Monday, May 27, 2013

Hermanita Sonrisa

My wonderful family and loved ones:

Serving a mission por la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias en Nicaragua for these 7 weeks is the HARDEST thing I have ever done (and I've feel I have experienced a lot of hard things). Its been grueling, but I have learned more in this 3 months than I have learned in my 20 years of life. I have learned so much about myself, who I truly am, and so much more I cant even begin to describe. Only by serving a mission could this have been possible. My success and happiness on this mission is ONLY possible through faith in Jesucristo. Christ didn’t just suffer to cleanse us from sin, he suffered so he could lift our burdens and help us through hardships as well. Through faith in Him I will be able to do all that I am asked on this mission. I couldn’t be more grateful for the gift of the Expiación and the beautiful role it plays in my life. Alma 34:40-41 dice: 'I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions... with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions.'

Even though I want to, I can’t give up just yet. I don’t know quite what it is, but something is keeping me here. This is something I need to fight for for as long as I can. If I don’t make it till the end, I know you will all support me in the course my life decides to take. I'm not saying I'm all of the sudden strong, I cry wanting to go home every day (I'm a sensitive little thing) but through faith, the beautiful attribute of paciencia, your prayers, love and support, I can do this :) Don't be surprised if another 'I want to go home email comes', just pray for me. I can feel it every time you do.

Mom, Dad and Jace. Thank you so much for you beautiful emails. I printed them out so I can read them every time I need strength. I love you more than you could possible imagine.

Guess what? Mom, I got your wonderful package Friday morning at Zone Conference! Look at you still taking care of me being a thousand miles away. The camisas are absolutely beautiful, and your love radiates off of them. When I wear them, I feel like a little part of you is with me. And a Reese's fast break? Best tasting thing I have eaten in ages! I cant thank you enough Mom. You are and always have been my best friend. 'virtual hug' :)

We had our 3rd baptism this week to wonderful William! Words cant even describe how much I adore him, and how grateful I am Heavenly Father let us teach him. There isn’t anyone else on earth as genuine and Christ like as he (besides Katherine). But his baptism... UGH. He had to be baptized 6 times in a row because Roger kept doing it wrong (my face was beat red for them) and I'm not exaggerating when I say 6. Literally 6 TIMES. Why does every baptism have to be so dramatic... At least I can look back and laugh right? Heh... heh...

My companion is going to be the death of me... I don’t know how I'm going to spend every second of every minute of every day for another 2 months with that woman, but I'm going to give it my best try. I don’t even know how I've made it 7 weeks... I literally might shoot myself in the face, or let myself get eaten by a dog. Fe. Paciencia. Tranquila.

Hermana Vasquez and I almost drowned in a Nicaraguan thunder storm this week! It was raining so hard I couldn’t see two feet in front of me through my glasses. We were screaming! My umbrella was blowing away in  a wet tornado of wind. The streets turned into rivers of mud and we were completely soaked head to toe. Hermana Vasquez whipped out a huge yellow poncho out of her backpack, and she looked so cute in it (like a screaming Guatemalan rubber ducky) dragging me through the river that had been a street two seconds before. She doesn’t let me sing anything other than hymns, but I sang Singing in the Rain at the TOP of my lungs. We were saved by a guardian angel who peddled us home on his cabonera. The power was out that entire night but we used Sammy’s Wallie flashlight and Matthew’s flashlight with the colored lights on the sides that mom had packed last minute! What a blessing it was to have those and new batteries on hand. Thanks mom! It made me miss my 3 lil bros even more than I already did. Tell them I love them for me! Tell Chesty and Tophey I love them too. How is lil Toph? I hope he’s not too much trouble. I picture him waddling around these streets with the other dogs and it makes me laugh haha :)

I gave the spiritual thought at Zone Conference in perfect Spanish on Jueves... YES! Thank you Heavenly Father... The Norte Elders were so proud of me, haha.

Oh how I love this gospel. Every day I learn more about the principles, ordinances, attributes of Christ, and the deepness of their meanings forever imprint themselves on my heart. Because I have learned so much, even the lyrics to hymns have a deepness and beauty in them I didn’t see before. Through prayer, scripture study, and Preach my Gospel, the secrets of this gospel unfold and the truth of these things is undeniable. I wish I could read and study all day long, but I have to be out in the Nicaraguan streets practically begging people to let us teach them in a language I hardly speak. People don’t fully understand how hard missionary work is, but the pain I feel out here isn’t even a fraction of what Christ did in Gethsemane. All I have to do is lean on him, listen and follow the promptings of the Spirit, and do what I was sent here to do.

The people here have officially named me Hermanita Sonrisa, because of the constant smile I don’t even notice is there. The people here don’t even smile when they laugh, so seeing a smiler is different enough to name someone after it :)

I have so many more stories for you all! I'll jot them all down so I don’t forget, and next week we have to email on Martez instead of Lunes because of a meeting thingy, so until Martes!

With Love,

Hermana Nielson aka Hermanita Sonrisa

ps: I promise I know how to type and spell these Spanish keyboards are ridiculous!

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