Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Jungly Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year! Sorry I couldn't write last week. I went to a mission Christmas party in Managua and it is 5 hours by bus, so we got home really late and couldn't write. But I sent a pic from the party ​

Two Saturdays ago we had a baptism. It was a lady that my companion was teaching last exchange. He is too short to baptize, so I got to baptize her. We baptize in a river here.

Yesterday I got to Skype the family. It was really awesome! I don't have much time to write today, but that is my short letter. Enjoy the snow back home!

-Elder Taylor

Skyping on Christmas with the family

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Ice Age

This week was full of buses! Bus after bus, after freakin' bus! I think that this week I was using buses for at least 30 hours! My new area is 3 hours from Ocotal where is like the central for our zone. And we had to go there a lot this week. And we went to Matagalpa for a meeting as well, and that's another 3 hours away! I have been able to see a lot of Nicaragua this week though, which is good.

This new area is kinda weird, The Central is like an outdoor mall. There are paved roads there, then they just kinda stop and then they are dirt roads that lead into the mountains. And those are all dirt, it is a really weird mix. My house is the size of a bedroom with the bathroom. It is really small! But its cool. It's chilly here. There are cows and horses running around everywhere. It puts a new spin on free-range cows. I've almost been hit by one! The church is new here, so at church we met in a small room and had 12 people there.

This week I went on divisions with Elder Hodges. He is still in his training, so we relied on my spanish to get by, it was cool to be the one that knows whats up for once!

Like I said earlier, we went to Matagalpa on Wednesday because Elder Ochoa of the 70 came and talked to us. He is a pretty cool guy and we all learned a lot.

I also found out that we have our baptisms here in a river. Just more motivation to help people be baptized.

Talk to y'all next week,

The pic of the black dude is my new companion, (full body shot next week)

-Elder Taylor

It says "Happy trip Elder Taylor We love you a lot, we love you a lot!!"

A llama shrub

me in front of a Christmas tree

My new companion Elder Torres

Guadelupe's family


A family I was teaching in Ciudadela

Monday, December 5, 2016

Transfer Deadline!

Well the results came in and I have been transferred to Jalapa Nicaragua! It was a long trip to get here! 

I left at 4 am to the first bus to Managua. 
(1 hour) 

Then I got on a second but to Ocotal         (4 hours) 

And finally a bus to Jalapa (3 hours) 
It was a long trip! 

My area is the northernmost in the mission! I am super close to the Honduras border! It is really mountainous and a lot of pine trees

My new companion is from the Dominican Republic! He is really short and fully of energy. It should be a fun transfer!

But earlier in the week we really didn't do too much. On Thursday I went to San Benito with Elder Spears. It was good times. And we went to a baptism on Saturday for the elders from Cristo Rey

Sorry I dont have much time because of the transfer! More next week!

-Elder Taylor

Monday, November 28, 2016

State of Emergency

This week had the potential to be a week of destruction in Nicaragua. You may or may not have heard that Hurricane Otto swept through Nicaragua this week. We were told on Monday night to prepare a week's worth of food and water in case we had to stay indoors all week. But the week passed without a drop of rain. Then on Thursday, we heard on the news that an earthquake of 7.2 hit close to Nicaragua as well. So those close felt it and had a tsunami threat. But again, nothing happened. So all is still well here.

On Wednesday I went to Tipitapa and we were walking through the streets and this drunk dude wanted to shake my hand. So being the nice guy I am, I shook his hand. But he didn't let go. He had a firm grip and started asking me for help with this mind! I started walking away, but he didn't let go, so I was dragging this drunk dude through the streets. I eventually just peeled his hand off of me, and said goodbye. Just FYI, drunk dudes are strong

On Thursday we went on exchanges with the zone leaders in Loma Verde. So I packed my bags and headed off to Loma Verde with Elder Wilkes from Boise, Idaho. He came into the mission with me. We were working hard all day, and in the middle of it we ran into a evangelic pastor that told us that we are of the devil and If we don't get baptized in his church we are damned for all time and eternity! It was good times! And here the kids think its insulting to yell random words in English at the white people. This time it happened to be the numbers 1-5. It was funny as well.

When we had house inspections a couple of weeks ago, the mission president said that we had to clean out backyard and he would pay for someone to do it. So we had a couple of kids form the ward that need money for their missions clean it up. (See Pic) We found out that we have a lime tree in our backyard. We got about 6 lbs of limes. So its time for limeade!!!

On Saturday we had a baptism for our investigator Guadalupe. I have been teaching her since my first week in Nicaragua. She just was waiting to get married. (She is 16 and has an 8 month old!) But after 4 months, she finally was able to get married and baptized! It was really awesome to baptize her!

Side note: No they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here. Only one person asked when it was so they could know when black Friday was.


On Saturday night after the baptism we had the ward Christmas activity. I was the DJ for a singing thing that we did. We dressed up like rappers. It was funny, I introduced myself in English and Nobody understood but they all cheered like they did. Good times indeed!

That's all for this week, stay warm with the freshly fallen snow!

-Elder Taylor

Guadalupe's Baptism
Guadalupe's Baptism

Backyard Clean up


Backyard Clean up

Monday, November 21, 2016

Machetes y Un Nicaraguan Traffic Jam

I was able to check 2 things off of my bucket list this week: 
1 - Be somewhere warm while its snowing at home, and 
2 -Use a machete to slash my way through the jungle!

But before we get to those stories, we'll start with Monday. After emailing, the missionaries from Cristo Rey, got a call that they will be in a trio until changes (DEC 5). So now we have 5 missionaries living in Ciudadela. Just 3 leave for the afternoon for Cristo Rey.

On Tuesday, Elder Sevilla and I were going to teach an investigator, and when we finished the lesson these kids wanted us to play baseball. So we played. We used a broken off tree branch, with a deflated soccer ball with a hole for your hand as a catchers mitt. It was a bit ghetto, but really fun.

On Thursday, we went to do service for Roberto's family. We got out our machetes and started choppin' up the weeds. We were the weed whackers. Its more fun when you imagine yourself in the thick jungle! While doing that, the zone leaders came over to interview Roberto's mom for her baptism. While waiting, we ate coconuts, starfruit, and mangoes straight from the tree. It was really tasty. And Roberto's mom passed, she will be baptized this week. Along with his sister!

Friday turned out to be a lot longer than planned! We had to interview someone for baptism. It usually takes just 20 minutes to get to San Benito, where we had the interview, but there was a crash further up the road, so it took 2 hours by bus and walking to get there, and another 2 hours back. It was really long, we didn't get back home until around 9:30 pm. It took forever!

Yesterday was the primary program here. There are only like 8 kids, so they had to do a lot of stuff. It was good times!

Tomorrow marks 5 months in the mission. Just 19 more to go!

-Elder Taylor

Elder Sevilla helping get ready for the primary program

A bat that was chillin in the chapel

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sick people and Nicaraguan Kids

It seems like this week everyone that we know here got sick. Even Elder Marquez got himself some gastritis. So we gave probably about 12 blessings this week alone. I have never given a blessing in English, but a ton in Spanish.

This week we had Presidente Poncio visit our house for inspections. We made sure to clean up a bit. He and Hemana Poncio just said to clean out the garbage from the backyard. Later in the day, there were people giving free house fumigations. So we let them do our house to kill all of the mosquitoes. They used a blowtorch looking thing to blow a freak ton of smoke in the house. It was pretty cool.

There is this family in the ward that has a store in their house. And they sell smoothies. They have this really good smoothie of strawberry cookies. They are like Oreos but strawberry. It is giant and only costs 20 coroba (less than 1 dollar). I get 2 or 3 a week. They are so good.

We have an Investigator named Hermano Torres. He is 72 years old and can't walk for long periods of time. And he lives literally as far away from the church as you can live in Ciudadela. So yesterday we used a bus that passes by his house to get him to church because only the Bishop has a car and he was picking up another investigator at the same time.

And that Investigator, Hna Sandra, and her daughter, Tatiana, are getting baptized this week! They are the mom and sister of Roberto who Elder Sanchez and I baptized about 2 months ago! So that's awesome so see! Only his brother hasn't had the missionary lessons now.

Oh ya, when we go to visit Hno Torres, at the bottom of his road, there are a bunch of little kids that yell "MORMONES!!!!" every time we come. Its pretty funny. We gave them lesson pamphlets and they gave them to their parents. And we are now teaching some of their parents. 

That's all for this week! 

-Elder Taylor

A cool sunset pic

Elder Marquez, Sevilla, and me enjoying the sunset

The most brilliant sunset I've ever seen

Chillin' on the bus back to Ciudadela

Our chapel here in Ciudadela

Monday, November 7, 2016

Electiones, cocos, y dia de los muertos

This was a good week. We were told on Tuesday that because of the elections this week, we had to leave the house at 9 instead of 11 and go to the house at 7:30 instead of 9:30. So we have this schedule till the 14th. The house is clean though. Which is good, because we have house inspections this Wednesday.

This Wednesday was Dia de los muertos or Day of the Dead. Its when the people go out to remember their dead. It was pretty cool to see tons of people flocking to the cemeteries to put flowers and other things. Definitely different than in The US of A.

On Thursday I went with Elder Marquez to Crtisto Rey. This town is has only dirt roads and so the water runs free. And boy did it rain on Thursday! We had a torrential downpour! I should have taken a picture. You literally could not see the dirt. It was straight rivers in the streets. My shoes, socks, and pants were soaked! It was fun though. It was warm afterwords which is good.

I have a new favorite Nicaraguan food. Which is Guallo Pinto. Literally just red beans and rice cooked together, but it is the! I have had it 4 times this week, and I am having it tonight, but with coconuts that we salvaged last night.

Also, we went early Christmas and wore Christmas ties and hung lights in the house on Wednesday!

Stay frosty!

-Elder Taylor

Cooking with Hna Miriam (AKA our Grandma)

Our Christmas lights

Cooking beans for a repocheta (not sure how to explain, but really tasty)

West side...

Eating coconut fresh from the tree

The coconut again

Monday, October 31, 2016

New Companion, New Life

This week was a really good and productive week. With a new companion, we had new possibilities in the area. We worked hard looking for new people to teach. We finished off the week with 6 new baptismal dates for our investigators. We even got old investigators to come to church. It was really good.

On Tuesday, Elder Sevilla had to go to Managua to get his ID card for Nicaragua. So we left at 6:20 in the morning to get there on time. We used a super crowded bus that was packed full of people getting on and off for work. It took forever to get there. But we ended up getting there. We didn't get back to Ciudadela until 1pm

I tried a really good new food this week as well. Its mangoes, that are soaked in a spicy chili juice with a hint of lime. It is really good. Especially because the mangoes are fresh of the vine. It was good to have a change from just rice and or beans every meal.

This week was really hot. Between 90° and 100° all week. But we always had something to do, so it didn't really bother us too much.

On Saturday, we found this little clothes store in Ciudadela. We asked about ties and she brought out a box full of them. Just 20 cordoba a tie. (70 cents) I bought 3 of them. Pics to come. They are really awesome!

This week marks 3 months in Nicaragua! Time flies when you're having fun. Also this week, Nicaragua is having presidential elections. And they say it gets kind of dangerous. Ill keep you posted.

Stay classy, and eat some Halloween candy for me (Cuz they don't have Halloween here)

-Elder Taylor

My new companion Elder Sevilla and me
A literal bunch of bananas

The crack that was in my Frisbee

Fixed Frisbee (just like new!)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Transfer Deadline 2

Well the time has come again for transfers. And this time I actually had a change. I am still in Ciudadela, but I have a new companion. Elder Sanchez left for Esteli and I am now companions with Elder Sevilla from Honduras. I Picked him up in Managua this morning at 11. After that we went back to the house to drop off his suitcases and then went to lunch at Pollo Estrella. I also found out that my companion from the MTC, Elder Perry, is a Zone leader in Managua!

Earlier in the week was good. On Tuesday we had a multi-zone meeting in Managua. It was really just to let everyone know that we aren't working hard enough and that many of the missionaries have things that they need to work on. But we got Subway out of it, so that's good. 

Oh and on Monday, a friend from Mangaua of Elder Sanchez brought us Burger King! It was just a cheeseburger, but that made my day! And my week! When we went to the house to eat them, there was no power in all of the city. So we just chilled in the house all night because it was dangerous to leave the house.

This week I didn't see dry gound or normal dirt till Saturday! It rained and rained and rained some more! There was so much mud on my shoes and pants. It was crazy. But when it finally cleared up on Saturday, we played a 4 on 4 game of Ultimate Frisbee with some teens from the area. They are reall good and really fast. I think it's because of the soccer. They know where to be and when to be there. But because the ground is hard, my frisbee had a crack in it and we had to end early. I will fix it this week to continue playing. (RIP Clyve)

Also on Saturday, I reached 4 months in the mission! 4 down 20 to go!

Stay frosty

-Elder Taylor

Monday, October 17, 2016

Finally Frisbee!!!!

This was a really good week. First of all, because I got the pics that I couldn't access opened again. We went to a members house and he took off a virus (I think) and poof, I can see all of my pics again. Glamour shot to celebrate. (see pics)

On Tuesday, I was going off to an appointment​​​​​​ when this dude who was higher than a kite started asking me to teach him English for about a half hour. The ward mission leader I was with took 2 joints out of his pocket and threw them in a puddle. It was pretty funny.

On Wednesday we got some bad news, Guadelupe, who was set to finally get baptized this week, can't because she can't get married still. We were trying a loophole in the law to get her married faster, but she is too young to use it (16). So we are still waiting for her baptism.

But we did manage to have Christian's baptism on Saturday! He ended up not getting married. But he was super excited! It all went well and he was confirmed as well on Sunday.

Also on Saturday I finally got to throw the Frisbee with some dudes here. Their names are Jancer and Manuel. They are actually really good. In only 30 mins their throws were almost perfect. Elder Sanchez can't throw very well though. I guess its an American and Nica thing!

That's all for this week. Stay awesome!

-Elder Taylor

Christian's Baptism

Glamour Shot #1

Glamour Shot #2

Frisbee with Jancer and Manuel & Elder Sanchez 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Forever Strong

Hey y'alls. What new and improved? 

This was a good week in the Jungle. We were really busy all week. But our Investigator Cristian didn't get baptized because he wanted to get married first. So we think this week is the wedding and the baptism. Fingers crossed!

A funny thing that happened to me this week. I went to the pulparia to get an orange Fanta, and they give them to you in a plastic bag. Well, this bag had 2 small holes in it. So I'm waiting for my other things that I bought while this bag is leaking. There are 2 small girls that are looking at me like I'm crazy. I tried to tip the bag so it would stop leaking but then it spilled out of the straw! It got all over me. So I drank the whole thing in about 10 seconds! I was really funny. Something like out of a movie.

On Tuesday we had a meeting for the missionaries in their first 2 transfers. It was good times. And we got to eat Pizza Hut!

On Wednesday we had District Meeting. After we were done with the business like stuff a Poly Elder taught us the Hakka. I wanted to send the video but it was too big to send on this slow WiFi. I guess after the mission... But it was cool to learn.

We have a new elder in our area because of Emergency transfers. It is weird to have a new elder 3 weeks into a transfer. But he is cool I guess.

On Friday we had an activity for future missionaries of our ward. So we were working hard all week to get people there. We made invitations, and a PowerPoint. It was a lot of work. It turned out all right, and I think we helped a few kids to want to go on a mission.

Yesterday at church, there weren't many people to start out because it rained all day Saturday and it was really muddy. So Elder Sanchez and I passed the Sacrament. We only need 2 trays for the whole ward. It tool like 3 mins tops to pass to everyone.

That's all for this week. Stay frosty!

-Elder Taylor

A scorpion that I killed in our house

 My dinner the other night

Monday, October 3, 2016

When Old Men Speak

This was a good week. We really couldn't do to much, because we had to go to Loma Verde (35 mins away by bus) 4 days this week. We had Pday activities on Monday. We just had a water fight.

(I found out this week that I have passed 100 days!)- Just a side note

Then on Wednesday, we had interviews with President Poncio. It went well. The APs and the Zone leaders checked our phones and our planners for anything bad. We passed! My interview was about 5 mins. Nothing really happened. But they told us that we were going to have house inspections as well. So Elder Sanchez and I cleaned that house cleaner than I've ever seen. We finally hung our mosquito nets as well. But they changed their minds, and now we have to wait till some random day this month.

​​​​We got our money this week on Friday. So we went to the Pali and got some snacks for conference. I got some Pringles and some cookies. And for breakfast I bought some Froot Loops. I haven't had the Loops yet, but I'm super excited to dig in!

On Saturday and Sunday, we had conference in Loma Verde as well. It was all pretty good. I got to watch all but one hour in English. I watched it in the only room with AC and with 2 other gringos. It was awesome. But I missed eating a big meal after priesthood session. Just 21 more months :)

Thats about it for this week. But on Saturday we have Cristian's baptism. And as it's getting colder there. Its getting hotter here. Have a good one!

-Elder Taylor

These are from when we played Chubby Bunny a few weeks ago​

​Flashback, to the first day of the Mission.​