Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015 -- Week #24 - Day #165 - San Pedro Sula

July 31, 2015

Quote of the day: "What separates us from devils is not our knowledge, but our works."  Thought that was pretty true. Reminds me of the Plan of Salvation, because Satan has the same knowledge since the beginning, but the works of him and his followers are very different than those who chose to come to earth and follow the Lord's plan. The ability to choose is a powerful thing we have, as our choices open or close opportunities in our lives. Make good choices!

Went a-hospitaling again, that was fun. Then taught some more lessons, also fun. Walked around a lot... I would recommend to any up and coming missionaries to use those shoe sole insert thingies right off the bat so your feet don't hurt so much with all the walking. And to practice walking a few miles a day for a few months before you take off, as well.

Today I had my first coconut! There was a guy going around and selling coconuts, so we bought 2 for us. He pulled them out of the cooler, whacked off the tops with a machete, inserted a straw and handed them to us... very tasty.

Thursday, July 30, 2015 -- Week #24 - Day #164 - San Pedro Sula

July 30, 2015

I would like to inform the universe that when it's around 100 Fahrenheit, water will evaporate. Patty's mom passed away on Sunday, so she keeps a glass of water and a candle out for her spirit, and was convinced that her mom had come and drank the water, because in the morning when she set it out the cup was full, but in the evening the water level had reduced a little bit.  Laws of physics!

Had Weekly Planning and lunch and a lesson, then had to go to a doctor's appointment, and then 2 more lessons afterwards. Long day, super tired. I can feel it about every 2-3 weeks when I'm just always exhausted, and then I have to take a 2 hour nap during lunch time and then I'm alright for another few weeks. Willing spirit, but the body is weak, and if the body doesn't work well, it's kinda hard to do anything. Keep on keeping on!

Also, my hair now reaches about 1.5 inches past my collar bones, my bangs about 1.5 inches past my chin. Been fun to finally have long enough hair to do a nice bun, as I don't actually fix my hair properly anymore. Pretty much brush it through a few times and affix it in some form or another atop my head. I'm really good friends with the little alligator clips, they cause less headaches than hair ties. So I can get dressed, make up-ed and do my hair in about 10 minutes, totally awesome!

People still continue to think I'm from Houston, TX... that seems to be the city all the Hondurans go to. A saber por que.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 -- Week #24 - Day #163 - San Pedro Sula

July 29, 2015

This morning Hna Robles had to write up a whole bunch of reports and email some special people, so I did a whole lot of studying, but it was cool because I was reading over in some of the war chapters of Alma and I kept picturing the Ruinas in my head and how everything played out. Pretty neat.
Copan Ruins

And we had lunch and a lesson, and met up with Pres in the office and talked with him for a little bit, and then came back and taught some more lessons.

Today is the day of awesome names, we met a guy named Moises (Moses) and Plutarco (Plutarch...philosopher like Aristotle, Socrates etc) and Reuben, (not sure how to spell that in Spanish) so that was interesting. And one of our taxi drivers today was a member! He's a convert of 2 years and his only son is serving a mission in Guatemala, and their ward just had a temple trip this past week and he was able to go and do work for his ancestors. It was so neat to be able to see some of the wonderful fruits of the labors here, so that made our day as well.

Also learned that there are about 7-8 viruses that cause mononucleosis (the mono/kissing disease), the most common being Epstein-Barr. Just thought you'd like to know that little fact.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 -- Week #24 - Day #162 - San Pedro Sula

July 28, 2015

Copan Ruins

Today we went to the Copan Ruinas!  It is Hna Dester's birthday today, and Hna Robles hasn't been to the Ruins before (because she's never left the city) so we drove the 3 hours down to Copan together with Pres and Hna Dester, had lunch at a favorite hotel of theirs, and hiked around the Ruins and it was awesome!
Happy Birthday Sister Dester!
On the way there, we passed these barbed wire fences where the people have cut green branches to make the posts, and then after a while they sprout more branches and grow into trees... neat, right?  It's actually quite pretty as we passed stretches with these orderly little trees growing on the side of the road. Go regenerative biology!

There were also a lot of police stops along the way as well, but since it was 3 white people and Hna Robles going to Copan Ruinas, they probably thought we were tourists and didn't give us any trouble. Normally when it's Pres and other elders in the car they pull them over and go through the car and ask a lot of questions. But with us they just said hi and waved us through. Good stuff.

On the way to Copan!

And in the ruins we met up with these 2 guys who are actually a pair of Swedish twins that were traveling around the world, they knew Swedish, English and the older one lived in Spain for 2 years, so he knew Spanish, and with their accent everything it was quite interesting. But they were very nice and interested, we ended up giving them a Book of Mormon (in Spanish, whoops) and explaining some about the Restoration and Church History. And a link to where they can request a Book of Mormon in Swedish (or English, too, if they like) and visit with the missionaries. So that was pretty neat. I think Hna Dester was really excited to talk to someone in English for so long, Pres and I did a mix of English and Spanish, and Hna Robles in Spanish. And then one of the brothers talked to his other brother a little bit in Swedish, so we had a nice mix of all 3 languages in that conversation.

And we made it home around 7:00 pm and got a lesson with Sara in, so we had a pretty good day all around.

Monday, July 27, 2015 -- Week #23 - Day #161 - San Pedro Sula

July 27, 2015

Today was a good Pday, cleaned, washed, had lunch, bought an ice cream, went and found a little painted box from Plaza Tipica and filled it with chocolate candies for Hna Dester's birthday present (her birthday is tomorrow), and wrote, and took a bus home and taught some lessons. Busy day with lots of people.
Our favorite, dysfunctional fans :(

Chilling in my Guatemala shirt!
In other news, the time of the mangos has past, now the guava fruits are out in force. In Spanish it's the guayaba fruit, not to be confused with the guanabana fruit. The first few times I was trying to distinguish between them I kept saying "guayabana" as a mix of the 2 words, Hna Robles thought that was very funny.

And, just to reiterate, the buses are still extremely full... it's actually amazing how many people we can fit into one vehicle. And we go on buses/rapiditos quite often... always makes for an adventure! A lot of times we don't sit and have to hold onto the hand rails above (sometimes there's no rail, and just kind of a shelf, or you have to push on the ceiling to keep yourself in place. But when there's more people you just kinda lean on everyone and we all stay in place and that works too.)

And it's hot and humid and everything, of course, sometimes around 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm it gets more cloudy in the west and there's a nice breeze, so that's fantastic to look forward to, around October is when everyone says the rains start for real.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunday, July 26, 2015 -- Week #23 - Day #160 - San Pedro Sula

July 26, 2015

Okeydokey, today was Sunday! I love Sundays... it's very hard to find all your people to teach, but Sundays are still the best. Thank goodness for church.
My hair flowers from Sunday, they're so pretty! (thanks Mom!)
Today's topic was tithing and fast offerings, it was interesting that one of the speakers pointed out that this is the only commandment where the Lord basically says "Try me". The commandment to honor your parents brings the promise of long days upon the land, but paying tithing has the direct commandment, challenge and promise of so many blessings to where we won't be able receive them all right now. Neat, huh?

News from Honduras: it's still hot. We had some rain the other night, but lately it's been very clear and very, very sunny.  But that's alright.  Every year it's hotter, and the rain comes later, but by October-ish it should not be quite as hot. Anyways.

Patty's mom died this morning, (Patty is one of our investigators), so we were pretty sad about that. She had cancer and had problems with her lungs, been in the hospital and on oxygen for a few weeks now, and so she passed on early this morning. We went by to offer our condolences and let Patty talk to us, we'll visit her during this week as well. There have been so many deaths here, every other week we hear of someone dying that either we know our investigators know.  Pucha.

In other news from Honduras, there's a lot of jobs that require soldering work, and the way that happens is that they hook a jumper cable up to a car battery and stick the little metal rod in the clamp, and that's what they use to solder. Very interesting to watch, I didn't know that you could do that. It's also very bright, but sometimes the people don't use the mask-shield-thing to protect their eyes, and so they get damaged from the light, and also sometimes the sparks fly up into their eyes and cause problems as well. Also interesting to note.
We have a Jamaican buddy that always says hi when we pass by where he works, so that always makes me smile. Actually, he's Honduran, but he has really long dreadlocks and always wears his brightly colored Rasta cap and says assorted English phrases (so far they're clean, thank goodness, it's quite refreshing to just hear nice English instead of bad words and ridiculous requests), mostly "goodbye", "hello", "nice to see you") with a Jamaican accent. Good fellow to have around.

Saturday, July 25, 2015 -- Week #23 - Day #159 - San Pedro Sula

July 25, 2015

It's interesting how strong and how fragile our bodies are, really.  My left leg decided to cramp up during the night, so now I have a sore calf. Pucha. But the cool thing is that I'll live! Yay!  Eat a banana and go walk around for a few hours, should be fine.

We also met a lady that smoked cigarettes (how do you spell that?) since she was 8 years old, now she has serious problems with her lungs.  Don't smoke! It's really bad for you.

And the power went out again this morning... usually it (and the water) goes out during the day when we're walking around so we don't notice, but we were having study time and the fridge, lights and fans went off and it got really quiet and immediately hot. But thankfully they came back on about 30 minutes later. It's amazing how much you need moving air or it gets quite warm all of a sudden. So that was a fun little surprise.

In way of lessons, literally every single one fell through, so we did a whole lot of street contacting and found some new people to teach, so that was good. Long day, I'm really, really tired.
Got 5 mosquito bites on my elbow, guess I'll have to put bug spray there, too!

Friday, July 24, 2015 -- Week #23 - Day #158 - San Pedro Sula

July 24, 2015

Today we had some more hospitaling and officing, and taught some good lessons today, so that was fun. Been having some weird health stuff lately, but everyone should be ok... gotta love Honduras!

In way of interesting stories, one of the elders was a model before he came on the mission, supposedly, so that's interesting. Also, another elder found a marble and then got it stuck up his nose. And another pair of elderes licked rat poison pellets, thinking they were candy.  They're fine, but everyone was freaking out for a few hours. Silly elders. It's amazing how the human mind works sometimes.

I also heard that the people of science have discovered a new, habitable planet named Kepler186f, fact check that for me, please. I didn't get the whole story on that, but apparently it's a little bigger than Earth, and has a similar atmosphere? Interesting.  click:  Earth size planet 
 I don't know if I've already mentioned this, but it's rare to see a laptop or computer here, I was honestly super surprised when one of our investigators pulled one out so we could watch one of the videos we brought. Technology! Made me think of the plethora of phones and tablets and laptops and TVs and gaming thingies that everyone has back home, felt kinda weird. Most people don't have internet in their homes or phones, there's places scattered around that have like 20 computers and you can print and scan and access the internet over there, pretty much never in someone's house. So that's a different take on that concept. Not quite so individualized in computer usage here. Actually, pretty much nothing is individual, everything is everywhere for everybody, whatever it is. Lots of person-person contact and bubbles don't exist... everyone's business is everyone's business.
Also, sonpopos are giant ants that like to get stuck (actually they stick their heads in and then cling on with their mandibles) in the little holes in my brown shoes I usually wear, wriggle around, flail their limbs about, and then die when I try to get them out of my shoe. They also bite, but I've been fine so far, they're mostly a nuisance because I have to pick out these giant ant bodies from my shoes with a small stick that I have to go find somewhere. Ugh. Apparently they are cooked and eaten in the forest region of Peru, according to Hna Robles, so that's a fun little factoid. Sonpopos...

Thursday, July 23, 2015 -- Week #23 - Day #157 - San Pedro Sula

July 23, 2015

Today... we were hospitaling from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, then went officing, and taught 1 lesson!  Whoo!  Had problems with rides coming on time, the X-ray machines not working, secretaries that forgot to note the appointments we made, doctors that take forever with the patients, today was a day of a lot of waiting, I think. But we eventually got everything done and found Pres in the office and said hi, and Pres Kline (of the East Mission), dropped by and gave us cookies (we got pretzels last week) and said hi as well, so that made the day pretty alright. 

Discovered today that there's a thing called Snapping Hip Syndrome, or Dancer's Hip, and there's three classes of it. The elder we brought in today has the external variety, where the tendon of one of the muscles on the outside of the hip slips back and forth across the greater trochanter of the femur, which makes a popping sound and sensation and causes inflammation. It can get worse, but you can help it get better by not using your legs or walking a lot, which is kinda impossible in the mission. But he has some medication that will help with the pain and disinflammation (is that a word?) [anti-inflammatory], so that's good. I was curious about that because sometimes I feel something like that in my hips, but it's more in front and deeper in my leg, so it's probably of the internal type. But it's nothing super serious, and it doesn't hurt. Just thought that was kinda neat to learn about.

Also, the water went out today, but it came back in time for my nightly shower, so that was very nice. It's hard to sleep without being mostly clean and sweat-free. Actually, it's pretty much easy to sleep when/wherever, but mentally I'm more at rest if I'm not covered in the day (don't really know how to describe it, but mentally I wash off the day's events and all the dirt and bug spray and everything and I'm just me again).
It's OK to hope / wish / dream... right??!

Yeah, yeah, yeah... my ACTUAL bathroom...
I don't think I dream as much as I used to, and when I do, they're just kinda a smattering of scenes, without a clear objective or plot. There's a lot of sounds or music, but not a lot of words spoken/thought/dreamed in either English or Spanish, but I have woken up to my speaking Spanish out loud.  Poor little brain. Hna Robles and I are both really tired. We've determined that some Pday we're just gonna stay home and sleep (write families and do laundry, of course, but a nap would be very nice).

In other news from Honduras, a fly flew into one of our fans this morning and died. We were studying and I heard a little "zxllerykoop" as the fan blades smacked something tiny, and Hna Robles asked what it was, and I looked down on the floor and there was a dead fly. So that was the exciting event of this morning.

Also, Hna Robles likes the English word "potatoes", but has trouble saying "girl".  I actually forgot how to spell that properly, so we had to look it up in my dictionary. English is weird.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 -- Week #23 - Day #156 - San Pedro Sula

July 22, 2015

Hna Robles didn't recognize what Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen was, and I was shocked!  But she's gonna go look it up and get a translation of the lyrics when she goes home. Good stuff, classic rock, always reminds me of my dad, who is also awesome. But, Hna Robles likes Bruno Mars (some of his songs) and really likes the style of how he dances. So that was kinda fun to learn about her.

Also learned a new word today: "murcielagos", or bats. I saw my first bats here tonight as we were waiting for Iris and Alonso to get home so we could teach them. There were about 3 or 4 murcielagos, I think, swooping around and doing their bat stuff. They were brown, and looked like their wingspan was about a foot and a half. Made me think of the bat bridge in Austin.
Since we know a lot of the taxi drivers really well, there's a running joke between us that I'm from Santa Barbara, since there's a lot of fair-skinned, light-eyed people there. Maybe as I get further along in my Spanish I can start introducing myself as being "patepluma" (the nickname of Santa Barbarans, like catracho for Hondurenan, chapin for Guatemalan). But they always ask how my family's doing over in Santa Barbara and what news is happening over there, it's fun.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 -- Week #23 - Day #155 - San Pedro Sula

July 21, 2015

I was reading a talk this morning by Sheri L. Dew entitled "You Were Born to Lead - You Were Born for Glory", and it is a very good message. We are here on earth during the last days before the Second Coming of Christ. The end of our time of preparation is steadily drawing closer. I feel like things are picking up, and honestly it makes me feel more of a need to do the work I am here to do, because the deadline is soon and we simply can't afford to be caught off-guard, pursuing our own rewards right now, and then not be able to abide the day of His coming.  Little bit straight-up, huh? But the cool thing that Sister Dew explained is that we have the opportunity and privilege to have the Lord's help and direction in these times. We can get on the right train and continue doing the right and  have the strength and help we need. Very good talk.

Also today, we had clouds!  Yay! It was super sunny in the early afternoon, and then about 4:00 pm or 5:00 pm-ish it got cloudy and a nice breeze ran through our area, so that was fantastic. 

During District Meeting this morning, we bought these bags of orange juice from one of the investigators of the elders in La Ideal area (where the church we meet for District Meeting is) and they were soooooooo good!  Everything's sold in bags, and these little guys (actually they're about a half liter of juice, kind big) even had ice cubes and a straw with them, fancy that! And cheap, only 10 lemps. So they made some good bank from all the missionaries buying 2 or 3 bags of juice, each, but it was totally worth it, as it was quite a long morning. And we were hungry. And I missed orange juice. And it was just really hot. So that was awesome.

Our night without light!
And the power went out at about 7:00 pm, so we had to go back to the house. Which was really sad, because we actually were teaching the lessons we had planned for! So we had to come back home and we're using candles to make some sandwiches for dinner and write in our journals, and then plan for the next day. Pretty sweet, right? We even sang Happy Birthday to each other and made a wish. (mostly that the power can come back soon, we gotta go teach and have our fans work again! Our house has no windows where the wind would actually be able to come in, so we have to rely on our fans, and they obviously don't work right now, so that's a little no fun.  But it's a little cooler in the night, so that's good. Hot, but a little cooler.) 

Candles are pretty neat, I like to watch the flame and see them all glowy... makes me think of Christmas and I feel all snuggly and warm!
But yeah, overall today was good. Mostly we are just thrilled to actually have some plans go through today, so we're just really happy campers! (We even got our little baby fire!)

Monday, July 20, 2015 -- Week #22 - Day #154 - San Pedro Sula

July 20, 2015

Today I think we had the best Pday I've had so far. We got the whole zone together, and went to a park, had a barbecue, and played volleyball. Isn't that so awesome?!
Our awesome Zone Activity!
That was my first big activity as a zone, so I was pretty happy that it all worked out. Got a little bit sunburned again, but I'm just a little pink. Back home you could feel the sun, and it was really bright and all, but here you can actually feel it pushing on you, and it's a lot more intense. That's what you get for being closer to the equator. I wonder what it's like in Brazil or Ecuador... eeep!

Also, as we were having our fantastic activity, a 5 foot iguana just ran past our group and skittered (although I don't think 5 foot iguanas really skitter) up a giant mango tree. Some of the elders started following it as it was running around, but no one could climb that tree, so it was safe. but yeah, that was pretty interesting. I love how they run, they just kinda rotate their limbs in their sockets, and they appear to be swimming along the ground. It almost looked like a small Komodo Dragon lizard from where I was, it was so big, but it is FAST. Go check out some vids of iguanas running, crazy stuff.
Also taught some lessons, of course, and found out that Carlos likes to listen to classical music, of all things. So we share that in common, thought that was kinda funny. I have absolutely no idea of where he can listen to it, but I wish him luck! I kinda miss listening to normal music, but it's all good. Most of what we pass by in the streets and taxis and buses-rapiditos is Evangelical, assorted pop songs, hard rap (in English and Spanish, I don't know what the genre's actually called, but it's the angry, not clean kind of rap), Reggae ton (which I secretly love, but you gotta be careful with some of the songs) and whatever's on the TV (usually a futbol match). And if you go out to eat, usually it's popular songs from back home in English. At home, of course, we listen to Church related songs, which are a lot calmer and it's a little easier to understand all the words (mostly because I've listened to the same 14 songs everyday for 5 months, you start to pick up on the words eventually).  But yeah, it's all good. 

There's also this cool Mormon Message called "Moments that Matter Most" I think, and it's with slow-mo clips of stuff that happens in life, there's another one similarly titled, which is also good, but I like this one better. Try to look it up sometime, we watched it while eating lunch the other day.  click:  "Moments that Matter Most"

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015 -- Week #22 - Day #153 - San Pedro Sula

July 19, 2015

Sunday! And we had some investigators come to church! Yay! That's always awesome. I think today was also the last time that Nefi (our Ward Mission Leader) was going to teach, as he's gonna get married here in about 2 weeks and move to a different ward. So we'll hopefully get a replacement fairly soon, but we're happy for him!
Our last Sunday with Nefi! He's our Ward Mission Leader and is getting married this Saturday, August 1.
The chico on the right is Danny, he comes on visits with the missionaries pretty often, getting his papers ready to go on his own mission as well!
For lunch we went to a member's house, and we got a mountain of spaghetti, a hard boiled egg, and boiled plantain. Very delicious. I've probably eaten more eggs here than in my whole life up to this point... almost every day we eat some form of egg. Also a lot of chicken. But it's almost always the thigh and leg portion, and either KFC style or boiled or something like that. So that's interesting. And a lot of rice. Lots and lots and lots of rice. And tejadas. And some queso and beans. And Coke. And that's about what we eat all the time. And of course, whatever fruits and veggies you buy and eat at home, and a gallon of water while walking around all day long between appointments (or walking to find people because the appointments fell... either works). 

Also made myself some limonada (limeade... lemons don't exist here. Seriously. No lemons, just limes), squeezed a little lime into a mug, added a couple tablespoons of sugar, and poured in my chilled water from the water bottle I keep in the fridge, and enjoyed myself immensely.  It tasted a little like Sour Patch Kids, actually. Honduras limes rock!

Saturday, July 18, 2015 -- Week #22 - Day #152 - San Pedro Sula

July 18, 2015

Today was good, really hot, am really grateful that we have working water... although it and the electricity periodically go out for a few seconds to hours at a time, so that's always fun. But for the great majority of the time I'm able to take a shower every night and feel about a thousand times better about myself.  Blessings! 

We visited with David and Janice and Gissell again today to review the lessons again after their baptism, and as we were going over the Restoration (that is sooooo weird to say in English!) we asked David who were some of the 12 Apostles, and he sat there thinking for a minute, and then finally looked up and said, "uh....Pedro, Santiago, Mateo... was Oscar one of them?" and we all cracked up laughing.  Silly kiddo, he's adorable.

We also had a wonderfully older Catholic lady explain to us why we were supposed to pray to the Virgin Mary, and another older Evangelical lady who loves us and always says hi when we pass by and congratulates us on our good work of sharing la Palabra with everyone... she's awesome.  There's some fun people here, wish you guys could meet them all!
I also have 5 months today, that's pretty crazy. I still can't tell if it's gone by quickly or slowly, but all I remember is that I left home in February when it was cold, and now I've been living in really hot for a while now, and we're halfway through July. Good times, my friends, good times.

Friday, July 17, 2015 -- Week #22 - Day #151 - San Pedro Sula

July 17, 2015

Everything is falling! We had 2 lessons in the morning, and then everything else fell through. We still found people to teach, but this is just a really weird week with everything not working out. Definitely do a lot of walking. 

It's funny to hear how people refer to their "spouses" that they're not actually married to, my favorite so far is "companero del hogar", or companion of the home/home companion.  People just need to get married!  But I understand because it is seriously a headache.  But they still need to get married!  It's so much better, I promise!

Anyways, we ended up helping a family make dinner, as the mom is single and needed to hurry and go to work, and had to leave her 2 kids at home, so we helped make some tortillas with quesillo, and we found 2 tomatoes and some cilantro and a lime to make a simple chimol to put on top, and that was dinner.  Last time we came we all ate a papaya, and that was dinner, as well.  But the tortillas turned out really well, so that good.
Hna Robles - Dinner time! 

I'm a pro at making the tortillas and quesillo and chimol, super simple and yummy... will make it for yall when I get back!
Also went to the ward talent show tonight, but since it started really late, we were only there for about 15 minutes before we had to go back home, so that was fun. Got some talented people in the ward, what we were able to see was some piano songs, and some dancing and some singing. So that was pretty neat.

Thursday, July 16, 2015 -- Week #22 - Day #150 - San Pedro Sula

July 16, 2015

Hna Robles turned 15 months old! Will finish up this change and then 2 more, and she goes home to Peru!

Today we had interviews with Pres, which are always wonderful, it was good to talk to him about my mission so far and he shared some good counsel and encouragement. And Hna Dester gave us some ridiculously good chocolate cookie bar things, like 4x5 inches big, so that was super duper awesome as well.  I've missed all the cookies and stuff we have at home... we don't have an oven or a blender here, so that limits us to a microwave and 2 burner stove, and most people aren't into baking and stuff here. So we enjoyed those very much.

Also taught some good lessons, we taught these 2 couples that need to get married before the guy gets baptized (both the women are members) so it's been a really big headache to get paperwork figured out and coordinate people to help, so we are still working on that. It is very complicated to get married here, kinda annoying.  But, it'll all work out and we can have 2 weddings and 2 baptisms! Yay!

Also, it's been very, very hot this week, the weather forecast tells us that right now it's 32 degrees, but feels like 48 degrees... in other words, we're experiencing weather that seems like it's about 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Fun, right? One of the sisters in the ward gifted us some little baby hand towels for us to use as we're walking around to help dry our faces off... we have some good people here.
Zanahoria, or carrot.
But these guys and huge and fat and juicy and I like them better than the
little skinny carrots we have back home.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 -- Week #22 - Day #149 - San Pedro Sula

July 15, 2015

Officing, lunch and basically all our lessons fell through. We did manage to bring a bunch of investigators to a ward activity where we played a bunch of games and somehow I ended up as a team captain, so that was good. Lots of walking around today.
Nativity set made and sold here, This one is from Hna Miller,will send it to her as she forgot to take it with her.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 -- Week #22 - Day #148 - San Pedro Sula

July 14, 2015

District meeting, lunch, hospitaling, and lessons... good day and very exhausted. As soon as we walk in the door at night we have zero energy, although we're actually pretty tired throughout the day.  "El sueno me pega" from about 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm, which is when we have lessons... so I'm yawning every 5 mins and I feel bad.  But everyday it's the same pattern... it's easier if we're walking around, but once I sit down it's really, really hard to not be sleepy.

Also, everyone always refers to what we do as missionaries, the scriptures, and the gospel in general as "la Palabra" or "la Palabra de Dios" and always pray and give thanks that they could hear "the Word" that day.  Pretty interesting. Always with "the Word".

It was hilarious when we had District Meeting, as we always have a little practice exercise, and today E Martinez and E Wight acted exactly like the investigators... all the mannerisms and comments and answers and everything. Very good acting, if I say so myself.  Sometimes it's harder to be a convincing investigator, but they did great, we were all laughing afterwards.

And Carlos is thinking about changing his job so he can go to church with us!  Whoo! And it was totally his idea as well, which is even more awesome. We've been slowwwwwwly making progress with him... he has such great desires to change and be better, but there's a lot of external and internal factors that make it a very big challenge for him.  But he's getting there!  So hopefully that will work out and he can start coming to church.
Breakfast! Made some potatoes
and eggs and orange juice and yogurt.
Very good.

Same breakfast, but zoomed in
to see the deliciousness!

Monday, July 13, 2015 -- Week #21 - Day #147 - San Pedro Sula

July 13, 2015

Pday! Studied, washed clothes, cleaned the house, went and had lunch at Lizeth's house (less-active member we're working with, she's fun to visit, and talks super, super fast), we had some kind of little round pasta with soy sauce, chicken, carrot, salchicha, celery, and a little salad of lettuce and tomato and corn, and boiled green plantain halves, and drank celery-carrot juice. Pretty awesome lunch, she loves to cook. Then we headed to Central to write our families, and we found out you can take a rapidito over there instead of a taxi, which is much cheaper... 8 lemps instead of 60 or 70 or 80, depending what you can talk the driver into.  So I think we'll try to use that instead. Afterwards we went to a shoe store to try and find some sandals for me, didn't find any that would work. Turns out I'm about a size 36-37 in the shoe sizing system they use here, so that's a jump from an USA 7. Then we headed back home and got ready for our lessons and everything. and went out and taught the gospel. Good stuff.

News from Honduras, people click their tongues at babies and kiss their hands. Like when there's a baby, and everyone's cooing and talking in high voices (which makes Spanish really hard to understand for me) they're all clicking their tongues. Pretty funny to watch.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday, July 12, 2015 -- Week #21 - Day #146 - San Pedro Sula

July 12, 2015

Today was Sunday!  Always love going to church. And Sara and Alonso and Luis came, too, so that made it even better.

Everything fell through, so we did a lot of street contacting and had one actual planned lesson.  Sundays always seem to be harder when it comes to missionary work, for some reason, probably because everyone's either sleeping or not home or is at a different church or some other reason. So we walked around a lot, and it was very sunny today, so it was hot.  But it's all good, tomorrow's Pday!

Saturday, July 11, 2015 -- Week #21 - Day #145 - San Pedro Sula

July 11, 2015

Started off the day with hospitaling, and we actually had an incredibly productive day, so that was a wonderful surprise. We can do it! Just gotta put a little more umph in our efforts, and we can see blessings.

Friday, July 10, 2015 -- Week #21 - Day #144 - San Pedro Sula

July 10, 2015

Rained again... I think it's very safe to say that we've entered the rainy season. So we alternate between it being relatively cool and raining to being very hot and humid with very strong sun. Sometimes in the same day. Definitely recommend having one of those small, compact umbrellas in your backpack at all times because you honestly don't know when it decides to rain.  Although Hna Robles is happy as a clam to walk in the rain and get soaked, so whatever floats your boat!

Today was good, most of our plans fell through, but we still taught some good people, and found a pulperia that sells the most fabulous coconut topo gigios, so we were pretty thrilled to have that bright spot in the day (it was hot before it rained around 6:00 pm) as we were walking all over creation.

In news from Honduras, there is a new Zika virus that's going around that's basically the same as Chikungunya and Dengue, but you get pinkeye as well. Weird, right?

We also passed by the Baede family (they're members) and they have 29 baby turtles!!! Ah! So cool! They found one of them last week, and then all of them hatched this week, so I got to hold one for a few minutes and it ran all over my hand with it's little feet. Their shells are about the size of a silver dollar and are a beautiful, clear green and yellow... that made me pretty happy!

In study time this morning, I read Bishop Gerald Causse's General Conference address entitled "Follow the Path of Happiness" and it was pretty awesome. I loved that he said "God will send you tangible signs of His existence and His love for you."  Which is very true. We are blessed through the guidance and reassurance of the Holy Spirit, and we also enjoy physical blessings that we can see and hold and use and talk to, whether it be having children in your family, a job to provide for yourself, food given to you when you don't have the means, a visit from a friend in happy times or in harder times, the earth we live on, the beds we sleep in, good grades after studying after studying all we can, playing with pets... how many blessings we have from a loving Father in Heaven is infinite. And we have these things that we may help others and thereby their lives may be blessed.  It's a circle of love and service. Neat, huh?

Thursday, July 9, 2015 -- Week #21 - Day #143 - San Pedro Sula

July 9, 2015

Today it rained again, really hard a few times, and from around lunchtime and onward, so we were out and about with our trusty umbrellas, once again there was hardly anyone outside. But we still had some good lessons, and definitely walked around a lot. We also had a "Noche de Hermanamiento", or Fellowshipping Night or something like that in English, basically it was an activity for members and investigators, and it turned out pretty well. We watched the video about John Tanner about the Law of Consecration, and talked about that for a bit, and then we played "Ama su projimo?", or "Do You Love Your Neighbor?", which is when you're all in a circle with chairs, and the person in the middle asks someone "Ama su projimo?" and if the person says yes, then they give a characteristic (has black shoes, wears earrings, has long hair, wears pants, etc.) and if someone in the circle has that thing, they have to switch seats, and the person left out continues; if the person says no, everyone has to change seats. Turned out very fun, everyone was laughing and running around all crazy... good times. But it was also awesome because Sara and Carlos came! Both investigators, and we've been trying to help Carlos come to the church almost the whole time I've been here, and we finally found him and brought him!  Whoohoo!  Now we gotta try and get him over there on a Sunday, but we're making baby steps!  And Sara's awesome, pretty much happy to go wherever we are and came to all the meetings last Sunday, so that's wonderful as well. Overall, everyone had a good time.

Good teaching from personal study from Bishop Gerald Causse:

"When we have the Spirit with us, our spiritual senses are sharpened and our memory is kindled so we cannot forget the miracles and signs we have witnessed." What a blessing it is to have the Holy Ghost in our lives!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 -- Week #21 - Day #142 - San Pedro Sula

July 8, 2015

It rained again! This time more towards the evening, so it was dark and wet as well. We were walking all over creation, and didn't find many people to teach because nobody goes outside when it's raining. But we did somehow manage to teach just about everyone we had planned for in the afternoon, so that was awesome.

Had some hospitaling and officing in the morning, what's hard is when the citas are first-come-first-serve, so you have to get there early, and you still wait for an hour to get in. Yeesh.  Although we can usually have a set appointment, and those usually go a little faster.

Random fact, I miss bacon.  Don't really have it here like they do back home, as far as I can tell. If there's one thing I miss, is family breakfasts (or breakfast for dinner! Also something we always did) with pancakes and whipped cream and hash browns and bacon and orange juice and everything... oh, that's really good. My family members always have mini chocolate chips in their pancakes, and only mine without, as I usually prefer un-chocolate-chipped pancakes. And we'd always go to great lengths to insure equal distribution of the bacon... that was fun.  We're very good at dividing improper fractions and such!

Also, I finally wizened up (after 3 months) and brought my jacket to leave in the office, as it is full of AC and I freeze every time we're there. So I was quite pleased with myself as I was making copies and filling out papers... Hna Robles got a good laugh. But it's a serious issue, you know, and even E Nunez and E Miguel had their little sweaters on, too. Apparently the thermostat's set to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but it feels a lot colder, and that little vent keeps turning on every few minutes and blows all my papers around. Silly AC.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 -- Week #21 - Day #141 - San Pedro Sula

July 7, 2015

Today was good, Honduras and the USA went against each other in a futbol match, USA won 2-1.  'MURICA!  We don't watch the games, but you can always hear the TV in every house as your walking around, and the people always talk to you about it. So I'm definitely more interested in futbol now, probably watch it when I get home (sorry, Dad!)

Had some hospitaling, bought some stuff at the pharmacy, and taught some lessons... normal day overall.

Monday, July 6, 2015 -- Week #20 - Day #140 - San Pedro Sula

July 6, 2015

Pday! Studied, cleaned the house, washed our clothes, showered, got ready for the day. Had lunch at Pizza Hut, wrote our families, and went food shopping. Good day. Also painted my toes orange again!

We watched "Finding Faith in Christ" with an investigator tonight, so that was pretty neat. I thought it was interesting how He [Christ] always asked if the person believed that they could be healed, and all answered yes. And although they each had differing amounts of faith, obtained in different ways, there was sufficient to work miracles... if someone's faith is comparable to a mustard seed it can move mountains.  In "Jesus the Christ," Elder Talmage explains this imagery, and it's actually very neat. This tiny seed has the potential and power to grow into a mighty tree, and such is our faith. We have the capability of growth and progress like this mustard tree. Neat stuff, this faith. Gotta learn more about it.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015 -- Week #20 - Day #139 - San Pedro Sula

July 5, 2015

Today was good, not many investigators came to church, but it was good, nonetheless.  In Relief Society, the lesson was focused on the General Conference talk, "Stay by the Tree" by Elder Kevin W. Pearson, so that was a good lesson, I recommend reading through the message.  click:  "Stay by the Tree"
Lehi's Dream (Book of Mormon - 1 Nephi 8) 
click:  1 Nephi 8

Had some more good lessons, and Ward Counsel, and more lessons.  Good Sunday.

Saturday, July 4, 2015 -- Week #20 - Day #138 - San Pedro Sula

July 4, 2015

We had 5 baptisms today! (2 for us, 3 for the elders) And it was awesome! Everything went smoothly and we started and ended on time and had clothes and people and everything.  Hallelujah!
Hna Robles, Janice, Gisell, Gabi, and me! Janice is 12, Gisell is 11, and Gabi is one of our investigators that came to the baptism. All are awesome!
Janice and Gisell finally were able to have their baptisms (they currently live in Tela and their dad had to bring them this weekend, but they should be moving here soon), they are amazing youths.  So awesome!  It's a wonderful gift to see the fruits of your labors and the continued happiness in the lives of these people that you teach. Good stuff.

And a quick trip to the hospital this morning and some more lessons. Great day, overall.