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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.

Capítulo 59 - This week we had the baptism of Hillary

 It's strange having P-day on Monday haha. We had a few emergency changes on Saturday and had to send some people home, so President Chase let us move our p-day to Monday instead of Saturday. I promise I'm not dead, and nothing bad is happening. 

  This week the replacement of my campanion came to the office. His name is Elder Rodriguez and is from Costa Rica, just like Elder Alvarado. I'm still with Elder Alvarado, and have been for 3 changes (Transfers). Right now, while Elder Rodriguez is learning his responsibilities as Immigration secretary, Elder Alvarado, him, and I will be in a trio. So... all of the costa ricenses in the mission are my companions at the same time haha.

  We went to go get him at the mission temple trip that I organized for each zone to be able to go to the temple. The temple here is super awesome. I was honestly shocked that I didn't struggle at all with everything in spanish.

  This week we had the baptism of Hillary. An investigator that we've had for just over 2 weeks. She was progressing so fast, that we moved her baptismal date. now you guys might think that's too short of a time, but you guys don't know how much she just understood everything we said. She even took on the challenge of indexing names in Family History and already has over 500 done. The baptism was great. this Saturday we also have the baptisms of Karina, Humberto, and Jenny. We're praying that everything goes well.

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