Thursday, August 7, 2014

¡Por fin en Nicaragua!

Michelle with Sister Bernard and Mission President and Sister Collado
Sent by Nicaragua North Mission Home
I made it! There is so much to say I don't know where to begin. First, it is flipping hot here. I thought I understood heat and sort of understood humidity, and I didn't. When our district exited the plane in El Salvador our jaws all dropped and we started to laugh, like what did we get ourselves into? I love it though. I'm coping better than I thought I would for sure. I know it's because of the prayers. :)
When we got off the airplane in Managua we were all totally exhausted and ready for bed, then we realized it was only 10am. So lets just say I am really trying not to fall asleep right now! But anyways, we went over to the Presidente's casa, which is in this gated community because there casa is NICE. We had lunch, a bunch of health instructions, and met our trainers!! My trainer's name is Alex Bernards, and she isn't a native!! She's really great, and I'm just thrilled I can speak to her. (Mother's note: Michelle wasn't confident enough in her Spanish and wanted a proficient English speaker as her first companion.) She's from Layton. Then we ate some of the best chicken I ever had, and we headed off to our new area! I'm in a place called Villa Flor, which is in Managua (feel free to look at pictures on Google maps!) It's extremely poor for the city. Hermana Wilkins is two hours North and Hermana Muller is in Matagalpa (she's in a triplet again and they are both natives. Pray for her!) It was so hard to say goodbye to my district, especially since we can't communicate at all because we're in the same mission. Ill miss them. 

So we get to our casa after some craziness (addresses don't really exist here, so it's hard to get places) and it is literally a mess. We are the first Sisters ever in this area, and the Elders before didn't bother to keep the house clean or update the area book (the last entry was in February). We had no cleaning products or trash bags. The only thing they did was leave a little paper on the wall that said ¡Exito Hermanas! (Mother's note: Success Sisters!) There's only one tiny room with bunkbeds, a dresser deal, and two tiny tables, and then a bathroom with freezing water that only works in the morning. (And the freezing shower was SO NICE!) So after spending 2 and a half hours trying to make the place at least livable, we can function. We haven't unpacked though because we'll probably be switching apartments because the area this one is in is super sketch (there were a whole bunch of drunk guys outside our door last night). So anyways. Were definitely starting pretty fresh. I'm excited.
Last night we met a member who fed us, Valeria, and she had two kids who were so fun. She fed us these tostadas with this cabbage cream thing on top of it - Dad would be proud to know I ate it all even though it was pretty gross--well the two year old, Bridgette helped a little. ;) She's super pilas (which means cool and hardworking here, an Elder called me pilas yesterday and I was so proud) and she's definitely going to be an asset in figuring out where to start here.
As far as Spanish goes, it is not as bad as I expected. I actually still understand a fair amount, and if I don't understand Hna Bernards has my back. I'm confident it will come with time and practice.

I slept last night on my sheets with no blanket, and only in garments with a fan on full power last night and I still sweated like crazy. This is definitely going to take some getting used to! I am so happy to be here though. This area is so poor, most live in these little concrete block shacks with tin for roof. There are stray dogs everywhere, and everyone is selling something.  Water is a commodity. There's garbage everywhere, and there are so many different nasty smells -- I love passing by food stands because that's one smell I really enjoy. If I didn't have the Lord on my side right now, I would not be able to handle this, but my enthusiasm is still through the roof and I am taking it all so well. The Lord is definitely helping me. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers because this would be impossible without them. 

Well, I took pictures of our apartment and of a few other things (OH yeah I met Hermana Savannah Kendall yesterday and I was so excited! I recongnize a lot of people here from the blogs!) but I totally forgot my SD card converter so they'll have to wait till Monday :(
I love you!! Thank you again for all your prayers!! Have a great week :)
Con amor, 
Hermana Michelle Gubler

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