My pictures reappeared on my camera!!! Prayers answered!!! I'm so happy and grateful. And I'm even happier because a family I was teaching in my last area got baptized this last week!! Yay!!
A few days ago, my comp and I were walking down the street, just minding our own business, and out of nowhere, this angry old lady threw a bundle of plants in our faces! My comp was on the direct-impact side so after hitting her in the face they kept going and brushed past my ear. We just bust out laughing. We were like, "What the heck just happened??" The old lady yelled something as she threw them, but we didn't hear very well. It was probably something like, "Why are you here!" Haha, who knows. It gave us a good laugh.
Later that day, we ran into a white guy from Loveland who served his mission here 10 years ago and is back volunteering as an audiologist. His names's Mark Sanders and he's from the Lakeside ward. I love those little "You're a member too?" moments. The church really is a big family wherever you go. Mom and Dad, did you get the pic Mark sent? #
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Another funny thing: I saw 4 live chickens tied upsidedown by their feet to the handlebars of a bicycle today haha. Only in Nicaragua.
Today we hiked up to the cross here in Jinotega called Pena de la Cruz. It's stairs all the way up and it was tough. I kept having to take breaks and was panting like a dog. I don't know how many miles long it is (you can look it up), but we got up there in about an hour and a half and it only took us 15 minutes to get down cuz we pretty much ran the whole way. When we got to the bottom, our legs were vibrating from using our leg muscles so much. I felt like my legs were gonna fall off. I'm definitely gonna be sore tomorrow. But I think it was worth it. The view from the top was BEAUITFUL. I felt so accomplished when we got to the top but later today we felt super worn out and took a nap. We also passed through the cutest little colorful cemetery on the way up. It looked like something from Disneyland or something.
Last night our special family (the one in the poem) basically dropped us. I cried so hard. It's the worst when you know they have felt the spirit testifying to them that it's true and they still choose to reject it. It's seriously the most painful part of the mission. I love that family sooooo much and was willing to do everything to help them, but now the only thing we can do is pray. And pray I will. I hope that God will soften their hearts and they will realize what they're missing in their lives.I really don't know why these heart-breaks have to happen. Maybe God is just preparing us to see an even greater miracle. Or maybe he just wants me to understand the Atonement a little better. Romans 8:16-17. If we want to be glorified with Christ, we need to suffer a little as he did.
We'll pass by in a week or two to see if anything's changed.
On a happier note, we saw a miracle yesterday and were able to bring a family to district conference. Their names are Adalberto and Jenni and they have a cute 18 month old son. They were so patient. After the conference, the leaders had a meeting so the bus didn't leave until almost two hours later! I wish we would have known so we could have arranged other transportation for them. The conference ended at noon and luckily we brought food for the bus that we could share with them. Otherwise, they would have died of hunger! I'm actually glad none of the other families we invited could go because if it were anyone else they probably would have gotten mad, but this family was so tranquil! They adorable. They even went to ward fellowship earlier this night on their own! I look forward to seeing them progress.
That's all for now. Sorry I don't have time to respond to personal letters, but I hope you like the pictures! Love, Hermana Hawkins
P.s. Dad, Here's a nice tongue twister for you (courtesy of Hermana Ewing). One smart fellow. He felt smart. Two smart fellows. They both felt smart. Three smart fellows. They all felt smart. Haha!