Monday, January 31, 2011

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Hey there everybody there at home. It sounds like you are all having a very good time and enjoying yourselves. I really liked that video mainly to see everybody and to hear there voices. It is crazy how much everyone is changing. It looks like black and white is the new fad now too. I am sorry about not sending home any cool stuff like those nick nacks and drinks. I should start doing that so you can see a little bit of Nicaragua culture and foods. There are a lot of crazy stuff here to try out. I will commit myself to start doing that. I need to be better at writing letters too. That will be another commitment. That was awesome to hear what Elder Hancock had to say about missionary work. That is so cool to think that all of the people that I grew up with are all now on missions at the same time. I am really excited to hear their stories and adventures. I am also working on being more obedient here on the mission. There is definitely a difference in the work when we put all of our heart, might , mind, and strength into it. I have seen so many blessings in my life and the work through it.

Mom and Dad I liked what they had to say about the temples. I had been thinking about those lately and how you don´t even need to have a testimony to know that this church is true. That may have sounded weird but it is true. You just have to look at the Church from another point of view. What other church is growing and expanding as fast as we are, building huge temples every year in every part of the world, missionaries dedicating two years of their lives without pay, a happiness and security that no one can understand, and so many other things. Sometimes when I am teaching people and they just aren´t getting the lessons, I just have to explain it logically and it only makes sense that this is the Church of Jesus Christ here on earth. It is kind of hard to explain what I am trying to say but that is more or less what I have been thinking. Yesterday we were teaching our investigator Karen you we have been teaching for about a month now and she didn´t seem to be going anywhere, till she came to church and had a really good experience. Afterwards we went to her house to talk to her and we suggested a baptism date. At first she was telling us she had already been baptized in the Catholic church and the Bible says you can only be baptized once. So I explained to her that it was talking about being only baptized once in the Church of Jesus Christ. So I just asked her if she thought that the Catholic Church was the Church of Jesus Christ that he formed in the olden days. She thought about and said no. So I told her she hadn´t actually been baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ yet and she realized that she needs to be baptized and that it will be on February 12. It is stuff so simple like that they only need to think about. But ya so that is the kind of stuff that happens here.

The Cruz Family was completed this Saturday and it was really awesome. Albalina, the mom, tried to give me a hug but I had to quickly dodge. Instead I gave her a awesome handshake and a pat on the shoulder. Juana, the daughter, was really happy too. Afterwards we had cake and soda. They are a really cool family.

We also had another cool experience with the husband of Rosa Gema. He had been coming to church a lot and so we went to his house to talk to him about baptism. This guy hardly ever talks to us which is why we never got around to teaching him. He would kind of ignore us when we came and when we would greet him he just said hi back and would just keep watching tv. We thought he wanted nothing to do with us till we actually asked him to turn off the tv and talk with us. We talked a little bit with him and then asked him what he thought about being baptized. He tells us his religious history and then in the end said he would get baptized the very next day if we wanted to. So we agreed and this Saturday we will be completing the family. Afterwards we felt foolish waiting so long and it taught me a lesson to not be afraid to just talk to any person about baptism because everyone here is looking for it.

Quick note, because I have taken a lot of time writing, is that I got emergency changes last night and I am only switching areas with another missionary in the same zone. I will give you guys more info next week.

Love you lots and Big Hearts.

Elder Ochs

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Entonces, this was a pretty good week. I am sending two photos this week. One is a really cool flower that is in front of the church. Have you ever seen it before Mom? The other is a member that we got activated and now he is leaving on his mission as soon as he gets his calling. His name is Carlos Rojas and he goes with us a lot to work with us.

Elder Santos and I are working good together. He is not a very sociable person but I am getting him to open up slowly and slowly. I am giving him more and more responsibility so he is more confident in himself and what he is doing. He is cool though. He likes music alot and I think he will come out of his shell soon.

So I will have 7 1/2 months here in Ciudad Sandino. I like it a lot here and I don´t mind it at all. I don´t have much time to write again because I was working on editing my photos on my memory and I lost track of time.

This week we got a lot of new investigators and contacted a lot because we were kind of low on numbers. I am having a good time here with Elder Kunz also. We get along great and we keep each other going. I really liked the video Dad and the stories were good too. Again sorry for how short this letter is but I will write a better one next week. Well I love you guys a lot and thanks for always being there for me.

Big Hearts

Elder Ochs

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 12:35 PM

So it sounds like there was a lot of eventful and great stuff that happened this last week. Thanks for all of those photos, they were really awesome. Who was all able to go inside and see the sealing? I am really happy for Hillary that she got married to such a cool guy. Tell them congrats.

That is awesome to hear that Israel will be serving the Lord for two years in Tampa, Florida. I think that is the mission from where Elder Feliciano is from actually. Do you know if needs to learn another language there? It is pretty much Nicaragua there from what I have heard so he may have some similar experiences with crazies. I still want to hear from him though.

Yes, Presidente Monestel is pretty crazy and definitely pushes us to work work and work. He sets pretty awesome goals for us.

Yes Dad, I meant Puerto Cabezas and yes it is really far away from here haha.

Dad I really like the Language of Faith topic you talked about. It really does all have to do with the faith.

So I am here in Ciudad Sandino again for another change but I love it. I love it here and what I am learning. I am excited to get some more work done here. I am also training another Elder from the states. He was actually born in the Philippines but moved to the states when he was 10. He is pretty short and doesn´t talk that much. He is someone that I will learn a lot from. He speaks English and also the language from the island. I am going to try to get him speaking and teaching quick so he can be pilas.

I am sending a few photos: first Elder Feliciano and Elder Santos, my new comp, My comp and a member that works with us, The little girl of our dinner cita named Gemita that I have seen grow about half of her life, and the family that we baptized last week from Puerto Cabeza  Pic 1  Pic 2. I still don´t have the baptismal photo because Elder Feliciano has it. We are going to get this family Cruz baptized before the end of this month.

Well I don´t have very much time so I am going to send this off and I want to say thanks for all the love and support. Big Hearts and talk to you next week.

Elder Ochs

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Hey it sounds like everyone is doing fine up there in the States. Don´t worry I am still loving it here in Nicaragua. It also sounds like you guys are pretty busy with the wedding of Hillary and Justin. That was a really awesome wedding invitation that they sent out. The Gatorade and Kool Aid idea is hilarious and it fits them perfectly, haha. Best of wishes to them and I hope that it all works out great. Mom it sounds like you have a lot on your hands. Do you get the wedding stuff done while you are taking care of Rose? Tell Dan to just wait till I get back, haha. Hey Dad I got plenty of Mentos here but I will let you know when I need more.

Hey for my Valentines package, if you can put some more of those Propel packets that would be great. Chocolate is fine to send here. Maybe if in the future you could send me my Dakine backpack. The one I brought has finally retired and The Nansport I bought here isn't doing that great a job. It is a Nicaraguan Jansport ripoff, haha. For now I found a cool white Burton backpack for 6 dollars and 50 cents but I plan on giving it away. So if you could send me my Dakine backpack that would be great.

So we find out changes some time today and if we hear while we are writing I will let you know. I heard a rumor that I will be staying for another change though, which would make 7 1/2 months here in Sandino, which I have no problem with. I still got work to get done here. But ya it is really awesome being here with Elder Kunz again. We still get along just as great as ever. He is comps with Elder Montierth. Elder Young went to the Office to more than likely be the next AP for the upcoming change. We will see how he does because he was a pretty goofy guy while with me. He likes mayonnaise a lot, haha. I will also have about 9 months with Elder Montierth if I stay another change. We have been making a lot of plans for when we get back because his house is just in Arizona. There is a good possibility that you guys will see him at the airport when I get back and he may even meet Rachel on one of the connecting flights because they go home at the same time, haha.

So this week in the missionary work was pretty awesome again. Starting it off we went to the market here and did some preaching like Dan Jones in Wales. We got a lot of references and it was pretty fun. We got permission from the Head Market Man to do it too. We have a Less Active we are taking out to work with us because we are getting him ready to serve a mission. He is pretty chubby but cool. There also a lot of other people that go out with us too. This weekend we also baptized the Family Pinirr from the Coast Puerta Cabeza. It was pretty crazy getting them there and getting everything done at the last minute but they got baptized and confirmed. The next morning, Sunday, we got up early to baptize Manual Cruz and then this weekend his wife Albalina and his daughter PiƱeta. This was with the help of our good friend Socio or Hermano Falabela. Every time he saves us a baptism we owe him a Coca Cola. So he is living the good life now because he also saved 2 families for another companionship in my district. So we ended the weekend with 5 people and 3 families. It was pretty awesome. Our Zone is really putting the pilas now. We got a goal of 40 for this month and we are already half way there, whoo hoo! I am really glad that God has blessed us so much.

So sorry I can´t send any pictures today because the computer is being weird but next week I will.

Thank you guys so much for the love and support you all always have for us. Thank you a bunch and Big Hearts

Elder Ochs

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Hey it is awesome to hear how everyone is doing back at home. I am really excited to hear where Israel gets his call to and when Chad will see where he is going. Ya Mom tell Israel to send us an email as soon as he finds out. Us and the neighbors have made peace I think on New Years night. We were up with them and combine our bombs with their fireworks and we had a really fun time. It was actually really crazy. We did a kind of traditional thing here in Nicaragua where you build an oldman out of old clothes, newspaper, and stuff it with fireworks. The oldman holds a bottle and has a cigarette which represents the the old year that passed and starting anew. The funny thing is that they do all of that stuff the night of and the morning beginning the new year. We also bought a 2 liter of Coca Cola and set off a Coca Cola Geyser. It worked really well and it was also very awesome. We got it all on video but it is too big to just send it in email so I will see what we can do about sending you a copy.

Rachel, that is awesome to hear that you decided on going home on the 8th of August. So you will be home before my birthday. That is crazy.

So we need to work with the cousins of Jonas a little bit more but now we are now teaching his brother named Jack who is way pilas. He has already come to play soccer with us and church this last Sunday. He is coming to play soccer again with us today. He actually is helping us bring people to church and activities also. I told him that I still need to go visit his cousin to bring him to church and he just tells me "don´t worry about it I will bring them" and he does. He is the one from Corn Islands.

This last Saturday we baptized the abuelita Rosa Gema. Her husband even came and to her Confirmation, who never talks to us and if he does it is only like two words. He now has a lot of friends in the church and he is on his way to being a member. Oh and I almost forgot, Denis, got to baptize his grandma, and he was only baptized like 1 month ago. It was really awesome.

There was also emergency changes last night and now Elder Kunz, my comp from the MTC, is now living in the same house as me as our new Zone Leader. It is going to be pretty interesting. Again the house is full of greengos.

Well that is about it for this week and I just want to say that I love you lots and Big Hearts.

Elder Ochs