Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Week 29: Dios pone personas en nuestros caminos (God Puts People in Our Paths)

Alligators down there?...Definitely won't be cliff diving anytime soon! 

Found a cool place at the back of our area.
Another week come and gone here in Honduras. I'm not really sure how to describe this week because not a whole lot has been happening.

Elder Demera and I have been working really hard to get some lessons with new investigators. These past few weeks, things haven't really been coming together. We seriously walk and walk and walk to our appointments and one after another  they fall through. This last week, we had like five lessons for the whole week, which is pretty pathetic considering how much of the day we spend going to all the appointments we have planned. Hahaha! Oh well. I'm hoping that the work picks up this week and we can keep our appointments.

Right now, with the investigators we have, we're in kind of  a waiting period. We have three or four solid investigators. I feel they could be considered for baptism in the upcoming weeks, but their church attendance is lacking a little. They need to want come to church  voluntarily rather than because of the missionaries. We have one investigator, that the only thing really holding her back from baptism is her Sunday work schedule. She definitely needs some prayers so she can get her work switched around.

Speaking of voluntary church attendance, we had a pretty cool experience with a guy we contacted a while back. So way back when I was with my dad (trainer), Elder Dickson, we contacted this man on the highway. The other day, Elder Demera and I found this guy on the street in our area and invited him to attend stake conference. On Sunday, we loaded the bus to head to the stake center. I looked up from my seat and I saw the man we had invited! I had completely forgotten that we invited him and then he just showed up on voluntarily! How cool is that? I am really excited to teach him because he showed a personal interest by coming on his own.

Another cool experience we had this week. So a few weeks ago Demera and I were approached by a man that heard the Mormons were giving free computer lessons or something like that. We told him we knew nothing about that, but we took advantage of the opportunity to teach him a little. It turns out the man pertains to the Jewish religion. He told us that he had read the Book of Mormon before, for educational purposes. We asked him if we could pass by sometime and share a message with him, so he gave us más o menos (more or less) directions to his house. We should've noted more info about him. A few days ago we spent an hour trying to find his house with no luck. On Saturday we tried to find it again. We thought we had located it, but nobody was home except the kids. We decided to try again later, then as we were walking to our lunch appointment (about a half mile away), we found him in the streets! It was so cool! I pretty much took it as a sign, that he is ready to receive the lessons. Now we now have more info on him and we will see how things go there.

The work kinda slowed down a little bit, but that didn't stop God from putting people in our paths.

Transfers are coming up next week... If I go, I don't feel like I am leaving with any regrets in La López 2. I definitely feel like I have put my whole heart on the table here. I'm content with the work I've done and can honestly say I feel like I've left a good path with my companion and future investigators. I'm ready for wherever the Lord may send me. I think it would be nice to get a fresh start and get to know new people and a new place.

The friends that I have made here are definitely unforgettable. I am going to take pictures with all the families that feed us this week and I'll send them next Monday. When I do get transferred, the S. family will easily be one of the hardest families to leave. They are super amazing members. They made the decision to join the church SO LONG AGO and they did it. Because of them, the R., and the D. families I will always love this area.

That's it from Honduras this week. Starting to buckle down for the upcoming summer here. Hoping I am sent somewhere with a little less sun for my next area!Eating Baleadas by the thousands...

-Elder Dority

Mom Note: This is the reply to an email that was sent to Elder Dority from our family. I'm posting it here so our ward members can read his "Thank You" and the comments he makes about the package our youth sent him for Christmas.

That's crazy to hear that Erica will be coming home this week. The time has flown by. I am definitely excited to hear about all the seniors that will receive their mission calls. In the package the ward's youth sent me, I found the cards from "my junior friends (Canon, Kyle, Brayden, and Tyler)." It was funny because Canon was saying that he hopes he comes to my mission and I train him. I would seriously flip out if that happened. I feel like Canon will go Latin America. Kyle will go somewhere cold, and Tyler will go state-side but Spanish speaking. I won't guess on Brayden because he said he won't be leaving until after he completes a year of college first...

Tell the ward thanks for the package that they sent me. It was super cool hearing from everyone and the candy was super good!

I hope everything's going good over there. Everything is going good down here!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 28: Vemos los frutos (We See the Fruits)

Finally Baptized!!!

This week was definitely a monumental week for Barrio La López. We got to have the baptism of our investigators that have been investigating the church now for two years. They had been unable to be baptized because of complications with them getting married. It was so cool to finally witness the fruits of so much hard work. I am definitely glad I stayed in this area another change to be a part of their baptism.

My feelings on their baptism were mostly that of excitement. We have worked hard to help them and now I feel more at ease because it is finished. They are definitely the spitting image of enduring to the end! To have a couple that has investigated the church for two years and still been able to remain active that whole time is pretty crazy. The S. family has a strong testimony of the restored gospel.

I have been thinking a lot about how they will now be able to be an eternal family. We were really pushing to have the baptism happen in January, so they could be sealed as a family in the temple, before their daughter leaves for her mission. She will leave in about a year, probably in February. I wish I could leave my mission area and go to Tegucigalpa Temple to see their sealing. That would be so cool.

It was funny because after the baptism we were in the bathroom changing and the little twins came in. I asked them if they like the baptism and they gave an enthusiastic "¡Sí!" and then I asked if they wanted to get baptized when they are eight and they both said simultaneously "Sí." It was funny. One word for the whole experience?...Probably "endurance." Everyone had to really endure to the end in order for this baptism happen, but it was all worth it!

Not a whole lot has happened this week outside of the baptism on Saturday. It was kind of a slow week other than Saturday. Not a whole lot of people wanted to visit with us and it was hard to get into the houses to teach. I think this next week will go a lot better with lessons and contacting.

I am fast approaching the end of the Book of Mormon. Re-reading it has definitely been quite a blessing. The last time I read the Book of Mormon before this moment was my sophomore year of high school. I feel refreshed reading it again and I wish I would have read it more in my years of high school. It really does strengthen one's testimony in Christ. It has strengthened mine.

Not much else to write about his week. I did successfully make clam chowder and shared it with my companion and our Latino Zone Leader. They have never had clam chowder before and they said they liked it, so that was cool.

I made Clam Chowder (It actually turned out pretty good!)

P-Day Pizza Hut Picture!!!

Stay cool because it's scorching down here!

-Elder Dority

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 27: El mejor día es Viernes el 13 (The best day is Friday the 13th)

Well this week was a week of milestones that is for sure.

Got to burn a tie...with a little help from bug spray! (6 month Anniversary)

So to start out, I have officially hit the six months mark in the mission! I hit my six months on Friday the 13th which was pretty cool. It's crazy to think that I am over a fourth of the way through the mission, especially since I am still in my first area. Hahaha! The time sure does go by fast. I remember when I first entered the mission field and I got to work with a missionary for the afternoon that had nine months; and I remember thinking how crazy it was that he had so much time. Now I am not too far behind that point. I still feel like a pretty big "newb" here in Honduras, but that's okay. ...One thing I have always liked about Honduras is just seeing the little things that they do differently than we would do back in Utah.

Looks like a snake burning... (Mom titled!!!)
Elder Demera captures Tie Burning Ceremony

Friday the 13th was also a super good day because we got to help an investigator couple get married. They have been investigators for the past two years because they have had problems with being able to get married, so they could get baptized. After a lot of hard work and dedication, we can now say that the deed is done. They got married and now they can get baptized! It feels really good to be reaching this point because so many missionaries have worked for them for so long and now I have the special privilege of seeing some of the fruits of all the hard work. Their baptism is going to be this Saturday which I am super excited for. It will be a long awaited moment!

Waiting for their Marriage...
Getting Married!
Just Married!!!

We are now halfway through this change which means that (most likely) I will be leaving this area on the 8th of February. I have been here for quite a while now, but it's kinda funny; you would think that the more time you spend in area, the more you would want to leave it, but I am coming to find that the more time I spend here, the harder it will be to leave it. La López 2 has definitely become a 2nd home for me. I remember when I first came I was wondering how I could develop a relationship with a people so different then me, but now they are some of my closest friends. I’m remembering one thing that I remember learning, you love the things you sacrifice yourself for.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband, General Conference Talk October 2016
I did get the chance to read the talk by Elder Rasband. Talk Link I didn't get to study it super in-depth, but I did enjoy it and can relate. What I thought of most when I read the talk was probably my first change in the mission field. I remember when I first started working in Honduras and how new the whole experience was. Everything was so different and practically all the things I was used to back in Utah were nowhere to be found. It was new food, new people, new weather, and a new language. I got pretty frustrated with myself at times because it was so hard to understand people. My testimony was really put to the test because I had to endure some culture shock if I really wanted to preach the gospel effectively here. One thing that did help me a ton, like Elder Rasband says, is remembering the times when I have felt the Lord's spirit testify to me. I am glad for the many spiritual experiences I had in the MTC in Guatemala and that I could write those experiences down in a journal. I could go back and read those experiences and feel that what I was doing was the right decision, and a little endurance is always required before success.

Until next p-day!

-Elder Dority

Few more photos of the Wedding Day...

Waiting with family...Happy daughter, Happy Elders!

The Newlyweds!

Officially Married Family!
Wedding Cake
Excited Twins...ready for cake!
Blessings to the Samiento Family!!!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 26: Tengo la oportunidad de enseñar sus descendentes (I have the opportunity to teach their descendants)

I taught them to play "Fluffy Bunny" for Family Home Evening activity

Another week has come and gone here in the mission. Not too much has gone on this week here in La Lopez 2, but Elder Demera and I are definitely getting ready for the upcoming weeks. We did finally get the Christmas package! We opened it up and I took of video of it. It was awesome. We definitely enjoy all the stuff that was sent to us by you guys! I brought all the puzzles to the chapel today for p-day and quite a few people were enjoying them, too. 

Christmas Elf socks and new Utah State t-shirt

This last week did a whole lot of walking and not a whole lot of teaching. We walk and walk and walk and our appointments will fall through which is kinda a bummer. It's all good though. We do have some awesome investigators right now that I am excited to keep teaching. I am just hoping they feel ready for baptism before I leave the area, most likely in February.

This week will definitely be exciting. We have a marriage that will be happening on Friday the 13th! It's making it so the family can get baptized! We have really worked so hard to help this marriage happen and now it will finally be happening! Also, that same day I will be completing six months is the mission! It's so crazy that I will be hitting the six-month mark this Friday. It's kinda weird though because I am still in my first area. Hahaha!

This week I have really focused my studies on reading the Book of Mormon. I just started 3 Nephi which I am really excited to read because I will get to read about Christ's visit to the American people. It's so cool to think that He came here, to the Americas! How crazy is that? We have an entire book about the story of the ancient inhabitants here in the Americas and I have the opportunity to teach their descendants!

I am definitely grateful for the opportunity to keep being a missionary. Not too much to report about this week. The next few weeks will definitely be more interesting with a marriage, a baptism, and apparently a bunch of new changes to the missionary program.

-Elder Dority


Monday, January 2, 2017

Week 25: ¡Empezamos 2017! (We are starting 2017!)

First Selfie of the New Year!!! (Dority and Demera)

Us and the Zone Leaders

A happy new year to all! 2017 has officially hit and I can say that I am pretty excited to see what will come this way for me this year. I am definitely excited to start a year completely dedicated to serving the people of Honduras. I did not get transferred, so I will most likely be here in La López 2 until February. (Unless for some reason they send Elder Demera out before they send me.) So yes, Elder Demera is still here with me for another transfer. There are ups and downs to staying here another transfer, but  I am definitely glad to be here. 

Great news, we are going to marry a family and baptize the parents later this month. We have been working really hard so they could get married and baptized. I was worried that I would be sent out of the area before their wedding and baptism. Not the case, the wedding is planned for the 13th of this month and their baptism for the 21st. I am super excited for that! So that is definitely a pro! 

We had a pretty fun New Year's Eve. It was pretty similar to Christmas Eve in a lot of ways. We, of course, ate a ton of tamales. Everyone invites us to eat tamales, and you cannot refuse an invitation because that's pretty taboo here. I wouldn't refuse a tamale anyways. We house-jumped for a while the night of New Year's Eve. It was pretty funny because we were with the Zone Leaders and some Elders from a neighboring area. We were walking back on the highway with some Honduran fireworks. A drunk guy decided to come over and start talking to us. He followed us for a while and we gave him a little hand held firework that flies out of your hand. He sure got a kick out of that and we did too. We celebrated 12:00 at the apartment with the zone leaders. We got some firecrackers and what nots.
The next day we found out some bad news at church. Some people think it was caused by the fireworks, but the interior of our 2nd counselor's house was burned to a crisp. At about 3:00 in the morning a fire started and it scorched everything. The whole ward went over there during the last class of church and helped out. Everything got destroyed there. Luckily nobody was home when it happened and nobody was hurt. We spent most of the day yesterday helping out over there, chipping away black sheetrock. It was really hard to see all the damage that was done, but it was also really cool to see the ward come together. Everyone from the Primary to the Relief Society and Priesthood was there helping out. They lost practically everything, so the stake is going to have a special fast for them this coming Sunday.

The work was slow this week because of the holidays. I think it will pick right back up again though. We should have some long planned baptisms coming up on the 13th, so I am definitely looking forward to that. I think I will be opening up my Christmas package this week. If Elder Dickson signed for it, then that means it is in the office and they will deliver it in the Ruta this week in our District meeting. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what surprises await us and I am sure Demera is too!

Everything is going good and I am excited to work another transfer in La López 2!

-Elder Dority

Another Selfie!!!