Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, December 29, 2014

Número 19


Wow what a crazy week. Probably the best week of my mission so far! Why? Just to start, I was able to talk to my family on Christmas day. That was so nice to get to see them and get to talk about everything. It was a pretty cool Christmas present being so far away.




Everyone here celebrates christmas on the 24th. I think that is how it is in all the latin american countries. It was pretty calm here. We had two dinner meetings which was really nice. One of our dinner meetings was from the lady that runs the place that we live in. She had her son and her son's wife and us over for dinner. Her son and his wife are from the States and speak perfect english, so we got to talk to them in english for the whole time. Also, this lady made a huge honey ham and mashed potatoes and rice and real salad and rolls, by far the best meal I have had on my mission yet. It was a real american christmas dinner. I had totally forgotten what a honey ham tasted like. It had never tasted so good. It literally felt like I was back at home eating that huge Christmas dinner.

We also met up with the whole mission down in Managua and had a huge party there. I got to see Elder Jacobsen and all my boys from the MTC. The beasty part about it was we got to watch a movie.....a real movie!!! The movie was called Maze Runner. I dont think I have ever been so intrigued. Every one was just locked in. Being away from movies and music will do that to you. I thought it was a pretty good movie, but I hope thats not just because that was the first time I have watched a movie in 4 and a half months haha. It was nice to be in Managua and just chill and not have to worry about anything for a day.




(Johns companion is next to him-  elder  Bickmore)


(John with the elders he meet at the MTC)

(John with his first companion and trainer elder Jacobsen, and elder Clark)


To finish off the week, we had a baptism on Saturday. We baptised a family of 3. Their names are Jaime, Carla, and Carolina. It went really good. It was pretty funny because the little girl did not want to get baptised because the font was too deep, so we had to convince her for like 10 mins to get her to be baptised haha. It is just weird for them because the people here have never been in a pool of water and none of them know how to swim, so she was a little scared. Other than that, it was awesome. I was so happy to be able to baptise them. They are such a cool and loving family. Jaime is definitely someone I would want to come back and see once I get done with my mission. 



(They got married before they were baptized. I think he is wearing John's suit. This is the second wedding that suit as been in!) 



There is probably more but that's what I got for this week. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and has a great new year! I love you all!
Adio
Elder Sherle

Monday, December 15, 2014

Número 18-Esteli

Hola familia!!
I cannot believe we are 10 days until Christmas!! It honestly does not feel like Christmas here because it is isnt cold and there is no snow. It is so weird. Not a ton of people really celebrate Christmas here, but I have been seeing more and more Christmas trees being put up in people's houses. That is pretty good for Nicaragua I would say.

Nothing really crazy happened this week. It was a pretty normal week here in Rosario. 
One thing very sad happened today on P-day. Because I am in latin america, and everyone here plays soccer. We dont really have a choice to play anything else. So like always, we played a little soccer today with part of the zone, and I am actually starting to be pretty decent at soccer. So sad. I didnt think I would ever actually like playing soccer or ever think that I would ever be good at it. It is such a change from basketball. I miss playing basketball so much and I am so sad that my soccer game is not half bad. I am probably better than my sister at this point...:)

One cool thing that happened is we went to a place called Sebaco to do some interviews for people who were planning to get baptised this weekend. When we got off the bus we had to wait a little bit at the bus station for the other missionaries to pick us up. So we were just walking around and I just saw this monkey just chillin eating some corn. So i went up to it and it grabbed my hand and just jumped on me. It was like crawling all over my shoulders and hugging me super tight. It was such a cool feeling just playing around with a monkey. I want one so bad!!! The guy who owned it was trying to get me to buy it for 200 dollars haha. I bargained him down to buy it for 100 cordobas, but didnt go through with it. I think I might invest in a monkey when I get home hahha.

Anyways, the work is going good here. We are preparing a family of 3 to be baptised this next weekend. The guy is just waiting to have his divorce gone so we can baptise him. We hope that it is gone by this week to be able to do it by Saturday. This family is so cool. There names are Jaime, Carla, and Carolina. Jaime is one of the funniest dudes I have ever met and just tells us a bunch of stories about his experiences with white people every time we go to his house. I am really excited for them to be members of the church! We are working with some other cool families right now too that we are working with too. So everything is going good here in El Rosario. 

Thats all I got for this week. I hope everyone has a great week! I love you all!
Adio
Elder Sherle

Monday, December 8, 2014

Número 17

Hola a todo!
We had another good week here in Rosario! I am so glad that I didnt get changed and that I will be able to be here for Christmas!
Today was such a cool day. We got to go to a lookout where we could see a bunch of different cities in Nicaragua and could see the volcanos, it was so beasty! Also, we got to go to this waterfall in the mountains of Esteli. We got to go for super cheap because a member took us up and he had his own van to take us in. It is actually pretty rare to have your own car here so it was kind of weird riding in an actual car. 







I had to say bye to one of my good friends here on the mission this week. His name is Elder Echevaria and he is from Guatemala. He is such a cool dude and we got to be pretty good friends. There is a picture of me and him in our last zone meeting. 


One cool thing we saw this week was we walked into our investiagotors house to teach them a lesson and we got to watch something really cool. This dude had a super bad hangnail and we got there right when he was about to rip off his whole nail on his big toe. We watched him inject himself with anestesia and take some pliers and rip off his toe nail hahaha it was so crazy because he did it to himself! He bought a needle for 2 cordobas and anestesia for 7 cordobas (which it is 26 cordobas to 1 dollar). Pretty crazy how you can just go and buy your own anestesia and needle and pretty much do an operation on yourself haha. 
Also, one of the hardest things about being here for me is seeing the poverty some people have to live in. We met this family of 5 this week, the mom and 4 little kids. We had to give them an interview because the mom and the daughter were planning to get baptised. All of them are starving and so poor but seem to have a smile on their face when we met them. The mom doesnt work and all the kids are under 8 years old. The oldest girl, who is 8 years old, is the provider for the family. She looks around for work to wash clothes and dishes and stuff just to buy food for the family. I dont want to talk about it all because it is just so sad. It is so hard to see that and wonder why good people have to live like that. Sometimes I just dont understand why.
I really do learn a lot of things here every week, and really count all the blessing I have. Always remember just how blessed all of you guys are to live where you do. 
I hope everyone can get a chance to watch the video "He is the Gift" on youtube, it is a pretty cool video!
I am doing good here. We are working hard and have a few solid families we are teaching right now. We hope that they keep progressing like they are. 

(John hung up his Christmas tree! :) it is a photo of a Christmas tree and fire place with stockings hung on the mantel... Hahahhahaha )

I hope everyone has a great week and know that I got love for all of you!
Until next week
Elder Sherle

Monday, December 1, 2014

Número 16- Esteli / Rosario

Buenas a todo! 
A good week here in Rosario! First off, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and everyone could spend a little time reflecting on how truly blessed we are. I hope everyone had the chance to spend some time with the family as well. 
Elder Bickmore and I had a plan this week called "The Ressurection" of the branch here. There are a ton of less active members here because some members have problems with some other members so a lot of people are going to church because of that. So we have been working hard with the less actives to get them to church. We found a less active who used to be a Jehovas Witness and was converted to our church. His name is Genaro and he has such a strong testimony of the gospel and is such a cool guy. Him and his family had been inactive for 8 months and we got him to come to church this week. It was such a cool feeling seeing how excited all the other members were to see him and his family in church. We got some other less actives to come too so this week was a good week. It is always so cool to see happiness that people feel through just going to church. It was pretty cool. We had 44 people come to church and we hope to keep growing every week. 

I dont know if any of you guys have heard but there is a video that is called "El es la Dadiva" or "He is the Gift", it is a short video made by the church about Christmas and Christ.

 We got to watch it this week and it is a pretty cool video. On December 7th, it will be on the front page of youtube so keep your eyes out for it and I encourage everyone to watch it! You dont have to be of the church to watch it, it is a message for everyone. Check it out! 

Thanksgiving was pretty beasty here. Want to know what I did to celebrate it? I had an extra peanut butter and honey sandwich before I went to sleep. Peanut butter and honey are pretty pricey here so I felt pretty nice getting to eat 2 peanut butter honey sandwiches that night hahaha. Anyways, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I love this type of season right now, always a great time to think about how truly blessed we are. It is kind of nice because it is like 70 degrees here and it is throwing me off a little bit that it is December. 
I am going to finish my three month trainer here next week. That means that there are changes next sunday. I just have a bad feeling that I am going to be changed. I sure hope I dont because I have made some really cool friends here in Rosario, and I dont want to leave right before Christmas, but we will see!
Thats all I got for you guys. I hope everyone has a great week and enjoys this time of year with the people you love!
Adio
Elder Sherle

Monday, November 24, 2014

Número 15 Esteli

Hollaaaa a todo! 
Another good week here in Rosario! This week was a cool week because I had my last new persons meeting! I cant believe I am getting close to 4 months in my mission. Time is going by fast. The one sad thing that I am going to miss is I get to see all the guys from the CCM at the news meeting, and now I wont be able to see them. I am super close with all the guys.
I am loving Rosario though. I am getting super close with a lot of people here. The members here just love all the missionaries and just make me feel so loved. Also, we have investigators that are the same way. We are teaching this family of about 6 people and they are so cool. They are the type of people that I will want to come back and visit when I get done with my mission they are so cool. I always feel so comfortable when I am in their house. 
Also this week, we had this crazy dude who was drunk come up to us and scream at us for about 10 minutes about how we are wasting our time here and that we are going to hell when we die haha I have never seen someone be so mad at us for just being missionaries. We just gave him a pamphlet and told him to pray and he threw the pamphlet in our face. Usually all the drunk dudes just ask us for money, but he was just screaming in our faces. I thought it was pretty funny so I let him go on his rant, but I just felt kind of bad for the guy. There are so many guys here that just have no life and either drink everyday or sniff paint all day, its pretty sad.
Elder Bickmore and I are working pretty hard here. We are getting to know eachother pretty well and teaching well together. He is a cool guy. He is so goofy and cracks me up all the time. We are working hard with a lot of families right now and I hope these investigators will know that our message is true. Elder Bickmore and I are showing a lot of faith to be able to help them out as much as we can. 
I just love the people here and love how nice a lot of them are. They are so humble. A lot of people struggle to get food on the table but seem to be happy. 
I know that Thanksgiving is coming up and I just want to say that I hope everyone can be able to spend some time with their family. I want everyone to know that the family is so important and should not be overlooked. Enjoy it, laugh, have fun and be grateful. Just think about some of the people that are not able to be with their family for Thanksgiving.
I love you all so much and I hope everyone has a great week! Thank you for all your love!
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me"
Adio
Elder Sherle

Monday, November 17, 2014

Numero 14 ~ Esteli

Buenas a mi familia y mis amigos! Como estan a todo?
Good week up here in good ole Esteli. I am working hard up here with my new comp, Elder Bickmore.
Something cool happned this week that was super crazy.....I had my first dream in spanish this week! It wasnt anything crazy, but I was just talking normal in my dreams to my companion in spanish. I felt pretty cool when I got up haha. That is a stepping stone in the mission for me! Pretty beasty. I am so much more comfortable here than I was my first week here. I feel comfortable talking to anyone now. I still dont have a super strong vocabulary and dont understand everything, but I can understand the gist of what people are saying. I still have so much farther to go, but I am so happy at where I am at right now. Elder Bickmore has ten months in the mission so he can talk better than I can, so he helps me out a lot too.
Elder's selfie at lunch
Apparently John didn't get the "casual" memo
The new comp and I are doing good. He is a cool kid and we work well together. He came from Leon and is our district leader. I might get changed in three weeks so we might only have a couple weeks together, but we will see!
This week was a little difficult for me because I am still fairly new in this area and dont know everything here and Elder Bickmore was new here so it was a little harder having to remember everywhere we needed to go and find all of our meetings. In other words, I pretty much had to put the team on my back this week and I feel like I did pretty well. We taught some very spiritual lessons and were able to find a bunch of people this week.
One thing here that bothers me more than anything is the people here are just too nice to tell me the truth. There are a lot of people here that just lie to my face because they are too scared to tell me no. I dont know why people cant just tell the truth. I had like 10 people tell me they were going to church this week and they never went. I have definitely had to learn to have a little bit of patience (which is definitely not my strong suit). But, I guess that is something good to learn.
All in all, a good week here. I love this place and have such good relationships with some people here.
I hope everyone has a great week this week! I love you all!
Adio
Elder Sherle
 

 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Numero 13

Hola a todo. Como estan?
This has been such a crazy day for me. Last night at about 11:30 we got a call from the AP's and we found out that Elder Jacobsen was getting transfered on an emergency change. So we stayed up all night packing and had to go to Managua at 6 in the morning to get our new comps.

I am pretty sad that I had to say bye to Elder Jacobsen. I have a new companion and his name is Elder Bickmore, he has about 10 months in the mission, and thats about all I know about him. He seems like I cool guy though.
Anyways, this week was another good week. We found a super cool family that we are teaching and found some other cool people to teach. We are working hard here to help these people here.
There wasnt anything super crazy this week or anything out of the ordinary. So this week I dont really have that much stuff to write about. The craziest thing that happened was I got a new comp and now I have to teach this dude about our area and show him all of our members and all of our investigators. I am a little nervous for that because I have only been here for like two months and I am not super comfortable with my area yet. But I think I will be fine.
One thing I learned this week is that being missionaries we can talk to anyone. We found a guy this week who we would never have even thought to talk to, but because we were looking for someone else we asked him for some help and turns out he has been super curious about of church and had wanted to read the Book of Mormon. He came to church this week and participated and everything. It is pretty cool to see that some people are just ready to hear this message of the gospel. I hope he continues to progress, I will keep you guys updated on him.
Soccer Fields
Like I said this week there isnt much. So sorry if this email is super boring for you guys. Hopefully I will have a better one next week!
I hope everyone has a great week and know that I love all of you guys!
Until next week
Les amo
Elder Sherle

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Numero 12

Hola a todo de Esteli! Como estan??
This week was a really weird week. Usually the weeks here fly by, but for some reason this week was pretty slow. I think it was because I was super sick in the beginning of the week. I dont know what happened but I just had this super bad tempurature and super bad cough that I felt like I was underwater for like 3 days. It wasnt fun. Especially when I need to be at my best while I am out here, being sick makes it pretty hard. But I am better now, I only have a cough now.

Elder Jacobsen and I have started the process of moving our house. The lady that is in charge of our house wants us to pay 25 bucks more a month. I know that doesnt sound like much, but for Nicaragua money it is like 600 cordobas and we dont have that type of money to pay so we are moving. We think she just sees that we are both white and she thinks we have a ton of money so she wants us to pay more. So we are looking for new houses to more into. We found one that a member here owns and it looks like we are going to move in there but we have to wait because he has 2 teenage girls living in the house right now. So we have to wait until they move out in a month.

Oh it was Halloween on Friday right?? Ya, the people here dont celebrate Halloween. We totally forgot about it until like halfway through the day haha. I am so excited because Elder Jacobsen and I celebrated with a bag of skittles. Which I know that doesnt sound like much, but they dont have skittles here so it was a pretty big deal for us! I was so happy that he shared with me because if any of you guys know me well, you know how much I like my candy...especially skittles.

We are working really hard right now because we have a goal in our zone that if we get 10 people ready to baptise on the 22nd, we are going to baptise the people in a waterfall! So we are working super hard for that goal.

Not much more this week, like I said, it was kind of slow. But we are working hard here. The language is coming along and I am starting to become a lot more confident when I speak to people. It is a pretty cool feeling being able to actually communicate a little bit. I have come so far already.

Thank you all for all your support and all your love towards me. I love all you guys so much. I hope everyone has a great week ahead of them!

¡Les amo! Hasta la proxima lunes.
Adio
Elder Sherle

Monday, October 27, 2014

Numero 11

Holllaaaaaa. Como estan? Yo estoy super super animado por que yo tuve mi primera bautismo este sabado!
If you can read that, it means that I am super happy because I got to take a little swim this weekend (I had my first baptism this saturday)! I baptised an 18 year old dude named Pedro and Elder Jacobsen baptised two girls. It was such a cool saturday! It was a pretty crazy story because we had been teaching this dude for awhile and he was totally interested and open to learning and wanted to change his life. Then we didnt see him for a week because he left to help his grandma out outside of our area. Then on friday, we went to his house and he was home. We taught him a little bit and asked him how he felt about being baptised the next day, and he was ready. So we baptised him on Saturday and confirmed him a member of the church on Sunday. Pretty cool feeling being in all white!!
Pedro is such a cool dude. He is 18 and trying to provide for himself and help out his family. He doesnt have any work and doesnt have any money, but he is so positive and knows that through the Lord he will be blessed and find work. He is going to be a great member in the church! Before my mission I never really thought about baptising someone. I only thought about how I can give my love and serve with all my heart. So the coolest thing for me was I have been working pretty hard for the last 6 weeks and I really hoped that I could baptise someone, and I did. It was a good reassuring feeling that I am actually doing something right and someone can understand my spanish hahha.
Also, I just finished my first change here. All the white missionaries serve 16 changes and I just finished my second. So I am an eighth of the way there! hahaha.

Right now I am sick and it sucks so bad. I am coughing and got a bad headache. It is the worst being sick here because we still have to go out and be at our best even if we feel like crap. Everyone is getting sick here because it is cooling down a little bit into the 70s.
All in all, it was a good week. Like always we are working hard here!
Oh and on a side note, no one celebrates Halloween here. Everyone thinks it is like super bad or something, idk. People are weird here. So no candy for me:(
Okay thats all I got this week. Thank you for your emails and I hope everyone has a great week!
Les amo
Adio
Elder Sherle
 






Monday, October 20, 2014

Numero 10 ~ Esteli

Holaaaaaaa everyone! How is everyone?
We had a good week here. We were pretty busy the whole week, like always.
Yes, there was a pretty big earthquake here last monday. It was a 7.3 from what the locals told us. Being the great missionaries that we are, we were praying before getting to sleep and our whole room started shaking and our refrigerator started rocking back and forth. I thought my comp was moving the bed back and forth haha I was wrong. It went on for about 30 seconds, but still felt pretty cool. Up in Esteli we are in mountains so it wasnt as strong here as it was is Managua.  (below is a video John took of a river overflowing ~ I believe the video can only be seen on a computer and not a mobile device.)
 
video
 


This week I gained a little more confidence in my spanish. I went on divisions with the Zone Leader in my area. So i had to take him around and guide the lessons with our investigators. After the day was over, he told me how impressed he was with my spanish and how he was blown away at how much I already know. I was so happy to hear that because I have been feeling like I have been behind. Hard work is paying off!
The weird thing that happened this week was we just seemed to be the target for all the drunk people. Most people dont have work here and just sit around and get drunk and for some reason all the drunks would just walk up to us and try to talk to us, so we started to have a little fun with them and we only spoke to them in english. They were "had to be there moments", but super funny. It is always a plus to speak english here because no one can understand us, but we can understand them. Oh a lot of people here get so fascinated with our eyes. They just cant believe that we have blue and green eyes. They will just stare into our eyes in awe, it is a little awkward but it is pretty funny.
We are working really hard here teaching as many people as we can. A lot of the days we cant even get to everyone we want to talk to. But we do our best. We have a couple dates for baptism this week so hopefully they will keep to that date. We have an investigator named Eddie and he is definitely ready to take the step. I am getting pretty comfortable here. I know the area a lot better and know a lot more people. We know there are chosen people for us here, we just need to find them and give them this message.
That's all I got for this week. Like always thank you so much for all your e-mails.
Oh and a BIG shoutout to my grandma! She just got baptised this weekend and I am so excited for her!
Much love from your boy in Nica
Adio
Elder Sherle

Monday, October 13, 2014

Número 9- Esteli

Holaaaaaaaa. 
A great week we had here in Rosario!
To start off, we had our first baptism! We had a marriage for these two in the church and baptised the newly married wife right after. It was our first baptism, pretty cool! This family had literally nothing so let him borrow my suit and we found her a dress to make it something worth remembering. They used two CTR rings to be married with. Pretty crazy how different it is here. They had about 10 people at their wedding, and four missionaries. But it was so cool to see them happy. 

We did more service again this week moving a bunch of dirt and helping people connect their bathroom so they have a toilet that flushes. We were working right next to this guy who knew a little bit of english, and it was so funny because he was telling us how he crossed the border from Mexico into the United States and how hard it was to get in. But he got in a worked in construction for a couple years, then moved back here to Nicaragua. We could relate because he can't speak English and my Spanish is still a work in progress....so we had a little connection haha. 
Like I just said, the language is a process. I learn new things and new words every day, but I still get frustrated with it. I just want to be perfect now, but I need to find a little patience with this. 
We have been working super hard this week and hopefully we be baptising someone this next week, so I am praying for that. We have a lot of really cool investigators. They are all so nice and all of them are so close, we just need to make things happen. We were so excited this week because we had 48 people come to church! That is a pretty beasty number here! Of that 48, 11 of them were investigators and three families. A big test here is if our investigators come to church, that means they are pretty interested, so we were really excited on Sunday. 
Right after our baptism on Saturday, a less active in our ward was killed in an accident, so we went over to the house and were there for support. It was cool to see so many people come out to support this family. Everyone here are so supportive for their friends and families. The guy suffered a head trauma because he wasn't wearing a helmet when he was riding his bycicle, and was hit by a motorcyle. The weird thing was they had an open casket, so we got to look at him. I had never seen a dead body before and I am not going to lie it was a little creepy. But it was just pretty weird going from a wedding and a baptism to a funeral....the life of a missionary. 
The food here is still all the same. Basically, beans, rice and chicken. BUT, today for p-day we went to a pizza place in downtown. I was so happy to actually get to eat some pizza and feel full. So today was a solid day for me! 
I literally love the culture here. Everything is so simple. All people care about are three things: Family, God, and Food. It has really changed my perspective on life. Family is often times overlooked and taken for granted for. I want to tell everyone to not overlook the importance of family, yes I am talking to you too Raimee and Nathan:) 
Anyways, we are working hard here and serving the best we can! This is hard work, but it feels so good to hit that pillow at night knowing you worked as hard as you can.
I hope everyone know that I love all you guys so much and I am so grateful for all your e-mails. I hope everyone has a great week coming up!
Les ama
Adio
Elder Sherle

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Número 8 - Esteli

Hola familia y amigos. ¿Como estan? 
Another good week here in Esteli. We were super busy this week which is always a good thing. We did some service this week for a member where we spent about 2 and  a half hours moving dirt and rocks because everyone here is connecting their water to the black water that is underground so they can have a bathroom with running water. So we helped her out with moving all the dirt and rocks. I was sore for about 4 days after because we had to use some wood tools and most of everyone else on the street just kind of watched us. I love doing service for people here because a lot of people here think that we think we are better than them. They think that because we are american and we wear ties that we are above everyone here, so it is nice for the people here to see that we are actually normal and are here to help.
 

 

Like I have said before, our area is pretty dangerous. A couple nights ago about 15 mins after we got in the house there was this huge gang fight right in front of our house! There was about 15 guys on each side and they were all throwing rocks at each other and fighting. A bunch of them had macheties and were sparking them on the ground running after people, it was so crazy to watch! Then the fight ended and there was a couple guys that were just pelting our house with rocks for a little bit, not going to lie I was kind of scared haha, but I am good. It still is funny just how much people tell us how dangerous it is for us each day. 
We have a marriage this week and a baptism. The future husband is a member and the wife is not. So we are going to marry them and then baptise the future wife about an hour after the wedding. They have no money so we are providing pretty much everything for them, but it is pretty cool that we will get our first baptism this weekend! I am so excited for that! I hope I don't jinx it by telling you guys! We have a couple really cool investigators ready to be baptised in the next couple weeks so hopefully these next few weekends with be busy with baptism. One of our investigators we were about to drop finally is starting to come around. I felt truly happy once he told us he wants to know more and wants to follow the path of the Lord. 

General Conference was in Spanish of course, but we got lucky and some guy from the church hooked up a tv and we got to watch in English. Not going to lie, I had never watched every session of conference before, but I wish I had. My favorite speaker is definitely Elder Holland, he speaks with so much power I can always feel the spirit so strong. We had 500 people show up from all of Esteli, which was a record breaker. We had 70 people show up from our area which is also a record breaker. It was a lot better turn out than what we get at church. We usually get around 30-40 people at church. 


Well, I am working hard here and getting better and better everyday with this language. This is some tiring work, but it feels good to be out here! I love this place!
I hope everyone has a great week!
Elder Sherle

 

 

our apartment




Monday, September 29, 2014

Numero 7 (i think)

This week was just as crazy as the last week, I am still trying to get used to all this culture stuff here! For example, it is rainy season right now and when it rains here, it is like a hurricane. So we get absolutely drenched and the roads turn into rivers, it is so cool! We had to go back to the house one day for like 15 mins just because we literally couldnt walk anywhere because every road was flooded! Oh and the power and water goes out a lot. So everyone at home is doing the "ice bucket challenge" or whatever and I am doing that because that is the only way I can shower some nights! So be grateful hahaa.
 
I still haven't gotten used to my companion and I being the only white guys everywhere we go. It is so funny some of the looks we get when people see us. The culture here is just so different. Everyone here don't really have cars, so they either take taxis or have motorcycles, and also there are a ton of wondering dogs everywhere. So we were walking down the street and this motorcycle just wrecks this dog. Runs over it and doesnt even stop, just kept driving. I was so sad for that poor dog in the road, I couldnt believe the dude on the motorcycle did that. The craziest part is that it didn't even phase my companion. No reaction from him, he had to explain to me that dogs get hit all the time...so sad.
 
The food here is hit and miss. Sometimes it is super bomb and the other times it is just the good ole beans and rice. I like it, but my stomach is not used to it yet hahaha. We only get fed lunch here too so I usually just eat cereal for breakfast and microwave 2 hot dogs every night for dinner when we get home. So I am already getting pretty skinny. But I love this place.
 
The work-Everyone was right when they said this would be the hardest thing I would ever do, but it feels so good to be completely exhausted when I get home. We have a marriage and a baptism set up on October 11, so I am pumped for that, and hopefully a baptism this saturday! The language is coming along. I get frustrated with it a lot but I have already gotten so much better since I have been here. The people here are so nice, which is a good thing and bad thing for us, because everyone will let us talk to them and share messages with them but they are always to nice to tell us no or tell us they dont want to have us anymore. So we have to sift through our investigators and find which ones really want to hear our message and which ones just want us there to talk to. A good and bad problem!
I love you all and thank you all for writing me. I hope everyone has a great week!
Adio
Elder Sherle
 
 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Numero 6 - Esteli

Well I made it! I don't even know where to start so much has happened today. So i got off the plane and they lost all of our luggage and we had to wait a couple days in Managua to get our luggage back. My companion is from California and he is only 3 months out, but his spanish is super good.

 Then I found out my area, my area is called Estelí and it is about 2 and a half hours north of managua. It is so jungly here and so poor its crazy! But the people here are so nice and so humble for what they have. Out here in the field we are so busy. We go from meeting to meeting all day preaching the gospel and helping members. I love it! I like being as busy as I am. We have a lot of investigators right now and this week we committed two people to be baptised next week, so I hope and pray they will be ready by then. Yesterday, we had a investigator waiting for the bus with us before church and right before we got on the bus he started smoking a cig, right in front of us hahaha. So we are going to have to talk to him about the word of wisdom a little bit. Oh and this girl Ami, Ami is an investigator and she has a little son. So we were teaching her and she just starts breast feeding right in front of us....in the middle of the lesson. It just got kind of awkward because it was like spiritual, but she was breast feeding. So weird. But just about everyone here will let us come inside and share a message, even if they have different beliefs. That is just how people are here.

Oh and the spanish here....so different from the MTC. I still can't even understand the people here because they talk super fast and they don't really pronounce anything and they don't use their "s" in words, so it is really hard to understand. All the teenagers here like me because my name is Sherle, and the keeper for Germany is named Shirley..so all the teenagers and little kids know me. It's pretty cool when I am walking down the street and they see me and all yell "Ayy Sherle!!" haha. A lot of people ask us for money all the time and it is kind of annoying. We just keep walking. 2 nights ago we almost got robbed. We were walking home and some kid came up to us and told us the guy at the end of the street was waiting to rob us, but we went a different way. So all good Mom:) I am learning so much already and my spanish is slowly getting better. I am kind of quiet in lessons because I don't really know the language and I get frustrated at that, but my comp always tells me it will come soon, so I am excited for that day. Well that is all for this week! I am having a great time and I already love this place so much! I hope everyone has a great week!
Adio
Elder Sherle
 

Image
John and his companion with their Mission President and his wife.

 




Thursday, September 18, 2014

John's letter - flying to Nicaragua

Happy Wednesday~
I just wanted to let you know that John flew to Nicaragua yesterday, 9/16. His p-day in Nic will be Mondays.

He arrived to the Mexico City airport around 1am. His flight left Mexico City around 5am, he then had an hour layover in El Salvador then arrive in Managua Nicaragua at 10am yesterday morning.

He was able to call us when he was at the airport waiting for his flight to leave. He sounds really good, a little home sick but very excited to get to Nicaragua. It was amazing to hear his voice. He called us at 4am and it was well worth getting up early to get his call! :-)

He said yesterday was Mexico's Independance day and he said they heard "fireworks and boms" going off all night. He says they can tell the difference between gun shots and fire works by.... what you hear after the loud noise. If you year the loud noise like a gun shot or fireworks and then hear police sirens then it was a gun shot. If you don't hear the sirens - it was fireworks.

He said the food was really gross in the MTC and knows that being in Nic for the next 23 months will be like being on a 23 month camping trip with not a lot of food. He said he is getting kinda skinny but was proud to report when playing ball this week he was able to reach the rim with both hands.

He told us that when they drive in Mexico City they just drive where ever they want... they have roads but no lanes. ha!

As we were talking to him a man came up to him and was asking him about the church. Randomly the call just ended. We were a little upset that we couldn't say good bye ... but were then thrilled that he was able to call us back when in El Salvador waiting for his plane to head to Nic.

He told us as the call ended, this man asked him about the church and John was able to give him the Book of Mormon and talk to him about the gospel. He gave him a chapter to read in the Book of Mormon and pray about. John was able to answer some of his questions before the flight left.

He is well on his way getting to work.
"I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it."

We miss him terribly, but know he needs to be there.

Thank you all for your suport.
Lisa

Friday, September 12, 2014

Numero 5

Bienos Dias everyone!
I cannot believe this is my last p-day here! This week actually went by a lot faster than I thought it was! Yesterday was a good day, I found out my flight leaves this Tuesday at 6:20am and get to Nicaragua by 10am! We will leave the MTC at 2 am to get there early! I am so excited to get out in the field! Although my spanish is not very good, I am ready to get out there! The best part is I will actually be able to eat some normal food when I get to the airport, I hope they have a McDonalds or something! My Spanish has gotten so much better, I don't teach with notes anymore and can form decent sentences. Our lessons have gotten a lot better too. We have learned to relate every lesson to the investigator and teach for the investigator. I am so excited to get to teach a real investigator in less than a week! Yesterday, we had a really cool devotional by Elder Holland and he talked to us about conversion and the big thing he stressed is when we get home from our mission, we better have at least one convert to this church, and that convert should be the missionary. I love listening to his talks they always help answer questions I have. Other than that, there isn't much else. I hope all the studying pays off in the field. One thing we have been focusing on is loving the people. Our job as missionaries is to serve and love the people. One goal I have made before I leave it to just love every single person down there, and hopefully be able to share a message with them. It is pretty crazy to think that I could be teaching my first real lesson in a week! So if you couldn't tell, I am so ready to get out of here and get in the real world, and hopefully stop thinking about home as much haha. Anyways, I love you all and I hope everyone has a good week! I'm not going to send any pictures today because I'm just going to wait until I get down there, there isn't anything cool here.
Adios everyone, ¡Te quiero todo!
Elder Sherle

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Numero 4

Ayyy everyone! How's is going?
This week went by really fast! Our schedule here is so busy that the days are going by faster and faster! It's awesome! This week was a good week for me because in my lessons I didnt use any notes for spanish! My whole lesson was out of memory! It was the coolest feeling because I knew what questions he was asking and I was able to answer them without looking at anything. Also, on Saturday, we got to teach real people that came into the CCM. There was this one dude who we had no idea what he was saying so we just nodded our heads hahah it was bad. But my teacher came up to me the other day and told me how much my spanish has improved and he can tell that I understand a lot.
In our class this week we got a little creative to pass some time when we had enough of studying. So we put a bunch of desks together and stacked scriptures in the middle and played hand ping-pong. Sometimes you got to find ways to get through the day, so that's what we did. It was pretty fun and you already know I was the champ of my district. We got away with it for a couple days and then a teacher walked in when we were playing and shut it down, but it was fun while it lasted.
I am learning a lot about the gospel as well. There are a lot of spiritual experiences here that make me feel so good. We have about 2 hours of personal study time where I just read scriptures and it helps so much.
Since everyday is pretty much the same, there is not much else to write. All I can say is there is a lot of work and a lot of studying, but I can see the benefits from it already. I am so excited to get into the real world in two weeks!
I hope everyone has a great week!
Elder Sherle
 
John says he doesn't speak much English but is the best soccer player with mad skills there! He wanted to show this to Raimee.

here are a few things we were able to ask him about in emails back and forth:

John:
Oh mom, I forgot to talk about the food haha it is awful!! Mystery meat every single day.....it is hilarious, i might take a pic and send it to ya, just fyi;)

Mom:
Are you losing weight? Using your protein powder?
 
John:
My stomach has definitely shrunk because I used to eat like 2 or 3 plates every meal and now I finish only 1, which is probably good because there probably wont be as much food down in Nic. Im not using the powder yet, imma wait till I get down there
-------
Mom:
So do you think more in Spanish or English?  Do you feel your testimony getting stronger there?
John:
Its more like spanglish right now, poco a poco, little by little haha
Yes my testimony is getting stronger!

 
 
 
 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Numero 3

Hola mi familia y mi amigos!
 How is everyone? Every Wednesday morning we wake up and tell each other Merry Christmas because we are so happy to e-mail home!

There isnt much to really write here because we have the same schedule almost every day. I just am studying and learning the language all day. My spanish is getting so much better. As companions, we have to teach our teachers lessons in spanish and both my morning and night teacher told me that my spanish is "Muy Bien". So I am getting a little bit more confidence in the language, but I still have a lot to learn! Our casa almost flooded the other night because it rains so hard here. The streets were all flooded with about 6 inches of water, it was pretty cool! El poder de Dios (The power of God).
 
I get to play basketball and a little bit of soccer every day. When the basketball isn't very good, I'll go play with the natives in soccer. It is so fun to play with them because their ball skills are so good! Also, I gave my first talk in Spanish on Sunday. I was pretty nervous to speak but everyone said I did a good job and that they could understand me. There is one thing that I have really learned this week. I have learned that here on the mission you have all sorts of different people and different personalities. We all have the same goals and desires, but we are different. And there are some people here that really just grind my gears. I have had to learn to just look at the positive in some people and focus on the good and not the bad. I don't really know what else to write. It's not too exciting here. I am so ready to get out in the field. I am getting so antsy to leave! But I still have a little under three weeks left!
 
I hope everyone is doing great and is having a great week!
Much love
Elder Sherle
 
 
Missionary Selfie at the Mexico Temple
 

Mexico Temple


Selfie while at the computer today
 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Numero 2

Sorry im late guys we went to the temple today! I was so excited to get online I forgot to grab my camera so no pictures this week. Everyone wakes up on Wednesday and it literally feels like its Christmas! We all get so excited that we get to e-mail, one of the dudes in my room has cried both times right when he got on because he gets so happy. I miss you guys so much and I hope everyone is having a great week!
Really starting to get into a routine. Waking up at 6:30 isnt too bad anymore. I'm still always tired but every missionary says just get used to it. My espanol is getting so much better, I am learning so much. Im getting to the point when I write things down I will start writing the way you spell it in spanish and then have to scratch it out to english. Pretty cool seeing the gift of tongues work here! I found out my companion's high school was where they filmed high school musical so that's kind of cool if youre into that haha. I really get the ups and downs here, one moment I am so happy and doing really good and then the next moment I am really down and missing home. It has really made me grow to have a positive attitude about the little things and try to find fun when I study for like 6 hours every day. A lot of spiritual moments too. We have devotionals here from Apostles that talk about missionary work and the blessings they promise from a mission makes it all worth it for me. I have never seen so many 18 year old kids cry. The spirit just fills the room and everyone just bawls their eyes out. I feel like I'm the only one who doesn't cry, but I still feel it.
One night I was feeling pretty down and I just read all my old Hoop Dreams cutouts and it made me have so much more confidence in myself and reassured me that I can do it here. I shared a lot of them to my roommates and it helped them out so much too! There are so many great lessons in them! I read one about Derek Jeter and how when he first got drafted he struggled really bad. He said he cried every night and was not playing up to his ability. It was nice to apply that to the mission because even the best struggle at the very beginning and I just got to keep pushing.
I have been playing a lot of basketball here. I do about a little more than an hour a day and it feels so good to just let out the stress and just play. Our district is pretty good and it's kings court so stay on the whole time. It's pretty funny seeing missionaries get super mad and having to stop themselves from saying something they shouldnt.
Not much different than last week so not much to write about. I'm doing good and I am really progressing with all the lessons and spanish and stuff! I love you all and I hope everyone has a great week!
Much love

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Numero 1

Hola mi familia y mi amigos!! Como estan??
Wow, what a long week! All the missionaries here told me it would be the longest week of my life, and i have definitely felt that. It feels like it was so long ago when I left. But, Im doing great, I am actually having fun here and it is so beautiful here. Its pretty funny how we can only drink bottled water because the tap water is disgusting!
I love seeing your guys' little notes in my clothes when I wake up, it starts my day off well, and I want to tell you guys I definitely took advantage of your company. Getting on that plane felt, I felt like my heart was being torn out of my chest. I have never felt that feeling before. I never thought I would get homesick but on Sunday I was really feeling it, but I read some of dads quotes in my journal and my dad got so much better. I love you guys so much!
It is literally spanish, study, spanish, study, eat, then do it again and again. But right now, I am starting to make the transfer from thinking in English to Espanol. I am able to pray in Spanish now which is pretty cool. The reason this week felt so long is because none of my my teachers or workers here speak English. I literally had no idea what mi maestro was saying until like the 3rd day. haha it was bad, then she finally spoke a little bit of english to me to help our class out. It is actually really funny hearing all the mexicans try and speak english because it is so broken and they dont use any grammar. Raims it going to like this one, everyday we about an hour to workout, and I have been playing futbol with the natives! Some of them are pretty beasty, but I hold my own. I got a hat trick yesterday, but I was playing against a bunch of scrubs! But I can finally understand a little bit of what they're saying now. My testimony has grown so much since I've been here. Even when I read el libro de Mormon en espanol I can feel the spirit. It's pretty crazy!
Oh I definitely have to tell you guys about the food hahaha. It is all mexican food here and they make so really weird things! Sometimes I just close my eyes and pick a plate and just pray that it is good. Yesterday I was literally so happy, I walked into dinner and I saw on the board it said Pizza. I was so happy to finally get some american food. I never thought having a couple pieces of pizza would make my day. So count your blessing everyone. The waking up a 6:30 and going to bed at 10:30 is going to take some getting used to. I have never seen the sunrise and the sunset in so many consecutive days. Thats why when I get done with these e-mails I'm going to take me a nice nap.
We have an investigator right now named Jorge and we've been working with him and teaching him lessons. It's pretty funny because mi companero and I dont speak spanish very well and we will ask him a question and he will just roll off for about 5 minutes in spanish and all we do is nod our heads and say "Si, Si". I takes me about 2 hours just to write out my lesson in spanish because of the conjugations and all the fun stuff. But it's pretty cool getting that real life practice. We got lucky and all the Nicaragua guys got big rooms so I share a room with 3 other guys and I really like them! My companion is so weird and so funny but super cool at the same time! We got pretty annoyed with each other once because he said I have "dry humor" hahaha I guess the boys and I have the dry humor because I treat these guys the same way I treat the boys back home. But he's a cool kid and we got along good. We work off each other well and really bring the spirit when we hold our discussions. I was pretty scared that I was going to get an annoying companion who was all strict but I am glad these guys know how to have fun. We have only heard gun shots a few times since I have been here so thats good. They say right up on the hill are a ton of mafia gangs so I think I am gonna go up there with my book of mormon and see what they have to say about it. Probably not though, we arent allowed to leave because they said it is too dangerous outside. It is almost like a prison, there is a huge wall that separates the MTC and the outside world, but the MTC here is 90 acres so theres room.

I want to end on this. I really had to rely on the word HOPE this week. I kept singing the song Hope by faith evans and twista, it is the jam and one of my roommates knows it too so we flex the golden pipes to that song. Anyways, It is really easy to get down on yourself here because the whole process of being on our own and being a grown up. It can just wear on you. So I just want to tell you all if there are any trials in your life, be hopeful. I got through this week and I am happy. So be hopeful and smile because a positive attitude is the first step to make things better. I love you all so much and I think about you guys all the time. I am already looking forward to writing you guys next week. I hope everyone back home has a great week! Much love
Elder Sherle
 
These are the guys in my room, the one on the left is my companion

 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I made it!

They are only giving me 5 mins to write you guys. I made it safely. this place is crazy here. My companion seems to be alright. I love you guys so much and I am so grateful for this opportunity. At the MTC my p day will be on wednesday. So that will be the day I write you guys. Im doing good. this keyboard is in spanish so its hard to find punctuations and stuff, but ill get it! I love yall and make sure Raimee and Nate read this too. and have raims tell buzz and alisa that it meant alot for them to come to the airport today. I was so nervous there would be a bunch of nerds here but there is a kid i met from arizona who is actually pretty cool so i think ill be good. 

well i think my time is up! ill write you guys in a week. i love you guys. and dont worry about me too much im good. much love
j sherl

Heading to the airport

Johns flight left at 7am, so we go to the airport at 5.  We all feel so blessed for his opportunity to serve.



Final brother good bye

Gonna miss these fellas