Monday, July 30, 2012

Pictures from Elder Willden - Look if you can!!

30 July 2012

Letter to All:

Well the week didn´t start of too great...We went home after P-day to shower and there wasn´t any water (it happens from time to time, the same with electricity) luckily we had some water bottles stored in the house so I showered with about 6 liters of water.  Ha-ha that would never happen back home!

There are a lot of members in Nicaragua but more or less 20% are active, not good at all!  They always have some excuse not to go to church, if there weren´t so many less actives they´d have a temple no problem.

A lot of Nicaraguans lie, they´ll commit to do something and they hardly ever will.  4 of our new investigators hide when we show up so it looks like we´ll drop them.  Luckily we have new ones to teach.

Raul and also Vilma both have been taught a lot but don´t read or pray but we´ve been working really hard to animate them to do it, I believe they´ll do it this week!

We have a new investigator Milton and also his wife they have a child who is a member and look really positive but they aren´t at home much.

Yesterday the sister we eat dinner with gave us the reference of her cousin and neighbor, we went over and had a family night with them and watched “Together Forever”.  They´re a family of 3. They liked it a lot and they look very positive.  They have received great blessings lately.  Also the mother (Christian) donated tithing to our church a few days before we met them, she felt very blessed and wanted to give money to our church because she knows in the other churches the money goes to the pastors.  I believe they´ll be great investigators and be baptized.

We are planning an activity in August to boost the ward’s desire to do missionary work hopefully, all will go well. Also, I may do an English class.

A funny story that happened yesterday:  We were meeting with members and a drunk came up to me (happens a lot) and wanted to talk to me, he said Elmer, Elmer....Eler.  Then shook my hand 3 different times and said I love you in English and walk away.  I found that to be very funny!  There are a lot of drunks here.

Well that´s all for this week, Love you all!

-Elder Willden

                                                                     Elder Willden's Residence

                His Wonderful Restroom!! - he said he bought a new toilet seat.
                                                Thank goodness!

                                       Common and Regular guests...

                            The Locals - "taking a nap" - really just passed out.

                             An Average home in Nicaragua - we have much to be thankful for. . . .

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Gallo Pinto and Fried Plantains

23 July 2012

Dear Family and Friends:

\Well I´m sure there are a lot of questions about how it is over here I´ll write what a can remember haha, It´s a different world here!

Every once in a while there´ll be army trucks driving around but instead of soldiers there is a marching band playing in the back I was a little confused!

The money here is 23 cortobas to 1 dollar and 1 dollar can go a long way.  For example you can ride the bus for about 12 cents here and go over to Managua.  A taxi is about 80 cents to take to Managua.Tthere are two types of taxies; normal and motos which are 3 wheeled, 3 seater vehicles.

I eat gallo pinto twice a day (rice and beans) and sometimes bread or cheese or even fried cheese.  Fried plantain which I like a lot and a bunch of different drinks - some don´t taste so great...

Diarrhea hit me this week!  It wasn´t that bad but I´m sure it will come again.

We have sisters in the ward that make us dinner and lunch and do laundry.  The mission gives us money to pay them.  Hermana Raquel makes us dinner her family is very, very funny. It´s fun to go over there and eat watching all their crazy kids run around.

This rest of the month our zone has the goal to baptize a family for each companionship.  We´ve been working hard to reach the goal but a lot of our investigators are new now but I need to trust the Lord and work my hardest and his will, will come to pass.  This week we contacted Raul who has family who are members.  He has received the missionaries for a lot of time, but none had ever given him a Book of Mormon.  I believe we are the missionaries for him!  It is so great to already see how the Lord sent me here for a reason.

We contacted Rodrigo yesterday and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he accepted a baptismal date right after I asked him without a wink of hesitation!  I was surprised how fast he answered!  Also we contacted Haliey her parent’s don´t want her to go to church but I think she already believes this church is true.  We met her for the first time yesterday she has had missionaries for a while too, yet she hadn’t had a Book of Mormon as well so I gave her one.  There are a lot more investigators but I don´t have time to talk about all of them!  It´s been a good week and we have a lot a work ahead of us!

Until next week!

-Elder Willden  

P.S There are Giant Pigs here about 3 times the size they are normally!  They are huge!

Note From Elder Willden's Mom: Check out this link about Water and Beverages in Nicaragua -

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Elder Willden is now in Nicaragua!!

16 July 2012

Letter to all:

Wow - my first week already flew by!  Time goes by very fast when you are teaching the gospel.  Well my trainer is Elder Buc from Guatemala I´ll be his last companion because he has 3 months left and training takes 3 months.  In training, we study and extra hour almost every day than you normally would.  Also we take turns doing different things as missionaries like contacts or baptismal dates - things like this. 

We only have 2 baptismal dates, the rest of the investigators weren´t progressing and so we found a bunch of new investigators to teach this week.  The two baptisms will be the 11th of August.  A man and a woman that are together but not married yet, the man has been investigating the church since the 80´s!  I am very excited to see them get married and baptized and take this new step in their lives!

The work here it tough and long but it is great.  A lot of walking.  Almost all the roads are dirt and mud, when it rains it is all mud but it hasn´t rained a lot yet.  I´ve never seen a place more poor than here, most houses are a little bit of concrete and whatever metal or wood they can find to make a roof and fence.  It´s very humbling to see the poverty they live in and yet they are still happy.

Oh and my area is in a city called Sandino and the area is Bella Bandino it´s close to Nicaragua.  The language is tough because the speak fast and aren´t clear and they like to cut out the s at the end of words but after a week here I can understand a lot better what they are saying.  It´s still very tough but I´ll learn, they say I know a lot for a new missionary.

Until next week!

-Elder Willden 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

7 July 2012

7 July 2012
Hello everyone!  I leave for Nicaragua Monday!  My first set of travel plans had me in a 14 hour layover with just one other Elder...luckily they revised the plans and my longest layover is only 2 hours!  I am very excited to go out to the field Monday!  When I arrive I'll be put in a training program with a trainer for 12 weeks.  The have a very new program now, less than a year old, for training the new missionaries!  The mission is always changing I guess!  4th of July was fun we actually got to stay up late and see fireworks!

Well until next week....hopefully!

Oh P.S. to the blog letter

I already have a referral!  The Elder from Nicaragua that lived close to me gave the address and number of his family that lives in the City.  So I guess we'll see how that turns out if I end up over there!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June 22 and June 29

22 June 2012

Letter to family/friends:

This week went very well, we've been teaching a lot more than usual.  I believe I'm beginning to learn how to listen to the Spirit when I teach.  It's important to teach to people’s needs, not just to teach someone a lesson so they can be baptized.  As a companionship the three of us have a lot more unity now, the lessons all go smoothly now, except every once in a while when one of our brains stops working and we can't remember words in English or Spanish.  Yet we have grown a lot in the last week even though this week felt like it was only 3 days, before I know it I'll be walking through the jungles and dirt roads of Nicaragua!

Speaking of Nicaragua I've been talking with a Nicaraguan who is from Southern Managua.  He told me I'm going to love it there.  He wants me to go and baptize his family.  He was telling me about one city that has the best beach in Central America, and about the Island in Lake Nicaragua that has 2 volcanoes.  I'm very excited to learn more from him!  Luckily he is easy to understand in Spanish and I like his accent.

This is day 10 or 11 I believe, that I have only been speaking in Spanish, except when necessary.  It can be mentally trying at times but I know I will be blessed for doing so, I can already see a difference in my ability to converse more rapidly in Spanish.

I'm very excited for Sunday, Sunday they will be changing the MTC presidency and many new mission presidents, and this means that we will a big fireside with multiple apostles and possibly the prophet.

It was a great week and the next will be even better!

-Elder Willden

29 June 2012 

Letter to family/friends:

This week went by very fast!  This week all of the new mission presidents were here.  They didn't change the MTC presidency.  Sunday we all went to the devotional to go and see if an apostle would speak and it turns out one didn't.  A couple of the elders were bummed. Later that night we watched a video by Elder Bednar.  It was titled the Character of Christ.  Listening to this really motivated me to do better, to change, and to reach out to others.  He shared how Christ would always turn out to others rather than turn to himself.  He was always focused on others.  In Matthew 4 Christ was tempted by the devil right after fasting for 40 days.  After going through all of this he must have been exhausted.  Yet as we read in the footnotes towards the end of the chapter he sends angles to minister unto John, who had just been imprisoned.  The original text said the angles ministered unto Christ but in the JST footnote we find out Christ sent the angels to John.  He was never worried about himself!  I need to be more like that!  During my trials and hard times I need to help others and stop worrying about myself.  One who turns out to others in their trials truly have worked hard to take upon the Character of Christ.

 Luckily on Tuesday for the devotional 10 apostles were there!  It was almost general conference!  I could feel the spirit of all those men and their wives.  They have a great and mighty spirit about all of them.  Tom L. Perry spoke, it's the second time I've heard him speak hear.  He spoke about all the different blessings we have as members.  He had a PowerPoint with a bunch of statistics on all the blessings of health, education and other things.  An interesting thing he said was that as the average person attends college there belief in religion will decrease.  With LDS members it is the opposite, the more we learn, the more faith we have and the more active we are in the church.

At the end of the talk I was a bit perplexed.  I knew he had a reason for everything he said but I didn't know what that reason was.  I was wondering why he shared a bunch of statistics when he could have given an amazing spiritual talk.  Later when all of us bore testimonies I realized why he shared what he did.  Elder Valdez testified the reason why he shared what he did is so that we can realize the blessings we have as latter day saints.  The blessings we have with health, money, happiness, love, and how we help others.  Our church is truly different from all other churches.  We have so many more blessings as Latter-day saints.  But there is a catch, we cannot be passive, Elder Tom L. Perry said, "One cannot live a passive life as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." We can't just cruse along, it's either we go up or we fall down.

With this knowledge of the blessings of this church we are happier people.  My duty as a missionary is to invite others unto Christ, to share with them the blessings of this church and invite them unto the church and to repent and to feel the joy of repentance after one is cleaned from sin.

11 more days and I'm off to Nicaragua!  It feels surreal that it is so soon.

Don't forget to turn out, to focus on others, and to follow Christ's example.

-Elder Willden