad but that doesn’t need to be until christmas and its kind of a big item to take. im not sure if it will work out but i will talk to her today.

let you know how it goes next week.

got to go now

love you so much

la obra

Monday, September 29, 2014

It´s been a great week.

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So last p-day we took an unplanned bus tour of Nica.
So we need to get to the chapel. We waited and waited for a bus, one finally came. When it came we asked the driver if it went by a certain location, he replied yes, so we got on. Sometime later we realized that we were not going in the right direction, we were going in the completely opposite direction. We had no idea where we were so we decided the best thing to do was to just stay on the bus. TWO HOURS LATER we were back to where we started.
We decided just to walk.

I have turned this learning spanish thing into a game. For example, to keep me focused during Sunday School I made a little game. Our Sunday School teacher says the word ¨verdad¨ a ton, which means truth. ¨When we pray to God he answers our prayers, verdad.¨… ¨Praying is a way we demonstrate faith, verdad.¨ So, to keep me focused, I decided I would count the number of times she said this word. In 30 minutes she said ‘verdad’ over 88 times.
It was pretty entertaining.

There is an awesome guy that we are teaching right now. His name is L. He is the brother and uncle of one of my favorite families here in Nicaragua. This family is always super happy and positive. They have such a strong testimony. He is super accepting of the gospel and I have high expectations for him. Every time we teach him it is such an amazing experience.

Faith is like a fan on a hot day in Nicaragua.
The buttons and power cord is the amount of effort and energy you put forth. You have to put forth effort and energy to recieve blessings.
The rotation of the fan is when we recieve the blessings. Sometimes it´s immediate and other times it takes a while to get back around to you. But when we are patient and continue to have faith we will always revieve blessings.
And the breeze is the influence of our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ in our lives. You can´t see them, but when you have faith in them you can feel their presence.

Love you all and hope you can have faith this week!!!
-Elder Wagstaff

 

(from last week:)

Mom – Are you still there? Curious, now that you’ve had a zone conference, what is the ratio of native missionaries to non-native/North American missionaries?

(this week:)

A – sorry last week the power went out.
But there are not a lot of americans the majority are for sure latin.
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one thing that pres. russell asked us to do was have you and dad send an email of if the pres were to call you and say to brag about your son what you would say.
Things are going great. how is cali??

Mom – Hi! Wow! I love you so much!!! How are you holding up?

I found out that Quito – where Brett is – and Managua are sister cities. Pretty cool!

A – That’s way cool. How was cali?

Mom – Cali is great. Did you see the pics of all those cars? I tell you, BMWs, Mercedes and Lexuses are all like Hondas (average cars) around here. Crazy! 

photo

What’s been the best thing about your week?

A – ya those cars are sweet. I really took “that attitude is everything” to heart and it’s helped a ton.

I just decided to open my mouth even though my spanish is garbage and it’s helped a ton.

Mom – I know that you are doing such a great job and have such a fabulous attitude, even when it is hard.

Some sad news for the PC Peters this week. Schroeder was hit by a car and died. Sad for everyone!

How is your stomach?

A – so sad to hear about schroeder!!
my stomach is super great!! my latin comps got sick this week but im doing great. I can eat so much here. its awesome

Mom – That’s awesome. So happy!

I am glad you are speaking in Spanish more too. I think that you know more than you think! It will come.

What is your comp like? What is his personality like?

A – for the most part i get along with him really well. he knows a ton and im learning a ton from him.

Mom – Remember, you are the answer to a mother’s prayer for her missionary!

What is your favorite food that you’ve tried?

A – its really all pretty much rice and beans but pretty much everything is good some wierd cheese and fruit but mostly good

Mom – What do you sleep on…a bed? Bunk? How about a closet? Can you hang your stuff? Are you concerned about theft?

A – ill send pics next week, but we change the beds from bunk to normal today. no i feel super safe here

Mom – That’s exciting you have a new bed! What are your showers like?hot/cold? buckets?

A – we have hot running water but i never use it because i am always super hot here so it feels way good

Mom – I am sure you are cooking! Do you want me to try and send some mesh garment tops? What do the other missionaries wear?

A – no its good i can buy garments here
love you

got to go
love you

another great week has come and gone

Monday, September 22, 2014

This week has been great. This week we had a big meeting with a bunch of zones and it was way fun. We played games and learned about how to help others accept the gospel better. I also got to see a bunch of my friends from the CCM, so that was a gaint plus.

Yesterday I had to give my first talk in church. It was a gaint train wreck. It would have been a great talk in the CCM, but in the ¨big leagues¨ it didn´t go so well. I’m pretty sure that the people had no idea what I was saying. But that’s alright because I can only improve from here on out.

The taxi and bus drivers here are crazy!! They all have modified buses and taxis with body work ¨improvements”… A couple of days ago I was standing on the bus because it was full and the bus driver thought that he was a Nascar driver. He was accelerating into the turns. It was a crazy and funny experience.

The people in my district are awesome. Today for pday we did some service this morning and then after the hermanas made some food for us. It was awesome. We all get along pretty well and they are great missionaries.

The language is still coming slow and there are some times when it can be extremely frustrating. But even though I don’t always know what they are saying and there are times when I say this big long statement and they have a look of confusion on their face, I love the work.

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It’s those times when families are becoming closer to Christ that makes this thing so worth it. My testimony is so much stronger and I am also so much closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Hope all is well!!!
Love,
Elder Wagstaff

 

Mom –  I had the chance to talk to Elder S’s mom this week. She sounds like a great lady and that he comes from a fabulous family. Like me, she appreciates her son having you for a companion (like I appreciate him as your comp). It was a great conversation! I love you SO much!

A – glad you could talk with s’s mom. that kid is awesome

Mom – It sounds like the two of you were a perfect match for each other. Such a good way to start out your mission experience.

So I did a little research on ties. Turns out you are doing a great job with them. Did you know, according to GQ and other reputable sources, that the bottom where it is the widest should fall at the top of your belt, so that the tip is just below that? From all of the pics I’ve seen, your ties look perfect! Way to go!

Today looked like a cooker…91 degrees but felt like 105! How are you adjusting to the heat?

A – The weather is so HOT. Today we were moving cement blocks for service and i was just dripping. It was bad. But im glad that i made a good choice.