Monday, April 29, 2013

Nicaragua is unlike any place I could have ever imagined...

Ahh my beautiful Mother, Father and loved ones,

My description of Nicaragua = Dirt roads, brown dirt covered half naked people, rabid dogs, roosters and chickens, garbage everywhere, everyone on bikes, Bachata blasting from everyone's little shacks for houses, and little white me.

Nicaragua is unlike any place I could have ever imagined. I have never lived anywhere where there isn't a temple. Before a temple is even built, they dedicate the ground, so the spirit is in the air. There is no temple here because the majority of the people are so wicked. The peoples faces are spiritless and there is no trace of light in them. The feeling here is indescribable. When I'm covered in dirt, walking through garbage, getting whistled at by gross drunk men, sweating in the blazing hot sun, frustrated with the language, my hair is uncontrollable, my back hurts and my throbbing feet cant take another step, I cant help but think, why on earth did the Lord send me here? Why not beautiful cultural Guatemala or California. But the answer comes the same to me every time. I am turning into this humble, sweet, soft spoken but confident woman while living here and serving the Lord. I am becoming the woman I have dreamed of being my entire life. This is the ONLY place I could have served.

The people here... wow. They have no idea what makeup or curling irons are. They are completely natural. Their faces are the most beautiful faces in the world to me. Their dark brown skin and the black hair and eyes- So beautiful. Their bodies don't have any hair on them so they don’t have to shave, and because of the humidity their faces are wrinkle free. Their personalities are very laid back, but also very lazy. The area I'm in is called Nindiri, about 30 minutes outside of the city. Countless beautiful families here. I am so blessed to be out of the scary city. I’m becoming like the people here, but in a good way. A more relaxed and natural, pure version of myself. Mom! Could you PLEASE send me a bunch of foundation and a TON of powder? Its the only thing that will keep my face from being beat red and keep me looking as fresh as possible :) The best way to send me packages is this address!

Hermana Sarah Nielson
A.P3527
Nicaragua, Managua

I know its short, but it works :)

My patriarchal blessing says I’ll be an example and good influence to the young men and women of the church. The 13-19 year olds... I can’t even tell you how much they listen, respect and love me with every thing they have. So many of our beautiful investigators are young, and no matter how broken my Spanish is, they understand, listen and follow everything I say. Whenever a lesson isn’t going quite right (my companion talks a million miles an hour about who knows what and the investigators get annoyed with her Guatemalteca personality real fast) all I have to do is sing a hymn, and they know there is a God. Singing for the people here is exactly what they needed. The Lord sent me here for many reasons, but that reason alone is enough to keep me going. 

Now that I've had my “don't know the language melt down” that every new missionary does,  just like my hair grows little by little, the language will as well. Its coming slowly but surely. If it takes 6 months to a year, it will come. Faith :)

Everyone! Dear Elders and letters don't get to me here :( So from now on send me long emails and I'll print them out and take them home to my little shack :)  Speaking of my little shack, because we don't have running water, we have to bathe with a bucket in the corner. Guess who's an expert at it... Me :) I play my MoTab and bathe with a bucket every night. I laugh every time and think, if my mom could see me now! Hahaha.

Matthew and the rest of the family! The BEST most beautiful song my ears have ever heard is Redeemer of Israel by the Mormon Tabernacle choir on the album Called To Serve. Buy it and blast it in the kitchen for me!

We live pretty close to the church and go to a members house everyday for lunch. Hermana Mercades is the best cook in Nicaragua! I eat a mango for breakfast and we eat rice and beans for dinner. We don't have a kitchen but we make it by just fine.

I am sooo glad Analisa got the letter! Tell her to email me from now on since the Dear Elders don't get to me out here :(

I show EVERYONE our family picture and they think our family is the most beautiful thing their eyes have every seen. They ESPECIALLY cant get over Analisa and Matthew. All the Moms want to send their daughters to America to marry Matthew, haha! Its so awesome. I love it. Hermana Mercedes daughter Verna found Analisa on FB and the gawked over her pictures for hours! I cried seeing her beautiful face on that screen. If she gets any prettier I swear...

Hermana Vasques and I walk EVERYWHERE. If we have to go somewhere far we take a bus, and let me tell you, those buses are straight up ridiculous. Everyone's climbing on top of everyone, hanging out the windows... If I die out here, I'm dying on a bus, haha. But the buses play music and I LOVE it! My favorite song I've heard out here is by Prince Royce and a Mariachi. I think its called Unconditional, but I’m not sure. PLEASE buy it and listen to it loud in the kitchen cause I would die to hear that awesome song.

Our first baptism was to a sweet 16 year old named Sara. She looked so beautiful in her white clothes (which took us forever to find). We got to the church and were setting up chairs and getting ready, but the water didn’t work. We were FREAKING out running from house to house with a long hose trying to find someone with running water. Hermana Vasques was crying but I knew the Lord was going to get this girl baptized. The bishop drove home in his truck to get water from his house, and we finally found a lady we had to pay to let us use her water. It took us 3 hours to fill the font. It was a nightmare. She had to get baptized on her knees and laying down, but she got baptized and is now an official miebro de la Iglesia. Our ward is sooo tiny. We have about 45 members but we drag our investigators every Sunday morning. They can’t afford nice clothes so most of the members wear jeans and t-shirts to church. (I know, I know, but at least they’re going). I joined the ward choir too! It makes the choir back home in the EMC 4th Ward sound like The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Mothers Day couldn’t come fast enough! I cant wait to hear the voices of my beautiful family members! I don't know exactly what day they're going to let me call (things are sooo unorganized here (the mail and dear elder situation for example) but hopefully I can here your voices the 12th!

Sorry this email is so spastic... but could you tell Wells Fargo that I'm here so they don't shut my card down? That would be marvelous. 

Nicaragua is so poor, they don't have chocolate. I would KILL for some Nutella right now. I inhaled the Nutella you gave me in a couple weeks and it was amazing! The only package I’ve gotten so far is the big one with the food and pictures in it. Words cant even begin to express my gratitude. I got it the last week in the CCM and cried, and cried, and cried. The love you have for me overflowed when I opened the box. I can’t thank you enough, and express to you how much I love you, and how thankful I am to have you all in my life. Mom, Dad, Analisa, Katherine, Matthew, Joseph, and sweet little Sammy, I love each and every one of you so much. Knowing that your still alive and supporting me is what keeps me going out here. I can't wait to see you all again. About two months down, 16 months to go. Tell Grandma Nielson and Grandma Martha I got their emails and love them as well!

I love you all so much and will talk to you next week!

Until next time,

Love,
Hermana Nielson

Another CCM pic

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 I received an email last night from another missionary mom with this picture attached. Made my whole day!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Nicaragua

Oh my sweet Family... Hi :) Words cant even describe how I’m feeling right now. It is so hot here I feel like my flesh is melting off of my bones. It’s been so hard :( Living in a little shack with a dirt floor, no running water, not knowing the language, not being able to understand anything anyone is saying... Holy cow. My companion is a little Latina and its so hard for us to communicate. I can’t express my feelings to her or anyone, and it makes me want to cry. A huge part of me wants to quit this and go back home to be with my beautiful family, but I know this is where I’m supposed to be and I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I miss music, I miss talking, but most of all, I miss you all. Now to end talking about the sad stuff and on to the happy.

I LOVE walking around these dirt roads and looking at all these beautiful brown faces. I love the people so much. The people here really care for me which I wasn't expecting. They always make sure I’m okay and ask me how I’m doing and give me fresca. I LOVE fresca. The KIDS here... Oh mom and dad... I don’t know what it is about me, but the kids LOVE me. They are all my little guardian angels. They scream Hermana Nielson, Hermana Nielson every time I pass by, and they tackle hug and love me. They like touching my white skin haha. They taught me all the parts of my body and all my numbers :) I LOVE all the rabid dogs running around too haha. There's this one puppy I play with everyday and its the CUTEST little thing. We have a rooster that wakes us up at 4 every morning. I want to shoot it in the face. I have countless bug bites all over my legs it looks like a have chicken pocks. They’re super itchy.  I need to buy a mosquito net. I eat a mango off of the tree every morning and I think they’re DELICIOUS. I haven’t gotten sick yet and I’m petting dogs and rolling in the dirt, so that's nothing short of a miracle.

The people here are so poor its unlike anything I’ve ever seen. They all live in little tin shacks and sleep in the dirt. They don’t really wear clothes either haha. We walk door to door all day in the hot sun in our hot clothes. I am in DESPERATE need of t shirts. My clothes are too “nice” and I’ll get robbed, so they said I need to blend. If you could send me some plain colored v neck t shirts (like the kind from Old Navy) that I won't have to layer, that would be wonderful. Send as at least 7 :)

I show EVERYONE our family pictures and they are all in love with our family! They think mom is the prettiest thing they have ever seen! They take such good care of me here mom, so don’t worry. They told me to tell you that I am in good hands :)

 My compaƱera, Hermana Vasques is a little Guatemalan girl. She is sooo energetic and crazy I can’t handle her some times. She talks sooo fast, but every day I understand more and more of what she, and our investigators are saying. I wish I already knew Spanish. Not knowing this language is my biggest trial. My feet are beat red morning, noon and night. I don’t know what to do to get the swelling, redness and pain down. They’re red because of the heat and humidity, and all the Nicas are so worried it.They don’t understand that its because of the climate difference so they give me sunscreen and all sorts of stuff to help, haha. The Nicaraguan sun doesn’t burn me, so I’m still as white as I was when I left you.

I love you all so much its ridiculous! Even though its hard being here, I know the time will fly, and I’ll be back with all of you again a new and better person. PLEASE pray for me, because I am in desperate need of your prayers. I really do love it here, its just freaking hot.

Until next week!

With love,
Hermana Nielson.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Last day at the CCM

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I think the guy shooting spider webs was the same Elder at the airport with her. Made me laugh! Love seeing my Hermana Nielson! Can't wait to get more pics soon!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Analisa

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Dear Analisa,

I miss you so much! Being ALWAYS surrounded by girls who think they’re funny but aren’t makes me miss you even more than I already did :( I miss the random little things you’d say and comment on that would make me laugh so hard! I’ll make a random comment to the girls on either side of me and they totally don’t get it like you would. I miss laughing with you if that makes any sense. I wish you were my companion. We would be the best companionship EVER!! I’m sooo glad we’re sisters so we can be “companions” when I get home. Being around all these girls makes me want to tell you how awesome I think you are. There isn’t a single girl on earth as gorgeous, talented, sweet, caring, and hilarious as you are. I’m dead serious when I say you’re the most AMAZING girl I know. It’s crazy to me how beautiful you are and don’t let it go to your head AT ALL! AND you’re genuinely a NICE person who cares for others. There isn’t another person like you! You have this contagious glow and spirit about you that no other “cool” girl will ever have. You don’t have to go on a mission because you touch people’s hearts, strengthen people’s testimonies and bring people unto Christ everyday. You’re celestial :) I have no idea who you are going to marry, but don’t get married till you are 20-21 when I’m there:) You’re going to be the best wife/mom EVER! Our kids are going to be BEST friends! I can tell.

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Once you get married you can help me cause I’m going to be an awkward mess, ha ha ha. Anyway, I love the HECK out of you and hope school and all that is awesome because YOU’RE awesome!

Love, Hermana Nielson

P.S. Write me back whenever someone get’s married or engaged and keep me updated on who’s dating who :))

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Last letter from the MTC (CCM)

MOM! I LOVED all those pictures from the blog OH MY GOSH!! I MISS YOU ALL SO MUCH! Seeing all those pictures was the best part of my entire mission so far. Words cant even express my love for you all. What a BEAUTIFUL family I belong to :D

I just got the Dear Elder letter from you and I’m going to answer all your questions. Hermana  S.... was a radio DJ for mix 107.9 so this no music thing has killed her. So she tells me a song she wants to hear, I sing it, and we are both happy! I'm her new radio.

I am my happy bubbly self everyday so don't worry. I eat meat now too! I'm back to my normal size again, and my hair is used to the humidity so its not an Afro anymore :D

Give Katherine a HUGE hug for me! She looked so beautiful up there! I loved your arrows, ha ha.

I haven't gotten any of your packages yet, but I’m sure I will. I leave for Nicaragua in exactly one week from today! How crazy is that? So if you have any more packages send them straight to the mission home.

Hermana Chase and I are sooo different it's hard for us to get along at times, but our differences have been a strength to us and we are the strongest companionship in our district. Elder P proclaimed his LOVE to me in a note... YEP. He's 18. The poor boys here around here... My husband is going to be the luckiest man on earth cause I am a CATCH.

I miss you and the family so much. I would be lying if  I didn't say I secretly wish all of this was already over and I was safe and sound at home again, but its only 17  more months. We can do this. My Spanish is alright, but I get better everyday. Ill be fluent in 6 months without a doubt.

I love this gospel so much, I can feel it deep in my bones. I would tell you what I’m learning, but I'm not learning anything new, just deeper understanding of the doctrine and principles of the gospel on a whole new addicting level.

Our mission president had to cast out an evil spirit on the boys floor last night. He had to go around and bless each of our halls. To comfort us the mission president told of a vision he had. He had a vision that there were angry people outside of the CCM trying to get in, but there were Nephite and Lamanite warrior angels standing in front of the gates protecting us. We are so safe and blessed here it makes me want to cry with gratitude.

The next time I’m able to write to you will be in two weeks from a little cafe in NICARAGUA! Pray for me... I'm nervous to go out, but ready. I love you with all of my heart.

With Love,
Hermana Nielson

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Stronger every day

Mama! My week has been great. I got your letter and have been reading it over and over all day! I love hearing about you and the family :) I wish I had more to tell you about my week other than my testimony grows stronger and stronger every day. I read the scriptures CONSTANTLY. I read them in bed, at breakfast, in class and can't get enough. I have never loved a book so much in my entire life...

Your prayers have helped me more than you know. Every time someone prays for me, I can feel it in my heart. It lifts me up and helps me through the rest of my day. I can't thank you enough for your love and support. Because of you, I never feel alone out here. Thank you for everything, and I will talk to you next week!

With LOVE,
Hermana Nielson