Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Saturday, April 30, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #63 - Day #439 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 30, 2016

Acabamos abril! It's the end of April! And we're now 14 days without water and Hna Cruz doesn't have clean clothes.
So tonight we were big girls and hauled six 5-gallon jugs of water from up the hill to dump into our pila so we could have washing water. We each carried a jug and we took 3 trips. I carried mine on my shoulder like a man, so that was fun.
It kinda hurts your neck because we had to carry them upright, instead of on their side, as we borrowed the jugs from the neighbor lady that sells purified water and they didn't have caps to hold the water if you tip the jugs on their side. But, nonetheless, we have a few gallons of water to hold us over. The firefighters are also going around, giving water, but we're never home when they're passing by. So that's fun. But we met some really nice people that have water right now and they offered to give us some. We had to haul it all, of course, but we were very happy and are blessed. There are good people in this world!
But this morning we went up to the Church early (with all the asuntos of getting the building keys) to make the banana bread we were going to use in our activity. So we did that all morning, then ran and had lunch with Hna Aide, and then the 3 of us went back to the Church because she had an interview and it was almost time for our activity, and then we ended up helping out the Relief Society serving food and doing cleanup and PR with their Mother's Day activity, and then we finally got prepped for our activity of la Obra Misional! Which actually was a good success, to be honest, we didn't really think it would turn out well. But it was great! We had about 30 people stay to help us, and we divided into 4 groups by organization (YM, YW, RS and EQ) and Hna Cruz and I split up to go with the women's groups, each of the groups was led by an RM (haha, lots of acronyms!) or our Branch Mission Leader (in the case of the EQ), and we each had a plate with 10 pieces of banana bread and 6 folletos of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (really weird to say in English!) that they had to hand out in an hour. But it was good because the members just had to introduce themselves, offer the bread, have the people try it, explain that the bread is like the Gospel and that it's something that they want to share, explain a little about the folleto, and invite them to Church with us. And, if the person seemed interested, write down their info so Hna Cruz and I can visit them. And it actually worked really well! Next time we'll use another treat and make smaller groups. But this was a good first time around and we could see who are good people to have come on visits with us. And gave the members a little more exposure to our missionary life. But it was awesome because our Branch President, his 1st counselor, and 2 of the auxiliary organization's presidents were there, with 2 counselors in place of the president. So we had a lot of the leadership in the branch. And Presidente Montes had never done something like this before, or actually any of the members, but they ended up liking it. And we got some more confidence with them, so that was even better.
And, at the end, of course, we had made a batch of banana bread for the people who had come, and we gave them big squares of that with soda (as always) and thanked them all for coming and participating and let them share some of their thoughts and experiences about the activity.

All in all, good day. Really tired from the pre-activity stress and then hauling water up and down all over creation, so we're ready for Sunday!

Friday, April 29, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #63 - Day #438 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 29, 2016

We cracked confetti eggs on Hna Velasquez's head to celebrate her having 12 months today! And Hna Cruz blew her bubbles. We definitely surprised her, poor girl! But we all laughed and it was fun.

Our confetti eggs we made!
We finished up the divisions business in Copan Ruinas and hopped on a bus that took FOREVER to leave the terminal and get over to La Entrada. But we finally got there, safe and sound, and went directly to our lunch appointment with Hna Brenda because we were exhausted and we were really, really, really hungry. And then we did some visits and ran around collecting some things for the activity tomorrow. And in the afternoon there was a lightning storm! That was awesome! Haven't seen one of those in a while. Now, I was a little cautious since lightening rods and insulation and whatnot don't exist here, just your basic sheet metal roof, metal door, cement block houses, but we got inside a house to wait out the spattering rain and high-ish winds. But I loved hearing thunder again. I've missed it!

And one of our DoorBusters of the day was with a grandmother with her 5 grandsons, so we showed them the Siguelo video (Follow Him, from the Easter initiative) click:  Follow Him - an Easter message about Jesus Christ and it was the cutest thing to see these 5 little boys all quietly sitting in a row on the couch, with their eyes glued to the tiny DVD player screen. So that was a nice little bright spot in our night's contacts.

We're still doing good, hoping the water will come soon. We don't have any in the house or the pila. Something happened to the water pumping system a while ago (they fixed the copper coils in the transformer, now there's some issue with the river and pipelines or something, I think). So we're all hoping that the water will come soon.

Thursday, April 28, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #63 - Day #437 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 28, 2016

Divisions in Copan Ruinas! Whoo! These were probably our favorite divisions so far as Hermana Lideres. Hnas Farao and Poot closed the area and Hnas Velasquez (from Villanueva) and Chavez (hija de Hna Escobar!) reopened it. So they've had a week to settle in and get things figured out. We contacted like crazy because they weren't left with may investigators and they're still getting to know the area.
Hna Velasquez and I! 

But it was good because I went with Hna Velasquez (12 months) who doesn't easily get lost, and Hna Cruz (who had served there) went with Hna Chavez (3 months).

So we had a good day of work, did some good contacts and DoorBusters! And it RAINED!!!! We got all wet and had to carry our scriptures and whatnot in plastic bags in our backpacks. So that was weir. It hasn't really rained like that in about 5 months, and it was all hot and sunny in the early afternoon when we headed over there, it was hovering between 40-41 degrees Celsius. So we got to work in the rain. And the light kept coming and going, so we ended up working in the central part of Copan Ruinas, close to home, just in case. But we had a great day, all the same. We really enjoyed being with the hnas. They're quirky and funny and are doing great. So that was really refreshing in divisions.
Hna Cruz and Hna Chavez, Hna Velasquez and I! Vive Copan Ruinas!
And we found some more churches:
Iglesia Cristiana La Fe Viviente: Formando Soldados para Jesus
Iglesia de Cristo Mision Evangelical: Salem
Iglesia de Cristo Solo

So there you go. Fun day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #63 - Day #436 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 27, 2016

And some weird clouds we saw as we were working. Really giant clouds.
Today... we went contacting in the morning to explore some of our area and found ourselves in the midst of a whole lot of Catholics. Not that that's a bad thing, but they are REALLY Catholic. We were invited into the house of this little old couple and I had never seen so many statues and candles and pictures and whatnot in a house before. Also, on 2 TVs, we watched part of the Misa de Colombia, basically there was a Mass (I think that's the English equivalent) in the country of Colombia and it was being broadcasted. Not sure why, but it was there. So that was very interesting. And we listened to the hna tell us all about her experiences with prayer, and how she had memorized the prayer of the Virgin of Carmen, and all that stuff. And the hno kept exclaiming "asi sea!" or "aleluya!" every few minutes. But we were able to share a short message with them and invited them to Church with us on Sunday. But they're not going to be able to go because they have Sunday School the same time we meet. But we can come by another day and visit them. Nice little grandparents. They gave us cookies and orange juice. But it was funny, because the hno had said that he is a night guard for a school nearby, and I asked him if it was tiring "Y hermano, no es cansado, va?" and he heard wrong and answered that of course he comes home and puts of the lock on the door "Como que no? Yo le pongo candado y me encierro!" He thought I had said candado when I said cansado. So that was kinda funny, Hna Cruz was laughing the entire time we were visiting them.
We were contacting around the Catholics and we found a house with this Christ Visiting the Americas picture... we thought it was a little odd that it was on the door, so we yelled buenas, thinking that they were members. Turns out they are definitely Catholics, and just liked the picture. Go figure.
But we got to eat lunch, so that was good, and we kept visiting our people in the afternoon, none of them are progressing, but we also helped out in the Noche de Hermanamiento. We've changed it to once a month, not once a week, and the branch leaders are in charge of it, not us. So that's a little less stress on our part. We're still supposed to do an activity of the Obra Misional once a month, but we'll do that on Saturday and we'll take care of April. The Relief Society shared a good message about find the lost sheep and the comparison between sheep and lambs and active members and new converts. So that was good.

And a huge nasty spider creature on the wall while we were eating lunch with Hna Olympia. Ick.
And, in news from Honduras, everyone has a rolled-up piece of corrugated roofing metal for the comal chimney. Usually is supported with some string tied to the ceiling holding the chimney (more like a smoke chute) at the appropriate angle. So that's an interesting little factoid. I'll have to get a picture of one sometime.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #63 - Day #435 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 26, 2016

Zone Meeting! So we got to run all over creation to find the keys. We've gotten REALLY good at that. It's funny because technically Hno Jorge isn't supposed to lend the keys to anyone and he has to personally come down the big hill to the church and open the door and walk all the way back up the hill to his house, but he trusts us, so we get to walk up the hill to his house, grab the keys, walk back down the hill, do whatever activity, and walk back up the hill to give the keys back. I guess his trust is worth a few trips up a giant hill! If you need something to do with the oven or computer or office, that's a different story, but the normal stuff we need to do we can get done that way. And Hno Jorge is chill, we're buddies now. Even got to teach some of his less-active family members, so that's a big step. We'll keep working with them, they're good people. Just makes me smile every time I call him: "Hno Jorge, we need the church keys!" "That's fine, but you have to come and get them." "Alright, we'll be there in half an hour, thank you!" Yup.

But we had a good Zone Meeting, we FINALLY got everyone on the same page of how we're supposed to count dats. So that was wonderful. And as part of the ZL's training on the importance of working with members, poor Elder Bate got all covered in flour. We had the AP's in our Meeting so they could go and do divisions afterwards, but E Bate got picked on because he's the new AP after E Wight, and he's companions with E Nathan. The point was that he had to find a little candy in a bowl of flour without using his hands. He couldn't find it and got flour all over the place. But, with the help of a member that knows where the candy (investigator) is, it's a lot easier to find it and eat it (contacting/references). So that was an interesting dynamic.

And we ate together in Mi Negro Bello, as always, and I drank 2 sodas, all my portion, and half of that of Hna Cruz. I was very hungry. It kinda amazes me still that you can fit so much food in your stomach. And not just food, but you can easily fit a liter of water in there too. These days have been on the warm side, and I drink a lot of water. Normally .75 liter in the morning while studying after breakfast, another .5 liter working in the morning before lunch, about .75 liter of soda and .5 liter water for lunch, and 1-2 liters during the working day, depending on activity level and intensity of the sun. Then another .5 liter or so for our small dinner, and a few sips before bed. All in all, about 3.5-4.5 liters a day. And you just sweat it all out, I assure you. That's the fun part, haha!

 I also drink a lot of Aloe Vera juice stuff. It tastes like grape and helps replace lost electrolytes.
But in the afternoon we got to do some visits and talk with our Branch Mission Leader, which was good, and we went to the church and waited for the Consejo de Rama, but it never happened, so that was disappointing. So we visited an inactive member and finished the night.

But I liked a quote that some people around here say, "Hay que ser mansos, no mensos." Or, you should be meek, not foolish. Good counsel.

And I got a letter from my family that had the lovely quote from Jillian Michaels: "Unless you puke, faint, or die, keep going." Thanks family! I stuck it on my wall. I haven't fainted or died yet, so I'm good!

In other news from Honduras, we had pastelitos for dinner tonight because the baleada lady didn't have baleadas, so that was really sad. She makes good baleadas. But in the pastelitos there was rice with little tiny bits of chicken. And I found a little rock! I felt like in Monty Python where that one knight is asking all the people what floats on water and someone answered, "Really small rocks?" Yeah. But that was a first. I can add really small rocks to my food list.

Also, we passed by this one lady to visit with her, and her grandkids and their friends were playing in a truck bed next to the house, and they all had their imaginary jobs and were making and eating imaginary food (I got a lovely pollo chuco (although they only say "pollo chuco" in SPS, nowhere else) and a strawberry ice cream) and running around, jumping and yelling and enjoying themselves. So that was really nice to see and be able to play a little bit with them. Have some normality in the midst of all the craziness. And, it was a good reminder that these are people as well and have normal lives and imaginations and do that same things that I do in my house at home.

And we found out (POR FIN) today that a lot of churches here are linked with "godparents" in the States that send them money and clothes or whatnot, so a lot of people aren't willing to leave their church because they'd lose the patronship of their godparent. Interesting angle that I hadn't really given much thought to before. But it makes sense. And it makes me sad. Somewhat of an obstacle for many to progress.

But, other than that, we're doing fine, good health, a little tired, and trying to get ready for divisions and an activity we're in charge of this week. Go team!

I got Celestialized!
Not really, just had way too much exposure in a picture I took.

Monday, April 25, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #62 - Day #434 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 25, 2016

Pday! Got to wash all my clothes, clean the house, go grocery shopping, write our families, and go find some people to teach. Awesome.
Our dish soap... important stuff, you know!
We didn't do anything activity-wise because our DL and his companion are up in SPS for a doctor's appointment (companion is sick), and we were all still tired from changes. But hopefully this next week we can do something, I want to go to the Parque de Aves again, I'm a little worn out from the Ruinas.

But today was good, I had a cockroach run across me all over my lap in our cita tonight, so that was a first. I'm not a huge fan of cockroaches, but I didn't yell or jump up or anything, just flicked it off with my folleto I was fanning myself with and it skittered away. Rock on.

But later tonight Hna Cruz and I had a good talk about how we wanted to end our missions, and what we can do to be better here in this area. She's a very good person, and I am glad she has the courage to ask and talk about things. And we were able to laugh and joke around afterwards. This is gonna be an interesting change!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #62 - Day #433 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 24, 2016

Sunday! Tomorrow's Pday! Whoo! Church was good, they moved Consejo de Rama to Tuesday again, so we had all the afternoon to work.
And Hna Haydee (AY-deh) made us soup for lunch! It was really yummy.
We went and visited Cesia again, and she's still with her giant tummy! So we're waiting to meet little Fabian Andre any day now. But they're doing good, we taught her about the Plan of Salvation and she had a lot of questions that were answered. So she's still progressing. We're still working on the marriage part, but we'll get there!  Click: The Plan of Salvation

And we wandered around, looking for previous contacts we did to give seguimiento and teach them some lessons, so that was fun. And we went looking for Keyla and Alexandra because they haven't been coming to Church lately, so we got to talk to them for a while, we'll try to figure out how to help them.

And other than that we had a pretty calm day, walked 3.224 miles, burned 183.8 calories, and took 6811 steps. Rock on!
And a tree that makes these interesting fruits that you can hollow out, dry, and use the shell as a bowl.

Saturday, April 23, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #62 - Day #432 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 23, 2016

This morning we finished painting our spatula holders! They turned out really well. And then we also made candle holders from a soda can in a Relief Society activity in the afternoon since the light goes out often and we need a place to put the candles. And it's safer than a bowl or cup that can fall and break. So we were happy about that! I miss doing little crafty things like that.
Our candle holder making activity with the Relief Society!

And we did some more visits and ran around. And then the light went out for half an hour, so we had to go home and wait for it to come back on, and went looking for a less-active family but they were leaving the house at the time, so we did some contacts. And came back home. Busy day, but we're happy.

We also met with a guy that drinks raw eggs in the morning like Rocky Balboa. 6 of them with milk or cane juice. So that was a first. Apparently he's never gotten sick from it, but that is something that I really don't want to try. Ick. But he said he likes it, so good for him.

And I bought myself an orange juice. Very yummy.
Night shots from Honduras!

Friday, April 22, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #62 - Day #431 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 22, 2016

Today was Friday! Pretty calm day, we did some visits and walked all over the place.
Hna Cruz and I rocking it in Honduras!

And we got to help make tortillas again! So I enjoyed that. It feels like playing with clay. We also made flour tortillas with a member family later in the night to have baleadas, but working with flour tortillas stresses me out. So I'm happy with my little Copan corn tortillas! I know how to make the flour ones, but I need to practice more on how to stretch and form them well, and lay them on the comal to cook. Anyways, today was the day of tortillas.

Making baleadas!
And it's always fun to hear the different pronunciations of brand names... Neutrogena is "neh-oo-TROH-hen-ah". And all the spellings of names is different:
Yeimy = Jamie
Katterin = Katherine
Deyby = Davy
Lincy = Lyndsey/Lindsey
Eymy = Amy

And if you spell it Mary or Amy, you say "MAH-ree" or "AH-mee". But people can NEVER guess my first name. It's actually a funny game to play. For most of the member children it's the first thing they ask you. But you're not supposed to tell until you leave the area, so you make it a game to not be rude. "What's a name that starts and ends with A and has 6 letters? It's in Spanish as well and I've already met about 5 ladies that have my same name, so it exists in Honduras, I promise." They usually have no idea and start yelling random names that don't fit the rules I gave them. So they just keep thinking about it and every time we see them they have more names. It's kinda funny. Always keep them guessing!

I'm also trying to learn the YW theme in Spanish, since we visit a YW convert and we wanted to talk about the meaning of the theme with her. So I asked Hna Cruz to write it out for me to study as well. Also still working on the Articles of Faith. Lots of goals!

Thursday, April 21, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #62 - Day #430 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 21, 2016

April is going by kinda fast. March was really slow for me, but this month is gonna finish soon.

Today was interesting, we ran all over the place like crazy people, listening to lots of crazy people say a lot of crazy things. Love it.
And we found a "Beauty Saloon" with the latino version of my mom's name!
But we did get to do our Weekly Planning, so that was important, and we had lunch, where we ate cow tongue. That was the first time in my life that I ate that. The whole time I was trying to figure out what muscle of a cow is symmetrical, somewhat circular, big, and had very fine muscle groups. But I decided not to ask until afterwards. Honestly, it was very well prepared and not obviously a cow tongue on your plate, so I was impressed with Hna Ana and her cooking skills. It was very clean and well-cooked and the guisado sauce tasted better than normal. So I think I could actually eat it again if I needed to. But I can add that to the list of interesting foods I've eaten as a missionary, right up there with fish eyeballs and chicken livers. Mmm!

Then we went over to another member family and shared a message with them and they gave us green mango juice. It tasted like a cross between limonada and grass. Very planty tasting, but sort of tangy and sweet. I thought it was good, Hna Cruz loves it. You just take a bunch of green mangos, wash them and take out the seed, and blend them up with some water and sugar. Leaves lots of little mango skin bits all over. But it's good. Also goes on my food list.

And we visited another member family and listened to the grandma talk for quite a while about a range of topics, and then we steered the conversation back to the message we were sharing. We didn't eat or drink anything there.

And we went and found another member family that is somewhat inactive that is living next to an active member family that he dad is one of the brothers of other members in our branch (they gave us the reference) so we had an interesting visit with them. Good people, just kinda stressed me out with all the noise of children running around and flickering single-bulb lights and the Evangelical church literally right next door having musical practice. But we were able to get to know them a little and share a short message with them. We'll come back on a day where it's a little calmer.

And then we finished up the night with a Relief Society fireside, basically, so that was nice. The Evangelicals kept on practicing the whole time, but we were able to hear the message that was shared and we all felt all warm and fuzzy afterwards. And that was our day.

But, apparently God only made the pretty things when He created the world, and Satan made the frogs and snakes and icky things because they are bad. Which is not true, because God made all things with a purpose, and Satan is not capable of creating things, let alone life in the form of an animal, even if you think it is ugly.

And the fact that my name is in English and not Spanish still confuses people. Not every single thing about a person gets translated over when you serve teaching in a different language. And it's actually the English version of a German last name (fact check, Mom!), so that's even more confusing because then they think that I'm from Germany and not the States. And the pronunciation is a whole other thing. It's cuz in Spanish you actually try to follow the rules with spelling and it just doesn't make any sense whatsoever that the "O" can make an "OW" sound when it obviously should make an "OH" sound. And it's a rare time when a word uses a "W", so that makes everything more complicated. Add the fact that I have blue eyes, and I'm just a walking oddity. Imagine that. But it does make for interesting contacts and conversations, so I guess it's helpful.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #62 - Day #429 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 20, 2016

Still in recuperation mode, which means I'm more tired than usual. But we're getting back to normality poco a poco!

Hna Olympia always leaves the TV news on when we have lunch with her, so we got to catch up a little more on the earthquakes in Ecuador. Apparently there will also be an earthquake in California of 10-11 on the Richter scale (is that how you spell that?), and there's also a prophet here in Honduras that says that Honduras will get an earthquake as well. I'm not really hoping for more earthquakes in any part of the world. But, they are signs of the times and are reminders that need to keep ourselves ready for whatever may happen.

We did get to paint these bamboo kitchen spoon holders, which are pretty neat. There's this Hno Fredy in our branch that works in the bakery, loves rock music and likes to make stuff with wood. So he offered to make some spatula sets for us to take home as souvenirs from Honduras. So that was pretty awesome! We need to come back another day to finish up putting the letters on and spraying them with varnish to protect the paint.
Here's a sneak peak of our spatula holders!

And we had a cita with Cesia and Roning! We're still working with them. They're awesome, just have a lot of doubts, and going to Church is a stickler. But tonight we watched "Together Forever" (in Spanish, of course) and introduced the Plan of Salvation to give them some encouragement to get married (Cesia will have her baby any day now, I think) and that will be a big step to being baptized. Cesia's two younger sisters are baptized (by the elderes) but her mom isn't really ready right now. So it's sort of an interesting situation. But it's been good to work with the elderes with the whole family, they're very good people, honestly.

And that's about it for today, not a super crazy day, thank goodness.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #62 - Day #428 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 19, 2016

Today was fun... we got to help manage changes! Whoo! The hnas from Copan Ruinas are closing area, so the two of them stayed the night with us with all their suitcases. So we got up early in the morning to help haul all their stuff to the bus and take Hna Mora home with us (Hna Bautista had changes). All 3 of us decided to take a nap, and then we had breakfast and talked about life and how things are going. It was neat to be with Hna Mora again! She's so sweet and I love her. But I made everyone pancakes and we got ourselves ready to go work for a few hours until the changes bus came back with all our new peeps. So we went around contacting and trying to find one of the members that is sick right now, but we were given bad directions. But we did manage to visit a different member that was sick, so we did something right! And then we went up to Mi Negro Bello to have lunch with the new missionaries in our zone, ran some errands, and then took another break at home. And we had Consejo de Rama tonight, instead of on Sunday, which was a fun change. So we did that for 2 hours, and we came home. Changes are always a weird day, I feel like I need to recuperate the entire week!

But, funny story, as we were lost with Hna Mora this morning we went around contacting, looking for the sick member, and we passed by a medical clinic. Awesome. We went around the corner and kept on going along, and yelled "Buenas!" to a few houses to call the people out (that's our version of knocking doors... you don't actually knock on the door 97% of the time, you just stand in the street and yell, hoping someone hears you) and we saw movement in a window further down the street. So we decided to head over to the window since we actually were quite lost and in need of direction. So we yelled at the window, and a nice-looking man in scrubs opened it and asked what we wanted. We introduced ourselves and he tried to help us out. The whole time I wanted to ask what kind of doctor he was and when he worked and where because we're always supposed to pick up on that sort of stuff to get to know the person quickly and to figure out when would be a good time to visit them in the future. But I didn't and we moved on. As we were walking away, Hna Cruz also made the observation that he looked like a doctor, and then we realized that the building we contacted was the medical clinic we had passed minutes ago. So we can officially say that we've successfully yelled at the window of a clinic and contacted a doctor that was probably busy with patients. So there you go. Missionary life!

Monday, April 18, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #61 - Day #427 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 18, 2016

Happy 14 months to me! Definitely on the downhill slide now. I feel REALLY old! But, the upside to all this time is that my hair has grown out a few more inches, now I can braid it and the tail can rest on my shoulder. Somehow that makes me feel smarter. So I am happy about that. It's not like I have Rapunzel hair, but it has gotten a bit longer than when I started my mission. I would like to grow it out a few more inches and I think I'll be happy.
But we also found out about an earthquake that happened in Ecuador, but Hna Cruz's family is alright. They just had tremors where she lives. But all the same it's a little distressing when there's earthquakes and whatnot where you live. So we're hoping that everything will be alright for Ecuador.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sunday, April 17, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #61 - Day #426 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 17, 2016

We made it through Church and had lunch at home. Rested again, and left to conquer the world. Met some interesting people, did some visits, and came home again. And we don't have changes! So I'll stay here all the way through May and then I'll go somewhere for my last 2 changes. Interesting! But good, Hna Cruz and I feel that we're finally on the upswing, getting used to doing divisions, working in our area and everything. So we're happy.

Saturday, April 16, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #61 - Day #425 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 16, 2016

Good day, sort of busy, we ran around with some visits in the morning, lunched, rested up a bit, and then ran around doing errands for the Relief Society, an activity of the Obra Misional, and helping the elderes get ready for their baptism. Then we did the said baptism and did all the music (I led, Hna Cruz popped the CDs in and out of the player and found the songs), and we did PR and helped serve cake and soda afterwards. We always end up doing that. The elderes are all over the place talking to everyone and there are the hnas, handing cake out to the world. Oh well. But everything went well, just made us really tired. And tomorrow is Sunday! And we start another week. And changes are on Tuesday... whoo!

Friday, April 15, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #61 - Day #424 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 15, 2016

Came home from divisions, I got sick, so we stayed home today. Rock on.

There were these dust-covered trees in Dolores and I felt like we were walking after an explosion or natural disaster or something. Weird to have everything gray and dusty...

Thursday, April 14, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #61 - Day #423 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 14, 2016

Divisions! I went to Dolores with Hnas Lopez and Ortiz, Hna Cruz went to Santa Rosa with Hnas Phillips and Mendoza. Good day, we got some visits with members, so that was good, and I got to know Hna Ortiz a little better, as she's a newbie this change. And it was nice to be in trio because it's easier to see how they teach in companionship and respond to situations. So we had a good day.

Photos of Honduras

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #61 - Day #422 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 13, 2016

Wednesday! Also good day of work, we're trying to make everything count before we "lose" a day in divisions tomorrow. It felt a little calmer than yesterday, although we still walked 4.040 miles, burned 230.3 calories (I want to at least double that number due to the hills and backpack weight), and walked 8533 steps. Pretty neat to have a little pedometer thingy, huh?

But we ran by some people in the morning to try and set a cita for later that day, but they weren't able to, so we went around contacting and keeping tabs on people until lunchtime. Ate a lot and was still a little hungry afterwards, but I drank a lot of water and now I'm fine. Rested for a bit at home, applied sunscreen and bug spray all over and then went out to do some more work! Whoo! So we were able to teach some lessons and mostly visit with members today, we were lacking in those this week so far (all 3 days!) so we did that. And we did the drawing game again with Keyla and Alexandra, they loved it. They had been a little down lately, so it was good to have them laugh and be happy again. And their mom came out and joined us towards the end, so that was also a good sign. She's not a member and wasn't very interested in meeting with us, but I think it would be good to start working on her a little more.

And our last visit was with Cesia and Roning (Ronnie), but Roning had to visit with some guy friends, so we just talked to Cesia, who's also pregnant and the baby should be born sometime in April. So that was fun, they're a really good couple (we're trying to help them decide to get married), young and active, and have lots of good questions. And they've been getting some comments from people because they're listening to the Mormons and that we'll brainwash them and that we don't believe in God and whatnot (just FYI, none of that is actually true), but Cesia felt that their comments were ridiculous because she had listened to us and is reading the Book of Mormon and she knows that we talk about God and how important the Gospel is. So she defended us quite well. Go Cesia! Whoo! I love that lady.
Turtles in the pila of the house where we helped make ticucos (there were 7 turtles, I think)
But it's always fun when we come back a few days later after a contact (for example, a mom) to see if we can teach them, and then someone else answers the door (like the dad) and we're talking to them and ask if we can meet as well with the first person (the mom) and they (the dad) says no, they're not home, and then another person (a 3 year old child) runs over, starts playing with the dad's pant leg or their toy car, and then runs out, and then runs back in and starts saying "dice mi mama..." "my mom says..." and then the dad shushes the child and awkwardly we end the conversation... yeah, kids of definitely more honest than adults a lot of times. I love it when we contact a house and a kid comes out, "My mom says she's not home!" Haha, that's my favorite. Sweet little kids.

But yeah, overall good day, we're both super tired and we have divisions in Santa Rosa and Dolores tomorrow, we'll be in trios, so just 1 HLE with each companionship. Whoo!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #61 - Day #421 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 12, 2016

District Meeting! Those are fun. We read a bunch of good scriptures that obviously had to do with missionary work, and did a whole lot of practices.
District Meeting!
And at the end Hna Cruz and I gave the elderes the catracho version of sweet potato pie that we had made in the morning beforehand (she'd been asking me to make the entire change, so we finally did!) and we all enjoyed that. Last time I made cinnamon apples since it was really cold at the time. We even called half the branch leaders to find out where the keys were and walked half a mile to get the special keys from our branch president so we could open the Church to then open the bunker to get the other special key ring to open the electrical closet to flip the fuse switch to turn on the oven in the church kitchen to toast the marshmallows on top of the dessert. Yeah, we're ultra security here. It actually makes me laugh sometimes. But it's pretty good humor here, just have to jump through a whole lot of hoops. But we got those marshmallows toasted in spite of everything, and everyone was happy.

So that was our crazy morning. But then we got lunch and then went to work! And we actually had a really good day. We got to teach quite a few people and set some more citas for this week. And we have 2 set members to leave with us on visits tomorrow! Whoo! Working with members is good. Especially if they offer to leave with you. Even more better.

News from Honduras: apparently there's still Crusades? I didn't know that was a thing still. Not the medieval type where you go around killing a bunch of people that aren't of your religion, but they're sort of like some Christian campaign to do something. I don't know. It's because we contacted this one young lady who's brother is a pastor, so she was telling us all about their ministries and whatnot. Very good people, all the same.

And we got to help make ticucos again! Whoo! I think that's honestly one of my favorite things about Honduras, and actually about Copan, since they don't make them anywhere else. It's so rhythmic and calm, it reminds me of how I feel when I crochet or fold clothes. I know that's kinda weird, but it's nice to have a relaxing activity in the midst of all the mission craziness, and there's tangible results that help someone out. So I personally love making ticucos. I don't really know how to make the masa (I know it has ground corn, kidney beans, loroco, chicken bouillon, salt...), but I'm really good at molding a ball of it, plopping it in the tuza (TOO-sah, it's a water-soaked corn husk), folding it up all nicely into a little pouch, and tying it off with another tuza strip. So I enjoyed that part of the day as well.

Oh, and due to all the sunblock and sweat and dust, I have a lovely little zit right between my eyebrows. And one on each cheek in the same spot. At least I'm symmetrical!

Monday, April 11, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #60 - Day #420 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 11, 2016

Pday! Today was good, we chilled at home and washed basically everything to do with clothes or the floors! So we're squeaky clean! I swept out about a pound of dirt and dust in our garage space (it gets in the cracks of the porton and then we track it into the house) and we even scrubbed our shower curtain. And we had lunch and bought some food for this week (we only have 1 more day of divisions!) and then wrote our families! Hi family! So that was enjoyable. The elderes went to Tejute, and we would have liked to have gone, but the last time I went I destroyed my legs, and that made working a little harder... so I don't think I'll be going to Tejute again for a while. Even though it's really beautiful.

But anyways, we did all that and then we did a FHE with an investigator couple that we're teaching, and we played a fun game that I'll have to teach you guys when I get back. Basically it helps teach the difference between what man sees and what God sees in a person, good for small groups.

As for news from Honduras, apparently I look like Joseph Smith, according to the image in the first few pages of the soft-cover Book of Mormon. So that was an interesting comparison. Never heard that one before. I've been told that I look like one of the Catholic Virgencitas a lot of times, but never Joseph Smith. Interesting.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sunday, April 10, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #60 - Day #419 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 10, 2016

Sunday! Had all our lovely meetings and Consejos and everything and started our fast. And had some more visits! Also chill day, ready for Pday!

Saturday, April 09, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #60 - Day #418 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 9, 2016

Today was good, just did all our normal work and helped sing a song in the baptism of the elderes, so that was sweet. And yeah, chill day, not much to write about.
These are corn husks that hold achiote drying in the sun... pretty neat, huh?

Friday, April 08, 2016 -- Month #13 - Week #60 - Day #417 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

April 8, 2016

Aaaaaand our last stop if SPS! Had to get up at 6:00 am to get ready in time to catch a rapidito that passed at 7:00 am to get ourselves over to the Terminal (that's why we didn't get pics with Hnas Ordonez and Tajiboy, we left before they had gotten completely presentable) in SPS, buy myself a hair straightener and Hna Cruz a doughnut, then hopped on a bus that went to Choloma, hopped off at the 6th street, and walked 4 blocks to get to the Benque for the Leadership Meeting at 9:00 am. Yeah, we're awesome.

But the Leadership Meeting with President and Hna Dester and all the ZL's and the other HLE's went really well, we were able to agree on some reasonable and doable solutions to some issues we've been encountering. And President Dester gave us some wonderful words of counsel, and we listened to the testimonies of the ZL's that are finishing their missions in 2 weeks. So that was a really good meeting, we felt strengthened and refreshed a little bit. And I always love when we all sing the opening and closing hymn. That's probably my favorite part, to be honest.

And Hna Cruz and I continued hauling our stuff all over SPS as we walked over to the City Mall (where I always had lunch with Hna Robles when we were in the office doing paperwork) and I got myself a very nice BBQ chicken ranch salad from Wendy's... I miss salads! And President and Hna Dester also sat at our table and we got to talk for a little bit before they had to leave to run some errands. Then we met back up with the elderes and we hopped in another rapidito to take us back to the Terminal to get on a big bus that would haul us back to Copan in 3 hours.

So we did that, and finally got back home. Got ourselves a little unpacked, and headed back out to got find our citas. But we're home! We have crazy days planned for Saturday and Sunday, and then it's Pday again. Time goes a lot faster when you have to do divisions.

But, good news, I got my little Easter package from my family! So of course I opened it before the Leadership Meeting started and shared some of the jellybeans with Hna Cruz (who's never had jellybeans before and we were still really hungry) and played with the wind up chicken toy that lays bubblegum eggs. Hna Dester saw us playing and started laughing, saying that that was something her grandkids would love. So thanks for sending me that! And I loved the quote papers as well, I stuck one of them in my desk box so I'll see it all the time.

Good day overall, now we're just super tired and hungry and emotionally up and down, but we're good! Always takes a day or two to recover from divisions but we'll get back on track for another week.

I found a tiny little lime! It didn't taste like anything...disappointing.