Monday, August 15, 2016

Adventuring Through Central America - Elder Brigham Rush

Written by Elder Brigham Rush, in the Provo Missionary Training Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is assigned to the Nicaragua Managua North Mission, speaking Spanish.

Hey all!
So if you were wondering, I'm doing a lot better this week. I'm picking up the language fast and we are getting a little bit more work done. But I just want to share this story before I say anything.
The Bane of my existence -
So on Tuesday I finally got a pillow delivered to me by the wonderful senior missionaries. I love them they are the best. Before I was just sleeping on my towel every night. But anyways, that day we went on splits with the Zone Leaders and Tuesday was just an awesome day. Wednesday we woke up and I had to go get tested for parasites (I don't have any by the way, woohoo!) because I've had some serious problems since I've got here. Turns out its just that my body isn't used to eating rice and beans every meal. 
Okay, so here's the bad part. I was living life, happy that I didn't have parasites, and we just went grocery shopping in the nice part of town which was awesome. I even bought some fruity pebbles to remind me of home. I finally felt like I could make it past these next 2 years until we got back to the house and discovered that we had fleas. FLEAS!!!!!! Literally the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I can't sleep at night because I'm so paranoid. But today for P day I spent the whole day mopping every thing in my house with insecticide. They say that will work. Pray for me. 

So let me get into my missionary life a little bit. Our area is 2 little towns called Lucida and Sor Maria. They don't have any running water and its pretty much a bunch of jungle shacks, which is awesome. Every person here believes in God, which is awesome, but also challenging. Most of the time when we contact, we ask the person "do you believe in God?" and the answer is "Of course! Everyone Believes in God!" 
One of the best things I saw all week was yesterday, it started raining crazy hard, like hurricane level stuff. And instead of going inside, everyone sprinted out of their house to get their water barrels in place to catch the water so they can use it! It was quite a sight to see, it just shows you how awesome the people are here.

Our Branch, (actually called a nucleus, which is a pre branch)  consisting of around 30 people held in the nucleus presidents house. Our job is to convert that into a ward with 100 members so we can get a chapel built in our area and our district will become the Stake of Matagalpa! It sounds like a lot of work, but there's around 40 non active people alone that live in the town, so our job this whole week has just been reactivating. which is kind of sad because that means no baptisms, but its missionary work all the same! 
2 of the members we recently activated is a around 45 year old woman named Genada, who lives with her 85 year old Mother, Juana. I love Juana so much. She is missing her left leg, and all her teeth, and I can never understand her, but she was very happy when we came by and told her about the new branch that was just down the road from her house. She is confined to her wheelchair, which is a plastic lawn chair with wheels. And we go get her on Sundays and push her to the church at 8 am.
Another one of our Investigators is named Juan (very common name here) and he owns a cow and pig farm right next to the city dump. He owns 83 pigs and around 20 cows on a little plot of rocky land! He loves visiting with us and teaching us about his farm though. He's a good friend of mine at this point.
Another great thing about this country is the Shirts they wear. Not 1 person here speaks English (except one man I met the other day from Seattle, which was awesome) and they all wear shirts with English words or phrases on them of which only I can understand. So that brightens my day a little, its kind of like my own inside joke. I saw a 40 year old man walking down the street the other day wearing a shirt that said "I traded my sister for video games". 
My best friend here in Matagalpa is named Elder Alofipo. He's from Highland Utah so maybe some of you out there know him. He's been out here for 3 months so we can kind of relate.
Here's something awesome, at the end of this change I will be over 1/8th done with my mission. Wow time is flying.
I want to end by saying that God does answer prayers! If you need help or are having a hard time in your life, I would encourage you to pray to your Heavenly Father. Remember, faith without works is dead. Always do everything that you can, and count on God to make up the difference. I have a strong testimony of this and I know its true, because I live it every day. 

Another thing. The number 1 thing that I've learned here is how to be happy as a missionary. 3 main points that came to me were
1. Prayer
Always ask God for help and trust in him
Never think about yourself and get lost in the work - President Hinckley
3.Always be learning
Even when your sitting at the bus stop or waiting for lunch, be practicing or learning something. Read a book or contact someone.
These are principles that apply directly to my life. I'll leave it up to you to try to translate that into a normal life hahaha. 
I love it here even though its hard! This church is true and we are doing the Lord's work to bring happiness to the people of Nicaragua!
I love you all!

- Elder Rush

Welcome to Nicaragua! (August 8, 2016)
Week 3 in Nicaragua (August 22, 2016)