The people of Nicaragua are so beautiful it just astounds me. They live their lives on dirt floors without nice things (cars, makeup, washing machines, clean clothes, hair straighteners, etc) and live a plain, simple and pure way of life I had never known until coming here. They live with the bare necessities, and that's all you really need :) But the one thing they absolutely can not live without, is the company of each other. There will be more than 20 of them, all in a one room shack no bigger than my room at home, relaxing in a comfortable silence, simply enjoying each others presence. Besides being in the celestial room in the temple, I think being in the home with the family is the closest thing we have to heaven. My testimony has been strengthened so much this week.
While living here and being stripped of all the luxuries and things of the world, I have not only become more like the Nicaraguans, but more like the Savior. As missionaries we are literal representatives of Jesus Christ. Serving them, loving them, and teaching them the most important thing in the world that can change their lives forever. When I think my testimony couldn't get any stronger, it does, and grows more and more every day. It has nothing to do BUT grow while serving a mission, and I think that's why people call it “the best two years”. Being here is such a blessing, and so necessary for me to learn everything I need to in this life.
While teaching a lesson on the Atonement yesterday, I received a beautiful compliment. The woman we were teaching said to me 'Hermana Nielson, there is a difference between you and the other missionaries. The others believe that what they're saying is true, but you KNOW that what your saying is true. There isn't a shadow of doubt behind your eyes, and I want to know as well as you do the truthfulness of these things. I am jealous of you Hermana Nielson, and I pray I will be able to receive that knowledge someday.'
In my patriarchal blessing, there is a lovely line that reads, 'Sarah, you are a beautiful daughter of God because of the love of God abiding in your heart.' While serving my mission, I have fully come to understand the meaning of that sentence, and couldn't be more happy and at peace with who I am, and who I am becoming. When I someday walk up to the gates of heaven, I'm going in my worn out missionary shoes with gratitude in my heart for the opportunity I had to live on this earth and fulfill the full purpose of my creation as a woman of Christ. I am in LOVE with these people, this gospel and being a missionary.
p.s. Could you please send my Lonely Planets Latin American Spanish Phrasebook 4th edition? Its a little tiny purple book I've borrowed that is SAVING my life and I need my own copy before I have to return it. Thank you!
p.p.s sorry about my spelling and grammatical errors! I cant type on these Spanish keyboards :)
Walking the dirt roads of Granada
with Hermana A.
Home sweet home
Con las Hermanas
❤ Hermana Nielson