Mathew 5:41

And whosoever shall compel thee
to go a mile, go with him twain.
Matthew 5:41

Monday, December 26, 2016

December 26th


Hey guys,
Christmas was awesome down here in Nicaragua. Here, on the 24th everyone celebrates.  They shoot fireworks, and have parties, and eat a ton of food, it's super awesome.  Mendez and I ate a ton and we chilled with our recent converts. I'm so thankful for you guys. Thanks for always messaging me. The packages were awesome, I loved the pants and the blow up santa. They were perfect, and I liked the peanut butter and the cliff bar.  The real miracles were Sunday. We passed by everybody, to see if they were coming to church, but everyone was drunk, or asleep, or went to the beach. Even our most awesome investigators went to the beach. BUT, orlando went with us.  He is a super awesome young man who is going to get baptized.  Ernest, the dad of a super giant family went as well. He went to church alone without any help and he says that he loves it and that he's going to keep going. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to see people like him realize that the way he lives does not bring happiness.  I love to see them change and love the gospel. 

I asked him what he did today and this weekend, this was his response.

Well, we hung out with the zone today. We played soccer and stuff, then we ate at a cool chicken place.  Mendez and I bought some nerf guns, so I'm going to take a lil money out for that sorry, they were cheap (his perspective about money has changed a lot since serving in Nicaragua).  The Christmas party was awesome, I forgot to tell you. We went to the stake Christmas party, and Elder Mendez and I sang a cool funny song together.  He's helping me sing better.
Keep being awesome guys, I'll see you next week.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

December 12th and 20th

Mission Christmas Party with President Sergio A. Poncio Alvarez and Sister Poncio Alvarez
Elder Mendez and Elder Scaggs

Hey guys this week was a little hard but we learned a lot from it. In the month of December we worked really really hard to get Magda and her family baptized, but we stopped working so hard afterwords, so we haven't had much success,  and we have not seen very many spiritual experiences either. BUT, we learned that we as people, we gotta work constantly to have the spirit with us, and work constantly bringing people to Christ. If we don't it's always going to be a up and down battle. We need to learn to be more constant so we can have the spirit with us more often. This month we are having a ton of activities with the ward and with the mission for christmas time its really awesome.
So, in this month of December we have a ton of crazy parties that are going on. My companion plays guitar, so he likes to participate a lot. I'm in barrio acome.   Next monday we are going to managua again for the mission Christmas party!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey a question, do you guys still have the guitars, because I really want to learn to play the guitar when I get back!!! love you guys

Monday, December 5, 2016

December 5th

Hey guys,
The time has finally come, I have 6 weeks left. It's pretty weird, but I feel good about it.  Mendez and I have another change together and it's going to be my last change. We have many plans to consecrate ourselves by being exactly obedient and working very very very hard to give a super awesome gift to our Savior this Christmas, we don't have much to say from this week, but we had an awesome experience with our convert Hermana Magda. Magda is a very awesome person, but she gets really nervous when meeting to new people. She tends to seal up until she gains confidence, but this Sunday she did something so spectacular. In sacrament meeting she got up to bare her testimony, and it wasn't just a regular testimony, she gave it her all. She bore her heart guys, it was awesome and it felt so great to have been an instrument in the Lord's hands to help her get to that point. Magda and her family have made enormous changes, and will continue making changes. I'm so gratefull for this time I have to serve my Savior.
I'll see you guys next week
Elder Williams and Elder Scaggs
They were companions months ago and are now working in the same general area.



Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28th Chinandega


Hey guys,
More miracles this week!!!!! Emanuel got baptized. The zone baptized 30 people, but it was accomplished with a whole ton of miracles, we can't lie.  After a ton of work, prayer, fasting, teaching, and sacrifice, both districts managed to fight and fight and fight until the last minute, everyone fought. Yet again, I learned a very valuable lesson this week.   If we are obedient, and we work hard, God will always bless us with what we earned, even if at the moment it doesn't look that way, in the end it is.  Sorry I don't have much else to say my friends.  Keep being awesome and keeping working hard.

As there was a Hurricane in Nicaragua last week, and a 7.0 magnitude earthquake offshore at the same time.  I asked him how they handled all that and this is his response.  

Everything is going well down here.  We felt the earthquake, but it wasn't too bad.  The hurricane was on the other side of the coast. This week was pretty normal.  I'm normal, and I am actually getting a little fat because we eat so much here, but it's all good.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

November 21st Chinandega Elder Mendez


More miracles guys,

Alright, so Mendez and I started the week with a ton of people ready to be baptized.  Even though they are ready and nothing is holding them back, it is always a challenge. One family is  so awesome.  It was tough to get them to decide to get baptized and we want to be sure they never turn back. When I say never turn back, I mean never turn back.  When Hermana Magda and Marlen finally made the decision to get baptized they were sure, but almost all of their friends rejected them.  These women are friends with everyone in the city. In fact we were with them when their buddies passed by. Magda said she was going to get baptized and invited them, but all their faces turned to frowns and they started making fun of the church.  Magda held strong and defended everything and so did Marlen.  In the end they all left, but Magda was still a little worried. The next day we found out her friends were saying unkind things on Facebook and Whatsapp. They almost all rejected her. BUT, this did not bring her down, she told us that nothing is going to stop her and she is going to keep strong, Marlen also defended herself against many of her friends who rejected her. These people, are easily some of the best converts I have ever had.  I'm so proud of them and I'm so glad that they took the leap. The other family pulled off a miracle with the help of members. They left work to help out the sister because she wasn't going to get baptized. They left and went to support her during the baptism at the last minute. Seriously guys incredible stuff her in La Roberto. I am so thankful for all the miracles that the Lord gives us, but to get these miracles we gotta work as a team, because satan's got a team too, and he always throws a wrench in things.  God is way more cool, so he wins every time.
Love you guys!!!!!!

November 14th

Hey guys,
Everything is rolling smooth down here in La Roberto. Elder Mendez and I are living off miracles, because here if you don't have miracles nothing happens. We have an awesome family that's getting ready for baptism this week. We love them a ton and it has not been easy getting them ready. On various occasions we have said to ourselves, "these guys aren't interested, we are not coming back."  With a lot of patience and the help of all the members, the doubts and conflicts from before no longer exist.  They are actually strengths for them. The mom of the family leads the pack, she invites everyone to go to church and always tells us "we are going to make them Mormon."  The highlight of the week was when Magda came back from Costa Rica. We thought that she was going to come back without any desire to go to church. She told us that she visited another church in Costa Rica. When she told us that, we thought everything was lost, BUT then she said, "it was beautiful and everything but not a single other religion has filled me like this (lds). When she said that everyone got quiet and she started to cry, her sister as well. It has been an incredible journey with them. Elder Mendez and I have finally found our family in La Roberto.

November 7th Chinandega Oste


Alright guys,
This week, we have seen so many miracles, but I gotta tell you about one. We have had an investigator named Nubia for months. When I came to Acome we found her, and we have been working with her ever since. It has been hard, because she is the only person in her family investigating the church and the rest of her family is not so pleased with that. She has gone to church millions of times and was going to get baptized this week, but on Saturday she sent a message saying that she was going to wait another month. We felt horrible, so we went to her house to see what was going on. She told us that she was nervous and didn't feel ready. We explained that she had received everything and that she was ready. We shared scriptures, bared testimonies, and everything. She told us that pow she was going to do it, and when she went to get ready her dad and brother followed her. They came back, and the dad and brother explained to us that she was not ready. Nubia stayed quiet. We  explained and explained and helped and helped and nubia said she was ready and wanted to but her brother and her dad kept saying that she wasn't. Our district leader passed by to help her out and in the end she said she would do it the next day before church in the morning. Elder Mendez and I were super disanimated because we had given it all working in the week and helping out Nubia.  We were sure she would not get baptized. The next day we got to church and found that Nubia had come to church early to get baptized. This is something she had never done before. In the past we had to get to her house early to wake her up, and help her with her kids so they could go to church, and in the end she came early without our help!!!!. She was really nervous, so I gave her a blessing.  The truth is, I have a hard time giving blessings.   I never could do it good.  But this time I felt I could, I knew what I needed to say, and in the blessing I felt more words that I needed to hear!!!!!!! She got baptized, after 4 months of work, after 5 different missionaries, after almost all the members knew her. That same day, we managed to bring almost all our investigators to the baptism and they felt the spirit. Mendez and I have been working hard and we have been disanimated because we haven't been able to see the fruits of our labor but......God never fails with his promises.  If we are obedient and work hard we will see the fruits now or later.  I know because I have felt it and seen it.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

October 31st Chinandega

Hey guys everything is going fantastic here in Chinandega. This week I learned that if you work hard and you're obedient the Lord will bless you, no matter what, no matter how bad things look, it always works out in the end. Ever since Elder Mendez came here we have been working super super hard trying to boost up the ward and get people in church and baptized. It's ben tough though. Some days we haven't been able to find anybody, and we are in Nicaragua where everyone listens. Those days were super tough, and it was super tough to keep working when no one accepted, but we did it, and we are FINALLY FINALLY SEEING THE RESULTS. This week we have an awesome family, Karla and her kids. A family in the ward brought them to us after they had been reading the Book of Mormon with them for weeks. They are so awesome, but they work a lot which makes it hard, but they are committed!!! For the month we have a lot of families that have gone to church several times and have gone to several baptisms. The ward has helped us out a ton. Almost every time we pass by the people, we bring 4 or 5 hermanas to help us out. Magda and her daughter will get baptized in two weeks. Magda and her family are awesome. Every time we visit them they give us banana soda with bread or some kind of snack. We also have a super awesome teenager named Miguel Angel. He is cool, has gone to church, and he understands everything we teach . The only problem is that his friends influence him a lot, but no worries, we will bring the young men to hang out with him.  In the end, remember guys, even though everything may be going down hill, if you kill it working hard everything will always work out!!!!!!!!

October 24th Chinandega

Hey everybody,

We had another week full of miracles. The truth is, to see the miracles you gotta look.   You can't just expect them to come and wait and wait and wait. You gotta search under every rock and look in every crevice. This week, we had a great miracle with Hermana Magda and her sister. They have gone to church a bunch of times and they are reading what we give them, but they are full of doubts. When it comes to the worldy things, everything is a sign to them, but when it comes to spiritual stuff it's difficult. BUT, we made a break through people!!!!! This week we sat Magda down and we talked straight up without jokes about The Book of Mormon. She understood,  still had doubts, but it helped us a lot not to have her sister to make jokes and distract the lesson. Then, on Saturday we took them both to a baptism.  Both Elder Mendez and I were praying so that they would feel the spirt. At the end of everything they were both crying because they felt the spirit so strongly. They said that they wanted their whole family to have this experince. We helped them understand that they had to take the step of baptism for their childeren to follow and they understood.  Now they have plans and goals to get baptized. This is something that we have never ever had before with them!!! 
Love you guys............. look for the miracles

October 17th Chinandega

Whats up guys!!!!!! 

To be honest I've been pretty dang trunky lately  Thanks to the advice from a ton of people, the only way to get rid of the trunkiness is to get rid of it by working hard. This week we did that, Elder Mendez and I are working hard trying to get excellent numbers which allows us to get the most out of the area and find all the people here who are ready to get baptized.
On Wednesday, we had the awesome opportunity to do divisions with the other Elders of Acome, Elder Bassett and Amador. It was awesome and we had a ton of success that day. We found a ton of families and taught some super awesome lessons. One of the families we have is Karla and her 2 sons. Ever since we invited them to pray about the Book of Mormon and Jospeh Smith they have been super set and super firm.  A lot of people say they pray and don't.  When people go to church without us having to pass by them or help them until they go, and when they read extra and respond super awesome, man it just feels great. Karla is getting baptized in November!!!! This will be the first family in Acome!!!!

October 10th Chinandega Oste

Well my friends this week was a toughie, 
On Tuesday, I got a pretty bad case of gastritis. This caused my stomach to inflate immensely and I spent the rest of the week walking around like a frog. I couldn't eat or drink anything and I was super weak. I was super sick and managed to work thanks to the help of my companion Elder Mendez!!! The truth is I was just trying to survive this week, and in the end, for working hard, the Lord helped us be in the top 15 of the mission!!!!!!!! BUT, we worked no worries. I didn't work hard, but I worked. Elder Mendez helped me out a ton.


On Friday, everything cleared up for the baptism of Ceasar the monkey!!!: Just kidding guys, but our young dude that got baptized is named Ceasar and he's a pretty interesting guy. He's very animated and he learns fast. He invites all his friends to family home evening and mutual. The truth is it was a super easy process. At the end of the week, half our zone managed to get on the list of the 15 hardest workers in the mission. I'd like to give a nice big shout out to Elder Ward and Elder Fordham, Vega, Gustafson, Hermanas Baquedano and Swanson. Elder Mendez and I made it on there as well. It feels great to be doing our job well but we need to do it a whole lot better, and the Lord will help us out love you guys!!!

October 3rd Chinandega

Well guys,
Another week has come to an end. This week we managed to climb even more as a zone, everyone seems to be more energized and excited. Elder Fordham and Ward had the great opportunity to baptize and the guy was super awesome.
Hermana Swanson and Baquedano also baptized, like always, they are an awesome companionship. Elder Vazquez and Cedeño always kill it during the week. But the zone is doing awesome, and Elder Mendez and as well.  Before this change, I was pretty disanimated and I didn't really believe that we could have success here, but we managed to find some awesome people and families. They're doing really well. One of them is named Maragarita. Her husband is a member and they have wanted to get married forever but haven't been able to make it happen.  BUT......... this week she had a lot of doubts about prophets and Joseph Smith and we invited her to really read the Book of Mormon and really pray about it with all her heart, AND guess what guys, SHE DID IT  and she received her answer. When we asked her about it she told us with sureness that she knew it was true. So guys......... I invite you all to do it, if you have not done it yet, do it now its super easy. If you have done it, why not do it again to solidify your testimonies. I love you all so much keep doing great and keep being happy guys.

This next part is from the letter he sends to our family.  We make sure he can help others in a small way, when the need arrises, and it did this week.
Hey guys thank you for all writing it makes me feel super happy, sorry about the funds, a family needed some help thank you for keeping me supported.  AS A ZONE WE DID awesome this week. The whole zone went to the stake center and we watched conference with the rest of the stake. It was really fun and a good bonding experience. I love you guys a ton!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

September 26th Chinandega

Well,

My good old friends, another week has passed, and the zone is rocking it.  As a zone, we have seen some major changes.   I'd like to give a shout out to Hermana Gailbrath (gaby) Rivas Coelllo, Elwoood , Baquedano, Swanson, and the Elders Vazques, Sevillla, Cedeño, Ward, Fordham, Carico, Bassett, Mendez, Vega, and Gustafson. We are united and working super hard, every one of us.  Right now, when everything turns out, we are going to destroy the month of October. I'm feeling good.  I'm feeling pumped, and it's all thanks to working hard.  If we don't work, we won't have the spirit, and if we don't have the spirit we won't be able to throw fire so well. BUT WE ARE DOING IT GUYS WAHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In the stake leaders meeting, the whole zone showed up, we were animated and pumped.  We strutted our stuff, presented our plan, and teamed up with the stake, to rock the work this month!!!!
In a letter just to me, this is what he said about the stake leaders meeting........ I was nervous but the spirit helped me to say just what I felt impressed to say.

Monday, October 31, 2016

September 19th Chinandega Elder Mendez


This week was pretty good, so I'm sure all of us have had our times where we get used to doing the same things over and over again and over time we just get kind of lazy.  Then there comes a moment where we do a bunch of exercises, it kills our lungs, body, and everything. I know we have all experienced that before, that's basically what happened this week, but I'm talking about missionary work. NOW HOLD ON, I haven't been super lazy but I will admit I have lost the love for working and when my new companion Elder Mendez came I was struggling to keep up. Elder Mendez is a fire spitting animal and he's helping me get back to working super hard. The best part of the week was when we did a competition as a mission to see how many fechas and baptisimal invites we could do in one day.  Our zone got second place with 47 fechas put in one day!!!!!! Elder Mendez and I invited 100 people to get baptized.  It may seem easy, but on average we ask around 15 people to get baptized daily, so it was a big jump. THIS WEEK WE ALSO had a competition between districts. At the end of the week, the district with the most fechas had to invite the other district to Chinese foood. Our district lost, but we managed to see a ton of the missionaries get super animated and start working super hard. This is something i havent seen in them for a very long time. I am very thankful for Elder Mendez, as he is helping me a lot, and helping our zone a lot. I know that this week we are going to work extra hard and we're are going to do even better, we were only warming up this week don't worry guys!!!!

Questions for the week:
How are your converts and investigators doing?
Think of things you would show us or share with us if we were there.

How has your testimony grown, or where have you seen the Lord's hand in the things you are trying to accomplish.

The investigators are doing great and the recent converts as well. It's awesome here, if you bring members to the lessons, the people get baptized much faster, and they go to church by themselves before and after the baptism, it's pretty awesome!!! If you guys were here I would take you to the familia Mungia and hang out with them.  Then I would take YOU GUYS TO EAT PUPUSAS!!!!!   This week I have seen the Lords hand with my companion, before Elder Mendez came I was super disanimated and super tired, but Elder Mendez came FULL OF ENERGYand ready to work.  We worked super hard this week and kicked but as a companionship and as a zone.  I am so thankful for Elder Mendez.  He is definitely a blessing from God!!!

September 12th Chinandega


Hey guys, This week went  very well, we managed to have a miracle. One of the people we have been teaching got baptized but!!! you gotta hear the story. So, two weeks ago she set the goal to get baptized, but days later her little son died tragically. We lost her for an entire week. We looked and looked but could not find her. It was a very difficult time for all of us.  On Wednesday of this week, we finally found her. We could tell she was not doing well. We talked with her for a while, and tried to help her. She told us that more than anything she was confused and didn't not know what was going to happen to her son. We explained that her son would go to the spirit world to rest and learn about the gospel so that he could accept the help of the savior. She understood, but we felt that it was not enough. We felt the need to teach her about the Holy Ghost, and about how it is a comforter and a source of support that is constant. This time she understood and we could see that the spirit touched her heart. We asked if she wanted to follow through with her goal in order to receive the Holy Ghost, and without doubt she said yes!!!! It was an awesome experience and truly was a miracle.  I love sharing the gospel!

September 5th Chinandega

Hey guys,

This week was very difficult. On Sunday I was not able to partake of the scarament, so that kinda brought the whole week down spiritually. Throughout the week I haven't really been able to study. which also brought things down. Basically, the entire week was just low on the spirit. We worked, but no one really wanted to receive us. On Saturday, we did a fast to end the month, and Sunday morning I was dieing guys, just a whole bunch of things not going right. BUT,  I learned a valuable lesson, if we don't partake of the sacrament the portion of the spirit that we are given is greatly diminished. When I finally partook of the scarment this Sunday it wasn't something great and marvelous, but I found the motive to keep working, I found the energy and the hope that I had been lacking the entire week. I also learned the importance of scripture study. For  me, when things don't go right, I get disanimated and frustrated, and as I read the scriptures, the spirit guides me so that I can resolve my problems and have peace in my life. I basically didn't study this week. and a whole bunch of trials went by so everything just kinda flopped guys. BUT WE ARE THINKING POSTIVE THIS WEEK WE ARE GOING TO BE AWESOME LIKE WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE BEFORE, NO EXCUSES ONLY SUCCESS, WE HAVE LEARNED A HARD LESSON AND WE ARE GOING TO PUT INTO TO PRACTICE WAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE YOU GUYS
ELDER SCAGGS THINKS HIS SMILE IS BETTER WITH HIS TONGUE OUT :)

Monday, October 24, 2016

August 29th Chinandega Oste Elder Cedeno

Hey everybody,
I haven't written in a while, my bad. It was a computer problem but no worries. This week went pretty well, but pretty stressful. Throughout the week we had the semana misional, which is a bunch of activities to bring more people to church. It was really fun and we managed to find a whole bunch of people, so that was a great blessing. On Tuesday, we had a talent show.  Elder Cedeño and I, the Hermanas Atifale and Muños, sang Hakuna Matata  super goofy and crazy. Elder Cedeño and I can't sing at all, so we kind of just joked around singing.  The hermanas sing amazingly, so it was a cool combo.   Everyone loved it, everyone laughed, and it felt really nice to have the activity with the ward. On  Saturday, we had a baptism.  Three were going to get baptized, but one of them decided not to go through with it. It was her decision and everything but it stunk to hear that she didn't want to get baptized. Afterwords, I felt super stressed and disanimated. The whole day was just filled with dumb stuff that disanimted me and my companion, but Elder Cedeño did something super awesome that taught me so much. Instead of complaining he just smiled. I know he was way more stressed than me and all he did was smile and focus on the other people, messing with them making them laugh. That night there was a birthday and we helped out with the party. We did everything we could to forget about the disnimo and focus on the other people. I have never learned to do this and I am super grateful because Elder Cedeño taught me how to do it and taught me that when we focus on other people our problems disappear and we are much much more happy. 

August 22nd Chinandega Oste Elder Cedeno

Questions:
What problem did you overcome, and how?
What miracle happened his week or what worked that you didn't think would work?
Who touched your spirit in a positive way, who did you see that you haven't seen in a while?

This week I was feeling pretty disanimated and thinking about home a lot. To counteract it I set goals to work more. For example,  I do my best to give away at least 2 Book of Mormons each day and invite 5 people to get baptized. There are a few other goals, but it helps me focus and enjoy the mission, instead of thinking about home all the time. This week the goals were a miracle for me. It helped me a ton  by getting rid of my stress, and it helped me have fun and feel accomplished. We also had a miracle on Sunday. One of our investigators came to church and he loved it. That was something that I haven't seen in a while in fact.  Roger came to church because he felt as though he needed more blessings and work in his life. He told us that he recognized that he was not doing the things that the Lord wanted him to do, and that he was committed to making a change.

HEY EVERYBODY!
The week went really well. We were able to see a ton of miracles during the week. In our area we managed to see Hermano Roger go to church after a whole bunch of time not knowing what he should do. The zone is doing good but we need to do a little better, work a little harder, we will work on it. We also began working with the mom of one of our recent converts. Her name is Ester and she is cool.  She's got a  few things to work out here and there.

I got to go though, but next week I'll write a bigger letter.

August 15th Chinandega Oste

I look forward to this day throughout the week. Not much has changed since becoming a zone leader, just a lot more things like papers we gotta send. We work a lot with the stake leaders and bishops. We also make sure that our missionaries don't do anything bad. My favorite part about being a zone leader is that my companion and I are examples, which means we both want to be obedient to the rules and we almost never fight about it. Earlier in my mission, sometimes I would get in arguments with my companions because they wanted to do the stupidest stuff and didn't want to work. Everyone helps me in this position.  I've learned that being a zone leader doesn't mean that you're the baddest of the bad.  It just means that you've been called to manage a zone, and be an example, which means work hard and stay clean. I really gotta hand it to our missionaries, they work hard and they baptize. We rarely have to call them to see what problems they are having. More than anything, the missionaries are those who make the zone successful! Well, this week I learned how to be solid with my decisions. As zone leader, you gotta be tough with the missionaries. No means no. If it's against the rules we can't do it. We have had to call a few people out smoothly.  

Alright guys I don't have much time to write, but this week I gotta give a shout out to the zone, they killed it. Everyone is working their buts off and baptizing good and steady. Elder Cedeño and I are good.  I know we need to work a lot harder, but we have plans to kill it this week. The Lord has blessed us a ton and we are seeing the effects of fasting every week. Every day this week we have found someone, they stop us on the street wanting to go to church and wanting us to pass by their house. It's clear that not everyone is like this, but the Lord is blessing us with a ton of people.

Love you guys!!!!

Zone Leader Chindega Oste August 8th

Easton and his previous companion, Elder Thackeray
This is in response to our family letter to Easton.  I asked him these questions.
Have you seen any of the people you knew when you were last in Chinandega?
Do you have bucket showers again?
You were in this area a long time, and you are a different person now, how?
Share some little ways the Lord has helped you with your missionary work.

When I got the call to be Zone Leader I was super nervous and I have been super nervous this entire week. In the end it all worked out really well. Mom, I cannot thank you enough, you're like the blood of the family. You keep us alive and keep us moving and keep everybody happy, thank you so much for writing me every week of the mission. You are one of the few who have managed to do it!!!! Dude, I actually found someone from my old area, his name is Roger. I'll explain a little of this in the big letter. We do not have a bucket shower here, thank goodness, but the heat of Chinandega is unbearable sometimes. I am so grateful for the time I had in Condega.  I learned so  much there. I learned how to teach finally.  18 months in and I finally learned to teach well last change. I learned how to spot the people who value what we have to share. I learned to how to work hard and work smart. At the end of everything, I finally felt as though I understood missionary work, like I was doing my part, and that God was happy with my work. I felt happy and excited to work. My companion and I always sought the highest goals in the mission, and at the end of it all we made it to the 15 best in the mission. I am incredibly thankful to be with my current companion.



Alright guys, I don't know if you have ever seen Knights Tail, but when William comes back to England and they play " The Boys are Back in Town", that's what it felt like coming back to Chindandega. I know all the cool places to eat. I have a ton of memories from before and I'm back with my old buddy Elder Cedeño from my first change. At first, I was super nervous. Being Zone leader is a big responsibility. The whole week was pretty different and a lil tough, but it was also super awesome. I have seen a ton of miracles with Elder Cedeño. In the beginning of the week we had zero people with baptismal dates. In the first day of work we found an old buddy from my first area. His name is Roger and he is the son in law of my old lunch Cita. He has been to church before, but he says he will prepare to get baptized. Their kid was a little baby when I came, now he is walking and talking. Roger's sister also wants to get baptized, it's so awesome.The rest of the week I spent going to Managua, coming back, and going to Managua again. A whole lot of getting up early. It's all going great though. Our barrio (ward) is super strong and gives us lunch and dinner everyday. The best part is working with Elder Cedeño. This kid is the bomb. He works super hard and teaches super well. It feels so nice to have him as a companion because there is no need to fight or argue. We both do what we need to do and we have no problems. He has taught me a lot and has made the transition super easy. This Sunday we presented a few things to all the leaders of the Chindedgea West Stake. I was super nervous, but Cedeño was super dope and helped me navigate my way through it. This month we're going to throw fire together.  It's going to be sick!!!!

Monday, August 8, 2016

August 1st, 2016 Zone Leader

Questions:
How did your testimony grow this week even though you had trials?
How was the conference in Managua?  
What is different this time because of the spiritual growth you've made? 
Who did you see that you haven't seen in a while?

Tell us funny things that you would tell us in person if we were there?

Thank you so much for writing me guys I really appreciate it. This week went really really well. We went to Managua on Tuesday for the new missionary meeting. It went well, Elder Thackeray, "my son", showed off his Spanish by answering questions and teaching. We got to hang out with all the awesome elders who were heading home this change, like Elder Knight, Jennings, and Sirian. We headed home, but got back super late, which kinda messed with the whole week. After the meeting, the week just kinda went down hill because we got a little sick.  That sucked the excitement out of us.
Hermano Cristobal's Baptism
But at the end of the week we  had the baptism of Hermano Cristobal!!! That kid is awesome. Ever since the beginning he has been going to church with us without us having to pass by a million times. He's about 16, but he wants to serve a mission and I know he will be able to. I can't wait to see the pics later. My testimony grew this week, not a lot, but it grew.  I realized that even though there are times when we have crappy weeks we can always do better the next  week. This week  I saw Elder Cedeño for the first time in a couple months, and it's because I'm in Chinandega west as Zone Leader with him!!!! I'm so pumped and super nervous, but like you said Dad I just gotta enjoy the time and help other people make things happen. Elder Cedeño and I go home together and we are going to throw fire together as well!!! Hayden congrats on the license, And Alex you gotta send me pics of scout camp and Legacy dude its going to be sick!!!!


This is from his letter to friends, family, and Elders.
Hey everybody this week was super super super dope, but at the same time it was super super difficult. Monday was awesome, we had a little lunch with the elders of the zone then we kinda just chilled. On Tuesday we went to Managua and that ride was a toughie (Easton gets car sick). It was so worth it but it was tough. We had an awesome meeting with President Poncio and learned a lot, but after Tuesday we were just tired, a little sick, and kinda disanimated. We did everything we could to work hard, the truth was I was not to excited to do it, but we did it!!!!! At the end of everything we killed it, we had a killer attendance, and we had a ton of investigators come to church. The hardest part was leaving the area. The converts were sad, but one family almost broke me. It was Hermano Freddy and Virginia. I was going good but when Hermano Freddy and Virginia cried, I almost lost it. With them, we worked super hard to get them to take the step of baptism and they are true converts. Freddy is so dope, I can picture him as a leader some day!!!!I went to Chindandega again with Elder cedeño, as zone leader, but leaving was tough.  Cedeño and I are going to kill it here in Chindandega!!!!.

http://sandmbell.blogspot.com/

This is also from the July 31st blog post for Elder Scott and Sister Michelle Bell.  I find their insight most helpful.  They often include details our Elders and Hermanas don't have in their emails.  This mission is blessed to have them serving in Nicaragua.

"There was a huge change this week-end as we have 28 missionaries going home and 27 new missionaries coming. We will miss many of these missionaries who have been leaders in the mission. But we are excited to see many of the missionaries we have been working closely with receive other assignments. Elder Scaggs from Condega is headed for Chin Oeste as a new zone leader. His personal touch will be missed in Condega but his enthusiasm is needed in Chin Oeste."

July 25th Condega Thackeray Companion


Questions:
Weather: How do you handle the rainy season? (shoes, boots, jacket, umbrella)  What do the streets look like when it floods?  Or is it the hot season right now?

Converts: What do you do when you teach them?  Do you start with your Go To scripture, or do you have a prayer first?  Of your coverts, who warms your heart, and who gives you yummy food?  

Couple: I think there is a new missionary couple in Esteli, do they work with you? 

We are in the rainy season down here. Here in Esteli it does not rain too much as compared to Chinandega and Leon, where it flooded every week. When it floods, the edges of the street fill first then expand outward until it's like a big river. When it rains hard it floods guaranteed, but here it just sprinkles. In fact this last week we were doing divisions and my companion Elder Thackeray got soaked in a flash torential rain flood.  All his shoes got wet, but it's all good now. With converts we try to keep it short so we can find more people but we pass by and read a scripture then ask for references. We play a game where everyone has to touch a part of the body and the one who touches the part last has to do the prayer, everyone likes that. There are a few converts like Hermana Virginia and Nubia, they are always very loving, always go to church, and always help us out when we need them to pass by members or give talks. Whenever we pass by, food is guaranteed!!! There is a missionary couple in Esteli, but I have not met them yet. We work with the Bells a lot. I GOT YOUR PACKAGE!!!!!! THANKS GUYS In fact, when we got it we were fasting and the next day we dug into those chocolates!!! They were so good, oh my gosh, thank you so much. 



The week went pretty well, Jade was baptized.  The photo is of her and her family.  

This next part is taken from a Blog post by Elder and Sister Bell regarding Jade's Baptism.

Sunday, July 24, 2016
Happy Pioneer Day…. We started with a baptism in Condega. A young 11-year-old girl was baptized in the River. We started with singing “I am a Child of God”. The members that were there did not know this song, so Sister Bell and I sang it for them. Then Elder Scaggs had us sing together all the verses. They seemed to pick up the song very well. Then Elder Thackeray found a deep spot without any rocks and performed the baptism.  She was confirmed that afternoon in Sacrament Meeting by Elder Scaggs. 



After the baptism, we picked up the chairs at the store where the Elders rent them and helped set up the sewing factory for church. While the Elders went to their lunch appointment, 

Sunday, July 31, 2016
This was a long and fulfilling day. We left Esteli about 8:30, headed for Church in Somoto. We made a quick stop in Condega to give Jade, a young 11-year-old girl, a picture of her baptism that we had taken the week before and framed. She was very excited and showed the Elders later in the day the picture. They said she was very excited to have it.

This next part is from their July 23rd post.  Their blog is such a blessing. 
We then went to Condega for the Friendshipping Meeting. Elder Scaggs taught a lesson about the Sacrament and then played a game. He comes up with the most entertaining games. This game had two people standing facing each other, with the arms stretched up, touching each other, forming a church. Then one person stands underneath them, being a member inside the church. There was one person that was out. This person yelled Iglesia, Santa Cena or Apostacia. If they said Iglesia, then the persons who were the churches had to move and create new churches. The person that was out tried to become a church, therefore leaving another person out. If the person yelled Santa Cena, then the people in the middle had to move, with the person who was out, trying to find a free spot inside a church, leaving another person out. If the person yelled Apostacia, then everyone had to move. It was a lot of fun. Where does he come up with these games…. He is amazing.

We visited the home of the grandmother of some of the new members. She has been investigating the church for a couple of months but has had a difficult time stop drinking coffee. She had not been feeling well, so we gave her a blessing. Elder Thackeray anointed her in English and Elder Scaggs sealed the anointing in Spanish and gave her a wonderful blessing.

This next part is from the letter he sends to friends at home and Elders he's met on his mission. I enjoy working with Elder Thakeray because he has high goals and is ready to work hard no matter what.  We are not going to be able to get the 13 baptisms this month, but we are loading up the next month. This week we have been working a lot with a few very awesome people.  We have Hermano Asdrubal, he needs to get married, but has been reading the Book of Mormon a ton, even more than some of our members. He understands it all and is ready to get baptized but he's just gotta get married. He even helps us bring his family to church on Sundays. It's really awesome to see how people who are very positive and full of doubts read the Book of Mormon. Little by little it has the power to change people.  We have another couple who are preparing themselves to get married and baptized. They are Darwin and Magali. They are very young,  they went to church already, and they love the lessons. We just need to get them a Book of Mormon to get them studying. They have a little baby who is so funny he laughs and laughs and is always smiling. We also have Darling and Kevin. They have gone to church and they love the hymns. They were singing and everything. Whenever we pass by to teach lessons it's super fun and they learn super fast. Normally at church we sing acapella, so it sounds pretty bad.  I'm leading the music, so we get lost a lot, so we bought a speaker, and now we're bumping hymns in the church. Everyone is able to follow along better. We also have a super dope family  leading the troop here in Condega. They are called the family Ramirez they have been passing through a ton of problems, from losing their job to getting the son- in-law thrown in jail. They have gotten really sad but they always go to church and they help us teach when they can. We will help the other families follow their example!!!!! 
Peace out guys love you



   THANKS FOR STICKING WITH ME THROUGHOUT THIS AND GIVING ME GUIDANCE, IT HAS HELPED MORE THAN YOU THINK!!! LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18th Condega



Questions for this week:
What scripture do you share most often, and why?
Tell us why going on a mission is a good thing.
What do you now know is true that you did not know 18 months ago?

Answers:

Well guys, I share Mosiah chapter 2:41 a lot. It talks a lot about obedience, it's easier to share and you can connect it to a lot of things. The mission is super awesome because it helps burn out all your character flaws and makes you realize what matters in life.  When I came out I had an idea about what life should be like, what was cool, what I wanted to do, but now a lot has changed.  I no longer have the same goals, and all the things that were really important before are not as important now. Now I know why, how, and what we get out of fasting.   I'll explain that in the big letter.  (The big letter is what follows)

Hey guys, another week in Nicaragua. Everything went super well, it was a lot of work like always. More than anything this week, we learned you gotta work hard, but you gotta work smart as well. When we started the change we had a lot of people that lived pretty far out of town and we were working ourselves to death trying to get out there everyday. In the end they just never came to church.
Looking back on it now they weren't really very ready, and to get to them we overlooked a ton of really positive people. This week we have been trying to get all our eggs close together and connect with members to get them to church. The best part is everyone came without us having to walk with them to church. The meeting went smooth and everyone loved it. The people we have lined up to get the Melchizedek priesthood are being super cool and helping us out with the other members. This week we also learned part of why, how, and what we get out of fasting. For this month, we have been fasting every week.  When we started we didn't really know what to expect, but as we studied and did it over and over again, we began to realize and learn from the scriptures that fasting makes miracles happen. More than anything it blesses us with revelation and ideas so we can make our dreams and goals become a reality. It also shows us what God really has in store for us, so we can correct our vision. Thanks to our fasts we have realized who we should keep working with. This has helped us tremendously, saving time, and conserving time for the people in Condega who want to hear our message. I personally, have received a lot of revelation during the fasts while reading and just thinking about the stuff we are having trouble with. I don't get miraculous ideas, they are just ideas that help out a ton!!!! This week was dope guys!!!!! 
Keep having fun





Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11th Condega


Hey guys,
We had a killer week, but it was also really tough.  At the beginning of the month we were loaded with possibilities, but at the beginning of this week they all kind of just dropped off. We were kind of expecting it because they really weren't doing anything to progress or learn more.
Freddy and Edgar
 This week we had the baptism of Edgar and Freddy!!! It was so awesome, all the family from El Valle de Jesus came and all their friends.  We took a truck to the river and everyone enjoyed it. Both Freddy and Edgar are thoroughly converted, and the truth is that we really didn't do much with them, we showed them the stuff they read it and that was about it.
Thackeray and I think that that's how it should be.  If someone wants the gospel they read and they get converted, but if they don't want it they don't read, they don't go to church, and they just don't want to be a part of the 13!!!! That's what we learned this week.  We gotta look for the people who want to learn and want to change, and not hold on to the people who say they want to get baptized, but sit at home doing nothing. This Sunday we had an attendance of 30. They were almost all members!!!!!!!!!  
Carrying the Chairs to Church
At the end of it all Elder Thackeray turned to me and said "well, time to get some new ones, everyone got baptized." So, right now we are going to find some references asking for big families, and teach the gospel!! Working on 13 baptisms this month!!! 

Love you guys

Monday, May 30, 2016

May 30th

VIEW OF CONDEGA
FROM THE TOP OF THE TOWER

In his letter this week, I asked him what he does as Branch President to prepare for church each week.

Well I don't have a ton of time today, sorry guys, but Sundays work a little like this.  We take the chairs to church.  We set it all up in this little house, and then we pass by our investigators.



TRANSPORTING CHAIRS TO CHURCH
We prepare the agenda a day before and sometimes Sunday morning if we forget.  During the week we ask people if they are willing to speak or do prayers, it's pretty cool. We actually got sick this week. We had the flu and my back kinda hurts, so that was a tough, but other than that we are doing good. We bought some food, and I had to go to Estelli.  This week has been a little stressful, but it's all good. I love you a ton!!!  

P-DAY WITH FRIENDS
We hung out here in Condega with our converts today.  We took pictures, went sight seeing, and ate carne asada at their house, it was really fun.  




(It's so nice to have access to the mission blogs in Nicaragua.  The nurse, Sister Bell, posted this in her blog after they went to Condega, and I sent it to Easton.)
The members meet every Saturday Evening for a group social, like a Family Home Evening. It was supposed to start at 5:30, but it didn’t start until after 6pm….. Nicaragua time. The Elders reviewed the Plan of Salvation, making it a game. It was a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed themselves. The Elders have a lot of energy, work well together, love the people and the people love them, especially the youth. 
This was his response when I asked him if he read that part of the letter.  Ya it made me feel happy.  We had a blast with the Bells when they came.  Hermana Bell is just like Grandma. It made me think about you guys a lot.

May 23rd

Hey guys,

DISTRICT HIKING TRIP


Everything is going good down here in Nicaragua. This week was awesome!!!!!! Even though we did not spend a ton of time in the area, we managed to make a difference with the help of the lord!!!! Something that I learned this week is that we gotta learn from the people we are with. I love my companion, but sometimes we fight because of differences of opinion.  
I'm a pretty prideful guy, and always think I'm right, so I have lost a lot of opportunities to learn from him. This week I have done my best to just let things go and be humble, to learn from my companion.  He has taught me to love the people and teach with true intent. This week, we learned together that to have the spirit in a lesson you gotta be listening to the needs of the people and you got go into it with joy. If we teach without happiness, without joy, without being excited, talking with the people and involving them with activities and examples, nobody will want to listen. We have found that as we better our way of teaching, the people commit and follow through more often and more easily. The Lord had blessed us immensely in these past weeks, and we will do our best to receive the blessings of the Lord here in Condega!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Condega May 16th Family Baptism


Hey guys we had a killer week this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The family Benavidez got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was super cool but a ton of work. We had to find a lawyer and get the papers together and on top of all that make sure everyone was ready for the baptism. In the end everything worked out, almost the entire branch showed up to the baptism. We took a bunch of photos.
After words we ate chicken with rice, pretty dope. We are very grateful for this family.  From the beginning, they have had the desire to get married and baptized, and have come a very long way. Hermana Nubia has been reading the Book of Mormon for 3 or 4 weeks, thanks to that, her testimony and desire to change has been solid. She took out her papers, she animated the family,  and thanks to her, we were able to have this miracle.
I know that anyone who reads the Book of Mormon will feel the power of the spirit and will know the truth. You don't have to read a ton. You don't have to understand everything, you just gotta have the desire to know and you're golden!!!

Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25th Condega



Hey guys I don't have much time to write, sorry.  But there are 6 people in the district. The most awesome member is Rosa and the area is really humble and accepting!!!! I gtg guys sorry, but I love you a ton Hayden and Alex thank you for writing me.  ( I sent him Prom photos and band concert photos of his brothers)  Hayden so swag!!!! Alex so dope and so grown up man I'm so pumped for you!! Sorry guys, I didn't have much time to write this week but here are some awesome pics of the pupusas we made!!!!!

Love you

April 18th

Hey guys the week went well,

I feel kind of bad though, because I  ran out of stuff to talk about.  It either went well or it didn't go well.  BUT, Everything was cool this week. When you go to church and keep the commandments God recognizes that you want to succeed and he helps you out with your dreams and your goals.  You can and will accomplish so much in this life, you just gotta play it cool and do the things God needs you to do.  When you're tempted just look the other way, and chase your dreams and do what's right.  We are going to pass by more frequently to help the members out. "The street of Gold" came to church again.  The husband is super awesome and super receptive and wants to change but certain things and his friends are not helping at all. We have faith that he will change and we have plans to pass by every day to keep him progressing. This week, thanks to my companion Elder Alfaro, I learned that in the mish you gotta balance the animo of the members. If they aren't excited then everything falls. As missionaries we gotta be excited and happy. We just gotta keep fighting with a smile on our face.  God loves you and he is super pumped to help you out, but to get his help you gotta help him out.

Love You Guys!!!

This blog was written using pieces from his letter this week and a letter to our family.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April 11th Branch President

Hey guys this week went fantastically.
So, I'm sitting outside our house.  It's morning time.  I just finished washing my clothes  by hand, and now I'm writing a letter to you guys while laying in my hammock.  The week went pretty well.  I experienced my first Sunday in Condega, and it was pretty awesome.  Here in Condega the church is just beginning.  We meet in a sewing shop, and I am Branch President.  I really like it, but it is definitely a challenge.  The Lord has blessed me with a lot of responsibilities, but at the same time a huge opportunity for success.  I am still district leader, and I am training.  
We are working in an area so new that it's only been about in existence 5 or 6 months  It is very difficult, but I am learning a lot.  My zone leader, Elder Ferrin, has helped me a lot, and has taught me a lot about how to be a district leader.  With these responsibilities my point of view has changed a lot.  I feel as though I am becoming the missionary and person that God wants me to be.  I have become more patient and I have obtained a work ethic that will help me so much in the future.  
It was a toughie,  but in the end everything worked out super well. We managed to bring a family of 9 to church. Right now we are working in El Valle de Jesus, a cool little part of town that is super receptive. One of the streets has a woman that is going to get baptized. She showed us to her daughters, the daughters showed us to their friends, so now we are teaching almost the whole street. It's going really well here.  we finally managed to grab ahold of the area and find some super awesome people!!!!!!  I want to thank you Mom and Dad for putting up with me and getting me out on the mission.  These experiences I have had and will have are changing my life.

April 4th

Hey guys,
The week went pretty well. My new companion is from El Salvador.  Elder Alfaro and I are working pretty well, but I know we can do better.  Condega is a poorer area, and it is hot much hotter than my previous district.  Our area Condega, has a huge amount of potential and we are barely scratching the surface. It's different than  La Trinidad. There are not many churches here.  The members in this area are super awesome. One member in particular is named Hermana Rosa, she passes by all the converts and members, and works with us frequently. Conference was super great, I loved it!!  Hey guys I'm so glad to hear from you.  Thank you so very much for writing to me.  I really do appreciate it.  It makes my week so great.  

 You guys are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

March 28th

Hey guys this week was a toughie, but so worth it!!!

This week was Semana Santa and in Semana Santa everyone stops working to honor the week...but then they go to beaches and rivers to drink and party, so its a lil crazy. Alright, Easter hear is pretty crazy, for spring break they do this thing called Semana Santa and it's in all of central america. All the cities basically shut down, and all the people head to lake oceans and rivers to drink and swim. Unfortunately, not many people can swim, and not many can drink responsibly, so people end up drowning. It all went well though, we saw some cool catholic parades going around town.  Around Wednesday and Thursday the streets were dead, there was not anybody in the streets and almost all our investigators went to visit family. It all went well though , Hermana Izmara got baptized and confirmed, she is so very cool and has a pure, real desire, to change her life. On Sunday we brought 3 people to church and everything went well. After church we recieved the call that I had changes and I was going to Condega with Elder Alfaro its so dope!!!!!!!!!! Everything is going well guys I love you a ton!!  Im training again and I'm still a leader I am so grateful.  
Elder Alfaro and Awesome Wing Place
My new companion Elder Alfaro and I ate an awesome wing place!!! My new area is still in our zone.  It's like 2 hours away from my old area I'm still in the sam zone.  I was so worried.   I loving being a leader because I learn so much and I have the opportunity to help more people in the district.  It's cool.
 On Sunday, we brought 3 people to church and confirmed Hermana Izmara, she super awesome. She had some doubts in the beginning but her friends helped her out and gave her a good bro talk to pump her up!!!! The change we had was alright, we worked, we baptized, but I know that there were certain things that we could have done better. I'm grateful because Elder Ajquejay taught  me how to work and work hard.   You guys have a ton of potential and Satan knows, he wants to beat you and trick you so keep being dope and don't do what everyone else does!! Dad love you goo bear you dope. Mom your amazing.  I'm so glad you brought top new techno stuff to your class!!! take care guys!!!! love you!!!