Tuesday, November 5, 2013

From Nicaragua

This has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. I think my biggest challenge is the food. You're expected to eat everything on your plate and it's TON of food. Even if I liked the taste of it, it would be hard to finish. Almost every meal is a stuggle. It's usually rice and some kind of meat and a bland tortilla and super vinegary salad and juice or soda. I got sick on Saturday and went diarrhea like 7 times. That night was almost unbearable. I had terrible stomach pains and hardly slept at all. I took some medicine and most of the pain went away and I was able to go out and work, but it was so hard to keep walking and I had to fight to stay away in lessons. I am so tired all the time and the heat doesn't help. That night my stomach pains returned and then I went to the bathroom and threw up several times. Oh how I HATE throwing up,but I felt so much better after. My stomach is not yet accustomed. I have gone from thinking I could do this and I would adjust to saying 'If I can just make it 2 months' to 'If I can just make it through this week'. That day I was sick I did not think I could continue. I thought I would quit and go home, but things are getting a little better and I know I can't give up on the Lord. He needs me here. I have so much to learn and there are plenty of people here who are prepared to hear the gospel. It's extremely hard to think about being here for 17 more months,but I'm taking it one day at a time and relying on the Lord.
Agh, I'm running out of time....
OK, let's see... this morning we had a giant spider in our apartment and I used a chair to smash it. We usually walk, but sometimes take a super crowded small bus or a thing called a triciclo which is a bike with a seat attached to the front that fits two people. It's cool, but traffic here is insane. So many time, I feel like I'm gonna get hit by a car. The other day we had just finished lunch and stopped by a members house. They brought out the biggest hot dog I have ever seen and handed it to me and then went to get another for Hna. Salinas. I looked at my comp as if to ask if I had to eat it and if she was going to tell them we already ate, but she just said 'Lo siento' to tell me I still had to eat it. I thought I was gonna die. BTW, this was the day I felt sick. How did she expect me to eat 2 lunches??? I forced down half, but could eat no more and had to tell them I couldn't eat it because I was sick and my stomach was sensitive.
The people here are super friendly and humble and my trainer is an amazing missionary. She is so patient and hard-working and I know I'm going to learn a lot from her. I'm so sorry I don't have time to write more. I should have written my email before reading everyone's emails. I'll be better with my time next week. I love you all.
Hermana Hawkins

Here is how NataLee responded to a few of our questions:

The food is the hardest thing for me. Almost every meal is a struggle. I really hope I can adjust. We got to a little internet cafe down the street from our casa to use a computer. I'll send pics of my casa. It's hot all the time, but right now is concerned "winter" in Nicaragua which just means it's the rainy season. It rains almost every day. The other night is started raining super hard outside while we were teaching a lesson and we couldn't hear anything. I was in the middle of reading a scripture and had to pause and wait for the rain to die down so the investigator could hear me. I don't know if I'd call my area jungle. I haven't seen any toucans or monkey and I've only seen one gecko, but there is an area that has more stores and stuff that I would call downtown. W

We eat rice at every meal and usually some kind of meat- chicken or fish or beef or something and also salad with lots of vinegar and usually a bland tortilla and juice or soda. Read my weekly letter to hear my hot dog horror story. My mission Prez. (President Collado) and his wife are super nice but don't really speak any English. Yes, we have a phone. My trainer carries it. We pretty much walk everywhere. Sometimes we take a super crowd bus or ride a triciclo. My ward is good. Small though. What does " clap houses" mean? We don't ever really knock on doors. We just find people who are sitting on their porch outside or call in to people who have their doors open or contact people on the street. I love you.
Hermana Hawkins

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