Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015 -- Month #10 - Week #46 - Day #318 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

December 31, 2015

It's New Year's Eve! An entire year has gone by again.
And I made cocoa with peppermint sticks! Thanks, Mom!
We had Weekly Planning in the morning, then went to lunch and had chicken liver again. Then we went contacting, as we still don't really have any progressing investigators, and explored some more of our area. I think El Dorado is about a third of the size of our area back in Santa Cruz, so I think we've covered just about all the ground now, we're just missing one little neighborhood to go walk around. Then we finally found a sweet little old lady that was willing to have us share a message with her, so we sat ourselves down and talked to her for a while. By the end we knew she wouldn't progress, either, but she is still a good person to visit every once in a while. Then we headed over to Manuel and Carla, who are the Elder's Quorum president and the first counselor in the Relief Society, they're awesome, humble people. I love them. So we visited with them for a while and shared a talk from the Liahona. And then they gave us some cantaloupe! Well, they call it melon here, as there's no honeydew, but it was good and sweet and yummy nonetheless. Very messy to eat, but it was yummy. Sometimes you don't realize how hungry you are until you start eating. Then we had to go home a little earlier than normal due to it being New Year's Eve and all, so we quickly planned and went to bed as we were exhausted. Problem was, it was really hard to sleep since there were all these explosions going off every few seconds. I honestly can't call them fireworks, as they didn't shoot into the sky and explode in beautiful colored lights. It's just firecrackers and bombs and gunpowder explosions going off and shrieking into the night. And then at midnight everything went crazy and all the explosions doubled. So that was fun. And with all the metal roofs and tile floors all the houses are echoey, including ours, so all the reverberations were exaggerated. So that was a hard night.

Funny experience of the day: we went to a pulperia to grab a few things before coming home, and I asked the guy there for a few small bags of chips. Instead of turning and getting the chips, he just sat there and stared, then made the comment, "You speak really good Spanish!"  So I can definitely ask for chips very well, apparently.
And these chips don't even have a full serving (look at the serving size and the servings per container)
And in our exploring efforts today, we found some churches! I don't think there's quite as many as there were in SC, but we're slowly building our numbers here:
- Catholic church (that's a given here)
- la Iglesia Victoria
- la Iglesia de Dios el Jardin de Eden (had Stars of David outside on the sign, but it doesn't sound like a very Jewish church)
- el Centro de Vida Emanuel

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 -- Month #10 - Week #46 - Day #317 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

December 30, 2015

Today was a little crazy, but pretty good overall. Just had a bunch of meetings and some visits. Contacted some people that didn't want anything to do with us. Had to go find the building keys again. We gave the spiritual thought and did the games for la noche de hermanamiento. I'm tired!
Some photos of our area...

And a pretty flower we found while walking around...

Hna Mora!

I accidentally took a picture that looks kinda like the Second Coming... really cool, actually.

And me!
And a pretty little pink flower
These are ticucos... corn masa, beans steamed in a corn husk... pretty good.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 -- Month #10 - Week #46 - Day #316 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

December 29, 2015

Today was Tuesday, which means we had District Meeting! But the ZL's didn't come, so it was just us 4. We basically talked about increasing contacts and talking with everyone and all that fun stuff. I correctly identified Dan Jones from an image we were shown, and we read Preach My Gospel in Spanish, but talked in English. It was a fun meeting.

We then headed over to return the building keys (that we had to go get before the meeting, and the guy lives 10 minutes walking up a 50-degree-grade hill... it is paved, though, so that's nice) and met up with the elderes again to get lunch at Mi Negro Bello which is a place on the side of the highway that served grilled meat with tajadas and encurtido and queso and refried beans. Pretty good food. So that was good. And then we went down to the internet place again to make some calendars and reports for our Ward Mission Leader and to give to the Branch Counsel, so I got to utilize my Microsoft Office skills (thanks, Mom and Dad!) and do all that. Reminded me a lot of being back in school, actually. So we did that and headed back home and did some visits. Quiet day.

Monday, December 28, 2015 -- Month #10 - Week #45 - Day #315 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

December 28, 2015

Today was Pday! And we got up at 4am to go to Copan Ruinas with our district! Whoo! Yeah, we were kinda tired. But we had to get up early to get ready and everything, and walk down to Centro, and find the ATM to pull out cash (because we were almost broke and didn't have enough to drop on the bus rides, entrance fee, souveniers and lunch), and walk over to where the busses are by 6:00 am. Busy morning! So we hopped on the bus and started our trip, but half an hour into it (when we got to the area of Florida) the driver decided he was hungry, so he parked the bus and got himself a baleada. Just sat himself right down at the table and ate it and drank his coffee. And we stayed on the bus, waiting a half hour for him to finish. That's Honduras for 'ya.

So we got back on the road, and it was about another hour until we got to the Ruinas, saw some really cool fog and stuff between the mountains, but my camera decided to not cooperate, so I didn't get very good pictures. And you're going at like 40 miles an hour, and the reflections in the window and the angle and everything didn't really help, either. So just try to imagine this really awesome fog in the valleys of really green and tree-filled mountains with the early morning sun streaming through. I'm sure whatever you see in your head is fairly close to this morning.
Copan Ruinas (2nd visit)
And we got to the Ruinas! We were sooooo happy to get off that bus! But we got in, dropped 330 lemps to get in as my residencia card hasn't come yet so I'm still considered to be a foreigner (it's 80 lemps to get in if you're Honduran) and went exploring around the Mayan ruins again, although it was the first time for Hna Mora and E Poulson. It seemed a little less stressful in a way than the time I went with Pres and Hna Dester, and we went down a few paths that we didn't have time for before. And of course, it's a different adventure with a bunch of hyperactive elderes. And it was a lot cooler as we started at about 9:00 am or so, and there weren't very many touristy people with it being that early (also very nice, pictures look better without a bajillion people).
And we saw a squirrel... haven't seen one of those in all my time on the mission. Reminded me of home.

We found a hole in one of the temples, so of course we decided to climb down and take pictures!
And there was this altar/table thing also, but I think my legs look really big in these pictures... maybe from the angle?

Hna Mora and I!

Some carvings...very dramatic lighting with the early morning sun.

The Staircase
So the elderes messed around and we all hopped around on the rocks and found spiders and threw grass at each other and climbed down some holes and stuff. Very fun.
Found some neat spider webs...

and one of the spiders caught a fly as we were watching....pretty neat!
Hna Mora enjoyed it and I thought it was fun to visit it again. And towards the end they were feeding the birds that live there, so there was this huge, beautiful scarlet macaw that was at one of the feeders and we walked right up to it and I took a picture with it! The tail feathers were about 3 feet long, and when it turned around on the feeder you had to duck to not get hit. That was really cool.
A guacamaya (scarlet macaw)
And an interesting little animal I don't remember the name of...
More guacamayas!
Upon leaving the Ruinas we passed by some roadside stands that sell a whole bunch of stuff, so we all gave in and bought things! I bought a little hand-carved Mayan calendar stone and small 2 statues, all for $3.18. Pretty proud of myself. Because in any other touristy place down here you'll buy that same little statue for anywhere up to about $7 or $8, just the one. So you've gotta know where it's good to buy stuff. We didn't find everything we were looking for, though, so I advised Hna Mora and E Poulson to wait until they went to Guamalito in SPS and buy what they wanted from the member lady that we know that works there, as it's already less expensive in SPS (because it's not as touristy as the Ruinas) and she gives us almost a half-off discount. But it was nice to have some fun new presents for ourselves.

We then found a place for lunch, and I got an 8 oz steak! And a baked potato! I was so happy! It was still kinda Honduran-style (you just can't find Texas barbecue anywhere else in the world) but it was really, really good and I was just thrilled to have some good-tasting red meat again. And it was all decently priced, so overall lunch was a huge success.

And our really good lunch!
And we went and found a bus that would take us back to El Dorado and I slept for most of the way back (we'd been up since 4:00 am, remember?. Then we went over to the internet place and wrote our people! We actually got there a little later than normal, so we weren't able to write to everybody, because we still had to do some shopping and get home and changed to go do visits, so sorry about that, people I missed. But we had a really good day. Super exhausted, but it was good.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015 -- Month #10 - Week #45 - Day #314 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

December 27, 2015

Today was sort of a repeat of yesterday, meeting-wise. Had church in the morning, where we ended up giving the Relief Society lesson with short notice, went home for lunch, then headed back up to the church for Branch Counsel. Problem there was that nobody came for a good hour and a half. So we waited and talked to the 2 or 3 members that actually did come on time. Finally we decided we would just hold the Counsel with us 6 there, and we also worked a lot of things out and discussed some of the challenges we have here and how we can solve them. So that took awhile.

Afterwards we went and visited a less-active family where just the 2 kids go, but they are really sweet people. We also had a good lesson with them, and I liked being with them.

And we got ourselves home and planned and I made cocoa. Even though it's like 60-70 degrees at night, and I was happy. Thanks for the Swiss Miss, family!
Hot chocolate mix and peppermint sticks!