Monday, October 10, 2011

Learning continues

I love you! And yes, we're down 4 months, 125 days, tomorrow is the completion of 18 weeks! Whoa! This week flew by and as long as I can continue to do so I'll give the blow-by-blow-like-you-were-there-with-me-account. In reality the worst part about the mission is that there are only three people who will ever know and undestand the day-to-day of my mission: me, my companion, and God. I want you to have as much info as you can about my mission because I love it here and want you to love it with me. 

So, here we go! As always we'll start at the beginning of the week! 

We did have a mostly normal week of proseliting this week.  One thing that I am trying to teach my companion is the importance of acheiving and surpassing our goals as missionaries.  One goal that was set in January when Elder Ballard came to visit was abrir la boca (open your mouth).  He gave the promise that if every missionary companionship would open the mouth 20 times each day that we would never have the problem of finding people to teach! Elder Cotton and I didn't have a problem with this in the beginning because we opened the area and had no one to teach! But as time went on and we became more busy with investigators it is diffcult at times to have the desire to lograr this goal.  But nonetheless every single day, no matter what we must do it! I am greatly frustrated by missionaries who make excuses.  <jumping around here> On Friday (normally Thursday) we had our Zone Conference (first Thursday of the month) and our ZL's were talking about the goals of the mission.  They eventually stopped.  They didn't even finish the class because there were so many missionaries complaining and giving excuses and reasons why they couldn't, which means reasons why they didn't want to complete the goals.  

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we were able to work hard the entire day without interruptions. That was nice. We had an awesome find on Tuesday.  So back to the family of Pedro y Flor.  We already learned that Flor's sister Anita is the lawyer for one of our members working through some property and divorce issues -- Anita lives here, recently moved in.  Tuesday as we were visiting Pedro y Flor a mother and daughter walked in.  Another sister of Flor! Her name is Nora (same as her daughter's) and she is a member! Has been for 7 years! She is also moving into Monte Carlo.  While she has been inactive for three years she should start coming back to church.  Our little branch is growing. Slowly but surely.  

Wedding/ Baptism service for Maria.

The winter here in Honduras is coming to a close and I am feeling it.  October is the last month with rain. It will not rain again until about May and we had some brutally hot and humid days this week.  I almost died it was so hot.  Just walking around it is miserable because there is zero shade in Monte Carlo. No trees no nothing.  In people's houses or under a porch it is bearable but the streets are like ovens.  

Friday I splurged and actually spent money.  For the Zone Conferences the mission always chips in L. 50 for missionaries to buy lunch and we always go as a zone.  Unfortunately the zone chose Pizza Hut -- the most expensive place in the city.  But I softened my wallet for once and I was full.  An amazingly satifying feeling.  Elder Tarver and I split a pizza and some garlic bread and for dessert I got this plate of monkey bread smothered in chocolate syrup.  I died of happiness.  

So I kept most of my promise of last week.  Maria and Santos were married on Saturday (mostly) and Mari was baptized.  We had both interviews Friday night and all was well! Until.....about 21:54 when my district leader called me and told me he had talked with Presidente.  Apparently church policy is that if you have ever killed someone no matter the circumstances the baptism must be approved by the First Presidency.  Hermano Santos served in the Honduras Army for about 40 years and has killed many people! But he was so sad to hear that he couldn't be baptized with his wife.  We told him as quickly as we could -- Saturday afternoon.  I was talking with Presidente personally a lot of the morning and he was trying to reach area seventies to see what was up but i the end he told me to postpone his baptism. So Presidente is coming to Choluteca this week anyway and will be able to do the interview and write his letter to the area seventy.  But the marriage was a huge step! Before he refused church and marriage.  In fact, only 20% of Hondurans are married! One step at a time. But the service was pretty and Maria was very happy to be baptized.  But another turn in the plot, Sunday afternoon we found out that the abogada had made a mistake! So...TODAY we had to round up the witnesses and Maria and Santos, and after waiting 75 minutes, which seems to be the average delay for everything in this country, the lawyer showed up and fixed the matter! Phew.  

A simple, yet beautiful momemt: Saturday we were teaching a family and the two year old took the folleto from the Mom and upon seeing the picture of Jesus on the cover began to smile and laugh.  I know that little babies and toddlers, etc are reciĆ©n llegados from the presence of God.   

All is well in the mission field.  While 125 days is a long time under my belt in comparison to what I still have left it seems miniscule.  I am still learning the first thing that I shared with you while still in the MTC.  One day at a time.  I love being a missionary but the difficult thing is that there is never a vacation or break.  P-day is always busy.  I know I am on the Lord's errand and that I can do this! 


Letters today from Dannee (2), Mary, Anna, Liz, and Elder G. 

I saw Elder G. on Saturday at the wedding! 

One day I heard I Like it Playing at someone's house. I almost started dancing.

Good luck to Mitch who will soon become a man.

I love you family so so so so much.

Your missionary misses you.

Elder Clay

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