Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 7:¨Todo Bien en La Lopez¨‏ (All is Well in La Lopez).

Elder Dority's area in La Lopez

Looking out over area of La Lopez

Well I finally made it to Honduras! We didn't get the chance to write this last week so now I get to talk about all the fun stuff that has been going on here in Honduras. To start off, it is hotter than snot down here. We stepped out of the airport into the shade and it felt like stepping into an oven. We were walking around Sunday mornings to investigator´s houses to invite them to church and it felt hotter than mid-afternoon on the hottest day in Utah.

The area I am in is in the northern part of my mission. The name of the ward is La Lopez and me and my companion have La Lopez 2. ¨All is good in La Lopez.¨

The members are awesome here. We get fed a lot of rice, beans, eggs, potatoes, tortillas, fried chicken, and Coke/Pepsi. For some reason the people are obsessed with Coke and Pepsi products here. There is a giant sign on the mountain that looks like the Hollywood sign but says Coca Cola.

"Hollywood" type sign on the hillside of Honduras

My trainer´s name is Elder Dickson. He is from Weber, Utah. He has been out for about 10 months. He helps to make sure I don´t look like too big of a noob out here (even though it´s super obvious).

Elder Dickson (Trainer)

Elder Dickson and Elder Dority (the noob...aka newby)

Mom, thank you for all the medicines and what not, also the hand sanitizer. I use it every time before I eat. It’s alright to wash your hands out of the water from the tap down here. You just want to use hand sanitizer before eating. That bottle of cold medicine that is specialty made works wonders. When I met Elder Dickson, he had just received a cold and I got it from him, but my body has been handling it just fine after a few days with that cold medicine stuff.

I am doing great! My stomach is handling to food really well; I think that is because I take a probiotic and multivitamin every morning. I get along super well with my trainer. He is super nice and patient with me. The hardest thing for me is honestly the language barrier. People talk fast and it is frustrating at times because I am not able to follow the whole conversation. But it´s all good. Just need more practice. I am in a very safe area. Nothing sketchy at all so don´t worry about that.

Elder Dickson says there is a road that has a super cool view that he wants to show me. Sometimes when we are out walking, we turn a corner and the road goes up at a 45º angle for 50 meters. The roads are all dirt, unpaved, and uneven. It hasn’t rained, which is kinda sad. I want it to down pour just so I can experience it, but Mother Nature has decided to just have it be incredibly sunny and hot all the time.

La gente (the people) here are awesome. Even if they aren't Mormon they are so open to listen to what you have to say. We have talked to a lot of people about the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. The people do not have a lot of material things. Most people live in a small concrete/tin home with one living room/kitchen and a bedroom, or just one room all together. They are so humble and love the Lord so much. It’s fantastic.

I have been so humbled in my first few days here. I have had to wash my clothes by hand, shower out of a bucket because our apartment only gets running water in the middle of the night, walk everywhere, and smell everything. We really don´t realize what we have until we don't have it. This week has really been about learning to humble yourself before the Lord. These people don't have a whole lot, so they know how to turn to the Lord.

La Lopez Apartment: Kitchen Area

Apartment: Study Area

Apartment: Where I Sleep

Oh, funny story. So we were heading to an investigator´s house. His name is Luis and he is 71 years old. Elder Dickson taught him one or two lessons before I came and we were going to invite him to be baptized. This was like my first or second day here.

As we turn onto his street, we see a ton of people and some cars up by his house. We go up to check out what is going on and they were having a funeral at his house! Keep in mind this is a 71 year old person living there!

We went a half a week not knowing if an investigator died on us or not! We went to his house yesterday and when we got to the door we asked some people that were sitting right there if Luis was home. Anticipating an answer was nerve-wracking. They said he was and we just gave the biggest sigh of relief. I guess his nephew had died. It was sad but we were happy that Luis didn't just give out on us.

We challenged him to baptism and he said that he will be baptized if he receives an answer that he should. We left him with Mosiah 18 to read and he is going to accompany us to a baptismal service on Saturday for the other missionaries in the ward.

Fun fact I figured out this week. So I bought some beans at a pulperia this past week (a pulperia is a little individually owned store that fits in a single room in a house) and I took it to the apartment to have for dinner. I boiled those suckers for 30 minutes and thought they would be fine. They were nasty. Turns out, you have to boil them for an hour! It’s not even worth it to me at that point.

Sorry there aren´t a ton of pictures.
-Elder Dority (easily the whitest guy here)

(note from Mom Dority...for all you over age of 30?...I had to look this up..."XD" is like "Lol"...or "Laugh out loud"...associated with an emogi of laughing face with eyes closed!'re welcome!)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Week 6: Finalmente llegó a Honduras! (Finally Arrived in Honduras!)

After six weeks of training in the CCM of Guatemala, Elder Dority has finally arrived in Honduras!!!

Elder Dority with President and Sister Bush

The missionaries arose at 2:30 am and were taken to the Guatemala airport where they parted to go their various mission assignments.

Elder Dority, 5th from the right on back row

Arriving in San Pedro Sula Airport, Elder Dority met for the first time President and Sister Bush. Sister Bush wrote of the occasion, “They have arrived! So glad they’re finally here.” “Twenty-two new Stripling Warriors to add to our ranks.”

San Pedro Sula Airport. Elder Dority in background

Elder Bate (one of the AP's) tries to tie down all that lugguge to the bus.
All the missionaries were assembled. Companionships were announced...along with the ward and stake they are assigned to begin serving in the next day.  

Elder Dority’s second companion is Elder Dickson. They will be serving in the Fesitranh Stake. Looking at the mission map, it appears to be in the District just north of San Pedro Sula.

Elder Dority and Elder Dickson
Elder Deeble and his new companion. Notice Elder Dority photo bombing!
Elder Olsen, second from right
Elder Dority and Elder Dickson center

Preparing to depart to assigned areas

We can’t wait for our first email from Honduras, telling of all the adventures to this point and see all his CCM photos he should be able to download at that time.

Our prayers and hearts are with him!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Week 5: ¡La Ultima Semana en el CCM! (last week in the MTC!)

Week 5: Guatemala CCM (Elder Dority, second row, fourth from the left)
Week 5: Guatemala CCM (Elder Bailey, second row,  8th from right with glasses)
Week 5: Guatemala CCM (Sister Missionaries)

Holy cow! I cannot believe that it is my "last week in the MTC!" I have no idea where the time has gone. It seems like only yesterday I was hoping on a plane starting the adventure of a lifetime. Time is a weird thing here in the CCM. The days are long but the weeks are short. I now know what the meaning of that phrase is.

There hasn't really been anything to out of the ordinary that has happened this past week. So the majority of my message is going to be about my growth at the CCM since the next time I email I will be in San Pedro Sula. 

A pretty crazy experience that happened this week happened with Elder Deeble's and my laundry. I was pulling the clothes out of the dryer and something fell out. Elder Deeble had left a little plastic bottle of consecrated oil in his pants. I do not know how the bottle did not melt because it was super hot to touch and we even dried our extra this time. The oil was in one of those little plastic containers. It was crazy.

So, so far at the CCM I have learned many things. I've learned from many people too. My mom wanted me to share the greatest lessons I've learned about the gospel, myself, and from my companion.

The greatest thing I have learned about the gospel is that it is meant for EVERYONE. At times it is difficult to see how a person could accept the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives, but they need it as much as anyone else. We cannot be afraid to share the joy of the gospel because there is not a soul who does not long for it.

The greatest lesson I have learned about myself is that I am capable of exercising my faith before I let fear stop me. I have had to pray harder and dig deeper than ever before in the CCM. I was stretched and "put through the refiner´s fire" in order to find out what I am truly capable of. It took a lot of faith to accept the will of God in some cases, and there were times when we fear we are not capable, but if we let faith run how we do things over fear, then God will show us miracles we didn't know were possible.

What I have learned from my companion is that I am never alone. There are people out there who know what I feel and I always have my savior, Jesus Christ, who knows how I feel. 

Remember the scripture in 1 Corinthians 10 that says you will not receive a trial that you are not capable of overcoming and is not common to man. 

I am excited to write to you all from Honduras!
-Elder Dority

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Week 4: El Autobús Pollo no es Seguro (The Chicken Bus is Not Safe)

Chicken Bus of Central America (stock photo)

Holy cow what a week it has been. It has definitely been way to long since the last time I emailed out. A lot has happened this week and there´s a ton of funny stuff I want to talk about.

So last Tuesday, our district had the opportunity to go to a plaza in downtown Guatemala. While we were riding down there we got a nice little tour of the city. It was funny because one of the teachers who was telling us all these facts started talking about the busing system down here.

He talked about how there are red, chicken, green, and blue buses. Apparently, the red bus is not safe and "the Chicken Bus is not safe." Whatever that means. I guess there´s a busing system down here that has a giant chicken on the buses. The Red System runs by the CCM all the time and whenever we see one, we say "the Red Bus is not safe!"

Outdated yellow school buses from the United States are sent to Central America to re-incarnated into "Chicken Buses" (stock photo)

Inside of "Chicken Bus" (stock photo)

When we got to the plaza, we got to go through the 2nd oldest cathedral in Guatemala City. The building is beautiful and it was neat to see some of the other religious influences. It definitely did not feel the same to me as going to a church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After we left the church our district went into a sort of underground storage facility market. They looked like the storage facilities that you see with all garages... It was like that, except there was only 3 feet between them for walking between everyone´s stores. There must have been over 200 individually owned stores in there. I ended up getting a blue bracelet type thing that has "Dority" burned into the leather.

Market (stock photo)

We finally made it to the plaza at about 10:30. We were going to be handing out Books of Mormon. At first, Elder Deeble and I were super intimidated. We were nervous about how our Spanish would hold up with the people there. We ended placing two books and getting their names and addresses. It was super cool. Elder Deeble and I can pick up about every other word when we talk with the Latinos, so we can usually get the jist of what they are saying.

These are scriptures we shared with the people with talked to at the plaza:

Moroni 10:4-5 (Book of Mormon)
· 4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
· 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Galatians 5:22 (New Testament)
· 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

That was the message we wanted to share. We wanted to share with them what the spirit feels like. It feels like peace, joy, faith, etc.

Elder Deeble and I have grown to be such a strong companionship. We have shared some pretty rough times together. Being out here is hard and we want so bad to just do what is right. I am truly blessed to have him as a companion. He is always there for me.

That was the main event of this week. Some other things that have happened: some toilet overflowed in our hallway because one of the new missionaries had pressed a wrong lever or something to that effect and the toilet started overflowing. They didn't know how to turn it off and my roommate, Elder Burt, had to run in there and turn it off for them.

13 more days in the CCM then we head for San Pedro Sula! Cannot wait to get out of an enclosed space... Hahaha! Might be eating my words later but that is okay.

For a more spiritual thought for this week, I have really come to learn how to exercise faith over fear.

Life is hard, and no one is perfect, but when we are trying our hardest the Lord will bless us. We need not fear the world when we have faith in the Lord.

Another thing that I am learning while being here is that EVERYONE has a need, and that need can be tied into the gospel. It´s not just a matter of "oh, I want to learn more about Christ" there is something more to it. WHY do you want to learn more about Christ? Why, why, why, and WHY????...

One of the teachers here just came by and said I need to share an experience in Spanish with my family, so here goes nothing…

“Tuvimos la oportunidad para ir a la plaza hace una semana. Fue muy divertido ver la ciudad y aprender sobre la gente de Guatemala. Fuimos a la segunda más mayor catedral en la ciudad de Guatemala. Fue bonita, pero hay algo que fue pasado. En el centro a la frente fue un Cristo. Él estuvo en la cruz y hay mucho sangre y infelicidad con el. No hay felicidad porque el Espíritu no fue presente. No hay felicidad sobre Jesucristo. ¿Ellos no sabe que la mensaje de Jesucristo es una mensaje de felicidad? Necesitamos enfocar en las cosas buenas en vida. Sí, es muy importante para saber y entender la muerte de Cristo, pero Jesucristo murió, entonces nosotros podemos tener la oportunidad ser feliz. Yo sé que mediante Jesucristo, nosotros podemos superar cualquier cosa que Satanás nos da. Yo sé con todo de mi corazón. En el nombre de Jesucristo, amen.”

Here it is in Ingles:
"We had the opportunity to go to the plaza a week ago. It was fun to see the city and learn about the people of Guatemala. We went to the second largest cathedral in the city of Guatemala. It was nice, but something didn’t feel right. In the center at the front was Christ. He was on the cross and there was much blood and unhappiness in him. There was no happiness because the Spirit was not present. There is no happiness about Jesus Christ? Do they not know that the message of Jesus Christ is a message of happiness? We need to focus on the good things in life. Yes, it is very important to know and understand the death of Christ, but because Jesus Christ died, we have the opportunity to be happy. I know that through Jesus Christ we can overcome anything Satan tempts us with. I know this with all my heart. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

"In His Light" by Greg Olsen. This picture is on the wall of Elder Dority's grandparent's home.

I miss all of you but I really am not terribly homesick. I´m more excited than anything.

Go USA and follow The Spirit!
-Elder Dority

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Week 3: Sopreso!!!

Elder Dority at El Templo Guatemala

We found out halfway through our week that we would have our emailing day on Monday because we will be getting a fresh batch of gringos on Wednesday. Now our p-day is on Tuesday and I won´t be emailing again until next Wednesday. I also found out that we can send pictures now so hopefully you guys enjoy them! (see more photos end of blog)

CCM Companions- Elder Deeble and Elder Dority at Guatemala Temple

El Templo Guatemala

El Templo Guatemala

Hillside near Guatemala Temple

Nothing much has happened this week. Elder Deeble and I wrapped up teaching German this week. It has been very interesting to see how far we have come since the first lesson. Our Spanish is much better and we flow really well during our lessons. We can answer almost any gospel related question now and explain harder concepts in the scriptures.

We watched a video of our 2nd lesson with German (pronounced Herman) and we have for sure improved. In our first lesson, we would read off our notes practically the whole time and didn't bounce of each other’s thoughts very well. Now we are really getting the hang of things. We also watched the video of The Restoration.

It was very spiritual and definitely strengthened my testimony that Joseph Smith truly was called as a prophet of God and he really did translate ancient scriptures now known as the Book of Mormon.

There´s not really much else to talk about this week. Tomorrow for p-day we are going to go to the plaza and hand out Books of Mormon. It is going to be so fun. We´re going to catch a bus in the morning and be over there for a while. We´ll get to see the market and various other things.

Cerca de palacio nacional (p-day plaza for Books of Mormon handout)

Next week´s email will be better. I promise! Hope you all liked the "surprise."
-Elder Dority

Roomates:(back row) Elder Dority, Elder Cox, Elder Burt
(front row) Elder Deeble, Elder Jacob, Elder Halverson, Elder Flake

Our distrito goofing off around the fan. (or "Living Large"...the CCM food is really great?)

Un Poco parte del ciudad (A little part of the city)

The store where we go on p-days

CCM Guatemala

Walkway/Gate of CCM Guatemala
View from airplane of Guatemala City