Monday, July 26, 2010

Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Hey there family and friends. This week has really awesome again like every other week here in Managua Nicaragua. The transfer of the music from that memory card worked out fine and Elder Flores is really liking it and all the other missionaries are jealous of how good of a deal he got on it.

About my backpack, it really stinks because the sponge stuff in the straps have gotten all gross from humidity and sweat. So now I just flip the straps around and the sponge stuff doesn´t get all stinky. I have had it sewn and had new material put on it but I think I will be buying a new pack from here soon.

I haven´t figured out what tv show I was on yet and I doubt it could be found because it is a pretty weird one but I will keep looking.

The first photo of me was a cool graffiti we found and I liked it a lot so I took a picture next to it. The second one is for Israel Flores because he will probably be the only one that thinks it is funny.

So first the Retention missionaries are being taken out and moved to another area to help fill in open spots. There is a possibility that Elder Flores and I will be together again another exchange in this new area they are opening so that is really cool. The new area is called Lezcano and it is still here in Managua. That would be really awesome if we could both go there and open it up.

We had a really long 7 hour conference today with the Presidente Monestel and had interviews. They had fun stuff and we learned a lot of stuff but it lasted for a long time.

I went to a Nicaragua funeral also the other day which was different. That night there was actually three people that died all on the same block. A bunch of people come to the house where they can see the dead person in the coffin which stays there for like three days. They get pretty stinky and scary. The funeral was for this really old lady that was a member and we had been stopping by every other day to give her blessings and say prayers and she finally went. She was doing pretty bad up to that point.

So I finished getting all of the Bible scriptures from my comp the other day and now I am ready to take on anyone, haha. Now I need to get them colored in and divide them with tags and what not.

The other night we set up for a Mormon Theater night in the chapel. We got a projector and everything and set it up in the gym. We had a big turn out with a lot of members, recent converts, and less actives. We made popcorn in this huge caldron and bought soda for everyone which they all went crazy for. The place was a little stinky from some burnt popcorn but I don´t think anyone noticed.

It has been raining a whole bunch lately and we have been getting pretty wet. It stinks though because we have 3 baptisms set up for next week when we won´t be here so we will miss those. We are just going to have to let some one else baptize them for us. They are all really pilas too. It was been really awesome working here with Elder Flores in the time that we have but I will have a lot more experiences with other companions in the future. My Spanish is doing a lot better and I am able to communicate a lot better with the people now, even better than my district leader who is going home next change haha. No but he is a really good missionary.

Well I love you all and thank you for all your love and support for me. Big Hearts y adios.

Elder Ochs

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Hey there family and friends. I am doing great here in Managua, Nicaragua. Elder Flores and I got our packages and everything was in it so don´t worry. I also got a bunch of letters so everyone was pretty jealous. Elder Flores was really excited and he is already working on his new ScanDisk Fuse player and the candy too. I guess that was the first package he has gotten yet on the mission and he has about a year. He really appreciates it a lot.

Seriously we get along really great. We are actually one of the only companionships that gets along with each other here. We are like best friends. I am hoping we have at least one more change here as Retention.

So my hand is alright. (Elder Ochs sent us pictures of his right hand that got infected with some rash when petting a puppy.) The only reason I sent the other shot of my other hand is so that you could compare it. I would take a picture of it right now but I don´t have my camera with me because my backpack stinks. I showed the nurse lady for our mission and everything and she is the one that prescribed the medicine. The only problem was getting a hold of it because the office took forever to send it. I didn´t show the mission president because it was in between the crazyness of the division and changing presidents. The rash didn´t spread anywhere just turned different colors where there was contact. It is totally fine now and he hasn´t given me any problems at all since then. So don´t worry.

So I wanted to tell you also that that recipe to get rid of asthma, you only need two cloves of garlic, not two whole things. Hopefully none of you have already tried it and almost died haha. If you did you may get an idea of the Nicaragua food we sometimes eat here haha. So ya it is only two cloves.

Speaking of foods I had cow tongue this week. I would have taken a picture of it before but I didn´t know what it was before I ate it. It was really soft and tasted alright I guess but when they told me what I ate I felt sick in the stomach haha. More on food here, Rootbeer doesn´t exist. The only people that have even heard of it are ex-missionaries and others that have left Nicaragua, which is a very small percent here. I was talking to an ex-missionary about it and he said when he found it he fell in love with it. He told my comp that it was better than Coca Cola which is what everyone loves here, and especially my companion. My companion is dying because we aren´t allowed to drink it here. His job before the mission was with Coca Cola painting there advertisements. He had an unlimited amount of Coca Cola when working haha.

So today is the celebration of Independence for Nicaragua and they have a lot of spirit. They already started partying early last night bumping there music and dancing in the street. It was so funny seeing how borrachos dance. I have already learned some new moves haha. There was just huge groups of people all crowded in the streets. Today people are wearing there red and black and driving around with people in the backs of the trucks waving flags around. We have to be careful though tonight around 5 because that is when they start drinking and getting crazy haha.

Last Saturday we had a soccer game with the locals again and it started raining so we played in the rain. It was so cool because I was thinking how nice it would be to fall into a pool just before and the pool came and fell on us haha. We got pretty soaked but it was a lot of fun.

So lately in the mornings between the time I get up and when we start our studies I have been copying my companion's Bible. He has already read through it here on the mission and has marked so many good scriptures for teaching. So I have just been going through and copying his markings which is a lot with all of these references to other scriptures. I have about an hour and a half every morning to get as many as possible. Changes are coming up this next week so I need to get what I can in case he leaves. I have also divided and tagged my scriptures so I can quickly turn to them when teaching. Don´t worry I am going to read the Bible for myself while here but that won´t be for a while.

We also had an activity this last Saturday for all of the recent converts and less actives here in Managua. We got pictures of there baptisms and a few years later and had them displayed with a projector. It was really cool and it was a good turn out.

So I am having a great time here in Nicaragua and I am so glad to be here right now. I know that I have changed a lot here and I still have a lot to work on too. We are having so many awesome experiences here and I getting closer to my Heavenly Father everyday. Thanks for all of your love and support for me while here and I love you all too.

Big Hearts.

Elder Ochs

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Hey there, how is everyone doing. I am doing great here in Nicaragua but there are ups and downs. It is good to hear that everyone is fine and healthy. I will have to tell Elder Harrison about how you will be going on a camping trip with one of his family members. You will have to talk to him Dad to see how his brother or son is doing. Remember I told you about how I talked to him on the bus and how they are friends with the Miller family.

So my pack of letters should get there soon I am sure. Sometimes they do get lost in the mail like Rachel said but they usually always get there.

So we got to have our first conference with the new Mission President, Presidente Monestel of the Nicaragua South Mission. We got to meet his family and we got to ask questions and everything. He isn´t as intimidating as Presidente Fraatz, so that is different. If you were ever even close to him you felt like you had to be working or reading your scriptures or anything. The new president is a real hard worker so hopefully we can get a lot of stuff done in this short time here. After the conference it started raining really hard outside but we had to go anyways. We had a hard time getting a taxi where we were because one thing, most of the taxis were full and secondly, whenever you got to the edge of the curb to wave one down other cars would drive by real close to try and splash us. I made a game out of it and would stand really close on the curb to have the cars come after me and then jump away at the last minute so it would splash the missionaries behind me haha.

So speaking of crazy streets, the streets during the Mundial Final were crazy. People were yelling and screaming and were blowing horns and whatnot. Whenever Spain would make a goal they would all run out into the street and go nuts. So we pretty much knew what the score was just by listening to the noises. But in the end Spain won it 1-0. Everyone here is either for Brazil, Argentina, or Spain so since Spain was in the Final the were pretty excited. I want to buy the uniform for them because it is really cool looking so maybe that can be my Birthday present. The only problem is that I need to get permission to go to this place that sells them. It is restricted because too many missionaries would waste there money there.

So just some random stuff, Nicaraguain pizza is really gross here. The cheese is really salty, there is no sauce and the pepperonies are just a mystery. Elder Montierth and I ordered some last P day and it was a bad idea. Also I have been keeping track of time here now by my ties. I have to check my tie to know if something happened that day or earlier. I have surprised myself a few times already because I thought for sure something happened that same day but I had on a different tie when it happened. If that makes sense. I am sure all missoinaries experience that.

I have officially finished the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price out here on the mission. I learned a whole bunch from reading that and it has already helped out so much explaining doctrine to people. We often get some strange questions from people and there hasn´t been one yet that has stumped me thanks to the Spirit of course. It has definitely been a blessing and I am so grateful. But I guess I can´t brag too much about that because our recent convert that we baptized last month has already read the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Gospel Principles book that we are teaching from in Sunday School. She is really pilas which means amazing. She hasn´t gotten a calling in the church yet but I can´t wait to find out what it is. She is a really amazing person.

So I am having a really great time here in Nicaragua and I just want to say I love you all and thanks for your love and support.

Big Hearts.

Elder Ochs

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 3:59 PM

So I haven´t talked with those members about that TV show since then but we stop by there at least once a week so I will ask them about it.

That is awesome that you guys are able to go to the temple so often. I really enjoy the pictures that you send also. I forgot the cable for my camera again in the house so once again you will have to wait another week for them sorry. I sent an envelope of letters home the other day so you should be expecting some soon.

That is great that Katie and Bruce had great time and they came home safe and sound too.

It sounds like Dad will be having a fun time in the Grand Canyon and hopefully that hammock thing works out or he will be having an even more fun of a time haha.

So I am officially in the Nicaragua South Mission and the other two missionaries from my district are in the same mission too so that is awesome. Our Mission Presidente is Presidente Monestel. We are supposed to have a conference with him tomorrow to get to know him and have some interviews also. I have heard good and bad things about him but I am only listening to the good because that is what matters. Anyway no one has even met him yet so what do they know haha.

I am not sure if I already told you about this last week, but Elder Flores and I had an idea to get people more to come to church. We had people interviewed by the bishop and when they passed we made these missionary name tags for them with there name on it and everything. The liked it a lot and we are going to see how it goes.

So I think I may have an idea of how that guy from the Count of Monte Cristo slept. My bed is like a stone slab. When you lay on it you are as straight as a board and I have no pillow either haha. Another Elder didn´t believe me until he jumped up there and felt it. So it is a good thing also because I don´t want to lay in there anymore than I have to so I am up on time every morning haha.

So that day when I fell through the roof and we went looking for replacement roofing we contacted this guy to find out where we could find some supplies. In the contact we gave him a Book of Mormon and he is already in Alma. He has a family and kids too and they are all interested in going to church. So I don´t necessarily think that it was an accident that I fell through there and that it was all part of a plan haha.

The other day this grocery store had this deal that if you buy 200 cordobas of this kind of brand you get a free soccer jersey. So I went there and bought stuff I was running out of which was all this one brand and got a Brazil jersey. I will send the picture of it next week. I also bought some really cool color pencils for marking my scriptures and I drew the Plan of Salvation. I took a picture of that too.

We had another soccer tournament this Saturday and a bunch more people showed up for it. We got even more references and we had a lot of fun. I made 3 goals this time too which was pretty fun. I think my new Brazil soccer jersey has "taken my game to the next level" haha. So that was cool and the bishop bought drinks and bread for everyone and that was crazy passing out to people haha.

We also got invited to a baby shower this week so we bought a little outfit and a bib for the baby. We didn´t know if it was a boy or a girl so we bought the material in yellow. It turns out it was a girl so it turn out fine. I was put into this contest to see who could drink this juice from a baby bottle the fastest. I didn´t win but it was a fun I guess haha. Elder Flores was in this competition to see how fast you could dress this baby doll with a partner and one of your hands were tied. It was pretty funny seeing them flinging this doll all around.

So this 4 of July we were teaching this investigator and we had left a chapter with her to read last week. When we got there she had only read the beginning so we read the rest of the chapter with her. It was Chapter 13 of 1 Nephi which talks about the restoration of the gospel. The thing I thought was most cool was when they talked about a man who would cross the sea to come to a place with religious freedom and how the motherland would fight them for it also. How God would help them in their battle so they would win and open they way for the restoration. I explained to my companion that this was the very day that we made our declaration of freedom and it was pretty cool for me.

So I am learning so much here everyday and am excited for the things to learn in the future. I am grateful for all of your love and support. Big Hearts.

Love Elder Ochs