Monday, August 30, 2010

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Hey thanks for the news and updates. It sounds like there are a bunch of missionaries out in the field now. How many plaques are there up on that wall now in the church? (The answer is 12!) Did you see Elder Hayette or Elder Gutierrez at the farewell talk? usually all of the missionaries go to that.

No I haven`t got my birthday package yet but it will probably be here soon. For my birthday I decorated the page in my agenda but other than that it wasn`t very different from any other day. My comp gave me a toy owl that looks like Hedwig. I was also sick that day so I didn`t feel like doing much. It is weird to think that I have entered a new decade. Only last decade I was in Primary. I wonder where I will be at the end of this one?

So the broken collar guy is better now and now we can`t find him at home. He always takes off and he doesn`t come back home till late at night. I liked it better when he was bedridden haha. We have three other guys we are trying to get baptized but they are being difficult. This change has been a little bit tougher than the other ones.

Our dinner lady was telling us the other day that she had the most wonderful dessert the other day. She didn`t remember what it was called but she described it it for me. It was a Milky Way McFlurry from McDonalds haha. I warned her though and told her to watch out eating at McDonalds because how big it can get you. She also had a dessert or maybe more of a appetizer or something for us too after dinner. She brought out a plate that looked like it had ping pong balls on it. They were actually Turtle eggs and partially cooked. What you had to do is tear the shell which was soft and then suck out the inside stuff. My turtle was already forming so it was a little meaty. I ate two of them.

So I have been having a really great time here in Sandino with all of the other missionaries. Thanks for always writing and telling me how it is going there in Oakdale. I like hearing what is going on. Love you lots and Big Hearts.

Elder Ochs

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 12:12 PM

So this is my incomplete email that I sent last week. The power went out before I could finish and it stayed out for a few hours. So I am just going to finish up this one and add what I have this week to make one big one:

So you guys have some pretty crazy stories from there in Oakdale. I am glad Hunter is enjoying school but too bad Samantha is with that mean girl again haha. I guess next time you will be ready for that wasp if you run into it again Mom.
My Spanish is definitely not to the point that people think I am local neither do I have an accent yet. I am studying every morning and with my companion but it is taking me a while. I guess I am learning patience right? That is cool to hear how Taylor is doing and I am sure he is loving it.

It sounds like Liz, Hillary,and Anna had quite an adventure. Hopefully they have recooperated from it by now.

I really liked the video from Grandma Ochs. Grandma, I`ll try to show you how to fall from a tree onto my feet if you want me to but I may need some more practice before. I got the video of Grandpa this week and I really liked it too.

But the closer shot you took move it up more to the Northeast and it should be there. I can`t point it out from the bigger picture but if you move it I can. It is just a little more up from that corner.

Rachel I am not exactly sure what last name is the sister who went to Panamà but I will ask her.

So this week here in Ciudad Sandino was good. I am learning more and more from my companion and about our area. We had Stake Conference here the last Sunday and that went well.

The other day we were visiting a member and he was telling us how before he was a member he was a Buddhist haha. He told and demonstrated all of the rituals for us and they were really funny. Especially because he looks like the Buddha. He also showed us how Evangelicals worship by jumping around the room in patterns. It sounds really weird but it was hilarious.

So speaking of other members, we contacted this lady last week, taught her the first lesson, left a commitment, returned to teach more about the Book of Mormon, gave her a Book of Mormon , and finally challenged her with a baptismal date before she finally told us she was already a member haha. It was embarrassing but now we have a less active to activate and her family.

The other day we were walking in the hills at the edge of our area when we saw an old guy walking up this hill really slow with crutches. I stopped and asked him if he needs help. He asked me for one cordoba and I told him he couldn`t buy anything for one cordoba but I gave him the one I had in my pocket anyways. Once I did that he asked if we were Mormon missionaries. He then told us that he has read the Book of Mormon up to Alma. He told us his wife thinks the book is of the devil but he just tells her "The book talks about God so it can`t be about the devil." He has highlighted in his Book of Mormon every time it mentions Lord, Savior, Senor, and God. It was a bad thing that he fell that night and broke his collar bone, the good thing is that he is always in his house so we can teach him whenever we want. He really likes us coming over but I am not to sure about his wife.

We have a few people we are preparing for baptism these upcoming weeks so I am really looking forward to it.

We had our stake conference this last Sunday and President Monestel and his wife came to talk.

We have been having some crazy storms hear and deafening thunder. I have been worrying almost every night that our room will flood. We still haven`t bought a umbrella though.

I also have learned how to wash my clothes by hand on a stone. All of our clothes have been sitting for about 2 weeks because our lady who washes them has been sick. So every night we would wash a pair for the next day and let it dry over night on our fans. We also used some Nicaraguan irons to iron our shirts.

So Rachel, that looks like a pretty crazy looking fruit. I think there is a similar looking fruit here but the shell is green. It has a gel like cover that is really sweet. We have a bunch of those dinosaurs all over our room.

That is crazy news that Hillary is getting married with Justin Ponce. Tell Hillary and Justin congratulations. That is awesome! I bet Brennan will enjoy playing out at the Ranch with him. I don`t know if Brennan remembers but he played commando with Justin Ponce before and we couldn`t catch them.

I need to send Grandma and Grandpa a thank you letter.

Dad I don`t know anything about this whole bed leg breaking business you got going but tell Mom I love her.

I am sending you some pictures of the lake we went to a few P-Days ago.

Well I love you all and thanks for supporting me and helping me out. Love you and Big Hearts.

Elder Ochs

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Those pictures were so cool to see! I can´t believe how big Brennan has got. It looks like Braydon has to be careful now, but I think I can still take him haha. So it sounds like Milo is enjoying his time at the house lounging around. It is good to hear that he still is in attack mode haha. I didn´t know you were making a temple bag Mom? It looks really cool. Sorry to hear that the hammock squishes you Dad. Here they put sticks on both ends of the hammock so it won´t close in because there are a lot of big people here too haha. I am not sure how they do it but it spreads out the hammock.

Elder Garcia actually knows more English than any other comp I have had so far. He surprises me sometimes with the words he knows. But usually I can only understand him if he talks in Spanish. I like sharing the house with other missionaries. The other set are the Zone Leaders so they keep us on our toes which is good. The room that Elder Garcia and I are in is about the size of Rachel's room, so we are in close quarters. We can´t fit chairs and tables in there so we have to do all of our studying on our beds. I don´t have pictures right now but I will send you some. We live with a recent convert who does our clothes so it is nice having everything close. Our dinner cita here is so good. She makes any Nicaraguan food taste great some how. We aren´t doing Retention here in Sandino, we are normal missionaries now. But I have a lot of ideas of what I want do now to work with the recent converts and less actives.

So Angie, Anna, and Jacob were out at the Ranch! That is awesome. How are they doing. What is Jacob doing now?

So Rachel (Patton) said she had a convert from Nicaragua? That is interesting. The Nicaraguans here love Spaniards.

I want to print out that picture of Jesus riding the dinosaur and put on my next agenda. I will show you how it turns out next change haha.

Kacey Stout is working at Big 5! He will have fun there especially since his cousin is there too. Tell Kacey "Hi" back when you see him again.

So here in Nicaragua we are having rain everyday and then it gets hecka hot. Just blazing. Last Pday we went to Lake Xiloa and that was pretty cool. I took pictures and I will need to send them next week. We might go fishing there one of these Pdays. There are no rules on it so it sounds like a lot of fun.

So I got a haircut again but not as short this time. It feels a lot cooler that way.

Elder Garcia has been sick with something all week but he is getting better. We gave him a blessing and everything so it isn´t up to us anymore. I have been studying the scriptures like crazy lately so that is really fun. It is all I do in my free time and on Pdays haha. I am also working on memorizing the Family Proclamation by the end of this month. Presidente Monestel has been making a lot of goals for us to complete. That is one of them. He also wants us to read the complete standard works every year while here. So now I am starting from the beginning of the Bible. The funny thing is that my first time reading it will be in Spanish so that will be interesting.

I didn´t have much to write about this week but it was great. I am learning a lot everyday here and I am trying to improve everyday. I am loving it here in Ciudad Sandino and this work. Thanks for your love and support for me.

Big Hearts

Elder Ochs

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 1:13 PM

So I don´t have much time to write this week because it is all hectic right now where we are. So this week´s letter is going to be really short, sorry.

So I had changes unfortunately again. I am here in Ciudad Sandino with Elder Garcia. It is only over the hills from my last area and supposedly we are still in the same stake. That means that I will see my old ward again for the Stake Conference coming up and maybe even for General Conference if I am here long enough. Again it was hard leaving that area because again the whole ward was like my family. But I will see them all again so no worries.

Elder Flores was sent to this area called Bluefields. It is on the coast way far away from here. You have to take a 2 hour boat trip to get there and most of the people speak English and are African. It is the dream place to go here in Nicaragua but it was the last place that Elder Flores wanted to go to, haha. He is companions with Elder Neal who came with me from the MTC. Elder Flores was like my brother but we had to split for a while. I can´t wait to hear what he has to say about it.

So my first week here in Sandino we had a baptism for a sister who is about 25 years old and it went really well. The funny thing is that she has a phobia of water so she was really scared to do it. When she went under she kicked out here legs and jumped out really fast haha. She asked if she did it and I got to tell her she was fine because I was one of the witnesses. I attched a picture of her baptism. I am getting to know this new area and it seems fine. This one sister just got back from her mission in Panamá and she said she knew Hermana Garcia. She was pretty excited to know that my sister is serving there too. She said Rachel will probably get bigger because of the amount of rice they feed her. Sorry Rachel. She also told me a bunch of phrases that people from Panamá say. I left the list at home so I will have to remember it next week.

The ward here is really nice and there is a whole bunch of them. Almost triple the amount from Mira Flores. Our food citas are also very good at making tasty food here. I tried out turtle here the other night and it tasted really good. I kind of felt sorry for the turtle but he died for a good cause. Our house here is really nice and we are living with three other companionships. The zone leaders are one of them so they keep us on our toes. They are helping me out and giving me advice and what not. I have been studying the scriptures a whole lot and they are starting to look a little crazy. I am kind of scared of them because I don´t know how to use all of the stuff I have. I am finally getting to know them and knowing where stuff is now. It has always been something I lacked, having a knowledge of the scriptures.

I have a picture of our last zone in Managua. I am going to try and send the pictures I took of my agendas since the last area and now. It is a thing here in the mission to decorate your agenda when you get a new one every change. We usually get the pictures from Liahonas or other church magazines that are really old. The first one has Lehi building an altar that I really liked and the passage of the Family of Lehi. The second one is Joseph Smith leaving Kirkland. I like the back better because I customized it. It had this old creepy guy talking to a teenager and I put on top Amigos haha. I was really tired in the morning when I made it but it makes me laugh whenever I see it.

Today I finally became an official Nicaraguan. I got my identity card and everything too. I had to travel to immigration this morning to do it. Unfortunately I got car sick on this bus. I also bought some new ties at this Packa that has a bunch of clothing. They cost a dollar each and I like them a lot.

I guess this letter is longer than I thought so I will slow down. Thanks Mom for the letter. I got it yesterday in the mail. I liked that little squirrell climbing on the tree too haha. It looks like you had a good time Dad down in the Grand Canyon. Too bad the falls didn´t turn out like they were worked up to haha. That waterfall looked pretty big. Who all jumped off it? Did you end up taking a hammock? It didn´t look like there were very many trees that you could hook it up to. It sounds like Milo is having a nice time at the house. That is funny that he slept on dad for a while in the hammock haha. Is he still crazy or has he calmed down a bit? That is so cool that they all went back to Huckleberry Lake again. I am surprised Brother Ramos still wanted to go again haha.

Well thanks for all of the news, love, and support. I am loving it here in Nicaragua more and more everyday. I am not sure if I am coming back to the USA so we will have to see haha. I am definitely coming back here thought that is for sure. So I am having a great time and and take care. Big Hearts

Elder Ochs