Monday, December 30, 2013

Holiday Challenges in Honduras

Dear Family

Well, first, I found Elder Long. He is actually in my zone. I saw him a few times before I realized it. Yep. Talked to him this morning. (I met his mother through facebook so told Michelle to keep her eyes open for him.)
This week was super good. Actually, it was mediocre, but I feel good. I feel like God is trying our faith because I am being super obedient, but we´re not seeing the fruits of our labors. We haven´t had anyone in Church for 2 weeks. This week we are going to have 10.(Our goal) I am so determined. I am going to become a challenging master. It is just hard because I seriously invite EVERYBODY to come to church. Every contact, every new person we meet, every member. If I am talking to someone, they are invited. Yet no one comes. A bit frustrating.
Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for the Christmas money! You guys are so sweet. I bought a lovely dinner and I am going to buy a backpack and temple clothes with it. The temple clothes here are so cheap. And  I really want them. Thank you so much!
We had a good Christmas. They celebrate on the 24th and eat a ton. They eat a dessert called Torejas... o algo... but it is basically french toast soaked in milk or honey. It is pretty good. They also make a ton of tamales. They are basically tamales that you just put your whole fridge inside--any kind of vegetable or meat. They all taste different. Today we are going to help an investigator make them.
For some reason nobody wanted to learn about Christ on the day we celebrate His birth, so we spent a lot of time walking on Christmas. But we were prepared. My companion's mom sent her goodies and candy to give to children, so we put them in bags with messages about Christ and the Articles of Faith and our number and we spent the whole time chasing children and mothers. It was a bit creepy. There was basically no one on the street so if we saw someone we went into full stalking mode. The first mom we saw, we pursued for 2 blocks. Sister Missionaries=  Creepy. It was way fun. I pride myself on my stalking skills, so it was good to fine tune them.
We almost had a baptism this week. A lady brought her nephew to us and told us to baptize him. But he doesn´t live here and was only here for a few days, so it didn´t work out.
I am learning the importance of obedience. The other sisters we live with aren´t quite the most obedient people.  They take a bunch of naps and don´t like to leave the house and come back early. I am hoping we will be blessed for our obedience. But They just baptized a family so.... Yep... its a bit hard. But we plan on baptizing 3.
We share the area with the sisters and it is getting increasingly harder. President is thinking about taking a pair of sisters out and moving them to a different area. We will see what happens. Our ward mission leaders are discussing the needs of the ward and the amount of work. But our area is HUGE!!! We also haven´t had a correlation meeting with the ward mission leader since I have been here.

Well, I love you all so much! Have a happy new year. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Life In The City

I am not sure what happened this week with the time for the internet, but it ran out. Well... really soon.
I finally got all of the dearelders that mom sent! Thank you so much! it was so great. I loved the news about the mission, the letters from Grandpa and the email from Kaitlyn. Because I got transferred they messed up all of my mail, so it took awhile to get here. Thank you so much for your dedication.
We had a mission Christmas activity this week. It was super fun. They split the missionn in 2. We had presentations from every zone, then a gift exchange (they put everyone's badge in a box and then if they got your name they gave you a gift)
I got a Christmas mug. With candy. They served mashed potatoes, turkey and salad. it was way good. Then we got to watch an animated movie. The Croods. It was a lot better than I expected. And it was in English with subtitles, so I was even happier.
We also had a ward Christmas activity. I was way happy that I didn't have to do basically anything for it. We set up chairs. My forte. And we actually had investigators who came! There were 2 guys that we haven't even  taught, but they came. We had contacted them. Another family came. It is a part member family. She is going to be baptized, she just doesn't know it yet.
The RS is split in our ward and somehow we were assigned to the side that has no one from our area. It is the area of the elders. I have no idea why it is like that, but I talked with the mission president's wife and now we are going to go to the other one. The other sisters who attend that relief society might not be too happy, but I am not scared.:-)
There is a woman named Albaneli and her husband called us asking us for money. She was really positive before that, but then she has gone into hiding. I have had to tell yet another person that missionaries are here to help them spiritually and not financially. I am getting good at this talk .
Oh shoot, times up. Good thing I will talk to you tomorrow. Love you bunches. MANANA!!! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Before I forget. We can skype 24, 25, 31, or 1. Just let me know. I want to do it early in the day. like 11 or 1. 1 is probably better. But I can work with your schedules. I just need to know so we can work it out with a member. We can skype for 50 minutes. Yay! 

So. I got transferred. Woohoo. I was pretty sad to leave Campamento. I truly grew to love the people there so much. Soooo much. They were like family. The people were so nice to me when I left. A few made us food and other people gave me stuff. Like key chains of Honduras and a shirt and other stuff from their houses. Homemade jewelry. So sweet.
I am now here in Roble Oeste with Hna. Clark. A different Hermana Clark than was my trainer. She was in the CCM with me but in another district. But it is so fun. It is a little bit hard to learn Spanish with companions from the states, but hey, I like a challenge. This is also the richest area in the mission. We are no longer allowed to contact people in their houses, so it is all in the street. We are practicing our people skills and our stalking. Basically we jump in front of people and say, "Hey we´re missionaries, can we come to your house?" Its pretty sketch.
The people here have cars. And houses. And electricity. And food. I am not really used to it yet. I am actually in a bit of shock. But, WE ARE IN THE AREA OF THE TEMPLE. We still can´t go to it, but ITS HERE!!! I am super excited. I tell people about it in every contact and in every lesson. Oh hey, have you seen the temple? Do you want to have your family for forever? Its sweet.
We need to learn how to work here better. Basically we wander a lot. I can´t wait until I know the area and the members. The members will be key in this area. We share our area with other sisters who live in our house and the assistents. Basically it is way too much sharing.
We also share our house. It is the biggest house in the mission. We share it with other sisters. We have 2 washing machines, a stove, everyone has their own bathroom and basically we are just spoiled. And the bed doesn´t kill me every night. I still miss Campamento. But the members feed us a lot here. The mission president and his wife are in our ward, too. Kind of a bit of pressure. But I am pretty sure his wife loves me. Who wouldn´t?:-)
We had a meeting with the BISHOP yesterday and we were getting to know each other and he asked me what area I was in before and I told him Campamento. The assistent told him that when I got there the attendance was 30 and we got it up to 70. Actually 68, but it was nice to know someone noticed. I seriously saw so mnay miracles there. I almost want to go back, but then I look at the temple and change my mind.
The focus in the mission is families. The missionaries before were teaching a bunch of old women, who have families. So now we are teaching their families. And there are a few that are pretty receptive. We have one investigator who smokes, drinks and used to do drugs. But he wants to change. He went to Church this last week.
It is nice being in this area because we get mail faster. I assume. I hope so. Oh how I love mail. There was a batch of mail that got to our zone that was for me but I was transferred the next day, so I have to wait for them to send it back to the office and then to send it to me. Eck. But basically I am really happy and ready to work. 

Love you all! Feliz Navidad. 


December 9, 2013

This week was pretty crazy. Lots of changes. My companion got a call that she is going to train. I only have 5 months in the field and I am going to be a grandma! There are only 5 missionaries coming in the change. All Latinos. 2 Sisters. I am nervous to leave this area. 

We had a zone activity this week. We played soccer and I am growing to like it a little more. I don't like that I am bad at it. A member of the branch made us Baleadas which is the classic Honduranian food. She gave us 4 of them. It was hard to finish them. They were massive and stuffed. One of the elders looked over at us sisters and offered to finish our food if we couldn't and my pride was touched and I ate all 4 before anyone in the zone. Mom, be proud.:-) It was funny. The zone leader gave me a look of disgust/pride. The Elder who offered to finish our food couldn't finish his 4. Pretty funny... but I regretted it a little later because it was a ton of food. We also played dodgeball with toilet paper rolls. I owned. Gracias to 3 years of weight training when we played dodgeball a ton. 

I got a cute letter from the ward! I loved it so much! It was so sweet. It was the RS if front of my temple! GRACIAS!!!! Thank you so so so much!!

I also got the cutest Christmas card from Kristen! Your family is ADORABLE!!!! Ahh! Feliz Navidad y Cumpleaños. 

We also had a zone meeting this week. It was really good. The zone leaders have good hearts. Really good hearts. They taught us how we could present a plan of a lesson to the investigators. Me gusto mucho. 

We went to Tegus on Thursday for the meeting for Trainers for my companion. I am so happy for her. She is going to be so great! We found Pdte's house! I always feel super accomplished when I find the placed in Tegus. It is CRAZY in the city. And I love it. 

We have the compromiso to baptize 3 people and 1 family this month. We are trying so hard to accomplish it. We are being SUPER obedient. And now that we are being separated we are going to baptize 6 people and 2 families.

Friday night my DL challenged us to cumplir all of our goals that we put for the next day for Saturday. We had put some pretty high goals, but with a lot of help, we accomplished them. Even he was impressed. MUCHAS LECCIONES!! WE had 6 lessons with investigators, 4 were with members, and a million other little things. 

We contacted a girl friday night, went to her house Saturday and she and her cousin went to church Sunday. She is going to be baptized. 

I love you all so much! I will give you all the details next week about changes. FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Feast??

Hello Dear Familia. 

First, Shout out to Grandma and Grandpa Smith! I got your birthday card and it made my day! Thank you so so much! I will save it forever! 

Also, MOM!!! I got your package. I definitely have something to be grateful for this past week! Package from Camille for birthday and Mom for Christmas. Oh Honduras mail... But my companion wants to say thanks too. She is completely addicted to American chocolate and peanut butter. She is waiting for me to get home so that I can send her a package. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! It was part of our Thanksgiving feast! 

Area= We had zone conference. My 3 to 5 min talk was about 2 min. But no one is sad when they are shorter... And it was a wonderful day. Presidente spoke about the Atonement for an hour and it was wonderful. In the end he spoke about faith. This guy is powerful. I learned so much and it was so motivating. They gave us burritos for lunch and I was way happy. 

ANNNNDDDD...... WE GOT CELL PHONES!!!! Only the hermanas, but nonetheless we are enjoying the blessings of modern technology. It is quite pathetic and really duro, and I have never been more grateful. 

We are committed to baptize 3 people for every companionship this month. If everyone does it, we will break a record in the misison. 1700 baptisms. 

 We are using the Book of Mormon more and more in the work. We always used it with investigators but we are going full force with the menos activos and members. We are challenging everyone to read it over again. We also practiced using the Book of Mormon to answer questions and resolve doubts during the reunion de distrito and my companion and I mimicked dad. We had them open the Book of Mormon and read a verse and it was perfect for their situation. It is great to know that God is mindful of us even when we are practicing. 

Funny=It got a little bit cold here and everyone pulled out their winter gear. It is way funny. And THey don't want to leave their houses because It is too cold. It is like 50 degrees. I am so happy. I don't even need a sweater and I don't sweat. Perfect weather. 

Our Thanksgiving was a little pathetic. But I expressed gratitude all day long. We had a... feast... in the night time. We made fried platanos and bread with pb. And American chocolate. It was wonderful. I made hats/headbands for us. My companion was an Indian and I was a Pilgrim. 

Challenges/Blessings=We had a shorter week this week in which to work--due to zone conference-- so we were a little nervous about our goals. But we were able to meet our goals of lessons with members. The standard of the mission is 10 every week and we had 11.  It was a blessing. 

The church building is under construction for the next two months so everything is a bit harder. But the sweet members spent all of Saturday cleaning it so we could have a pretty place to be Sunday. I love them

Changes are this week, so we will see what happens since I have been here now for six months. Actually they are next week. 11 de Diciembre. 

Love you all so much! Happy day!

Our Thanksgiving Feast and our costumes.

Honduras and Elections

Dear Family,

This week has been way weird with the elections. I found out that I wasn´t supposed to tell you guys about the elections so that you wouldn´t worry. Woops. 

But in other news, I GOT THE PACKAGE FROM CAMILLE!!! It was so so so so sooooooooooooo perfect! We baked the cake and shared part of it with our district and then made cake balls from the rest of it and dipped them in chocolate. My companion is in love! She experienced part of the states and is dying for more. Every part of it was wonderful and I have already needed to use the little packet of emergency stuff that is just so darling. Thank you sooooooo much!!! 

Last Tuesday we had intercambios. It was fun. I went to Talanga. Campamento is way prettier. We are now no longer allowed to contact people in their houses. Only the sisters can´t. That means we get the opportunity to find a lot more in the street. It will be fun. 

The Elders had a wedding this week and then their first baptism in the area! I was so happy for them. This guy has wanted to be baptized for 6 months but he had to get married first and was scared to ask his wife to marry him. I don´t understand Honduras. 

We have an investigator named Gissela who is way promising. She accepted a baptismal date. Her husband is a member and we are hoping to reactivate him and help him get worthy to baptize her. Ahh! It will be so great. But transfers are in 2 weeks so I probably won´t get to see her get baptized because she has to marry her husband. 

I got to give a talk on sunday. I spoke about the Doctrine of Christ. Luckily no one was there because they were all working for the elections. (actually that part really stunk) But, it was over pretty quick and I shouldn't have to speak again in this branch. 

I have to speak for 5 min. in our zone conference tomorrow. Pdte called me and asked if I could talk about diligence. We have to go to Tegucigalpa and there will be 2 zones. I am more nervous for that then for this last Sunday. 

We spent 3 days inside during the elections. We cleaned, studied, wrote letters, made real food and watched church movies. It was fun, but we are really ready to work. 

In honor of Thanksgiving, I am now way more thankful for= 
Technology= washing machines, running water, light, dishwasher, oven, air conditioning, etc

email, fb, skype netflix

Communication with family


But since being on the mission I am immensely more grateful for=

My family and parents that were married in the temple and honor their covenants. 

Church programs
Church leaders

Happy Thanksgiving! EAT A LOT FOR ME. AT LEAST 3 PLATES!!!!!!!!!!! 

love you all! 

Here are the pictures from our birthday party celebrations