Monday, July 11, 2011

2nd Honduran Letter


Dad, seriously? How could I not use Garamond?? (his favorite font)

So I'll tell you about me and Honduras first.  That will answer most of your questions. 

We live in a large home that is functioning as a church building for the unofficial Monte Carlo rama.  There is that giant hill that is super close but we are surrounded by mountains.  I sleep in a bed on a mattress.  No that is not typical.  This branch was started as a project in January by the Stake here and the missionaries were sent to help.  Usually the missionaries live in tiny, smaller that our game room sized houses.  We pay Hermana Grandez to do our laundry, she washes the clothes every Monday for us.  It's L.200/month.  About $10.  We pay Hermana Reyes L.100/semana to cook us lunch.  That is five meals, L.20/meal.  About $1 per lunch.  She cooks local food for us.  Always rice and fresh corn tortillas, some meat or fish and some vegetable.  Super super good.  For drink it´s some juice, horchata, or soda.  Otherwise I eat eggs, Cup Noodles, Peanut butter sandwhiches....stuff that is cheap.  We have no maid service.  We fend for ourselves when it comes to cleaning.  

Here in Monte Carlo, our area is about as big as Spring Creek Oaks and Spring Creek Forest combined, we walk.  But we take the bus to meetings, el centro, etc.  The bus ride is about $0.30.  No cars, no bikes in the South

So now it is winter in Honduras.  The kids are in school and school is weird here.  Not so great.  They have their summer break about December or January or something.  They only go to school for about 4 or 5 hours a day five days a week and there are two shifts.  One group goes from 7-12 ish and the other from 12-5 ish.  They do wear uniforms though. 

The rains are seasonal.  The summer is super dry and apparently hotter than now.  Yikes.  Dad that cute KindrMorgan temperature thing does not go high enough.  

There is currently a division going on in a local ward and for that reason we have to wait until the 24th to work on making the branch official.  I have no idea what the other missionaries were doing but they didn't work on making this branch official.  I think that the area was closed because of bad missionaries.  It is challenging working in this unofficial branch because there are no hymn books, scriptures, chalkboards or anything in the church building and worse, there is very little structure in the ward as far as callings go.  Thankfully Hermano Reyes organized some Home/Visiting Teaching and yesterday we went out and showed the members the people we were teaching.  

We are having so much success here. This area should have never been closed.  Unfortunately we had to drop some of the people we were teaching because we could never get a hold of them or they weren´t progressing but the Lord has led us to new people.  This week we set 10 baptisimal dates.  Four for 7/16, four for 7/23, and two for 7/30.  Elder Cotton and I are living the rules and we are understanding the power of receiving special revelation for our area. The first few days or so that we were there we noticed that in the evening when it starts to rain and get dark that the people started closing their doors and not being interested.  We changed our schedule.  We have four hours of study everyday and we split them up.  We now leave the house at 10 instead of at 12 and return at 6 instead of at 9.  We take about 45 minutes for lunch and start dinner at 6 ish.  This way we maximize our 8 hours of proselting every day.  We started the new schedule Wednesday and only got to use it fully Wednesday and Saturday but between those two days we had some amazing finds.  Thursday was Zone meeting and Friday we had a special meeting with President Hernandez, Hermana Hernandez, and their daughter, Suli.  That was awesome.  I am so excited to learn from them.  And they remember me! Hermana Hernandez told me that they were wondering when they would get to see me!  She likes to practice her English with me.  Before they got their call they were in college getting Bachelor´s degrees in English so they are learning. 
Elder Clay with the Mission Family- President and Sister Hernandez with daughter, Suli 

Elder Clay with his Zone when President Hernandez came to visit.

Tonight we´ve got a Family Home Evening and I´ll be cooking, Mom!

So there is family, Sergio y Ardiana, that have two menos activo teenagers and we´ve been visiting them but no progress...They always make excuses when we invite them to church, to pray, etc.  But Saturday as we were leaving their house headed to lunch a man called out to us in English.  We turned and began talking (back to Spanish) and this guy was with his family, a wife and two daughters.  He was smoking a cigarette on his front porch and he told us that he wanted to make some changes in his life.  Also he needs help translating something because he is trying to get the papers together to move his family to the U.S.  We taught him yesterday and he rocks.  And it is no coincidence, we learned this during the lesson that we had talked to his wife and daughter earlier in the week! We´ve got an appointment for tomorrow for the whole family teaching the Plan of Salvation. 

A similar experience happened that led us to a family whose father is menos activo and whose mother is not a member.  She now has a fecha bautismal.  It´s so crazy to look back and see where and why we´ve been led to the people here.  Two of the people that now have fechas are because of a family that we thought was going to progress but didn´t.  We had an appt that they didn´t keep so we started knocking in the area and found Javier, 17 and a single older woman, Altagracia.  Both are preparing for baptism. 

Things in Honduras are great.  One day at a time is the way to go and I´m constantly amazed as I look back and realize how much I get done every day! I suppose waking up in the A.M. does that to you.  But also Friday, Katri´s birthday I completed my first month of the mission.  Wednesday will begin week number 6.  

Elder Cotton and I get along well.  We are both very obedient and grateful.  I´m teaching him English and he´s teaching helping me out with perfecting my Spanish.  Dad - all missionaries have to go through the temple. We have companionship study seven days a week and we think that the incredible success that we´re having is because of our prayers, the prayers of you, the prayers of the members, and our obedience.  We´ve been promised that if we´re obedient we´ll be blessed and that we are. 

I´ve helped Elder Cotton to understand my deep need for cleanliness.  When we got to this house some ten days ago it was a mess.  Previous missionaries/members of the branch?!?!?!? But we cleaned it and as Gma would like it smells like bleach.   

The people here are so receptive and they want to do what´s right.  Jose and Gloria are a couple who have a fecha bautismal and they are currently attending a church where they are not so thrilled.  They don´t drink coffee and are very strict with the Sabbath day and they asked us about these things and our views.  Their congregation doesn´t keep all of the commandments that they´d like to be followed.  It is people like these that the Lord has very cleary prepared for Elder Cotton and me.  

  • Happy Birthday Bryant 
  • Dannee and Katri EMAIL ME 
  • Mitch and Liz - Honduras believes in Environment Depletion in its finest.  There is definitely no regulation about carbon emmisions here and most engines, even in small cars are Diesel.  Beauty.   
  • Mitch - I lied to you on accident.  The best way to learn Spanish is to read the Book of Mormon out loud.  Elder Holland promises that if you read the BOM in your mission language by the time you finish you will be fluent.  That is a promise.  I´d believe it.  
  • Monte Carlo is a dry colonia.  They don´t sell liquor here.  
  • Be grateful for reading and writing.  Many people here cannot do either.  
  • The people beat their dogs hard here.  The children even.  Pieces of rebar, wood, rocks, fists, etc.
  • The houses here are brick covered in plaster or concrete.  The less lavish homes are wood with mud.  There is no insulation and no A/C
  • Mom and Dad are Mami and Papi in Honduras
  • Homeade Honey is the best
  • The little girls here still love to dress up like princesses and the little boys here love playing with cars
  • Poffenbargers - I heard American Man - KISS one day walking through the colonia
  • ERIKA?!!!!!!?!?!?!?!?
  • I loved those pictures! (I sent grandkids from 4th of July and our family with male Chris and female Kris)
  • I sent a letter last week.  Let me know when it gets there.  

Lots of Love family!!!!

Elder Clay
Miss you guys lots.  One Month down.  23 to go.  About 696 days...not bad eh?

More photos from MTC
 Anyone know what movie scene this could be from?????  Nacho Libre!!

Elder Clay with Elder Zazueta and Hermana Cervetti

 This is a photo of all the missionaries that will be serving in Tegucigalpa Honduras.  The Mission President, Wife and Daughter Hernandez are at the MTC for training week.  They are starting their mission too!

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