Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Things are Looking Up

This week has been so much better. We eat lunch at a member's house and provide our own breakfast and dinner- stuff we buy at the supermarket and don't have to cook. Hna. Salina's asked our cooked if she could give me less food for each lunch cuz it has been too big of a portion for me so now it's much easier to finish my plate. I still don't really like the food, but there are something's I enjoy- chicken, fish, yellow platanos (kinda like bananas)
-Hna. Behan is in my zone and Hna. Howell is in my district so I get to see them pretty often! It's such a blessing!
-On the flight from Panama to here, I had a great gospel conversation with a man named Miguel and gave him a pass-along card.
-Prez. Collado and his wife seem very nice. They don't really speak any English.We went to their house the first day in Nicaragua and it was BEAUTIFUL. I felt like I was on vacation haha.
My companion has a great sense of humor and is really nice and patient. She helps me a lot with my Spanish. However, she's been really sick this week with an ear ache so I had to do exchanges so she could rest. I've had to pay extra money to ride in taxis and triciclos this week because walking in the heat makes the pain worse. So I had to use some of my own money off of my debit card just to pay for groceries this week. Grrr.
The money we use is called cordobas. 25 cordobas equals once American dollar.
The Nicaraguan accent is so hard to understand. They speak really fast and slur their words together and speak in vos (a form of the language we never learned cuz it's informal). I'm just trying to be patient with myself and hope I get better at understanding people with time.
There are plenty of people to teach here. We found 4 new families last week. Hna. Salinas is such a good teacher. She always listens and asks lots of good questions and share great scriptures and does all the stuff it says in PMG. I am learning a lot from her. She's from Costa Rica and has 3 siblings. She speaks really good English so whenever I don't know a word in Spanish, I say it in English and she usually know what it is and can tell me what it is in Spanish. I can communicate well with her because she doesn't have a Nican accent.
Eventhough I can understand the people very well, I enjoy teaching lessons.
I'm tired pretty much all the time. Sometimes days, I have to fight to stay awake in lessons.
The people here give you food to show love and they'll get offended if you don't eat it so you have to make yourself. Sometimes they don't even ask if you've already eaten. Like last week, I had two lunches and felt like I was gonna die. But it has been a lot better this week.
Women greet each other by putting their cheek up to the other and making a kissy sound.
People say "Adios" when they pass each other on the street instead of hola. Interesting.
White people are called cheles and people keep calling to me "Chela!" and "Chelita!" and calling me beautiful. It's a bit awkward.
My ward is good, but really small.
I'm grateful to have this opportunity to serve the Lord and hope I can do some good here.
Ta ta for now!
Love, Hermana Hawkins

-I thought my acne would be really bad here since I'm sweating so much, but it's actually almost completely cleared up! So that's good.
-The people here are tone deaf.
-A lot of women don't shave their legs or armpits.
-Hna. Howell saw an old woman peeing on the sidewalk. Gross!
-There are tons of stray dogs and cats here. I'm afraid to touch them cuz Hna. Salinas said they bite and I'm afraid I'll get a disease.
-Members here don't follow the modesty standards of the church very well.
-Women breatfeed their children in public- no blanket or nothing! Even kids that look like their 18 months old! Unpleasant.
-Some people start mumbling their own prayer as you're saying a prayer. It totally through me off the first time is happened and I thought they were saying the prayer, but it was just a personal one, not one for the lesson.
Yep, life is super different here, but I'm starting to adjust. This week was so much better and I think with time, it will get even better. I'm trusting in the Lord and trying to be patient.
I love you all! Thank you for your support and your prayers.
Hermana Hawkins

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