Sunday, July 31, 2016

Week 11: One Month!!!

Hola familia!

On Tuesday we were supposed to go to Managua to a nuevos conference but there were no buses because everyone was taking them to Managua to go to a Daniel Oretega pep rally or something. So we're going tomorrow. We get to wake up at 4 am so that's chupaso but its all good. I'll get to see Scaggs and Carico so that will be tuanis. 

Wednesday was my one month anniversary in the field. 

Thursday we had interviews with president. He's super tuanis he said for me to pray in English and I couldn't do it. It was super hard. I didn't know what to say. It's great forgetting English and I don't know Spanish. Awesome. We got our area books and planners checked by the AP's. We passed with flying colors. Then we had to teach them for a while. We got graded a 92 so that was good.

One of the guys in our ward, we call him Confite, his wife's brother is like a druggy and stuff and one day he was with Confite or something, I'm not sure exactly what happened, but they charged Confite with having drugs even though it was the brother. Everything was supposed to be worked out and such but he ended up getting condemned for a year which sucks because he was gonna get the priesthood. 

Friday- we had changes. I went with Elder Spencer one of our zone leaders. We had a good time and got logos which is good. When we were walking to go do an interview it literally started raining so hard it was like a torrential down pour. Everything got soaked then we had to walk around with wet shoes the rest of the time which sucked. My shoes are waterproof but they soaked my pants and then it ran down into my shoes.

Saturday- I bought a pretty sweet looking hammock for 120 cords which is like 4 dollars-ish. A senior couple, the Bell's, come down quite a bit to our branch to help us. We went and visited people with them, then went to the noche de hermanimiento, which is like a family home evening but with our whole branch.

Sunday- We found this bunnny outside our house just chillin not sure exactly where he came from. He's our pet now and we named him Rodger. We had a baptism at nine. Of course no one shows up until 10ish. There's Mormon Standard Time and then there's Nica Time, which is way worse. But, the baptism was good. 

After church we went around visting everyone. We went to get the signature of the mom of two of our possibilities next week and when we got there they said they changed their mind. We literally just talked to them yesterday and they were all good, then their dad went off and said they needed to honor their baptism that they had in the Cathlioc church. We tried talking to the dad before but he never seemed to care until Sunday.

Monday-  P-day. We just went to Esteli and hung out with some of our zone.

Fun Facts about Nicaragua: 

  • It always just gets crazy down here during elections. They said last time people started burning police and post offices.
  • There's this nasty cheese stuff and that's the most disgusting thing I've eaten. 
  • I brush my teeth every day. 
  • In Condega, it's pretty nice. Not super hot only like 85 with 71 percent humidity which is good and bad. I guess once I get close to Managua it' ll be super hot.
  • When we go to the bus stop when the bus comes people go buck wild to get a seat pushing people over shoving kids through the windows anything they have to do to get a seat. Animals. 
Spiritual experiences-- getting to have the gift of tongues in leccions where I can say exactly what I was supposed to say in Spanish. One day we were in the bad part of town late at night and we needed a taxi but none of the taxis we usually call answered. So I just prayed for one to come. As soon as I finished my prayer there were headlights in the distance and it was a taxi. Mostly just the little things, answers to prayers whether its for me or investigators or someone else just like the littlest things that make you realize God has a hand in your life everyday.

Remember the office where Michael goes to have a meeting with David Wallace. Michael thinks he's in trouble, but David just wants to know why his branch is doing so well. So Michael starts blabbering about something then he's like, "Sometimes I'll start a sentence and I have no idea where I'm going with it." That is how I feel in leccions sometimes. The other day I was talking and I said, "y tambien(and also)" but I didn't have anything else to say. So I just started saying things that were not really even pertinent to that specific leccion.

Elder Thackeray

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week 10: Dog Bites

Hola familia! 

Everything is pretty cherry here in Nica.

We are always super busy always have something to do someone to teach we are leading the zone right now for numbers and baptisms we are always busy. We speak Spanish to each other, sometimes we try to do it a lot, so it helps with the language but we don't always. Language is fine people here say I'm getting better so that's good.
One of our members is named Rosa and her mom works in the states and sends her money all the time. She has nicer stuff than most people, which means she has a stove and a fridge, etc. She asked us, "When you first met me did you think i was fachenta (rich)?" I was like, "Uh not really, I guess you have more than most people." It's just funny because like rich down here is just like way different than the states. She's one of the more wealthier and the bathroom is just a cement thing with a hole in it like an outhouse just crazy how poor it is down here. 

When we were on splits I stayed in my area with Hernandez and I still don't know the area super well yet but day was going good night came we were gonna go visit a member. So I go and we're walking about ten minutes and I realize that I have no idea where the heck I am but I just play it cool keep walking for another 15 minutes and we come to the person's house we had just left from like 30 minutes ago. Hernandez just looked at me like you have no idea where we were going. But we got on the right track. 

When we were going to an investigators house the other day, Scaggs got bit by a dog, not to hard though.

Our water was out for like two days so that sucked pretty bad. 

I accidentally gave an investigator a pamphlet in English, they didn't know what was going on I don't even know where I got that. 

The lady who cleans our clothes came over and she always brings her daughter and brother. We made them french toast. I played cards with the brother, they called him Grio which means cricket. We have been teaching him and some of the other kids some essential English. We got everyone saying, "I need a sodie."

One of our investigators Asdrewbal, who is super cool, said he had a dream where he was reading the Bible but when he opened it up it was the Book of Mormon and he saw Nephi he has already read to 2 Nephi and he's only had a Book of Mormon for like one week and he's already read all the pamphlets we just need him to get married to his girlfriend so he can get baptized we'll see what happens. 

We went to a waterfall called the cascade today with our district it was cool looked like a nice swimming hole. It made me miss the cabin.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Elder Thackeray 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week 9: The Chicken Guinea

Well, this week was a good week.

I had all of these red dots all over my body. My companion said it was chicken guinea, which is like a sickness you get from getting bit by too many mosquitoes; but, it went away after a couple of days. We think it was an allergic reaction to this lotion stuff that Scaggs had but who knows. 

Girls always yell, "Hey cutie! Take me back to the states." 

One of our guys we were gonna baptize was named Freddy. His ex-girlfriend (whose house he moved out of) was saying he was messing around with this other girl. We went and talked to the lady and it's just a big mess. I felt like I was in a live show of Jerry Springer, but we got everything figured out and baptized him. 

There is another guy named Edgar. Elder Scaggs was baptizing and everyone was saying he was gonna be too small. When he was baptizing Edgar Elder Scaggs slipped and him and Edgar went down. It was real funny. Everyone got a good laugh. We have 3 baptisms in the first 9 days and we have more possibilities but we're gonna need some help from the Lord if we are going to break the record. We started asking people who has the biggest families that they know, so that's yielded some possibilities. We'll see what happens.

We met our new mission president, President Poncillo. He's pretty cool. He remembered me from when I talked to him at the MTC. He's pretty funny. Elder Scaggs and I had to do a skit for heat exhaustion. We were pretty good actors, not gonna lie. Some of our district came down to Condega and we all went fishing didn't have much like or any for that matter, but we had a good time. 

For exercise we walk 20 miles a day, that works pretty well. I dropped 10 pounds since I've been here. I'm about 230 now and was about 245 when I left. Between sweating and diarrhea I'm losing some weight. Also we have a t25 DVD. All the movies here are bootlegged and you get them for like 20 cords, which is like less than a dollar. Electricity at the house is fine sometimes it doesn't work. There's like wires everywhere, it definitely would not be up to code in the states, most things here aren't. We have one of the biggest mission houses. Its about the size of the cabin maybe a little wider. We have a little porch outside and we have avocados, limes, mangoes, and coconut trees on our property. The mangoes hit the roof of the house when they fall and it scares the crap out of me every time. Everyone in my zone has like 2 months or 6 months left. I have 22, I'm almost there.

Elder Thackeray

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Week 8: The Bible Bash

Well things are going good here for the most part. Monday after P-Day we got to talk to some white people who were down here with the Cathliocs, so that was good. There's a taxi driver that we use alot who was in the states for seven years as a taxi driver in New Jersey, so he speaks English. It's a nice break, haha. He calls me Big Boy. Nobody in this country says my name right, so everyone just calls me "taquerito,"  which is a type of chip down here. So I'm not sure if they have them in the states. We go to what is called a cyber, which is like an Internet cafe thing. 

We went on "intercambios" and I went with Elder Hernandez in Esteli. We have one thing in common and that is he doesn't speak English and I don't speak Spanish; but, we had a pretty good day nonetheless. We went to visit this member and he has like this board that hangs real low and he almost knocked himself out twice on the board. We really had to hold back laughing because he hit that board hard. Then we had a leccion with this Catholic guy and he was going off about the Bible and how it says that the Catholic church is right and Hernandez was like, "No, it doesn't say that. It says the true church is based on prophets and apostles in efesios 2 19'20." Then the guy just went silent. We mostly communicated through hand signals occasionally some words sometimes I'd forget he doesn't speak English so I'd be talking about something and then I looked over and he just had the look on his face that meant he had no idea what I was talking about. In the other leccions if I didn't understand something I'd look to Scaggs and he helps me out. In the leccions I would turn to Hernandez and be like crap he doesn't speak English haha but we made it through the day.

We got back the next day and it's just pouring rain hard so that sucked and nobody was home so we was just chillin in the rain we passed by a tree and picked off some sap and was like pioneers used to chew this that's how they invented gum and he ate it and chewed it for a while then I couldn't stop laughing so he spit it out.

On Friday we were tracting we either had to go left or right we flipped a coin three times all said left but Scaggs wanted to go right flipped it one more time it said right so we went right, ended up back in the sticks of Nicaragua nothing but a dirt path going through the forest I thought for sure we were gonna get stabbed by Aborigines haha but two hours latter we finally made it back to town it was quite an adventure haha.

Saturday we had a baptism for a girl named Jobisna shes 14 and her dads getting baptized next week. In Condega, there isn't a church building so we baptize them in the river which is pretty cool about 20 of us jumped in the back of this Isuzu truck and got to the river after going through some woods creeks and such finally got to the river I got to baptize her so that was pretty cool just need 12 mas bautismos to get the record. I think we're gonna do it. We have lots of possibilities, we just have to see who keeps their fechas (baptismal date).

There's lots of cool little stores that sell a bunch of stuff. You can get homemade alligator, iguana, even frog boots, for like 40 bucks and they have like a bunch of cool hats and stuff. Everyone has like shirts that they got from thrift stores and they'll be in English so you'll see people walking by with like a Washington High girls basketball shirt on haha even though they cant read English. This whole Spanish-English thing is really screwing up my spelling.

After the baptism we went and talked to a referral and she was super crazy. Me and Elder Scaggs only said like two words the rest of the time she was just yelling about the holy spirit and stuff then at the end Scaggs started the prayer and she literally was screaming at the top of her lungs about how thankful she was of the Holy Ghost and such and how it saved her. Me and Scaggs were laughing so hard we couldn't control it. It's the hardest I've laughed since I've been here. We call her Rafeeki cause she's crazier than the monkey on The Lion King.

We got to Condega by bus it was a three hour ride we have to go to Esteli for meetings and such like two times a week, so we are always on the bus. It's about an hour ride to Esteli. 
It's all rice and beans here, 90 percent of the time.  The other ten oercent is a deep fried taco or a pupusa. Pupusas are really good. Weirdest thing that I've seen: there was a horse just walking down the middle of the highway the other day. It backed traffic up pretty bad.

Everyone here pretty much lives in a concrete house with either a dirt floor or cement one. They have nothing but everyone has a TV. We wash our clothes on a little wash thing in our house just like the olden days. We get our emails at an Internet cafe called a cyber. We have mango, coconut and avocado trees at our house. No bikes, to easily stolen. We literally walk about 25 miles a day not exaggerating probably more. The roads are crap just imagine like grandpa's road, 100 times worse, with a bunch of dirt piles everywhere. No earthquakes.

Typical day 

  • Wake up
  • Exercise 
  • Study till 12
  • Eat lunch 
  • Go visit investigators/members and tract til 9
  • Plan, shower, chill, go to bed
Elder Scaggs and I get along real well. We talk about Tombstone a lot. Today we went to Esteli and played basketball. Then we went to eat and have cake for Elder Scaggs birthday, it was a good time.

Tell everyone hello and that I'm doing just cherry. Hope you guys have a good week at the cabin while I'm sweating like a pig and the mosquito's are eating me alive. Love y'all!

Elder Thackeray

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Week 7: First Week in the Mission

Elder Thackeray and fellow Nicaragua Missionaries in Atlanta Airport  
Elder Thackeray with his Trainer and Mission President.
Well I made it to Nicaragua. It was so hot the first night we stayed in Managua at the AP's house.  I couldn't sleep it was so hot.  My companion is Elder Scaggs. He is from Crescent City, California. Our area is called Condega. We are about 3 hours from Honduras near the top of Nicaragua. Everything is going good minus the whole not being able to speak Spanish thing, haha. Anyways love y'all!

Elder Thackeray
Arriving in Nicaragua!!!
CONDEGA: The small village of Condega, in the Esteli region of Nicaragua, was established in the 1700’s and was under the control of the Leon government for many years. It became a very important village with regard to the transit of gold, wood and agriculture. Condega is a very quaint destination in Nicaragua. This is a place where the streets are dominated by bicycles and pedestrians; a place where old traditions are still the back-bone of the community and the production of pottery is still important to the citizens of Condega. The village is surrounded by beautiful valleys and mountains and, if you want to slip away to a tranquil destination in Nicaragua, you will find that Condega is a place where you can relax and enjoy watching the locals go about their daily lives.
Condega is located near Managua, Leon and Matagalpa. While having limited accommodation options for tourists, Condega is considered of importance because of its contribution to the country's economy due to its tobacco industry and the production of clay crafts, coffee and leather. Visitors are able to look in on the women who create their ceramic masterpieces. They may also be invited into the guitar-maker’s workshop. Cuban exiles that once lived in Condega learnt the skill of making cigars and took their newly acquired knowledge to Esteli to further the craft.
The Pre-Columbian Museum of Condega has a staggering collection of approximately 3,000 pottery items on exhibit which are complete. The museum also has many pieces of funeral pots, grinding stones and other interesting pieces of pottery.
The Cantagallo Mountains that are located close to Condega are a very popular attraction in Nicaragua and many tourists travel though Condega Village to reach the intimidating cliffs, crystal clear lagoons and dense pine forests. The Cantagallo Mountains are covered in thousands of vibrant and breathtaking orchids that grow naturally in the area and it is only one aspect of the mountain range that has made Cantagallo a frequently visited attraction in Nicaragua. Condega is also home to the Fair of the Maize, which is a festival that is held to display the versatility and expression that is found in maize. The elaborate and creative costumes that are worn by festival goers are fascinating and fun. The Parochial Temple of Condega, which was established in 1962, also has its roots entangled in the harvesting and growth of maize. The temple is another interesting old building worth visiting.
The village does have a few restaurants and small cafes available for refreshments. Visitors to this tranquil village will likely feel swept away in tradition and culture.