Monday, November 13, 2017

Week 70: 16 Months!!!

Welcome to Honduras

Hello everyone!
Holy cow. Reporting on another week that has just escaped out of my
hands yet again. I'm not really sure what it is. Today I complete 16
months in the mission... what.......

So anyways, this week has been a pretty good week. Right now we are
teaching the kids of the lady that got baptized when I first got here.
It's super fun because one of the kids is nine and he wasn't receiving
the lessons with his mom and sister, so we are teaching them to him.
Because he is nine we are trying to implement some other teaching
methods so the lessons stick. Thanks to the Liahona magazine we have
been able to teach in a fun way stuff like the Plan of Salvation and
the Atonement. It's super cool. The church has provided a ton of cool
stuff for teaching little kids and it's really nice.

On Saturday we did a little service project with a couple of youth in
the branch and the sister missionaries. We put on those bright yellow
vests and started picking up garbage in the street. Copan is such a
beautiful place and maybe little by little we can influence others to
make it even more beautiful. Lots of people passed by and asked us who
we were and they congratulated us for our efforts, but we don't do it
for recognition; we do it because Christ's life was 100% service.
Today we did something kinda new. So being in Copan Ruins, we are
super close to the Guatemalan border and we have kinda wanted to go
check it out for a while. So we gave our ZL a call and asked if we
could go check it out. He said we could go, we just couldn't cross.
Hahah! So we got to go check it out today. It's only like a 15 minute
bus-ride going from the center and like 10 minutes coming back. We got
to take a picture in front of the welcome to Honduras sign and all of
that (we were obedient and did not cross just for your information,
haha!). It actually wasn't anything super spectacular. Just lots of
semi-trucks and offices, but cool nevertheless.

Lately something I have been trying to work on is having some good
quality prayer time. It's kinda easy to fall into a routine of prayer,
but now I am trying to look at it as my one-on-one time with God. I
can definitely note the difference in my day when I have meaningful
prayers and when I don't. It's interesting to see things like how
(even at this point in my mission) if I don't ask for the gift of
tongues Spanish goes a lot harder for me that day; and when I do ask
for the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues the language
is a lot easier. Prayer works.

Thanks for all of the support!
Elder Dority

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Week 69: Guacamaya!

Hey everyone! Another week here and gone in Copán Ruinas. The change is already halfway over which kinda blows my mind. I feel like I got here like two days ago, so I am not really sure what's going on. Maybe the people are throwing stuff in my pinol.

Hopefully everyone had a great Halloween. It was a little uneventful here. Hahaha! We went on splits with the zone leaders on Halloween, so Elder Hurtado and I made a trip out to La Entrada of Copán. It went really well. It's always nice to switch things up a little bit and pick up new ways of teaching and doing things. The ZLs were putting a big focus on using the Book of Mormon, so I really liked it. I also got to see my old ZL in San Pedro, Elder Huber, which was cool.

La Entrada of Copán

We had a pretty interesting contacting experience. So President Bush has really been pushing for us to use the Book of Mormon more in our finding efforts. So this week we contacted two guys in a neighborhood and we asked them if we could read from the Book of Mormon with them. They accepted and we were deciding what to read with them. We decided to read 2 Nephi 28, which if any of you like reading about latter-day apostasy that chapter is the way to go. We talked about how what was in that chapter was happening in our days and one of the guys became really interested and accepted a return appointment. It was super cool and goes to show that there are many ways to bring the restored gospel into people's lives.

Today we went to a super cool bird park called Macaw Mountain! It was so COOL! They have Guacamayas which are parrots, but they are huge and they can perch on your arms and shoulders and head! Hahaha! It was super fun! It was also funny because one of the sister missionaries busted out a bag of tajadas (chips) while we were there and I asked her for some and while I was eating the tajadas a parakeet tried taking them from me and basically hit me in the face! Hahaha!

Hermana Sanchez

Elder Hurtado... getting the hurt on! Talons?...

Hermana Waldan

Love the Fred Flintstone tie... "Yabba Dabba Doo!"

Well, that's it for this week! Thanks for all of your support! Love you all!
-Elder Dority

(Answers to Mom’s Questions… excerpts from family email)

~Tell me a little bit about where you're currently serving…

Copán Ruinas is kinda like Santa Barbara. There are a lot of similarities. Lots of corn tortillas. The tortillas here are the best tortillas in Honduras because they grow the corn right her on the rolling green hills and ship it out and all that. It's super cool. The tortillas are delicious because they are 100% handmade and home-grown. Yum yum!

~What’s it like being in a small branch and in the Branch Presidency?...

Being in the presidency is kinda busy. The president is a good guy. He has been president for about 9 years, so he's a trooper. We don't spend as much time teaching investigators now, but it's not like it takes away that much time. The missionaries teach like all of the classes on Sunday. Yesterday Elder Hurtado and I taught the Sunday School class for the youth and the priesthood class and then at 3:00 I taught a teacher's' class. Busy day.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Week 68: Todo bien en Copán (All Good in Copán)

Pilas Members in Copan Ruinas

Hey everyone!! This week I probably experienced my coldest day in the mission. I never thought I would have to carry my sweater around as a precaution in Honduras, but Copán Ruinas managed to do it. I believe it was Wednesday it got super windy and it was raining. It was funny because we had a district meeting and it started raining. Everyone grabbed black garbage bags and we wore them like ponchos. It was kinda crazy how cold it got. We could see our breath and that was like a super huge throwback to Utah weather, so I felt kinda weird. Hahah!

So Copán is going good. It's really interesting trying to help out a branch where the sacrament attendance is 35 people. It's kinda stressing because I just came from a very well-established ward, but I'm getting used to it. There are some super pilas families here that make up the backbone of the church here in Copán Ruinas. I'm so grateful for people who are pilas.

Right now we are teaching a guy who is super cool, but we have to do some work with him because he is in the process of joining the Gnostic church. He came to church with us on Sunday though and he really liked it. We are trying to focus on helping him read the Book of Mormon and going to church.

Nothing too crazy happened this week. Today's p-day wasn't as eventful because we just cleaned the house, but cleanliness is next to godliness so I guess you could say it was a successful day. Hahaha!

I hope you all of a super great week! Adiosum! (I guess the Copanecos {people of Copan} say adiosum at times) (Goodbye)

-Elder Dority

Dining with the District!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Week 67: Copán

Elder Dority got his wish! He's now serving in the Copan Ruinas Area which includes the Mayan Ruins

Hey everyone! So changes happened this last week and on Monday night Elder Cox and I received a call telling us that the both of us would be leaving San Pedro and that our area was being closed. It is kinda like a Santa Barbara 2.0. Hahah! Elder Cox got sent off to Villanueva to train a gringo, Elder Murray, and I was sent to the very beautiful land of Copán Ruinas. It was super hard to say goodbye to the people of San Pedro.

Copan is seriously a different world. There are tons of Americans touring here. The weather is a lot cooler and it is also quite a bit safer. I really like it. We are here in a branch with a sister missionary companionship. The church attendance averages at about 35 or 40 which is quite a drastic change. We are pretty much the branch president's counselors which is kinda weird. It's definitely a more administrative view of missionary life.

My new comp is Elder Hurtado. This is his first area and is in his fifth change here. He is super cool and is from Nicaragua. He and his last comp had a baptism ready to go for this week, so I just came and first thing we're doing is having a baptism. It was cool. The people are super nice here. All the little kids just run up and give you a big hug. Hahah!

Outdoor Baptismal Font

We live in a place called Centro, but our actual area is a little distance off and we have to walk there. Our area goes to the Guatemalan border, so it's pretty big.

We got to go so the ruins today and it was super cool. There are all of these huge temples and everything is so green. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I took a ton of pictures so I hope you enjoy them!! 

I see gringos everyday which makes me laugh. There are lots of cool things to do like the ruins, the border, the bird park, all sorts of stuff. At night it actually gets a little chilly and you almost need a jacket. I sleep with a sheet now and without a fan because it's cooled off enough at night. 

Well, I am definitely looking forward to working here with the branch and the district of the missionaries. Definitely a change in environment, but change is good.

Thanks for all of the support!
-Elder Dority

Few pictures of home sweet home...San Pedro Sula... gonna miss you.

San Pedro Sula Apartment

Elder Cox chillin' in the apartment

San Pedro Sula Kitchen

Sleeping the comfy chairs?...

The famous pila of broken pipe adventure... 

BYOB (Bring Your Own Bucket) Toilet...remember from last week's adventure?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Week 66: Bautismo! Siombé, ge.

Elder Dority, K___, YM President, Elder Cox

Young Men's President, K___ and his Family

Hey everyone! So this week was pretty crazy. So we had two baptisms planned for last Saturday. Ever so sadly, one of them fell through on Tuesday. He passed the interview the Friday before, but then informed us on Tuesday that he couldn't be baptized on Saturday because he was already baptized in the Catholic Church and he believes in that baptism. We tried explaining everything about authority and Christ's church, but to no avail. He told us about how he had talked to his mom and grandma about his decision to get baptized in this church and from what we understand he didn't receive any support. It was really quite sad. Hopefully we can help him come to understand.

Thankfully the other investigator went through with the baptism. His Young Men’s President baptized him. It was a really great service and actually quite a bit of his family came out to the service. The zone leaders were kind and offered the family a tour of the church after the service.

I had the blessing of confirming our investigator a member of the church on Sunday in sacrament and he actually ended up receiving the priesthood in the last hour. That was cool. Right off the bat he can start helping out with Priesthood duties.

On Friday we had a zone conference with President and Sister Bush. It was really good. The
focus of the whole conference was using the Book of Mormon. They talked about how we need to have the Book of Mormon in the lives of the investigators as soon as possible so they 
can feel that God is talking to them. It was a great conference and gave me a lot of desire to work more with the Book of Mormon in contacting and teaching.

Zone Conference

Elder Cox (bottom far left ), Elder Dority (bottom second left ), Elder Deeble (top, third from right)

We created our own District jersey

So tonight we receive the very much anticipated call from the zone leaders telling us who is going and who is staying. I am almost guaranteed the boot. I really have grown to love being in the city. I remember when I found out I was going to be in the middle of San Pedro Sula and I was just like, "oh no," but now I am so grateful for the many friends I have made here. Serving with Elder Cox was AWESOME and we are pretty close now. Lots of people think we are brothers or cousins because we apparently look similar, but we just have to tell them hermanos en Cristo. (Brothers in Christ) Hahaha!

Thanks for all of your support!
-Elder Dority

Side note from family letter: aka answers to Mom's many questions...
A guy had to come in and chip at our pila so he could replace the PVC. So the Pink Eye endemic died down. Elder Cox and I used hand sanitizer like crazy people, so luckily we haven't been hit with it. There are quite a few missionaries that have had it though. Not fun.
I have a ton of pictures for today. I just have to get them all downloaded on different computer. 
I did see the video that Sister Golder made. It is super cool to see pictures from the others. I haven't seen anything from Austin or Megan, so that was cool. It's also cool to see Mike. He's a good kid. (Sister Golder taught a lesson in church about serving those not of our faith and compiled a video of all the missionaries currently serving from our ward. She used it in her lesson as well as sending a copy to each of the missionaries.)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Week 65: Gracias Conjuntivitis (Thanks Pink Eye)

Last District Meeting

Hey everyone! So this week has definitely been an action-packed and crazy week. Action-packed in a good sense...? Maybe and maybe not. Hahaha! 

So this last week was a blast... literally. First off, I totally busted a faucet on our outside pila. So the thing is, my toilet has a huge crack in it so I can't let the water come in like normal and fill up the tank or else it will leak. So every time I want to use the bathroom I have to fill up a bucket in our pila outside and bring it in so I can flush the toilet. Well, we had come running home in a HUGE rainstorm, soaked to the bone, running because we both had to use the bathroom. I quickly went to the pila to fill up my bucket and because I had to go so bad I wasn't paying attention and when I lifted the bucket out of the pila I nailed the faucet. That broke the pipe that it was connected to because the pipe was nothing more than PVC. So out of nowhere water shoots out like a rocket and starts spraying me. I drop the bucket and try to put the faucet back on, but the pipe was completely broken so it wouldn't go back on. I yelled for Elder Cox to come out and turn the water off because there is a little hole in the ground with a pipe and a nob that I assumed was the main line. I told him to turn it off as I was trying to hold back this exploding water and it wouldn’t turn off. Cox grabbed a plate to redirect the water and I went to grab the landlord. I'm pretty sure that guy does not like me. Hahaha! He had to go out on the street and turn the water off. After that got all figured out we found a stick and Cox carved it and we shoved it in the hole with a piece of plastic to try and plug it up. It was a long night to say the least. A guy came and fixed it yesterday and today.

Honduran Pila- used for obtaining water and doing laundry

While we were walking up Boulevard Morazán last Monday a guy came up to us and asked us to help him teach basketball in his gym class at a school since we are "gringos from Utah." We ended up being able to go and help out. It was super fun. We got to teach kids of all ages a little bit of what we know about basketball (well, mainly what Elder Cox knows because I am terrible at basketball). We talked to this gym teacher and it turns out he already is pretty familiar with Mormons and Mormon missionaries. We got to know him and asked if he would like to have the missionaries over to visit him again. He told us that he would like that so we got his info down for a reference.

Elder Cox teaches ball handling

Elder Dority demos his mad skills...

Defense Everyone!

On Saturday we had our last district meeting for the change. It's going to be hard to say good-bye to the gang. It was already super surprising that nobody in the district had changes last time, so at least one person has to get the boot this time around. It's been really cool to work so close with my leaders in the mission in this district. 

Elder Huber (Center/Back) and Elder Coeto (center front)

So this week we have a baptism planned for Saturday. We have two that are going to get baptized the same day. We kinda ran into a little snag during the weekend when both of them came down with Pink Eye. It's spreading like crazy here and it made its way to our investigators. We still plan on going through with the baptism, so hopefully they recover soon. 

This week I had the opportunity to go on splits for a couple of hours with my zone leader Elder Coeto while Elder Cox went with Elder Huber to do the baptismal interviews for our two investigators. It was a cool experience because we got to teach a lady who has been an investigator for quite a few months now, but hasn't been able to make ends meet for getting married. It hasn't been a super smooth process either because she hasn't had the support of her partner either. He hasn't ever wanted to talk with us, but we got the chance to meet him when we offered our investigator and her daughter a blessing for the Pink Eye they both had. His heart has softened since then and in the splits we got to teach him, the investigator and their daughter all together. It was really cool. The lessons always feel so much better when it's a family affair.

Well, that's pretty much it for this week. I hope you guys all have a great week and enjoy the changing seasons, because here it is still summer...

-Elder Dority

General Conference...enjoyed it! Loved it!