Monday, May 26, 2014

The soap opera life of a little town in Honduras . . . or Crazy times on the mission!

Dear Family,

This week was so crazy! First, good news, Jamie, a girl I was teaching in my last area got baptized! She sent me pictures! She is so beautiful and I am so happy for her. 

I'll start with Tuesday. It was a beautiful day. We headed up to A. It is a town about 15 min away on foot. Basically the whole town is from the Church. We went to help La Abuela (a little old lady  who sometimes gives us food and is super crazy and is the reason we don't want investigators to go to Church on fast sunday because she started chanting and all sorts of stuff in her testimony) haul water so she could wash her dishes and everything. She was grumpy with us because we helped her daughter in law, L. shovel dirt last week.  Anyway, we passed her and she was still mad. We went to the house of L. and  asked her to make us lunch. Then we headed over to La Abuela's house. We dropped off our backpacks and looked for her dogs. Her daughter was there and started chatting with us calmly. She bragged about how good of a daughter she is, how she went without a fridge so her mom could have one and she gave her mom a  stove. 

We headed off to get water for La Abuela from the well. We were coming back from the well when we heard her screaming down the road. She got to her house and strarted yelling at us to  drop the water and to see what was happening. We put the water down and ran to her house. Her daughter had broken in and was taking out the fridge and the stove. They were both screaming and insulting each other.  It was awful. Then La Abuela started throwing the stove. Then they almost  knocked over the fridge. Then the daughter attacked her mother. They were hitting each other and the Abuela was pulling her hair. I have never seen anything like this in my whole life. I was so conflicted. On one hand my compnaion was sobbing and the other hand there was a 76  year old lady fighting with her 40 year old daughter. Such barbarity.  My Companion yelled at the  ex  husband of the Abuela to come and help and I just yelled at the  ladies to stop being  animals and to be women. La Abuela wouldn't let go of her hair and my companion set off running. 

I followed her and we both ran next door to L.  crying and screaming for them to help. They didn't do anything. L. lives with the Abuela's son, who is a terrible man, but is nice to us. 

 They didn't want to get involved and we ended up locking the fence and hiding in their house.  Somebody called the police and they showed up. They took a lot of people as witnesses and we hid because we can't get involved in that. 

L. gave us lunch and we couldn't  eat. I really love L. She isn't a member yet , but she is so great to us. 

We eventually left when they had taken everyone to the police station. 

The next day the son invited us to eat fish in his house and we went super sneakily. We are terrified of the Abuela now. She was an animal. I am honestly scared.                      
Thursday  my companion completed  4 months in the mission and  Hno. Mejia gave us a MASSIVE box of Corn Flakes to celebrate. I don't know why people love corn flakes so much.  La Abuela showed up to the church building and we left running. Literally.  

 Friday Elvin had his baptism interview and he passed with flying colors. 
Saturday we went to Nueva Armenia for the baptism of Elvin.  There is a river and it was so pretty.  I loved it! It was a super big headache to get everyone there but worth it. Elvin invited a friend who left at 3 in the morning to get there on time. That is love. 

Hno. Mejia bought us lunch. He gave me half of a chicken.  That is a lot! 

Sunday we went to Church and afterward  we got a phone call  from L. asking if we could  let her borrow a suitcase. She has literally lived through the infierno with her... boyfriend-husband. He treats her like a dog and  is so awful. He also has 3 other women. He is such a dog. Anyway, they had fought and she was leaving him. They live in A. and  basically all of his family is there and they  treat her really badly. Imagine what I wrote about the Abuela and times that by 10. Her stories are awful and she lives in fear.  We prayed about giving her the suitcase. I didn't  want to do it if it was going to be bad, but we received a SUPER strong assurance that it was the right thing to do. I gave her my biggest suitcase. I am not sure what will happen, but I hope she can have a  better life. I gave  her the Family Proclamation and a jar of Peanut butter. She sobbed tears of gratitude.  

Elvin was sustained a  member of the church and then he was confirmed. It made me smile. I was so happy. 

I love you all! Don't  be mad that I don't have a suitcase... 

I love serving! I love this area! Craziness and all! I love my companion! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Counting Blessings . . .

Dear Family,

(Side note . . . after getting in trouble from both of her parents about teaching people three hours away from the church and walking home on a dangerous road at night, she sent a separate note saying that they only went there because it was a reference and are making arrangements to teach the people in town from now on. We were grateful for that!:-)

Well, this week I am SUPER sore! I shoveled mud and rocks for 3 hours twice this week. And carried it in a wheelbarrow to a road. It felt super good to use a shovel.

I was super grateful for a father who taught me how to use a shovel and gave me a lot of opportunities to practice. Everyone here thinks that Americans don't do any hard work and that we live a pampered life. It may be true at times, but I definitely know how to use a shovel!

We were helping a less active man and his wife (investigator) get rid of the mud and rocks that they disposed of when digging their well. Having a well here is such a blessing. I have never understood the value of water before. I don't need elecricity, but water is NECESSARY! 

 The less active man asked if this would be my first time using a shovel. I just laughed and got to work. I then outworked him and everybody else. Halla!

I also realized that my dad is pretty smart. It is better to work with a huge hat on and gloves. I will show you a picture one day of the hat I wore. It was a massive straw hat that protected me completely from the sun. 

So this is the section of my email that will help you feel grateful:

We have an investigator that has a problem in her mouth and they have had to pull out all of her teeth. She had some taken out every week. Now she doesn't have any left. The poor thing. And she used to be super pretty. The worst part is that they still don't know what the problem is. 

Also, the water comes to our house twice a week... supposedly. Ever since I came it has only come once a week. It is super rough. I can now shower with 2 gallons of water or less. The water never is running water, but we have a pila. Basically it is a big sink. It is about 3.5 ft by 4 ft. Pretty small. We use that water for the whole week. We shower with it, wash our dishes, our clothes and the house. I never thought I would be living this way, but at the same time I love it so much! It is crazy how the misison can change perspective. 

What I am grateful for: 

Elvin, one of our investigators, is progressing super well! And the branch is helping out. He is going to be baptized this saturday. We just need to finish a few lessons, but it should be great! And we might do it in a really pretty river. 

I am also grateful for moto taxis. I don't know how to describe them. They fit like 3 people and they cost about 50 cents for a ride. And a lot of the time they gives rides for free.  

We also had zone conference this week. It was sooo great! And we went to my old area to have it. With my old zone. I didn't really see many people I worked with before, but it was nice to relive the memories.We are going back at the end of the month to go to the temple. I miss the temple so much! I love being there. I can't wait to go whenever I want. 

Well, my companion still struggles with obedience. But, I am finding creative ways to help her. She was pretty good for a few days after zone conference but she still has a hard time getting out of bed. But I make sure she isn't sleeping while she is in there. :-)

Our lack of efficiency KILLS me, but I am also being creative with that. Some people just don't feel the urgency of this work. But I am happy and I am learning a TON!!! 

Love you all! I hope you have a great week.!

Here are some pictures from the mission blog taken at zone conference

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Angels round about them . . .

Dear Family,
Mom, I looked in PMG and on pg. 222 in Spanish it talks about the registro de ensenanza in the first paragraph under the box. 

It was so so great to talk to Mom and Dad! AND to see the neighbors for a few seconds (Purtymuns and Sheffields). Going on a mission sure can make a person grateful for their family!! 

So the other day we went on a trek to teach a lesson. It was a 3 hour trip. We went with a member. It was ridiculous. But we found a lot of people to teach in that area. And they are pretty positive. One of them was a pastor. I have always wanted to teach a pastor and baptize him. But it took longer than we thought and we had to return home in the nighttime. I hate returning in the nighttime because it is a lot more dangerous and the road is solo and basically it is just a bad idea. But we had to go home, so we had to do it. 

Anyway, we started going home and a truck passed us. It slowed down and told us that we should pick up a few rocks to protect ourselves because there were a few men smoking in our path. We got a little nervous. The truck continued, but then stopped and went in reverse. A man got out of the truck and walked with us to protect us. They got us to the main road and past the smoking men. 

Basically it was an answer to a prayer. We were dumb to be in that situation, but we were grateful to be protected. 

We challenged a man to be baptized and he was super excited to say yes. He is one of the chosen that has been waiting. His name is Javier and we are going to start teaching his wife soon. She is super nice, but super busy. We just need to marry them first. It bugs me that no one is ever married. But I am excited for their wedding! They don't know about it yet...:-)

We only get water twice a week. It is rough. But I feel like I will be a good camper after the mission. 

Saturday we celebrated El Dia de la Madre with another branch. It was super funny. We went to Pollolandia and ate there. Its more ghetto than Burger king. It made me laugh thinking what would happen if a ward in the states did the same thing. I am sure there would be a lot of complaining. But here they were so incredibly grateful. 

There were only supposed to be 15 people. They called a 15 seater bus for us. Instead of 15 people, we had 26. And by some miracle we all fit. My compnaion and I opted to take a real public bus home. 

I also got a package from Kristen!!! It was so great! i had to defend it from the elders, but my scowl scared them off. IT always works. I did share with my companion.  

Love you all. Can't wait to Skype again for Christmas... 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Guess Where I Am Now???

Dear Family,

Okay, here is the big news, I am in SABANA GRANDE. Big sheet. Who comes up with these names???

My compnaion is Hna. Franco form Guatemala. We both would like some tacos from Mexico. She is pretty great. She is coming out of her training and her trainer didn't mention ANYTHING about obedience, so it is going to test me like crazy. I want her to love me, but I am not willing to give up being obedient for that. I am praying a lot to know how to handle the situation in the best way. 

We are in a branch here, I am so happy. 45 people came Sunday. Here is the best part. The president, 19 years old. RS Pres, 21 years old. Mission ldr, 18. His asistant, 17. YW Leader 22. The best best part, they are all turning in their mission papers. They only need the interviews. Almost all of the leadership will be gone in a few months. 

We definitely have our work cut out. Leadership. Families. Priesthood.

This area is HUGE!!! It is a tiny town with a ton of aldeas (small villages). We hike mountains all day long. SUPER THIGHS!!! 

I am in the same stake I was in before so I am super excited because I will get to see the people from Roble Oeste. And, Hno Mejia, the one that reminds me of an Italian mob boss, is the sister leader trainer in charge of this rama. And my comp form the mtc is in the sister town, so i get to see her all of the time. YAY!!!! 

There is no food in the house. Nothing. And the little that there is is terribly unheathly, but we are going to Teguc. today to buy stuff. We also almost never have water. We have to haul it and carry it up to our apt on the second story. 

Whenever we ask people if there is anything that we can do for them, they make us haul water. My traps are so sore. I have developed a testimony of the necessity of water. I am fine without electricity, but I need water. 

I shower out of a bucket. IT is soooooooooooooooo cold. But, it is character building. The houses here are nicer than my first area, but our apt is way worse. 

The apt was beyond dirty when I got there. Ewww. I didn't know sisters could be so disgusting. 

But I already love the people here so much. It makes serving here so much easier. We did divisions yesterday. My comp found a family and I found 2 drunk men who asked if it was okay if they came to Church if they only went because they thought I was pretty. Luckily one of them doesnt live in this area and the other one lives far away. My testimony of the word of wisdom continues to grow. 

We have one good investigator. Named Elvin. He thinks that is his name. That is always nice. 

I ate fish this week. Still had its head on--with big, sharp teeth. And skin. It was pretty great. Apparently my standards are changing like crazy. 

Love you all! Talk to you soon!