Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year 12/28/2009

Hey family and friends,

So Christmas this week was fun. I had one fun experience Christmas Night. I was talking to the other missionaries and they said you are not a true missionary until you have pooped the bed (because of all the food and water changes and impurities, the missionaries often have major stomach/digestive issues causing them to have uncontrollable diarrhea). Don't worry I didn't do that, but Christmas Night I had to go to the bathroom real bad at 3:00 in the morning. Luckily I made it to the toilet before things started coming out.

Oh also, I was able to talk to Kara (his sister serving a mission in Panama) for about 15 mins. then I ran out of minutes. It was nice to talk to her, we had some good laughs.

I got the 12 days of Christmas package and I am trying to give the stuff away but my companion is trying to keep it all. It is rather comical. I gave away one of the blankets to a 6 week old baby of one of the families we are teaching.

That's about it. Oh, one cool experience happened, Sunday after church we went to teach a lesson to a guy and we were just having friendly conversation in Spanish. He was telling me about his friend that lives in Chicago that is teaching him English. Then he said in English "my dream is to travel the world and preach the gospel". It was pretty cool to hear that. He has a lot of knowledge of the bible but is pretty set in his ways. When we asked him to read the Book of Mormon he said "no, I think I will pray and ask God if I should read the Book of Mormon first, then I will wait for an answer." I said "fair enough."

Well that's all.

Happy New Year,
Elder Bloomfield

Telephone Call on Christmas Day 12/25/2009

We had prearranged to call Elder Bloomfield (Kyle) at the home he eats lunch at every day. We called right at noon and he (Kyle) answered, it was so wonderful to hear his voice. He shared with us much of his everyday life in Nicaragua, from the food, to the animals, to the people. He told us about the church there. As mentioned before, it is one of the highest baptizing missions, but the retention rate is not very good. In the branch that Kyle is currently serving in, there are almost 500 members on record, but only 80 were at church last week. So they are working very hard to re-activate and to baptize families rather than single people. He said that he is currently teaching three families. He is in one of the poorest areas of all of Nicaragua. He said he sees naked children all the time as they can not afford clothing, nor do they have running water to clean with. He said that he lives by a huge lake, but that it is contaminated by all the pollutants and garbage that is thrown in it. Part of the Lake includes the garbage dump and so they burn much of the garbage and let it just run into the lake. There are many people that live in the garbage dump trying to live off the things that they dig through and find. Kyle said that 20 families from his Branch live in the garbage dump. He says that it is always smokey, stinky and gloomy near there as they are always burning things.

Kyle loves the people and has enjoyed getting to know them. He said the family he eats lunch with each day loves to mess around with him and play jokes on him. They tried to feed him cow tail which he said was not good at all. He is a little nervous as to what they feed him each day. He said most of the people in the area he is serving in have never seen a gringo (foreigner), so he is a novelty to them.

On the spiritual side, Kyle says it is amazing how the Lord has blessed him. On Christmas Eve, he taught the whole lesson to a family and was able to speak to them in Spanish through the gift of tongues. He said the Lord has really helped him to be able to speak and understand when he needed to. He said for the most part now, he can understand what they are saying, but he still struggles to say what he wants to in Spanish. I am sure having only Spanish speaking companions will help his Spanish to improve rapidly.

Kyle said it is always noisy there and that people set off fireworks and gun shots all night long for no apparent reason. He said the dogs bark all the time as well. He said there are stray dogs everywhere and no one seems to care for them, so many of them die and just get left there until they rot.

We called Kyle's friends, Mo Hamze and Zach Harris with the cell phone and put them up to the speaker and let them hear and talk to him as well. We all agreed that Kyle seemed to have matured a lot over the last few months and was much quieter than we had ever known him before. All in all, he seems to be doing wonderful other than the daily diarrhea he experiences. I feel the Lord prepared him for what he is doing and so he is loving it and accepting all that comes with it. He did buy a guitar, so he is enjoying learning to play the church hymns on it. I am sure it is a time of relaxation for him at the end of a long day when he can play the guitar.

We are so proud of him and can hardly wait 5 months until Mother's Day when we get to talk to him again. We love and miss him lots!!!! But we also know that he is exactly where the Lord wants and needs him to be. He will do great things in Nicaragua over the next 21 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This post was put in by Kris Bloomfield (Elder Bloomfield's Mom)

"Just another day in Paradise" 12/21/2009

This is "Paradise". It is a one room place with 2 bunk beds and a desk with two chairs and a fridge. The door leads to the bathroom which has a toilet and an area to shower with a bucket. There is no hot water at all. There are always several critters in the bathroom as there are cracks all over in the walls, so they just come and go as they please (Kyle asked Steve (his Dad) to come down and do a few repairs to caulk up the many holes). Notice the fine air conditioning - It is a fan that they move from place to place to try and cool themselves down. Everyday in Paradise is an Adventure!!!!!

I am not sure what to write as we are going to be talking soon and I know that you will have a ton of questions for me then. So let's see, oh we had a really sweet mission Christmas party. It was tons of fun, we had water balloons and a slip and slide and every thing. It was nice to get wet from water and not sweat. We sweat 24/7 in this place. It is no fun.

So the focus of the mission is families and so my companion is all about that because he does not have a family, so he works super hard to find families. Right now we have a couple families that we are teaching and one of them looks pretty good. Last week we were teaching this guy and he was coming to church and to activities and stuff, then one day he was like "well I am not feeling it any more" and just dropped us.

There was a guy from Bluefield that was in our area (in Bluefield they speak Spanish, English, and Jamacian mixtures)so we couldn’t really communicate with him, but it was 9:00pm and we needed to go in and he just wanted to go in with us. So we talked to him for 30 more minutes just trying to get rid of him, but we couldn’t. Eventually we just walked away and he followed us. Finally after walking for a while we lost him. We got in at 9:45p.m..

This mission is a ton of fun. I am glad I was called to serve here. At the Christmas party, I was talking to the guy that is now my old companions companion and he said that my companion always talks about me and how I have so much fire and I will be a good missionary. I also talked to one of the old AP's and he said that if I keep working like I am working now, I will be an AP (Assistant to the Mission President). I don’t want to be AP, I just want to be a missionary. It was good to hear because I felt like to Elder Flores, my old companion, that I was just a burden because I didn’t know Spanish. But it's good to know I am doing some thing here.

Welp, just another day in paradise.

Love, Elder Bloomfield

This is a picture of Elder Bloomfield (Kyle), a man they baptized and Elder Flores (Kyle's 1st companion from Panama)

This is Elder Bloomfield trying out the Wheel Chairs that have been donated by the church to those in need.

These are some of the recipients of the Wheel Chairs.

This is the member family that the missionaries eat lunch with every day. They pay them a fee each month for lunch. It is usually beans, chicken and rice. Not much variety at all. For Breakfast, the Landlord brings something over (soggy pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, eggs, rice, beans, etc.)as they do not have any kitchen facilities except a very small fridge. For dinner, they pay another member to make their meals every evening. It is usually beans, chicken and rice as well. Needles to say, the food is not a highlight and the missionaries spend a lot of time on the toilet.

Twelve Days of Christmas 12/14/2009

Alright, so I went to a cyber cafe and wrote your whole email and went to send it and the Internet went out, so I lost my whole entire message, so now I am in a different cyber writing you again. So my new comp., he is called Elder Loarca and he is from El Salvador. This is his second area, he has been in the mission for only 5 months. So he doesn’t have much experience at all. My old comp. went to a different zone and is now a Zone Leader. There is a lot of responsibility on my shoulders because I am the only one that knows the area.
Alright, so do you want to know one of the differences between here and Malaysia? I will tell you, in Malaysia they put a family of 5 on a moped and here they put a family of 5 on a bicycle. It is a rather amazing site to see.
Speaking of families of 5 we are teaching a family of 5 right now. They seem to enjoy the scriptures and reading so I hope to be able to continue teaching them.
I gave my first talk in Sacrament Meeting this week. It went well, I used Dads favorite story and what not. Hopefully I don’t talk again for a while because my Spanish needs to get better before I do that again.

About the phone call on Christmas I think I am just going to call you from a cyber. It is .50 cordobas for one minute on the phone (20 cordobas is a dollar so it is pretty cheap).

Here is the surprise I told you about. Since I am not going to be able to be home and partake in the wonderful family tradition of the 12 days of Christmas, I made up my own along with a scripture to go with it. Start it so that the last day is on Christmas Eve.

On the first day of Christmas my God gave to me:
1 Savior- He came and gave his life for us so that we can live without sin and with our families forever. 1 Nephi 10:4

On the second day of Christmas my God gave to me:
2 parents – My parents have cared for me and loved me my whole life. (First scripture is for mom) 2 Nephi 1:14 1 Nephi 1:1

On the third day of Christmas my God gave to me:
3 sisters – I have had three wonderful sisters that have run the house so they have always kept me in line. 2 Nephi 5:6

On the fourth day of Christmas my God gave to me:
4 wheels – Being able to drive a car is a huge blessing. We are so spoiled living in America and every member having a car. Here in Nicaragua, walking is a very large part of my life, all I do every day is walk. Alma 7:9

On the fifth day of Christmas my God gave to me:
5 grindgos (cheles) – 5 other Americans came to Nicaragua with me and we are going to go through the thick and through the thin together. D&C 42:6

On the sixth day of Christmas my God gave to me:
6 different homes – I have lived in six very different places and every single one of those places has prepared me to come here. 3 Nephi 14:24-27

On the seventh day of Christmas my God gave to me:
7 letters to spell the word friends – Friends have been a large part of my life. Friends can be a bad thing and lead you astray or they can be there for you at all times and help you every day of your life. It all depends on what friends you choose.

On the eighth day of Christmas my God gave to me:
8 hours a night to sleep – I sleep 8 hours every night no more no less. Sleeping is a true blessing. A nice bed, a silent bed room, they are things I can only remember. Here I sweat every night. I hear fireworks all night long as well as stupid dogs barking and roosters crowing. Mosiah 37:37

On the ninth day of Christmas my God gave to me:
9 people to be my family - Mom, Dad, Kara, Me, Travis, Mason, Olivia, Cassi and last but not least Zach. Alma 43:47 (the scripture says it all)

On the tenth day of Christmas my God gave to me:
10 different versions of fifa - fifa is a good solid valuable use of our spare time. D&C 58 : 26-27

On the eleventh day of Christmas my God gave to me:
11 soccer players – Soccer has been a large part of my life. Every one that has been able to experience it with me has been a blessing to me (Terry & Kerwin). This scripture is for Zach. Change the name Limhi to your name or mine or any one on our team. Mosiah 20:11

On the twelfth day of Christmas my God gave to me:
12 grades in school – As I have served here in Nicaragua, I have learned how blessed we are to have schools. Tons of the people in my area can't read let alone write. Don’t take school for granted. I loved school. 2 Nephi 19 : 13

This 24th of December remember God has given you all these things and we need to always remember him and give him thanks. 24 is also the number of months I get to serve and give back to my God.

For those that don't have a Book of Mormon to reference the scriptures I have included, they can be found on (click on the side bar that says scriptures and then click on the Book of Mormon and you can look them up from there).

Love, Elder Bloomfield

Getting use to Life in Managua 12/7/2009

Hey family and friends, how are you doing?

So the first thing that is on my mind while I was sitting here reading letters, my comp. got a phone call and he is being transferred so it appears I am getting a new companion today. I am a little bummed about that because my comp. right now is amazing.

Alright, so Dad wants to know about the people we are teaching, so I will tell you. Right now we have around 15 progressing investigators. They are all really good. We also had another baptism on Saturday. I baptized her; it was good. She was about 4 feet tall. All the people are real receptive. This guy we met Thursday came to church and came and watched the First Presidency Christmas message with us which was amazing. I am not sure of the details with most investigators because I can't understand, but I get the general idea of their problems and stuff.

The food sucks it is rice, beans and other crap. The peoples house that we eat at always give me a hard time and try to get me to eat more so I can be fat. I don't want to be fat. I believe my weight is the same if not I have gained a tiny amount. I haven´t been sick but I have had the funs (or runs) since I got here so it's a normal thing. It's part of being a missionary here. I have not been robbed yet. Elder Francis, one of the elders that came to Nicaragua with me, was robbed his first week here. Our curfew is 9pm. In some places it's safe at night but for the most part we don't teach much after dark because it is not safe. It has rained once since I have been here, rainy season just ended before I got here.

Alright, so football last week was lots of fun. I was the quarterback but we did mostly hand offs due to the fact that the Hispanics can't catch. But it was real fun, my team won and I caught 3 interceptions and I scored 4 touchdowns. We had shoulder pads and helmets (and yes, our president doesn't know we play). We are suppose to play rugby this week, but I think I have to go to the changes meeting instead.

Well I think that's long enough. I will tell you about my new comp. next week. Also, I have a surprise for you next week.

Love and miss you guys a ton!!

Love, Elder Bloomfield
still livin the dream

American football on P-day with pads and all.