Saturday, January 18, 2014

Street lessons? My favorite!

Hello Everyone!!

Well this week has been exciting as always. I have officially started my shots for rabies! Luckily I only have to get five shots instead of 20. So far I have gotten two of them. So nobody fear, I am not going to start foaming at the mouth, howling at the moon, or have random erratic violence problems. At first when I found out I had to get rabies shots I was way bummed since my bite is so small and so not a problem... but my companion and I have decided that it is probably good since we cannot for the life of us find this dog.                
It does make a really good excuse though "I am so sorry, that was not me... it was my rabies (or here mi rabia... )" So yes, that is now my excuse for things.
The other night it was also freezing cold! It was so cold I woke up, and the next day we were talking to the other missionaries about it. My companion just looked up the temperature and it was 70 degrees. I think it is safe to say I might die when I go back to Utah. We also had one rainy day, and here in Honduras, if it is raining, people do not leave their houses. Seriously. We would go to peoples houses and they would look at us in shock and say "Hermanas! We were not expecting you to come!" We had one person who did not let us in because it would require them to go out in the rain. They were like come back an other day Hermanas. So yes, welcome to Honduras :)       

This week we are planning the baptism of Heidi.  We were also planning for our awesome family to get baptized, but  the Dad had to leave for work, and we are not sure when he will get back . So this makes things a little difficult, but I know God has a plan and he is going to figure things out for us. On Saturday night we also had a cool experience. We were at the gate for our house and about to go in when we saw the wife of the Stake President and the Stake President. They are pretty impressive people. We talked with them for a minute then were about to go in when the wife says "Hermanas! Hermanas! Venga (come)". She introduces us to Armando, who is 18 years old. Apparently she has wanted him to come to church for a while now and she is trying to get him to commit to come to church. Being the awesome Hermanas we are we decide this is a wonderful opportunity to sing a hymn and pray in the street, invite him to church, and get a lesson with a member out of it. So after inviting him to church, I look at him and say "Estabien si cantamos un himno y hagamos un oracion?" He looks at me a bit incredulously, but of course the Stake President is like "Yes! That is a great idea!" So we have our hymn and prayer in the street, and of course we pray that he will come to church. Afterwards we promised him the blessings of coming to church and left. When we left we were not very hopeful he was going to come, but Sunday morning... dun dun dun... there is Armando. We were pretty shocked. We set a lesson with him and went and visited him last night. He had completely changed! He said that he loved church. The Stake President and his wife were there with us for this lesson as well. We were planning on doing Lesson 1, but with the Stake President we (I mean he...) definitely just jumped right to the good stuff, Book of Mormon and baptism.  So Armando has a fecha for the 1st of Febraro and is going to start reading the Book of Mormon. Yeah! Also, so you all know, street lessons are so normal here. I think half of our lessons our in the calle (street). We have no shame of singing and praying for everyone to hear : ) 

These past weeks I have definitely started learning the power of attending church, and how when people come to church, they suddenly have such a stronger desire to change and to be a part of this gospel.  What a blessing church is! When people come to church they suddenly start understanding what this gospel is about, and they are able to feel the Spirit... even when we have dogs running through the church building   #HondurasProblems           

Also, just so you all know, I might be a little freaked out when I come home. The other day we saw a bunch of Americans and I think I just stared at them for a while, and then went up and asked if they spoke English. They all looked at me like I was crazy. Then I remembered... oh yeah I look like you guys. We also got to ride in the car of the APs (craziness) and I seriously could not figure out how to unlock the door and  get out of that car. It was like a space machine or something. We were also at an investigators house and we decided to have the lesson outside since it was a beautiful day. Well.. they have a washer (outside) and I just stared at it for a while in shock, then I remembered,  oh yeah I had one of those in the States. All you have to do is put your clothes in and they come out clean. It was the first washer I had seen since being in Honduras!   Anyways I hope everyone is counting their blessings! One thing I have learned here is that things are so arbitrary and unimportant. All that really matters is that you have the basics and your family.

Well for this week I have definitely been thinking about how easy and simple the gospel is. We teach how to gain eternal life on one hand. Faith: believe in Christ and in this gospel. Repent of your sins. Be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. Continue having faith, repenting, and living the gospel. That is it! And if we endure, we get to live with God, and Jesus Christ, and our families... FOREVER. Wow. In Alma 33:19-21 it talks about the people of Moses who would not look  at the staff and live because of the easiness of the way. Then again in Alma 37:44-4 6 it talks about how the Liahona was a symbol for us, and how easy it was for them to look at the Liahona and be guided, and how easy it is for us as well. This gospel is so simple and the way is easy! We just need to follow. Never let the hardness of our hearts get in the way of our blessings and our eternal life. The way is easy, and our lives are so much happier with this gospel then without it.                                                                                                                                                                  
Well I love you all forever and always.          

A Dog Bite, a Borracho, and a Puente

So my adventures here in Honduras have definitely started!

Yes... as the title says, a dog finally got me. It is a very small bite near my elbow and I am actually pretty impressed for how large the dog is that it is not a lot worse. I knew it was coming since mi companera and mi otra companera in this area both got bit, but I was in denial that it would ever happen. But I think everything should be fine, I just have to make sure in 7 days that the dog is not dead. Fun stuff. I just think some of the dogs here are possessed with Devils and so they are trying to keep the work from moving forward. Ha! Little do they know. 

Yesterday I also had a nice experience with a borracho. So we were talking to someone and I turn around and this man is standing right there. Woah. So I stuck my hand out for the cordial do not touch me handshake. But then of course he was not giving me my hand back after I was pulling for it. Then he was telling me Happy New Year and going in for a hug (I think). My brain was processing what was happening when I hear Hermana Pickett pretty much yell Disculpe!! Disculpe!! And yank my shoulders back and save me. Ahh we ran away laughing our heads off at what happens only in Honduras. 

There is also now a puente in our river that we have to cross to get to one of our investigators. Best day ever! So now only our feet get wet instead of our thighs. Score.

We also started our English class this week. I was actually pretty impressed with how many people came.

This week I have also realized that if having investigators is anything like having children, I am not sure I am up for the task. My heart breaks everytime they promise us they are going to come to church or do something else and then they do not do it. I honestly have no idea how God does it. This week we had 18 investigators come to church! Yay! But also I could not but help thinking about the others who had promised us they would come and never showed up. They are the real heartbreakers! Also when they are sitting alone or no one is talking to them I am like hey! They came to church! Go talk to them people. These are my kids here. 

We are hoping for a baptism this week of Heidi, but she has to get permission from her mom first. She is 16 and she is seriously my hero. She is basically raising her two younger siblings and she is super pilas. I hope everyone prays that she will be able to get baptized this Saturday! Julia is still amazing, but her son Christian, who is 16, is having doubts about whether or not he wants to get baptized. Last time we talked to him though he had not prayed about it, so we are hoping things will change. And Lucy is breaking my heart because she said she was having doubts because her esposo does not like the church. Ahhh. But she told us she felt it in her heart that it was true. Also Familia Huezo all came to church last week so we are hoping that they will be able to get baptized in two Saturdays. They are awesome too. These people are the greatest. Heartbreakers sometimes, but the greatest. 

Also I just want everyone to know how greateful I am that we have a prophet, Presidente Monson. We are so lucky. God speaks, not spoke. We have an amazing opportunity to have a guide in this life so that we do not have to wander in darkness. I love how Presidente Monson always teaches about being grateful, lifting and serving others, and that God loves each and every one of us. His talk in Conference about never being alone, and also his talk in the Relief Society broadcast make me want to cry every time I read them.   
I love you all, and I know God lives and loves us and he has called a prophet because he wants us to have the ability to follow him. We are the luckiest people in the world because we have this gospel. 

Happy New Years!

Hugs and kisses from Honduras!

I hope everyone had such an amazing Christmas! Here in Campana we ate lots of tamales and sandwich! (Not sandwiches.. just sandwich :). I got my packages the day before Christmas (yay!) so Christmas Eve mi companera y yo set up my miniature pink tree and cooked tortillas harina y tajatas. We had to come in at six because of the festivities of Honduras so we had a good Christmas eve, then Christmas we opened up our presents and went and visited people. It was a pretty good Christmas. Here Christmas is a lot different from the States, very few people have trees or give presents (at least in my area... it may be different in other areas) but almost everyone gathered with their family. I also got to give out my candy canes from my package (thanks!!) and all the people loved the candy canes! Here apparently they do not have candy canes.
Anyways but I have to tell you about our amazing Sunday! We had 21 investigators come to church!! We definitely set a high record. We were so amazed as we just saw more and more people come in. The Lord definately blessed us! One of our investigators who came we were about to drop but she showed up at church! She said her neice had woken up early and told her "let´s go to church! Come on!" So there they were. It was amazing I have no idea what happened other than the Spirit had inspired so many people to come.
I also need to tell you all about our amazing investigator Lucy. Lucy is a boss. We went and visited her at the beginning of this week and she told us that her esposo (which is basically her husband minus the marriage part. Here everyone calls their significant other esposo y esposa, but it is pretty rare for anyone to actually be married). Entonces her esposo and her neighbour were saying that the Mormones worship a different God and we worship Joseph Smith. Lucy told them that she liked when we came and had good feelings when we came. Her esposo told her that it was the devil giving her those good feelings. But she stood up for us! That lesson we taught about the Book of Mormon, and when we came back she had read all of the Introduction and the Testimonies (we had only given her the introduction, but she is amazing so of course she read more). However she told us she was having a hard time with prayer and she could not pray. So we talked about prayer and read some scriptures about prayer. Then we all kneeled and first I said the prayer and she repeated what I said. Then I told her okay it is your turn now to do it by yourself! She was super nervous but she gave the sweetest prayer and the Spirit was so strong!! We were so happy when we left that she was able to pray! The next day we passed by for her to let her know there was an activity at the church. She told us she could not come because she had to wait for her esposo to come home from work with the keys and he did not usually come home until late. So we asked if we could say a prayer with her, and mi companera prayed that she would be able to come and her esposo would come home with the keys. We went to our other sitas and arrived at the activity late, and there was Lucy!! We were so happy! But the story is not over yet... so Lucy has been really sick, so we asked her if she would like a Priesthood blessing. She said that would be fine, so we went back later that night. However it is hard sometimes finding people to give blessings. But we found Chris, a super amazing convert of a little over a year who is 18 and putting in his papers soon. We asked him if he could come help us and give the blessing. He was super scared and we did not have oil. Somehow we found oil and we went to Lucy´s. Mi companera explained more about the Priesthood and blessings, then asked Chris to explain. He talked about how it was also up to her faith. Then before the blessing he gave the sweetest prayer. The blessing was the shortest most powerful blessing I have ever heard. The blessing was so strong, and I could feel the faith of both Lucy and Chris. At the end Lucy had tears in her eyes, and we asked her to give the closing prayer. In her prayer she prayed to have more faith, and it was so sweet. We are going to check in with her today so hopefully she is feeling better! Her daughter Mabia is also amazing, she is 11 and wanted her own copy of the Book of Mormon to read. I love both of them!
We also met Julia this week! Julia is also a boss. She left her abusive esposo (which is pretty much unheard of here!) and her and her four kids are living with her mom. She has come to church twice and loves it. We have not really gotten to give a lesson yet but we are already planning her baptismal date. We have helped her the past two times make tortillas instead of lessons because she has a venda for tortillas and has to finish her tortillas before the next day. She is amazing and has so much faith!
We have also had a few crazy people this week. We had a lesson with someone who is like a pastor guy and he was a little crazy. So we bore our testimonies and left. Also with a pastor lady (how do we even find these people??) But we left her too since she did not believe we could have profetas hoy en dia. 

Also the other night it was 7:45 and our lesson had fallen through, so we had 15 more minutes before we needed to be in the house. So I told mi companera "alright! time for some LPE!" (LPE is basically just when you talk to people about the church). She told me that it was time for me to practice my Spanish so go for it. Ughhh.... okay. So we were walking on our way back to our house and there is a bunch of like 7 or 8 thirteen year old boys who always yells at us "I love you forever!". So I decided these were our people tonight. So we went and talked to them, and asked them if they knew what I love you forever meant... and they did not so we explained it. They asked me if I speak English, and I was like well yah... That is why I sound like a fool right now trying to talk in Spanish. So I taught them "good night!" and told them whenever they see the Hermanas to say "Good night Hermanas!" We sang a hymn with them too. It was a good fifteen minutes. We were walking away and they said "good night Hermans!" But then they said I love you forever too.
But anyways it is going great in Campana and I am loving it. The other day I read about how Christ, in the premortal world had told the Father "Thy will be done, and the glory be thine." I realized that is really the phrase for the mission as well. All we as missionaries can do is work super hard and try to help people... but in the end the Lord´s will be done, and the glory is always his. This is his work, and I have been lucky enough to be given a portion of his vineyard to work in. I know that this is the Lord´s work, and that it is truly his work and glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
Well I love you all so much! Happy new years! I hope in your new years resolutions is to spread the gospel! (This is eternal salvation we are talking about here...)
Hugs and kisses from Honduras!