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
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,