Monday, November 30, 2015

el 30 de Noviembre

Monday, November 23, 2015

el 23 de Noviembre

let´s just be real for a second. saturday i completed a year since i got 
my mission call. this time last year, i was telling the whole wide world 
that i was going to nicaragua for eighteen months. and here we are, 
almost eleven full months later. i have almost been away from home 
for a year... yikes people.

i am doing great! the medicine that the doctor helped a lot, and then 
i got permission to buy a cream especially meant to treat sarna, and 
that has done miracles to clear it all up. i continue to take benadryl to 
stay on top of the itching, but i am no longer calling attention to myself 
with all the itching. our ward mission leader noticed and gave me an 
antibacterial liquid that is supposed to help with the itching as well, 
sweet man. the parasite is something that i got from the mattress in 
granada, but the mission yes, had a doctor actually look at it in person
 because the first round of medicine didn´t do anything to calm the itching. 
the rash, with all the symptons that i had, were enough evidence to know
 that i had the parasite. with the conditions that are granada, it wasn´t 
overly surprising really.

the greatest success this week, would have to include the fact that we 
completed with all the normas. thanks to some great return missionaries, 
and willing sisters, we were able to do quick spurts of divisions with the 
members to cover more ground in less time. can i please ask all those that 
can, to please do divisions or visits with the missionaries like once a week. 
having that kind of support from the ward makes such a great difference in 
all aspects of the work.

a tender mercy... we were able to teach harold and his children about prayer, 
and it just went swimmingly. harold showed up to church four sundays ago, 
looking for a church where his kids could have a realtionship with their savior, 
and where they would have the opportunity to interact with clean kids... 
something every father wants, right? well, we have been focusing on only 
teaching this family with members because it just makes such a different in 
everything. we taught them about the power of prayer, and it was great to 
see the power of the spirit that was there to help us.

a favorite scripture: philippians 4:8

::Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, 
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are 
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there 
be any praise, think on these things.::

just remember that when we think after these things, we will be able to know 
our savior better. because these are his attributes.

a favorite person.. let´s go with the ward mission leader. his name is ricardo, and 
he is pretty much an optime of every missionary´s dream. he goes out looking 
for references for us, and when we were wating on thursday to have our weekly 
coorelation meeting, he was contacting the people that were passing by, helping 
us work as well as giving us a larger teaching pool. what an example... he reminds 
me a lot of grandpa bingham in his ability to talk about random church history 
and deep doctrinal topics, and the ability to capture you in a conversation for an 
hour.... amazing really. i attached a picture of the great man deep in thought. (yes,
 those would be his g´s hanging out... good ol´ nica for ya)

goals this week... be a better example for my companion. something that i have 
learned on my mission is that so much of your desire to do something has to do 
with what you see around you. if your companion doesn´t go to bed on time, it´s 
harder to do it. if your companion doesn´t do exercises, it´s almost impossible to 
have the will to do it. but when you do it, they will too. 

some challenges... getting through all the normas. but like i said early, thanks to 
some great ward members, we were able to complete! also, getting our investigators 
to church, but that is something that shows through because of our lack of work 
before sunday afternoon.

we celebrated hermana quezada´s birthday with cake! delicious, whipped 
creamed iced birthday cake... yummmmmmm

i love you guys so much, and make sure to remember about the christmas wish 
i have for you!

hermana graves

Monday, November 16, 2015

el 16 de Noviembre

Monday, November 9, 2015

el 9 de Noviembre

el 31 de Agosto

this week was one for miracles. we had the opportunity to hear the words of the president of the quorum of twelve apostles, president russell m. nelson, and i had the chance to be the first missionary of nearly four hundred to shake his hand. it makes it worth the three thirty alarm...

my companion is my vivi! something that i will explain another day... she is learning the lessons and we are working on english. she loves to sing, so we pick a hymn out of the english hymnal and sing every morning. it makes it a lot of fun to learn english! 

the biggest success... making to through a nineteen hour day with only about an hour's worth of a nap. see miracle that happened above with president nelson...

greatest challenge continues to find people to teach. if you are the praying type, this would be something to help us with. pray that we find new investigators. please!

my favorite person, president nelson. hearing him for the second time as a missionary really strengthens your testimony and rereading my notes helps me focus on what i need to change and better as a missionary.

i love the prison master's conversion. read acts 16:25-33. look how quickly he accepted the gospel and how completely as well... less than 12 hours!

fun adventures... it's always an adventure to go and visit an older couple we are teaching. there is a short cut, through a finca, or like a swamp, that cuts the travel from about twenty minutes to five. when time is as precious as cold water in a nicaraguan heat, we try and use this passage way when it's dry. long story short, hermana liberato almost fell to her death climbing down one part. great laughs with my vivi.

i have been in this area now for ten weeks, two and a half months. it's possible that i will be here another ten weeks. it's not exactly set in stone. 

i love you all! have a great week.
love from nicaragua!
hermana graves

my vivi decided to straighten her hair for president nelson's visit so she looked a little crazy before hand!

el 24 de Agosto

this week i found a jehovah's witness. for all of you ex-missionaries, you know what an interesting conversation that can lead to. it turns out that this jehovah's witness is from the states, and that my companion and i were the first mormon missionaries that he had come into contact with. what a privilege! the conversation in english made me realize how accustomed i am to talking and sharing my testimony in spanish. it was really, really hard to talk about the church in english! (i haven't decided if that's a good thing, or a bad thing, yet. i'll keep you posted!
this week the lord showed me just how humble we need to be. we didn't have a single little duckling in church yesterday, and i could have strangled the bulls that caused the problem. let me explain. it's a grandadian tradition to allow bulls to run the main streets once a year, like the running of the bulls in spain, just this bulls are a lot more lazy and less aggressive. but, nonetheless, everyone goes. but the twenty people we had lined up to go all told us, "si, yo me voy a la iglesia este domingo; no me voy por la carnival." translated (yes, i will go to church this sunday; no i will not go to the carnival) but needless to say, they are all liars. come tuesday, they won't even know what hit them!

since mom forgot to write me this week, i don't have anything else to say, just to tell mom, that i am getting fed. the sister who makes us lunch and dinner is heavenly, and i am now getting my daily portion of gallo pinto again :)
i love you all, and look forward to all of your repentance letters next week.
hermana graves

el 17 de Agosto

i hope this letter finds each and everyone of you in good health, and dry. here we are in full swing of the rainy season, and unfortunately my mounding pile of laundry never seems to go away. rainy afternoons make it hard to leave clothes out to dry!

our biggest challenge: finding new investigators. we started with a list of probably 50 people who in the past have taken the missionary discussions and have attended church, the goal being to help them take the lessons again and progress towards a baptismal date.

this week, we went to hawaii! not really, but the district (or a really small stake) put together a plane crash so that we could all learn a little bit more about the plan of salvation. all of our investigators really enjoyed it, and it was a great opportunity to fellowship some of our investigators, less actives, and converts. thank you plan of salvation!

one of our investigator's fathers makes jewelry from silver. my HLJ was a cheap one that the Church sells, and i had been searching for a brother to help me out. for 150 cords (or about five bucks) he made me one that fits just right. yippee!!

we got a little stir crazy during our thursday morning planning session....
(picture didn't load from Janelle's end)

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this is a cajeta. sugar, coconut, and water. that's it! it's an acquired taste, but a deliciously, calorie-full one.... we help a less active make them a couple of times a week, and it's been a really great opportunity to have gospel discussions. maybe one day her mom will be baptized. little by little, brick by brick.

a favorite scripture of the week. i finished john this week, and in the 17th chapter, we read that jesus prayed for us:

::I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.::

the lord knows us, cares for us, enough to suffer for us. we are counted as his. he knows us and wants to best. 

may we always remember to pray for others. we never know which sould needs a reminder of his love.
hermana graves

el 10 de Agosto

so how are things going with my companion... well great! i got  a new companion, her name is hermana liberato. she is from the dominican republic and she is fresh off the airplane from the MTC... yep! for all you ex-missionaries, or people who understand that lingo, it means that i am training hermana liberato. i am her mama, and she's my mija. it's been an adventure, something that i wasn't expecting until a little bit 
later in my mission. but here we are!

our greatest success, who have to be having
 six investigators in church! and an added 
bonus, two families! it was a struggle, but 
something that i am eternally grateful for. 
thank you for your prayers.

a tender mercy... this opportunity to train a new sister. not gonna lie!
for a favorite person, see the following photo taken wednesday:

a favorite scripture. one of the great things about the book of mormon, is that it answers the questions that come from the soul:where did i come from? why am i here? how can i have a better life? and one of my favorites what does christ expect of me? i had the opportunity to study in the scriptures to find these answers, and the answers that i found are something that i have been marking in the book of mormon when we give them to our investigators. i have totally spaced on where they all are right now, but i will make sure to send them to you next week!

a goal... exercise. we've been working on it, but it hasn't been completely successful quite yet. little by little.

today we visited a little diner, and the sister had the name cokes. look what one we found!

​of course we had to take a picture... granada has some great old catholic churches that we are going to try and visit next week.. the only problem with going whenever we want is that they aren't in our area. (we have to ask for permission to leave our area...) so next week... pictures!

i love you all, and thank you for your emails.
hermana graves 

el 4 de Agosto