Saturday, December 14, 2013


Hello there!

Yesterday, a small group of us joined a few brothers from various congregations to venture out to Venecia Island. It's a small island off the coast of Chinandega that doesn't really get preached to often. The La Colonia Central congregation has started making efforts to preach there every two weeks now though, and invited us to join them yesterday.

In order to start the group on time, we had to leave Chinandega at 6:30 AM. It was about an hour-and-a-half drive standing in the back of a pickup truck, but at least we took two vehicles and there was only eight of us in ours! 

Domingo's father, an elder in La Colonia Central, making the pairs for the day. Combined with the brothers from that hall and a few from other congregations throughout our circuit, there was 31 of us!

Ervin and Joel waiting to set off for the island.

After the group, it was time to pile into the boat and go!
At first, I was concerned that not all of us would fit in the boat, but then I remembered that I'm in Nicaragua, where there is no such thing as too many people in one mode of transportation.

Here we go!

Working this territory was interesting. If I thought there was no shade in Ojo de Agua's territory, I was very wrong. It was so hot on this island and there was almost NO shade to be found...except in this picture.

Venecia isn't highly populated, and the houses are very spread out, so we each only spoke to a couple of people, but it was worth it anyway. It was also nice that we had such a big group! I spoke to a guy living in a pretty fancy house right on the beach. He accepted the magazines immediately, saying he always looks forward to reading them. He also told us that a Canadian couple owns that house and that he's the caretaker. He said that they rarely come to the house because they travel so much and he basically lives there. He invited us to come talk about the Bible whenever we want and to stay in the house for the weekend. I'll keep that in mind!

Domingo's dad having a nice conversation with a man on the road. shade.

After preaching well into midday, it was time to stop for a lunch break right on the water.
This almost reminded me of Maine!

After lunch, we continued on for a few more hours and actually finished working the whole island! Venecia isn't actually assigned to any specific congregation, but there is a small group nearby. We found a lot of interest though, and turned a lot of it into return visits, so it does need to be worked regularly.

After a long day of preaching to about 80 houses, it was time to head back to the mainland.
Ervin, Joel, and I waiting to set sail...even though the boat doesn't have a sail.

My buddy Brian (left) leading the way.

There can never be too many people on one boat!


It was very refreshing to do something out of the ordinary. Besides running out of gas on the truck ride back to Chinandega (yup), the day went really well! I can't say that I'd be able to head out to Venecia regularly, but here's hoping that the activity out there will increase. 

Hope everyone is well. Let me know how you're doing!

Take care.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Sights of Ojo

Hi all,

The last week that I spent with my family visiting from Maine was pretty eventful. I'm gonna try to be quick and concise because I have a lot of pictures to share! After we returned from Matagalpa, we were able to spend two more days preaching out in Ojo, and it was great. We were able to see some of the more scenic parts of our territory. I'm gonna miss having them out there! Here are some photos from Thursday...
Travis & Nicole.

Ben & Bree.

Left to right: Yorleni, Paola, Nicole, and Bree.

On Fridays, we meet at the Cardoza family's house. This is their seven-year-old daughter, Juanita, washing and preparing some freshly-caught fish for lunch.
She's a hard little worker!

Nicole waiting for the group to start while one of Juanita's friends helps prepare the fish in the background.

The gang also got to see one of my favorite spots in our territory, a bridge over a river in Las Champas...
I love this picture.

Friday was really encouraging because the majority of the young ones in our hall came out to preach. School let out recently, so it was really nice to see so many of them using their day off for the ministry. 
Left to right: Mauricio (he was visiting us from another hall that day), Paola, Kelvin, and Ervin, Yorleni's brother. They are all 18, 15, 14, and 17, respectively. Can you tell that they love being photographed?

We also spent some days witnessing with my friends Makeda & Andre (from Canada) in their congregation, La Florida, one of the city congregations. They've been here for about two years. Always fun to be around!
Bree & Nicole with Makeda in the middle.

Andre preaching with Travis.

Speaking to a man on the street.

All of us doing some early-morning witnessing.

Sunday was another memorable meeting. I had the magazine talk, and Bree & Nicole got to do the demonstrations! 
They both did a fantastic job, and I'm not just saying that!

I also surprised the guys by giving my first public talk in Spanish! It certainly wasn't easy, but with Jehovah's help, it went very well. I was so glad the visitors got to be here for it!

After the meeting, we went with Makeda, Andre, Jefte, and Eduardo to end the day with a trip to the beach. A beautiful spot indeed!
This place also has an infinity pool. So awesome!

We ended the trip by spending a day and night in Granada. We took Travis & Nicole ziplining, which again, was a blast!

It was sad to see everyone go, but I'm so glad that they came down. Their visit was a huge boost of encouragement to me. I'm gonna miss having them all in my house - we all have so much fun together. But they came down just for the right amount of time to get a true Nica experience, filled with fun sights and a productive ministry. I really hope that they all come back. Maybe they'll stay longer next time? We'll see!

Hope you all are well. If any of you are serious about wanting to come visit, please contact me!

Talk soon.


Friday, December 6, 2013


Hey guys,

At last, we are in December - the nicest month in Nicaragua! It's been surprisingly cooler in Chinandega. It feels cooler than it was last December! The past few days of service out in Ojo have been really windy, which is a very refreshing change. It's still hotter than the planet's core at midday, but certainly not as extreme.

The Mainers departed yesterday, and we had a great time. Last week, we went up to Matagalpa for a couple of days to visit my friends Kimmy & Ashlee. They lived in Chinandega for about five years while serving in the Sign Language congregation, but their circuit overseer recently asked them if they would move to Matagalpa to help form a new sign language group. They've been living there for a couple of months now, and it's been a very nice change for them, especially the climate - it's a lot cooler than Chinandega! They've moved into a really nice and spacious house, and let us stay with them during our visit.

Matagalpa is a beautiful town. It's situated up in the mountains. Very scenic. 

The day we arrived, we headed up to a beautiful waterfall called Santa Emilia. It involved taking a long, overcrowded bus ride, but it was definitely worth it!

The water was nice and cold! It made for a very refreshing swim. It's an awesome spot, even if we found a bunch of leeches later on (that's a story for another day). 

The next day, we headed up to the Selva Negra park for a horseback riding tour.
Bree smiling at the start of the tour...until one of the horses ran past her and bit her leg! Ouch! It left quite the bruise, but we had a lot of fun despite the injury.

Although the Matagalpa trip was quick, it was certainly memorable. And of course, it had to end with a problematic bus ride back to Chinandega. The bus kept stopping for really long periods of time, which I was very happy about...
...but I would do it all over again!

But that's not all! The remaining week we had in Chinandega was also a week to be remembered. Next post. :)


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Visitors & Big News!

Hi there!

I have news, everyone - big news! Today at the meeting, Martin Doubon showed up. He is the coordinator of the La Florida congregation, and he only comes to our meetings to make announcements that only elders can make. So when he was called up to the stage for an announcement, I didn't know what to expect. I was really hoping that nobody was disfellowshipped, but instead, we received the best announcement we could have hoped for: Our local ministerial servant, Domingo, has been appointed as an elder!!!

He will now be serving as our coordinator. Everyone in the hall couldn't stop smiling. It's so encouraging! Jehovah has definitely answered our prayers. It relieves so much anxiety. There's still plenty of work to do, but at least we have a stable local elder now!

Besides that, my visitors from Maine arrived this past Monday! We've been having a blast so far. This past week, we spent a few hardcore days preaching in Ojo. I helped them prepare some Spanish presentations, and they've all done awesome with it. 

Ben placing his first tract.

Travis and I enjoying the cloudy day.

Me, Nicole, and Bree riding in Renee's tuk tuk to the service group.

These next four pictures are my absolute favorites from this week:
...Nicole placing a tract with a very friendly woman...

...Ben speaking with a man while doing some early-morning witnessing...

...Travis preaching to a shop owner...

...and Bree placing a tract with a very nice girl.

They've all done very well out in service, especially since we've had to walk to the outskirts of our territory every day this week to finish covering our tract campaign territory!

This is Sinforiano, one of my Bible studies. He can read very basically, but needed reading glasses. Renee gave me an old pair of glasses to bring to him. He said that he can see perfectly with them, and now he feels much more motivated to read the literature during his free time!

Today, we went to Ojo's double meeting. Once again, the Mainers gave it their all. They all commented for each part, and their comments were great!
They all sounded like native speakers!

We've had a lot of fun so far. I'll post more pictures after we visit Matagalpa this week!

Take care,