Monday, March 31, 2014

Learning to Control our Emotions

I may not write much this week, but that is just because I am tired.  Today we went to Picacho (the giant Christ statue) and played ultimate Frisbee.  We also took some fun pictures, which I don´t have because I forgot my camera :(

Things were very good this week.  We baptized our golden Investigator, he asked the Bishop to do it, and we had a good asistencia (assistance).  Our ward had a total of 3 baptisms, and the goal for April is 10, so we are working hard to lograr (achieve) that.

It was a good (long) P'day, and for some reason, I chose to run a lot of it.  This week I feel like we did good working all day.  Our goal is still always to be more smart in how we work.  For us, that means planning divisions with members and making sure that we have citas (lessons) for every hour of the day.

Right now, we are working on step one, to have people to teach.  The stake has a goal of 50 baptisms this month, and has encouraged everyone to share the gospel.  This means that there are stake and Ward activities for the missionary work every week, (which is really good for us!).

I feel like I learned this week about holding back a little.  The Lord has blessed us with emotions, which help define us as who we are.  They are sometimes powerful, and they can overwhelm our sense of conscious thought.  

Please don´t worry, I didn´t explode on anyone, but I watched some effects.  People´s emotions can be touched by the smallest things, but they always are touched.  For our tiny actions, we can brighten peoples day, or we can make it just a little bit worse.

In general, I like things to be tranquilo (calm), but I am not always calm.  One of the things I have been taught in this last bit of my mission is how to release feelings.  They are powerful, and must be released, but it is important to do it in healthy ways, so that you don´t do damage to yourself or others.

I don´t know quite what I want to say with this letter, maybe just this.  That you have feelings, and they are important, but make sure that your feelings don´t push down on the feelings of others.  Use your happiness to lift people up, and they when you are down, you already have people, ready to help.

World happiness starts with YOU.

I love you all, and I am grateful for your faith and support.

I love you all.

Elder Henrie

Monday, March 24, 2014

Washing his dirty clothes by hand

I didn´t take many pictures this week, there is a little bit more of a chance in this area to be robbed, and I would rather not lose another camera.

So I took the kind of random video.

I don't know how to turn the video so the orientation is right.
Tip your head to the left as you watch the video.

Yes, washing clothes by hand is a lot of work, but its kind of fun, but after 2 hours, I took a break.  I wash by hand because I´m too cheap to pay someone (I like to eat food more), so I buy soap and do it myself.  I´m sure it builds character or something.

I have not yet gotten my shirt back.  Its still in the neighbors yard.

Things this week were interesting.  We were having a rather normal week in this area (which means, working a lot, and not necessarily having the type of numbers that we would like).  Our district leader, Elder Coombs (from Colorado, I don´t know where) asked us to do a companionship inventory and decide what we could do to improve.  I know that it was inspired, because in that little hour after, we recived a lot of revelation.  I know that it changed the way we work here, and will continue to change it.  

It is interesting that God sent us here to progress and to learn.  But he didn´t expect us to do it alone, he gave us the opportunity to recieve revelation.  I feel like that sometimes we thing of revelation as something that we recieve and we suddenly understand some obscure gospel topic, or we get it and we have a testimony.  This week I recieved a testimony of what happens when we get specific revelation on how to change, and we apply it.  

Long story short, we had a much better second half of the week than first half.  I felt that we were working more like the Lord needed us too, and because of that, he blessed us with miracles.

I know that God is our Heavenly Father, and that he loves us.  Like all parents (and he is perfect), he wants us to lograr (achieve) our greatest potencial.  He is constantly guiding us to the situations where we need to stretch, we need to grow.  He uses other people (like parents, friends) to support us, and he tells us what we need to do by revelation.  

This revelation comes in different mediums, but it only is recieved when we are searching for it.  It is interesting in Preach My Gospel, it emphasizes planning daily, but the first step is always to pray to recieve revelation.

I know that sometimes as humans, we feel lost.  We feel that God has abandoned us, that we are just one of his creations, or even worse, an accident, made while he was creating the universe.  I know that this is not true.  

God is our Father, and he sent us here with a purpose.  To learn all that we could, and to develop attributes that allow us to overcome trials, and purposfully manage our responsabilitis and powers.  The prize is the Eternal Life, which is to have all that God has.  Is there any greater responsibility?  Any greater Stress (think about having to manage a universe!)?  That is why we are here, to learn skills that will help us in the eternities.

Sorry for being a bit preachy...

I am happy and safe, I hope that the Lord finds you the same.

Thank you for your prayers, and your support.

The Lord loves you, and wants to bless you, please let him by leaving behind your bad habits, and moving into the new ones.

Elder Henrie

Monday, March 17, 2014

Menos Activos

Things were very good this week.

The truth is, that this week flew by.  I feel like yesterday I was here writing you guys.

But, NEWS FLASH, its the seventeenth of march!  Wow, where did the time go?

This week we spent a lot of time finding Menos Activos.  Our ward mission leader gave us a list of ward members and asked us to visit all of them and see where they are.  

The saddest was one we went and visited and they told us she had died 5 years ago.  Seeing as the list was from 2012, it was sad to realize that she lived it a wierd enouph spot that no one from the ward noticed.  It reminded me how important it is to make sure that no one falls through the cracks.  I officially invite everyone to go and find someone they haven´t talked to in a while, and remind them that you care and that God loves them.  You never know when you might lose someone.

We also had our fun moments.  We found one lady that the list clearly said she was a member, but she seemed to be offended that we thought she was a member.  It was kind of awkward, but based on the fact she called us Elders, I kind of think she really was a member.  This ward has a lot of Menos Activos, and we have called ourselves to find them and ask them for references, (a clever way to obtain more investigators and activate people).  Something that our leaders have been emphasizing is that there is nothing like the spirit of missionary work to animate people to return to church.

I actually am not sure what to write for this week.  We spent our time doing what Misioneros do.  Walking, Talking, and Preaching.

Talking with Hermana Smart today (the nurse) as she poured Hydrogen Peroxide on my leg (yes, I am fine!  I skinned my knee, and afterward we went to the office, and she offered to patch me up), I had a bit of revelación.  She asked me if I was depressed, and I realized that I wasn´t.  It sounds weird, but I have always been a little easy to be sad and guilty.  But these days, I am too busy helping others, and it feels good.  I still have my days, but they don´t last that long, and the Lord always sends me something to cheer me up.

If you find that life is a little rough, find someone that is in the same spot as you, and lift them a little.  The Spirit will life you more.  It always does.

Things are good here in Honduras, I love being here, and I know I´m going to miss it.

Thank you for your prayers and your support.

Elder Henrie

The salsa picture is a find the difference game.
Hint, look at the ingredients in Spanish, and then in English, something isn´t right.
It made me smile

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Golden Investigator

I believe this is the view from the balcony of Graig's Apartment

First of all, I am great.  I am still adjusting to living in a TINY area.  We aren´t quite the smallest, but we are pretty close!  Its wierd to think that in our ward boundries live more than live in all of Tatumbla!

Space is limited here from all the houses, so if you want to build a house, you find a friend, and build it on top of his house.  It sounds mildly dangerous, and it probably is, but this is HONDURAS.

We do not live in such a house, we live in a carefully designed apartment.  It is TINY, but comfortable.  We are just waiting for the mission to send us Roperas (Wardrobes) because I am sick of living out of a suitcase.

In general, this week had its high and low points.  We spent a lot of time finding a bunch of the old investigators of the Hermanas.  They didn´t really leave us addresses (which annoyed me, because La Kennedy is the first place in Honduras that is actually organized by blocks, meaning you actually have an address that is not just directions).  They left the names of people, and told us that they live by them.  So, first of all, we had to find the people, and then we had to find the investigators.

There are a lot of people here, and things are pretty busy and crowded.  The funiest part is in a barrio (neighborhood) called San Angel.  There, they built bunch of parking lots, counting on like 1 out of every 10 houses on having a car.  but now, EVERYONE has a car.  People park whereever they can, and signs that say ¨Don´t park here¨ are common, as people try to save their spots.  I want to get pictures at night, but there is one area where the cars are as close as possible, parked so that you can barely squeeze between them.  The only way to get your car out is to wait until everyone behind you leaves.  I Know that causes problems!

I met my first totally golden investigator this week.  His name is Elvis, and he attended our church for a year, and was going to get baptized, but moved before he could.  So he arrived here, and although we technically have to teach him the charlas (informal word for lessons), he is ready to be baptized.  He even read about and started living the word of wisdom (usually a large difficulty for Hondureños).  We are really excited to teach him.

His sister is the same, but we just have to babtize her husband too, because they have to get married.  The goal is, that before the end of this month, we will have a wedding and a babtism!

I have continued to see miracles in this area, though I am still adjusting.  I feel like I´m teaching in the Dorms at BYU, because EVERYONE is going to the nearby university that lives here (or they are professors).  The nice thing is that everyone is educated, so it is a little easier to have a discussion in a lesson.

On that note, I had a long talk with a Pastor the other day from another church.  We talked about the differences between our religions and I asked him if he knew that Christ came to America.  He was really interested, and I left a Book of Mormon with him.  The goal is that he reads it and becomes a more active investigator.  I couldn´t help but think of the scripture in the end of 2 Nefi, when Nephi talks about how any person that really believes in Christ and his mission would accept The book of Mormon as from God.  I hope he reads!

My feet are still doing much better.  I still have a mountain of stuff to do to care for them.  

The truth is, although this week had some low points, it was interesting that while preparing my weekly dats last night, I felt satisfied.  I remember something that Elder Cameron (my teacher in the CCM) said.  If you look at your progress day by day, minute by minute, you will see nothing.   The time period is too small.  But if you extend your gaze, to weeks, months, and eternity, you see change.

For all of you guys that are preparing to go on a mission, or are thinking about not going, I guess I can only tell you this.  If you are looking for a 2 year vacation, don´t go.  But if you are looking for an experience that you can never have in any other place, that will change you to your very core if you let it, that will bring you a satisfaction and joy that Video games or parties could never bring.  Go on a mission.

I want to give my testimony of this work, that God loves his children, and that he knows them.  He knows every missionary, and he knows how to succor them.  He knows when you are at a low point, and he know how to lift you up again.

I got an email from Whitney today that I would like to share part of, because it made me think.  

*Keep looking for the little signs of God's hand in your life, and the lives of your investigators! They are everywhere!*

I know that this is true.  We all have darkness in our lives, but we also have so much light.  You just have to look for it.

I love you and I feel your prayers.  Live the Gospel and you can have more peace and happiness that you can have anywhere else.  I know this because I live it.

Elder Henrie

More pictures from Graig's new area:

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Nasty Surprises

When you look at my pictures, you will probably see two of my feet and go WHAT!  I thought you said you didn`t have any problems!  (I am not going to post the pictures as they are gross.)

This reaction is totally normal.

To tell you the truth, I THOUGHT, I didn`t have any problems.  But on Monday my feet started looking funny, so I told Hma Smart, and she checked me out during the Zone Conference on Wednesday.  She told me I DID have a problem, and sent my pictures to the AMA or the Doctor of the missions of Central America.  

First of all, it is NOT DANGEROUS, NOR AS BAD AS IT LOOKS.  The first picture looks really horrible because I had just put on melaluca oil (which helped).  I have some sort of non contagious bacterial infection that occurs when you sweat a lot from your feet and are walking all day in that sweat (So, I blame Dad`s genes for that one!).  

I included the second pictures to show you what happens when the nurse takes care of you.  As you can see, she is VERY good at her job.  I have to do a mountain of stuff now, but it keeps my feet healthy.  I must know put on a strange paste 3 times a day, change my socks three times a day, soak my feet in a vinegar bath once a day, and take an antibiotic.  It sounds like a lot of work, and from what I hear, its also overkill, but Hma Smart said she wanted to make sure that it is GONE GONE, and that I will not get it again.  It is already healing nicely (as you can see from the second pictures).

Its kind of ironic, because I remember a couple of weeks ago when you asked me if I had problems with my feet, and I said none, or I am in for a nasty surprise.  I guess the Lord listened and humbled me a little.
Saying goodbye to Abuela

The other surprise this week is the President told us we had emergency changes, meaning I have officially never changed areas in normal changes.  We still have the same companions, but the 4 of us (Elder Porter and Elder Herrarte as well) are officially Elders of Guaymuras now, not of Tatumbla.  

Reopening an area is fun, it means we knew noone, and nothing.  We spent a couple of fun days just wandering with a list of references, finding the old investigators of the Hermanas.  One of my new ZL`s, Elder Woods came to help (he was nice like that).  We still have to find a good part.

For me, I had a beautiful confirmation that we were supposed to be here on our second day.  We were talking with an investigadora de las Hermanas, that her only problem was that she is going to the University (I am in like the Honduras equivilant of Provo, everyone is going to school, works for the school, or gets paid because of the money the students spend) and she said she had a lot of Homework and can`t go to church.  I told her that before my mission I was studying too, but that my Bishop promised me that if I gave time to the Lord for church, that I could complete all my homework, and understand my classes better as well.  She went to church this week!

We also went to talk with one of their old investigadors and we fell right in with him.  We were his friends right from the start.  Now we just have to teach him.  We have a lesson with him today...tell you how that goes next week.

We were also just walking, and (as is our habit as misioneros) saying hello to everyone we passed.  We passed a young father with his daughter on his shoulders and said the same to him.  He then stopped us, and told us something interesting.

He vivido aqui muchos años, y he visto algo interesante.  Los evangelicos, cuando salgan de iglesia, salgan con su biblia y no saludan a nadie.  Los testigos de Jehova y los Catolicos son lo mismo.  Pero Los Mormones siempre me saludan.  Les vì ahorita y me dije, ellos van a saludarme, y lo hizieron.  

(I have lived here a long time, and have seen something interesting.  The Evangeligists (I think this is the word), when they leave church, leave with their biblia and don`t greet anyone.  The Jehovas witnesses and the Cathlocs are the same.  But the Mormons always greet me.  I saw you now and said to myself, they are going to greet me, and you did it.)

It was just a small story that made me think of the small things we do can make a big difference in the lives of others.  People know we are mormons, and what we do, (or don`t do) makes a difference.  I don`t know if that guy knows it yet, but he gave us a reference, of himself.  Wish me the ability to teach with Poder and Autoridad.

For me, these last few days have been a confirmation of the decision of the Lord to switch our areas.  It seems like every day we meet someone that I feel like we can teach and help to make covenants.  The Lord never said his plan would be easy or pleasurable, but he did promise that it was the best plan there could ever be.

This week we had a Zone Conference, which means all the missionaries from a given area go to a large church and we listen to talks by the leaders of the mission.

The biggest thought I pulled out of it is that I am using the bible to much.

It sounds a little strange, but it was revelation to me.  I have liked using the bible, because it is what the majority of our investigators are familiar with.  But it is not as clear as El Libro de Mormon, nor is it as important.  The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, nothing will change that, nor will it ever change.  It contains basic doctrines explained in simple ways.  It answers questions that ministers from other faiths argue and fight about a lot.

I will now be using it a lot more!

It was a good weekend, and I love our new zone.  Today we played Water Balloon Volleyball (with towels), and we got permission to watch a movie.  It was a good relaxation, and now we are just writing and we are going to work!

I love you guys!  The Lord loves you!  He has a plan, and its a perfect plan.  If you put your will with his, you see miracles.  Thank you for your prayers.

Elder Henrie