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Capítulo 44- It's like a missionary Christmas

This week was a very long week, but at the same time, a great week. It all started off with General Cenference. I really cant explain it, but General Conference out here is one of the greatest things there are, it's like a missionary Christmas. Weeks before the coference starts, we're all talking about it in anticipation, and as it gets closer, we get more and more excited. This conference was AMAZING. However, it was sad that President Monson wasnt able to make it, and also hearing about Elder Hales.

  As part of my new responsibilies, I travel around the mission going from conference to conference with the mission president. This week, we had a conference down in the south, so we packed up the truck, president took his own car, and we went with the AP's for a road trip down to the south. It's like a good 5 hour drive, but it was so fun. Just being able to drive on some mountain roads, listening to our church music, and just talking was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. 

  Apart from the work we do in the office, we also have responsibilities to work as normal missionaries every day. President did some weird stuff with us here in this area, and the companionships. So in my position, they have the old elder teach the new elder for a few weeks before leaving, and they're normally companions. However, president sent another person in the office and made him comps with my comp, but then put me with someone else in the office. We're honestly still confused about the whole companion situation, so we just all say we're companions. haha

  Even though we dont get as much time as normal as normal missionaries, we've been getting a lot of work done. The other day I went to go contacting with Elder Alvarado (Costa Rica) and we found so many awesome new investigators, and we had some very powerful lessons. After one of our lessons, we had our new investigator pray. After her prayer, she started crying, and told us that she's never felt like that before, and that she knows it's true. It was a very powerful moment, and it really lifted our spirits that day.


Wow... it honestly feels like it's been a month from the last time I wrote, even though right now is Friday, and I literally just wrote 5 days ago. After writing last week, we spent our p-day a little differently. The other week, I was talking to a few kids in Guapinol, and we had gotten to the topic of pizza, and they told me that they had never tried pizza in their lives. There isnt anyway to get pizza anywhere near Guapinol, so we felt really bad, went to Choluteca, bought a few boxes of pizza, and brought it back to the kids in Guapinol. Seeing their faces as they first saw that pizza, made it all worth it.

  Then the next day, we stayed the night in Choluteca so we could get up at 2 in the morning and get on a bus to Tegucigalpa. Literally the moment I got off that bus, I got rushed by like 10 people telling me what I had to do, and within a 2 second period, someone took my bags off the bus, I ran to get the truck keys, and I drove a missionary to the airport to send him home. I LITERALLY DROVE A TRUCK.... IN HONDURAS! And to the airport! It was the craziest thing ever. 

  Since that moment, Ive been insanely busy with everything. As the executive secretary of the mission, Im also the secretary of the mission president, and believe me, that man is a busy man, and I make his schedule.  Its insane what we do here. Yesterday we sent 7 misisonaries to the airport, did their paperwork, and sent them off. At the same time there were 2 missionaries that were coming home, with flowers, and their family, and everything. It was just like... wow... I still have 14 months before I go home haha.  

  Then every night we go home to our mansion of a house that we share as 6 elders! Im honestly having like reverse culture shock here. Like we'll go to get food, and I honestly cant eat with a fork... it's just weird. And like, the water that I shower with... I can see through it! like the water isnt brown and black anymore. I havent taken any picture of the house yet, but ill send them next week. Just imagine it for now... we have a spiral staircase!

We also live, and help out the other elders in the office... including ELDER CUEVAS!!!! We literally sleep in the same room, and that guy is so funny!!

Capítulo 42 -The members where saying that Guapinol was crying, because I was leaving

Well this week was a little saddening. We had just gotten out of a lesson, confirming all of our baptisms for next week, when we got a call from President Chase.  He told me that I would be leaving Guapinol and heading over to Tegucigalpa, because he needed me to be the Executive secretary of the mission. So only having one Transfer in my beloved town in the middle of nowhere, im leaving.

 It might be the dreaded area of the mission, but Im really going to miss it. I really didnt want to leave, but this is what the Lords wants of me, therefore I will go and do. Right after the phone call, it started to rain, and it started to rain hard. And it hasnt stopped raining ever since. The members where saying that Guapinol was crying because I was leaving. That just made me even more sad.

  My last sunday was a success! We've been doing activities, and visiting a lot of the members do get the to come back to church. This Sunday we had almost 60 people in church! it was insane! and we even had the ENTIRE branch presidency. From my first sunday with 12 people in church, to my last Sunday with almost 60, was an amazing difference, and a good way to end my time here.

  My next area wont be as crazy, we wont be killing iguanas and chopping down coconut trees, we wont be eating shrimp whole (legs, tail, and shell) or eating chicken feet, but there's always a reason for everything, so I'll be looking for those reasons in this next area with my new assignment. 

  Speaking of chicken feet...Have you ever tried to eat a chickens foot? like, not the leg, but the foot. Who even takes a look at a chicken and says "Im gonna eat that foot" let me just give you a heads up and tell you, dont eat it. Because between ripping off the skin and sucking out the tendons, there isnt much to it, and it doesnt taste good haha.

Capítulo 41 - The week of the pink eye

 Well, This week will be a famous one in the mission; the week of the pink eye. It all started out in a small hut in the area of Buena Vista. They passed it to the Elders of Buena Vista, who then came over to Guapinol for some divisions. They gave it to the both of us. Then, it goes on and on, until almost everyone in the entire southern section of honduras has pink eye. I kid you not, you cant go anywhere where someone doesnt have it. I even got it in both of my eyes, and it literally looked like I was crying for a week straight.

  The funny thing was, that we had a big conference with all of the missionaries in the southern section of the mission and one of the members of the quorum of the 70. And well, A LOT of the missionaries had pink eye. they walked in, and were like "What the heck is going on down here??" It was even worse because my pink eye didnt look like I had pink eye, it looked more like I was doing drugs, so it was a very awkward conference haha.

  Church this week was pretty good. We had an asisitance of 40 people! A lot better than the 12 we had when I first got here. We've just been trying to find a balance between meetings, investigators, and members, because that's a lot to have to manage and maintain. We still did everything, except this time we didnt say the opening and closing prayers. but man did we regret that when the person saying the closing prayer put their hands in the air and STARTED SCREAMING TO BABY JESUS. It might seem like Im joking... but Im not haha. Then I gave just about the greatest talk about trials and tribulations known to man kind... just kidding. It was an okay talk haha

Capítulo 40 - A rather large tsunami was heading for my little town of Guapinol

Well this week was... interesting. I was sitting there on a normal Friday doing my personal study, super tired, and almost falling asleep, and I get a call from my zone leader asking me if our church building (house) had insurance. I thought that was a weird random question, but I called some poeple and they told me that the church had insurance. Then I get another call, from the AP's, telling me that a storm was coming to the area, and that we shouldnt panic. I mean, I wasnt pamicing before, but at this moment, I starting panicing a bit haha. Then the mission president calls. In that moment, the panicing got real. He told us that there was a huge earthquake in mexico and that a rather large tsunami was heading for my little town of Guapinol, and we needed to get out at that moment.

  So thinking about how dangerous a tsunami would be in my little town built on sticks, we got the heck out of there, warning other people to get out too. They just kind of thought we were crazy, and didnt listen to us. We went pretty far inland, and we waited for another call. We got another call from the AP's telling us that the tsunami probably wont hit Guapinol anymore, but we should still wait a little bit longer to be for sure. In the end, nothing happened, but it definitely woke me up, and I wasnt tired at all that day haha.

  Another problem we have down here, is that we dont really have help from the church. By help, I mean money. Well... I guess I mean any help at all too, but in this sense, im just talking about the money. We had 4 baptisms planned for this Saturday, but the problem is that the church couldnt help us pay for any transportation out of Guapinol to have the baptism, because we cant baptize out here. So Elder Farias and I put our own money, borrowed some boats from some members, bought some gasoline, got permission, and had our baptisms on an island!! it was super awesome!

  Also something crazy this week, church lasted all three hours this week!! that was so much better than the 40 minutes last week!

Making soup to raise money for the baptism

boat ride to the baptism

Capítulo 39 - The biggest storm hit

This week, we spent most of our time helping two of our investigators get married. One of the biggest problems that missionaries face with the investigators down here, is the marriage. Nobody ever gets married down here because it's so expensive, relatively. Two of our investigators have such a great desire to be baptized, but they can't because they live together and aren't married because it cost too much for them.

  This week, we spent our time, and some money, to do a mini fundraiser for them. We woke up at 3 in the morning one day to go to Choluteca to buy the meat and everything to make a bunch of soups to sell to people. We made all the soup, and within one day, we sold enough to help them to get married! This wednesday, we're going with them to help them do all the paperwork and everything.

  Although we did it all in one day, we spent many days planning everything out. One day we were outside their house, and we were talking about what we would be making to sell, and the biggest storm hit. It was like movie status crazy. The black clouds were seen from miles away, and it literally looked like a crashed wave was coming at us. I cant even do it justice in the explination. The clouds all started moving in circles around the small town, The dogs started barking like crazy, the pigs started going nuts, and naked children were running around ALL OVER THE PLACE. Then the rain and wind hit. It was crazy, and we ran into the house with everything we could grab, and waited with them for a bit. I honestly thought the house was going to blow away, and the lightning was hitting right next to the house. 

  We start english classes again this Wednesday, and I couldnt be more excited. The people down here tell us that anything to do with the education is really dificult down in my area, because well, it costs a lot to travel, and they still have to pay to go to the school. So when they heard that we were going to be starting classes of english down here for free, they were so happy, and super excited to go. We'll see how it turns out. Until next time.

Capítulo 38 - There was a coconut tree

Well this new area is full of new experiences. Church was pretty much the same this week, but we had a few more people show up. During the week, we went to go visit as many members as we could, and it turned out well. Our branch president actually came today, but as normal we still had to do everything. It's kind of fun though.

  This week, there was a coconut tree, and on theis coconut tree, there were approxamately a million coconuts. The problem was that the tree was full of ants, so nobody wanted to climb it to get the coconuts. So... we cut it down haha. There was an iguana on the top of the tree too, and when it fell, the iguana jumped off, and I caught it! then the tree fell, and a huge swarm of wasps comes out of the tree, and everyone took off running. We didnt realize that there was a wasp hive there. After the wasps went away, we went back and ate the coconuts, then we skined the iguana, and ate it for dinner.

  I dont mean to be mean, but I dot know what the elders have been doing in this area before I got here, but I can tell you that it did not include missionary work. When I got here, I asked my companion which investigators we were working with, and he just said "well, we dont have any" So we've really been trying to go around and find new investigators so we can actually work. We've been really busy with bringing the inactives to church and finding new investigators.

  The misisonary work is great, but the living conditions are a little.... interesting. Like when I went to the bathroom the other day and had to kill 3 tarantualas. Ive actually gotten pretty good at killing them. I still hate them, and they give me goosebumps, but hey, at they die after a few hits.

That's all for this week.

Short videos of the area, its really fun, I promise!



Capítulo 37 - We can see the country of Nicaragua, the island of Amapala, and the country of El Salvador in one sight!

What a week. That's all I got to say about this one haha. Tuesday was spent saying goodbye to all of the members and investigators in Obrera. Then Wednesday we woke up at 2 so we could take the 6 hour bus ride to Tegucigalpa for the changes meeting, then I took the same bus, all the way back to Choluteca, and spent the night with Elders in Choluteca. Then Thursday, we went to district meeting, and after district meeting, a few elders and I went all the way back to Tegucigalpa to take out our residency. We got there late on thursday night, and Friday morning, we went to the migration center, and officially became residents of Honduras. After that, we took another super long bus ride, back to Choluteca, and stayed the night in the same elders' house. 

  Then bright and early saturday morning, my new companion and I left for good old Guapinol. We took like 3 different buses, and finally got to our area at 2 in the afternoon. When we first entered the area, I was really curious why all of the houses were lifted up by wooden stilts. like, almost all of the houses were not touching the ground. well, that curiousity went away when the ocean flooded our area at hightide. Luckily, we have a few pathways made of tires that we can use during hightide to get around.

   The area is in the middle of nowhere. However, we can see The country of Nicaragua, the island of Amapala, and the country of El Salvador in one sight. It's a difficult area, but I kinda like it. Once I got over the fact that the air literally smells like fish, the area got a little better.

We eat fish...A LOT of fish.... I hate fish... all there is, is fish. Fish normal, fish soup, fried fish, fish with rice, fish with lime, and sometimes we eat shrimp on lucky occasions. Its great though, I love the area. 

  My new companion is Elder Farias, he's 21 years old, and from Ecuador. The schooling is a bit different in ecuador, because he apparently graduated high school at 15 and has been studying medicine for the last 5 years to be a pediatric doctor.

  Church here is really different too. We, the misisonaries, are church down here. We have one small room to have church, and our branch presidency is inactive. we conduct sacrament meeting, direct the music, run to go close the door, before we bless and pass the sacrament to all 12 members that showed up this week. After the both of us gave talks, we ended sacrament meeting, and started our sunday school class, that we also taught, in the same room. After sunday school, everyone just left... Then my comp told me that we normally dont even make it to the second hour of church, and the fact that we got to teach sunday school was good, because, well... there were stll a few members.

  Then monday, president wanted to have interviews with the zone, so he moved p-day to tuesday, but then he wanted to have zone conference on tuesday too, so he moved our p-day to today, Wednesday.

That's all for this week.

Capítulo 36 - "Nephi 3:7... Challenge accepted"

Well, changes (Transfers?) are coming this wednesday, and everyone has been anticipating them. We all knew that Hermana Contreras was going to leave, because well... she's completed her year and a half. So, we threw a little surprise party for her as a district. But when it came time for the party, it sort of turned into a goodbye for everyone, because we got the call telling us that practically all of us are leaving except my companion.

   Anyways, we were decorating the room, with ballons, and party stuff that I dont remember the names of in english. We were just sitting there, harmlessly filling up balloons, when out of nowhere a series of loud bangs go off. We look over to see that all of the balloons we were filling were popping because of the heat down here. We would fill them up, and 30 seconds later, they would heat up and pop. So... out of options, we decorated the room with very uninflated balloons haha.

  These past few weeks, my companion and I have found the perfect method to work with less actives, and bring their non-member family members to church. We've started helping young women work on their personal progresses to gain their medallion, and the duty to God with the young men. Lets just say, sometimes the apostacy down here works in your favor, because we were told that if we helped the young women earn their medallion, we also get young women medallions! haha

  As far as where Im going for my new area, is another story. I got a call saying that I'll be headed for the area "Guapinol" on Wednesday. The new area is THAT area that everyone prays they dont get sent to. This is how every conversation goes now- them-"Hey, where are you going?" me-"Gaupinol" them- "...oh...goodluck....I'll keep you in my prayers..." (note for mom- It's not a dangerous area) it's just an area with absolutely nothing, like ABSOLUTELY nothing. They say it's challenging, I say "nephi 3:7... Challenge accepted"

That's all for this week, we'll see how things go next week.

Capítulo 35 -This week, we had a lot of really cool things happen

This week as really great. We weren't able to find as many new investigators as we have been, but we have been able to see the beginnings of the fruits of our labors. with the 60 something new investigators we found last month, we've started talking about baptism with them, and we'll have quite a bit of baptisms coming up in the future here. The sad part is that I dont know if Im going to be here to see it all happen, but Im not here for me, Im here for them. so whether or not im there, i'll be happy just knowing that they've truly accepted and come to the knowledge that this is the church of Christ.

  This week, we had a lot of really cool things happen. One, my companion had his 23rd birthday, and someone actually gave us cake! like, it wasn't as good as my mom's ice cream cake, but it was still good, and free, so that made my companion happy haha.

  The following day, we had interveiws with president. This new president knows his doctrine like the back of his hand. He did something new, he told us the day before to study a chapter of the book of mormon, and during the interveiws, the whole zone sat in a circle and analized the chapter. Then after putting in our input, president started to explain everything we didnt explain, and it was crazy how much this guy knows.

  The crazy part about it, is the before recieving the message to study this chapter, we had actually left the chapter for a family of investigators to read. They aren't super difficult investogators, but they had a lot of doubts. We went back to visit them, and they told us they forgot to read. So, we decided to sit there and read the chapter with them, and we analized it like we did with president. After reading the chapter, the mom tells us "okay, Im ready, this is true" (but in spanish) she told us that she hadnt really read the book of mormon before, and that was the first time. always keep in mind the power of this book. Then right after finishing the lesson, we got hit by some tropical storm, hurricane type thing, and lightning struck right next to the house we were in, and the power was out the rest of the day. 
  Also this week, we were able to fix, or at least help with a little bit of apostacy down here in the branch. It's honestly crazy, the apostacy, down here. Last week, we were in sunday school. the theme was about the word of wisdom. And these members were talking about how we can't drink spicy drinks, then the other said,"no it means we can't drink hot drinks, like warm milk, you have to wait for it to cool down" then someone else said " we can drink coffee if we make it ourselves, or we can crush up the coffee beans and put it on bread" then another says " we can smoke and drink, but only during parties, like, not excessively" Elder Martinez and I just looked at eachother and died of laughter. of course later we got up and well...helped out a bit haha. Then they told us that the missionaries, us, have more authority than the qourum of the 70... let's just say, it was an interesting sunday.

That's all for this week.

Capìtulo 34 - We had a good ol' baptism this week

Okay, I finally got the pictures with the pig baby haha. This week, we were finding as many new investigators as we possibly could. Just this week, we found 20 new investigators, and of those 20, 7 actually came to church on sunday! It was amazing! çthe work has been going really well down here, and the english classes are really helping with both the investigators, and the members.

  Alright... so just a little note before going on with this story. Down here, my observation is that clothes are optional up to about the age of 8. So, everywhere we go, there are all this little naked babies running around all the time, and everyone just treats it like nothing.

  Okay, now the story. We had just found a new family of three this week, and they were super positive, so we taught them about the restoration of the gospel. During our lesson, this little naked 2 year old baby comes running around us (We were outside). Of course, down here that's normal, so we just ignored it and moved on with the lesson. Then this little girl ran in the middle of the little circle we had while teaching, and squats down right there to stay for a good while. Near the end of the lesson, she runs away... and well, she left us a little surprise right there... Id say I was surprised, but I wasn't., stuff like that happens way too often hahaha

  We had a good ol' baptism this week. During the baptism there was a huge tropical storm, and the power went out right after the baptism ended. and right after changing out of my wet clothes, my companion broke the lid thingy to drain the water, and I had to jump in again to fix it. It took forever, and I got all wet all over again, but it was fine, because we had to leave in the pouring rain anyways.  
  Sorry, that's all I got time for today!