Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #59 - Day #409 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 31, 2016

Today was good, had Weekly Planning, lunch, and we visited a bunch of members that are less active, got to know them a little better. We went with this one couple whose daughter served in Peru and just got back a few months ago, so they spent about an hour showing us all the souvenirs she brought back and talking about things. Really good family. They also invited us to lunch on Sunday after Conference, so that was really nice.

Have another research question: when someone has a stroke, is the paralysis always on one side of the face? And which side is it? It's cause there's a lot of people here that say they've had strokes, and the majority have the right side of their face or body paralyzed. Just curious.

And a lovely person in the street yelled at us that we were missionaries of "la ley de la vida de Dios". Maybe he was confused about what church we're from. So that's now a joke between Hna Cruz and I. People say a lot of funny things, actually.

And we ran by and visited Carmen, with her little baby because it was her birthday. So we wrote her a little card and bought her a pair of earrings. Here a lot of people like the earrings that are the 2 balls, with the small one in front and the giant one at the back. I've seen them since the beginning of my mission back in SPS, but I've just never mentioned them in my letters before. But they are very common. Do people wear them back home? I personally think it looks kinda odd. But we bought Carmen a really pretty pair, the front ball was made up of small, gray, sparkly stones, and the back ball was a big pearl. So they were conservative but look very nice, approved by my wonderful self! So Carmen enjoyed those. She's a good lady.

And that was pretty much our day, still waiting on the water. But we did find another church: Iglesia el Buen Pastor. I just find it interesting that there's not many churches that actually have the name of Jesus Christ in them.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #59 - Day #408 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 30, 2016

Wednesday! In the morning we went over to Santa Luz (about a mile from La Entrada) and found some lovely people to teach about Easter and the Atonement. They liked my eyes a lot. Very blue, very pretty. Apparently their grandmother had blue eyes as well. But, nice people all the same.
Walking back from Santa Luz!

(A little bright and sunny!  Kinda squinty! :)
And then we had lunch with Hna Olympia, and did a whole bunch of visits. We also finally discovered where one of the members lives, so we'll be able to visit her as well.
In the lunchtime news we heard that apparently someone had stolen the electrical transformer in the water treatment plant or whatever, and that's why no one has water. They steal the transformer and then sell the copper coils inside. Yeah. So I'm guessing we'll be a few more days without water until they get the situation figured out.

The news was also talking about some public controversy (is that how you spell that?) over where they should put the new cemetery. Apparently we've got some touchy people, but a whole bunch of dead ones. And most of the land around here is actually pretty rocky because of all the mountains and everything, but it's super green with plants all over. Just lots of dust. Sooooo much dust.

And Hna Cruz informed me that the spatulas of silicon or plastic that are used to scrape out the bowls with cake batter and whatnot are called "la miserable", or the miserable one, because they don't leave anything behind to lick and enjoy. Sad little spatulas!

And we also emptied out the 15 gallons of water we had in the pila, stored it in buckets and a 5 gallon water jug, and scrubbed the pila so it would be all nice and clean when the water comes. Because we still don't have water in the house or bathroom or pila. But we have a beautiful pila that's ready! It's actually pretty deep. To open the plug at the bottom I have to balance my hips on the edge and lean forwards almost upside down to reach the plug. I don't know how short people would do it. Perhaps they have to jump in the pila. But to clean a pila you drain out all the water with most of the dirt and leaves and whatnot that accumulates at the bottom, then you splash a little water on the sides and sprinkle on some powdered laundry detergent. Then you grab your broom and start scrubbing. Then splash everything with water until the soap is washed away, and replace the plug. And there you go. Clean pila.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #59 - Day #407 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 29, 2016

Today I was really tired! All my body was being uncooperative. But we had a good District Meeting, E Matamoros is a good DL and always gives good training. He finishes his mission in October. E Poulson in almost a year and a half (he came with Hna Mora), E Markus in June and E Toolson this change in April. So we're all a bunch of oldies with E Poulson, poor guy. But we're happy, trying to work well until the end. "El fin se acerca, y hay poco tiempo!" (lyrics to a hymn)

Had lunch and went looking for some more people, and then we helped with homework again, and taught some more visits, and did a Noche de Hogar with the lechuga preguntona! The Question Lettuce! Whoo! And then we had (untoasted) marshmallows and banana soda with cookies as the refreshment. That was the first time in at least 13 months (because I don't think I did that at home) I have eaten marshmallows straight up. It was awesome. And very, very sweet. But they're good people and we enjoyed our time with them.

Hna Cruz probably thinks I'm crazy because I'm always playing with people's dogs... my favorite is called Muneca and she's the dog of Keyla and Alexandra, and she's calm and friendly and soft and wonderful.
Me petting Muneca
And today she was sad because her little dog friend passed away yesterday morning. So she curled up against my leg and I rubbed her head while we visited today. Keyla and Alexandra showed us the little grave and everything.
Munequito's grave
Poor little guy. He was actually kinda sick all these past few months, and about a month ago he was starting to get better and was growing more and actually had hair, and then apparently he woke up dead in the morning. So that was sad. But other than that we're fine.

Monday, March 28, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #58 - Day #406 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 28, 2016

Another Pday! I love those days. Rinse and repeat on all normal Pday stuff, except that there wasn't much water in the pila since it came on Saturday but we weren't home to open the faucet thing to fill it. But it should come in a day or two so we'll be fine.

And we did a few visits and tried to find our investigator that vanished. No luck. Also doesn't answer their phone.

But we're happy and healthy, just living the life as a missionary in Honduras. I'm still loving my sandals, and my backpack has stayed intact all this time. So I'm pretty happy with everything. And I bought myself the equivalent of Takis, so I'm even more happy.

Sunday, March 27, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #58 - Day #405 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 27, 2016

Happy Easter! Kinda weird not to have Easter egg hunts and chocolate bunnies or anything. But today was good, felt a little more focused on Christ.

Hna Cruz gave a talk about Family History that was really good today in Sacrament Meeting. In Gospel Doctrine we talked about the Book of Mormon, and in Relief Society about the Commandments. Good day overall. Just still crazy tired. Traveling really takes it out of you!

But we had a good lunch and watched my Bible videos DVD that my family sent me, I translated for Hna Cruz as I couldn't find any options for Spanish. But it helped because she's familiar with the Bible stories so she figured out what was going on pretty well.

And we had Branch Counsel, like always, and went looking for more people that weren't home. Or that were home or had a whole bunch of people over already. So that was interesting. Did some wandering around but we got to visit with some people. And then tomorrow's Pday!

We're good, happy, tired, and ready for a normal week of working here. Onward and upward!

Saturday, March 26, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #58 - Day #404 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 26, 2016

Interviews with President Dester! Those are the best. Hna Dester made us brownies and gave us apples and water. They're awesome. So this morning we had to go hunt down the building keys and get things all pretty for the interviews, and then did a quick visit, and came for our interviews and talked with Hna Dester and then locked everything up again and Hna Cruz and I went out to eat because we were very hungry, and gave the keys back, looked for some more people that weren't home (other great thing about Semana Santa: nobody, and I mean nobody, is home) and tried to contact but honestly nobody is here in El Dorado, and then watched the Women's Conference (in Spanish) and went looking for more people that weren't there. And that was our day. Super exciting.

It was kinda weird to be talking with Hna Dester because in our district of 6, there's 4 gringos and 2 latinos, and then the Florida district showed up where it's half and half, so there was a whole lot of English happening and the latinos felt a little uncomfortable. Which made us feel bad, but that's also how we feel when we first come to the mission. People take their language for granted. So we tried to speak Spanish as much as possible, but it was kinda weird. And Hna Dester knows a lot of Spanish, to be honest, but it's still a little tricky for her and we were talking about things from home, so it was easier in English. Oh well.

Good day, still very tired, and tomorrow's Sunday! The week went by pretty fast.

Friday, March 25, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #58 - Day #403 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 25, 2016

Guess what? Apparently on Friday in Semana Santa there's no busses or rapiditos that work. And the mototaxis will charge you 150 lemps (normally rides are 10 lemps) to go all the way to La Entrada. So that was an interesting turn in our plans. But we went and worked in the morning in the lovely sunshine and finished divisions, and then started out walking back to our area as we didn't have resources to stay another day in Florida, and we needed to take care of a bunch of things in our own area.
Hna Mower, Bautista, Mora, Cruz
So I was rocking the ancient traveler-person look with my working backpack on my back, traveling backpack in front, and I had draped my microfiber towel on my head and neck, Israelite-style so I didn't aggravate my sunburn as we walked in the sun.
Getting ready to walk with my towel on my head!
So we were hiking along for about 2 miles on the road when all of a sudden the Branch President of the Florida branch came driving by in his truck with his wife and daughter, so they gave us a very much-needed ride back to La Entrada. So that was a nice miracle. God takes care of His children! And the poor little missionaries who will never do divisions in Semana Santa again. It's not so awesome when the normal transportation doesn't work.

But we got back home safe and sound, got unpacked and ready to work again, and did some visits and looked for a bunch of people. Also got some wisdom from a random drunk fellow that decided to contact us while we were contacting another person. Basically he said that we shouldn't be prideful. Because it's bad. So I will try and work on being full of humility instead of pride. Which is something I still need to be better about. Sometimes drunk people have good things to say. Hard to understand, but more or less there's sense in there.

But with our road trek adventure, we walked about 6 and a half miles today. All in the sun. So I'm pretty proud of myself. I am really curious to know how much I walked everyday back home. Probably less.

Thursday, March 24, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #58 - Day #402 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 24, 2016

Weekly Planning and then hopped on the only rapidito that was working today to do divisions. This time we both went and stayed in Florida with Hna Bautista and Hna Mora (my previous companion!).
Hna Mower, Hna Cruz, Hna Bautista, Hna Mora

Divisions in Florida
Reunion with previous companion - Hna Mora!
I got to hang out with Hna Mora again, so that was awesome, fun to get some English in there. Although we kinda talked Spanglish... any mission or Gospel terminology and we revert to Spanish. But we shared a whole bunch of lessons about Easter and the Atonement of Christ, so that was good. Got lost a few times as Hna Mora is still learning the area, but we met some interesting people and we had a very good day. And had pizza for dinner! Not as good as the pizza from Joe's in SPS, but it was good and I was happy. And I found some other churches: Ministerio Internacional "Fuente de Luz"and Asamblea de Dios "Templo Esmirna".

But good day overall, happy with what we got done.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #58 - Day #401 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 23, 2016

Aaaaand today was hot! With lots of sun! Got myself a beautiful red sunburn on just the left side of my face and neck from walking around in the morning. Yeah, I look awesome.
Ouchy!  Sunburn!
We finished up divisions with Ruinas this morning, and with all the bus craziness of Semana Santa, we didn't get back to our area until a little later than we had planned. But we're alright, just really tired. And we were able to help our the hnas in Ruinas so that was good.

And we were able to do some work in our area, and tomorrow we'll do divisions in Florida. Whoo!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #58 - Day #400 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 22, 2016

We got up at normal time (we were still tired, but that's normal) and got ourselves packed up and ready, and started heading over to Copan Ruinas.
Copan Ruinas!
Hna Mower and Hna Cruz traveling to divisions
We had our District Meeting there with them, had lunch, and then I stayed with Hna Poot and Hna Cruz went with Hna Farao up to our area.
Me with Hna Poot
Had a good day, lots of walking, it was still kinda cold so I put my sweater on at night. And we visited a family with a child with Down's syndrome, he's named Mateo and is a sweet little kiddo. And the mom's sister is deaf, so it was interesting to try and figure out sign language in Spanish. So that was a fun visit. And with another family the cat took a serious liking to me and parked herself on my lap. The dad took her off about 4 times and she always came right back and slept on my lap again. I didn't mind as it was cold and she made it a little warmer, but it was just kinda funny how she decided that she wanted to be in that exact spot and wouldn't budge. I'm personally a dog person, but that made me laugh. And I found some more churches that I think already exist in the list, but this one is new: Ministerio Renovacion Cristiana. And yeah, really tired from working today. Goodnight!

Monday, March 21, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #57 - Day #399 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 21, 2016

Another Pday! Whoo! Today was cold and rainy, which was kinda random, but we toughed it out with our sweaters. We did all our normal Pday stuff and visited a family where the mom's a member and the dad isn't and they have 2 little twin boys that love to play. So that was good, they gave us ice cream afterwards!

Other than that, not much has happened, we're gearing up for divisions this week in Copan Ruinas and Florida. then a normal week, then Potrerillos and Villanueva and the leadership meeting, and the next week in Santa Rosa and Dolores. And then the change ends! We just keep on trucking.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sunday, March 20, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #57 - Day #398 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 20, 2016

Sunday! We were up and about fairly early to go search out and bring a bunch of people to the Church. Only 2 were able/decided to come, so that was a little discouraging, but we were very happy that 2 of them came. My talk went well, I always feel like I just spout random things for 10 minutes and then sit down. Ah. But overall all the classes and everything went well. I liked the Relief Society class that Hna Blanca gave today about Jesus Christ and the Atonement and Resurrection (I hope I spelled that right in English). She told us all to close our eyes and imagine the life of Jesus and to pay attention to what we saw and felt. I thought about the Greg Olsen painting where He is sitting on the hill, overlooking Jerusalem, that goes with the scripture about how He gathers us as a hen gathereth her chicks. And I felt peaceful and calmed. So that was a meaningful lesson today. And I invite you guys to try that as well. Close your eyes in a quiet place and think about Jesus for a few minutes.
O Jerusalem
And after Church we came home and ate all the rest of the food from the fridge. Our beautiful problem was that somehow we didn't buy water yesterday and we didn't have any purified water to drink or use. So we had to fill our purifying water bottles and then squirt the water into a pitcher and use that. We felt like the 5 foolish virgins from the parable! But we were alright, didn't die of thirst. And the light didn't go out today so we were able to cook! That was the awesome part. It's been going out a lot this week.

And Consejo de Rama, and some visits. Busy day.

But tonight we killed a palm-sized brown tarantula!
Tarantula time!
It was hanging out in the corner of the pila above the water line, and I knew it wouldn't drown easily, so we put our tennis shoes on and splashed it with water in the pila so it would curl into a ball, then I scooped it out and threw it on the ground and Hna Cruz squished it with one of our plastic bucket things.
And we sprayed it with permethrin to make sure it was really dead, which it was. That was the first time I've killed a tarantula in the mission. Kinda random. But we're alright, Hna Cruz is developing skills as well! She's learning my motto: "If you're gonna kill something, you'd better kill it good". We'll be a little more watchful of the critters in our house and whatnot. We saw a squished cockroach in one of our visits today. And there's always ants and mosquitoes everywhere. I actually got a few new bites today. Darn mosquitoes.
And me afterwards, please note the tennis shoes and flashlight as safety measures :)
But yeah, looking forward to tomorrow! We get to wash a bunch of clothes in our tarantula-free pila and write you guys! Yeah!

Saturday, March 19, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #57 - Day #397 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 19, 2016

Today was good, a little bit crazy. Recovering a little from yesterday, I'm really hungry! And it's really hot now and forever so we're drinking lots of fluids and applying sunscreen. But this morning we went and found a "new" inactive that we found out about, so we spent some time with him, and then headed to Hna Aide for lunch! She's so awesome. Hna Cruz and I love her laugh. She's had many surgeries lately for various problems, but she still comes to Church every Sunday. And she makes good food. And tells us all sorts of stories.

And some Honduras skies and you can also see a horse!
We then wandered around some more in the afternoon, and found some more less actives, shared some stuff with them. And then went to the chapel to participate in the celebration of the Relief Society Anniversary, namely, have Hna Cruz man the music and camera while I tried to help lead the hnas in the country dance we've been working on for the past 2 weeks or so, I think. Turned out decently, although I was having a hard time with my ankle. Somehow I strained the tendon on the lateral dorsal side of my right foot, the one that splits into 3 into your toes? Similar to the one in the back of your hand. Honestly forgot what it is called. Oops. Anyways, so that tendon decides to throw fits throughout the day, and hopping around on 1 foot didn't really help the equation. But I'll be alright.
From the activity of the Relief Society! I drew the little wheat sprig in 5 minutes

Then we went and found some more people to teach. During the lesson, the family understood and participated and everything, and then at the end we discovered that they actually didn't get anything. So that was a little discouraging. But we'll try again with them and see what happens. We always believe in second chances! And thirds and fourths and fifths... until we all get the joke and can continue progressing. It's just interesting to see the different points people are in in their progression. And it's all good! We just need to help people wherever they are.

Hna Cruz and I walking around, knocking gates, talking Spanish, being awesome!

And we did another visit with this one really sweet lady, very Catholic, but is going through some rough times in her family. We were able to talk about "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" click: Family Proclamation and give her some comfort and let her know that she is doing the right things and will be blessed for that. Good lady.

Oh! Good news that's totally random! We finally switched out our toilet seat! Yay! It's cuz when I got here to El Dorado, the plastic seat part was cracking, as it's thin plastic and kinda old. So about a month ago it finally broke all the way through, so there was this split in the seat that made everything uncomfortable. So we put some tape around it, but it was looking really sad at that point. So we talked to some people, and we got ourselves a beautiful, brand-new toilet seat! And I figured out how to install it myself. So now I can proudly say that I have toilet seat changing skills, Dad will be proud. I love what you learn to do on missions!

And I gotta prepare a talk about missionary work for tomorrow. Yay for talks!

Friday, March 18, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #57 - Day #396 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 18, 2016

I have 13 months!
Congratulations banner from home!
And a stomach bug last night, so we stayed home all today. I'm fine, just have an upset tummy. The elderes gave us both blessings, so we'll be ok.

Thursday, March 17, 2016 -- Month #12 - Week #57 - Day #395 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 17, 2016
I have 3 new mosquito bites: on the topside of my left wrist, on my right side waist on my ribs, and on my right foot on the inside arch by the big toe. All the random places where I don't douse myself in bug spray, and are really hard to scratch effectively when they itch. I hate mosquitoes.  click:  Zika virus outbreak - mosquito borne 
Today was good, we did a lot of walking, and the sun was hot, and the light kept going out all day long which was quite annoying, but we're fine and happy. I'm still a tad bit sunburned but I put on a long-sleeve collared shirt to help my skin out. I'd be interested to see the stats on the likelihood of a returned missionary developing skin cancer.

This morning we had Weekly Planning, then we went to lunch and started handing out invitations to a Relief Society activity for this Saturday that will be made up of the branches of El Dorado, La Entrada, and La Florida. So we got to play messenger and start avising people about that. Some people figure that if we walk so much and visit so many people it will be easy for us to deliver about 30 invitations in 2 days. But if that's what they need we're happy to help. We also wash clothes, dishes, floors, choreograph dances, print and deliver invitations, print and update the Branch Calendar, teach people how to have FHE, teach the Gospel, haul 5 gallon water jugs, tree branches and suitcases, bathe in cold water, drink Coke, and are eaten alive by mosquitoes on a daily basis. And we're happy! The mission is great.

After doing mail service we talked to our house owners because there were a few things that needed to be fixed in our house, and we sat and fanned ourselves for a few minutes since the light had gone since 8:30 am and hadn't returned at that point. Got ourselves composed again, and headed out into the sun to be the awesome missionaries we are. Taught some people that weren't progressing and continue to not progress, went hunting around for some more members to invite and we checked up on Keyla and Alexandra. We found out that Alexandra almost had a stroke or something like that, which was odd as she's only 9 years old, so she's staying with her dad over in Santa Luz (if you pass Santa Luz you end up in Quebrada Seca, where we got lost that one day with the dog that followed us the entire way) and won't come back until after Semana Santa. So that was a little startling. But Keyla's doing fine, she's a good girl.
More of our area

And we continued on our way, contacting the world. At about 5:00 pm the power came back, so we started heading over to Cesia and Roning to visit with them, when the power went out again at 6:30 pm, and it was dark, so we had to go home and cancel the appointment. Hna Cruz washed clothes and I napped in the hammock until the light came back an hour later. So we left and kept contacting, as it was getting a little later and we couldn't keep any of our citas. Then the light went back out at 8:00 pm, so we went back home, picking up some baleadas on the way because we couldn't cook on our electric stove, and then the light came back at 8:30 pm, just constantly on and off, on and off. Love it. But the moon was almost half full, so it actually gave off a lot of light, I had a moonshadow! So that was pretty cool.

And during our lesson, the little 4 year-old son of the lady came running in, carrying some watermelon seeds in his hand. He was so excited that he ran and planted them, and gave them some water, and told us that they would grow later and we could have watermelon to eat. Smart little kiddo, although I'm not sure about the chances of survival those poor little seeds have. But it was very cute, nonetheless.
And that was pretty much our day. We discovered a new little chunk of our area, so that's awesome. We'll have fun contacting all that. And now I'm very tired and my body is all sore and worn out. Goodnight!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 -- Month #12 - Week #57 - Day #394 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 16, 2016

Today was actually a really good day, we did a lot of contacting and I got sunburned (I put sun block on and you just sweat it off... and I'm white so I get burned. Nothing serious as it goes away the next morning, but it makes everyone freak out and they make a million comments about how I got sun burned that day. And the next day is the same and so on and so forth. I honestly wonder when people are going to start noticing that my being pink and sunburned is a common occurrence). But I'm drinking lots of water and keeping up on my nutrition more or less, so I'm alright.
Walking around our area...

"A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance" Proverbs 15:13
This morning was really hot, with a very strong sun so that was fun. And all our contacts pretty much rejected us up front. So that was also interesting. Although to be honest I do prefer honest rejection than dragging people by the arm to get them to the Church. And it all happens in time. It's just not their time right now.

But then we had a really good lunch, so that made everything better and we were happy. And we went home and took a short nap. Even better!

Took off again in the afternoon, went looking for people and contacting, and then went to the church to meet up with the people we were supposed to leave with to visit some less-actives. Nobody was there, so we bought an orange juice and hauled ourselves over to Wilmer's house to go find out where he was and what was happening. Found him, and we left to do the visits. Then we had to run by the house to pick up the skirts we're going to lend to the Relief Society so they can do their dance on Saturday, ran through the choreography again, and finally got ourselves home.

Hna Cruz and I then had an hour-long discussion about molecules and transfusion and muscles and water intake and everything, so she has a better idea of what happens in your body when it gets tired from walking around in the sun all day. So that was a nice little biology refresher, I felt smart again.

And we talked some more about the area and branch and some things that we want to get better about doing, and planned everything and now I'm chilling in the hammock writing and Hna Cruz is happily washing clothes in her 2 buckets. Long day, and we are so tired!

But this evening as we were walking to the church, we saw a line of fire on the mountain and thought the world was ending.

The crazy fire in the night... with Hobbits and dragons and Time Lords!
Well, not actually, but I thought of the Nephite destruction sequence "The Testaments" (we don't get to watch a lot of movies on the mission, it's the first one I thought of with reference to fire) and then I was thinking, "You know, there's a song about fire on the mountains... Right! Ed Sheeran with the Hobbit movies!" And starting trying to hum the song's melody. But I was also confused because the line seemed to be in the sky, since it was dark and you couldn't see the mountain, just this flaming jagged line in the sky, it seemed, so I also remembered that in Doctor Who there's this thing called "the crack" or something like that, and the line's shape reminded me of that, so then I thought it's a fiery Time Lord crack floating in the Honduran sky and it's the end of the world with hobbits and dragons fighting all around to "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran. Yeah, I think I was a little low on blood sugar at that point. But the fact is, with all the heat it makes everything drier so it's more prone to fire and somehow it caught and started making its way down the mountainside. So that was the exciting event of today. Our minds can get very creative.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 -- Month #12 - Week #57 - Day #393 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 15, 2016

Quincena!!! We get money so we can eat! That's always a good thing. Not that I still have a few pounds to lose, but I don't like grumbly tummies.

Today was sort of a weird day, I don't feel good because we didn't actually work that much. This morning we had to go a little early and clean up the chapel and have a Leadership Meeting with the DLs and ZLs of our zone, I think it was kinda weird for them to have hnas with them, but that went well and I think we have some good leaders in our zone of Copan #Zarahemla. Yes, we are Zone Zarahemla now, as a way of a joke.

But we did that and the ZLs gave us a great training and an example of the importance and benefits of setting goals. Everything made a little more sense afterwards. Some of our missionaries in the zone were acting weird, but us HLEs and the ZLs are trying to straighten things out between everybody. And poor Potrerillos and Villanueva ALL the way over by SPS... kinda forgotten. We gotta get better about that. Technically Hna Cruz and I are in charge of 3 zones of hnas, but we tend to focus on Copan more than anything because 4 of our 6 pairs of hnas are here. But God loves all His children, not just the ones in Copan!
And in the mototaxis sometimes you find actual seats from cars. Whatever works!
Got some awesome speaker action as well.
And we hauled all 24 of us over to have lunch and then we dispersed to our areas. We then had to go run some errands and print off calendars and invitations because some people don't really fulfill their callings so the missionaries get to do a lot of things. Finally got all that figured out, then we did a visit! Finally! And then heading to our other appointment they called and canceled. Grr. So we went to the Church for a minute and ended talking about how it is to drive in Tegucigalpa with these 2 hnos in our branch, and then we took off and went looking for some of our other investigators because we haven't seen them in a while, and we ended up waiting a while for the mom to come back with the keys she had lost since Thursday, and we played with the little dog they have that's crazy (I like dogs, but not hyperactive little dogs), and we quickly explained the Book of Mormon and set another cita and we had to come home because it was late. So yeah, that was our day. Go missionary work! But tomorrow we'll actually get some good work done. There will be much contacting and convincing people to let us in for a few minutes and listen to us, pray, and change their lives. Oh yeah.

But, good news! There's this new Church iniciative, it's called, where the Church makes a video and then makes a pass along card with the internet link, and you can watch it and it's awesome and is like 2 mins long. Right now we're sharing about "Siguelo y encuentra una vida nueva #Aleluya" or "Follow Him and find a new life #Hallelujah". Really neat. Watch the video and share it with your friends and everybody!!!  click:  2016 Easter Video "Hallelujah!"

Monday, March 14, 2016 -- Month #12 - Week #56 - Day #392 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 14, 2016

Today was Pday! I did not get to eat an ice cream in our hammock, but I did relax in the hammock while Hna Cruz washed clothes. And I washed my sheets again! I will say that it is a little tricky to hand-wash fitted and flat sheets in a 14" x 20" pila washing board space. But I can do it! And washed some other clothes. I think I will miss washing in pila a little when I get back home, it's actually weird to think about how many machines we have at home. Here, you can do every thing manually. But over there there's machines that wash clothes, that dry them, that toast your bread, ovens, blow dryers, face scrubbers, computers, eggbeaters, Floormates, vacuums, laser thermometers... lots of technology!

But today was good, we got to sleep in, wash clothes, break our fast with an awesome lunch, wrote our families, and then go rehearse the dance with the RS hnas. We then went to look for one of our investigators but they weren't home, and then the light went out, so we had to come home and light our candles. Honduras! I was actually expecting the power to go out sometime soon as it's been a while since that's happened. Anyways, we're home safe and sound, enjoying our hot and dark house (if there's no power the fans don't work very well.)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

So I switched out my SD card and forgot it at home... but I gave all my entries!  I'll send the pics next week. Sorry about that!

Sunday, March 13, 2016 -- Month #12 - Week #56 - Day #391 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 13, 2016

Today was interesting. Went to church, had lunch, took a short nap because we were exhausted again, went looking for people, Consejo de Rama, and then more looking and looking and looking. Exhausting day. I was really happy to take my cold water shower because it has been hot this week and I needed to feel running water again. I miss swimming! Technically the pila is big enough to swish around in, but that's not a good idea. But you can splash your arms around and flick the water with your fingers, so it's almost as good.

But tomorrow's Pday! I think we'll stay home and do some things around here (clean house and sew skirts) and have a quiet day. Might even buy myself an ice cream and eat it in our hammock! That would be awesome.

Saturday, March 12, 2016 -- Month #12 - Week #56 - Day #390 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 12, 2016

Saturday! Did some visits in the morning, our lunch got canceled so we went to Mi Negro Bello. They've figured out that I am not the hugest fan on vast quantities of tajadas with my food, as I have always asked for no tajadas and just ate a few off the plate of Hna Cruz because she couldn't finish them all, either. So to my surprise and delight, the lady asked if I would like tortillas instead of tajadas, so I was happy with my lunch! I think I've explained that my tummy doesn't really like green fruit, and tajadas are green plantains, so I try not to eat a whole lot of them at once. But I got my carbs in with my tortillas and it made everything easier to eat since you can make a sort of taco thing with your meat and refried beans and ensalada and cheese and it's a whole lot less messy. I will always ask for tortillas from now on!

So we did all that fun stuff, bought Hna Cruz another bucket so that it's easier for her to wash clothes (at home they wash them in buckets by hand, not in pila with the washboard thingy... I prefer the pila because you can work out your frustration from the week). Brought that home, and got ready to leave again.

Went looking for people that weren't there, then went to the church to go over the dance again. But we waited an hour for someone with the keys to come and unlock the church. So we finally got in and I started explaining choreography and counting and the steps. Turned out fairly well, for it being our 2nd practice.

And did some contacting and we found another church, the Templo Cristiano Familiar "Peniel". Another A.

Friday, March 11, 2016 -- Month #12 - Week #56 - Day #389 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

March 11, 2016

Being in San Pedro close to Semana Santa is really hot. We got to go up to SPS again for the Reunion de Liderazgo for the ZL's and HLE's. Problem is, we got there late. Almost an hour late. I love the traffic coming up from Copan. Yeah.
Reunion de Liderazgo

Hna Cruz and Hna Mower -- President and Sister Dester
But that went well, got some more counsel from Pres Dester and we talked about some of the issues in the mission that can be resolved.

HLEs (Sister Leader Trainers)
Hna Estacuy, Escobar (not my companion), me, Hna Cruz
Finished that up and we went and walked 30 mins to a pizza place for lunch with all the gringo elderes. The reason being for that is because this pizza place is owned by a guy named Joe from an Italian family, and he is from New York and speaks perfect English, and he now lives in Honduras making cheap, ridiculously good pizza and rolls and pasta.
And Hna Cruz and I with Joe!
I felt like I was in the States again, it tasted SO good! Besides the fact that it was at least 110 degrees inside the restaurant place, it was awesome. There are good people in the world! And I love them! We got to sign the missionary board that Joe has and we took our picture with him!
Joe's board with all the missionary's signatures
Good guy, puts up with all the silliness of the elderes. Because the elderes do tend to get a little crazy. But we got to enjoy an awesome lunch.

Then we took off to Maeco to find some new clothes, so we got to navigate around in the crazy rapiditos again and hold on tight to our backpacks and everything. Good times. But we finally got to this one place where they sell (basically) unused clothes from good brands at decent prices. I got myself a few skirts I need to take in and bring the hem up, and some shirts. So I was thrilled! All for about $7. Score!

After that we ran back to the Terminal to hop on the bus and come back to Copan. And we got to sit on that blessed bus 3 hours as it made it's happy way down. Finally got home, get everything put away, and did a visit. Busy day.

In news from Honduras, it is perfectly normal for random people to board the bus, trying to sell you food and drinks and random things (menthol inhalers, chains, pumpkins, phone chargers) and also for people to come and start preaching to and blessing people. Which is what happened this morning on the way to SPS. It was just kinda incongruent with all this guy's (literal) shouting and fist-pumping about something of how you will die, but Ezekiel died healthy and how we need to repent and have order in our lives because God is a god of order, and fornicating and killing and stealing and whatnot is a life of disorder and therefore you will not be with God, and telling everyone how God will heal us... to the music of Bon Jovi singing about how it's his life and it's now or never... Honduras! The bus driver had a mix of Evangelical songs in Spanish, English techno, and 80's classic rock on his radio. Which in of itself is an interesting combination.

And there's always these random signs on the side of the road with the 10 Commandments. Gotta remind everyone what they should be doing!
Honduras! We found this pretty tree with pink flowers