Monday, April 29, 2013

second week in field

familia y amigos,
i am sorry for my last email. it was my first time writing in nicaragua and i was overwhelmed big time. 

First, the spanish here is slurred and they dont pronounce the letter s at the end of words. so that makes it more difficult. haha. 

There are a few options for transportation. The huge bus where you sit or hold onto railings, the van where when you think you cant squeeze anymore people, they manage to fit 5. And the small taxis. and the bikers who bike you around.

Houses. average house is cement. no doors usually. use blankets for doors. they have a cement thing for laundry outside. and use sticks to make fire for meals outside on a cement thing. a few i have seen with a stove...actually just 1. and wires everywhere for clothes.

only hermanas have cell phones here. elders have a landline. 

My area is La concepcion or la concha. estaca jinotepe. zone has 22 missionaries, 8 of them girls. 

zone meetings...dont understand anything really yet. haha

occasionally you see oxen or cows carring wood down the street. haha! 

so we dont have water 24_7 so ive been keeping track in my journal. haha. 

when you walk down the street you say adios instead of hola. when you walk to someones house you yell buenas and they let you pass.

no piano for church...well they do but nobody can play. so i might be playing the few songs i know how to with one hand. haha family gave me oats and you had. so good. 

so my feet got attacked again. apparently this time they swelled and turned purple...turns out a bug had gotten in my skin and was biting me everywhere. so im taking pills and an ointment. swelling is gone, but the bites arent. my luck huh? haha

we also had stake says peru lime norte is in our that jeff day? and isnt that far?

im gonna try to send pics now...sorry my letter is short. i love you all!!!!

Hermana Chase!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

first week in the field - bats,taxis and language

Family and friends. So much to tell you all, and I left my journal at the house so all the details from the CCM will be left out. So Monday night before I left, we met as a district. Elder Albert asked if we all wanted a blessing before we left. I almost cried because I immediately thought of dad giving me blessings before I would start school and stuff. So, Elder Purser gave me one. I wanted to share what it said exactly but without my journal I can`t. said that Heavenly Father knows I have been working hard in the CCM with the language and my studies, and that I should pay attention to the spirit because there will be many of those times where I will feel it. It said that many people will be touched my testimony. It said that when I get home I will receive MAGNIFICENT blessings. And a little more that I can't remember off the top of my head. 
So tuesday morning we had to have our suitcases out by 4am and we left around 4:30am. We got to the airport at 5am and there were no phones in the airport so I couldn´t call. bummer. 
We arrived in nicaragua and the president and his wife were there with the two assistants. oh there were 3 nortes and 2 latinas and 2 latinos. so 7 total. we went to the church for an orientation and then we were taken to lunch. a restaurant with some good food. Later we were paired with a sister to go teach. not my actual companion. I was paired with a latina who was really nice. She has only been here though for like 2 months. I bore my testimony twice that day with people. Then we were taken to a hotel and we stayed the night there. The next day we all met at the church for a meeting. That is where they assinged companions. my companion is hma puyol. She has been here 5 months. she is from argentina. I am not exactly what area I am in becuase of the language barrier...but there is one set of elders near us. Elder rivera from argentina, and elder hammond from the states. funny joke they make, some people say my name as elder rivera made a joke about elder hammond and me...ham and cheese. haha. 
our bishop is only in his late 20s so he is super young!!! we walk almost everywhere. my area covers 3 towns so we have to take the bus or the small taxi to some areas.  Its a normal bus that fits like 8 or 9 people but of course they try to fit like 15 people. So I usually stand and fly everywhere. The small taxis are fine though. They only fit 3 in the back and one on each side of the driver. It looks like a smart car but with no doors. and if you sit in the front you have to hold on because half of your body doesnt fit in the car. 
So....we get water in our bathroom half the week. friday, sat and sun no water. which means we shower by bucket. and dump water to flush the toilet. also, there are bats that like to come in the house while we are gone, and they eat above my bed. so when we get home i have to wipe the food off. also...they eat above my bed while we sleep. so the other night I woke up and they had dropped food on my bed and it had rubbed into my blanket. so my blanket is now stained with berry juice. so last night I kept the light on to keep them away. That bothered me. Also we have someone who washes our clothes. we give her our clothes monday and get them back wednesday. we have someone who cooks us lunch everyday and dinner most nights. sat night we dont get dinner I dont think. 
we had one day where we visited with a recent convert who has been drinking. he started to cry and hma puyol gave her a scripture to read and a little note to help him. Also hma puyol felt we should visit the family Gaiton. turns out the husband has been having problems with his sibling. and he started to cry. All i could do was bear my testimony. It broke my heart that i cant speak to these people.  it is so frustrating not being able to understand anyone here.  No water, being squished, not understanding...its so hard. I dont understand how to keep track of our numbers or when we do things, because of the language barrier between my comp and I. she knows a little english but still. 
they have a good drink here called pino lillo...its like chocolate stuff and water.
meals....chicken, bananas, rice and beans.
breakfast we eat at the house. 
anyway, i am getting a blessing today because i am way overwhelmed. i love you all! dad your message stays with me always about not being getting discouraged. Love you!!!! 
Hermana Chase

Thursday, April 11, 2013

last P-Day in CCM

Well, this is is my last p-day here in the CCM. I leave next Tuesday
at around 3 am. Crazy I know. Anyway, this week...thank you Uncle Mark
and Aunt Paula for the card you sent me. Getting mail on a mission is
like Christmas, and I am not joking. haha. So conference this week was
amazing. Hermana Denis, in my district, suggested I write down
questions before hand that I wanted answered. I had heard of this
before, but I had never done it. So...I did. And let me tell you they
were all answered. 2 of them directly...meaning the apostles asked the
EXACT question I had written down, and then answered it, and the
others were mentioned. I couldn't believe it. By far the most
wonderful experience watching conference. I loved it.

 So President  prayed with all the boys, and then
came to the girls floor and prayed with all of us. He first told us of
a story before he came here. He had a dream that he was standing in
one of rooms looking out and saw all these angry people outside the
gates. But then he looked and saw Nephites and Lamanites guarding the
CCM. When he arrived to the CCM, he found out that the mission
president before him had the same dream. So he was telling us that
this CCM is a sacred place. He then knelt down with us Hermanas and
prayed in spanish. He prayed that we would be protected by angels
It was by far a very powerful experience.

Also, today was my last day in the temple until I probably get home.
Very emotional. I pretty much cried the whole time and was in the
celestial room for a long time. I am so grateful for temples, and for
the spirit that we can feel there. I am grateful for those who work in
the temples who dedicate their time to serve the Lord. It is such a
blessing to be in such a sacred place where you can literally feel the
Lord next to you. To feel that love just circle around you and
literally smother you.  Every time we talk to missionaries who
went through for the first time here they say it was amazing.
So this is my last pday. I leave next week on Tuesday about 3 am I
believe. Not sure exactly. They dont give us our stuff until the day
before. My last few days here. I am excited to leave and start
working, but super sad as well. The CCM is a great place who have
teachers who are amazing. I have learned so much so far. Much love to
all of you! Keep regular letters coming! Its like Christmas for me. I
love you all! Share the gospel!!!  Love, Hermana Chase

Sunday, April 7, 2013

spiritual experience

Hola everyone! This email is going to be focused on the most spiritual
and amazing experience I have had so far here at the CCM. So, our
investigators that we teach are our teachers. So, one day our night
teachers came and we noticed that one of them, Hermano Gomez didn´t
seem like himself. He wasn´t smiling as much, not laughing with
us...totally off. The first companionship taught him and came back and
said the lesson didn´t go well because he was just so sad. So Hermana
Nielson and I decided that our goal would be to overpower him with the
spirit. So we went out and said a prayer together. Then before we
taught, we asked him as a teacher if he was okay. He said there were
just some things. So, we went in to teach him and Hermano Chavez. Our
lesson was on Faith in Jesus Christ. Perfect lession if you ask me. We
usually bring our notes with what to say in Spanish and read most of
it of that. This time was completely different. We asked them if they
had faith in Jesus Christ. Pedro, or Hermano Gomez said, "mas o
menos". Normally we would say okay or something and go on explaining.
But this time I went away from my notes and asked him why he felt that
way. He explained that he didn´t feel like God could help him or 24/7
or something like that. There was a pause for a minute and I finally
spoke and bore my testimony of trials and the love of God and having
faith in him, and of course I was crying. My companion had her hand on
my knee as I bore testimony. I also shared with them a diagram I made
from Alma 32, a great chapter by the way. We had considered doing a
song for them, but we couldn´t remember which one. So while I was
talking, Hermana Nielson opened the hymn book and it flipped right to
"Creo in Cristo", or "I believe in Christ". We looked at each other
and sang. We bore our testimonies and then we had one of them pray. We
got down on our knees and I felt like Pedro should say it. So I asked.
He said yes. Then we all bowed our heads, and it was quiet for about
1-2 minutes. I opened my eyes and looked over and saw him crying. It
was very emotional. And the most powerful and spiritual prayer I have
ever heard. He thanked God for feeling the spirit, and blessed us with
the language. The spirit was so powerful. Afterwards at dinner,
Hermano chavez, the other teacher we taught with pedro told my
companion that he didn´t know what was wrong with Hermano Gomez, but
that we helped him tonight. He told her he didn´t know what we did to
fix our relationship (we had some drama earlier), but that whatever we
did it helped and we are even better than before. Can you believe it?!
Later Hermano Gomez told me that we did a great job in our lesson.
Apparently we are the best in our class.
That lesson blew my mind. That is why I am here. When Pedro said he
kinda had faith, I left my notes and spoke spirit to spirit. to his
needs. Something the teachers have been trying to get us to do. And it
felt great! Because we really do love him and care for him. This is
why I am here. This is why we teach. I am very excited to get to the
field. that lesson I will never forget.
That is the spiritual side of this week...on a more fun
we went into the city and shopped around. Took lots of pictures. Very
cool. I got a few things. Not too much. I have so much stuff it´s
ridiculous. Haha. Some elders talked to some people at the park, but
we didn´t bring anything so we weren´t able to talk to anyone. But I
really wanted to. Oh well.
This past week here was holy week, so there wasn´t any mail or
anything. You can imagine as missionaries how crazy some of us went. I
honestly didn´t care that much. But this morning on Tuesday they
finally gave us letters. I got one from my sister Becca, one from my
mom, and one from my friend Elder Price, who is serving in France!
Getting letters here is by far the best thing! I love you all! the
gospel is true! Love, Hermana Chase