So I have been in Rivas almost 24 weeks and I think this is week 46 of my mission. Craziness! We have had a good week. We ended up going to Managua on Tuesday for a training for the soon to be trainers and I had to give a little presentation. Then we stayed the night in Jinotepe to go to the meeting with Elder Nelson on Wednesday. It was super awesome. He shook all the missionaries hands of both missions (about 375) and as he shook mine, he said my name. I was caught a little off guard and I responded in Spanish (mucho gusto) but it was cool and he actually said my name right too! It was cool singing “Called to Serve” in Spanish with all these missionaries. I saw both Hermanas Pastran and the one in my mission said she got the hymn book you sent. I didn't talk to her much since she was a little busy talking with her sister from the North Mission. As they hugged each other I could only imagine my reunion with you folks and Lenny. That will be the day! Anyway, Elder Nelson shared D&C 31:1-6 with us about our families and that they are taken care of. He said we will do more for those we leave behind here in the mission than we ever could have staying at home. It was a real great meeting and I wore my nice suit. Wearing my suit made me think about the day I will wear it home and I just can’t wait. Elder Nelson had people stand up based on where they were from and other things. He had people stand up by what tribe they are from. President Monestel is from Ephraim and his wife is from Manasseh. That was interesting. Most of the Latinos are from Manasseh and there were a few from other tribes like Benjamin. That was cool. They talked lots about family history. We had a couple of people at church yesterday so that was good. One was a lady we visit. It was good to finally have her come to church and tons of people in the branch know her. Anyway, a good treat I had this week is fresco de cacao. It is sort of like chocolate milk but with a few other things like cinnamon... real good. I am glad the wedding went well. Also, you know how we say “missionarying it up”, well some people here say – “misionando” - which is missionarying or missioning. Anyway, I don’t think it is a real word but people have said it to me and I think it is cool. One thing this week was as we met with the other mission and their president spoke... I really felt like my mission president is the one I need. I know all mission presidents are great, but I really could feel that the Lord knew who I would need and sent me here for that reason. He is a great man and I can just see him as a general authority someday. I think he speaks quite a bit of English or at least understands it because Elder Nelson was sitting next to him and he speaks Portuguese not Spanish. They had a translator and all the Latinos had headsets as Elder and Sister Nelson spoke. Anyway, I just love my mission president and he even complimented me on my presentation from Tuesday. We don’t see him or his wife that often, but I feel like I know them really well, and I love them like they are my own family.
There are changes on Wednesday, but I am about 99.9% sure that we won’t have any. The elders in the district do, since one is going to train but they won’t know until tomorrow who is the one leaving. I guess they aren’t going to tell about changes until Tuesday at 5 so that people don’t spend all day Tuesday saying goodbye to people. At least I have a fairly good idea that I will have changes in March since I will have been here 5 changes and that is about the max. I have heard a couple times of 6 changes in an area but that is rare. Anyway, life is good. We are looking for some new families to teach and the work goes on. I am really excited to hear about your Spanish class Mom. It should be fun. I love you tons. I can’t believe it is almost February and Chessy is almost done. Crazy! Well, I still am laughing lots at myself in the mirror and as I read my letters today I was laughing too. Lenny said she can’t wait to hold her baby sister in her arms again. Crazy girl! I love you so much my forever family. The gospel is true and I am a happy camper here in the mission. Love, alc