Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Week 4

We have 16 progressing investigators and 6 with tentative baptismal dates so far! It's super awesome!  The people here are wonderful. Almost all of them are super friendly and humble.  It's wonderful to be able to serve them every day.  It's amazing to see how willing many of them are to search for truth and righteousness.  

Brother J. and Sister A. live in a small home and are very humble.  Brother J. is recently unemployed and illiterate.  He and his wife have come to church twice so far! Brother J. attended a baptism as well! They have a lot of faith, and they have felt the spirit while attending church.  They like the doctrine, and the only thing they need to do to be baptized is to be married.  Brother R., Sister M., Sister B., and her novio (boyfriend), Brother O. are another family.  Brother R. and Sister M. have been to church once and Brother R., Brother O., and Sister M., especially Brother R. like reading the Book of Mormon.  Brother R. told us he feels a good feeling in his heart when he reads the Book of Mormon and goes to church.  

Sister J. is the daughter of a member.  She is also reading and praying.  She goes to school in Los Angeles and speaks fluent English.  We are working to help her find friends and be fellowshipped in seminary and church.  Sister L. is an English teacher and was introduced to the church through her friend and coworker.  She has super good questions and enjoys going to church and reading the book of Mormon. It's super mas hizo (cool).  They all understand that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ.  All of them are reading and praying, asking Heavenly Father if our message is true.  I teach some in the discussions, but Elder Cruz does about 70% of the talking since he's fluent.  I enjoy teaching though, and I hope I can be able to improve it as I teach more and study! I love to share the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That God is our Heavenly Father that loves us more than we can imagine. That Jesus Christ came to the earth, lived a perfect life and gave a perfect example of love and kindness, suffered and atoned for all the sins, pains, and unfairness in the world so that we can have joy in this life, have an eternal family and return to our Heavenly Father through the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The message that even though we aren't perfect and make mistakes, through Jesus Christ and his atonement, through baptism and following his example, we can become more like him and develop and grow into a better person.

My Spanish is getting better every day, but I have a long way to go!  Pretty much every letter in the alphabet is pronounced differently, so it's hard to sound like a Catracho- especially since they replace the 's' in a lot of words with an 'h' sound.  I´m having a great time here though, and am enjoying helping people change their lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

I played piano on Sunday to accompany the jovenes of seminary.  We sang 'Historias del Libro de Mormon'.  It was a really cool experience because most of the jovenes are investigators! Almost all of them! And there were around twenty of them.  I was able to arrange the hymn a little bit with the time I had to practice with them.  It was mostly improv. But super mas hizo (cool)!  

We went to the supermarket and bought a bunch of fruit, eggs, and other things for less than $20.  We bought 45 eggs because there's not too much meat here lol.  We cook breakfast, and it actually tastes pretty good!  We made omelettes with peppers, tomatoes, and onions with fried plantains, super rico.  We've cleaned the sink and swept the floors!  I'm super grateful we have an aircon unit.  It´s very cool and dark at nights.  Super nice to sleep in.

About Honduras: They sell water in bags here- half liter.  It's pretty cool, and they only cost 1.5 cents! The price of food here is really cheap, and it's super tasty. Lots of cool fruits and vegetables to try.  The cheese is really different also, but really tasty.  It's super, super hot here! 90-100 degrees with 100% humidity every day! Platanos (plantains) maduros are really tasty. They taste best fried. Most people don't have cars, so they get around in 'rapiditos' (these funny looking passenger vans that are super rapido (fast)), taxis, or large buses.  Money=pisto, muy=bien, catracho=hondureño, platanos maduros=super rico, chele=payulo=gringo. Mamones= super tasty little fruits that taste like a grape mixed with a lime.  I can't even describe the texture haha.  Zipote=small children, guirros=medium children

President Klein is awesome.  He is very caring and optimistic.  I am glad to have him as a mission president.

Elder Cruz and I also got the opportunity to talk to about forty jovenes. The Father brought the boys to the church (5-10 minute walk), and we had the opportunity to talk to them all about the church and the gospel. We're super grateful there's a little soccer field in the church lot because a lot of youth go there to play soccer.
Breakfast that we cooked!


We cleaned our sink...

Our stove

Mamone, a mix between a grape and lime
The city

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 3

I´m doing really well! We have three investigators with baptismal dates! I didn´t do much of the work at all, since my Spanish isn´t good enough, but it´s really cool! The food is tasty- I had a big breakfast for $2.50.They drink pepsi like it´s water here. We ate breakfast, and I had to drink pepsi since there wasn´t water haha. The area is one of the nicer areas in the mission. It is pretty safe, and there are a good amount of members.  

My companion says that the new missionaries bring a lot of luck with them because we've been getting a whole ton of new investigators.  Sister J., Sister L. and one more that I forgot her name have baptismal dates so far.  Names are hard to remember, but I'm understanding more Spanish than before.  It's kind of like transcribing jazz. Really hard because you don't recognize the sounds, and it takes a ton of practice to familiarize yourself with the sounds and words and such.  I need to practice teaching because I forget things, and I ,for sure, can't wing anything in Spanish.  I wouldn't want to in English either, but it feels like I have to wing it because all the investigators are different, and I don't know the language well or the discussions super well.  Almost all of the people are super nice and receptive.  

A ton of investigators came to church on Sunday.  The Church building is one of the nicest buildings in the city and it´s pretty nice.  The build quality of the buildings is worse than in the United states so the doors don´t always fit properly in buildings.  I got to play the piano on Sunday.  The poor members are absolutely tone deaf! My companion is nice, but he knows very few words in English. My nice leather shoes got soaked because the streets filled up with water from the rain yesterday.  Some parts of the street were so bad, it was almost up to my knees.  It´s like having someone place a giant shower head in the sky.

All church buildings are fenced to protect them
In the market

My bed

An Elder from our area eating behind bars

Breakfast with Pepsi!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Honduras, I Made It!

I'm in Honduras right now!  I am in my first zone about twenty minutes outside of the San Pedro Sula aeropuerto.  I received my first companion.  His name is Elder Cruz and he is from Costa Rica.  He can only speak a few words of English!  I'm writing from an internet cafe right now about a ten minute walk from the place that I'm staying at.  Honduras is very hot and very very very humid.  It's very pretty and green here though! I don't know what to tell you guys other than the food is very tasty, the people are very humble, very friendly, and I won't have to worry about safety in my first area. P days will be Mondays.  The missionaries here are awesome, and I got to spend two days with the missionaries that work with the mission presidency.  One of them, Elder Hancock is from the same stake as my friend, Malcolm! I ran into Elder Wendt's little brother at the MTC last week.  Baleadas are tasty and mantequila is a condiment similar to sour cream with a different, cheesier flavor and more runny.  We ate nachos from a street vendor night. They were super rico. 'Mas hizo' means cool here in Honduras. 
At the airport!

The 10 Days of MTC

I learned a lot in the past ten days here at the CCM.  My Spanish is improving, but I still have a long way to go for sure.  I enjoy learning a lot and spending time with my fellow Elders and Hermanas as well.  I don't really know what to say about me other than I really want to go out on the mission field to make a difference in the lives of the people in Honduras, work hard, and become the best missionary and man I can be.  I played for the CCM Fourth of July Fireside.  I played the spiritual musical number for the program.  There were 2,000 total missionaries watching, so I was nervous!  I said a prayer and so did my compañero and the members of my district did as well.  I played well, and I think I brought the spirit!  There were some other talented musical performers before me, they were fun to watch too!  Unfortunately, no one thought to get a ride for my companion and me to go back to the West Campus after the program! (West Campus watched from the Raintree Campus).  So I got into bed about one that night haha.  My companion and I were not given our travel itineraries and had to go to the travel office.  We were dropped off Sunday night to the airport to catch a flight to Atlanta and then a connecting flight to Honduras.  I got to call home at 3:30 a.m. while waiting for my connecting flight.
Invitation to play for MTC Fourth of July Fireside

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Getting Started

¡Hola a todos!

My companion for the MTC is Elder Ruelas.  He is from Edenberg/ McCallan, Texas.  We will both serve in the same mission.  He is very nice, speaks Spanish very quickly and likes to work on cars, trucks, motorcycles, and 4-wheelers.  The other members of my district are Elders Simonsen, Escobar, Hernandez, and Cervantes.  They are all nice and hard working.  

This past week has been a blast, albeit stressful and fairly chaotic at first.  I got lost the first day, but found my apartment and district eventually.  I am staying at the MTC West Campus, which is separate from the main campus.  Most of all the missionaries here are in the advanced or intermediate Spanish districts.  Before I arrived to the MTC, I flew to Salt Lake by plane with my mom and drove down here with my aunt.  Saying goodbye was super difficult.  I miss my family a lot!  The first day, I met my companions and district, went through orienting met my instructor, Hermano Barfuss, moved into the apartment, met the district presidency, and finally, slept. 

The second day, I auditioned for a special musical number for the various firesides, devotionals, and events held by the MTC.  I played "Praise to the Man", and it was approved.  I am still waiting to hear if I will play.

We have class everyday, three times a day, except p-day and Sunday.  We don't learn any Spanish, so I always keep a notebook to write down new words.  I understand most of what is taught, but it is often hard for me to speak effectively and efficiently in Spanish.  However, I really enjoy learning more about the gospel and taking turns teaching each other as if they were investigators.  It is a lot to take in, but I enjoy learning very much!  We get three meals a day (with cholula of course!), and we get to play sports everyday which is also nice.  I am the music director for the branch I'm in, so I play each Sunday (only for two Sundays haha).  I enjoy learning more about God and Jesus Christ each day,and the loving plan they have for us to return to him through the atonement, so that we can be our families forever.  I hope I can spread this message to the people of Honduras through the Holy Spirit and hopefully, music!

Sharing my See's chocolates with everyone. Thanks Mom!

Opening my daily package from Mom!

Group picture