Thursday, May 31, 2012

"The most stressful week" May 29, 2012

"El Jardin" is Harding in Spanish, meaning "Garden"

Well, this has been the most stressful week in all of my mission, maybe my life!! Oh man, I don't even know where to start. Its like there wasn't enough time. First, we barely got the papers to get the investigating couple married. We paid and had everything ready to turn in, but the investigator's witnesses for the wedding weren't ready and hadn't worked on the papers they had to do, so we ran and did that the last minute. We later had everything planned, they were going to get married at 11:30 in Pespire and they were going to be ready. We were able to squeeze them in to get married in Pespire but only thanks to my good pal Elder Folsom. Pespire is his area and he was able to talk to the people and convince them to marry this couple and to do it on a Saturday. Its almost never heard of. So Saturday we went over to the investigators house an hour early to make sure they were ready. They got ready and we were leaving to catch a bus at 10:30 to get to Pespire early. When we asked were the witnesses were, they said that they weren't coming.... (they cant get married without the registered witnesses) so Elder Garcia and I ran around looking for the witnesses and finally found them and we left in the bus at 11:30. I was nervous because we were so late. But everything went to plan and they were married and the baptisms all went through. One almost didn't want to come because she was playing soccer... Only in Honduras.
These were the first baptisms that I have contacted in the street and taught all the way to baptism. I cannot express the joy that I felt for them as I saw them all progress and grow spiritually and see them be baptized. They were all excited that night too because we had filled the room with members that came to support them. It was definitely a special day for them. After, one of the boys kept on telling his neighbor friends that I baptized him. He was so happy, so was his mom that was baptized too. After seeing everyone after the baptism, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the true church. That everything we do is done under the direction of Christ, that we are here doing the Lords work. "Él es la luz y la vida del mundo; sí, una luz que es infinita, que nunca se puede extinguir" (Mosíah 16:9)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"The streets turn into rivers" May 21, 2012

Well, this week was a crazy week! We have had nothing but a bunch of rain storms. Every day at 4:30pm you could see the black clouds rolling in and at 5 it would rain. It felt nice after having all of the heat that we've had, but the downfall to the rain was that it would only be more humid after. This week we also had Zone Conference down in Cholutecha with Elder Falabela of the 70! It was interesting to see his approach to teaching. He had nothing planned, nothing written down, just pure revelation. He got up and said, "I don't know what I'm supposed to tell you yet, but we will start with how many families are getting baptized." From there he just taught. He ended up shaving the Latin missionaries for not learning English. He told them that the reason that they are not learning is because they are prideful. He then said that that learning English would not only bless them, but their future family. I think this can apply to all of us. If we think that we don't need to learn a language because we live in the United States and we have that "we only speak English here" attitude, that we too, need to get ride of this pride and try to learn a second language.
Later, I then did divisions with the Zone Leaders in San Lorenzo. I went down there and we worked and did 5 baptismal interviews for other missionaries in our Zone. They all passed! One was a new couple that was just married. The husband owns a bunch of calves and is raising them to sell. When we finished and were about to leave, one of the calves tried to jump over my bike and landed on the tire! Ends up that my tire was popped and we had to walk in the rain the rest of the way. Once again, at 5 o'clock, it started to rain and the streets turned into rivers. We got so wet, we just didn't care anymore and walked in the floods and grabbed some dinner on our way home.
This Friday we are finally marrying the family that we found 3 months ago! All of the paperwork has come in and they will be baptized this Saturday. In total we will have 5 baptisms this weekend. It should be great.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Happy Mother's Day call" May 14,2012

This was a great week! The thing that made it great was that I was able to talk to my mom and wake her up with a "Happy Mother's day call"!!! Oh man, I am so grateful for the family that I have and all the love we have. There are many that don't have the blessing of a family here in Honduras. There are alot of single parents that struggle looking for work and taking care of a family that they love and care for. The thing is, there are always things that happen, and there may be little arguments, but when it comes down to it all we have is our family and the love of our Heavenly father to pick us back up and get on our way.
Also the baptism that my District had this week was really cool. I went Friday to do the 4 interviews. It was originally 3, but we looked up the records of a member up there and she was never recorded as being baptized. It was fun to redo her baptism, she was 65 and was all worried about passing the "interview" she was cute. Then I interviewed the 3 other kids and they were all excited and ready to be baptized. they were 9, 11 and 13 years old. When I asked them who would they like to baptize them they all asked me if I would be at the baptism the next day. I told them that I didn't think I would... but then they insisted that I stay because they wanted me to baptize them! I felt honored, but first asked if they wanted the other Elders to do it, but they said no. Well, I didn't want to crush their hopes of being baptized by a giant from the United States so I stayed.
Oh also, I found out that I am a terrible marble player. I remember being good when I was little, but now, not so. The kids here are always outside playing each other in marbles. Each group of kids has their own game, its hard to follow. I lost.... to them all, actually.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Jose Smith" May 7, 2012

This is my Crocodile skin Scripture case and a few wallets I've picked up made of Boa Constrictor and Crocodile skins.

Okay, well, this was a good week. We decided that we weren't having any more success in the city, so we planned on moving and expanding out to the small Colonies outside. It turns out that it was a good idea! We went out and contacted a bunch of houses and they all let us in (thats one thing that I love about the south, the people here all want to hear the word of God and invite you in). The first house we entered to had a ton of questions and goes to a Pentecostal church. She said that her pastor has taught her all about the "Mormon Religion". We were interested in what this included so we asked her what she knew. She said that we dont believe in God and that we worship a statue and the statue is of a man covered in hair and has a big belly and this statue's name is José Smith. My first reaction was to smile and start laughing, but I caught it so she didn't feel bad. We talked to her and taught her what we really believe. She said wanted us to know that she is firm in her church, but its okay if we teach her. So we talked a bit and we taught her how the gospel was restored on the earth once more and who José Smith really is. She was shocked that we were the opposite that her pastor has taught her. I was a little shocked too that someone would tear down other religions and teach their congregations this too. I can testify that I know for a fact that We as members of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Later Day Saints are persecuted the most out of any other religion. All the time, people all ways have negative things to say and try and tear our beliefs down. Those who criticize only do so because they have never done the following: pray with real intent in their hearts to know if these things are true. People are too prideful to do so. Satan is only attacking the followers of Christ even harder and more than we know. We invited her to church but she didnt want to miss hers, so she said no. We then visited another family that we found last week. They have aproximately 12 people in the family and its hard to teach them all at once. We taught the dad, mom and the oldest daughters and gave them a Books of Mormon and we read the first paragraph and explained what the Book of Mormon was and then we read the last 2 paragraphs to challenge them to read it. We then read Moroni 10:3-5 and as soon as we finished we asked them what they understood and thought about the Book of Mormon so far. The mom said, "Its all true, the book, the restoration all of it." The daughter then said that the Book of Mormon was true also and they all prayed to know if our message was true that night and were all excited when we visited again. They would have gone to church, but the kids were sick so they couldn't. The hard part was that we woke up and left early to walk a long way to their house to bring them to church and they couldnt make it.

This Saturday we had a huge rain and Lightning storm hit. It went on all night and took out the power. To my demise, there was a hole in the roof right over where I sleep! With my craftmanship I fixed that baby right up!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"Honduras National Registration"April 30, 2012

Well, this week have gone by fast! We were kept busy. First, I started by doing divisions with my new ZL, Elder Martinson. We had to go to Tegucigalpa to restart the papers for our investigating family. The paper that says that the husband is single was destroyed over time. They didn't take care of the books and the paper got wet and ruined. So we headed to Tegus Tuesday and went to the national registration building that had all of the papers of every single person in Honduras. This place was packed with people and cardboard boxes that had the info of everyone. We were waiting in line a long time and we finally made it up front. The lady then told us that we have to come back tomorrow to do the work. We were a little frustrated and said that we came all the way from Nacaome (4 hours by bus) to take these papers out. A different worker there heard that we were missionaries and she pulled us aside and she said she could help us out. She gave us names of people and their offices in the building that were members of the church. So we went to all of the offices behind the scenes and we got all of the papers taken care of. Now we have to wait another 2 weeks until they remake the paper. I'm so thankful that there were members working there and that we were able to find them or else it would have taken us days to do it.
Next, we were coming back from District meeting in San Lorenzo, and some people in the street called me over. They had a panicked look on their faces and invited us in. There inside was a Gringa (lady from the USA). She was huge! Everyone was freaking out because she was sleeping on the street so they brought her in to take care of her. They asked me to talk to her in English, because she couldn't speak Spanish. It turns out that she just moved down to live in Tegucigalpa for the rest of her life. She doesn't know Spanish, lives alone and wanted to explore little cities in Honduras. She was robbed and was sick from the heat here. So I talked to her and translated everything for everyone. We helped arrange her ride back to Tegucigalpa. Everything turned out fine, the only thing was I think she was a little bit crazy... she was talking about how she was mind probed and stuff by aliens. But don't worry, shes back at her house in Tegucigalpa.