Friday, August 31, 2012

"Run for a roof" August 27, 2012


This week went by really fast. We had Transfers on Wednesday and we receive the calls the night before. So, we were sitting there waiting for the calls, when President Hernández started calling us (usually the AP's who call us for changes). Elder Furniss answered and when he got off the phone he looked at me and he had turned pale. I was laying in my hammock and I asked him what happened. All he said was, "You wouldn't believe me if I told you, I'm the new AP!" He was freaking out and pacing the room all night receiving calls of congratulations for him. He was so nervous to be the new assistant to President. So he was up all night packing and we didn't get to bed until 12. I had to wake up the next day at 3:40 so that I could take a shower before jumping on the bus. We had to be at the Mission home at 8am. We made it at 7:30 and we were able to meet the new missionaries that we received, there were quite a few. There is even an Elder from Brazil that had to go to the MTC to learn Spanish since his first language is Portuguese. He is now tri-lingual and knows English as well, it was interesting talking to him.

I received Elder Barrera from El Salvador. Hes a small 5'6 guy and he's funny. We joke alot but we have had the most success in these past 4 days than I have the past week and a half contacting! Its a complicated story, but I'll try to explain it. We had received complaints from some members asking why we haven't visited this teenager who has been to church for 6 weeks. We started to ask the leaders in our Branch leadership meeting if they knew who the girl was. There were a few that did. I then asked them why they never told us about this girl that has been visiting for 6 weeks. They all had tried to blame it on us for not asking them who it was. In our defense, we had asked 5 of the leaders who this girl was and they all told us that she was a member. Anyway, we finally found where she lives and her mom is a long lost inactive member. Now, this girls cousin, brother and aunt are going to be baptized this month! All because this girl had found the church through her little friends, the rest of her family are now coming to church.

Yesterday, we had a tropical storm hit us. We were walking and it started to pour, and I mean pour! We had gotten soaked while walking down the street to go to our appointment we had. It was a lot of fun because we had gotten so wet that we didn't care anymore. We were laughing and walking down the street while everyone else was huddled under roofs or in their houses looking at us like we were crazy (we partly were). When it starts to rain here everyone starts to run for a roof. Its like they are afraid that they will melt if the water touches them! When we showed up to our appointment, they started laughing because we were so wet. We took off our shoes and dumped about a gallon of water out of them and went inside to teach.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Mamí look! The Mormons!" August 20, 2012

Elder Furniss and I walking down the path to "El Bufalo"

The official welcome to "El Bufalo" sign. I had to throw up the double V's to represent "Valle Verde" Zone

This week was a hard week trying to look and find new investigators. This week we had Zone Conference on Tuesday, which took up our whole day in traveling and the conference took up the whole afternoon. We didn't have much time to work that day. The rest of the week, we spent contacting and teaching members. My favorite thing to do is to set appointments with members and teach them about the Missionary Work. There is one family in particular that I like to visit. Its a family of 5 (like ours) and the oldest son is serving in El Salvador. He is the first missionary in his family and his mom is so proud to have her son go on a mission. Listening to her makes me think about how much my family loves and talks about me and the example I am for all of them. I always teach the members and share my favorite scripture Alma 13:24 and talk to them about their friends and neighbors who they have talked about church with. I am proud to say that it worked! We received a contact of a new young couple who would like to listen to us and go to church. We went and visited with them with the member and they were really positive. They accepted our invitation to pray and to ask God if these things are true. We have a return appointment this week, I hope everything goes well.

This week, we also went out to a small pueblo called El Bufalo. Just the name itself called me out for a challenge! My companion Elder Furniss always talked about how far away it was and how small it was. He told me that only 50 people lived there. So he took me out there and we also brought a Libro de Mormon with us to try and plant out there as an extra challenge. We walked 35 min all the way down there and my comp was wrong...there were 20 people that lived there. It was a really interesting place. It had one street and everyone lived on this road. As soon as we stepped foot on the road, a little boy yelled out, "Mamí look! Look at the Mormon's!" and then everyone turned and looked at us. It was really erie... the only thing I could think of to say was,"Where?!" and start looking around and behind me. The lady started to laugh, I'm just glad that I could break the ice. We talked to her for a bit and it turned out that her family are members and one is a return missionary! We talked to them about the church and we gave them a Book of Mormon and they said that they would read it. I hope that little seed can grow as we let it plant its self and take root (Alma 32)

An interesting thing happened to us as we were contacting. We went up to the fence and we were talking to the people and we looked down and said, "hmm, that's weird whys the ground moving... ahhh ants!!" and we starting running around and dancing. There were huge, and I mean HUGE black ants all over the place and they bit harder than any bug has bitten me! I still have the marks on my leg. They were ridiculously big. It hurt the rest of the day but after a couple of days it left.

"Prayer is something simple" August 13, 2012

This week seems like it went on forever! Being sick just made the days drag on and seem like forever, but a simple prayer and a change of attitude can change everything. It turns out that I wasn't the only one in the Zone that was sick, there was another Elder that had the same thing I had, but worse. We are both doing fine and are ready to take the week on head first. On Thursday I went on divisions to get to know a new area called Zamorano. It was fun, but there were a ton of hills! We went everywhere and I was able to meet their investigators and see how they are doing as an area. We visited a recent convert and she told me her story and how the Elders would always pass by her store and wave "buenos dias" and keep going on their way. She said that one day they stopped and asked her if they could share a message with her. When they offered to say the prayer, she said that she would do it, so she stood up and began to scream and yell the prayer at the top of her lungs. She told me she didn't realize that the Elders were squirming from the volume of her voice. The Elders then taught her the importance of prayer and how to pray. The thing is, here in Honduras many people always say that they pray everyday. But the thing is, people don't know how to REALLY pray. When we talk to our mothers we don't yell out, "Hey mom!! Wheres my food?" Or, when we are standing in front of our family and friends we don't scream and yell out so they can hear us. The same principle applies to the way we pray, it is the only "manera" (i don't know how to explain it in English) La oracion es la unica manera como podemos comunicarnos con Dios. Most of the time we feel like we are praying and just talking to our Heavenly Father who is up in heaven. But the truth is, heaven is closer than we think. We don't need to yell so that God can hear us. Prayer is something simple. When I say my prayers in the morning and night, I like to imagine that Heavenly Father is in the same room standing next to me. It makes the prayer more personal, I think. The convert said that when the Missionaries taught her about Prayer, she knew that something was different about the church, but it was something good.

While on Divisions, we finished the night by visiting the branch president of Zamorano and his family. When we came up, they were seated outside with two other women. We got to talking and I introduced myself and we found out that the two other women were cousins of the Branch President. So we talked to them and one of them left. So we were sitting there and the daughter of president looks in my lap and sees the Book of Mormon that I was carrying and said," Oh man, you weren't able to give your Book of Mormon today. Well, today is your lucky day, here, give it to my cousin!" I looked at the other Elder to see if he had talked to her cousin before. He gave me the sign, so I gave her the Book of Mormon and we explained it to her and told her what it was. We asked her if she had heard anything about it before and she told us,"No, I haven't heard anything about this book but that it's true. They always tell me that this book is true, but I never understood why. I've wanted one, but I've never have the guts to ask for one." We were all amazed when she had said that. We read Moroni 10:3-5 and also a section in D&C explaining that when you know these things are true, you shall feel a burning in your bosom (something along those lines) and she was excited to read and accept another visit from the missionaries. It was amazing how strong the spirit was while we were seated there outside on the porch, testifying the whole time that these things are true.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"Shall we not go one in so great a cause" August 7, 2012

Well, I was right about one thing in my letter last week. We didn't get a lot of time to work in our area. We had to go down to Tegucigalpa for 2 days because President wanted the Zone Leaders there early for "ZL Consejo". So we went up on Tuesday afternoon and made it to the office around 5 o'clock. When we arrived, my hometown pal, AP Elder Casey grabbed me and we went to do divisions in his area to an appointment he had at 6. It was really fun spending the night doing divisions with him and contacting in taxi's together. We were walking down a road and it hit us that we were both in the middle of crowded Tegucigalpa with each other. Just the fact that I went to his Mission Farewell and us knowing each other before the mission blew our minds! We spent the night at his house too, it was a fun night.

Later in the week, we had set an appointment with our investigators to have a movie night. We watched the Joseph Smith movie. It went really well, two of the girls were tearing up. I just love watching that movie with investigators because alot of the times, even after we explain it, they don't understand who Joseph Smith really was. That he really was a prophet of God chosen to restore the Church of Jesus Christ upon the Earth. We had watched the movie with our investigators and their family members who were members of the church and afterwards, the members began to bear their testimonies on how they knew this was the true church of God and how Jesus Christ leads and directs the church hoy en dia.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Married, Baptized, & Confirmed" July 30, 2012

It definitely feels like a load has been taken off my shoulders after all of the marriage papers, wedding plans and baptism service we had this week. We had gone to Tegucigalpa last week to take out the "edictos" for the wedding. I guess they are optional if you want the whole wedding plan to go faster. We then found out that we have to wait until the next day to come back and pick them up. This was going to be a nightmare for us, because this only meant one thing...we had to have the office elders come pick it up. We were worried about this because the Office Elders were always running around or always busy and forget to do things that we ask of them. Luckily, they were able to get the papers to us.

On Thursday I went on divisions to Yuscaran again. It was funny to go up there again because all of the members know me and always ask the Elders, "When is Elder Jardín coming back?" Yeah so I went up there and did their baptismal interviews and helped them out with their investigators. There was something different about being on divisions. I soon found out what that was when I came back to my area. The weight all dropped back on me to get the wedding and baptism ready. There is nothing like the stress you get praying that your investigators will be ready Sunday morning to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and then we would pass by in the morning to bring them to church, but they would be sick or sleeping. But this family was on the ball! They were all up, ready, showered and excited for church. It's families and times like this when you know the work we are doing is right.

Yep, so everything went well this week. The family was married, baptized and confirmed. The only sad part was that the 2 girls felt like they were not ready yet, so we have to work with them so that they feel prepared and excited for their baptisms too.