|Spencer and Elder D. with the Nunez family his first week there.|
|Spencer with Elder D. (from the Dominican Republic) on their first day. (Spencer must be standing on something.)|
It´s cool here. Not like temperature but cool as in interestingly fun. It´s VERY poor but the people are all nice. Even the ones that seem sketchy are kind. We went by plane... and it was super duper different. It was a propeller plane and the engines were cut before we landed and also we had to circle all of Tegugucigalpa (Tegu) two or three times before we landed. Then we went to a really nice hotel to spend the night and the next day we met our trainers. Oh, and I never got to be interviewed by the President. I don't know why but I didn't... :) I don't think anyone was from our whole group.
My trainer´s name is Elder D. He only speaks Spanish but luckily I´m okay with my Spanish and can communicate with him for the most part. He is a really hard worker and kind too! Everyone says, "You have the nicest trainer!" And I say, "I know." haha but he´s great. He´s from The Dominican Republic so he speaks fast (not like the Hondurans fast) and he leaves off a lot of S´s so it´s hard to understand if he forgets to speak slowly for me. Even then he has to explain a few words or have me look them up. But, I´m learning fast. In Sunday School, the Hna was talking about miracles. She pointed to me and told everyone that I was one. She said that from the first day she met me until now that I have spoken and learned more Spanish than any one student of language could physically do. God really has given me the Gift of Tongues... even if I still have no idea what is going on... which is most of the time. I´ll share some experiences in this letter about that as well.
Health Check: All is well... But on Sunday I woke up with a bloody nose and my companion was freaking out about it because bloody noses is how people die from Dengue Fever. DON¨T WORRY THOUGH! It´s not Dengue Fever. I have no other flu-like symptoms so all is well. I think it´s just the clima (climate) here that is making that happen. Entonces... I do have 15 or more mosquito bites however. They love me most at night when I´m sleeping though. So I´ve asked to get a net from the office along with the bug spay that they never gave us either. I feel like my group of missionaries have been forgotten because other missionaries that came from Provo and Mexico have all this stuff that helps and we have nada! But I´m still good. No Dengue. No problem. I´ll just drink more water.
Another issue, and this is for Kyle too, we have no other choice but to eat from people vending on the streets. The market´s are worse and it costs a lot of money and time to go to a bigger supermarket like Walmart because it´s really far away. We only eat from people who we´ve eaten from before and that we haven´t gotten sick from yet. So, that´s good. My favorite thing so far is the baleadas. They are basically tortillas with beans inside. They also have Mantequia (spelling??) which is unpasturized milk and other stuff but it tastes good and I´m not sick and no one else is either so I´ll be fine. On the bright side, we eat at a member´s house once or twice every day.
This next stuff is from my journal of the past week but it´s sums everything up pretty well:
10 Agosto 14
It was a hard day! At the first it was really hard cause I felt like we weren´t doing anything and my Spanish was awful. Then, I said a prayer. I said, "Heavenly Father, this day has been rough. I´m struggling to understand why I´m here because no one wants to listen and no one who does, understands. Please help me." Then, answers came pouring in. That day, right after my prayer, we kept walking and we found 6 other missionaries at a member´s house from another area. Two spoke English and so I talked to them and expressed my frustrations. They gave me hope that everything is possible and gave me tips on how to improve; basically the said, "Listen." Not only did this mean that to learn Spanish quicker I need to listen intently but also I felt like it could mean, "Listen to the HG." So I did just that. One of our last visits that day was to an investigator family and we talked to the husband and wife. Elder D. talks the most because he knows Spanish. I didn´t know what was being said other than it was about them getting married so they could possibly be baptized. But I had the feeling to share the message of the BoM and invite them to Church. They can´t read very well so asking them to read the BoM is pointless cause they can´t. So, then I pulled out the BoM and D&C and showed them the Sacrament prayer verses in D&C 20. I talked to them about the importance of the Sacrament and why they needed to go to church. Then I showed them Moroni's promise. I promised them that if they would pray about this gospel and the BoM and if they would go to church, then they would receive an answer in church by the feelings of their hearts. I bore testimony of Joseph Smith, of the BoM, of the Atonement, and they just sat and listened intently. Truly this was a fulfillment of my Patriarchal Blessing. When I asked if they would come to church they said yes! They've said no for so long that this is a huge step. Today they came and I hope they felt the spirit and have prayed but we'll see in two days because tomorrow is P-day.
Also, later that night we went to the Nuñez home and had dinner and talked a lot. I felt like I could understand them better than other families. They are also a more educated and well-off family. They were really kind and helped me when I didn´t understand. They took time to make sure I was understanding like everyone else and actively participating in the conversation.
Anyway, to put things short, the work is so hard here (another prophecy fulfilled) and so everyday I´m seeing miracles that are happening with me and that are happening in the hearts of the people we teach. Although the work requires extreme things of me sometimes that I'm not used to, I can always smile when we serve... and we're serving everyday. The simple things are the best in life.
The hardest thing here is that no one is married yet they have kids and live together. They all dress immodestly and I don´t blame them cause it´s a difficult climate and they´re poor; however, I think the women could not feed their kids in the open and the men could cover their bums and hairy chests... sheesh!
We have cockroaches here. I've already killed three and one of them was 2 inches long, not including it's antennas. There are more than three in our house but they were too quick to kill. There are bugs of every kind in our house but we try our best to get along with them.
It's not as bad here as everyone says it is. Yeah, the Queranchitos are really poor and live in shacks but the people closer to Valle de Angeles are fine and we, as missionaries, are fine in our house too. The worst part is that we have to wash our clothes on a washboard with the pila water. A pila is a big cement bowl filled with water to use during the week. We have to change our pila water soon or the mosquitoes will lay their eggs. We also have to wash our hands with that water and we don't have a shower so we dump buckets of pila water on us and wash with soap. It´s kind of like a sponge bath :) :) :)
I´m doing great here. I´m not sunburned and no one really gets sunburned. We just sweat a lot and don´t put sunscreen on (Sorry Mom! I will some days but mostly we´re fine!) I talked to an Elder from my CCM district and he says I haven´t gotten darker in a week and I don´t look sunburned. I just need to drink more water. We buy bags of pure water here for 2 limperas (that´s about 5 cents) and suck from the side of them. It´s really like a long camp-out with no fire. And the thunder here is really loud! It´s rained but I haven´t used my jacket or boots yet because we don´t know when it will rain when we´re out contacting and visiting.
Love you all!
PS Tell Cesar, Matt, Jaden, and Austin that they are awesome and that there´s nothing like serving a mission. All I can say is they´ll find out when they get there!!! Oh! And tell them I said the CCM doesn´t prepare you for the culture as much but always work hard on the practices and with the language and everything because the time there doesn´t come back. READ PREACH MY GOSPEL!!! All the chapters, not just Chapters 1-3!!! Tell Austin good luck in the CCM (this week) but the field is better.
Love you all again!