Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 20: El Tiempo Pasa Demasiado Rápido (The Time Goes By Too Fast)

Stake Primary Activity, we performed a drama of the First Vision of Joseph Smith

Holy cow this week just flew by. I have no idea where it went. I think the reason it went by faster this week is because Elder Demera and I had a lot more work this week in the area. Work = faster time. That's the missionary equation. "The time goes by too fast." I can't believe that it is almost December. I'll be coming up on five months in the mission which is super weird to me. It feels like I left just last week.

So the work is coming along really well here. We have three investigators committed to baptism for the month of December. Elder Demera and I are working harder and harder every day. We are starting to work more cohesively during the lessons and in all other aspects of mission life. Thanksgiving was just another day on the job here. I realized on Thursday night that you guys had had your Thanksgiving dinner already. It made me laugh because I had beans and tortillas and sour cream. Hahaha! Also, one of the Recinos family, bought this DVD with all these classic American songs and we were over there for dinner on Saturday. The YMCA song came on and I taught everyone how to do the dance. Hahaha! It was fun! They are great. We are going to have a Family Home Evening with them tonight.

There are Christmas trees here in Honduras! Not everyone has one; probably about half the families have a tree. Everyone says that you eat a load of tamales down here for Christmas, so I am excited for that. I'm missing the snow a little bit right now, but not too much. I don't like being cold. The heat is much better. I hope you are enjoying your holiday season! It's a time to be happy!

Annual Christmas tree cutting photo

I am definitely excited for this Christmas season. The church has put out a thing that will promote service every day of December up to Christmas in different ways. There is a #lighttheworld. I am definitely going to try and participate in all the things that we are challenged to do. It's super cool and an awesome way to serve this Holiday season. Light of the World Video (Beautiful video of the Savior and service. Please take the time watch.)

So with starting the Book of Mormon over, I have been trying to really focus on understanding the story and the characters and how religion influenced all the events that happened in the Book of Mormon. It has never been this interesting to me before to read the Book of Mormon before! I find myself wanting to read more and more just to know what happens! It's crazy how much the scriptures are opened up to us when we have an open mind. It's awesome.

Well, not too much else to report on this week. Our zone participated in a primary activity for the stake this week. We did a super poorly last minute drama of the First Vision of Joseph Smith. I had the role of God the Father. I essentially just took of my tie and put on baptismal pants. It was fun though. Good times and good memories had by all.

Enjoy this holiday season and get out and do some service! It's good for your spiritual health!

-Elder Dority

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 19: "...con nosotros está Jehová. No los temáis." ("...the Lord is with us: fear them not.")

Elder Demera and I (new companion)

New Honduran soccer shirt

This week has been a pretty crazy and fun week. I had to say good bye to my mission dad: Elder Dickson. He left for San Pedro and is now the Financial Secretary, so that's cool!

My new companion came on Wednesday and he's a latino! His name is Elder Demera and he is from Ecuador! He has been in the mission for about seventeen months so he has a ton of experience. He was raised in the church but went inactive for most of his life, but he became active again when he was about 18. We don't have any issues and he works hard. All my companions last names have started with the letter "D" which I thought was pretty funny.

I was super nervous about having a Latino companion at first, but I actually like it. It forces me to talk the language more often. Elder Demera is pretty cool. He likes to beat-box as we walk and he likes anime (like most Latinos). I am the only white person in my zone now.... hahahahahaha! It's all good. I am comfortable enough with the Spanish now that it doesn't bother me.

I am really hopeful for this change. I think we are on track to have a lot of success in this companionship. One of our investigators, named Berta, came to church for the third time this week which is awesome! She told us during our class of Gospel Principals that she really does feel good in this church. I think she'll get baptized soon and her daughter too. We also found out that there is a girl in our area that has gone to church four times and isn't baptized, but she wants to be! So we are going to teach her this week too and hopefully baptize her soon!

The R. Family. We eat lunch with them on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. They are super cool and are converts as of a year and a half ago. The oldest daughter is going to leave on a mission sometime in January or February. She hasn't received her call yet though. She will probably receive that in December. I keep telling her she is going to go to the states, but I have a feeling she might go to Brazil.

Nothing too crazy happened this week. It's been raining a ton which makes the weather a little cooler which is always nice. This week I was reading in the Old Testament in the book of Numbers. I was in chapter 14 when the Israelite spies were sent to check out the Promised Land. 10 of the 12 spies brought back a report of fear, saying that the people in the land were powerful and that they wouldn't be able to overcome them; but Caleb and Joshua (the other two spies) said: "...the Lord is with us: fear them not." I thought this was super cool. Sometimes we have fears of standing up or fighting for what is right, but we need to always remember that the Lord is with those who fight for a righteous cause. (Numbers 14: 9)

Take care everyone! Hope you guys enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Until next week!
-Elder Dority

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 18: ¡Bautismo! (Baptism!)

Our first companionship baptism!!!

Wonderful day!!! 

No doubt about it, the highlight of this week is definitely our baptism that we had. I was super excited because I worried that Elder Dickson and I might not have a baptism at all in our companionship, but we got it in the knick of time!

We had the baptism on Saturday in our church. It went well. Our investigator was going to have the first counselor of the ward baptize him, but he got sick so the zone leader baptized him because he was already going to be baptizing a kid from there area at the same time.

I am super happy for our investigator. I do not worry about him at all. With a lot of the people who get baptized, we see them fall away not too long after. I sometimes feel like that happens because the missionaries work so hard to fellowship the investigators, and after the baptism when the missionaries aren't there all the time the recent converts lose the desire.

With this guy we baptized, it went pretty ideally. He was invited to church by a coworker who lives in our ward. He felt fellowshipped by the members of the ward and liked the feelings he got from the atmosphere of the church. While we do have a good relationship with him, our main role was really just teaching him the lessons. The members play such a crucial part in the work of the Lord. Things went so smoothly with this guy because he had the fellowship of many members in our ward. Elder Dickson and I never worry about whether or not he is going to go to church, read his scriptures, or remain active.

I don't have any crazy stories like last week. This week has been pretty calm because we really have just been focusing on the baptism. This week we have changes on Wednesday. We find out tonight who will stay and who will go. Most likely, Elder Dickson is going to leave and someone else will be coming to hang out with me here in La Lopez.

I'm excited to see what will happen. The only thing I do not want is to train a gringo. Anything else is fine. I just want someone that can speak Spanish. Haha! Hopefully I did not jinx myself with that. We'll see what goes down.

(Mom’s email told Elder Dority that we are expecting snow here in Salt Lake City on Wednesday evening and will be most likely sitting in the cold and snow at the State Championship football game this Friday, Bingham High vs. Lone Peak at the University of Utah stadium.)

That's crazy that you guys should be getting snow soon. The people here ask us what the snow is like and tell us that they wish they could see it and feel it. It's weird to think that there are people who have never encountered snow. I'll be cheering for Bingham down here!

That's it from Honduras this week.

-Elder Dority

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 17: Los Monos de Satanás (The Monkeys of Satan)

Monkeys Sure Love Cheese Puffs!!!

Another week that has just flown by. It's crazy how fast time is going by here. This change is almost over and next week Elder Dickson is going to be leaving for who knows where. It makes me a little nervous thinking about who my new companion could possibly be. Elder Dickson keeps joking with me that I am going to train next change. I do feel pretty confident though heading into the next change. The language is really coming along and I know the area super well. I will miss having Dickson as my companion though. He's been a good Dad.

So I'm super excited because this week we have our FIRST baptism planned! We are going to have it on Saturday! Woo! Finally! This guy is awesome. He is a friend of a ward member here in La Lopez. He is really open to the spirit and what we teach him. He told us he was willing to live the Word of Wisdom before he was asked to.

I sure am glad we have him that we are going to baptize because a lot of our other investigators have stopped progressing. The family, with the mom and lots of daughters, has stopped progressing which is a huge bummer. We worked super hard with them and we felt like they were doing so well.

I am excited to see how these two others do. One is a lady this lives on this hill in a tin house. She is in her mid-20s and has been taking the lessons super well. She talked about how she wonders if God sent us to her because He has a plan for her. We are definitely going to teach the Plan of Salvation after hearing that.

Another is this guy we ran into about a month ago, but haven't been able to make contact with until recently. The other night we made contact with him at his house and read the last half of Alma 32 with him. He had a ton of insights and was super involved. He's what we call "pila" here. I have a good feeling about him. We are going to meet with him again this week. Alma 32:21-43

Right now I am trying to read all the standard works at once. It is actually coming along a lot better than I thought it would. I am having a lot easier time understanding the Old Testament than I could before, and it is super cool to see the bridges between the books. I'm in Leviticus in the Old Testament, Luke in the New Testament, Jacob in the Book of Mormon, and I can't remember what section in D & C (I haven't been focusing on D and C as much because the Old Testament is super thick and requires a lot of attention and effort). I've been focusing on really trying to understand the stories and how they relate to us because a lot of people here really now there Bible, and I want to be able to talk about it with them. Elder Dickson knows a lot about the bible and it has really helped.

Today was one of the coolest p-days thus far. We went to a place just outside our area called Las Cascadas, which means The Waterfalls. Yes, there was a little waterfall there (and it smelled super nasty because of all the garbage), but the reason people go there is to see the monkeys. They were super cool... at first. 

Las Casadas (The Falls)

We arrived and gave them cheese balls and stuff and after went down into the waterfall. When we came back up, we were walking past them and the monkeys seriously went crazy. They surrounded us and had their fangs out and were hissing at us. It was freaky. We all booked it out of there. I called them "The Monkeys of Satan". They seriously chased us out of the park. 

Uno Mono (A Monkey)

So that was fun. Probably won't go back anytime soon because I bet they'll recognize us.

Well, that's it from Honduras for now. It's cooled down a lot lately and rains everyday which is great for walking.

Stay safe!
-Elder Dority