Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 -- Week #20 - Day #134 - San Pedro Sula

June 30, 2015

10:14 pm
Today was a little crazy... had District Meeting, lunch, a quick visit to Hno Lopez (who is awesome... gonna miss that guy.  We re-activated him and he's preparing to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood!) and then went hospitaling.  And then a few more lessons and met some really interesting people.

There's this one guy that was talking about how he wanted the Lord to send down fire from heaven and destroy everyone because we're all like Sodom and Gomorrah. Also one of the taxis was playing a very strong Evangelical rock song and the singer kept saying "CHRISTO VIVE!" over and over... a little bit hard to think straight during that one. 

Good day overall.

Monday, June 29, 2015 -- Week #19 - Day #133 - San Pedro Sula

June 29, 2015

5:10 pm
A sister from back home emailed me with a cool way to study your Patriarchal Blessing: you read through it looking for these 6 themes, and then write out the phrases on another sheet of paper under the headers of the themes:

1.  Counsel (instruction of things you should do)
2.  Information (lineage, callings, family)
3.  Promises (blessings to be received if obedient)
4.  Take Heed (cautions and warnings)
5.  Reaching for Potential (how you are going to bring to pass the work you have to do)
6.  Gifts (talents, abilities, blessings)

Helps you to understand all the different parts of your blessing, and see what the Lord has prepared you to do.  Pretty neat. 

And also a quote about the Holy Ghost:
"The Holy Ghost can bring to you power to perform beyond your natural abilities. He can provide you with the help of unseen powers in all that you do--the power to speak with convincing authority, to receive promptings that enable you to say things you had not planned, and to receive impressions, which if heeded, bring blessings to you and to others. Mortals may have great abilities and potential, but however great these mortal powers may be, they are only a shadow of the powers that be claimed through a linkage with the Holy Spirit." - Carlos E. Asay

Jesus the Christ, chapter 21
"Although faith is called the first principle of the Gospel of Christ, though it be in fact the foundation of all religion, yet even faith is preceded by sincerity of disposition and humility of soul, whereby the word of God may make an impression upon the heart."
              
Therefore They Hushed Their Fears - Elder David A. Bednar
The power of the Atonement "...also strengthens us to see, do, and become good in ways that we could never recognize or accomplish with our limited mortal capacity."

"His ordinances and covenants fortify and comfort in times both good and bad. And His priesthood authority gives assurance that the things that matter most can endure both in time and in eternity."

"Unlike worldly fear that creates alarm and anxiety, godly fear is a source of peace, assurance and confidence."

Righteous fear is reverence, respect, awe, obedience, and "...grows out of a correct understanding of the divine nature and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, willing to submit to His will, and we will be accountable."

"As we fear God more completely, we love Him more perfectly. And perfect love casteth out all fear." (Moroni 8:16)

In other news from today, we went to eat lunch at Tacotento again with Hna Archila, Virula, Mejia, and Barrie, one of the newbies we got last week. Hna Phillips is in Copan right now.  So that was fun, I got horchata and the chicken burritos again, they were really good! I have definitely come to love eating avocados.  And grilled chicken, and tortillas, and lime and chili's.  So good.

Side note, everyone has the exact same kind of broom and dustpan, just FYI. I actually didn't know it was possible to only have 1 kind of thing available to sell. Weird.

We also ran by the pharmacy to pick up some meds for the enfermos, and I met and talked for the first time down here to a girl with Down's Syndrome.  I haven't seen a lot of challenged people here, and the most common ailment seems to be high blood pressure. A lot of people we know have to take medications for "la presion", or blood pressure. Interesting. Will have to look into Honduran health statistics when I get back.

Also had some lessons later today, we're making slow but sure progress with one of our investigators, so we're always happy to visit with him. Good day overall.

Sunday, June 28, 2015 -- Week #19 - Day #132 - San Pedro Sula

June 28, 2015

12:50 pm
We just had our Sunday session of Stake Conference, and it was wonderful. Understand almost perfectly everything that was said, so that was a really nice part as well! But the messages were very well thought out, and also centered on temple, marriage, and family. And the music was beautiful, there was a stake choir with an incredible director that made some beautiful arrangements, and 2 violinists to accompany with the piano. So cool!
The important area peoples, mission presidents, CCM presidents, etc. etc. of Central America!  Pretty sweet!
I was thinking to myself just how blessed we are, and especially in my mission right now... this morning we were able to catch a ride with a family to the Benque (stake center building), Pres and Hna Dester attended this session so we got to talk to them for a little bit, I met and shook hands with President Ocampo, the Tegucigalpa Temple president, we got another ride back to our area, met and taught one of the guards that we always pass by and he is such a good person and very receptive, and we got fed lunch by a sister who felt the impression to look out her window when we were crossing the street in front of her house and she invited us in to eat. And it's barely afternoon! It is amazing how the Lord can and does provide us with the things that we need, and the means to help others. I know that our Heavenly Father is mindful of His children, and like President Uchtdorf explained in his talk in a past General Conference, is constantly raining down blessings upon us, and as we are going about doing the work of the Lord, we can receive them with gladness. The Gospel is so cool!

Saturday, June 27, 2015 -- Week #19 - Day #131 - San Pedro Sula

June 27, 2015

10:09 pm
Today we were another 3 hours running around in pursuit of the missionaries health... we had to go during companionship study so we finished that up while we were waiting for the doctor and everything. We tend to do that a lot when we have stuff in the morning, and especially on Saturdays, as everything basically closes at 11:30 am and it's also the Pday of the elders of the Office... makes it really fun for hospitaling and officing! That's why we try to keep everything within the week so it runs a little smoother. Thought you'd like to know.

But today was good, all our lessons fell through, but we still found people to teach, so that's always a blessing. Lots of walking around, though, and today was actually quite warm. Also got some bug bites on my thumb and outside wrist on my right hand, random places, but they are super itchy.  Darn mosquitoes.

But, today we had Stake Conference, so that was super neat. Talked about marriage and family, always good topics, echoing General Conference in April. There are a lot of good people down here, and I was proud to be with them this evening. Good stuff, those Stake Conferences.

Friday, June 26, 2015 -- Week #19 - Day #130 - San Pedro Sula

June 26, 2015

10:27 pm
4 hours of hospitaling, 3 hours of officing, and we had 1 lesson! Productive day, indeed. I'm tired.
We were in the office and peeked into the kitchen and discovered this fantastically huge fruit!  Only in Honduras...


I seem to only take pictures when I'm wearing this shirt... I promise i have other clothes!

Thursday, June 25, 2015 -- Week #19 - Day #129 - San Pedro Sula

June 25, 2015

9:50 pm
Rained again today, also got pretty wet. Upcoming sister missionaries: bring some well-fitting sandals or Zstraps or something like that for when it rains:  ballet flats are perfect for dry weather, especially if they have little holes punched through as decoration, but they're really slippery and kinda dangerous when wet and splashing around in the floodwaters. Just a quick tip.

Pretty much all our visits fell through, mostly due to the rain. Nobody in the streets, and nobody answered their doors. So that made for an interesting day.

Before Coordinacion Misional started at the church in the evening, we noticed that somehow the font was still full from a previous baptism, so we hiked up our skirts, waded in, and opened the drain.  It was easier for me because my legs are longer than most people's here, so I actually didn't get very wet, and dried off in about 20 seconds with the fan blowing on us.  It was funny, when E Lyon came with his new companion, E Colindres (E Comin was tranferred to Campana, we'll miss our awesome little Canadian), he couldn't figure out how we had managed to open the drain without getting completely soaked... perks of being a girl, we have bare legs from the knees down and sockless shoes!

Also bid goodbye to Hna Guzman and Angie (the one that just got back from serving in Brasil) as they're leaving tomorrow morning to go to Panama. Eventually the whole family will move within the next few months when the younger kids finish school here, but we're gonna miss the Guzman family! They're awesome, and are always giving us bags of the juice that they make and sell (which is very yummy, by the way). But the dad and younger kids are staying here, so we'll keep visiting with them from time to time until they all take off.

Lastly, we had Weekly Planning in the church in the area La Ideal like we do on the Thursday right after changes (normally we plan at home) to introduce everyone and get to know our new zone. And Hna Barrie (one of the newbie sisters) is in our district with Hna Mejia as her trainer! That's gonna be fun. I totally remember how it was my 3rd day, the first week or so is a little rough. But she seems like a good little trooper, so I'm excited for her.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 -- Week #19 - Day #128 - San Pedro Sula

June 24, 2015

10:12 pm
I tend to get a headache and feel kinda off when it rains, probably because of the pressure changes.  Hna Robles thinks it's strange that I get a little sick in the rain, she absolutely loves it.  Usually people get sick in the sun, due to dehydration and everything.  I've always been the special one, right?

So it pretty much rained all of today, if you didn't know, we got pretty wet, but not soaked, so that was nice, I guess.

We're visiting Luis and Any (Annie), and he's been having heart problems lately. Turns out that the doctors gave him 2 weeks to live, so we're trying to help them get married so he can be baptized.  So that's gonna be fun, getting married is very complicated over here.

Today was good overall, got to eat some really good cookies, they're vanilla flavor with strawberry frosting in the middle....so good!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 -- Week #19 - Day #127 - San Pedro Sula

June 23, 2015

10:19 pm
You know what is really yummy? If you pour in a little bit of coconut milk (the thick, creamy, white stuff, not the water, which is also delicious, by the way) with your cereal in the morning. Probably adds a whole lot of fat and calories, but I think it's wonderful and makes you feel fuller.

Today was the birthday of Hna Fidelina (the sister that cooks lunch for us), so bought her some little earrings yesterday for a present, I think they're really pretty. Their a little half-pearl about the size of your pinky nail, with a thin gold band around them. Mostly likely artificial pearl and gold, as they were about $4, but they look really nice and Hna Fidelina was happy. So that was pretty fun.
E Wight, E Comin, Hna Fidelina, E Martinez, E Lyon


Us and Hna Fidelina!

Cobie!  He's the chowchow of Hna Fidelina -- super chill!
E Martinez loves to play fight with him while we're waiting for lunch.
Also went and translated for Hna Robles for the newbie's health training, that was fun. These past 2 groups are a lot more awake and active than mine, it makes me smile to remember how wiped I was... these guys are still tired, but a more involved in the presentations and seemed like a good group of missionaries. 5 latino elders and 2 gringa hermanas came. One of the new sisters will be in our district, actually, so I'm excited to find out which one will come.
Our Zone!


Us with Elder Wing, one of our Zone leaders
There's also this drink that Hna Fidelina gave us with our lunch today, apparently it's from some kind of seed, but it tastes like strawberries and it's really, really good.  I gotta ask her about it next time...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015 -- Week #18 - Day #126 - San Pedro Sula

June 22, 2015
Alright, since I'm pretty much caught up on journaling, figured I'd take a moment and share some more spiritually uplifting things that I ran across this past week in personal study:

June 13, 2015
Jesus the Christ, chapter 16
In reference to the Apostles: "They were as children to be trained and taught, but they were mostly willing pupils, receptive of soul, and imbued with a sincere eagerness to serve. To Jesus they were His little ones, His children, His servants, and His friends, as they merited."

"The Master chose them; they did not choose themselves, by Him they were ordained, and they would in consequence rely the more implicitly upon His guidance and support."

The word "apostle" in Greek is "apostolos", or "one who is sent"

June 14, 2015
Talk in Sacrament Meeting about self-sufficiency:
"When Nephi had to build the boat for his family, though the Lord showed him how to do it, Nephi still had to have the knowledge of how to make the tools and have the strength to actually work the timbers and build the boat. Nephi had talents and knowledge, and the Lord helped him to exercise these gifts in their fullness, and create something great and marvelous (not sure how to spell that in English) that man couldn't have done alone."

Visiting Teaching Message from the April 2014 Liahona:
"I have come to realize that I am like an old 20-dollar bill: crumpled, torn, dirty, abused, and scarred. But...I am still worth the full 20 dollars."

June 15, 2015
Jesus the Christ, chapter 17
"Plainly, however, man cannot become perfect in mortality in the sense in which God is perfect as a supremely glorified Being."

"It is possible, though, for man to be perfect in his sphere in a sense analogous to that in which superior intelligences are perfect in their several spheres; yet the relative perfection of the lower is infinitely inferior to that of the higher."

"A college student in his freshman or sophomore year may be perfect as freshman or sophomore:  his record may possibly be a hundred per cent on the scale of efficiency and acheivement:  yet the honor of the upper classman are beyond him, and the attainment of graduation is to him remote, but of assured possibility if he do but continue faithful and devoted to the end."

June 2015 Liahona 
"Fishers of Men" - Elder Scott D. Whiting (talks about the role of leaders in the Church and how that is the meaning of being "fishers of men")

June 16, 2015
"You and I will rejoice in His coming and thank the Lord that He sent us to earth at this time to fulfill our sacred duty of helping prepare the world for His return." -Elder Neil L. Andersen

In reference to using the Book of Mormon in our teaching: "The people already know the Bible to be true. They are ready for something even better." -District Meeting

June 17, 2015
"God does not begin by asking us about our ability, only our availability. And if we then prove our dependability, He will increase our capability." -Elder Neal A. Maxwell

June 18, 2015
I love the words of this Primary song, as it is exactly how we teach our investigators how to pray. And also how we should continue to pray....take a minute and read and the words out loud to yourself and think about how wonderfully simple and powerful prayer is.

I kneel to pray, everyday
to speak to Heavenly Father.
He hears and answers me
when I pray in faith.

I begin by saying, "Dear Heavenly Father",
I thank Him for blessings He sends.
Then, humbly, I ask Him for things that I need.
"In the name of Jesus Christ, amen".

June 22, 2015
May 2015 Liahona
"The Family is of God" - Carole M. Stephens

"The ordinances we receive and the covenants we make at baptism and in the holy temples connect the family of God on both sides of the veil - connecting us to our Father through His Son, who prayed, 'That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.'

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015 -- Week #18 - Day #126 - San Pedro Sula

June 22, 2015

10:15 pm
Today was Pday! And I'm still not caught up on my journaling... whoops.  I assure you that it was a really fun few days that are still missing, and I'll do my best to fill you back in on all my awesome adventures down in Honduras.

But, great news! One of my buddies back home got his mission call to London, England, so that was great to hear about today. Congrats!

Today was good, studied, cleaned house, washed clothes, went and had lunch at Pizza Hut, Hna Robles got a haircut (trimmed off about 4 inches and got re-layered) that turned out really nicely, got a new phone case for the new nurse phone (Samsung Galaxy S5), bought some earrings and a little gift box to put them in as a birthday gift for Hna Fidelina (she cooks us lunch, her birthday is on Wednesday), wrote our peeps back home, and went clothes shopping!  Whoohoo!  I bought 4 shirts and a skirt for about $13... pretty sweet, right?  Granted, they're used clothes, but you wash them and it really doesn't matter in the end cuz they're gonna get just as dirty at the end of the day. So we were both fairly pleased with our recent acquisitions to our clothes hanging spaces.  It's a bad habit, but you have to use impulse buying (you can consult a psychology textbook about that) here when shopping for anything, basically... if you've been thinking you need something, and you see it, you gotta buy it, because it won't be there the next time you pass by.  But we should be good for a while, I think we've satisfied all our immediate material needs, although we didn't get to go grocery shopping, but all I really need is 2 boxes of milk and a box of cereal. 

And of course we came home and had a wonderful lesson with Alonso, who has a really fun story, but we watched "Juntos para Siempre", or "Together Forever", and had a lovely discussion on the importance of families and how the gospel helps us bring about the joy of being with them forever, not just until death. So that was really neat. 

I also managed to cut myself in the worst place possible this morning:  base of the pad of my right thumb.  Awesome, right?  I finished doing laundry, so my skin was all soft and waterlogged, and I went to turn on the faucet in the house to start on the dishes, and the rough edge of the handle popped open the skin.  Kinda hurts.  But it's small, so it should heal up alright. Weird stuff happens in the mission... thankfully I don't have to go to the doctor!
Also, Hna Robles and I are gonna be together for another change!  Whoohoo!

Sunday, June 21, 2015 -- Week #18 - Day #125 - San Pedro Sula

June 21, 2015

Another wonderful Sunday, no investigators came to church. We walked around all that morning before church started to bring people to church, and nobody answered the door or was ready to leave.  So that was kinda sad.  I feel like Sister Voyles from "The District" ... "Just come to church!"  But we love our investigators and will keep working with them. Taught some good lessons, long day, I'm tired.

Saturday, June 20, 2015 -- Week #18 - Day #124 - San Pedro Sula

June 20, 2015

More happenings in the health field, the carnival and fair are going through this week and part of the next, so there's crazy traffic and blocked roads, makes it interesting to drive around, poor taxis. But they're awesome and relatively patient, so we eventually get to where we need to go. Also had some lessons and walked around our area a lot, met some good people.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015 -- Week #18 - Day #123 - San Pedro Sula

June 19, 2015

10:28 pm
We had a successful day of divisions! I went with Hna Virula, and I like her a lot.
Hna Virula and me!

Hna Robles went with Hna Archila, who I also like. Hna Robles and Hna Archila came together and will leave together in October, Hna Virula in August.
Hna Robles and Hna Archila!
Turns out that Hna Virula has 10 brothers and sisters, she's number 9 with her twin sister, who will come home from her mission in July. Crazy, huh? Basically everyone I knew when I first got here is going home relatively soon. E Santiago (my "padre" in the mission) already "died" or finished his mission, Hna Robles (madre) is gonna die, E Lyon (padrastro, since he's my second padre during my training period, Hna Robles has a madrastra since her first trainor died after her first change) is gonna die, E Wing and Cabrera (Zone Leaders) are gonna die, Hna Archila and Virula (Sister Training Leaders) are gonna die, E Moes and E Molina (General and Ruta Secretaries) are gonna die... Hna Robles jokes that in October I'll basically be a little orphan!  That's the weird thing with my 3rd change coming up, you start to see the constant flow of people leaving and coming, makes you feel that time actually goes a little faster. Ah!

Our lessons also felt like they went by a lot faster than normal today as well, that was surprising.  And I only got us lost for the last hour or so of the day, so that was also nice (I don't know if it's ever nice to be lost, but at least it wasn't all day long). I resorted to walking back to a house or pulperia that I knew really well, and then heading off again from there to where we were supposed to be going, so we ended up walking in some circles and ultimately round-about ways of traveling, but we did get to the houses eventually! Thank goodness for everyone's seemingly endless patience with me! But yeah, it was good.

We had some good lessons today, and basically the majority of the people we had planned for weren't home or we couldn't find the contacts we were going to visit, so that was interesting. Rescheduled some for tomorrow, and met some more people today to talk to. You can almost always talk to people when you're looking for a person or address, so that's a plus to the whole experience. Met some really interesting people today, but that's good.
Danilo is one of our investigators, and we had dinner together, very delicious, typical Honduran food:  frijolitos, huevos, mantequilla, queso, tortillas.
We all met up in the hospital after a cita this morning, and then Hna Robles and Hna Archila had more hospitaling today as well for a good part of the day, so that was kinda sad. But overall I think we all did well today.

Sad note, Yanis and Guissell will be baptized next Saturday, as their dad can't get off work this weekend, so that's a bummer, but they're still excited, so that's good. They're awesome!

Thursday, June 18, 2015 -- Week #18 - Day #122 - San Pedro Sula

June 18, 2015

10:26 pm
I love planning for divisions... you get to plan 2 complete days worth of visits! Whoohoo! Hna Robles has 2 hospital visits tomorrow, so I'll stay in the area and walk around trying to find people, should be fun. We have a grid system here, which everyone says is a blessing, but I can never figure out where I am.  I know where I am in relation to the house or the last visit or the church or Avenida Junior or whatever, but I always lose track of what number calle and avenida I'm currently in or the exact address of where we're going next.  So that's really fun. When it's my turn to lead our companionship around during the day, I sometimes lose us, but we get there eventually. Been here for 3 months and I still don't get this layout. Silly grids. There's also no street signs with the street numbers, so that really helps the situation as well. Wish me luck tomorrow!

Look at the awesome clouds!
This the street corner we were on,
it's quite sunny!
 But today was good, got sprinkled on this afternoon, and then it rained for a little bit right as we got home. It feels way hotter than it actually is because of the humidity.  And it's very humid here. Makes all your little baby hairs fuzz up and fly around in the wind, I'm really good at rocking that hairstyle.

Had Planeamiento Semanal and Coordinacion Misional since it's Thursday, those are always a fun adventure. Hna Robles also got a new nurse phone, so that was exciting. Some kind of Galaxy S something or other, very shiny.  Problem is that the "chip" or SIM card got wiped of all the contacts, so we gotta figure out how to retrieve over 200 numbers of missionaries and medical personnel, gonna be fun!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 -- Week #18 - Day #121 - San Pedro Sula

June 17, 2015

10:20 pm
How you eat a little mango Slip off the skin, bite and suck off all the fruit part, and continue to clean off the fibrous seed.
Quite delicious!

Mango size comparisons

We were gifted some monster mangos, or mangotes, to denote the greatness of size
Today was good. The mangos are out in force lately, so today we received 2 grocery bags full of mangos and drank a giant mug of mango juice throughout out visits... good thing I like mangos, huh?  People show their love by feeding you what they have on hand (or just bought at the pulperia... I'll explain those later, it's basically a little store for the neighborhood block) and lately it's been mangos. I feel so loved!

We ran 3 companionships of elders to the dermatologist this morning, and then went to the office in the afternoon, and finally got back to our area to work. Things have been a little crazy this and the past week, and we still have to get through changes and the following week, so it's gonna be a fun ride on the health train. And coordinating other citas with Hna Dester and Hna Robles. I really wonder if there's so many health problems in the missions in the States?  It's amazing what manages to happen down here.

Yup, random news fact from Honduras, it is perfectly normal to see people passed out or sleeping on the (literal) side of the road at all times of the day or night. Usually they're drunk. Or just tired, I guess, I mean, I would love to go take a nap, too. But in most cases they're just drunk.  Makes me sad.

So yup, we're just going along, we have divisions with the Hermana Lideres Entrenadoras on Friday, so that should be fun. And then changes the next Wednesday, and if I'm staying with Hna Robles, I'll give the health training in English to the gringo missionaries on Tuesday.  And we'll of course have another week full of hospitaling and officing. The Work must go on!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 -- Week #18 - Day #120 - San Pedro Sula

June 16, 2015

10:16 pm
Today it rained for about 30 min during lunch, we made it back to the house just in time for the small deluge. But the rest of the day after that was cloudy, and hot and humid. The sun isn't so strong, it seems, but I'm still really hot, probably because the increased humidity. The eternal Girl's Camp continues!

We also went running all around the city (taking bus, taxi, and walking) to find a place suitable for some special eye tests for a missionary. So that was fun. It is still amazing how many people can fit into a vehicle, be it bus or rapidito. Personal bubbles really don't exist here... like at all.  But that's ok, because it's all normal, and you just kinda roll with it. Or at least (literally) bump along together. Good day overall.

Monday, June 15, 2015 -- Week #17 - Day #119 - San Pedro Sula

June 15, 2015

10:13 pm
We finally went to Guamalito!  Whoohoo!  We've been planning on going the entire time I've been here, but every Pday something happens so we can't go. But we finally went today and it was awesome! I wanted to buy everything.  It's a big marketplace that has every kind of antiquey touristy thing under the sun, and usually the missionaries that are going home go there on their last day after interviews to buy stuff to take home. But since it's really close to our area, we can go "whenever" we want, ie., on a Pday.  It was so neat to wander around and look at all the neat stuff, there were blankets and pots and masks and carvings and shirts and dresses and sandals and bowls and intricate beaded necklaces and machetes and knives and boxes and nativities and all sorts of neat little trinkety things. I got a little wood bowl to hold my watch and earrings and tag at night, and a teal Honduras shirt with geckos and dolphins, pretty sweet. Hna Robles bought a wallet with beautifully embroidered flowers. It was very similar to the Central Market we went to in Guatemala, and Hna Archila (who's from Guatemala... she's a Guatemalteca or Chapina, people-things from Honduras are Catracho-a, and I'm Gringa!) confirmed that a lot of the stuff was indeed based off Guatemalan cultural things. But it's super cool, nonetheless. We also bought out stuff from a lady who's a member, so we got a very nice discount, almost half of normal price, so that was pretty awesome.

My new earrings!
They're stainless steel like my watch and ring...
I'm Hna Acero! :)
And then we got lunch at McDonald's and went off and wrote our families (half of mine is camping right now [Young Men High Adventure & Boy Scout Camp]) and bought some food and got ready for lessons.

Hna Robles calls me "la Bella Dormiente", or Sleeping Beauty, which I think is a fitting epithet, especially in the mornings!

Friday, June 12, 2015 -- Week #17 - Day #116 - San Pedro Sula

June 12, 2015

1:35 pm
During Language Study I translated out "Onward Christian Soldiers" into English, and IT IS SO COOL!

Con valor marchemos #159 (side note, the first 2 lines of the first verse are also the words of the chorus)

We, the hosts of Jesus, march with courage,
with the weapons of truth and light.
The Lord will be out great general, with His banner displayed high.

When the charge is sounded, Satan flees from us.
Firmly, then, we march, we wait no longer.
Full of terror, Hell's foundations tremble.
To the Lord we sing hymns of praise.

We go forth with the Savior;
together we march, without any fear.
We are all one in truth, hope, faith and charity.

Onward, then, brothers, to the rhythm of the sound,
while singing together the triumphal song.
All will honor the great, eternal King;
Angels and men together will sing.

Isn't that so neat?  Gives me goose bumps.  In some instances I think I like the hymns in Spanish better than in English, good stuff, man. 

10:03 pm
Today turned out to be quite interesting, but we were able to get the interview for Guissell done as well, so she and her sister can be baptized next Saturday. Yay!

Random fact, E Comin is from Alberta, Canada. He's also the only Canadian that we know of here in the Oeste and Este missions, we don't know about Tegucigalpa or Comayaguela. So he's pretty unique! 

Also found a lady that sells turtle eggs, and they are quite expensive. I can't say I really have great desire to eat turtle eggs, but it was cool that that's an option here. I have no idea what the turtle egg market is like here, have to do some research on that.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 -- Week #17 - Day #115- San Pedro Sula

June 11, 2015

10:17 pm
It rained really hard all night, I kept waking up to that and the neighbor's dogs thrashing around and barking. Really fun.

After the baptism of Julissa!
But we had Julissa's baptismal interview! Yay! So we're getting ready for her baptism on Saturday. 

Also ran some hospitaling for a few hours, and came back and taught some lessons. Good day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 -- Week #17 - Day #114 - San Pedro Sula

June 10, 2015

9:54 pm
It's almost just as common to find people driving backwards it is to drive forwards. Fun little info tidbit. Usually because they're backing into traffic, getting out of a one-way street, etc. Technically speaking, we have some really good drivers here, good spatial and directional thinking.

And Karina moved to Puerto, so we can't visit her anymore. That was kinda sad. We didn't know when she was thinking of taking off, and we called to schedule a visit with her, and she said she had already moved that weekend.

Another street, it rained recently
and so there's stuff all over the ground
and it's very wet and humid.
And we had hospitaling, officing, and more hospitaling, then visits, and it rained super, super hard and we pretty much got soaked. Also got some lovely floodwaters, so those are fun to slosh around in. Overall a very interesting day.
I made a doodle of a tree branch and made a thumbnail of one of the artworks on the wall of one of the numerous doctor's offices we were in the other day... didn't have any paper, so I borrowed a flyer in Spanish about some medicine that helps lactose intolerant people. Neat, huh?

Tuesday, June 09, 2015 -- Week #17 - Day #113 - San Pedro Sula

June 9, 2015

10:15 pm
Weirdest case on the mission that Hna Robles has had: an elder was ironing his shirt for the day and was leaning on his arm, like the palm of the hand on his cheek and the elbow on the bed, I'd imagine, and then he sneezed and popped his shoulder out of joint (the arm he was leaning on). That surprised me, actually, but I guess it makes physical sense. Gotta be careful when you sneeze, huh?

And random fact from Honduras, I would say that a majority of the names here from somewhere in the Bible. And the other 30% are "American" names or whatever, but pronounced with a very Spanish accent.  Jyea-sohn, Paht-ti, Seen-tia = Jason, Patty, Cynthia. Makes for a fun spelling game, too, as sometimes they're spelled phonetically, or in the original English spelling. Fun, right?

Us with David before his baptism, little cutie, he's 9 years old and super super super smart, he's nicknamed the "Chilito" because he's very fair and a lot of Chileans are lighter as well. We have a lot of nicknames for stuff to identify people, and it's very common to describe someone as fat or skinny as well.
I also encountered my first hand towel since I've been here, that was a shocker. We went to David's house to finish up the lessons, and I asked to use the restroom. As I was washing my hands, lo and behold, there was a hand towel. So cool. Usually we have to drip dry everything, I felt so gringo right then. Gonna be weird when I go back to hand towels and bath mats and hot water and shower curtains and artwork on every wall and carpet and granite counter tops and vacuums and dishwashers and drinkable water from a chrome faucet. Sounds like our houses are castles in the land of paradise.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015 -- Week #16 - Day #112 - San Pedro Sula

I didn't have any time to write my journal entries this week. (I have a bunch of notes written in my planner... gonna have to do double writing this week to catch up!)  So I'm sorry for that bummer... we had an incredible amount of work to do this week, I have no idea what happened.  So I'll send my entries and pics next week, promise.

But, check out the MoTab version of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing"... gives me goosebumps! :) Loves you!  click:  Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing - Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015 -- Week #16 - Day #111 - San Pedro Sula

June 7, 2015

7:20 am
Happy Birthday, Lyndsey!  I love you!
Sweetest Sisters!
Today was Fast Sunday, but it's been cloudy the past few days, so it was a lot easier on my body this time around.  Although I do have to say that I'm still quite attached to my water bottle.

Today was good, we have 3 definites and a tentative 4th baptism planned for this Saturday, so we've been working with those investigators and getting things coordinated for all that, fun stuff.  Hopefully everything goes smoothly, but as always, there's opposition, but also, as always, it turns out in the end. Yay!

News from Honduras, when people like you, they give you food. It's normal to offer a drink (normally Coke or Pepsi) when someone visits, but you know they actually like talking to you and want you to come back when they start feeding you, so we're starting to see that with some of our investigators, so that's encouraging.  Last night we had 3 baleadas for each of us from this one family we're teaching, they were soooo good. I gotta make baleadas for you guys when I come home, they're some of my favorite food here.
The family of the 3 baleadas, they're super awesome.  And live in one of the nicest houses I've been in.  Jenny 2, me, Gabi, Hna Robles, Jenny 1 (their grandmother) and the back view of their Chihuahua, Mia.
In way of food, I tried mango verde, or unripe mango, for the first time at another investigator's house. You're supposed to eat it with salt and pepper, and I actually liked the taste quite well, there was just the slight problem of that unripe fruit makes your tummy feel a little funny afterwards. So I think I'll stick to the consumption of normal, ripe mango for the time being, but mango verde is pretty good, too, every once in a while.

In the Avenida Junior there's this marching band thing that practices almost everyday, I'm not quite sure what they're for or who they are, but they're really neat. I imagine there's about 40-50 people that participate. There's drums, xylophones, cymbals, shouting, and dancing around, pretty neat to watch and listen to as we're walking around.

Saturday, June 6, 2015 -- Week #16 - Day #110 - San Pedro Sula

June 6, 2015

10:15 pm
Today I ran into a tree branch and I think it knocked off my earring, so I'll have to buy some new ones on Pday, whoops.  I was checking our agenda for who we were going to visit next and we walked by these overgrown bush-tree things, and my face met wood. That was surprising!  But I'm ok, just lost my pearl earring. Sad day.
We're visiting a family that has a 2 month-old male puppy, and another that has a 3 month-old female puppy, and both like to climb around and chew on my backpack and shoes, so that's interesting.  They're the cutest little things, still kinda walk around funny with their little tails wiggling, but each time we visit they seem to be a little bit bigger. Crazy how fast they grow. So hopefully I'll be around a little longer and can watch them get bigger!  They're named Bruno and Burbuja (Bubble) respectively.

With the rapiditos [taxi] here, they follow routes throughout the city, and usually we use Ruta 4 to get to Central and the stores and stuff, but for normal everyday use, we are regular users of the Ruta 11... our legs!  One of the favorite sayings in the mission, and one we tell ourselves all the time as we're walking around.

Funny experience of the week:  we were teaching these 3 kiddos (they're getting baptized next Saturday!) and talking about how much God loves them and knows them personally, and I reached over and smacked a mosquito on Hna Robles's leg, without warning. Everyone busted up laughing, as the whole scene was quite funny.  Hna Robles: "What part did you like the most about what you just read?" Guisell: "Well, I liked the part the God loves me a lot."  Hna Robles: "Yes, Guisell, that is really important. God is our loving Father in Heaven, and He wants us to be happy, so He-"  --SMACK--  Me: "...helps us get rid of mosquitoes."  Gotta love teaching outside in Honduras.

And on a more spiritual note, I'm helping Hna Robles translate "Stronger" by the Nashville Tribute Band, and we were going over phrases and stuff, and we started talking about "to face" something, and I explained that it's used to say "to face your fears", "to meet them head-on", and that got me thinking that that is such a neat little set of words: To face something, head-on.  As in, you choose to turn and stand in front of something, with all your focus and might, with the intention on staying in your place no matter what the other thing does. Actually pretty neat, if you think about it, Hna Robles really liked the concept.

Friday, June 5, 2015 -- Week #16 - Day #109 - San Pedro Sula

June 5, 2015

7:50 am
Guess what I made for breakfast? French toast! It was a little different than normal since we don't have any cinnamon or vanilla or powdered sugar, so I just made it with milk, egg, bread, and dotted some canned frosting on top, actually turned out pretty good. On to study time!
My French Toast!

9:05 pm
Today was interesting, lots of emotional ups and downs. Most of our visits ended up being with less-active members of the Church. It just made me so sad that these are wonderful, good people that in one way or another, got lost. Most of them don't want to come back until they get their lives back in order, but now is actually the time they need to come to church the most, and they don't understand that. Hna Robles was explaining that a lot of the time people fall away is because of pride, whether they have too much of it or it was hurt in the past somehow.

And it rained this evening, started at 7:00 pm and is still continuing, so that's pretty neat, it's gonna be very humid tomorrow, which is not quite so neat. I like the sound of rain, especially at night.

And this morning we bought a broom! A beautiful, red, fluffy, brand new broom!  So we don't have to use our little piddly half-broom anymore to sweep our house.  We're ecstatic.
Our beautiful new broom!
I used it for the first time today to clean
our floors, worked quite nicely!
And it's pretty funny how the promise of "the Lord will place people in your path to hear the Gospel" is fulfilled... there are literally people sitting in the curbs and at the corners as we're walking around that we can contact. So the finding people part is easy, just gotta go talk to them and get a date to return and an address to return to.  And sometimes, we can't find them again, and sometimes we do. But at least we did our part and presented the opportunity and offered the invitation. Keep on keeping on.

Side note on the French toast happening of this morning, the fun thing in Honduras is that you have to wash everything before you eat it, so I got to wash my eggs before cracking and using them.  It's kinda fun to wash a eggs, just be careful you don't drop them!

And we bought some treats to gift David with as his birthday was yesterday, so now I have 1 lempira.  I think we'll wait until Monday when I can withdraw my money and pay back Hna Robles (I owe her about 800 lemps now).  The prophet's counsel is to be debt-free, right?

So today was good, another day in the land of Honduras.  We're ticking down the days to the last couple of weeks in this cambio [companion change / transfer], crazy!