Monday, October 3, 2011

Amazing moments

¡Familia!
I love you! Here we are, week 17, day 118, you can pull the fourth flag on Saturday! How exciting! Time is truly rocketing by. I can hardly believe that it is already another Monday.  P-day is truly a blessing. Every single other day is more or less the same, Sunday mornings in church are different but pretty much the same. I cherish the time that I have to relax, play, and WRITE TO YOU and READ YOUR LETTERS. I love you.

So here we go! 

Last Monday we had an interesting experience. As we were walking to email a lady shouted for us to come over. We set an appointment with her and passed on Tuesday.  As it turns out she was baptized in San Marcos, another colonia on the outskirts of Choluteca, by a missionary in our zone in May and she just moved to Inmaculada. She'll be our first member there! The only bad thing is is that it is literally on the opposite side of our area than ANYONE else, member or investigator, but that will force us to find a reason to visit her. Since she was just baptized a few months ago she'll be excited to share the gospel with her friends, though she just moved in I am confident that at least through her children that she'll know the neighbors. 

One of the most amazing things that can happen to a missionary is walk into a house and see the Book of Mormon being read! Jean Carlos, who we baptized 3 Sept. was lounging in his maka (hammock) reading the Book of Mormon.  His non-member, but soon-to-be-married-and-baptized-mother tells us that everyday he is there reading for hours.  I like hearing that!  

There are some amazing momemts that we have with our investigators.  Usually about once or twice a week there is a lesson that is so powerful and incredibly spiritual for us as missionaries and for the investigator too. Last Saturday we met Anita, she is the lawyer helping our favorite member, Mercedes (she gives us like a million references), and she is the sister of one of the Hermana Flor, the wife in one of our families! She rocks because she is educated and interested in the gospel.  So anyways we brought our beloved Hermana Mercedes to the lesson and we taught about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon.  She (Anita) was even encouraging her cousin in the other room to come and listen.  She told us that before Saturday she was like her cousin who didn't understand about the Mormons, but now that she gets that we don't worship Joseph Smith she wants to hear so much more. So we taught the lesson and she accepted our fecha bautismal for 22 octubre and she should be getting baptized! She told us that she was going to bring the Book of Mormon to her job to read during her breaks. A great perk of teaching her is the lawyer connection. We need some marriages and divorces before we can baptize some families. She could hook us up! 

One of my favorite lines now that I am senior companion is: And my companion will now... It has been fun to surprise him like this as I asked him to choose the hymn, pray, or share a scriptures or personal experience with the investigators.  The goal is that he will feel comforable and independent with his Spanish by the time the training is over. 

Here comes an insigificant detail of my life: We use bags, shopping bags, thick shopping bags in our backpacks to use to keep our scriptures dry when it rains and until Wednesday I had been using my beloved BYU Bookstore bag, long since faded.  Wednesday I switched to a local department store. 

Interesting request from the mother of Jean Carlos on Wednesday....she asked for a parent-child intervention. The 11 year old was being an 11 year old, not wanting to listen to his mother and she asked us to talk to them about child and parent relationships. While it was a little weird I had a great time and felt the spirit.  I share the story of the 2000 stripling warriors who were taught by their mothers.  I love talking about that story because I know that I am a good missionary because of what my Mom has taught me.  Also I shared the ten commandments scriptures about honoring father and mother. Again, a little weird, but I enjoyed the experience. I got to testify to Jean Carlos what I learned -- that if we listen to Mom and Dad, they let us play!

We started teaching more or less an English class. Javier and Jonathan who we baptized have friends who all want to learn English.  Starting this week we'll go twice a week.  Once for a class and once for a church video/gospel lesson.  What a great way to teach the friends of these j√≥venes.  I like teaching English especially when we can teach about the gospel too.  

I have the biggest question of all.  We have this awesome family -- Juan Carlos y Ocidi and their three daughters (ages 11,10, 16 months) and they study the Book of Mormon along side the Bible.  Thursday we went by and Juan Carlos told us that he enjoyed studying the Book of Mormon and understands that it is the word of God and he knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that we have a living prophet today, but he tells us that he doesn't want to be baptized again (they're Catholic). What on earth do I do? Those are the only two things people have to know to be baptized! That day I was on divisiones with our District Leader and he told me to teach about the Apostasy again.  My ZL told me to reemphasize the Book of Mormon as the doctrine of Salvation, another testament of Jesus Christ. I am perplexed. 

So this was a very short working week so to speak.  We had 4 days of full proselitismo and amazingly we had most of the dats of a full week! I am glad to have a companion who works with me! 
General Conference was amazing and I loved every minute of it.  We got to watch all of the sessions in English on a TV and Saturday we were in air conditioning with comfy seats (high council room of the stake center, Sunday, no... but still English) I feel especially loved and blessed from President Eyring's talk in Priesthood Session about Priesthood Preparation and Training.  What he spoke about will help me and help Elder Tarver and ultimately help us be better prepared to help the people of Monte Carlo as more effective missionaries.  That was an answer to my many prayers to the Lord -- How can I become a better trainer and better help my companion? Also the Australian accent from the Elder Ian something was pretty awesome.  In the World Report after the conference session they talked about advertising at Times Square in New York.  How awesome! 

Ok. This time for sure. Maria and Santos are going to be married and baptized this weekend for sure.  They wanted to wait another week to do it with other families.  That is part of the culture I don't understand. Wanting to share marriage/baptism...but 100% sure this week. At last. 

Notes:

Dad - I always appreciate the football updates especially when they involve BYU winning. As I was watching GC I too was thinking that my family was watching at the same time! I was comforted by that. Doing something at the same time as my family. And good news, in daylight savings time you'll be coming to Honduras time as you ''fall back''.... More talks of course: President Uchtdorf's talks about: off by a degree, the distraction of the burnt out light bulb in the plane, and the talk with the story about flying upside down at night.  Also ask your brother Jeff if there is any treatment other than surgery for cataracts in the eyes, one of our investigators has a problem. Also what is up with Robert D. Hales? 

All - you are torturing me with these descriptions and pictures of the food that my awesome Mommy is making. 

Good news: 83 days until the Christmas phone call! Hooray! 

How is the Dale Hill family? 

Letters this week from Nannie, Adrienne Finally Anderson Poffenbarger, Schmutz and Megan Clegg. I love mail!

I get to see Elder Gonzalez all the time. We're actually at a different internet place in el centro and he just walked in. Awesome. 

Mommy - I love you and your love and support and for always sending me awesome packages! The last one you sent should get here next week! Just a few items for the next one to be sent: BYU basketball schedule, more seasoning salt (I'm already half way through the bottle), MP3 CD's with Il Divo, Up soundtrack, Rigoletto, Christmas Music, Lord of the Rings Soundtracks, Jon Schmidt music, and other instrumental soundtracks. Anything that invites the spirit works.  Blue Bell ice cream would be nice in a package.  An American calendar for 2012, pudding boxes, more sauces, etc, anything Texas, oreos, Take 5, chocolate, granola bars, pop tarts, etc, Also if you can ship Minocycline. I am almost out. I've been taking one a day, at night and haven't had any sunburn problems. Just if you can though. I can by tetracycline for cheap here. Again, thank you so much for all that you do for me. I love the letters, love and the packages too.  You are the best missionary Mom I could ask for. In reality I am not suffering. I have all of the essentials and everything that you send is a luxury that I enjoy.  You spoil me too too much and I love it.  

Dannee and Katri - keep dominating school and loving the Bearkats.  They are allowed to lose all season but we never give up hope and never stop cheering for them and loving them. There are some years that are just lam in the skills department.  Send me some of your music recordings on a CD at some point. I want to be able to listen to you! 

You are an awesome family and I can feel your prayers and your support for me. Thanks for all that you do.  I am still working hard and loving being a missioary. I try to improve everyday 

Love and miss you,

Elder Clay


 A parade in Choluteca on Saturday
 While shopping Elder Clay came across this funny brand of underware-TEXAS!  lol
This spin toy or trompo was made by one of their investigators with a machete and nail.  Any of you who know Orson you would know he loves the machete

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