Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"Cambios (changes)" January 30, 2012

Oh man, I don't even know where to begin! Alright, so I did end up
having changes this transfer. I got the phone call last Tuesday night
and they told me that I would be leaving tomorrow to go to the town
Nacaome. I automatically knew what that meant...This town is infamous
for its heat during the Semana Santa (first two weeks in April). I
then found out that I had to be at the Mission Home at 8 in the
morning. That only meant one thing... I was training! Oh man, when
they told me that I had been called to train, the first thing I said
was,"No, really. Who's my new companion?!" But sure enough, I have been
called to be a trainer, in Nacaome. To make things EVEN BETTER I was
going to be opening the area that I was going to. So now, I am
starting from scratch in this area and I'm training Elder Garcia from
Guatemala (he is now 1 of the 6 Garcia's in the mission). Everything
has gone good so far, we luckily share this town with 2 other Elders
and I have a ward I can work with. Its so hot down here right now,
that I cant wait for la semana santa...yeppi! Nah, it'll be fun, its a
calm little town. Its definitely bigger then my last area, and a lot
more flat. As nerdy as it sounds, the mission calls trainers Jedi
Masters. So therefore, I also have my padawan.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Standing Firm" January 23, 2012

Moments before the demise of our beloved "Semita"

These are some of the local kids here in Colonia Sagastume.

This is the Church building in Sagastume.

This is a semita. Its a sweet roll. We eat them for breakfast. They are usually small. This is a giant one that happens to be the same size as my head! And Yes, I shared.

This week has gone by pretty well. Last Monday, we went and rented a turf fùtbol field and played against each other in the zone. It was a ton of fun, I don't remember having so much fun playing fùbol before either. Our team dominated the zone once again. I was goaly and also moved up the midfield and I even scored a couple times. This week was mostly a busy one, we had a bunch of baptismal interviews to do for our district. That took two days out of our week doing that. Then we had meetings and other goal planning with the branch here. These past couple of weeks I've been cooking for myself because we were getting over charged and for other reasons. So for lunches and dinners I've been eating spaghetti, burgers, salad, apples, mac&cheese and baleadas. We've been eating so much better now, and its even cheaper.  All my cooking skills that I have learned all come from Mom & Dad. This past Friday I completed 6 months in the mission! I've learned so much from just these past couple of months that I'm afraid of what more I could possibly learn. Also this week, my companion and I stood up and contacted the bus down to Centro. The bus I talked to had 41 people in it, and Elder Belnap's had 48. It was a great experience to get up and bear testimony of the church and to stand there firm in my beliefs. Everyone was looking at me too! Holy cow, all 82 eyes couldn't believe that a giant "gringo", who cant even fit in the bus, was standing up and speaking Spanish. It was an awesome time. Today for P-Day, we went and saw the Temple again, but this time Angel Moroni was on top of the steeple. The progression is coming along nicely.

The work on the Temple is coming along. On this visit, the Angel Moroni was on top!

Pointing to my area, Sagastume. It's in the furthest mountain on the left.

Zona Tegucigalpa.

Monday, January 16, 2012

"6 Months" Monday, January 16, 2012

Completing the 6 month tradition for the Mission.


Well this week, I would first like to confirm the saying that the days are long, but the weeks go by really fast in the mission. This past week went by really fast. I have contacted all of the colony that I live in, so these past couple of days we've gone out to the more deserted villages in our area. We've been having some luck out there, but not much. The Pentecostal church here did a bunch of service projects out in the small villages and put on orange roofs on the houses they built. So we know where to expect a bible bash when we contact the houses with orange roofs. But that's alright, I personally am not out here to bible bash with people or the prove these other churches wrong, its about helping others. Whether it's through the gospel or through service, that's my purpose. We have one solid family that we are teaching out there though. We were in the middle of teaching when the husband's uncle pulled up with a truck full of Coconuts! So we ended the lesson and they gave us 3 each so we could drink the water and eat them. It was a ton of fun. Lets see, what more happened this week... oh! Friday night at 3 o'clock in the morning we were all of a sudden woken up by some cats fighting on our roof...our tin roof! It was so loud and annoying, it woke us both up. They were up there for about 10 min and then one fell off the roof and sat there in front of the door and growled at the one on the roof for another 5 min! Holy smokes, I couldn't believe this was really happening. So I went up and hit the door and the one on the ground took off and the other on the roof walked slowly back across the roof crunching the roof with every step. Then Sunday morning, I was outside brushing my teeth when all of a sudden I heard chickens on our roof. So I went up there and was about to run up and catch them, when all of a sudden, the dog next door crawled through the fence and started chasing the chickens on the roof! It was so loud, I could hear my comp yelling, "What in the world Harding?!" and then the chickens flew off the roof and made it over the fence. Sadly, the rooster flew and ran straight into a post and fell down into our backyard. The dog jumped off the roof and caught the rooster! In my fury at the dog, I grabbed a rock and I threw it at the dog and the rooster ran into our shower room and I locked it in there. That dog was running around everywhere with feathers on its mouth looking for that stinkin' rooster. Once the dog went away, I let the rooster go. It was crazy! This Friday I will be completing 6 months in the Mission! At the 6 month mark, you're supposed to burn a tie so I'm going to be doing that as part of the Mission tradition.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Evangelio de Jesucristo" January 9, 2012

This is one of my mission friends, Elder Cuque. He is from Guatemala and is the shortest elder here. When we go on divisions together we are a funny pair...The shortest and tallest missionary walking together on the streets!

This week I feel like not a whole lot happened. But the truth is, ALOT happened. We went to a further part of my Area called La Alta Villa and Reina Nacer. In Reina Nacer, we finally found a complete family this week! Usually its either only the husband or the wife home, but we found the whole family there. We taught them a little bit about the Evangelio de Jesucristo and we set a return cita. Then we went to La Alta Villa and we found a house that had 3 other families inside and we taught them and made another cita to come back. We were on our way back yesterday and we passed by the first family and said "hi", and made our way to La Alta Villa for our cita there (But what we didn't see was that the Iglesia Pentecostes was there with the family and saw us talk to them and swooped in to talk to them and spread nonsense about us.) So we finally arrived and taught a beautiful lesson on the Restoration of Christ's Church and all three of the families were still interested and one even said,"No hay una duda que este es la Iglesia de Jesucristo" So we'll see how they progress! As we went to return back to the family in Reina Nacer, we definitely noticed the difference in the family. They weren't as welcoming and they told us that our religions are different and were too different and they didn't want anything. That was a bunch of nonsense, I don't know why, but the churches here don't like us. They always ignore us and think that we're bad people. We ended the night well with dinner in the Mission Presidents house! His wife, Hermana Hernèndez, invited us to dinner. We also had ice cream! We were talking all night and he asked us if we wanted to stay the night in the Mission Home. So we stayed the night with 2 other missionaries and had a good night.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"Valle de Angeles" January 2, 2012

Valle de Angeles, this is a hole that is cut in the side of a mountain.

Pathway through the jungle to the waterfalls in Valle de Angeles.

My companion, Elder Belnap and I in the middle of a jungle river.

The waterfall at the end of the trail.

I made it!

Me posing under the waterfall.

Drinking delicious vitamin water (not really, just kidding mom!)

Some of my fellow hikers, Elder Martinson(top), Elder Hall (middle), Elder Quevedo(right).

This week went by fast, I don't really remember much that happened. With New Years Eve being this weekend, alot of people had us over for food again. Saturday morning my companion woke up and we were eating breakfast and he asked me how my sleep was. I replied, "It was good". He then said, "That's good, cause I couldn't get much sleep... because you were sleep talking to me all night!" I started busting up laughing. He also said, "You wouldn't stop talking to yourself, you were asking me things in Spanish and worse of all, you were singing in English!" It was a funny morning, I'm just happy that I can now sleep talk in Spanish too. Today for P-Day we went up to a town called Valle de Angeles. We had planned as a Zone to go hike up to the waterfalls a little ways outside of town. It was a beautiful drive up there, there were pine trees everywhere, it felt like I was back in the states driving in the mountains. We arrived, changed, and headed up there. It was a really cool hike, we walked through the jungle a bit and took pictures along the way. We finally made it there and we relaxed and made our way closer towards the waterfall and took pictures and enjoyed the scenery. It was a ton of fun, we then came back down and walked around the town for a bit (Valle de Angeles is famous for being a tourist attraction). They sell alot of hammocks, shirts, sweatshirts, elaborate carved wooden chests, and paintings all done by hand.

"The Good Day" December 28, 2011

Mission Christmas Party with me and some of my mission friends.

Me with one of my Zone Leaders, Elder Gardner

This week went by really fast! First, we had P-Day Monday, Then Tuesday was the only full day that we had to actually do work in our area. Next on Wednesday, we had to go and do baptismal interviews for the Hermanas in our district. So we spent almost the full day there because they had one scheduled for 10 am and the other at 7 pm. So we worked in their area and they have all of the nice rich people houses. It was hard! We had to push the buzzer and then they would talk to us through the box and watch us with the cameras they had outside. No one would talk, they would always cut in and say "I'm Catholic" and stop. We went to do an interview and I waited outside, but during this time their kids had been playing in the river by their house and found a bag of gun powder floating down the river! So they brought it up and poured it in a line like the cartoons and lit it. This place is crazy! Thursday, we had the mission Christmas party. We watched A Christmas Carol, the new one with Jim Carrey, and then ate lunch made by a professional chef and after played volleyball. Friday we had our District Meeting and then another Baptismal Interview for the Elders in our District. Now to Saturday the 24th... they call this day "The Good Day". The reason for this, is because they celebrate Christmas this day. So all day, at every appointment we had we were either eating Torejas (french toast with tres leches sauce on it) or Tamales (these tamales are huge, not like the ones we know). So in total by the end of the night my companion and I were stuffed. We had 6 Tamales each and 6 Torejas in the morning. We were full and ready for a goodnight sleep...but wait! They also like to light big fire crackers and bombs off at midnight to celebrate some more. So we were woken up by all of the explosions right outside our window. We finally made it to Christmas morning Sunday and went to church and opened up our gifts from our parents. It was great. After lunch, I was able to call home and talk to my family and that made it a great Christmas for me.