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Capítulo 66 - I've always hated goodbyes

I've always hated goodbyes, and these members are making it even harder. I've been here for 6 months, and I've seen so much progress in this area, in the ward, and with the members. I don't want to leave this area and I don't want to leave these members, and so it's already difficult, but then it makes it worse when they hear that I'm leaving and they get sad too. I did all I could here, and we had a lot of success, hopefully I can bring that on to my next area.

  The family home evening with president and Hermana Chase was great, we ate so much chicken, pasta, corn on the cob, beans, and yes mom, we ate salad too haha Then to finish it off, we studied the scriptures and finished with a dessert of peanut butter fingers that president made. I almost died I was so full haha. 

  Also, last week I was talking to president asking him what we could do for Hermana Chase because her birthday was coming up, and we came to the conclusion that we would make her a surprise. Later we got a call saying that we were invited to their house to eat cake. So we brought the surprise. The 5 of us office elders all pitched in and we bought her a glass plack that has her name, and a few words of appreciation from us for everything that she does for us. It was really nice, and she really loved it. I'll have to ask for a picture of it, because none of us took a picture haha.

Capítulo 65 - Elder Cook will be coming to the mission

So this week, we don't have much time to write, we'll be leaving the office right now to have my last family home evening with President and Hermana Chase before I leave the office next week. I still have no idea where I'll be going to, but I'll for sure know by the next time I write.

  The strange thing is that I'm writing right now on a Monday. It's been a while since I've done this, and it feels really weird haha. Well a few weeks ago, we were told that Elder Cook will be coming to the mission, but President Chase told us to keep it a secret, and so he didn't want to write it to anyone until it had already happened. So two days ago (Saturday) Elder Cook of the twelve apostles, Elder Gong of the presidency of the 70, and Elder Ochoa President of the Area presidency all came at the same time to the mission, and we combined the two missions here, and got to here from them three and their wives.

  It was amazing, and they have been fixing things in the church building here, painting, re-painting, sanding, re-sanding the walls, and literally bought new couches to put in the church building. Before the meeting, Elder Rodriguez and I had to do some last minute things in the office, and so we came a little late to the meeting. (the office is in the church building, so we just walked down a hall to the room. Anyways, the point is that everyone was sitting down, and Elder Rodríguez and I were about to walk in, but President Chase was explaining a few thing to all the missionaries before Elder Cook, Gong, and Ochoa came in, so we waited outside. Right when he finished, President Ochoa (area president) came up and caught us by surprise, but he just shook our hands and walked in(we were right outside the door to the sacrament room). Then my companion leans over and says "Elder Case, let's stay here because Elder Cook is coming up and we can greet him first. I looked at him like "are you sure?" and then I said "....okay" We stayed for like 2 minutes, and then like three people came running at us "Quítense! Quítense! Viene Elder Cook!" So yeah....We didn't get to shake his hand first... hahaha

  Also this week, we recieved the order of 65 beds that I made like 6 months ago. Lets just say that there are a million beds in the house, the house is big, and we are still teenagers. I'll just let your imaginations go wild there hahaha.

Capítulo 64 - San Lorenzo!

This week started off with a video conference for all of Central America, presided by Elder Cook, on Sunday. We had a lot of investigators at church that day, and they were all very impressed by the talks given by the general authorites. The sad part was that it wasn't in spanish until the very last 10 minutes. I mean the people giving talks that knew spanish, spoke in spanish like Elder Duncan, and President Ochoa. But Elder Cook was speaking in english, and there was no translator. Luckily we were right next to a family of investigators, and so I started translating for them. After a few minutes, everyone around me started leaning in closer and closer to hear what I was saying. Before I knew it, there were like 30 people trying to hear what I was translating.

  Then the next day Elder Rodriguez and I went down to the south. We decided to stay the night in San Lorenzo, right next to my old area "Obrera". The next day we cleaned up a house and headed down further to Choluteca with a bunch of house materials: 2 beds, 2 wardrobes, a mircowave,  a fridge, 2 fans, a stove, a table, 2 chairs, and an extra matress. The point is that is was really dark when we were driving, and the wind started picking up and all of the sudden we heard a super loud bang. I pulled over the truck, and we noticed that the rope we had used to tie everything down broke, and everything in the back of the truck went flying. Luckily, and I have no idea how, the truck was perfectly fine, nobody was behind us, and there was no damage done to the materials. I honestly have no idea how that happened because that stuff went flying all over the place. We put it all back in the truck, and headed the remaining 5 miles to choluteca.

  Well...It's official. I got called by President the day after we got back from the south, and he told me who my replacement is, and when he's coming. My replacement is going to be Elder Flood, and he comes tomorrow. So we'll see how that goes. Palmira has had a lot of progress since I came here, and it's really sad to think that after two weeks of training Elder Flood, I'll be leaving.

We found a statue of a dolphin in San Lorenzo!

Capítulo 63 - We did an area attack

This week we've slowing been progressing the entire atmosphere of missionary work in the ward. This Thursday, we did an area attack. We are 4 missionaries in the ward, and we all came together, paried up with someone and went out as 8 people in the area. 

  We've already been seeing results, and the stake president and bishop are very happy with us because a few months ago, the church attendance was around 60, and this last sunday we got it up to 129! At least that's what the ward secretary counted. I normally likie to count to see the progress, but I was translating everything for Hermana Chase who decided to come to the ward while President Chase was in a very big lider counsel by the Temple.

The coolest part about the divisions is that my companion for the divisions was Humberto, who was baptized 2 weeks ago, and last sunday I got to watch him bless the sacrament. It made all the hard work worth it being able to see him up there and seeing his wife so happy that he was there too.

  We've been finding a lot of very positive investigators this week, and we have a good future coming up for the work in this ward.

  So... a long time ago, we promised a few people that we would go to church with them if they went to church with us. Well the thing is that they showed up to church with us, and we completely forgot about the whole deal because it was before the mission shut down in december. the other day, we went to visit them, and they reminded us about the deal, and so we went with them on Friday. It was a very small group of people, but once they started the first prayer, it didn't seem like a small group. EVERY ONE OF THEM were screaming at the top of their lungs during the prayer, and everyone was saying different things. it was... interesting.

  This week I also had my interview with President Chase, and from what he was telling me, I'll be leaving my area this change, after completing 4 changes here (6 months). We'll see what happens.

Capítulo 62 - I fit the luggage of 15 people in that beast of a truck

Okay so this week we've really been taking a look into the efficiency of everything we do. President Chase wanted a meeting with all of us to go over practically everything we do in the office just to make sure that we aren't doing the same job twice, or to see if we could get to jobs done in one. He was honestly shocked at how efficient we already are and that nobody was overlapping jobs. So that was good.  

  Right after that meeting we all 4 went to go clean out a house of a closed area so that we could give the materiales out to another area. After cleening out the house we put everything in the truck bed. I honestly have no idea how we did that, but we fit two wordrobes, two beds, a table, two chairs, two extra matresses, a fridge, a microwave, and a fan in that short bed. I've gotten pretty good at stacking things in that truck. The other week, I fit the luggage of 15 people in that beast of a truck.

  Then we went over to the new are to drop everything off, and well... I had no idea where I was going. The new missionaries were giving us directions and well...the directions weren't very good, and we got lost and ended up in the parking lot of the biggest cotholic church in all of Honduras (La Suyapa) so we took advantage of the moment and took a picture outside haha.

  We've been having a lot of progress in the ward. This week they finally called an Elder's Quorum president, and we have already done divisions with him and his first counselor. The divisions were awesome, and have already helped a ton in the missionary work.  

  This week we were invited to eat dinner with a family in our ward. The family doesn't live anywhere close to our area (nobody knows why they come to this ward) but they wanted us to come over to their house so bad that when President Chase came to sacrament meeting last week, they begged him to let us come over...and he said yes!! Their house is SUPER nice! both the mom and the dad are doctors that work in a clinic in Tegucigalpa.

Saying goodbye to Elder Pineda last week

We bought ICEES!!


la suyapa. We took the picture in like half of a second because people starting noticing that we were mormons haha

The biggest cotholic church in all of Honduras (La Suyapa)

Capítulo 61 - "They got married!!"

Well this week Elder Alvarado officially left the office. It was really sad to see him leave, and a lot of the members were really sad too. We were together for 3 changes (4 and a half months) and we got a really good system going in the office and in the area. The good thing is that Elder Rodriguez is super awesome, so that will definitely make sure the momentum that we started stays moving.

  This was changes week, and one of the biggest ones we've had in a very long time, with 19 missionaries finishing their missions, and 21 coming in to start their missions. We also had 2 emergency changes this week. Our house is really big, but we only have a total of 24 beds in the house. So... when all the 17 new Elders came to sleep in the house, 2 other misisonaries that were having emergency changes, the AP's, and the 4 of us...we didn't have enough, and I decided to sleep on the ground with my blanket and pillow. It was fun, but also super hard to keep that many missionaries under control in the house.

  We had a miracle happen this week with the wedding of Humberto and Jheny. I woke up that morning and instantly started receiving calls from one of the witnesses of the wedding. The alcaldia didn't let anyone but the family and the witnesses in the wedding, so we didnt get to go. He told me that the other witness wasn't there, and that they could do the wedding without the witness, so I called her, and she didn't answer me. I got nervous, and called her at least 8 more times. Still no answer. So I called her neighbor, to talk to her sister to get me the number of the person that she works with to ask where she was. I basically found out that she bailed on us. I told that to the other witness who was at the wedding, and he says that they can't get married without a second witness and in order to change the witness, they need a 3 day warning in advance. So basically I thought they weren't getting married.

  It was a rough day, but then Hermana Paola calls me and says "They got married!!" she then explained to me the whole process that they went through that she ran over and her and the other witness convinced the lady over there to change the witness in that moment, and they got married! Hermana Paola saved the day! We have their baptism at 5 today, so let's hope that everything goes well.

Capítulo 60 - Gay marriage hasn't been legalized in Honduras

 Right after our p-day eneded last week, we all went over to President Chase's house, and we have a family home evening with them. We ate a very good lasagna and for dessert, peanutbutter fingers with icecream to die for. then we went into the living room, and had a "family scripture study" it's super awesome, and was a welcoming to my companion in the office.

  You guys might think it's weird, but Elder Alvarado and I have contacted less houses than we have changes (transfers) in this area. We have been here for 3 changes (18 weeks), and I think we've contacted 2 houses in total. We've developed a very strong system with the memebers and recieving references. It was really hard at first, becuase they didn't like because we're "office" Elders but now they say they would prefer us working 3-4 hours a day than other missionaries working the entire day. They're really sad that Elder Alvarado is leaving, but Elder Rodriguez has been gaining a lot of trust of the members, so the momentum won't be stopping any time soon.

  This week we also had another baptism, the baptism of Karina. She was also someone who progressed really fast. she had a lot of things happen in her life, and a lot of things that she had done too, so we had President Chase do the baptismal interview, and afterwards he told us that she was one of pepole most ready for baptism that he's seen in a while. It was great to hear that, and the baptism went perfectly.

  We went to the Alcaldia (I think the translation is town hall or something like that) this week to get Humberty and Jheny married. We got there, and we started asking questions about marriage and how to get the process done, because we had no idea how to get someone married. anyways... after asking a lot of questions... we basically got told that gay marriage hasn't been legalized in Honduras yet, and that my companion and I couldn't get married. We had to do a lot of explaining after that hahaha but in the end, we got it all figured out, and the wedding will be held this upcoming Friday, with the baptism the following saturday. We'll see how things go.