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!
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!
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!
Elder Sherle