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Capítulo 58 - Note to mom: I wasn't breaking the law

 Another pretty busy week, and a lot of traveling. It started out really well, by finding a really awesome investigator on sunday, and she came to church with us. Later in the day we taught her (Karina) one of the lessons. It was one of the greastest lessons, and had one of the greatest experiences I've had out here. We promised her that we wouldn't tell anyone about her past, but she has a very saddening past that really makes someone think about their own life in a different perspective.  We've already taught her three times just this week. She's progressing super fast. We put a baptismal date for her on the 27th of this month, and she accepted it with tears of joy.

  On Monday we went down to the south, a 5 hour drive that I did in 2 hours (note to mom: I wasn't breaking the law, I just know my way around Honduras(:  ) We stayed down there for a few zone conferences. then the following days we spent traveling to Danlí to get  afew missionaries and prepare for them to go home.  

  Also this week, there was supposedly a really big earthquake, but we didn't even notice anything, but there were a lot of really worried people, so just to let everyone know, nothing happened, well at least where I am.

Capítulo 57 - The whole city was full of fireworks

 I was definitely not ready for midnight on new years day. first off, the whole day was really difficult on the finding investigator part, so we spent most of the day with members, and we ate sooo much food. At midnight, making it 2018, the whole city was full of fireworks. It was INSANE how many fireworks there were and how much noise was happening. It honestly sounded like there was a battle going on outside, and it went on for hours. It was really cool to be able to see it from the view we have in our house.

  For everything that had happened the past few weeks with not being able to travel in the mission is really going ot start to be a problem, because even though we've lost a lot of time, we still have to squeeze everything we plan in 6 weeks, into a 4 weeks period. We seem to be managing it well for now, but this next week seems like it's going to be super busy.

  Just this week, we had zone conference for two zones and leadership counsel, and a whole bunch of interviews. We also went all the way to Danlí which is a very long and difficult drive. I have never seen a road in a worse condition. not only is it a mountain type road with a million turns, but you're also all over the place because of how many pot-holes there are. And I'm not talking about like little tiny pot-holes. These pot holes are like the size of the car, all over the place, and would destroy the car if I were to hit them wrong. But it's really fun to drive because you feel like you're in a movie haha. Also, there are some amazing baleadas in Danlí, so that was a plus.

Christmas Day Skyping home

Capítulo 56 - #IIumina EL Mundo

Christmas in Honduras is completely different than what I'm used to.  Everyone here celebrates Christmas on the 24th, and then on Christmas day, they just sleep all day. so you could imagine that the missionary work was really rough. On sunday, we got the ward together (finally) and went around to poor families, visited them in their homes, and gave them food to eat for Christmas (a cooked chicken, 2 liters of soda, and a loaf of bread). It was super fun, and everyone was super grateful. The following day, we got to talk to the family!! Almost all of my cousins were there too.

  Because of a few logistcal issues, we weren't able to have our mission Christmas party until a few days after Christmas. We decided that we would be doing the Christmas party as an entire mission all together at once, instead of half and half like they've always done before. We also had changes the same day, so after the party, everyone got their new companions, and went to their new areas, luckily I'm still with Elder Alvarado. The Christmas party turned out super well. Which is good, because it was really stressful to plan, and make sure that everything went well for over 160 missionaries in one church building.

  The next day, we had a zone conference. In the zone conference, President Chase pulled up a statistic showing us that 50% of return misisonaries turn inactive after they get home, and it's mainly because they don't read their scriptures and pray regularly. Literally shocked us all. Then Elder Alvarado and I went out to our area, and we found an entire family of inactive return missionaries. We talked to them for a bit... and we found out that they didn't pray or read the scriptures regularly when they got home, and it was tough for them on their missions even, to do it. We fiended them, and they let us teach a little bit. They wanted us to pass by again later this week, so I'm assuming they liked us, and hopefully we'll see some progress.

Capítulo 55 - We did a "cuchumbo"

This week, we have been invited to eat so many times. It all started with an innocent family night with the office and President and Hermana Chase, where we ate dinner and did some scripture study and a fun little game. Then once we had all the new missionaries come in this week, we ate dinner with them again, and got to study a little bit with President again.

  Also, the next day when we were running around, making sure that everything went smoothly with getting the news out to their areas, we were offered breakfast. and these are not small meals that we are talking about haha this is food that I haven't eaten in over a year either. 

  Also, last night, we did a "cuchumbo" which is what they call a gift exchange in Honduras. All 6 of us in the office drew names the other day, and gave eachother gifts, just in case someone didn't have a gift from their families.

  Also this week, our Stake President has been super happy with how we've been making friends with everyone in the ward, strengthening it, bringing new people to church, and most importnantly, the baptisms. SO... he invited us to eat too. And that was not cheap at all. Down here in Honduras, there is this really nice Hotel called "The Marriott" and he paid for us to eat a breakfast buffet there. We went today, and I do not want to eat for the next three days becuase of how much we ate. It was sooo good though.

Capítulo 54 "You guys are never going to have to work harder than you're about to today."

Well, I thought this week we would be able to get out to the area and out of the office, as opposed to the last week. On Saturday night we got a call out of nowhere telling us that one of the Hermanas in the south would be going home on Tuesday morning, so I was stuck buying plane tickets and making arrangments for her to leave. On Sunday we drove the 4 hour drive to the south and 4 hour drive back to Tegucigalpa the same night. On Monday, we arranged even more things, and had a Family Night with President and Hermana Chase. Tuesday we sent her home. The craziness was over... or so we thought.

  Wednesday was looking good, we had gone to get a few things, and we were on our way back to the office when I got a call from President saying "You guys are never going to have to work harder than you're about to today." Now imagine this...Changes. Every 6 weeks we have "changes" where all the missionaries that have completed their 2 years\ 18 months go home, and everyone gets changed around the mission accordingly, baised on how much time you have in an area or whatever it may be. Anyways, lets focus on the part where missionaries go home. Next week, we have changes in the mission, However, President Chase told us that all the misisonaries going home the following week, needed to go home the following day. As in, it was Wednesday when I got the call, and they needed to go home THAT Thursday.

  That's when the craziness started. We rushed back to the office, and President was there to give a little bit more of intruction. Our job was to take a 6 week process (the process to send missionaries home takes a long time) and turn it into a matter of hours. I had to make some very important calls to some very important people in Salt Lake  and Guatemala to change plans and get everything ready. We had to do some divisions, so I stayed with Elder Cuevas in the office making a million phone calls, buying plane tickets, and calling stake presidents of every missionary going home, while my companion went with Elder Marcellino running around Honduras doing his best to find some way through the laws to send everyone home legally. We rushed to bring all 10 of the missionaries together, and President himself went all the way to the south to get some of the missionaries going home from down there, to help us out.

  Thursday we were in the airport since 4 in the morning to 6:30 at night, just because of such short notice, those were the only plane tickets I could get for all of them to get back home. Then Friday in itself was insane. So yeah... You could say it was a pretty calm week.

Capítulo 53 - I hit my ONE YEAR MARK!

What a week! Everything is back to normal now with our schedule now. It was a progressive process. We started the week in the house all day, then monday, they let us out till 3 o'clock, then on wednesday we were allowed to leave until 5, and then friday, they let us out until 7, and as of today, hours are all back to normal.  

  Even though we were allowed to leave the house, there was something going on, and president called us saying that we couldn't go to the office nor the area, so we had divisions in the area of the other office elders. When we were out there, we met a family, and there was this little 6 year old girl that reminded me so much of a little boy that I met in Guapinol, and it was like the best thing ever. Sadly I didn't have my camera to take pictures, but just imagine a 6 year old girl that looked 3, and was absolutely crazy. It was amazing.

  Also, this week, I hit my ONE YEAR MARK! We celebrated equally as with Elder Cuevas. Except my piñata was that of Darth Vader. I also bought a sparkling cider that I found in an american store called "la colonia". I also burned one of my shirts.

  It was a fun week, but the missionary work hasn't been going very well. With the curfew we've been having, and working in the office, we haven't been working visiting people in 2 weeks. We might have to start from the beginning, but at least now we already have the confidence of the members. We'll see what happens. One year down, one to go.

Capítulo 52 - 8 elders, 5 days, 1 house. you could imagine the craziness

Well this has been a week to not be forgotten. On Thursday this week we got an email from the area 70 telling all the misisonaries to go to there houses and stay there until further notice. ThursdayFridaySaturday, and Sunday were spent in the house. Now it is monday, and they have let us come out for a little bit.

  The Ap's were planning divisions with the zone leaders in the south, and it's a really long story, but they all ended up spending these 5 days in our house. 8 elders, 5 days, 1 house. you could imagine the craziness that was going on.  We weren´t allowed to leave the house at all, not even to buy food, so we created an awesome food system chain with all of the stake presidents in the entire misison to bring food and supplies to every missionary. The system has not failed us, and we are doing great. honestly, if you have heard anything, just forget it, and know that the missionaries down here are all safe.

   Sorry, I don't have much time to write, more next week.