Monday, November 10, 2014

Transfers, Sacrament Meeting and Investigators

Hello Family! (This is last week's letter 3 November 2014)

This week has been really long but not because we've worked longer but because I got a new comp that walks fast and works hard. Together, we've been cruising down the streets talking with everyone we see, planning appointments with tons of new people, and then still having time for our other investigators. It's really a circus of balancing our time but we're doing it and we're having plenty of success. With Elder D, before, we would never have been able to plan for December like we are now. We are planning on 12 Baptisms and I'm pretty optimistic about nearly all of them. It's definitely possible in our current circumstance. So pray that we can do that if it's the right time for our investigators. But of course, we will always allow the Lord to direct us as His instruments.

I don't have a picture of Elder Rincon, my new companion. But he, too, was a little bigger six months ago when he started his mission (6 weeks before me). He is really an answer to my prayers. I've been asking for someone to show me the ropes of planning and being exact in my teaching and he's already been a big help. Our first day we found a new family (the brother of Family Barrera) and he is also fantastic and really prepared like the Barrera family we already were teaching. Yes, there are two Barrera Families. Andres and Carolina are the first ones we have been teaching. José and Delsy are the other family Barrera. They live right next door to each other. Both are fantastic and well prepared for the Gospel.

We also had eight new investigators that we found on Friday so I'll keep you updated as they progress and we can teach them more.

Also, Elder D is now my ZL with Elder Coombs from Colorado. That's really strange for someone to stay in the same ten mile radius for 9+ months of their mission (Elder D has six months in El Sitio and Villa Olympica and now in Santa Maria). I hope for the best for Elder D cause I have a soft spot for that guy. He's been through a lot and I can tell he worries about his weaknesses. Dad, I think you asked about how he's learning English and in all truthfulness, I haven't seen the desire from him to learn English. With my new comp, he says if he doesn't figure out English on his mission, he's going to figure it out when he gets home. He really wants to learn and told President to only give him gringo companions so he can learn. He's had four companions so far, all have been gringos.

You mentioned this in your letter, Mom and so I wanted to touch on our Sacrament Meetings here in El Sitio. I've figured out why they aren't like what I'm used to apart from the reduced numbers of members. 1) They haven't had music in the chapel until this past Sunday when I was able to play. 2) They never invite two youth speakers and two adult speakers every Sunday. 3) The same few people can't give the talks every few weeks and again they need to give the youth the opportunity to teach. 4) The bishop needs to call people 1 or 2 weeks in advance so people can prepare talks and then call them to remind them periodically. We called the bishop out on this during Ward Council (in a kind but firm way) and told him this would transform the ward and the enthusiasm they have for church. This Sunday, we witnessed a complete change in the reverence during Fast and Testimony meeting and I know it was because of the music. We are working together with the Bishop to change these few things and we also might get a new bishop soon because Bishop Molina has been in five years already.

You know how my blessing for my setting apart said to not let anyone despise my youth? Well I've meant to tell you that, without fail, everyday there is someone that makes a comment at how young I am to be a missionary. The Bishops daughter (25 yrs old) nick-named me Elder Niño. I'm actually fine with that because it has helped me connect to his family more. Then on Sunday, after I shared my testimony, another older lady got up and made the comment that when she saw me and my "baby-face" bearing my testimony that it took her back to when she sent her boys on missions and that if someone so young can testify so strongly of the Gospel then anyone older than me should be able to gain and have a bright testimony too.

As far as the taunting on the streets this week, mostly it's just been drunks and little kids running circles around us and shouting, "¿Quiere Café?" over and over. But I have a plan. When they tell me that next I will say, "Yes!" and ask them to give me a cup. When they tell me that they don't have any (they never do), I will say, "Well, then why did you offer me some if you don't have any?" Other missionaries have done this and a few have baptisms because of it. Also, I want to try saying that "Café es por los pobres." I've got to be careful with that one but there have been tons of stories about this in the mission that always lead to baptisms and faithful enduring to the end of converts.

Beloved Mom, just know that a lot of the safety precautions and regulations we have in the US are a blessing and that, here in Honduras, they aren't as blessed as we are. (I asked him if they had seat belts in the cars, and if they use them.)

And Dad! I wish I could just have a chat. I miss the hugs from you and Mom a lot. But one thing I've never forgotten is how your hugs feel. I feel your hugs every time Brother Nuñez gives me a hug (he's just a like a dad to me but here in El Sitio, and I think he gives me hugs because I look so young). My youth is a blessing here to me. I receive a lot of attention both good and bad because of my youth. Mostly good and I'm happy. I'm learning to shave every day because now, if I don't, I have noticeable whiskers.

Send Matt, Morgan, Jaden, Collin and Cesar - all my friends my best if the conversation comes up or if you have the opportunity to write them.

Love the costumes family!!! No one did anything here for El Dia de Brujos, not even have parties. So, we had a normal day of teaching :D

I want you to know how happy the mission has made me. Truly, we are happier and come closer to each other as we come closer to Christ. It's like a triangle with us and our neighbors on opposite sides of the base and Christ is at the point. As we get closer to Christ, we get closer to each other. I think that's some good marriage advice too but I wouldn't know because I'm not married ;D

Did I mention that for this past week I have been a popsicle. The clouds haven't left for a while and it's almost snowing here. That 94% humidity, Mom, that's because we literally are surrounded in clouds and mist and blusterous winds right now. So thanks for the weather report. I hope to be thawing out in the next few days :D

One last thing, Missionaries have the full opportunity to see the change of a completely lost soul to one reunited in Christ. I have that opportunity every day and I have seen and felt the ultimate peace and joy that comes from the Gospel of Christ. I have seen and felt the change in people and I have yet to see and feel even more joy when many of them make the commitment and then be baptized this coming December. Even though it doesn't snow here, It will be a very white Christmas.

Have a great week family!!! LOVE YOU SILLY LINDSAY! and Kristen, your brudder woves you too. HAVE A HAPPY WEEK, REUNION AND SINGING!! Romans 5: 3-5

Love you more,
Elder Tuft

PS Tell Aunt Di that I read her letter and thanks because I was touched again by my experiences that I had forgotten. Funny how great things like that can be forgot in the ocean of blessings from our Heavenly Father. But I have it recorded and so Thank you Aunt Di :D

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