Thursday, October 23, 2014

Week 17

Elder F. was transferred to another city because an Elder had an emergency illness and was sent home.  I'm sad to see him go.  Our next transfer will be on Wednesday.

We had P-day today with President Klein.  It was way fun! We played kickball, ultimate Frisbee, and a little bit of soccer and football.  Our whole zone went.  

We were going to have a baptism this week, but she didn't show up to church and is hesitant.  Her mom is Catholic, but we are making progress.  We have some new investigators which we're very grateful for and a lot of visits to inactive families.  A lot of work and not much to show for it.  It's also very difficult to contact people and start teaching them in Spanish.  I'm trying hard, but sometimes the grandeur of the task discourages me, but I know what I'm doing is what I need to do.  I know that it's the least I can do to thank my Heavenly Father for what I've been given, and that I can learn a lot from the work we've been doing.  

Mandarins are super good and super cheap here.

P-day with my zone

Elder Rosas is going home soon.

El tren

Having fun

Here's an ugly dog

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Week 16

This past week has been good.  We went on companion exchanges with some jovenes about half the time.  Due to how things work out, Elder F. will stay here in Honduras for at least another month.  We will be able to get a whole lot of extra work done with his help.  I'm beginning to learn while being a senior companion and working to the best of my ability.  I am learning that being a good missionary is a lot harder than I thought.  

At times it can be very dissapointing and frustrating when things don't go how you wanted or expected, but I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve the people here.  It's difficult, but I'm learning a lot.  Meeting random people, starting a conversation with them, convincing them to listen to a message they've never heard (and that this message will bless them and their families), teaching that message well, and leaving an invitation to pray, read, and go to church isn't very easy, especially in a different language!  I learned that without the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to teach.  A general authority said that two minutes of the spirit is worth more than two hours of men speaking.  This is so true.  Every day I try to learn more and teach better.  

I learned more about the value of service this last week.  As Jesus taught, one of the two great commandments is to love and serve others.  We had the blessing and opportunity to put that in practice.  It wasn't much, but it made a whole lot of difference.  We have been teaching an investigator, G. for about two weeks, and have been getting to know her mother.  She didn't want to hear us at first, but last week when we asked her if she needed help with anything, she took us up on our offer to help them around the yard.  Elder F. and I did some yard work for her while Elder Cruz got to know her mother.  Through our service, we gained her mother's confidence, and the permission to bring her to church.  G. came to church and was befriended by a lot of leaders and girls her age.  It was and experience super mas hiza. Teaching with members can be an amazing benefit for missionaries.  Through going on splits with young adult members, investigators can really relate the power of the gospel to their lives as the members testify of the realness and blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   

We hope to have two baptisms this month, Hermana 
A., and G.  We have been working hard teaching many different people this past week.  We've had some disappointments, but without disappointments, the successes we have aren't as special.  I am so grateful for what this gospel has done for me and my family, and am so happy to spread that with the people of Honduras.      

Elder F. is very funny and loves fĂștbol.  Learning through the added responsibility of training does help you learn faster and forces you to do everything well haha.  I'm very grateful to have Elder F. as my companion.  It's a big responsibility to train a missionary.

It's hard being a trainer and senior companion.  I really need to develop my Christlike attributes (patience, humility, dilligence) to get better each day.  The immensity of the task and my desire to be the best missionary I can be,and helping lots of people to get baptized really frustrates me at times.  There's so much to do at times I don't know where to start.  I want to speak well, contact well, not be awkward while trying to get to know and teach people in a foreign language, teach well and precisely and simply the lessons, be direct and loving, yet firm.  It's hard to do all of these things.  I want to know all the scriptures, speak well, teach well, find people well, get to know people well, help people well, and I don't have much patience haha.  Confidence and calmness can be a very powerful tool when speaking Spanish and teaching.  

Telephone booth

Japan has been helping Honduras with bridges and firetrucks among other things.

Good food

Chef Aaron

T. washes our clothes, and serves the missionaries in lots of ways.  Her mother feeds us every day for lunch.

We didn't have a screwdriver

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Week 15

We have a new companion- Elder F.  He is from Tegucigalpa and will be working with us for at least two weeks until the paper for permission gets approved for him to go to the CCM in Guatemala.  He will serve in Nicaragua.  

With the help of Bryan, we have been able to go on divisions almost every day and teach twice as many people.  It's lot harder being the senior companion and training, but the added responsibility is teaching me how to be a better missionary.  Elder F. is learning very quickly and doing an excellent job, especially for not having attended the CCM.  These next 9 or so days are going to be excellent with his added help! 

But for the most part, it will be just me and Elder F. teaching together and Bryan and Elder Cruz.  Elder Cruz told President Klein in his email that he thought I was ready to train when we finished the 12 weeks, and he trusts me and him enough to do it.  Another Elder told me that President Klein really has a lot of trust in his trainers, so I really need to live up to that trust he gave me.  It's like the talk pres. Uchdorf gave during the priesthood session on a lot of different levels.  I need to heed the counsel in both ways.  

General Conference was amazing.  I took 24 pages of notes haha. 10 hours of listening to inspired men and women teach pure, true doctrine in a simple but profound way.  It is so wonderful that we have a prophet- we should always follow his words because our Heavenly Father speaks through him and He will never lead us astray.  The messages of love, change, healing, direction, opposition, responsibility, agency, example, leaders, revelation, knowledge, and families (to name a few) were all inspiring.  I especially liked the message in Helaman 5:12 that when we base our lives around the life and example of Christ, we will never falter and be able to endure whatever life throws at us.  Following His example enables us to be who we need to be- even like unto Himself. He enables us to have happiness and peace, not only for ourselves, but with our families.  

I hope to use what I've learned in Conference to help teach the many people here in Honduras that they are sons and daughters of God and the wonderful blessings that their loving Heavenly Father has in store for them as they center their lives on Jesus Christ and His Restored Gospel.  I listened in English so I could take lots and lots of notes.  We watched the two Spanish talks in Spanish.  I am doing great! 

Oh I played at transfer meeting today with the Hermana Baird.  I arranged "Teach me to Walk in the Light of his Love" and "La Luz de la Verdad".  It was hard to transition because I had to change from D major do Bb major.  One of the hardest transitions to do lol.  I ended on a D diminished 7th, to a f dominant 7th to resolve to Bb major.  It was nice even though I didn't have time to do much special.  Hermana Baird sang well.  

I like my haircut a lot.  This guy was a lot better than the last haircut I got.  The transfer will be the first of November.  This cambio is only one month.  

Aaron and Elder F. at the internet cafe

Aaron and Elder F. on P-day

The only mirror in the apartment taped on the wall

Makeshift mop from an old t-shirt and broom

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week 14

I've finished 3 months in Honduras! My companion and/or I might get transferred this change. Not sure.  We've been working hard and meeting a lot of new people to teach.  I've been getting to play the piano pretty often recently! I accompanied the Primary Program for both of the wards that attend our chapel.  It was a very spiritual and heartwarming experience.  I get to make/play an arrangement of a hymn with Hermana Baird singing for the next exchanges which should be awesome except I have no idea what to do lol.  I got to go on companion exchanges or divisiones with Elder Royer.  I learned a lot and got to meet some awesome families.

Elder G. just got his mission call to Mexico City Southeast, Mexico yesterday! He leaves in January.  Everyone is very proud of him.  He's pretty prepared since he teaches with us all the time!

I'll come back mah o menoh (mas o menos (more or less)) catracho (Honduran) haha.  The new missionaries came.  About 20 gringos.  Their Spanish was pretty rough... I'm so glad I took and learned Spanish in high school. There are 250 missionaries now.  200 elders and 50 sisters.  One girl started laughing when I gave the opening prayer in a lesson, that was fun lol.  

We had one cool spiritual experience last week.  We were starting a lesson with two new investigators outside of their house by singing a Christmas hymn, and little old man walks over as we're singing to listen to us (he was working on a car across the street.)  When we finished, he shared his testimony with the two investigators about the church.  He told them that this gospel is true, and that two missionaries helped him change his life through the church a long time ago.  He also told them that the gospel had blessed him and made him and his family happy.  He encouraged them to listen to the message that we were teaching.  It was super awesome. We're teaching the investigators at the moment, and it's been going great so far! 

I have my own little bottle of salsa.  The family we eat with told me that I eat like a Honduran now.  I'm trying to work on my pronunciation to sound like a Latino.  I really want to speak and teach well and learn lots, but sometimes the immensity of the task discourages me.  My patriarchal blessing counseled me to study the attributes of Christ and try to live like him.  It's really helped me a lot.  I need to work on all of them.  Especially patience haha.  I realized that I was a lot more prideful than I thought when I went on the mission.  It's been a humbling experience so far and I'm very grateful that I've been able to change and work on being a better person every day.  Sometimes I get frustrated because I can't teach with the fluidity, clarity, and facility that I want to.  I really want to teach well, but faith, diligence, and lots of patience are requisites for that though.

Ugly Ties!

Aaron and Elder Cruz

Aaron at a restaurant

Elder G. just got his mission call to Mexico City Southeast, Mexico

A lizard

The Gorge
Aaron and "K" at the gorge.  "K" said that he caught a crocodile here and ate it.

Aaron, Elder Cruz, and "K"