Monday, July 25, 2011

Learning to ropes of Missionary Work

Yosselin, Hna. Mercedes, Eduar, Elder Cotton y yo.  Is smiling not in this culture for photos??

I love and miss you!

Things are going so well in Honduras! Can't believe it's Monday already.  For reals all week we're saying, Oh Elder, casi es P-day. But it's actually here!

We are to the point where just about everyday is a full day.  Full of appointments.  We usually allow time in between appointments to talk to people in the streets because we've found many investigators in so doing! The Lord leads us to people.  There have been multiple occasions when we've gone to an appointment and the person wasn't there but we ended up teaching their neighbors!

This is the challenge of Honduras.  I probably told you about this last week and I'll probably tell you about it every week.  The people are amazing, humble, friendly, God-fearing, and they all let us in because they recognize that we are messengers of God, representatives of Jesus Christ.  But, keeping committments is a very very difficult thing.  Well most will read and pray (if the know how to read) and that is wonderful but there are so many people that we feel are ready for baptism and ready to progress but they are holding themselves back by not coming to church.  They only thing that an investigator needs to do to be baptized is come to church one time.  We challenge everyone that we find to be baptized in the first or second lesson and all they have to do is come to church but that is so difficult!

Yesterday we had a great Sunday but only one investigator in church.  We've got to be patient but at the same time if the Lord has not prepared this particular person for us right now we need to spend less time and move on to other people.  Last Tuesday we found Javier.  He was at a member's house and was present during a lesson.  He came to the baptisimal service Saturday and Church sunday.  He'll be baptized this week! These are the people that are here in Monte Carlo that the Lord has prepared for us ya, now, already.  These are the people that we need to find.  There are still very special people that need more help and more preparation but we want to work with and find people like this Javier who are ready to keep committments. 

Thursday is district meeting every week and gratefully, what we talked about this week was the importance of investigators coming to church and understanding the importance of the Sacrament.  I know that it is important and since Thursday we've taught about the sacrament every lesson that we've had.  We want people to have the blessings that the Lord is ready to give them.  Being a missionary is learning how to use the Spirit to help people attain these blessings. 

I am continually humbled.  The people here are so hospitable and giving of what little they have.  About half of the people we visit offer us something to drink or a piece of bread or a tortilla or something.  The people make so little here and the prices of food is mostly the same as in the States.  The services are cheap but the goods are not.  I am so grateful to live in the U.S. There are so many things that we take for granted.

The baptisimal service was crazy.  I love our Zone Leaders (Zeta Locos) but they cannot control people and start things on time.  Our baptisimal service started 50 minutes late.  There were three groups of missionaries baptizing and there was chaos.  In the future we're going to have our own, private service.  I had a nice surprise.  When the person conducting was announcing the program I found out that I was giving a talk!  That was exciting, but as usual, I love speaking!

We baptized Yosselin (15 years old), the sister of Eduardo from last week.  We're working on completing families.  They live with their abuela (miembro) y abuelo - investigador.  There are a few partial member families that we are trying to complete.  We are here to find and teach families and that is what we're trying to do. 

Strange: two Sundays in a row the lesson in Priesthood meeting in church has been on Marriage...?!?!?!?
Yesterday was a Ward Conference of sorts.  The Stake Presidency came to officially divide the barrio Iberia (on whom we depend) into barrio Iberia and barrio Los Llanos (on whom we now depend).  There were more than 300 people in the meeting and the Stake President said that there was enough for dos barrios y una rama. We're praying he was serious because our little rama Monte Carlo needs the organization and resources. 

Elder Cotton and I are continuing to work hard and work together.  We study together everyday and I'm learning a lot.  There is so much that I still don't know but I'm so glad that I know this language.  Missionary work is difficult enough, I can't imagine how much more overwhelmed I'd feel having to learn another language! My Spanish is not perfect but I am noticing improvements.  I've dreamt a little in Spanish.  That was cool. 

We had a strange, disguised blessing on Friday.  We were teaching Jose y Gloria Friday night.  They are ready for baptism but haven't come to church yet....anyway we love them and they love us.  They gave us dinner on Friday and we taught them the Plan of Salvation.  We love teaching that to families.  They attend another church but have been praying about what we've been teaching and we're pretty sure they've got their answer.  They told us that they did not like at all how the leaders of their church talk bad about the Mormons.  Jose y Gloria know that we're messengers of Christ and that what we teach is in the Bible and brings happiness and they didn't like that the other people were talking trash.  They told us that the next time it happened they would stop going to that church and come with us.  Stangely we're half hoping/praying that people talk bad. 


Loved the emails from: Nannie, G-ma/G-pa, Mom, Dad, Dannee, Katri, Whitney, Brenda, Britta, my MTC district, Mitch (last on purpose)

Got a letter today from Schmutz!!! Also a little note on the back from Matthew! Love it.  Snail mail is the best.  Emails are awesome and quick but I love letters because I can touch them.  Touching the computer screen is not the same. 

Happy Anniversary Mommy and Daddy - 21 years?!?!? (How old am I?)
Elder Clay sent this in another email today.  He remembered our upcoming 21st anniversary.  

 Eduar y yo picking yuyuga 
Happy Anniversary! Couldn't attach this to the other email so here it is!

Love you.

Thanks for being married. 

Elder Clay

I am truly blessed to have Cliff in my life.  He is my best friend.  We really have fun together.  I am looking forward to many more earthly years of marriage and then forever!
Elder Clay sent this photo or these flowers for our anniversary

Dad-   Sunroom? Other projects? Taken over KM?
Mom - The sister who washes our clother is a member. Shirts are still white.  I think she uses bleach.  If not I have some.  If there's been mud, etc or spots I've taken care of it the same day.  You go with the trip plans! Have not heard from Elder G.  Keep practicing your Spanish! Good luck with that Turkey.

Deneka, Phen, Adrienne, Chris - Wedding Announcement?

There is electricity in the church building and actually the official chapel has a keyboard but I don't have one in Monte Carlo. 

Way to go GPG. Do they have GPG team member T-shirts that I can buy?

Kimi - I saw a girl with your exact same polka dot shoes.  It rocked.  You know the white ones with the brown edge and the dots? Also the dictionary still lives! In Honduras!

After the baptismal service Saturday we had to walk home because the buses stopped running by that time and some of the members stopped and picked a bunch of fruit with us from some random tree - yuyuga is what  it's called.  Like a tiny apple.  Super good.  SUPER GOOD


Photo: there are a zillion of these Gyrobos everywhere (look on the back wall) They eat and kill chickens and live in our yard.  Super awesome.  This is what Nero could have been... Tear...

That is a living kitten that I did not kill.  They are everywhere but not this tiny     

From a young age Elder Clay has always loved rainbows.  There is a song the young children sing at church that always comes to mind when I see a rainbow.

“When I Am Baptized,” Children’s Songbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 103
1. I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again.
2. I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away,
And I can be forgiven and improve myself each day.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.
Words: Nita Dale Milner, b. 1952; adapted. © 1989 IRI
Music: Nita Dale Milner, b. 1952. © 1989 IRI

Love you lots family!  Thanks for all of the love, letters, prayers, support that you send.  I love P-day because I get to read what you wrote me.  Every word is important!

Elder Clay

p.s. No sunburn, rashes, diseases, etc.  Still eating and showering daily.  Brushing my teeth, etc.

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