Familia! You are my favorite part of my week.
This was a tough week in Honduras. We learned some important lessons, some old lessons that we hadn't quite mastered apparently. Patience, Faith, and using the members.
The weeks really go by so fast. We've got P-day, Tuesday and Wednesday are full days, Thursday is District Meeting, more of a half work day, Friday is full, Saturday we should have baptisms, and Sunday is church so pretty much a half work day after we are finally able to evict everyone from our house and eat and leave to go proselite.
We're always busy with appoitments and investigators but the lesson that we learned this week is that we need to use the members much much much more. The investigators that we have are great and will progress and be baptized eventually but the references that we've gotten from members are always ready to progress and come to church and read and pray and we don't need to worry to much about those people. The Lord has prepared many people for us to teach and the best way that we're going to find them is by asking the members for help because they live here and know everyone! The people that we find on the street or knocking doors are great but as we've seen over the past month of working here, they are not ready. We're doing all that we can, visiting, studying, praying, etc to help them but if it is not their time to progress then we'll have to wait.
We found a member, Hermana Brenda Juarez, who lives in Inmaculada (colonia adjacent to Monte Carlo --think Spring Creek Oaks and Spring Creek Forest). She attends another ward so that her children will go to church. But we were passing by her house last Monday on the way here, to the internet place, and she stopped us and told us about a friend that she would like us to visit. We visited him, Hermano Sergio, on Wednesday and he's been reading the pamphelets, very difficult for him because he is older and his vision is poor, and he came to church yesterday. And the super crazy thing, the thing that makes us know that the Lord has prepared this man to hear the message, is that we were visitng a family, Pedro y Flor, literally on the other side of our area, about a twenty five minute walk to where Sergio lives. On Tuesday, before we had met him we were visiting the family and a guy walks in and after talkng for a few minutes we found that he was the Sergio that we were to visit the next day, in the house of a family that we're visitng. The Lord has incredible ways of connecting people.
So our goal for this week is visit lots of members and do service and gain their confidence because the references that they've given us have been awesome so far. A great fear that we have is that we are waisting time with the people that are not progressing rapidly. We don't want to continue visitng people that will not come to church, will not read, etc but on the other hand we don't want to stop visiting those that just need a little more time. It's a great mental battle that we have every single day. Still trying to find the balance. We tell our investigators, those that are progessing and those that are not, most of the visits that we have that our objective is to invite people to come unto Christ by making covenants and keeping committments, so they know from the beginning why we are there. We promise specific blessings, we bear powerful testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and the effect it has in the lives of our families and we always invite them to pray.
Another struggle that we're having is marriage! AHhh!!!! There are two couples, Mercedes y Geroncio and Maria y Santos. They've been living together for 40+ and 20+ years, respectively but the hubsands don't want to get married! So difficult to work with that.
This week I realized something pretty amazing. I'm sure it's a blessing from our obedience and companionship study. Elder Cotton and I have had experiences this week where I was about to ask a question or invite someone to keep a committment when he said exactly what I had planned to say. Pretty awesome. The Spirit is amazing for us as we teach.
Updates on the rama. This Sunday was the most difficult day that we've had here in Monte Carlo. Saturday we fasted and prayed hard for people to come to church. We visited, invited, offered to pass by and bring to church less actives and our investigators. Total attendance was about half of the usual, only 31 for yesterday. We were crushed. But this is where the faith and patience comes in. We need to be patient with the people and have faith that the Lord knows our struggles and knows our goals and the hearts of these people. Very difficult this week. A good part was that we taught Gospel Doctrine. Dad - Lesson 29. Acts 6-9.
Another amazing experience happened later Sunday: I was teaching about the Holy Ghost to an investigator and she asked me why they put hands on the head. I was able to recall the scriptures from the Gospel Doctrine lesson that talked about Saul receiving the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. That was truly awesome. The Lord blessed me for my preparation in the lesson.
So there is nothing new with the rama really. We talked with the Bishop (not very helpful). He still has not given us a list of members in the area. We'll have to to that for ourselves. Also we're still lacking materials. But we'll see. We're going to take a new attitude: faith that the Lord knows what needs to happen in the rama. There is not much that we as missionaries can do. We can't tell the bishop of the ward to train the people and give callings and we can't correct the members and their strange tendencies so we pray and are patient.
No new house. :( There are NO large homes close by that are available. We've talked to the Presidente of Monte Carlo and he referred us to a beautiful two story home but the problem is that there is no large room that we could use for sacrament meeting. We've got to come up with new ideas...working on that....
Loved the emails from: Mom, Dad, Dannee, Katri, Nannie, Whitney, and Britta!
We eat two ice cream cones at once after we use internet (they sell them here) Picture next week.
Hermana Reyes who makes our lunch didn't have the greatest week: there was a juice that tasted like a Pedialyte drink, and the absolute worst thing that I have ever eaten: a soup that (100% dead serious, no exaggeration) smelled like a dead, wet dog. I wanted to throw up. But we had to tell her it was great. I brushed, flossed and used mouth wash afterwards to purify my deflied temple.
Bananas are everywhere and I've had to eat many. No comment.
Charramusca - amazing. Basically ice cream or frozen juice in a bag that everyone sells. Costs 5 cents. Love it.
The Honduras version of the Nacho Libre corn (the best in the city) is grilled corn with salt and lime. So good.
I hate having to repair social damage done by other missionaries or crazy members. It is so difficult
Yesterday I shucked probably 75 husks of corn.
Mom - I love the flip flop story so much. That is the greatest thing ever. You are way too busy. Hope you are having fun in DC! If you could mail me: a hymn book protector/case of some kind for my small Spanish hymn book that would be great. I use it everyday. Also whatever you do send if you could use Zip locks or tuperwares that would be great, we're always using them! We do have a fridge. Spice/mixes would be great. Also include some simple recipies written in letters, etc. I'm not as pro of a cook as you are. If there is room: a small American calendar and maybe a frisbee? Love you so much Mom. Hermana Rivera wrote me and said that she is in Spring! Don't know where exactly... Love and miss you. Try to relax before school starts.... if possible. Love you.
Dad - The people do normal American things: stores, shops, mechanics, manual labor, make and sell things, small businesses, etc but the thing is that they don't get full 50 hour weeks to work. We only go to the chapel in the city for baptisms and conferences. Every other Sunday is here. The members cannot afford to pay the transport very often. Hope all the technology battles get resolved. Keep up the spreadsheets. You could send me some of those in snail mail too.
Dannee - Keep dominating the BOM. Now read the LdM in one week. I love psych season five o too o. Kittens oh kittens o. Glad you didn't fail summer school. Keep the party alive. I love you.
Katri - Lots of questions but things are great the food is great for the most part, no more baptisms, yet! and yes I am surviving. All is well. Glad you endured summer school. Yucky....I love you. Those oreos sound heavenly.
I love and miss you.
I'll complete week 8 tomorrow and month two in seven days! Whoa...!>!>!>!>!>!!!
I love the emails, letters, etc. Anything you write or send to me is cherished, I promise.
Let me know more questions, etc.
I'll send better pictures next week. I was lame this week.