Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week 102

This week was very nice.  An hermana was baptized.  Everything went well, and her parents attended.  We are very proud of her for making this decision.  On Sunday, 7 investigators attended church.  It was a miracle that we had time to pick everyone up for church.

Many people think that their spouse or children won't want to talk with us or agree with their decision to go to church, but as we make an effort to talk with them, they're almost always supportive.  An hermana was unsure if her husband would be in accordance for them to attend since they sell tortillas on Sundays.  We visited them another day and talked to him about the gospel and the church for a little bit.  We asked him if he would give them permission to attend church with us.  He was 100% in agreement and even said that when he had time, he'd visit.  We passed by their house and brought them to church with an hermano.  It's interesting to see how that same situation has happened various times here.  

Two converts who had been inactive for 3 months attended church on Sunday with their mother who is investigating the church.

One of our families is doing very well and is planning on going to the temple in June.  An hermano wants to invite some ward members to his house to throw me a farewell party.  I was touched by his love and his gratitude for the gospel in his life.  He told us how the gospel has blessed their family since they've learned about it.

The hermana's baptism

Military housing

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week 101

The baptism of this family has been one of the most positive and rewarding experiences in all my mission.  The baptismal service was spiritual, and there was a lot of support.  One of the boys was afraid of the water, but he overcame his fear with some encouragement. It has been amazing to see the changes that the family has made.  They have worked hard to achieve their goal.  We are very proud of them and hope to continue helping them in their spiritual progress as they start their journey in the gospel by following Jesus Christ.  There will be another baptism this Saturday.  She is working hard to change her life.  We are working with another family.  They have several challenges that make it hard for them to go to church, but we will be working with members to support them all.

Zone Conference

Aaron cooking on their makeshift stove.

Week 100

We are looking forward to a baptism next week.  The family is amazing and has progressed so much.  

Aaron and Elder Reyes

Aaron and Elder Reyes

Week 99

This week has gone well. We helped two families out by chopping their yards with machetes and getting rid of trash. Both needed the help since the husbands work all day, and one was pregnant. We invited some jovenes to seminary. They all enjoyed the class and received fellowshipping from the other jovenes and the teacher. We are very happy to have such nice families and people to teach. The investigators are receiving a lot of support from the other members. I hope to help all these people the best I can before I leave! I really love them a lot and want them to receive the blessings of the gospel in their lives. It's especially motivating to teach families because I can imagine how blessed they will be when their children have grown up and when their grandchildren grow up as well.

Farm animals roam freely here.

A little neighborhood girl got a toy piano to match me, so we can play together,

This is what the sidewalks look like here.

Week 98

The investigators are doing great.  We have 3 whole families and 1 other investigator who really want to follow Jesus Christ. We repaired the church piano.  Now it's functional.  We had to tighten two hammers and a pedal.  I'll be giving lessons this Saturday.

A member of the bishopric has a huge garden.  Aaron caught a rooster in it.

Machetes are used for cutting grass.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 97

We found a new family a few weeks ago.  We first found the wife, while looking for their neighbors.  We then took advantage of the opportunity and contacted her.  We shared a small message with her while on her porch and set up a date to return when her family would be present.  We returned and taught the family about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The husband liked the message and wants his family to be blessed.  Although they had previously attended to other churches, their desire to find the best for their family was more important than maintaining their traditions and customs.  We visited them the next week with the second counselor from the Bishopric.  He invited them to church.  The entire family went to church. They enjoyed it a lot and expressed their desire to continue and to be baptized. We had a ward service project.  It's nice to see that this family is looking to do and follow the right.

Aaron and Elder Reyes
Service project

Week 96

A new family of investigators went to church on Sunday.  They even gave us a ride home.  I went with a joven to pick up some investigators, but they decided they 'couldn't' go.  Sad. There were 6 investigators from our area in the reunión sacramental, which was awesome.

Aaron and Elder Reyes

Makeshift shower head

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 95

We met with a lot of people this week.  Unfortunately, only one person accepted our invitation for another lesson.  We continue to pray to be led to those who are ready to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We know how much the gospel helps to change the lives of these sweet people.  

Flooded street

People dispose of their trash outside since there is no public garbage service.

Privately owned garbage service

Crab soup

Week 94

This week was good.  We were able to attend a wonderful baptism.  We are continuing to look for new people to teach.

Aaron on the bus

Aaron in a pickup truck

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Week 93

We have a baptism this week.  The investigator decided to go to church with her member daughter who finally got Sunday off from work. While hearing one of the talks, she felt the spirit and talked to the bishop afterwards.  She told him that she wants to get baptized.  We're visiting her today.  We had only visited her twice before, but wow, cool right?

Internet cafe where I get to email home

The internet cafe is barred up for safety

Local market where we shop 

We cook dinner on the floor since we have no counter. We eat at our desk.

Week 92

The multi-zone conference went well.  I enjoyed playing for it.  I've missed being able to play the piano at church.  The piano in the chapel for our ward is kind of bad, but it works.  I'm going to teach piano once a week to a couple of ward members, so someone can play here.  The ward is organizing it.  That'll be fun.  The leaders in this ward are good and give support to the investigators that go to church.

I wore out my roll up keyboard from Brother Truman, so I bought a toy keyboard for $15 at a second hand store.  I was able to compose a new melody on it.  

Elder Reyes

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Week 91

This week was good.  I've gotten 90% better from the bronchitis, so we were able to work everyday. We talked with a lot of people to find those who wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ and follow his teachings. We found some really great people to teach with the desire to learn more about Jesus Christ and follow Him.  It was an exercise of faith having to look for people to teach because the majority of
people didn't want to hear us and didn't want to change their lives. However, looking back, my companion and I could see that it was worth the effort to find those few people who needed to hear the message.

It's nice having access to a piano here.  I'll play for the multi-zone conference, which will be fun.  I've been working on some hymn arrangements and a couple of compositions on P-days in the little time I have to play.

Grocery store

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week 90

I have had a fever for six days and bronchitis.  I finally am feeling better.  My new area seems hard and a little inconsistent, but we haven't even been here two weeks so things could change.  We've been looking and looking for people to teach, and not much has shown up.  We have a couple of investigators that have prospects, so we're happy to have them, but it gets tiring to knock doors (yell buenas!!!!) for 3 hours at a time. We've been talking to more people in the street and outside of their house because that seems to work better here.  We've also tried different tactics to have people listen to us.  The ward is well established here with good leaders and people who are willing to leave with us, which is nice, the only problem is that we don't have many investigators for them to visit haha.

Aaron and Elder Reyes

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Week 89

My new area is in the city of San Pedro Sula.  It's mostly suburbs and fairly well off in most parts.  Most people don't want to listen to us in the area.  There's been some gang violence, but they usually don't rob missionaries.  Some of the bigger mareros will protect missionaries for what ever reason.  Sometimes they'll kill the thieves that rob the missionaries, so I guess we're fairly well protected.

My new companion is Elder Reyes. He's from Costa Rica and knows Elders Cruz and Solís.  I think he'll be my last companion.  

 I got to play piano yay.  I started composing a new piece.  I can still play all my compositions more or less.  Just a little rusty.  But strangely, I think I'm able to understand music a little better since I've left.

Aaron and Elder Reyes

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Week 85

This last week in my area has been the best so far. We have found so many good people to teach this week; I'm sure many will change their lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  They are incredible people, and I love teaching them.  This Sunday was amazing, many investigators came.  The messages were excellent in each hour, and the church members really helped make the investigators feel at home. The noches de hermanamiento are in function in all the branches, and ours are becoming very successful.  I feel like the branch is finally starting to turn around.

We found an investigator who works on a cruise ship, and we
taught him two lessons in English.  He has a great desire to learn and really likes what he is learning.  All the doctrine makes sense to him.  We challenged him to baptism, and he accepted.  He told us that he had been looking for something more that would allow himself to connect more with God.

We found a family to teach by helping a man carry firewood to his house, after which we shared a small lesson and put a return date.  This Sunday the man and his granddaughter attended church with us.  They are humble and good people with a desire to learn.  We are very excited for their progress.

We also found a family of inactive members by contacting.  I really felt that the spirit guided us there.  We were trying to find a house that we had visited earlier in the week unsuccessfully as I felt the impression to contact a particular house.  We yelled BUENOS DÍAS, and an 18 year old girl came out. Next came a long interchange of words:
Hi, we're missionares.  Hi, I'm a member, come in.  Turns out that all of the family are members and that for reasons of work and problems, they had stopped attending church.  The girl expressed her desire to return to the church.  We have the help of several family members to guide their family in their return to the 'fold' and the path to happiness and
eternal life.

I'm excited for the opportunity to serve in my last area and to train a new elder.   
Looks like the next area is the same, starting from scratch again.  I'm nevertheless happy for the opportunity to train and open an area and do my best in my last area.  This should be a good way to end my mission!

Zone conference

Ugly tie collection

Friday, February 12, 2016

Week 84

A man I taught was baptized shortly after I had left the area.  I got to visit him and some other people while on divisions with the assistant president.  His transformation has been incredible.  He has gone to the temple and now is the ward mission leader.  I am very happy for him.  He told me that the gospel has changed his life.

Recent convert

Recent convert

Pico Bonito

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Week 83

This week was great.  We have a new investigator who went to church two Sundays in a row.  She has a strong desire to follow Jesus Christ despite challenges in her life. She is making a big effort, and we are seeing the results little by little.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Week 82

One of our investigators came to know the church through the efforts of his girlfriend and his good friend and colleague. He acted upon the invitation to attend church and met us there.  We hardly had to teach him much because he had already understood the messages by reading the lesson pamphlets and the Book of Mormon.  The changes he made in his life were made at the moment he
read the messages without hesitance.  He was baptized on Saturday, which was a great experience. The baptismal service started at 9 pm because his work schedule is so hectic. We are very proud of his progress and desire to follow the example of Jesus Christ in his life.

We've made a zone plan that involves working with members to meet new investigators and fellowship them so they can become baptized, strengthen the converts, and reactivate the less active.  The mission presidency and maybe a member of the Seventy are coming to check the district out.  We talked about it in the zone conference.  

There was a world wide conference for all the missionaries.  The focus was teaching repentance and baptizing converts.  We traveled a lot this week.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week 81

This week was good.  We had a zone conference, and I was able to see many of my old companions.  We have been working hard with the members and investigators here.  They are doing better and are starting to overcome their challenges.

Aaron and Elder Solis

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Week 80

This week was hectic but nice.  My new companion, Elder Wood, is also from Las Vegas.  We have been working well together and are looking forward to this change.  Our investigators are finally overcoming their respective obstacles to their spiritual progress.  We will continue to help them.  We traveled with the District Presidency to help the district's branch leaders.  We created a system to help locate, teach, and strengthen members and investigators by involving leaders, missionaries and members in the effort.  We will instruct the missionaries using this plan, and we hope to see results in helping strengthen the faith of others here!

Elder Peterson

Aaron and Elder Wood

Aaron helping cook chicken