Friday, October 26, 2012

"WET!!!" October 22, 2012

If I had to describe how this week went in one word... I think I would say WET!! The whole week was just pure rain. It would be hot and sunny in the afternoon and by the time its 3 oclock you can see the clouds rolling in from both sides. Just two huge grey walls of rain coming in. It was a good week though.

Last Sunday we had investigators show up to church all by themselves. We didn't know who they were so we went over afterwards and started talking to her. She told us that her name was Azucena, It turns out that she was a reference given to us by an inactive member! We received the reference Saturday afternoon and we never had the chance to go over to meet her. We put an cita with her so that we could pass by and talk to all of them. So we went over Tuesday morning and we started talking to her and her family, getting to know them and then the topic came up on why they all came to church on Sunday. The mom said that they had been to different churches and that she had stopped going to them a little while ago because she didn't feel the need to go since they were teaching the same thing over and over. She said that she then got to talking to her friend about our church and how the member was thankful for all of the standards and morals that they teach the youth. So that's what sparked her attention and desire. She also said that about 10 years ago, she saw the missionaries walking in the street inviting people to church. She said that they never passed by her house, but she could feel the need to go to "their" church and that something was different. We challenged the whole family and they are now working for their baptismal date for the 10th of November.

We were walking in the street later that day and after walking for about 3 min we realized that there was no one in the streets. We looked at each other and knew that there was a National Soccer game going on. You could hear it echoing in the street and people in their houses yelling "GOL!!!" We passed by a house and saw that Honduras was playing to qualify in the World Cup against Canada. I thought they were losing but later when the game ended everyone came out again and they were saying Honduras won 8-1. It was easier to teach people because they were all happy hahaha!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Buenas tardes Señor" October 15, 2012

 This week was a nice normal week. We had Interviews to start it out. While we were walking to Ojo de Agua for the Interviews and it started pouring on us. By the time we made it to the church, we were soaked from head to toe. When I went to shake Presidents hand he came out and jumped a little, surprised how wet we were. He shook my hand and joking asked me why we didn't invite him to the pool party. I tried to give him a bid hug, but he didn't accept it.

Later this week we went and visited our converts the Familia Amaya. we taught them the lesson and to finish we asked Perlita to say the closing prayer. She is the youngest of the family and was a little timid about offering it, but she did it. When she began to offer it, she said something that I thought was very interesting and it surprised me. She started out saying, "Buenas tardes Señor..." and for awhile it sounded like she was just talking with God. I enjoyed hearing this prayer from this 8 year old because it helped me remember that prayers aren't just something that we say to do because its necessary. Sometimes we find ourselves falling into the same routine when we pray and maybe saying and asking for the same things every time. Also, it drew to my attention that when we pray, its not just something to do to bless the food, or to start church. Its in this time that we talk to God and ask for the things that we may need in that time and to openly, well, just talk.

I received a phone call this morning from the Elders in Nacaome. They informed me that one of my converts had died this past weekend and that she was going to be buried today. She was sitting on the back of a truck to go home and I don't know how, but she just fell off the back and she hit the road and died instantly. Its really sad, she was the mom that we baptized of a family of 12. Out of her 10 kids 4 are baptized. She was always so excited for our visits when I was there and she would make sure that we were coming when we said we would. I just cant believe it. So sad.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"It was only a matter of time.." October 8, 2012

This week was perhaps the busiest week in my Mission. On Monday we continued our celebratory PDay in Tegus celebrating all of the work we achieved as a zone. We went and bowled as a zone. I just have to say I am getting really really bad. I don't think I made it over 100...yeah I know. But if I could defend myself, It was the ball's fault. I mean come on, we are in Honduras its not the best place to go bowling.

I was a little excited this week to receive transfer calls. I received them for everyone in the zone first and then asked my ex comp, AP Furniss for ours. Sadly I will be spending my 4th transfer here in La Vill. Well its not really sad, Its just that it is a long time to be in an area. I will be here for 6 months by the time next Transfers come. Elder Barrera and I will be doing some more of the Lord's work here together, we'll make it fun.

We basically spent the rest of the week in Tegucigalpa going to the ZL Consejo and then we came back to see General Conference on Saturday and Sunday. I knew exactly what President Monson was going to say before he made the announcement. I could feel it! As soon as he brought up the fact that some Latin American Countries permit youth to leave when they are 18 to serve a mission I wasn't surprised. It was only a matter of time. But what did surprise me was the fact that the women can now go when they are 19!! That caught us all way off guard. That is so awesome that everyone can go when they are younger. I know for a fact that alot more girls will be leaving on missions for that. Its also good that they lowered it for the men so that they don't just sit around and wait until they are 19, now they can go right out of High School. Apart from the announcement, Conference was great.

Well this week we are looking forward to working in our area finally to look for more families that need the restored gospel of Christ!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"Real Emotions" October 2, 2012

Guilberto & Ana Julia Family
Rafael & Adela Family
This week was a great week, really busy, but great. We were busy trying to make sure that everything was ready and organized for the Baptismal Service on Saturday. We went and visited them every day of the week so that they could all be good and ready. We went to go teach one of the families that was going to be baptized on Saturday (Guilberto & Ana Julia). The lesson went well I guess, Guilberto is an 82 year old man and every time we come in and sit down with him he begins to tell us how his life is and how is little corn field is doing. He usually goes on and talks to us for awhile before we can ever get the chance to cut in and talk to him about his wedding and baptism. Yes, I said wedding. Guilberto got married to his wife last week also. He is 82 and she is 42... its quit a difference but they both wanted to marry each other and they were sure of it. But while Guilberto was talking to us we noticed that his sister was sitting in the room also making something in a bucket. We went over to look in the bucket and it just looked like it was full clumpy liquidy stuff. When we asked her what she was making she told us that she was making cuajara (a type of cheese here). Barrera and I instantly looked at each other and got a little queasy because we had been offered it before and eaten a little chunk a couple days earlier. She was just mashing it and dumping all of the liquid into another bucket until it was all out. It was pretty gross, I don't think I will ever eat white cheese again.

We went to teach some more of our investigators early in the week and they were really good. They look happy together and are coming to church. The wife is really, really big and the husband is kind of a strange guy, but they make it work. We passed by and talked to them about everything and about the importance of marriage. They both decided that they would like to get married. We asked the husband to offer the closing prayer, but he kept on refusing because he said that he didn't know how. So we quickly taught him and told him to pray with sincerity and to say what you would like to ask God for. So he began to offer it. In the middle of his prayer he began to say, "bless me with patience because well father, my wife... she's ugly but you know that" In that moment Elder Barrera and I almost started busted up laughing but we tried our best to hold our composer. Right after he said, "I know we were meant to be together to raise this family" and I realized that he was serious about everything and that he wanted to be with her and the children.

We also went and taught our other family that were going to get baptized on Saturday and they were all really excited and ready (Rafael and Adela). We had a mini testimony meeting with them on Thursday with the District President. They all bore their amazing testimonies about how they all received answers to their prayers and how grateful they are of us that we could be able to find them in their time of spiritual need. This is the family that the mom had asked in her prayers the night before we met them, if God could send them someone that can teach them more about his gospel and the life of His son. They really are an amazing family, I will be looking forward to one year from now when they are able to enter the Temple and are sealed as a family. I would come down and visit them if I could, that would be awesome. Adela bore her testimony on when she received her answer. In her story, she said that she had began to pray one night because she believed the church was true, but people were beginning to make fun of her for going to the "Mormon Church". She said she began to pray and said in her prayer that "I want this to be true, Father I want you to tell me if this is the path to go" and she said that in that instant, she felt a warm sensation come over her and that the words were caught in her throat and she said that she couldn't describe the feelings that she felt, she only knew that this church was true. As she was telling us about her experience, she began to cry and so did the rest of her family. It was such an amazing feeling that night, just having the Spirit there with us on their porch and feeling it so strong.

The day finally came for their baptism. They all showed up and the air was full of an electric feeling in the air and they were all baptized that day.

On Sunday, we were invited as a zone to go over to the Mission Home for a nice dinner with Presidente Hernández and his wife. The zone Monjaras also went to the Mission Home with us to eat. After dinner Presidente prepared a surprise for us and had hired a mini bus for all of us to go to the temple that night to see it with the lights on it. I went to go get in the bus but President called me back and said, "Sorry Elder Harding, but we need someone a little bit smaller that you" So basically he was saying that there was only room left for about 4 more latins. So me, 4 elders and 4 hermanas were left behind from the mini bus, but then President brought his SUV around front and we all tried to pile in there. When he asked, "Is there anyone else?" I was still the odd one out. He looked over and said, "Ahhh El gran Nefita" (Nephite) and he asked how is it that there is never room for me. He ran inside and asked a family that was visiting with him if there was room in their car for me. The man said there was so I went with him and his family. On the drive over, I got to talking with the member and his family. He said that they were the family of Hermana Ortiz, who came on the same day as me to Honduras, and that they drove all the way from Managua, Nicaragua to visit President Hernandez. I thought it was a little strange that the whole family would come down to see their daughter. We talked the whole drive and Brother Ortiz and I hit it off really well and we were joking the whole 20 mins. When he spoke, there were some words that I didn't understand like "Que Salvaje!" or "Que twenties". I asked him what that meant and he said, "Now Elder, don't tell me that you don't know the slang words from Nicaragua!" I told him that I never had a companion from there and he laughed. When we got the the temple I pulled him aside and asked him if everything was okay and if there was anything wrong, and why they had drove 8 hours to come see his daughter with his family. What he then told me totally caught me off guard. He told me, "Elder, look over there. You see my daughter over there holding her baby? She isn't a member. Do you know why? Because she was stolen from us when she was first born in the hospital. We just found her 2 weeks ago and she is finally reunited with us after 21 years. She is the twin sister of the Hermana Ortiz you know." I was so surprised that after 21 years they had just found their daughter. So they all came down as a family so that Hermana Ortiz could meet the twin sister that she never got to know. We then took lots of pictures in front of the temple lit up. It looks way better at night than in the day.