Sunday, August 31, 2014

Week 9

I'm doing well! We've been working hard, but no baptisms this week.  We're hoping for one Saturday. Anyway, we're teaching a new family.  Brother A., Sister C., and their two daughters.  What a wonderful family they are! They are very attentive and all attended church this past Sunday.  The girls have a book of Bible stories that they like to read and read to us.  It's awesome to be able to teach them all, and we're excited to continue doing so!  We've been teaching lots of people, we have two new investigators whom we taught with Sister C. (their friend, she got baptized about two weeks ago!).  We're also teaching the family of the joven, Brother O., their family is very calm and easy to teach.  His mother noticed how her son has changed so much as he's learned about the gospel and gotten baptized.  He's read the Book of Mormon up to Alma already! Super mas hizo.  There's a really peaceful and beautiful grove of mango trees right next to their home where he reads- I'd like to read there too.  Brother O.'s mom is really interested in the gospel, and we hope we can continue to teach their family! Brother O. and Brother K., and another joven, Sister A.  have been putting on events with the help of some of the leaders and the bishop to raise money to go to SOY, an awesome church youth camp for all of Honduras.  They've put on a movie night in the cultural hall (17 Miracles was the movie) with popcorn and soda, made and sold tamales, and put together a small church dance for the jovenes in the yard of the family of one of the members.  It's been super mas hizo to see them work so hard to accomplish everything! It's been an awesome week, and I hope next week can be just as great!


A lizard

Selfie to show Mom I'm still alive ;)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Week 8

Rundown for the past 6 weeks:

We have been super busy this week and this month so far with lessons and baptisms.  But I wouldn't want it any other way! I've just completed my first "cambio" or the first 6 weeks of my mission!  Although it went by so quickly, it felt like a long time as well.  Besides being sick for almost two weeks, I've been doing well here in Honduras.  I have learned a lot, and I have a lot more to learn haha. Elder Cruz and I have had the opportunity to teach a ton of lessons together to families and people throughout our area.  Every person and family we have met is very different, but all are children of our Heavenly Father.  Even though the lives of many of these people are challenging, many have found peace, love, and hope through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It's incredible to see.  I love teaching the plan that our Heavenly Father has for each one of his children.  Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, he has provided a way for us to overcome all the challenges in our lives and live eternally with our families.  Even though we're not perfect, our Father in Heaven will always love us.  He sent us to this earth to grow, learn, develop into individuals, and have families.  Life is difficult and we all make errors, but with the atonement, we all have the ability to change and defeat the challenges we have.  I am so grateful to share this message with the people of Honduras, and I am so grateful for the fact that I can improve and conquer my shortcomings.  The plan of our Heavenly Father, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, has truly blessed my life.  I am so grateful for my family and the promise that if I fulfill my part, I can live with them again.  I have a lot of work to do to grow, learn, and mature into the missionary my Heavenly Father wants me to be, but every day I am learning and growing more.  I know that if I do my part, the Lord will testify to those with faith through the Holy Spirit that He loves them, and that He has a plan for them and their happiness.  We have had the opportunity to baptize six people this cambio.  It was an amazing experience to see how their lives have changed and how their happiness has truly increased due to the covenants they have made with the Lord.  I hope next cambio can be just as awesome, and that I can improve in my teaching skills, testimony, knowledge, and Spanish to accomplish this! 

I got to play a special musical number for the transfer meeting today. Yay. Our zone will be performing a special number, Si a Kólob pudieras ir (If You Could Hie to Kolob), for the  multi zone conference, so I'll get to arrange something for the sisters to sing with the piano. Yay.

I'm feeling 100 percent better.  The antibiotic pretty much crushed whatever I had.

It rains a lot here.  The waterproof cases Mom sent me and the umbrella saved all our pamphlets, scriptures, and telephone because one day we got more rain than I've ever seen!

BTW, Honduras has some dang tasty fruits.  I get a banana for less than a cent here hehe.

My area

My area

Sister R. was just baptized

Elder Holden has just completed his mission.  He is a super awesome missionary!

A fruit called a mangosteen

Inside of a mangosteen

Sister R. served a mini three month mission. She lives in our stake

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 7

Hey everyone! We had three baptisms this week! Sister S. was baptized on Wednesday by Elder Cruz.  She is awesome and it was super mas hizo to see her baptism and hear her share her testimony after she was baptized. Her grandson lives with her, and we hope he gains a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we continue visiting them.  

On Saturday, the muchachos, Brother O. and Brother K. were baptized.  Super mas hizo!  I had the opportunity to baptize Brother K, and Elder Cruz baptized Brother O.  These young men are super awesome and are interested in serving missions.  They are raising money to attend SOY (kind of like EFY) in December.  We hope that we'll be able to teach their families soon! 

It's really awesome to see the happiness and peace that the Gospel brings to the families we've been teaching. Next Saturday, another investigator, Sister R. is planning to get baptized.  She is the Grandmother of a member and really funny.  

There's a lot of work to be done and I'm grateful that we have so many people to teach! My Spanish is improving, even to the point that I said "I have hungry"(tengo hambre) to another gringo missionary!  I guess my brain is getting a little bit confused thinking in two languages.  
Almost all of the homes don't have air conditioning.  Many of the houses here are made of cinder block and rusty corrugated steel for roofs and fences.  It's really humbling to see people live with so little! Lots of homes have giant trees with avocado, lime, banana, star fruit, or other fruits whose names I don't know.  Super cool.  

I tried armadillo!  It tastes like pork haha.  A member is going to bring me boa and crocodile sometime!  

Power and water go out for a couple of hours almost every other day haha.  I took my first bucket shower today because the faucets didn't work!

've been sick for the past week with a GI bug.  I'm hoping it will go away soon.  

My piano skills are a little rusty, but I'll be fine since I'll always be able to play a little bit.  The roll-up piano works great.  

We haven't been robbed yet.  It's dangerous here, the maderos or gangsters are throughout the country, but almost nothing passes to the missionaries ever.  We've never been in an unsafe situation so far.  Thanks for the prayers!

Thank you for all your support and keep sending me emails and letters!



The eatery

Aaron caught a toad

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Week 6

This past Saturday, we had the opportunity to witness and participate in two baptisms!-The baptisms of Sister J. and Sister L.  It was a super cool experience! They both have very strong testimonies and really know of the veracity and blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful I had the opportunity to teach these two amazing daughters of God with Elder Cruz.  I learned during this experience that the Lord will put people that are ready and willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ in your path, and all we need to do is invite them to come unto Christ.  I learned how important faith, prayer, and work are in our personal conversion.  When we do exercise faith through prayer and work hard, the Holy Spirit will touch our hearts and minds to testify of the work we are doing and allow us to grow and better ourselves during the process.  I am very grateful to be a missionary, and I hope as I spend the next 23 months here in Honduras, I can have many more experiences like the baptisms we participated in because The Gospel of Jesus Christ really blesses families and allows us to become better people.  Even though we're not perfect, Christ makes up all the difference.  I know He lives, and I am so grateful to have a family that loves me and can be together forever. 

Teachings are going well.  We hope to have three baptisms this week.  We hope to baptize a viejita (old woman) on Wednesday, Sister S.  We are hoping to baptize two muchachos (boys)- Brother O. and Brother K. this week.  They are both 17 years old.  I bought thirty limes and a bunch of platanos.  I got to play piano for an hour and a half today.  They were selling a huge river fish over in El Progresso, super mas hizo.  I ate menudo (stomach lining soup)- actually not too bad! I got to baptize Sister L.  She is super cool!  I am starting to forget some English words! super raro.  It's cool to see how your brain works because sometimes I'll be talking and forget what I'm talking about or to conjugate, but my brain will guess and the right conjugation will come out haha.  I need to work on making my consonants softer and my vowels more correct.  My pronunciation isn't bad, but it's a lot of practice- correct practice- that will help me develop my accent and Spanish skills.

 I was left pants and boots that fit perfectly, talc, and a children's hymnbook by previous missionaries.... Luck or something more?  I am able to teach about 30 to 40 percent of the discussions now.  The bus, taxi, and rapidito system are actually very effective and efficient... It probably breaks a bunch of health and safety codes, but it is very quick and cheap haha. Choose The Right in Spanish is Haz Lo Justo.


Playing the piano

An investigator's baby


Las Limas!


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Week 5

Hey! I'm doing super well! I don't have many pictures unfortunately, but I have some awesome news that's better than pictures! This Saturday, Sister J. and Sister L. will be baptized!! Super mas hizo! On the 5th, Sister S. will be baptized! Also mas hizo is that Brother O., Brother M., Brother R. and three jovenes (kids) have committed to be baptized on the 16th of August.  It's very common for bishopric or members to also help baptize.  

What's really funny is that there are two facial expressions here that don't exist in America.  To point at something, you nod your head in the direction while pursing your lips. When you don't understand someone, you slightly scrunch your face, one side or both.  Language is coming along fine! I'm getting better, but it needs work! Pronunciation can be very difficult! We've been teaching lots, and I am super excited for the baptisms!  They point using both heads and lips.  They replace the 's' with an 'h'  sound.  -Nohotroh (nosotros), entonheh (entonces), Han Pedro Hula (San Pedro Sula). I'm working on pronunciation. Missionaries and other people tell me I'm not bad, but I want to be good! They replace muy with bien a lot of the time and it sounds kind of silly haha.  My companion doesn't sound like a latino when he speaks English... I'm still trying to figure out his accent. He sounds just normal speaking Spanish.  B, V, D sounds are hard.  My vowels aren't always correct either.  Just about every single letter sounds different in Spanish.  I'm reading the book of Mormon aloud in Spanish. That's helping, but no matter how much I practice, I need good practice to sound good.  Everything is going well! 

We hope the jovenes get baptized and that inactive members return to the church.  I want to get better at Spanish, teaching, and improving my knowledge of the doctrine. Brother R. is super good at reading and likes the book of Mormon.  Oh, his daughter was wearing a UNLV hat yesterday, which was pretty funny...  It's amazing what humility does for a person.  I can definitely stand to learn more about that from the people here.  

I haven't had fish yet here! Meat and fish are expensive here.  

Church Courtyard


City Street