Monday, November 30, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015 -- Month #9 - Week #41 - Day #286 - Santa Cruz de Yojoa

November 29, 2015

Today was the Primary program! Funny how it doesn't matter what language you speak or where you're at in the world, kiddos are funny little people. Forgetting lines, singing off-key, breathing into the microphone... all the missionaries were smiling and quietly laughing as we enjoyed the presentation. I love kids!

And the light went out towards the end of church and into the lunch hour... so we made some PBJ's at home because we couldn't use our stove! Good times.

But we had a good day, did some visits, and went over and played with Rocky (Esperanza and Quincho's pitbull that was originally called Sultan) and helped make some baleadas. Just a quiet Sunday.

Saturday, November 28, 2015 -- Month #9 - Week #41 - Day #285 - Santa Cruz de Yojoa

November 28, 2015

Saturday! Which means tomorrow is Sunday! Almost finishing the week, and the month of November. I feel accomplished.

Today was good, we got a lot of visits done in the morning, which was awesome. Sad thing is, we dropped all our investigators in those visits. That's just what happens. We were teaching a lady that didn't like the Church because we only had formal worship services on Sundays. Apparently she needed more God in her life. Even though we explained about the Day of Rest, the Sacrament, and how she should have prayer and scripture study with her family everyday. Yup. Normally the churches here have 3-4 meetings a week, so she thought it was really odd that we didn't.

But we also got to make some Christmas ornaments! So we're gonna gift them to some of the members down on our side of things to help bring in the Christmas spirit. We made some little snowmen with foam cups and felt. I was in my happy spot making crafts again, and we had a glue gun! Ha! That was pretty crazy. I like glue guns.
And we discovered that Hno Rene doesn't like frogs. At all. He's actually quite scared of them. It's because we had him take us all the way up to Rosa so she could sew some skirts of Hna Escobar that were too long, and we found a frog on the way out. So, of course, I picked it up and held it, and Rene just started freaking out and ran away from me. So now we always tease him for that. Goofball.

Other than that, quiet day, just normal work.
And we like to toast our newly bought marshmallows over our newly sent stove! :P

Friday, November 27, 2015 -- Month #9 - Week #41 - Day #284 - Santa Cruz de Yojoa

November 27, 2015

Today we went to SPS! Again! This time it wasn't for medical stuff, we had to go up to an administrative building to get our residencia so we can be legal in Honduras. Go national relations! We got to take pictures (I bought a new shirt for the occasion the other day with some bday money. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!) and filled out some paperwork.
Lunch at Pizza Hut in SPS with my new Bday shirt!  (Thanks Grandma & Grandpa!) 
So that was a fun bus ride all the way over there. Asked some people where the building was along the way, and got ourselves over there, finally. Afterwards we had some lunch at Pizza Hut, and headed all the way back to SC.
Catholic cathedral in the Central
We got back just in time to go to the Coordinacion Misional that got canceled, and then we helped make a whole bunch of popcorn for the movie night that la Obra Misional is gonna be putting on every Friday night at 6:00 pm (see awesome poster that Hna Escobar and I made to announce the event!).

Tonight we watched Intensamente... I don't remember what it's called in English [Inside Out], but it's the family movie about the thoughts and feelings in your head? With the little girl named Riley? Everyone loved it, and now I always picture some little person in my head at the controls whenever I feel upset or happy or a little sad. It's actually a really cool movie. I really liked the parts when you could see the thoughts in the other people's heads. Warm fuzzies!

Pretty good day overall, just exhausted from traveling so much. I'm really glad that I was in SPS before and am familiar with all the rapiditos and Central and knowing where stuff is (including hospitals), as Hna Escobar has no idea how SPS is, and I basically have to take the reins when we go over there. But now she knows, so she can help out her companions and stuff. Knowledge is power, my friends! Use it wisely to help benefit and help people out.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015 -- Month #9 - Week #41 - Day #283 - Santa Cruz de Yojoa

November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

News of the day: we saw a baby almost get run over by a pickup truck and a dump truck. Yeah. We were walking around in the street, and we rounded the corner to see the 2 trucks coming at each other, with a baby crawling out into the street. And no one did anything until we yelled "La bebe! Miren!!!!", and then all the people started freaking out and ran in the street and scooped up the baby girl and ran her over to the parents. Adrenaline rush.

And, the bus-rapiditos guys are very insistent, so you gotta tell them that you're going to Mochito (which is like 2 hours away) to get them to leave and stop asking you where you're going. So we're always lying and saying we're going way over to Mochito. Always makes me smile.
Hermana Corimanya
Divisions!  Hna's Corimanya, Escobar, Delgadillo, Mower
And we found a new church: La Iglesia Evangelica Pacto Biblico de Santidad. I think we're around 30 churches now. Crazy.

But we actually had a Thanksgiving dinner! Whoo!
We all pitched in with the Flores and Guzman families for all the food, and I made the sweet potato pie and green beans.
This was Hna Escobar's first Thanksgiving, and was very amazed at my cooking skills. I was actually surprised it all turned out so nicely as well. But we went on a wild goose chase to find all the ingredients I needed. And since sweet potatoes don't exist here (trust me, I checked like 4 stores and 3 street market vendors) we substituted with camote, which is probably like a cousin of them, but with a bright purple skin outside, kinda yellowy-pink inside.

But once you put all the spices and marshmallows and everything in there, it tastes pretty much the same. So everyone really enjoyed eating that after the dinner for dessert. Go 'Murica!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 -- Month #9 - Week #41 - Day #282 - Santa Cruz de Yojoa

November 25, 2015

Today we had divisions with the Hermanas Lideres Entrenadores again! Yay!
Hna's Corimanya, Delgadillo, Escobar, Mower
This time I went with Hna Corimanya, as Hna Archila had already gone home with Hna Robles in October. And Hna Escobar went with Hna Delgadillo. Everything went pretty well, actually, although Hna Corimanya was all sick with gripe. So I did most of the talking. But it was all good. We actually were able to find everybody we planned for, which was a miracle. Good day overall, although we're all just totally wiped tired.

However, I will let ya'll know that I dreamed about buying buckets last night, but I was all upset because we went to 3 different places and they had ridiculous prices for the buckets, so we weren't able to buy them. Like 112, 235, and 157 lemps. Apparently I now tend to get a little upset in my dreams about a $6 plastic bucket. Oh dear.

We went over to Esperanza's and she gave us fried fish! The best fried fish I've had so far on the mission. SOOOOO goood!
And everyone says that I was a ballerina or a model before I came on the mission. Literally everyone. And that I'm a Barbie doll. Yup. Go gringa power!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 -- Month #9 - Week #41 - Day #281 - Santa Cruz de Yojoa

November 24, 2015

Our pila filled up! Yay! We still don't have water in the house, but we have it outside. Just gotta haul it into the house. And we also broke-cracked-damaged 2 of our 3 buckets, so we got to buy some more buckets here pretty soon. Hauling water is fun.

I would just like to correct myself: last week I said that we found some achote, the red seasoning thing that you dry the seeds and put in soup, and you actually spell it "achiote" with an i. So sorry about that mistake.

But today we went to District Meeting and had some good capacitation from E Ordonez. Also learned that the elderes are fanatics about Dove bar soap. The black and teal kind for men, of course, so they smell lovely, but it's just kinda funny to see them singing praises to Dove soap and seeing whose forearm smells the best. Goofballs. I love these guys.

I read a talk today in the Liahona and there's a quote from Randall L. Ridd that I love: "Real intent means doing the right thing for the right reasons."  And I might add "at the right time and in the right place". Many times we have everything but 1 or 2 things from that phrase correct, and that's why we run into problems. And also that we receive blessings just by the grace of God, we also get blessings from simple obedience, but we receive the greatest blessings and happiness when we understand why we must do something, and we are sincerely willing to do it. So that was my lesson of the day.
So we got home from District Meeting and had some lunch, and started doing our visits. We're actually planning to drop a bunch of people again, so that's gonna be fun. They just lose interest or ask us not to come by again. Grr. But it was kinda funny because one of the ladies we're visiting has a little 3 year old daughter. So during the lesson I reached up and scratched my head, and she then asked me if I had ants in my hair. Funny little girl.

But, this afternoon we also found some kiddos who had made kites from plastic bags and were flying them. But they were flying them WAY far away, like the kite was just a tiny black dot off in the distance. So that was a pretty fun, they have some good imagination.

Other than that it was just a pretty quiet day, didn't really do much excited stuff. Just walk around and talk to people.

Monday, November 23, 2015 -- Month #9 - Week #40 - Day #280 - Santa Cruz de Yojoa

November 23, 2015

Surprise Birthday Party!  Hna Escobar is super awesome and coordinated with the elderes and Hno Rene to make up a surprise lunch for my birthday. It was really good! Almost normal American food. We had barbecued chicken, stuffed baked potatoes, a salad with chimol, typical rice-veggie thing, and drank Coke (as always!). Happy Birthday to me, again!

Pretty quiet Pday, we gotta wash a whole lot of clothes, but there's no water... still. In fact, our pila is empty. So I took advantage of that and washed our pila (with powdered laundry detergent and a broom, go Honduras) as it's been a while without cleaned it out well.
Tends to collect twigs and leaves and dirt, even though we always keep it covered. Ha saber. And we also cleaned house and chilled for a little bit. Headed over to write nuestras familias y seres queridos, and got cleaned up again to go the setting apart of Karolhyna because she's leaving for her mission tomorrow morning. So we got to go to that!
We made her a letter of love and counsel and encouragement, and I drew on the envelope so it was all pretty,

and we made her a pink bead gecko for her backpack!
We also made a set of geckos for ourselves and the elderes. They're very handy when there's unquiet children so they have something unbreakable and unchokable to occupy themselves while we teach.
So I wrote down all the proceedings and notes from talks and blessings and such to give to her and her mother, (the Maria that gives us lunch on Wednesdays) and I also got called upon to give some words of counsel, so that was kinda fun. I like talking in microphones!

So we did all that fun stuff, and wished her well, and that we love and miss her. Hna Ramos always went on divisions with us, and she's just an awesome person. Go missions!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015 -- Month #9 - Week #40 - Day #279 - Santa Cruz de Yojoa

November 22, 2015

Happy Birthday to me! I turned 20!
And Hna Escobar made me a birthday surprise, so that was really sweet. She takes celebrations very seriously! So I got a banner, confetti, a little cupcake and a card from her.
Her birthday isn't until May 16, but I'll be sure to send her something in the Ruta (and send some threats as well to make sure it actually gets to her). She has definitely made the mission a good experience for me, and I hope that I have been able to help her as well. We all need good friends in this life.

And we went by some investigators to bring them to church, and supposedly they had gone off to ha saber donde, so we went over to the church by ourselves. Greeted the entire ward, and enjoyed the Sacrament Meeting. Went to our other classes, and afterwards we went over to Karolhyna Ramos's house (we have our only lunch there on Wednesday's) for her birthday celebration (and mine as well) as she's leaving Tuesday morning to serve in the mission Nicaragua Managua Sur, and her birthday is on Wednesday, the 25th of November. So we got to break the piƱata, and have cake, and I got my face smashed in the cake, as is the tradition, and we had a good time.
Karolhyna's double birthday party!
I'm grateful to the Ramos family for helping celebrate my birthday, even though I'm a foreign missionary and their own daughter is leaving so soon. They're really good people.

So today was actually a pretty good day, felt the love! It is a bit odd to be celebrating things without your actual family, but there's always a way for things to work out.

Saturday, November 21, 2015 -- Month #9 - Week #40 - Day #278 - Santa Cruz de Yojoa

November 21, 2015

Today was good, felt kinda long. Did some lessons in the morning, took a nap in the hammock at home during lunch time, and did another lesson. Then got ourselves to the church to help out with another baptism of the elderes in Yojoa. Of course we started an hour late (as normal) because we weren't able to get the building keys to fill the font (not normal), but everything worked out in the end. And there was a mix-up with the program, so the missionaries ended up doing everything with 5 minute's notice. I was music chair, choosing and leading the opening / interlude / closing hymns, E Lorenzana lead the service, E Hess baptized, E Ordonez talked about baptism and was a witness, and E Bate talked about the Holy Ghost and was a witness. Hna Escobar helped the hermana that got baptized with the clothes and changing and everything and was moral support for everyone. So we're a good little team!

And we stayed a few minutes afterwards for E Hess and Lorenzana to iron some shirts and charge their phone, as there hasn't been power in Yojoa for 3 days.  And the light went out again in our house as well as we were making lunch. In Yojoa they do have water, but not having things usually isn't the funnest of situations. But that's our reality here... we don't have a lot of things we want. But we still have a lot of good things, so that helps!

And we went and did another lesson, and came home. As we were walking back, this little puppy came bounding out from who knows where and decided it wanted to be my friend, darting in and out of my feet and following me for a good 2-3 minutes. I have never seen a dog act like that before, but it was kinda cute.

The leafcutter ants are still out there, hard little workers. And the guy that cuts our grass still hasn't come. But we made popcorn again tonight on our little stove, so we're happy. We're getting really good at making popcorn!

Friday, November 20, 2015 -- Month #9 - Week #40 - Day #277 - Santa Cruz de Yojoa

November 20, 2015

We did divisions with Wendy and Elizabeth, so we made up for some of our dats! So that was encouraging. We've made it a goal as a companionship to do divisions like this with the Laurels once a week to get some lessons with members, as it's kinda hard to get the majority of the members to come on visits with us due to work and kids and whatever else that happens in normal life.
We had lunch and did some more visits, then we all went to church to drop them off and we waited another hour for Legran to get to the church so we could have our Coordinacion Misional. Problem is, it started down-pouring as we were walking to the church, so we had to wait an hour until the rain lessened for Legran to come to the church.
The fabulous Friday of rain! 
So the elderes decided they wanted to go buy stuff at the pulperia (told you they eat all the time) and of course they don't carry umbrellas like a normal human, so they got completely soaked.

But we finally got everyone together in the same room, and had a very lively meeting with the 6 missionaries and our Lider Misional. There are some problems that need resolving, so we're still in process with that. We did plan some activities, so hopefully that helps things. We are definitely learning patience with this whole experience, and a whole lot of other Christ-like attributes. Good times!

After that we went over and visited Guadalupe, and went home. We still don't have water, so we're taking pila showers!  (Thanks Dad for the water bag shower dealios, they are very nice!)
I found a 5 inch slug outside....and took a picture :)
In addition to the locals saying "peekseena" for piscina (pool), you will also hear "peeksah" for pizza. Honduran Spanish! My favorite is all the announcements you hear about stuff in "s-AAAHH-ntah CRUZ de joh-HOH-AH!!!" There is a marked cadence to the speech.

Thursday, November 19, 2015 -- Month #9 - Week #40 - Day #276 - Santa Cruz de Yojoa

November 19, 2015

Weekly Planning! Always a fun 2 hours. Had lunch, then headed off to lessons. Then we ran into Hno Rene (the very less-active member that drives us around in the moto-taxi) in a bakery as we were wanting a pastry to eat, so we talked for a little bit and actually shared a scripture with him and invited him back to church. He's a really good guy, just works too much. And doesn't remember my name (although I've been here for 4 months now and see him on a very regular basis, I think he does that to tease us). We shared the machete scripture in 3 Nefi 13:31-34 that we used on Javier, and he agreed that it was quite powerful. We'll see if he comes to church on Sunday.
Hno Rene of the moto in the bakery, eating pastries!

Then we did some more lessons, and passed by Esperanza (I love that lady!) to say hi and share a quick scripture, and turned out that she gave us food that's actually good! We got some beans, tortillas, and carne asada (grilled meat) with a lime slice and a chile. So good!
The meat was kinda tough, but it's been over 7 months since I went to Hijo de Cacho with Hna Robles, and that was the last time that I've had actual grilled meat that was delicious and edible. I was so happy! I really miss steak and kabobs and grilled chicken and broiled fish and everything from back home. We just don't eat meat here. Unless it's these weird sausage things that don't taste good, or eggs or some other strange kind of ground meat pieces. Chicken abounds, but I don't really like the way they make it. Either it's KFC style, or guisado... kind boiled in a thin sauce with a bunch of cilantro. And it's not boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs all nice and clean... it's the entire chicken chopped into 4 quarters and you just go at it with all the bones and veins and everything. Yup. I know I sound like a total white girl, but I am constantly craving a giant salad with real spinach and 3 kinds of lettuce, with carrots and purple cabbage and cherry tomatoes and cheddar cheese and bacon and ranch and strips of grilled chicken breast on top. Oh yeah, that sounds so good. But doesn't exist here.

So visited with Esperanza, and then passed for some other people, but weren't home / didn't receive us, so we went over to our dinner appointment with the previous bishop's family - Obispo Reyes (the newly sustained bishop is Obispo Bardales, of the family that gives us dinner in the church on Wednesdays). And, with it raining and all again, the light went out for a good 10-15 minutes. The water and light have been going out a lot. Grrr.

But we got to give some service! Hna Escobar studied accounting in her college studies, and was working before coming on the mission, so is very good at Excel. Obispo Reyes is a high school teacher, and was entering all the grades from this past cycle into a form in Excel. So I read off the numbers as Hna Escobar entered them into the computer. She also put in some formulas and password-locked the document and everything to help him out. So he was very pleased and would like for us to come by during the week to teach him how to use Excel better. Go education! I got the English-Science-Literature standpoint down, and Hna Escobar's got Math-Computers-Public Communication. Whoo!

We have also had these leafcutter ants running around again, this whole week they've been hauling leaves out by our gate outside. So we get to step over them every day as we leave and come back home. Good little workers.

And I think I somehow pinched a nerve in my lower back this morning, so that's kinda bothering me. Hna Escobar finished up her pain medication as well 2 days ago, and we're waiting until Monday for the results on an exam, and then she can start another round of pain medication. So we're just a pair of awesome little missionaries right now! We're also still without water in the house, and the light goes out occasionally throughout the day. The guy that comes by and cuts the grass hasn't come in a month either, so we're wading through a forest to get to our house. We're just kinda in a holding pattern right now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 -- Month #9 - Week #40 - Day #275 - Santa Cruz de Yojoa

November 18, 2015

Happy 9 months to me!
And 8 months to Hna Escobar!  She's so awesome, I love that girl. She stayed up a little later last night to put up some decorations for my tummy photos this morning. And she's just so dang awesome. And always tells a ton of funny stories that have happened to her. And always asks good questions during study time so we go scripture hunting to find answers. I wish all of you could meet her!

So yeah, I put my tummy on for my 9 months!  
That's the tradition with the hermanas for milestones. The elderes burn ties and shirts and things, and we have tummies.

We then went off and taught some lessons, and went hunting for a few people, but didn't find them, so we taught someone else, instead. Headed over to our only lunch appointment of the week, and ended up staying there for a while as I was helping Kathia with her English classes.  
I edited a story that she was using to teach the kids, as it didn't really make a whole lot of sense. I think it was written by a Russian, and translated through 5 languages before getting to English. If you have a minute, look up a video on YouTube that's called something along the lines of [Google translate "Let it Go"].  I totally get why you don't use internet translators on all the text in a language class. It turns out really weird. So I took a picture of the original typed story and the reworked version that I wrote out what made a little more sense, at least from a diction and grammar standpoint. Obviously, it could use a LOT more background/character development/plotline to be an actually coherent story, but it has potential. Go English!  
So we went from that fun adventure to some other lessons, and then headed to the church for our dinner, which we ate with the elderes in the Nursery room. And then one more lesson, and headed home. I'm actually quite exhausted.
And we found some dolls in the Nursery and decided to take some pics with them!
And, fun fact of the day that's gonna make anyone who knows nutrition hate my guts: I ate pure carbs today. EVERYTHING. I'm actually not quite sure how I feel to have accomplished that feat. There's a first time for everything, right?

- Breakfast was pancakes that Hna Escobar made for me

- Lunch was a great big helping of rice, as always, and some kind of chicken liver/organ of some sort that I didn't like, so we switched that out for pasta (some little pasta balls called marmaon, not sure what the English equivalent is, it's like giant acini de pepe)

- Kathia treated us to some [pan de coco], so that was another big chunk of carbs (means coconut bread, but it's basically a normal dinner roll from back home, apparently they use coconut milk when they make them and that makes them different from normal bread. Nothing near what coconut bread is in my family. We put in a healthy helping of sugar, is more like a cake, and actually tastes like coconut)

- Dinner was baleadas, but I was so full eating the pan de coco and drinking a ton of water, that I just ate some of the tortilla and a spoonful of beans

- After-planning-snack was the rest of the baleadas and some leftover rice
Super healthy, right?

And we also found another church: La Iglesia de la Vision Celestial. I think that brings our total to something like thirty churches here. It's nuts. But I think it's the Pentecostal church up the road that's always shouting, "LA IGLESIA PIDE FUEGO!!!!!!" over and over again. Basically they're saying that the church is asking for fire. Like the Spirit or something. Actually kinda scary. And it's a woman pastor, so that makes it more interesting. Not dissing religions, I'm just saying that I'm not really up for shouting and jumping around in church. Sitting is about as exciting as I want to get.

And, fun fact, Guadalupe is actually a guy's name. Kinda like Andrea. Depends on the country and personal preference.
Some pretty flowers!

And found some poinsettias! It's getting closer to Christmas.