Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Third week in Nicaragua

Elder Jacobsen and me

Dear family,

Thank you for emailing me this week.  Adjusting to missionary life here has been so hard, but with my new companion, it is getting better.  I love my new companion, Elder Jacobsen.  He is great.     Reading your emails really helps a lot.  I have missed you all so much the last few weeks, it is really hard to be writing you right now.    One of the reasons my email was so short last week, was because I had a really hard time emailing you because I miss you so much. I wanted to give up and come home so bad, but I know that this mission will bless lots of lives. I love you all so much, I can’t wait for Christmas when I can talk with You.

I have had so many great and terrible experiences just in the last three weeks.  I have learned how much I appreciate and love you guys.  A lot of missionaries don’t even have families that write to them and Nicaraguan families are even more messed up.  There is sure a different culture in Central American.  Most everyone is very friendly and humble and [maybe a little] dishonest.   They will tell you whatever you want to hear, or send their kids to the doorway to tell you that they are not home when it’s time for church.

Elder Anderson, Elder Jacobson and Elder Fairbourn
We had six families commit to church last Sunday and only one of them went.  They will promise something to you and break that promise in a few minutes.  The members though are so kind.  They go buy food for us even though they are dirt poor.  Half the people here live in a shack made of five metal panels and a dirt floor.  I never realized just how spoiled we are in the US until I came here.  Everyone is either skin and bones or obese because of how bad their nutrition is.  Good fruit and vegetables are hard to find and expensive.  Apples at the store are $2 each.  All of the other junky and sugary foods are super cheap though.   

We never go door to door contacting because people are always on the street; most people don’t have cars so they walk or take the bus or take a caponera (which is a bicycle version of what Nacho Libre drives).

Nacho Libre
Where I currently am is more in the city.  It is very populated here.   There are a lot of trees but it is certainly not a jungle.  It is so hot and humid that I never stop sweating throughout the day.  There are a lot of drunk bums on the roads and stray animals everywhere.

Yesterday, I had a terrible lunch. Some recent converts invited us to lunch. We were having soup that she cooked in a Witch sized cauldron over a fire out front. Inside were parts of vegetables unknown to any of us. They were not very cut up, so it was difficult to eat it. There was also this meat that looked really furry. I tried it, and it was as bad as corn beef, if not worse! I was able to eat the first two without puking, but I could not handle the third. Luckily the converts were not too offended. Afterward we found out that the mystery meat was cow tongue! It was so chewy and furry it was utterly terrible.

We went down and saw Lake Managua.  It was beautiful, even if it is a giant sewage plant.  At the lake we seen a pig that was as big as a cow! It had to weigh at least 500 pounds!.  You would not believe how polluted the lake and rivers are, they smell like the dump.

It has been raining the last few days and there is a hole in the roof so my bed gets soaked each day.  Luckily we are moving for the second time since I arrived here.  This new house is going to be great!

I am so jealous of the cold you guys are having right now! It is so hot here, I sweat throughout the whole day! Enjoy all the comforts you have at home, you have no idea how lucky you are compared to these people. Here, you cannot go without shoes anywhere! Even your own house. There is no hot water, and in most houses, water comes on for only a few hours a day. A lot of people have dirt floors. Most people only have a few shirts and shorts, so they smell really bad. We go around in buses and vans that are packed like sardines! There are so many starving animals walking around here. A week ago, We found a starving kitten that was probably only a few days old wandering around the streets. Davis´s rats were bigger than this kitten. We wanted to help it, but there was nothing we could do. Even with all of these terrible things, the people are still happy.

Nothing else is new.  Tell grandpa and grandma that I love them a ton.  I miss you all more than I ever thought I could.  When Christmas comes close we will find a time that I can skype.  Enjoy America for me.  Sometimes I really wish I was there.  Thank you for all of the support you give me.  There have been a lot of times I have thought about quitting, but each week is getting better than the last. 

   Mom and Dad, I know that you have already sent my Christmas gift, but could you also send some chunky peanut butter, and Jam. Bread is really cheap here, but they do not have toppings! Some cleaner for my glasses would also be nice. I have worn them since I got here, because I was afraid of using contacts, but I am trying my contacts today to see how I do. I love my glasses, but they get dirty so easy and slide of my sweaty face all of the time. Here at Nicaragua, people usually eat from Pulparias, which are like gas stations. So we end up eating lots of stuff that you would find at a gas station, like cookies, sodas, and chips. If you could send some other foods that have nutritional value, that would be greatly appreciated. Fruit here is very expensive, unless you want to buy crappy stuff.

   I love you all so Much. I have never been this homesick in my life, but I know that I have a purpose here. Please keep sending me emails Ike and Davis. I love to hear what your lives are like. Sometimes I feel really alone out here.

          I love you all so much, have a good night Elder Clark

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