Q. Who is your companion? Where is he from? How long has he been on his mission? How old is he? Is he patient with you?
A. I actually have 2 companions. Elder Ortiz from Mexico has been here 16 months and is very good. He is 20 (I think). He is very patient, and because he is trying to learn English, he is patient with my Spanish.
My other companion is Elder Amaya, who is here until he recieves a Visa for the Bogota, Columbia mission. He only arrived a week beforeme, but went to the Guatamala MTC. He is the first in his family to serve a mission, and is 22. He is also patient, and taught me how to wash my clothes. He is from Chloteca Honduras.
Q. What is your area? Do you have any investigators you are teaching? How do you find new people to teach?
A. I am in SAN LORENZO, in the termed ´´South´´ part of my mission.
map found online here: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/maps/central-america/honduras/
Our area is pretty rich for investigators. We have a solid base of members in our branch and they help us find people. We also do a little bit of tracting, but in Honduras that means more like walking up and asking when we can come over, because everyone is so friendly. We got 1 more investigators that way.
We are also apparently quite near the ocean, though I haven´t seen it yet. They don´t like the missionaries to proselyte there, but we can do baptisms there if it isn´t to distracting, that is way we didn´t do our baptism yesterday there.
We also have some of the biggest areas in the mission, so that means a lot of walking.
We actually had a baptism yesterday, a little 8 year old girl that Elder Amaya and Elder Ortiz have been teaching. Her parents want to be baptized as well I think, but they need to be married first. Her name is Marcela, and she reminds me a lot of Melanie, small, and cute.
Because there was no water in the font, we had to baptize her in the water cistern. We had to lower her in after Elder Amaya, who did the baptism. She started crying, and I couldn´t blame her because it was dark and probably cold. Also the only light came from the only entrance, about 4 feet above her head.
After she calmed down we did the baptism and pulled her back up.
Literally lowering someone into the ground and pulling them back up reminded me of the significance of Baptism, how we ´´´die´´, and arise ´´alive in Christ´´.
Q. How are you doing with Spanish?
A. My Spanish out of the CCM was actually pretty good thanks to the work our district did. With 2 Spanish comps, my Spanish has improved. In general, I can speak a lot better than I can understand, but that has gotten better as I learn the accent.
Q. What are you eating?
A. Rice, beans, chicken for lunch. Cold Cereal or eggs for breakfast. Whatever we feel like for dinner. We sometimes skip dinner because we are busy.
Q. What is the ward/branch like there?A. The branch has a strong group of core members from missionaries over the years. One of the first was baptized by a David Bateman, who now lives in Provo. Hermano Pavon was excited to show me David´s Facebook as he talks to him often. Yes the internet is far more common here than I thought.
Q. Are you experiencing culture shock?
A. Mostly heat shock. I am in the hottest area in the mission, and I can see why. It is probably 70+80 degrees every day, with about 100% humidity because of how much it rains. I have experienced a little cultural shock, but its all pretty much positive.
You have to get used to everyone wanting to say hello. Everyone seems to know the Elders, and depending on the person, they are either men of God, or an inside joke. Apparently its funny to offer us coffee, because everyone in Honduras seems to drink it with the exception of us.
My favorite moment was when we came around a corner, and a little boy (who looked about 7) yelped and said ´´Los Mormones!´´ before scampering off.
Q. What is the weirdest thing you have to get used to?
A. That even in our area, everyone speaks a little differently. I guess its the same in English, but for me learning Spanish, its hard. The Branch President for instance, seems to like to pronounce words with a "c" with a slight "th" sound, which throws me sometimes.
Q. Will you do your own laundry?
A. Yes and no. I can get someone to do it for me, but I don´t really know anyone right now, so today I did my own, all by hand. It was pretty crazy.
Q. What is your schedule like?
A. Church is at 9, so we wake up, and check all our investigators to see if they can come, then we go to church. Yesterday was different because right after church we had to organize and do a baptism. After church, we teach as normal.
I am good and my companions are great. I love my area and I know that we can do some good work here.
Things are pretty good here.
I only have 1 hour to email, so I appreciate you sending me specific questions. Know that I am teaching and that I love my companions and my area. I am learning Spanish.
I will try to email everyone else I can.
My weirdest story for the week was when I got out of a shower and there was an iguana as big as my arm and a third longer hanging from our window.
I went to catch it and it jumped off (scaring me to death), and ran under Elder Ortiz´s bed. Luckilly, he is our resident iguana whisperer, as he has one at home, and he calmed it down so we could take pictures. It was huge to me, but apparently small to Elder Ortiz, his is orange and much bigger