Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Losing the Palace

So things are pretty good this week. The biggest news is that we had investigadores (investigators) in church for the first time as a companionship. It was pretty exciting for us to have that. It means that if these same people go again next week, they can be baptized the proximate domingo (Sunday). The funny thing was with one of them we didn`t do much work, a member brought them. Now the work for us begins as we work to teach her and help her gain a testimony.

This week as a companionship, we did pretty good to study, and one of the things we studied was to teach the people, not to teach the lessons. For me, it was really interesting to talk about the experiences I have had teaching real people. It is interesting to realize just how different every spirit of God really is. Everyone has their propios problemas (own problems), and yet in some ways we are so simple. It always reminds me of the love of God. It is one of the sweetest experiences of my life to be in a lesson and feel like I should share something. Usually it seems a little random and I have to work it a little to get it to fit into the lesson but the result is always worth it. To see a person actually begin to listen (yes, sometimes they don`t), and start to let the word enter their heart.

Something I wrote in my predicad mi evangelio (Preach my Gospel) recently comes to mind. If we can`t show them how it will apply to them, how can we expect them to accept it, much less be changed by it. Because when it comes down to it, the gospel means change. We were sent here to this earth not to return the same, but to return better. The mission sent us a talk last week about how to be a missionary consecrated, not just a good missionary. Something in it caught my attention, that if we just come to the mission and change our behavior, we will return the same subject to the same problems that plagued you then.

For me this was an eye opener. I want to be a good missionary, but more than that I want to grow. I want to return stronger, not the same. I feel like Nephi, I have my temptations and problems that always beset me. I know just how weak I really am. I want to return home a little better. No, scratch that, I want to return home a lot better. I want people to see the difference in my very soul, not just in the fact that I may have grown, or my physical appearance has changed. I really want to change my soul.

The talk continued to talk about how we need to change more than just our behavior. We need to change our very nature. It posed an interesting question, Do you follow the rules because others expect you too? Or do you follow because you WANT to? The way to do this is simple, and in its simplicity is the difficulty. We must submit our will to the Father`s, understanding that although the process may be painful, the results will be worth it. I went on quick divisions con my Lider de Zona hoy (zone leader today) Elder Torres. He told me that in his opinion, people are called as leaders, because the Lord wants to humble them. He wants to show them just how much they need him. 

Sorry for the long rambling spiritual thought, but as you can see, it was the highlight of my week. It general, things are good, I have a slight cold right now (yea, I know, I`m in Honduras!). But my relationship with my companion is really good and I feel like we can do a lot together.

This week we lose the palace..:(. Oh well, the lord asked me what I was willing to do to serve him and I said I`ll go where you want me to go, so I`m going.

Final thought for the week:

Every change I have a scripture theme, which I write on my planner in Spanish and English. This change is a thought from the 2000 stripling It is found in Alma 57:21. It says, "Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them."  This is my goal right now. To have sufficient faith, and the action to back it up, to really invite a miracle to our area.

I love you all, thank you for your prayers!

Elder Henrie

Monday, January 20, 2014

Six Months

So, things were pretty good this week.  We had interviews and we talked about the problems of our area.  We talked about moving us to La Montaña, which would mean that we don´t have this awsome house, but we would be closer to a more promising area.  The president really emphasized working with all your effort.  He had me read the story from Charles G Maiser about Word of Honor, and then had me give my word of honor that I would do my best to ¨make a miracle¨in our area.  I promised that I would.

Sorry if this feels a little hurried, I´m just not sure what to put in this letter for this week.

Training is not as bad as I expected.  The church really has done a good job putting together a training program, so I´m trying to follow that.  The hardest part for me is I want to show my son (trainee) what it means like to have success, and right now thats a little difficult in our area.  But nontheless, I´m going to train a missionary that works, no matter what the numbers are.

This week I spent some time thinking about how we can improve the work here, it helped that we had interviews.  I feel like we are really doing some great things, but that theres always a little more. We are going to be spending this week milking that little more for all its worth!

In general, it has been interesting to talk with Elder Rodriquez and notice the little things that have changed in my own life.  I feel like I´ve learned to depend on the lord a little more, and I look a little more for the little miracles in life.  I´ve learned to appreciate the small succeses, and evaluate even the small failures.  Perhaps one of the most important things is I´ve learned the value of working until the appóinted time is done.  I also think I finally have learned what my mom always tried to teach me about using an Agenda.  I can really see the difference between the days that we plan ahead, and the days that we just kind of go with it.  

It has also been interesting to see how my testimony has grown a little here and there.  I still have doubts, I have them every day.  But I can also look a person in the eyes and promise them blessings if they obey a commandment.  I have really learned to appreciate why the commandments are a ´protection, not a problem.  I have met people that have really messed up their lives, because they decided that something was [not that bad+, or that {everyone does it}.

One of the things that has really been pressed upon my mind is the importance of communication in any relationship.  How if you won´t talk, you will not have success.  You will just circle the dran until in all drys up.  I have seen the difference that little expressions of love can save a relationship.

I have mixed feelings as I get ready to pass the first big hump in the mission, 6 months.  (its on the 24th by the way).  But I have strength in that I know that I am helping people.  I may not be babtizing them, but I am helping them come closer to christ.  I can promise them blessings and I can help them change.

Here´s the testimony that you asked for mom...
I want to bear my testimony that this church is true.  Not because I have seen an angel, or heard a voice, but because I have lived it.  I have seen the people that live in the world, they have their happiness.  But then I look back on my own family, my memories, my own actions, and I can see the difference.  I can see in my life a brightness, a hope for the future, a positiveness that has helped me all my life.  I have a testimony of this gospel because I can see the difference in my own life.  This is my invitation to everyone, to see what we have, and accept the road to a happieness that can last forever.

You probably want to edit that, but when I share my testimony with others, I realize more and more that my testimony is from actions, not from grand experiences.

I hope that you are all doing well, thank you for your support, your prayers, and your examples.

The church is true.  Families can be together forever.  You can be truely, and deeply happy.

Elder Henrie

 Package from home:

Monday, January 13, 2014

I'm Training!

So that's the biggest news this week, I´m training.  Elder Osmond, who in 6 short weeks became a favorite companion, left to go open an area (cause he´s cool like that) and train as well.

We were pretty sure we were like the least likely people in the Zone to have changes.  I have only been in Tatumbla for a change and a half, and he was only here for 1 change.  I didn´t cry, but I was pretty sad.

We spent our last day together teaching, and finishing all the food that we didn´t want to share with the new guys.  Then I helped him pack  and we arranged a ride for the next day.

The Hermanas had changes too, and they were taken out, with Elders taking their place.  They hadn´t arranged a ride, and were asking us if they could hop in with us in the Bishop´s CAR (tiny, like commuting car).  We told them no, and luckily they found a ride.

We spent a good time talking to people.  We received a big group, and a lot of people were training. We finally got sat down and waited to receive our fate.  

I received Elder Rodriquez, de Ecuador.  He seems pretty cool.  Talking with him reminds me how much different I was 6 months ago.  More insecure, worried, and doubting my own knowledge.  I suppose its good he doesn´t have to learn a language.  We of course visited La Abuela First, with all the new guys.  An Elder Porter (de Gilbert, Arizona) and an Elder Herrarte (de Guatamala, and new as well) came to replace the hermanas.  Abuela was excited to have 4 elders.

Because their house had like no food, they spent dinner with us for the first 2 nights, witch totally cleaned out any real food that we had.  I was a bit miffed, more so because I had to break out my {Gringo Card} for the first time.  I plan to pay myself back with money I receive from the mission (usually I don´t use that much money).  This quinsena was just hard because we did a lot of random activities as a zone.  First, we got gifts for each other, and we also got shirts, (which look pretty cool, although I´m not sure if I have pictures of them).

We went and played futbol as a zone today.  I didn´t play that much, but it was fun.  I got some respect from my Latin comps, but its pretty obvious that I will never play soccer at more than a [for fun] level.

The best part of this week was last night.  Because we had divisions, y the other days were full of meetings, I didn´t get to teach with my new (very new) comp until last night.  We gave a baby a blessing, and we also taught a mildly hard investigator named José de los Santos.  He is just hard because he really likes to bring up scriptures and ask us what we think of them (he did bring up one about false shepherds that come to steal sheep, that was fun!).  The divine inspiration of the Lessons was confirmed to me as all of his questions managed to fit perfectly into El Plan de Salvación.  Even as we continued talking after the actual lesson, I could feel the guidance of God, and we (together) were able to answer all his questions from the bible.  We still are going to have to work to help him receive the Book of Mormon as scripture, but we left him with a desafio a orar, si nuestro mensaje era verdadero.  He is really intelligent, and I think that we can baptize him.

We also found a new family, that we are excited to keep teaching.  The wife really seems interested, but we are going to have to work with the husband to help him respect us.  We ´plan on serving him this week.

Also yesterday, all the youth that are planning on serving missions were called as misioneros del Barrio.  We had a great lesson about the difference between being a believer, and being a disciple by the new Second Counselor, a recently returned missionary.  He is really good, and is really whipping the ward into shape.  It seems that his goal is to make the ward the ward he wanted to have in the mission.  We have planned a lot of activities, the one that excites me is that he put the youth in charge of reteaching the lessons to our recent converts.  He is planning on them doing it, and put them in companionships.  He said that we can help them to prepare, but they need to do it.  I am really excited to see how things turn out!

The verdad (truth), this week is looking really up.  I am still nervous to train, but I can feel the help of God every day.

Elder Henrie

Monday, January 6, 2014

Determined to go from good to great

Fun things this week, we have had this banana tree in our yard for a while, and we finally decided to cut them off this week. We cut the big one, and Elder Osmond told me to go cut off the other one. It turned out the other one wasn`t ready, but oh well! Apparently the branches have a lot of sap, and when you cut them they bleed. It got on one of my shirts, so I put stain stuff on it. I haven`t wasked it yet, so heres to hoping! We had to hang them up using some rope we found so they can dry out and get yellow (when we will eat them, all of them). We took a fun picture that shows the difference in the ones we caught. Though Elder Osmond´s was a communal effort (I had to catch the thing when it fell from the tree, its HEAVY). 

We also found time on P-day to play Rummikub with my adopted grandma (who loves it as much as my real grandma)  It was pretty fun and she felt pretty loved!

Other things, last night the stake did a concert called El Cordero de Dios. Which turns out to be a concert translated to spanish by Rob Garder (pause for Lyceum memory). We were asked to bring 10 investigators to it. So we made invitations, invited tons of people, and had the Bishop rent a bus....and no one could come. We waited as long as we could on the bus, but we had to leave. Apparently an investigator came right as we left, cause he called a girl on the bus asking where it was (Darn!). 

We also had the opportunity to have someone in church. We went to his house early, and he promised to come. Apparently he arrived at like 9:01, and church had started on time (crazy right!), so we had already gone inside. When we visited him after he told us he felt awkward entering the gate (quick explanation, because all the capillas here have iron fences, they have a gate, and then the door to the building. If he had walked up to the door, we would have seen him through the windows), so he left (another Darn!). 

It was a disappointing day, with every person failing to come one by one to the concert. I was kind of depressed, and I spent some time on my knees asking if there was something else I could have done. I felt that we had done good work, but that I can improve to do great work. So this week is rededication again, looking at every aspect of the work we do here, and deciding what works and what doesn`t and how to change it. Wish me luck with that! 

Another fun thing, we should be getting Zone T-shirts sometime this week! 

Thanks for the letters, I know I never (like never ever) reply to them so here is a quick shoutout. Thank you Mom, Melanie, Tyler, Grandma, Taylor, Jessica, Dad, and The Davis family (from my home ward)! 

I love you all and every day I feel your prayers.

Elder Henrie