So during this week, some craaaaaazy stuff happened. Me and my companion Elder Patterson were just chillin. Doing what we need to do. On Tuesday at our zone meeting, we just got finished and I was just laying down while everyone else was playing a game when my Zone leader told me that I had to go to the office at that very second. When I got there, I talked to President in his office for a minute then he took me over to his board of all our faces and the areas and zones. Then he told me that he's sending me to Puerto Cabezas.
Now I'll explain why this is crazy.
Puerto Cabezas is on the Altantic coast. That means that I had to take a plane to get here. Puerto looks nothing like the rest of Nicaragua. If I didn't know I was in Nicaragua, I would have thought that I was in Africa. It's just completely different than any other place. And most of the people here speak Miskito. It's an African dialect only spoken in places in Honduras and Puerto. So now I have to learn that as well as Spanish. Ok. back to the story. So I'm kinda freaking out because Puerto is one of those places that every missionary would love to go to or they fear it. But once someone goes there, they never want to leave. Puerto baptizes more people in a month than most missions baptize in years!
So yeah. I was freaking out because I didn't know what to think about me going to Puerto. I knew I was gonna go eventually, but I didn't know it would be this soon. I was told I could be leaving the very next morning or on Thursday morning. So I had to pack. When we got back to the house i packed up all my stuff, but didn't leave that night. I went 2 days anticipating leaving at almost any minute. On Wednesday night I get the call to go to the AP's house at 9:30. We found it...at 10:15. Were they there? Of course not! We had to wait with all my bags just sitting outside. An hour later, they finally get there. We went in and everyone got ready and went to bed except me and Elder Estrada, who I replaced in Puerto. He was packing to go home because he was finishing his mission and I was trying to get my bag down to only 30 pounds to meet airline requirements. Stayed up until 1:15 doing that. The next morning, I put all my stuff on the truck and we first went to drop off Elder Patterson and some others at one of the churches for a multi-zone meeting. Me and 2 others from the office went to the airport. They gave me my ticket and my stuff and left me at the airport alone because they had to go to President's house. So I go into the airport and got my bags weighed....34 pounds....scale in the AP's house was wrong! It weighed 29 pounds at their house. Then, no one ever told me that I only could have 20 pounds in my seat with me. There was a total of 44 pounds I had to check. And I couldn't leave anything cuz the guys from the office already left.... I had to pay $20 extra for baggage. Which is a lot of money here. Then I sat in the airport for 3 hours waiting for my plane. Once on it was smooth sailing to Puerto Cabezas.
But is that all?? Negras. It's not. I get to Puerto and the lady takes my passport. My visa was 4 days expired....yippee...
We took my stuff to the house and we went to go eat. My new companion was Elder Byers. After lunch, we went to the police station with the ZoneLeaders. After everything, we had to pay the equivalent of almost $30 or me to stay in Nicaragua without being arrested right there. Again, that's a lot of money here. The reason for this is that I don't have my "cedular" yet. It's like a residency card for Nicaragua. After 90 days in the country, we need to have that card to be legal. So right now, I'm on a 30 day extension of my visa.
And again, was that all?? Again, I say negras. I unpacked everything, but the next morning we get a call from the Zone Leader saying that I had changes.....I had a companion for literally less than 24 hours, and most of that was sleeping. So I had to pack up all my stuff again and move to a different house. There, I got my new companion Elder Dennison. I now live in a house with 7 other Elders. Let's just say that it's really funny. Anyways, my area is massive. It's a good 3-5 square miles. It's huge! And we don't have bikes right now, so it's all on foot. And I'm wearing fairly new shoes and I got some pretty big blisters now.....Joy....
But it's way cool. We eat lunch at a restaurant everyday. And this place is known for having some awesome seafood! And if you know me, you know how much I love seafood. The water here is not safe at all. Like. the water in the baptismal font is green....literally green. So yeah. There's that. But the coconut water here is reaaaaaaally good. And there's a toooon of coconut trees.
Another thing is pretty funny too. All the people here are a lot darker than most latinos because they're African descendants or something like that, so a lot of people think that I'm from Puerto. And some people think I'm Miskito. That's what you call the people that speak the language. Let's just say that when I heard my first dose of full-on Miskito, It was like starting my mission all over when I couldn't understand anything!!! But I've heard that it's a lot easier to learn than it sounds. And there are words in English and Spanish in it because it's more of a reformed Miskito, so that'll hopefully make it easier.
So today for my first P-day (day off) here, we went to this random river about 2 miles away and did absolutely nothing. Then when we were trying to come back, someone thought it would be a great idea to go through the forest to get back faster...Yeah....Didn't work out so well. It was like our backyard there at home. Creek, mud, mosquitos, more mud....yeah. It was fun though.
Now for something a little more serious.
In my patriarchal blessing, it says,
"You shall be called on a mission to serve in your native land; that is, the native land of your ancestors and shall speak the tongue of this people." I don't know about you, but when I got called to Nicaragua, I was really confused. If my mom is straight German, and my father is straight African, why the heck am I going to Nicaragua speaking Spanish?? But I got to thinking about it a couple of days before I came to Puerto.
Miskito is an African language......what if I'm part Miskito???
And later on in my blessing, it says,
"Many, exceedingly many will hearken to your voice and the word of God will spread in the fires of excitement." Remember when i said that Puerto baptizes more people in one month than other MISSIONS baptize in YEARS! Talk about awesome!
This church really is the kingdom of God on Earth. Stay strong. Keep me in your prayers. I'll need them. Love you guys bunches!!
My 'second' companion in Puerto Cabezas - Elder Dennison!