Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 16: ¿No Está Siendo un Misionero Magnífico? (Isn't Being a Missionary Magnificent?)

La Brisas del Paraiso (part of our area)

Happy Halloween to all! I hope everyone is enjoying the start of the holiday season. We ask members here if they are going to do anything for Halloween, but they usually don't know what that means or they just say no. What a shame.

I bought a Spider-Man shirt and later I am going to be dressing up as Elder Dickson (switching plaques, wearing his backpack and tie, and doing my hair like him).

Elder Spiderman and Elder Scream?... (AKA Dority and Dickson)
So this week has been pretty interesting. I went down to the pilas on Friday to wash my clothes and a little later Dickson joined me. He went over to the other pila and he said that there was a rat in the pila. I went over and sure enough, there was one. I then pointed out that there was another one still alive swimming around in it. We told the landlord and he got them out (they both died). We avoid the second pila now.

"I smell a rat..."
We also celebrated Dickson's birthday, his one year in the mission. That was on Saturday. He burned a shirt and everything. We got to bake a cake that my family sent me in a care package the next day too. Cherry chipped, my favorite.

Elder Dority's Favorite Cake. He saved it and made it for comps one year mark.
The language is coming along really well. It's getting easier every day to pick apart what people are saying and focus the whole time someone is talking. I can definitely see the difference between now and when I entered the field.

The investigators are coming along well too. We had five investigators at church yesterday which was awesome! We usually only have like one each week, so that was great. We really focused on working hard this week and we reaped the rewards on Sunday. "Isn't being a missionary magnificent???

Until next time!
-Elder Dority

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 15: Ya Empieza la Fiesta! (And the Party Begins!)

Greetings from San Pedro Sula! Another week has come and gone here! I can't believe how fast the time is flying by!



The work is going pretty well here in La Lopez 2. We didn't get in a whole lot of visits because the Stake had this big three-day activity thing. It started on Thursday and the last day was on Saturday. It was funny, because on Friday we finished the main part of the activity and all the missionaries thought we would be heading home because it was about 9:30, but then they said "Now starts the fiesta!"

All the Latinos danced for about an hour and a half to two hours. We didn't get home until about 11:30pm! I must confess we slept in the next day. The last day of the activities was definitely the coolest part. There were a lot of cultural dances of different countries in Central America. We also got to try some traditional foods of the different countries too!

After two days of activities...it's 11:34 pm. Tired missionaries!

Elder Dickson and I are pretty excited because tomorrow we are going to meet with a guy that a member invited to church. He has already been to church three times and he went to the stake activities! We essentially just need to teach him the lessons and then he can be baptized! The missionary work goes so much smoother when the members are involved. The missionaries serve the purpose of teaching the lessons. If the members will fellowship them and invite them to learn about their religion, then the investigators are way more willing to learn. We are hoping we can baptize him next Saturday.

Well, I don't have any crazy experiences this week. The Spanish is definitely coming along. I can usually hold a conversation with anyone if the topic is one that I am familiar with in Spanish. Every day I become familiar with a few more words or phrases. I can definitely notice the difference.
So right now, I am trying to complete a goal of reading all four standard works of scripture completely from cover to cover. It has been an amazing experience. You can see the connections between all the books and how they all testify of the divinity of Christ! I know the scriptures are the word of God.

Well, that's it for this week! Until next time!
-Elder Dority

Bought a cake. This is what it said on the side of it.
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. ~John 6:35

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 14: Se Me Conocen Saben que No Me Guste el Pescado (They that know me know I don't like fish)


Lovin' my rain jacket! 
 I can't believe that I have now been on the mission for three months! Time is definitely flying by. This week has been a pretty jam‘packed week. I was definitely excited when I got my first care package from home! American candy here is either really hard to find or super expensive.

I did officially baptize someone on Friday! They aren't mine and Elder Dickson's investigators. The thing is we have two sets of missionaries in our ward, us and the ZLs. The Zone Leaders have been teaching them, but they live in our area; so we have been visiting them a ton too and we went to their wedding, so one of them asked if I could baptize her. It was a pretty neat experience! 

Wonderful Baptism

(Mom is wondering if this was the wedding the Stake held a fundraiser for...selling hotdogs?...if you remember Elder Dority's previous post about trying to get to the church to get a good ole' American hotdog through the torrential rain and experiencing a soiled shirt...)

We also went to a Stake service project in a type of campground place just outside of Choloma. We planted baby palm trees. I got to do that with a machete, which was fun.

Machete Man at Service Project

Pond Area and location of Service Project

Fisherman at the Pond
Fishermen on the Pond (photo taken at service project/camera has picture to painting feature)

The food this week was definitely a kicker. On Wednesday we had a soup called Sopa de Chicharrón. Chicharrón is essentially pig skin. It's super chewy, has a weird texture, and tastes funky. I still ate all of it though. Elder Dickson took one bite and could not finish the rest. It was funny. It definitely did some weird things to my stomach.

We also had fried fish for lunch yesterday. Now “if anyone knows me, they know that I am not a fish person.” Nevertheless, I still ate the blasted thing. It didn't really taste that bad, the thing is it just gave me food poisoning last night. I had to get up multiple times to throw up, which sucked. I am never eating fish again. Also, there were like these wailing cats on a roof top next to our room. This is at like 4:00 in the morning. Some guy came out and started throwing stuff at them to try and get them to stop! Hahaha!

So we got 4 investigators at church this past Sunday; two different families! One of the families has a date for baptism on the 5th of November.

Well, that's pretty much all from Honduras this week.

The Church is true!

-Elder Dority

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 13: Hay Personas Que Estén Listos a Oír y Aceptar El Plan de Salvación

Christ Teaching the Nephites in the Americas

Whoa! 13 is usually an unlucky number, but for us here in Honduras, I would say that this week was pretty good. The week kinda started out a little slow. Elder Dickson and I were coming off a pretty rough week last week. Things hadn't been going too great with our investigators, but what we did realize this last Sunday, was just how well the work has been going with our less-actives in the ward.

Elder Dickson and I have been working hard on helping members that are less- or inactive. We have helped in bringing quite a few back to church and are helping some prepare to be sealed as a family for time and all eternity in the temple. Being able to do this was definitely a tender mercy for me this week. All last week, I was so caught up in losing the fruits of a few investigators that I didn't realize how many fruits we had helped lift back up off the ground.

So some more awesome news: We have been teaching a family consisting of a mom and 4 daughters. Their ages are 15, 11, 6, and 2. We had not yet taught them the Plan of Salvation, so yesterday (Sunday) we decided to teach them about that. After the lesson, we challenged them to a baptismal date on the 5th of November and they accepted! We were so happy! The daughters told us that the lesson gave them the desire to be baptized and it helped them realize just how important it was! 

This was so cool because in General Conference the Prophet told us that "There are people that are ready to hear and accept the Plan of Salvation." It was so awesome to experience this for myself!

I am coming to understand out here on my mission, that I shouldn't worry too much or skirt around how to introduce the gospel. It’s ok to be a little bit bold in sharing the gospel. The gospel has something we need, that our souls long for. It's a little scary to ask questions on beliefs and what not, but the spirit will tell us what needs to be said.

Other than that...things are going pretty good. I keep telling myself to lay off the Baleadas, but then I tell myself I only have a two year window in my life to really enjoy them.

Sorry I didn't take any pictures this week. I'll work on that next week!


Plan of Salvation: What Happens After We Die

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 12: Seguir Adelante (Move Forward)

Hand-Carved Wall Plaque
This week has definitely been a little bit crazy. I was very grateful to listen to a living prophet during General Conference this past weekend. This week has been probably one of the more difficult weeks for me and Elder Dickson in this change.

Before, we had 3 investigators that had gone to church and were really on the path to baptism. One of them was attending another church. She was nevertheless having many wonderful spiritual experiences through the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, she felt that she needed to talk to her pastor or the other church for permission to be baptized in our church. We tried telling her that she should ask God if the church is true and if this was the correct path for her, but she said she needed to ask her pastor. We got a call from her this week saying she talked to him and she doesn't want to meet with us anymore.

The same day, another investigator had us meet him at his house. He said he wanted to return the Book of Mormon to us. He told us that he couldn't mee with us anymore because there had been a conflict between him and his wife over him meeting with us. In the same day, we lost two people who were starting on a path that they didn't realize just how much it would change their lives. We were heartbroken. We were so excited to help them receive all the blessings God has in store for them.

I felt pretty bad about this whole situation. A lot of our other investigators have been falling through this week or don't want to meet anymore. I have been feeling pretty bad about it because we have been working hard this change to bring souls unto Christ, but it wasn't so.

Thankfully, God prepared those speaking at General Conference. I received a message of hope from multiple speakers on Saturday and Sunday, that our success in spreading the gospel is not a pass-fail scenario. I received the peace that if I am giving my all in the field, then the Lord will prepare a way.

Sometime, you just gotta "move forward."

And that's exactly what we are going to do.

¡Adios from Honduras!

-Elder Dority
  
La Lopez is very green...
...more green La Lopez
La Lopez road
Back-side of Wall Plaque
Last Haircut from my Mom (12 weeks ago)
First Honduran Haircut!!!
Elder Dority and Elder Dickson overlooking La Lopez
Elder Dority overlooking La Lopez