Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Why Nicaragua? Part II

If you want to know why I chose Nicaragua in the first place check out my previous post Why Nicaragua Part I. Here's what happened after I decided to go there.


After returning from the International convention in 2009 I was itching to do as I'd been encouraged and help where the need was greater. A couple from my hall had just returned from Nicaragua and they were so aglow with the spirit and happy that their enthusiasm was contagious. They encouraged me to go back with them in September for the English convention and I agreed.

I started talking to a few friends. One of whom after I mentioned that I'd never consider moving to a place that I hadn't read up on first, promptly sent me the authority on Nicaragua tourism at the time a book called Living Abroad in Nicaragua.

The book had me enthralled and I read it cover to cover a couple of times. Then I mentioned it to another sister about how I might just try Nicaragua out and she said something like:
photo credit: #maryannelattimore IG

'You'll love it stop stalling, send in your letter to Bethel.'*

I felt like it might be too soon to make such a leap but as someone with more experience the sister assured me I wouldn't regret the decision. So far I haven't. I sent in my letter and started contacting people in Nicaragua that could help me find a place to stay to 'spy out the land.'

The original couple that I'd met was my first choice of contact. I tried emailing them several times but I didn't get a response back. I figured I had the wrong email address. Bummed, I tried two other couples that I knew in Nicaragua and got responses from both.

Rambling to them about my plans I was so excited that I couldn't contain myself. I purchased my tickets and then told them I couldn't wait to see them when I arrived. Then things took a turn.

The friends that I'd made plans to go with suddenly couldn't go. Now I'd be traveling on my own so I contacted my friends in Nicaragua and told them of my change of plans. They didn't respond.

I felt even more nervous when my next round of emails also didn't get a response. Panicked now, I prayed to Jehovah and did what I do when I get nervous. I started cleaning my house.

With a non-refundable ticket in hand and now no company and no contacts, my enthusiasm was replaced with anxiety. How would I get around without any Spanish? Where would I stay? What would I do on my own?

While in the process of organizing and re-organizing my bedroom, a small square piece of white paper fell off the dresser and onto the floor. On it was contact information for a husband and wife currently living in Nicaragua. People I had never met.
The note I found

In the hopes of reconnecting with my friends I sent them an introductory email requesting help. I received a response the very next morning. And with every question I asked another response came and soon the anxiety gave way to excitement again. 

My regularly assigned convention arrived and I attended and I met couple after couple who'd been to Nicaragua and loved it.

One conversation surprised me, it went like this:

Them: So who are you staying with?
Me: I don't know yet. This brother____ and his wife are going to help me out when I get there.
Them: Do you mean Brother____ the Circuit Overseer for sign language?
Me: He's the C.O.? I had no idea.

To be honest I felt so bad for taking up so much of the brother's valuable time with my anxieties but he assured me that he wanted to help anyway. Since I didn't have any other contacts, I was relieved that I had someone looking out for me, without them my trip would have been a dismal failure. They helped me find a place to stay with brothers and sisters who are like family to me, to this day.

A lot more happened when I arrived in Nicaragua but the pictures are already posted. Check the archives for 'Nicaragua.' So you're all caught up on how I ended up in Nicaragua and how I got here.

P.S. What happened to the emails I sent to the couples I knew??? They got through. Their email responses never got to me. We still don't know why.

Friends I tried to contact before I came down.
Where did that little piece of paper come from? No one knows. Hmmm. I asked the couple visiting from Nicaragua and it wasn't them. I don't know who gave it to me but who ever you are, angel or human, thank you so much, you helped change my life.
No longer in Nicaragua but tried to help me before their emails went awry.

View from the plane on my way to Nicaragua

*The letter to the Nicaragua branch is a letter requesting more information about living in the country as a need-greater. You send it, along with a letter from your elders recommending you. Those letters go directly to the branch and then their response is sent back to you via your current branch office.



  1. Thanks for sharing your story with us! Wow 5 years! You are such a great example for anyone looking to serve abroad, you've stuck with it, and Jehovah's clearly blessed you. We love ya.

    1. I know its late but I had to share it. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the support, so thanks!

  2. Wow!!! Felicidades! Ánimo! Espero que sigas adelante! Saludos a Cookie y Shawn!!! Te queremos mucho :)

  3. I'm your roommate but somehow never knew your full story. Your story of that little piece of paper that came out of nowhere gave me chills. What an encouraging experience! Thanks for sharing! Here's to 5 more years!!