Monday, December 19, 2011

Good bye Monte Carlo, Hello Miraflores

I love you family!
Today is día 195. Just 6 days until our phone call!
These girls want to come to America. They use all their charm on all the missionaries. This is the Gomez family, a great family in Monte Carlo

The Grandes family of Monte Carlo
Reyes Family of Monte Carlo
Tuesday was the last day in MC.  We did a little proselting and then I despedir-ed myself from the members and my investigators, etc. It was very weird walking back to that house one last time. Some of the pics are from that.  I am definitely going to miss that place. I learned lots there, but after 6 months I started to feel the need for a scenery change.  So unlike last time the change phone call came at 22:00.  Elder Tarver is training in M.C.
I am training, opening area in Miraflores in the Zone Guaymuras with Elder Cotton as my ZL!

Geronsio and Me. He is the esposo of Hermana Mercedes from Monte Carlo
So Wednesday we traveled from Choluteca to Teguc taking the 05:15 bus to get to the training meeting on time! So got to Teguc. There were 26 new missionaries this change.
My compañero is Elder Gerson Moncada from San Pedro Sula, Honduras.  His mission call is originally to Meria Mexico but there are some visa problems so por el momento he is with me in Miraflores. Don't know how long I'll have him... He is one of 9 children and one of the youngest. He is studying some sort of robotics in the UNITEC in San Pedro.  He is very enthusiastic and all that I am doing is directing the energy that eminates from him.  One small red flag that went up was when he told me that he voluntarily spent Christmas away from his family traveling last year. Family is the most important! Also a quick side note. I love you people! One of the other missionaries in my zone made complaints about the quality of his family members letters to him and how he doesn't write much to them, etc. Thanks for loving me and making me want to be better!

Last Monte Carlo sunset
So we are opening area. We have a new, very small apartment.  Wednesday night we actually stayed with the ZL's. (Sleepover with Elder Cotton!!) Because the mission is opening 7 areas and the AP's decided that it would be best to prioritize the sister's new apartments rather than the Elders's new apartments. So Thrusday night they gave us some mattresses and Friday morning we got a fridge, stove, etc. and that closet thing. We currently have no telephone and should be getting a bunkbed frame soonish I think. 
So let's talk about the area!  Here are some features:

My area is most of this and beyond the tower
  • Many, many steep, steep hills
  • incredibly wealthy
  • most people speak at least English and Spanish
  • contains 2 malls and many banks
  • contains WALMART, but it is inside the mall, we can't go in there... :(
  • the area is HUGE
  • I am in a ward
  • 2 compañerismos in the ward
  • I have an active bishop and ward mission leader who wants to help us!
  • I am in the zone Guaymuras with Elder Cotton as a ZL
  • The churches have computers so that is where we use internet
  • zero dirt roads here which means... CLEAN SHOES
  • there is Dry Clean here too!
  • The ward members are powerful businessmen, lawyers, notaries, doctors, and even the ex Presidente of Honduras lives in our area
  • did I mention the amount of $$? There are multiple cars
  • The security is intense! Many streets have a private guard. Many houses have one of more or all of the following: large walls, razor wire, electric fence, broken glass, guards, cameras
  • There is a piano in my church that I get to play!
  • the Cuba embassy is in my area
  • I can see the temple from my area
  • The capilla Miraflores where I got to church is a two-story with a small underground parking garage! It is one of the best chapels in Honduras. The tithing here is very good here.
  • I even saw a kid on a leash in the store
  • there is a washer and dryer in our tiny apartment building. SCORE! It does cost but I am willing to pay.
  • I get very cold at night. It is cold in the city! I look forward to not sweating so much!
  • One day I was walking along and all of a sudden and some construction off to my side exploded a bunch of dymanite to blow up a small bridge. That was loud.
  • L-R Elder Avila, Elder Moncada, Elder Tarver, Elder Clay & Elder Cotton
    We get at least one free meal daily
Not bad, eh?
So there is a big challenge for us with this area. Most of these wealthy educated people are at work so during the day only house workers are there.  So at this point, my early assessment is that the best way to work here will be through the members and getting references. The current plan is to get to know the members quickly, gain their confidence through service of some kind (hard to serve people who have domestic workers!) and hope and pray for references. In the mean time we are walking around attempting to contact! It will be a very interesting experience for me.  I am just glad that I don't have to worry about pushing my compañero out the door.

Houses like this in my area
This area is difficult enough already and it is a comfort to know that Elder Moncada is ready to work and ready to serve.  We did get a ward list yesterday! Yes, Dad I am already asking for various reports from the Clerk. He uses the MLS system. The list is 21 pages long. There are about 400 something total members with only 150 ish active. This week's attendance was 132. Hope that changes.
There was actually a ward Christmas Devotional on Saturday. You should love that photo! We were parts of the nativity. It was a typical American ward thing complete with bad music, cute skits, primary children doing funny stuff, etc. There was no food though.

Ward Christmas Party Nativity- Elder Clay was a Shepherd
 I am excited to be able to use the kitchen to bake up some stuff! There are two units meeting in our awesome chapel. Things that I am still learning are patience and letting things that are not in my control.... go.

My kitchen, no oven but the church building has one so I can bake up some things!

Christmas Decorations from my mommy!

My bathroom
My house is a room
I am excited to learn all that I can here in the city. It will be different but the work will be more efficiente I think. We will spend 95% of time finding people, but the people that let us in should progress much faster and be hardcore dedicated. Hopefully that is the case. You will of course get the update.

Love you lots!
Can't wait to talk!

Hermana Duplessis of Canada.  She came to Honduras with Elder G and I from MTC

Funny sign which says "Caution women buying  shoes"-LOL

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