Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

Wow what a week it has been here in Granada. I didn't think it could get much hotter but I think it has gotten hotter. I am constantly dripping sweat and the members sometimes laugh at me with my red face and dripping sweat. But oh well.

Mom had a few questions that I will answer really fast.
My typical Pday consists of waking up and going to a zone activity. We have played games gone to breakfast and today we went on a hike and went and got ice cream. Today as well I got my first haircut. It is way short.....way short......
A sister in the ward does my laundry for us.
I am with the elders and sisters in my district quite a bit because Elder Martinez is district leader so we go to baptismal interviews and stuff. And the zone I see every Friday and Monday at least. There are about 20 of us here in Nicaragua. In my zone there are 5 gringo elders. One is an Elder who got here just 6 weeks before I did who is going to play for the Utah State Basketball team. He played for Bountiful I think.....
I will try to send some pictures today.
I have not received any letters or packages yet. The mail to get here is really fast though so it should be soon. I sent a letter to you guys last week.
It rains about every other day if not every day. It is always muddy and my shoes are always dirty and the bottoms of my pants show that we are in the mud.

This week we worked really hard and walked a ton. On Friday we walked all over our area to interview or 4 baptismal prospects. They are all amazing people. Then on Saturday we walked all over Granada to get baptismal clothing and buy a cake.....yes a cake......One of the lady’s that we baptized had to get married before she could get baptized. It was done really fast in their home with a lawyer and a small cake bought by 3 missionaries. She has 3 sons. One is a recent convert and the 2 others are younger and got baptized as well with her on Saturday. The other was a man who is married to a recent convert. This family is amazing!! They are so great. The wife has so many questions about the gospel as she reads and ponders the book of Mormon and Liahonas. The husband started taking the lessons about the same week I got here. They have 3 little kids that are so much fun to be around. They always take way good care of us. As the husband was baptized I saw change. Change in the man that he was and I saw what he was capable of becoming. Something I have been learning is how to view people as our Heavenly Fathers sees them. As I contact people it is always in my brain of how great they could be in a calling and serving in the church even if they have problems. God loves all his Children no matter what. 

After the baptism we went on splits. I went with Elder Martinez while Elder Jimenez went with the branch mission leader. We already spent a lot of money on taxis to get them to the baptism so we decided to just walk. Elder Jimenez and the mission leader took a taxi. Well we didn’t walk, we ran. It is about 3 and half miles from the baptism font to our area. I’m sure you can picture a gringo runnin the main street of Granada with tie flying behind him and his bag in his hand. I was so drenched in sweat when we got there. But once we got there we were so calm. Elder Martinez and I Decided to just contact people. WE walked slowly and listened to the spirit. As we did that we found some people to talk to that we ended up teaching Sunday and have further appointments later this week. It is amazing how important the spirit is in missionary work. 

A song sang in sacrament was because I have been I given much I too must give. I love that song. I have been blessed with everything. And now it is my time to give. I have a loving family at home, amazing friends, and opportunities to succeed in life, and most importantly the gospel of Jesus Christ. Soccer is so important in my life still but it does not compare to how important my family and the gospel is. I love you all. I love getting your letters. For the Christmas list as of right now all I can think of is maybe a family picture in a frame and just small things like candy or stuff. I love getting letters from home and just small things. My life is very simple here in the mission. I love you!

Elder Morgan Anderson

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014

Dear family and friends,

Wow I don’t know where to start. This week has been a lot better than the last few weeks. I am beginning to adjust to the life and everything else.

Everyone has said that they want to hear more about Granada and my area. Well Granada is an old city with a lot of tourist attractions. The main street is full of venders, shops and everything you could think of buying. Everyone sells soda, bread, and fruit. There are a lot of restaurants and hotels as well. Granada sits on the lake. My area is outside towards the volcano about 2 or 3 miles. It is more on the agricultural side. I see cows, goats and pigs every day. Dogs are everywhere. My area is very humble.  People don’t have very much. They don’t have running water but have electricity. Everyone has a TV. I love my area though. I love the people they are incredible. Everyone is very polite and kind and will always stop and talk to us.

My house is outside my area about a mile and a half which means more walking. We walk everywhere. I walk a lot some days I bet I walk over 10 miles. My shoes are holding up way good. I have only used my boots once when it was pouring rain. The pulperia we live behind is owned by the members. They are so cool. They all try to speak English when we go into buy stuff. My house has running water and everything it’s just that the shower is not connected to the water line. So we just fill up the bucket in the faucet and use a bowl to shower. I’m starting to get used to it. Cold showers here are amazing. It has been super hot this past week. 

I have begun to teach more lessons and speak more Spanish this past week. My trainer is letting me teach more which is hard but I like it. It makes me a better Spanish speaker. 

I had my first baptism this week! It was a young woman that we have been teaching for a while. We have 5 more this week hopefully. I loved the feeling on Saturday during the baptism. I remembered when I was baptized. Wow that’s over 10 years ago.....I remembered how I felt, peace, and happiness. I saw the light from the people’s eyes as they were baptized. I know they felt the spirit. I was one of the witnesses and I definitely gained a stronger testimony of baptism. 

We work really hard every day. We teach a lot. We also teach some of the less actives and recent converts. We teach a lot about enduring to the end. I never understood how important it is to continue living the gospel. The gospel is so important and it doesn’t stop after baptism and the temple. We need to continue to live the gospel to reach our ultimate goal of living in the Celestial Kingdom.

I love getting your letters. They make me so happy. It’s my favorite time of the week.   I love you all.  Talk to you next week.

Elder Anderson

I only received 2 letters while in the CCM. The other will probably come when the other group comes into Nicaragua. Letters arrive here fast. It only takes about a week or two.

Elder Anderson had the opportunity while at the Mexico missionary training center to get a picture with his friends from Mountain Crest High School..

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 15, 2014
Dear family and friends,

So first off Granada Nicaragua. It’s super hot here. Everyone says it’s the hottest place in Nicaragua. We work super hard. My area is not in the city. It’s by a volcano called Mombacho. The people here are super kind. Everywhere we go they want to give us juice, water or food. It is a very humble area.

The food here is good. I eat rice everyday with tortillas and some sort of meat. The lady who feeds us is a really good cook. For breakfast I have some sort of bread with milk or juice. And for dinner either a member feeds us or we run to the store and buy a quick snack. We went to the store today and bought a few things for dinner so that should help. Also there have been no mosquitoes. I have only seen like one. The only other insect I have really seen was a scorpion the first day in our sink. Haha I use a bucket and bowl to shower......good times.  

I live in the back of a pulpuria. A pulpuria is a small store with everything you could want. They are everywhere in Nicaragua. They always have fresh bread so that’s a plus. 

The Spanish is coming along. I don’t know how well but it’s coming. In Nicaragua they don’t pronounce the s sound so that took a couple days to pick up. Then they use a lot of different words that is only found in Nicaragua. I have picked up on that a little bit to. My companions Elder Martinez and Elder Jimenez are really kind and help me with everything, especially my Spanish. They are some really great guys. We work so hard. Elder Martinez is our trainer and he pushes us. Every night I am so tired. But I love it. It’s helping me become a great missionary. They are both from El Salvador and Elder Martinez and I like a lot of the same stuff. He loves soccer and is really good He also really likes.......Duck Dynasty!!! Haha it’s so sweet to talk to him about it. They don’t speak any English though so it’s hard to go into depth about different topics.

We always have people to teach and to contact. Everyone is religious and everyone calls each other hermano and hermana. We can talk to anyone about religion and they listen. We also have quite a few baptism dates set up for the next month. During lessons I share my testimony and do the invitations. Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused when you don’t understand everything they are saying. The members here are great. They always want to help the missionaries. 

I’m beginning to enjoy myself more here. I am adjusting to missionary life and continue to work hard. The best thing for me to do when I miss home is work. These 2 years aren’t about me they are for the Lord and for the people of Nicaragua. I love you all. Have fun. This is my favorite time of year. Thank you for all the letters and emails. I received grandpa and grandmas letter this week. Thank you for sending the package as well. I love you!

Elder Anderson

September 9, 2014
Hello all,

So the power was out yesterday during the time we had planned to write you. We decided to contact people while we waited but then ultimately had to go start working. So my trainer is giving me an opportunity quickly today. So I don’t have a lot of time.

Nicaragua is so amazing!! I am currently serving in Granada in one of the poorest areas. These people have nothing it seems like. But they want the gospel kinda......It’s really hard work. I study until about 12 each day because I am training then we go eat at a members home that we pay to feed us then work the rest of the night. 

My trainer is Elder Martinez and my other companion is Elder Jimenez they are both really cool guys. Elder Martinez is the district leader. There are 3 other new missionaries in my district so it’s nice to see them everyone once in a while. 

The food is good. I have eaten some form of rice and beans every day. I feel bad because everyone offers me pork here and I can’t eat pork. It’s one of the mission rules. 

Yes mom I have drank the water and I have not gotten sick. I drink out of my filter when I can but members always bring us either juice or water. The juices are taking some time to get used to. I have been for the most part healthy. I got another cold when I got here which was expected because of the climate change. It reaches about 95 every day and I am constantly sweating. So I make sure to drink a lot of water. 

Elder Anderson