Things are kind of crazy right now.
Know how last week I told you I probably wouldn´t be transferred for 6 months? Well that changed after I wrote you Monday, and we left Tuesday Morning. After several heavenly (They have hot water!) days in the Mission Home, we are now in Tatumba. Technically we are opening an area, which in this mission means that instead of having one experienced Elder and one Junior Elder, you are both new to the area and know nobody. There are Hermanas here and they know the area, so we have been relying on them to help show us around. The only annoying part is that we need to look for a house. The House we are living in isn´t a house, its literally a room smaller than Melanie´s room, but with two beds and a table and a fridge. We have literally no room, and there is only 1 plug, so we have to decide what is most important to have plugged in at a time. I´m excited to work in our new area, but it is going to be uncomfortable for a while until we find a new house. We have several leads, we only need to check them out.
The area is really beautiful. It looks like someone took the Uintas from Utah and plopped it in Honduras. It is only 40 minutes from Teguc, which is good, because there are literally no stores in our area. But luckily Teguc has everything, right now I´m writing in an Office Depot that looks exactly like the States. Everything is also a lot greener. It is one of the colder areas in the mission, which basically means Utah in the Fall. I may actually use my jacket (starting in San Lorenzo, one of the hottest areas, I was worried I wouldn´t)!
I promise I took plenty of pictures, but just my luck, I forgot my camera cord, so next week I guess I will be sending a ton...including a foto of me with President and Hermana Hernandez, which I asked for because I lost my other one. They really spoiled us, and when we arrived at our room, my companion told me to enjoy the time with them, because this is a lot different.
I think this area will be good for me, It is big, and we may be regularly walking about 9 miles per day depending on what part of our area we want to visit. It is beautiful, and reminds me a lot of American Fork canyon or something. Close to the city, but an island of tranquility and beauty. There are more houses here of course.
There is a ward here, and a Chapel that looks like its from the US. We have only talked with a few of the members, but they seem eager to work with us, so that´s good!
I´m excited to see how things go!
Monday, October 28, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
There was a bit of trouble in the area next to ours, so we were asked to remain inside for a day just in case. Hopefully that is the end of it.
Honduras is nearing a presidential election, so we may have to deal with that soon, I hope that it all goes smoothly.
In general I am safe and happy.
Have a good week everyone!
I survived my first change!
This is my zone, minus me and Elder Hernandez and Elder Kliener. They are a good group, and we lost about 9 of them this week to changes, which was sad.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Goodbye to Elder Amaya
Elder Amaya left this week, and it was a little sad. The day he left with Elder Ortiz and Elder Vasquez (one of the Zone Leaders) was also the day of interviews with the president, so our Zone was all gathered together.
I was on splits with the other zone leader, Elder Sears (de California), after they left, we realized that neither of us had keys for our houses. So we jumped in the car with Hermana Hernandez (wife of President Hernandez) and drove through a freak flash flood kind of storm. We arrived at the bus stop and invited them to wait in the car for the bus with us. The bus came, and because no one was out, it began to leave. Being the closest Elder to the bus, I jumped out and ran to catch it (it being the last bus of the day to Tegucigalpa). I then helped get Elder Amaya´s stuff on the bus. I was only outside for about a minute, but I was soaked! It was quite an adventure.
President Hernandez and his wife with the bike pinata
The first and last bike I will use on my mission (it was a pinata).
Because our zone had the most baptisms last month we had a little party with the president during interviews. We bought a pinata shaped like a bike because we were told for sure that we can´t use bikes this week. There was a rumor floating around that we could. Some Elders actually bought bikes, and now have to deal with the bother of selling them. This is definitely a walking mission.
We have been visiting the pareja (husband) of a member this week. He is interested, but always seems to not be there when we can teach him. But she is a great friend of the missionaries and we usually talk with her. She has been having a really hard time lately, wanting to follow all the commandments, but having a hard time with her pareja (husband). This week she seemed especially down, and the scriptures and song we shared didn´t seem to do much.
I was just sitting there, wondering what we could do to lift her, and I had a prompting to give her a blessing. I remembered somewhere in the white bible that she needed to ask, so I quickly asked my companion. I then explained a blessing and asked if she wanted one. Her immediate answer was yes.
Then in a flash back to BYU days, we gave her a blessing, with my companion Elder Ortiz (de Pueblo, Mexico) as the voice. I admit I don´t remember the words, and I didn´t understand much, but after she was crying tears of happiness.
I testified of the power of the priesthood, and that I knew that Christ had suffered this, and she could use his help. My voice got a little shaky because the spirit was strong. I don´t know what was said, but I know we helped a child of God. That was really special.
Other than that, a lot of normal work.
A tarantula that was in our house. I offered to pick it up and put it outside, but was advised to use the broom. It was definitely one of the biggest spiders I have ever seen. I hope Jessica is ok.
Yo con la famila Pavon. Great family in the ward.
The mark of an Elder here that was "Born in the south" My iguana belt.
It cost 350 limpiras, or about 17.50, which is good for a belt. I have been assured it will last longer than a leather belt, but I got it for the novelty, I will wear it to special days and such. I was told by Elder Ortiz that this color (the deep green) is rare in iguanas. This is an example of something cool I can buy only here.
The closest thing I could get to a sunset.
Yep, that´s Honduras. I finally found a good scenery spot.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Wow, what a week!
We spent most of this week inviting people to conference it seemed. We knew that it would strengthen their testimonies and we wanted as many people as possible to go. We committed as many as we could.
Then conference actually came. For us it meant getting out the door to invite people, and then walking the 40 minutes to conference. At least ours is close enough we didn´t have to take a bus like some other Elders in our zone. Because the ´´gringo room´´ hadn't been set up yet, I got to watch the first sessionin spanish.
Depending on the translator doing the talk, I could under stand a lot, or nothing. One of the seventy spoke really fast, and the poor translator was just spitting out the words. I got notes from that talk, but I didn´t understand a lot!
After Conference, it was back to work for us, but it was good with the spirit of conference!
I fasted this weekend because I wanted to follow the example of Alma in Alma 5. I don´t know why this didn´t really sink in before my mission, but I respect Alma a lot more. I admit that in my life I´ve had my moments where I want to know, and I ask for an ´Alma Experience´, I want an angel, I want something big. In Alma 5 Alma is talking about how he gained his testimony, and he says roughly (in my translation to modern English):
I know this is true, and you want to know how I know?
(at this point there was probably someone who didn´t make the cut into the book of Mormon that said)
Well, duh, you saw an angel, were knocked unconcious for three days and woke up talking about how you were made clean and wanted to share the gospel!
But then I can imagine Alma getting really quiet and powerful, like any prophet that wants to share something deep (have you ever noticed that President Monson might raise his voice a little, but never yells?), and says:
I fasted and prayed for many days so that I could know this.
This has really hit me hard in my mission because I have been having the doubt (like probably every missionary), Do I know enouph? Because I haven´t seen an angel, I havn´t seen Christ and God like Joseph Smith, I haven´t miraculously healed someone, etc etc. But reading this, I realized something that I´ve been taught all my life, but never quite clicked to my own life...Angels do not bring testimony.
Sure Joseph Smith saw Dios y Jesuchristo! It was a marvelous experience that ended the apostasy. But he wasn´t ready to organize the church until 10 years later! Even after Moroni directed him to the plates, he told him you are going to have to wait 4 years or so to mature and prepare before you translate these.
I have been stressing this with investigators this week and I know I will do it through all my mission. God does not expect us to know everything. He gave us the veil so we would forget. It is only here on earth, as we make our decisions blind to the knowledge we had, that our true character can be refined, and strengthened.
I know that I don´t know everything, and I have been learning to take comfort in that. If I knew everything, it would mean I have nothing to learn, and if I have nothing to learn, then my life would be kind of boring.
I liked in conference when ¨ (Can´t Remember Who) ¨ talked about how God chose our trials for us because he knew what things we need to learn. This is part of the reason our eventual deaths can be viewed as peace. It means that person has learned everything they need too. They passed, and now they get to go enjoy the peace and happiness of God.
I love you all, I think of you often, have a good week, and remember that God Loves you!
Note from Mom: I found out that Graig didn't have a pillow so I told him to go and buy one. He sent this picture to show me his new pillow. I'm not sure why his companions' beds don't have sheets on them. Apparently he is sleeping on some kind of mattress on the floor.