Monday, November 7, 2011

My dear family!

 Tomorrow it is FIVE MONTHS in the mission for me! Whoa...!!! Also I only have 5 weeks more with Elder Tarver in Monte Carlo (almost 100% sure).  

Well things here have changed.  Rainy season is officially over. Last Monday night it rained for the last time until May-ish and it is now much hotter.  The nights are still cool and there is lots of wind so the shade is comfortable, but the streets here could be used as ovens because there is zero shade in the street! But I am glad for my upbringing in Texas in the heat with mosquitos and lots of stange animals because not much of the nature here has shocked my fragile spirit too too much unlike other less grisled (sp?) missionaries. 

Just as an announcement (Dad brought this up as a comment in one of his letters to me): It is true that every single moment of my life is the best or the worst. There is no middle ground. Dad wisely said, "To Orson there are no unimportant moments" a phrase which here means if it is not the best, there is something terribly terribly wrong. Now, this shouldn't come as a shock to anyone, but I wanted to clarify that just for fun. 

As always there is a food update. We recieve much free food with much frequency.  I think I made dinner once this whole week! Just the stuff that we are gifted throughout the day fills us up and often entire meals are gifted to us. Even the people who don't let us teach them gift us things.  One lady who rejected us shouted to us the other day to give us tamales. We didn't complain. Also last night at our dinner/lesson with Noé and Miguel I ate my first apple since heading to the MTC. That was delicious. 

Now it is time for the Zorro update. As usual he followed us around almost all week. He waits on the street for us to pass by and he drops us off at each lesson and again at night. Love that dog. The owner, our favorite member, Hermana Mercedes tells me that when I finish the mission I can take him with me to Texas. So Dad, what do you think? Do you want a Honduran dog as a pet?

Sad news: one of our most positive investigadores, Elsa, is victim to the foolish cultural phobia of marriage. She reads the LdM, comes to church, prays, etc but her hubsand, who works from about 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. says, "No!" So she won't be getting baptized soon. 

Worst news ever.  Our best family, Maria (baptized 08/oct/11) and Santos, who we married in October moved to Teguc! On Tuesday they said oh, by the way, we got a job in Teguc and we will be living there for a year. They left the next day! Not only does this mean that we don't get free oranges and charamuscas everyday anymore, but it means that WHO KNOWS what will happen!! His baptism is still pending approval from the First Presidency and I don't even know if they live in our mission! I am going to do everything I can to make sure that missionaries are visiting them, but do I trust others? NO! "Everyone but me and thee." We will of course see what happens. They were my favorite. 

So nothing exciting happend for us with the whole Day of the Dead thing. No parades, parties or celebrations noticeable in Monte Carlo. Just thought that those into Latin American culture would appreciate that crucial social update. 

I am back to an old eternal conflict: baptizing young teenagers or children who are not in members' homes. There are more foster children that the good sister in our ward wants us to baptize. She approached us and said, "Élderes! Tengo trabajo para ustedes!" And we're thinking, "great!" Then she shows us two new foster kids, ages 15 and 13.  Here were are again. I don't want to deny the blessings of salvation to anyone but is it a good idea to baptize people like this? I guess it is ok because we are not seeking to baptize kids. If the Lord puts then right in front of my face it is ok, right? 

One absolute cultural insanity that I will NEVER understand about Choluteca is soup.  We had a good sister give us a LARGE bowl of literally boiling soup on the hottest day of the week.  She noticed our surprise and said, well I don't really know why but it is hot here and we eat hot food! I will never understand this foolishness. If it is 38°C outside, why, why for the love of all that is good, are we eating soup?!??! In the middle of the day!!

Here is a good motto for all of us to remember "No cuesta llegar, cuesta mantener." It is easy to begin something, easy to committ to something but it is not easy to perseverar hasta el fin.  

We had a miracle this week with an investigator, Daniel Ordoñez.  He has been working with missionaries since about February and he is progressing! Going to church, reading the LdM, praying, etc. But he does not want to get baptized because his wife is hardcore católica and doesn't want him to.  And until this week she has refused to listen to the missionaries. She greets us cheerfully but has dutifully hidded herself once the lessons begin.  But she let us teach her this week.  And we had the privelege of using our priesthood to bring the spirit and bless their home.  She, Ingred, the wife, was sick and we taught her about the priesthood that we hold and asked if she had the faith to be healed and if we could give her a blessing.  So Elder Tarver had the opportunity to give one of his first blessings in Spanish and follow the spirit.  We finished the blessing, prayed and left and Daniel came out on the front porch and just stood there and looked at us and waved as if to say, "thank you." Because he knows this is true and he felt the spirit too.  We'll see what happens with that family.  

Another awesome investigator family needs everyone who reads this letter to stand on the chair and shout for absolute joy and awe.  We gave the copies of the LdM and they are reading! Here comes the shocker. The Mom, Edith, has read through 1Nephi, the son, Carlos, has read through 1Ne 15.  Here it comes...the Dad, also Carlos is beginning the book of Mosíah this week! Whoa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also church attendance is involved. This family rocks. I told you about them last week. They are the only family in all of Honduras that doesn't need a marriage and or a divorce

Our new strategy as missionaries is to break down the lesson of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ down so simply that the people, when/if they reject us at least do it educatedly.  I feel like if we can accurately explain the simple truth that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the exact same organization that Jesus Christ left the earth during his ministerio terrenal that we will have no rejections! So the plan is to ask specific, direct, clean questions that elicit understanding.  We're refining our detailed lesson plan complete will great questions and scripture support both from the Bible and the LdM.  You'll get a copy, don't worry.  

So church was good-ish again! There were 22 in the building when church began but in about 45 minutes the number grew to be 47! So, way to be on time Monte Carlo! But there were 4 investigators in church.  Baby steps. One day at a time. 
G-ma - Keep getting better! I love you!

Letters today from: Nannie, Postcard from Mary, Mommy (2), Dannee (2)


No more marriage proposals this week. 

All is well in Honduras.

I love being a missionary and I appreiciate the love and prayers that are sent my way.  

Love and miss you lots. 

Only 48 days until Christmas.

Elder Clay
Boa Snake Skin for English Scriptures and hymn book. "You really can't get much better than that. My scriptures are being protected by a few pounds of dead reptiles.  That boa was over nine feet long with a circumference of about a foot.  We held that skin before it was covering the word of God"

Iguana skin covers for my Spanish Preach my Gospel, Scriptures and Hymn book

This bad boy wondered into our house, hahaha, he reminds me of Nero

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