Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #68 - Day #470 - Las Flores, Villanueva, Cortes

May 31, 2016

We went over to Santa Rosa! Again! For the 4th time in 9 days! But we had a good Zone Meeting and put our monthly goals and our beloved ZL's talked about the importance of working with the people in our areas, members and investigators, and loving them. And how that makes the difference. Good points.
Last Zone meeting in Copan!

And then Hna Cruz and I had to hop back on the bus and miss out lunch with the zone because we needed to get back in time for a cita, and then we finally got to eat, and then went around looking for some more people, and had my last Consejo de Rama, and went and visited a member family. And then came home and packed! It's good that this will be my last move because I have many things to haul around. That's the problem with having 15 months in a mission, you tend to accumulate stuff. And all of it is important and I use it! It's just a lot.

Monday, May 30, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #67 - Day #469 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 30, 2016

Pday! The elderes blew us off on a planned district activity so we decided to go and look for earrings instead. Darn elderes. But it's alright, I found some new nail polish and earrings and eyeliner that make me happy. It's the little things, you know?

So Hna Cruz and I played around and had lunch and wrote our families (hi family!) and then had my last cita with Cesia and Roning. We talked about the importance of reading the scriptures, praying, and going to Church. And their friend Mary was there as well, so that was cool. We used the spoons and cups example to help illustrate why these 3 things need to go together in our lives, and it seemed to stick. And baby Fabian was awake and wriggling around, so it was nice to see him again.

And we were informed that I will be training and opening area! So that's gonna be really interesting.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Sunday, May 29, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #67 - Day #468 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 29, 2016

My last Sunday here! Weird. Anyways, we passed by 3 different investigator families and not one of them would go to Church with us. The first one straight up said no and didn't give a reason. The second had already gone to who knows where and wasn't home. And the third (Cesia and Roning, our last hope!) couldn't because Fabian was up all night so Roning was taking care of him so Cesia could sleep. Which is understandable. So we were a little sad as we went to Church without any people. Again. But we know that somebody awesome will want to come to Church and be baptized and be blessed. We just haven't found them yet.

So we did all that fun stuff and had lunch and then started looking for people again to teach. They're hard to come by, sometimes. But we did get some citas in and I said goodbye to Keyla and Alexandra. They won't go to Church anymore, either. But I still love them and we had a good visit with them. And then we found a family that we had contacted the dad before, but we hadn't been able to come back, and then we found his whole family. So we shared the "Follow Him" video and talked about the Gospel, like we always do. Actually a pretty neat family, I like them.

And that was our day! We have Pday tomorrow, Zone Meeting in Santa Rosa, and then changes. Whoo!

Saturday, May 28, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #67 - Day #467 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 28, 2016

This morning we had the whole thing of getting back to La Entrada, and we headed up to Hna Haydee for lunch. I love that lady and I'm gonna miss her. But she gave us spaghetti, eggs, and Izote flower!
I ate flowers! Haha! That was also a first. They're good, but taste sort of bitter, so you have to mix them into your other food to hide the taste. And, this plant is the national flower of El Salvador so they don't eat it (sorry, Elder Oldham!) but in all the rest of Central America they eat it. Here they like it with fried egg. But you literally eat ALL the flower... part of the stem, petals, stamen and everything.
Izote flower for lunch!
So there you go. And we got to visit her pigs because a whole bunch of piglets were born last week. They are darling! But when they grow up they're not cute at all and are messy.

And we had Coordinacion Misional and a cita, we waited forever both times for the people to come. Downside of nobody having a functioning cell phone. Common problem.
And it turns out that Sunday is the day that you can sell the most tortillas. Which is a problem because our family of investigators sells tortillas. And won't come to Church. So we talked to them about keeping the Sabbath Day holy, and how it's a commandment. And they even said that they believed that God could bless them and make up for not selling on Sunday, they could sell more on Saturday or Monday. So we invited them again to Church and they said... no. Ah! I hate that. We explain some important principle, the people make a good comment, understand it, share some really long experience about a miracle from Jesus in their lives, we regroup back to the important principle, recheck for understanding, all good to go, we invite them to live important principle and they say no. Yeah. I've really missed having logic to things for these past 15 months.

And people bathe (splash water on) and change their children's clothes like 8 times a day. Which I think makes more work for the mom because then she has to wash all those clothes. It's easier to just teach your children to be clean and straighten up after making messes and not to lay in the dirt. That's just my perception. With logic.

Friday, May 27, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #67 - Day #466 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 27, 2016

Divisions in Santa Rosa!! I went with Hna Mendoza, Hna Cruz went with Hna Phillips.
Also interesting day, as all our citas fell and we were really busy getting ready for an activity the missionaries were in charge of in the night (I shredded 3 pounds of cheese. I'm awesome at that). So we didn't actually teach that much. But we did get some contacting in.

But in our wanderings today we knocked a house (we could actually touch the door because it was in a residential area...we still yelled buenas, just in case) and we then had an hour-long discussion with a white person from the States and his Columbian friend about the Book of Mormon, how the Holy Ghost works, and the Plan of Salvation. That was interesting. And really weird to talk in English. I didn't think I could do it, but I did. Granted, it was more of a Q&A thing than actually teaching a full, organized sequence of events as a lesson, but it was still a special experience for me. Turns out that they were missionaries from Mission Upreach and they'll be there for 2 years (although Matthew became a supervisor or something so he'll be there for 5) and everything that we said was new and different for them as they had never heard about any of this in their studies of the Bible. So they were really hesitant. And the Columbian was just wanting to fight and was asking a whole bunch of questions that made literally no sense. Even Matthew got confused by him. But Matthew was very calm and tried to think through everything we were discussing. So that was good. But it was strange to talk in English because it was like when I talk/listen in Spanish, there's sort of a film over my understanding, like looking and hearing through Saran wrap, and in English it's like it was taken away and I could see and hear way more clearly. Which made me feel more vulnerable, to be honest, which was odd. But I was even more sure of myself when I testified of the Gospel and it's truth. We couldn't show them every Bible verse that backed up everything we said, but we taught them about prayer and the Holy Ghost. All in a mix of English and Spanish, but towards the end the majority was English because the Columbian backed out and we focused on Matthew. Hna Mendoza can read and listen to English and understand almost perfectly, she just has a hard time speaking it. So she didn't feel so left out and made her comments in Spanish. So I would say that that whole experience was interesting and the first time that I had talked about the Gospel in English to a white person in Honduras. There ya go!

Thursday, May 26, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #67 - Day #465 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 26, 2016

Divisions in Dolores! I went with Hna Lopez
and Hna Cruz went with Hna Ortiz.
Good day, all our citas fell through. And we found 2 other churches: Iglesia el Arca de Noe, and Iglesia Biblia Abierta. And someone in our lessons prayed to God first wishing Him a good afternoon and then continuing with their prayer. Interesting.
Hna Mower, Cruz, Lopez, Ortiz

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #67 - Day #464 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 25, 2016

Today was an interesting day, it was rough in the morning, but the afternoon got better... we talked a lot about repentance in our lessons and it was a good reminder for me. Even after all this time I've got issues with some things and I get in trouble with myself. But we're working on it!
Anyways, this morning we went looking for our investigator and helped her make some more tortillas, and she figured out that each one of us makes tortillas in a different manner. I tried to make like them like she did, but I like the way I was first taught better. And it was interesting because Hna Cruz and I could feel the difference in the corn dough they were using. And the comal was very different as well. Tortillas are complicated!

We had lunch with Hna Olympia, and she gave us beef soup, which was pretty good, but soup is hot, and the air is already hot, and the sun is hot, and our bodies were really warmed up from walking around, working in the morning, so we were a puddle. But then we got a fan going, and it was better. And, just to remind you guys, "soup" means giant chunks of things floating in water, with a little bit of salt. I had 2 fist-sized chunks of yuca, half a green banana, half a potato, a baby corn (with the husk still on, of course), and about 3 inches of cow rib with connective tissue and bone still intact. And we also had rice and Coke. Can't forget the rice and Coke.

And then we rested up a bit and headed back out to work. And I was surprised by the interesting visits we had today. Our investigators all opened up and told us things we didn't know before, and I really felt something for them. So I consider that a blessing. And they actually seemed to understand what we were teaching them and had really good questions that helped us understand their thought process and where they're at with their conversion. That's never happened before. So this afternoon was special for me.
And I understood better the concepts of sins of commission and omission (one of the awesome questions Cesia and Roning asked). First, a sin of commission is when you actually do something that you know is incorrect (steal, lie, kill), and a sin of omission is when you choose to not do something that you know you should do (not go to Church, don't pray everyday). Both are equal in the sense that a sin is intentional disobedience that draws you away from God. And, sinning limits our agency due to consequences. From what I observe in simple terms, sins of commission limit or take away the agency of others and then that of yourself (killing someone and taking away their time here on earth, and then you're sent to jail... kinda limits your prospects), while sins of omission first limit your own agency, and eventually that of others (a parent that decides to stop going to Church but tells their children that they have to go... they're not actually supporting their children or helping them to spiritually grow, so it's more likely that they also stop going to Church). And in both cases, you're not moving towards God. You're stopping your progress and moving backwards. So, honestly, sin just isn't good in whatever case. And, sin is different from transgression, so we had to add that aspect to the mix (like when I pushed my sister off the swing when we were 4 years old and I didn't want to say sorry). But both sin and transgression require repentance. It's the same process to recognize that we've done something wrong, feel a sorrow for it, explain and ask forgiveness from God and our fellow man, and make a promise to not do it again. And the fear of messing up again shouldn't prevent us from trying to repent. Though we may have to repent over and over and over from something, we should still continue with the desires to finally overcome it. Heavenly Father understands that.
The Gospel is so interesting! If you take a minute and study and think, you can learn many things. In my case, these are things that I've known about and been taught since I was very little, but it takes a while to actually understand them. And I still don't get everything perfectly. But it's making more sense.

But, on not so much of a spiritual note, apparently we as missionaries protect newborn children from the lechusas. (I love all these old wive's tales. And they're all about crazy women that eat kids. Weird.) Anyways, Cesia and Roning were expressing how they have felt a better presence in their house since we've been visiting them and they like what we've taught them so far (we're making slow progress with them... today we finally taught lesson 3 about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Roning said that he could come to 1 hour of Church on Sunday!)... anyways... Cesia said that the spirit we bring with us protects Fabian from the lechusas that would want his umbilical cord (from what I understand, a lechusa is a witch that was transformed into this kind of bird, and flies around in the night, looking for newborns to suck the life out of them... I assume from their bellybutton. A saber.) so that was interesting. But we're still trying to help them understand and recognize their answers. Cuz they've definitely received a lot of them, they just don't see them. Or perhaps want to accept them. So we're still trying with them. But Roning being willing to go to Church was a HUGE step. And we're happy! But yeah, we can add lechusa-warding to the list of things we know how to do when we're offering to help give service to people. Also, if you're foot or legs falls asleep (like it did to Hna Cruz in a cita today), you can draw a cross on it and the power of Christ will heal it. Yup.

So, that was a fun day. Lots of interesting things happening. And we have divisions tomorrow and Friday! Whoo! My last time doing divisions here in Copan. It's bittersweet. But I would like to finish my mission being a normal missionary... you just get really, really, really tired as a missionary.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #67 - Day #463 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 24, 2016

District Meeting! And all our citas fell through. And we had Consejo de Rama. And talked to a member family about the importance of them getting married. They've been together 7 years and have a 3 year old daughter. So we're trying to help them with that.

But we got to play soccer with a 2 year-old kiddo while helping the mom make tortillas, and we had plantain and bean pastelitos. So that was a plus!
Our bean and plantain pastelito!
And a pathway in our area

Monday, May 23, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #66 - Day #462 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 23, 2016

Today we had our normal Pday schedule as always... nothing really exciting happened. :)
A house we visited! Get a virtual tour of a normal Honduran house.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sunday, May 22, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #66 - Day #461 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 22, 2016

Another day of District Conference! This time we went in the morning and were there all the way until lunchtime.
Santa Rosa on Sunday

So we had lunch while we were waiting again for the bus, and we got back home at about 3:00 pm.
Got ourselves ready again and headed out! Did some more visits, and did service! We chipped off whitewash from some walls in Keiby and Gladis's (they're converts) house.

Chipping off whitewash (and that black dot by my eye is a mosquito!)
That was fun! I got all covered with the white plaster stuff and there were a TON of mosquitoes there. But we enjoyed it.

Making the hornilla

We'll come back on Saturday, I think, and help repaint everything. Keiby and Anival (investigator) were making a hornilla (thingy to cook with a comal... I'll send more pictures and it'll make more sense).

And we went and met Fabian Andre!!! He's adorable and 3 days old. We got to hold him and talked with Cesia and Monique (Cesia's younger sister that the elderes baptized a while back) for a while, Roning was going in and out of the room the entire time. He's a little stressed to be an official dad now, but they're both happy for their little baby boy. He's darling! And really long, so he doesn't look that fat. He slept the entire time, but he eventually opened his little eyes and wriggled around and everything. His skin feels like a marshmallow and has really skinny little legs. And does have a big nose, and his chin is the same as Roning's. Cute little kiddo.
Hna Cruz and Fabian Andre Villeda Morales!!!!
Me and Fabian Andre Villeda Morales!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #66 - Day #460 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 21, 2016

Well, we worked in the morning and went and head lunch with Hna Haydee, and in the rapidito we went in there was a kid ayudante (the guy that collects the money you pay to travel in the rapidito and tells the driver to stop when you want to get off), so that was kinda funny. He was very nice, though, and told me "pase, dama linda"and put the little folding seat down so I could sit. So that was a nice change from some things that people usual say to me. Nice little kid, was about 11 years old, really young to be an ayudante.

And as we were eating lunch, a gecko ran onto our table and ate 2 flies. Which was random, but, good. Freaked Hna Cruz out a little bit. And I also put a tortilla on top of my soda to protect it from the said flies. Which made Hna Cruz laugh after being freaked out by the gecko. We had a fun morning!
And my soda with it's tortilla hat!
But we did a few more visits and ran over to the church to have Coordinacion with Wilmer, but he got there late so we didn't have it because then he had to go. So we kept walking around and found another church, Iglesia Lirios del Valle (it's a play on the last name of the family that founded the church, as they're the Valle family). And then we had to go to the church and hop on the bus that took us to Santa Rosa for the District Conference.
Us on the way to Santa Rosa on Saturday
So we got to enjoy that and visit a bit with Pres and Hna Dester (he's in charge of the District and the normal District President is out of the country right now, so he had to come) and then wait an hour for our bus to come back and take us back to La Entrada. That was fun. But we finally made it back, and got ready for another day!

I was pretty proud of myself, though, since Hna Cruz and I sang 40 minutes of memorized hymns in Spanish while we were on the bus... the jovenes were going crazy in the back of the bus so we figured we needed to do something to keep our sanity and calm. Singing hymns is good for that. But we were pretty impressed that we could sing so many by ourselves. That's what happens when you sing 4-5 a day in lessons. The power of music!

Friday, May 20, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #66 - Day #459 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 20, 2016

Got back home safe and sound! Got unpacked and whatnot, ran over to lunch with Hna Brenda, gave her some skirts to redo the hems (she has a Janome sewing machine and is making dresses all the time) and got ready for the day. Lots of lovely visits and contacting, and then a crazy rainstorm came out of nowhere! So we headed back home to wait it out because the lightening was really, really close and the light always goes out when it rains. So we waited a little bit and the rain passed, but the light didn't go out, which was a first. So we headed back out and did a little bit of work and then went back home.

And then I got to help out Hna Erickson with some health stuff with hnas we've done divisions with, so that was fun. She's doing great, and I helped encourage her a bit as it's hard being nurse. I lived with one for 3 changes. But I'm proud of her and she's a wonderful hna here in the mission.

And we found yet another church in our wanderings today! Iglesia del Dios Vivo, Columna y Apoyo de la Verdad "La Luz del Mundo". Long name.

Thursday, May 19, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #66 - Day #458 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 19, 2016

Divisions in Villanueva! I was with Hna Ordonez (who was in Potrerillos and is now here)
and Hna Cruz went with Hna Palencia.
Hna Ordonez also has knee problems so we stayed close to home and we visited the exact same people I had visited the last time we did divisions there. Anyways, good day overall.

And another church: Iglesia Bautista Victoria en Cristo. At least it mentions Christ.
The church we found in Villanueva
But, awesome news!!!! Baby Fabian Andre finally was born!!!!! At 7:30pm!! We're thrilled and Cesia is happy to finally not be pregnant. He was 4 days overdue, I think. 57 centimeters and 7.5 pounds, has a lot of hair and a big nose, apparently. We're so happy and excited to meet him when we get back to our area!
Fabian Andre Villeda Morales

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 -- Month #15 - Week #66 - Day #457 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 18, 2016

Divisions in Potrerillos! I went with Hna Farao
Hna's Mower and Farao in Potrerillos
(she had emergency changes and was pulled out of Campanas on Monday and sent to Potrerillos... I feel like I've done a lot of divisions with her) and Hna Cruz went with Hna Zepeda who is a newbie and has 4 weeks in the mission
Hna's Cruz and Zepeda
(her trainer, Hna Tajiboy went home due to knee problems, that's why Hna Farao came). So we had a special sort of divisions with them. They're doing good, both kinda stressed because neither of them know the area, so we helped them out and grabbed a member to show us around. Hna Farao is pretty much checked out because she's finishing in 2 weeks in June as well. I hope I don't get like that.
Hna's Mower, Cruz, Zepeda, Farao
I also got my last name changed around a lot when I meet people, as usual, but today I had a full reversal of my name... apparently I'm Hna Womer now. That was interesting. I even said my name correctly 4 times and they still didn't get it. That's alright.

And we found another church! La Iglesia Casa de Misericordia. I'm seriously amazed at all these names.

Also, there's this guy in the Terminal in SPS that we always see when we travel, he has elephantitis and I swear his leg gets bigger every time we see him. It's pretty sad. I had never seen a person in real life with that disease, and now I do every few weeks as we come for divisions or the Lidership Meeting.

My 15 months! Thanks Aunt Anna for my countdown!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #66 - Day #456 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 17, 2016

District Meeting! And in the morning Hna Cruz and I prepped some banana bread to cook in the church's oven while we had the meeting. It turned out beautifully and I got to mix it all up with my hands. I was very happy.

Making the banana bread batter!

Got lunch and walked around a lot, and did a bunch of visit with people that aren't really wanting to progress. And we had Consejo de Rama. Long day, and I'm tired!
Honduran sky
But we got divisions starting tomorrow, so we're getting ready for those. Hna Cruz was getting bothered with all my white hairs that are coming out, so she sat me down and pulled out 15 of them! All about 1.5" long. 12 were pure white, and 3 were changing color from brown to white. So there you go. Viva la mision!

My white hairs!
We also saw a non-smoking sign as we were walking around: "Fumar es suicidio. Por favor, suicĂ­dese en otro lugar." It made me laugh... Smoking is suicide. Please go suicide yourself somewhere else! It's true. Don't smoke, please.

Monday, May 16, 2016 -- Month #14 - Week #65 - Day #455 - El Dorado, La Entrada, Copan

May 16, 2016

Palindrome date!  (16-05-16)  Typical Pday morning activities, went and got lunch,
Us eating pizza for lunch!
scouted out some labs and whatnot for Hna Erickson, shopping and writing our families!
Me drinking my soda in the internet (station where we email home)
While we were writing, Hna Erickson and Medina came to La Entrada (they were in Santa Rosa looking at things down there) so then we got them to our house and let them rest while we went and did a few citas. We got to do a birthday FHE with the Aguilar Sanchez family since it was Gloria's birthday. So we shared a message with them and played the spoon activity and had pastelitos and horchata for dinner. Which was actually very delicious and I enjoyed it. And we ran by Hna Benitez and talked with her for a bit, as she's still on bedrest for her foot that's swollen. And then we headed back home and talked a whole lot with Hna Erickson and Medina. I like them a lot as well.
Me, Hna Erickson, Hna Medina, Hna Cruz
Hna Medina is finishing her mission this change in June, and Hna Erickson has 7 months already! And I almost have 15 and I feel old. But it's all good! I'm happy.

I started cleaning the grout in the kitchen because it's dirty and was bothering me.