Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What a Week!

Abuela (Grandma) and me.  
Abuela is famous in the mission, she has officially declared herself the grandma of all missionaries everywhere

We had until Friday to invite and teach, so we did that as we could.  We also had our first Divisions with our Lidere de Districto this week, Elder Roldan.  He came to our area, and Elder Ortiz went to his area with Elder Smith, one of the guys that came with me from the CCM.
I had the opportunity to give 2 blessings this week, one to an investigator, and the other to a young member.  In both I could feel the spirit and I am eternally grateful for el Sacerdocio (the priesthood).  It is such a blessing to know that when you need the help of God more directly in your life, you can literally use his power to bless your life.
From Saturday until Lunes (Monday) we were cerrado (closed) in our house, in case something happened during elections.  I read almost the entire book of Mosiah (aloud, in Spanish, while taking notes), and I literally washed every piece of clothing I had that was dirty but what I was wearing.
We were "released" ( a joke) for about 2 hours on Sunday a ir a iglesia (to go to church).  Because of elections it was only an hour. (Elections here are on Sunday so more people can come.)
I also marked my scriptures with colored tabs to help me more easilly find scriptures during lessons this week.  I stole the idea from my companion, who uses his all the time.  The side of my scriptures now looks like a beautiful array of colors.
My funny story of the week was one of the first lessons I taught with these tabs was the restauracion (restoration).  All was good until Elder Roldan (this was during divisions), asked me to find James 1:5, and I had forgotten to mark it (how embarrassing, its quite important).  To make matters worse, I couldn`t seem to find Santiago (James) at all, and I had to give my scriptures a Elder Roldan to find it.  The lesson went well, and we gained an investigator.
We have changes this week, and there is a possibility I could lose Elder Ortiz (after this week I am officially "trained").  I don`t know if I feel ready, but I can put it in the hands of the lord and trust that he knows what is best for me.
I love you all!  I am excited for Christmas!  Please remember always that God loves you and looks out for you, you just have to find the blessings!

Elder Henrie

One thing I sent for him was the testimonies of all of his Anderson cousins and Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents.  Warren translated them into Spanish and I put a picture of each person with them.  They are a 1/4 page and cut out so he can glue them into a Book of Mormon if he likes.  I asked him what he thought he might do with them and he said:

"I`m thinking I am going to share them with different investigators to help them understand that there are other members of the church besides 20 year old young men.  I especially am excited to use the testimonies of people that are married and have families, because this is something I can`t really relate to."

Monday, November 18, 2013

Seeing the "Salvation of God"

All the Misioneros de Tatumbla, our area

Not a lot happened this week to be honest.  The biggest thing is that we had a Stake Conference in our Stake.  It was good and my favorite talk was by the Stake President, who talked about if you want a ward to grow and progress, you need to be 100% in your energy, everyone in the ward.  Because when everyone is involved and you work together, you can accomplish so much more in less time.
My biggest spiritual experience this week was Saturday/Sunday, we had been trying hard to find an investigator to go to church with us, becaus they can´t be babtized unless they go to church!  We talked with all the people we have, and no one could go for different reasons.  We walked the entire hill in our area before conference on Sunday to try to bring people (I was pooped), but no one could.  So we went to church expecting no one.
This is where my scripture theme for this change comes into play, its...D&C 123:17.   It talks about how we do all we can and then we wait to see the Salvation of God.
We arrived and one of the YW from the area of the Hermanas invited a friend to come, and he lives in OUR AREA! This was the week he decided to come, and he was our investigator in church!  It was a beautiful little miracle.
Things are heating up a little bit for the Electiones in Honduras this Sunday.  As Missionaries that means we explain to people we can´t vote, and that we don´t support any specific party.  Political rallyes for the 9 main parties (yes 9) are everywhere and so are advertisements.  We will see who wins...
I love you and I feel your prayers, thank you for your love and support.  I love reading your letters and emails.
Elder Henrie

Monday, November 11, 2013

Slow but Great Week

Yep, thats me in Little Ceasers, with a 5 buck pizza (here its 99 Limpira Pizza)
The Coke is not mine, they are against the rules for missionaries here (because we are being examples), but the table next to ours didn´t finish theirs, and not knowing we couldn´t drink it, gave it to us.  
We gave it to a member we happened to meet (at least I think he was a member...he liked sitting with missionaries at least, maybe it was the soda...)

Well, by the numbers, this week was kind of a slow week, but by how tired I am, it was great.

We´ve had it a little rough because we don´t know our area very well, and its all very hilly. On Friday, we went to La Montaña, and because we finished up there late, and it had rained all day, we decided not to take the little trail we usually take for safety reasons. The other option was to walk along the road, so we ended up walking about 1.5 hours to get home. In total I estimated that we walked 12 km that day (about 8 miles), but that may just be me bragging. All I know is that we slept well that night!
This is me in the Montaña on Friday, the day it rained a ton and we walked a ridiculous amount.  Yes I used my jacket. I have been told it snows up there sometimes, so I´m going to have a sort of white christmas.

This week because my other Journal only has like 11 more pages, I bought a new notebook, which are expensive here (or at least in the stores I like to go to). But its Avengers themed, and includes stickers, so I don´t feel too bad. It should last me past Into about February, if current writing length holds. So far that I have heard, I´m one of the few missionaries that makes a conscious effort to keep a daily journal, but I want a daily record as well, so that doesn´t bother me much!

This week we had a great little District Meeting where we talked about how you can receive the promptings of the spirit. One of the things that hit me is the difference between studying (estudiar) and really studying (escrudinar). One of the things one of the Hermanas in our District mentioned is studying with questions. I realized that even though I have been studying, and I pray before and after my study and everything, I hadn´t had a really directed study like that for a while. So Saturday (the first day we really had to study after District MTG) I started reading the Book of Mormon with questions. It became a powerful experience for me as I read and found answers for the difficulties of God´s investigators (that we have the opportunity to teach) and some of my own.

One of the things I´ve struggled with in the mission is that when things don´t work out, when the people we wanted to teach aren´t there, or when you get the feeling that they don´t want to talk to you, its difficult for me. I get depressed, and for me that means I focus on the failures, or what I think went wrong. Although this is good to a point (its how you improve), when I dwell on it, it drives the spirit away and with that goes the best of my Spanish, meaning I can become kind of useless in a lesson. Its something I´ve been thinking about for a while, and on this Saturday, I asked what things I could think about to lift me from my sorrows.

Surprisingly (for me at least), the answer I got was that I needed to remember my Temple Covenants, or the ones my parents made that affect me. Or just to remember the feeling of the temple. Doing this helped me remember the best of this life, family, and God. It brings the spirit, and with the spirit, comes the confidence to do the Lord's work.
Our new house (or at least part of it).  It is pretty big, and I like spreading out.  
There is also a spacious yard and a Patio.

Our new house is great, I feel comfortable, and I love to relax in one of the large comfy chairs and read the book of Mormon. I actually didn´t eat that many oranges this week, but I plan to eat more this week!

Know that I love you all and can feel your prayers.

Elder Henrie

PS. Thanks to all the people that send me letters, I do get them, I just don´t usually mention it. Thanks Aunt Debbie, AUNT Connie, The Davis Family, Mom (of course), Tyler, Melanie.

Elder Ochoa

Monday, November 4, 2013

New House, All is Well

First of all, we did move.  Its a bit expensive, but the house is huge and supposedly has hot showers (we have to figure out how to use the sophisticated thingy that`s attached to the shower).  Its nice to have the change from almost no space, to extra space, I feel like I slept better last night because my bed had no clothes or other stuff on it.  For any would be missionaries that were worried by my last letter, realize that the President of your mission understands that comfort is important to study well and feel the spirit, and will accommodate (to a point) you living the best option in your area (you cannot rent a mansion, sorry).  
The only sad thing is that we found out yesterday that the Stake President wants to change the boundaries of our area so its actually mas arriba (farther up) the mountain that we thought.  So because right now our House is at the end of the old border, we might be house hunting again, but the President approved for us to live there until we can find something similar mas arriba.  But we will enjoy the house while we have it.  
The new house even includes lemon and orange trees (which are really common here), and the oranges are fresh right now, so I`m looking forward to an orange or 2 (or 5) a day, plus fresh lemonade.  I plan to use them while we have them, though I promise I won`t eat more than is healthy.
Because it also has a nicer oven than we had in our last house, I`m also thinking of cooking more.  Also, because we actually have a cheaper store closer to our house.  Its called Paiz, but based on the bags and everything, its WalMart. (the bags say WalMart in small lettering on the bottom).  Like I said last week we also have other big American Stores, like Office Depot, Cinemark (which we can`t use), and PriceMart, which I think is Costco.  It has the same layout, and you need a membership to enter (one of the Assistants to the President has one you can borrow). 
This means it is easy for me to find and eat Peanut Butter, which is a nice little treat I got myself.  Its a bit expensive here, but the little bit of Peanut Butter is a good pickup when I need it.  (its my Tub of Happiness, if anyone gets the reference).
Meanwhile this week we spent a lot of time getting to know the members and the area.  Most of the recent baptisms in our area have come from an area called La Montana, which is a 40 minute Mototaxi ride from our house.  Everyone there has farms, and the missionaries have learned the best way to have a person listen to you is to serve them in that area, so we will be doing a lot of weeding, and other gardening. I also helped gather fresh cilantro, which was a sweet smelling experience.  We usually take a mototaxi up, and we walk down, because there is a path down that is pretty fast.  It means that we have been doing a lot of walking, and yesterday we were both pretty sore.  Its also really built my testimony of member missionary work, because we have a couple of fiel (faithful) members who come with us to serve.  One, Sandy Salgado, knows the investigators better than we do (because we`re new), and knows who to visit and when. 
Everyone here is really nice, and there is almost 0 danger of anything bad happening.  I don`t know quite how to explain it, but everyone here is kind of laid back and is content to just say hello as you pass.  We`re still careful, but I feel really safe here.
Because our area looks and feels a lot like snowbird, or Utah in general, I feel really comfortable here.  All that hiking was actually great practice for this area, which is Hiking every day.  But its beautiful and interesting, which is a plus.

Halloween was good.  We had dinner with a member, it was good, but we didn't do any specific Halloween stuff. 
Know I`m safe, comfortable, and working.  There is de masiado (more than enough) work here, so we depend on the Lord to direct us where we need to go.

 Please send this to National Geographic, I'm sure they'll want it!
 My first MotoTaxi with my companion
 A look at our area from one of its highest points in {La Montana}.
 All this is our area, its huge!  There is more than this as well
Moving day.  The Guy on the truck is Hmo M., a recently returned missionary of 11 months that is always eager to go out with us.  He speaks English almost perfectly, with only a hint of an accent on certain words.  He went to San Pedro Sula (Honduras).