Monday, December 29, 2014

The week in between Christmas and New Year's.

Sister Bowler, Spencer's mission president's wife arranged to have this put together. There were some of us moms who helped put it together for the Bowler's because their mission budget was depleted. We had many miracles along the way that came together JUST when we needed it. It was awesome to be a pawn in the process. The following is from Sister Bowler, and the link to the YouTube clip she posted for the Moms/Dads:

The video is finished! The first part is the video we showed the missionaries at their Christmas parties. The second is a video of pictures from those Christmas parties. I hope each of you get to see a glimpse of your missionary. Thanks for a wonderful Christmas!
Hey Family,

It was great to see you all on Christmas Day! Thank you for all the gifts and for all the fun treats and smiles too! I love the "Popcorn Popping" song that is on the MP3 and also the "Follow the Prophet" song. Elder Huff and I like to rock out to them when we're in the house. It looks really funny though cause we turn all the volume down when we dance and so it looks like we're dancing to nothing, Hahaha. We haven't had any problems with any drunks this week either. I was told that everyone gets drunk on Christmas Day but we didn't see anything. I'm pretty sure that Heavenly Father is watching over the two gringos in Danli ;D

I love the stretch and power bands! We use them every morning to exercise! That was a great idea, and it even has some stretching and lifting exercise charts to follow too! I've been eating the FiberOne bars and they are helping tons! :D The doggy taser is fun... I ACCIDENTALLY tased myself though when I was learning how to put it away and pull it out of the little hip-case it has. Everything was really great! I love to wear Gpa's ties, especially parading around the brass plates! I can't comment on everything but just know that it was a great Christmas full of love!

We had two really cool experiences this week that I wanted to share:
1. We taught Hermana Lesli's daughter this week. She's less active and served a mission. We taught her before but she still didn't come to church when we invited her. We taught her again and asked the question, "What did you teach on your mission?" She said, "What you're teaching right now."

And I responded, "Entonces? (And soooo?)" In the end she said that she would see tomorrow if she would go and of course she didn't. The Spirit was soooo strong in that lesson and she still didn't go to church. So we went back on Monday and asked what happened. She told us that the night before she said she wasn't going to go (complete lie). She also said, she just doesn't feel good when she goes.
We've asked if it was because of members or because of personal problems and she said, "No, I just don't want to go right now."
And I told her, "Hermana, está obedeciendo los mandamientos?"
"Hermana, hoy es el dia para cambiar. Mañana no existe y el pasado es el pasado. Se puede cambiar pero tiene que empezar hoy."
She still said she will not come to church but we are going to just stop by every week and share a spiritual message with her. I hope that she will find the divine current and start to flow back to full activity in the church. She's had members come to her house to help, the bishop, her mom too! And she still will not go back to church. She is a bad example to her children even though she sends them every week.

2. We were with a group of teenagers this past week and they were pounding us with questions as we explained the Plan of Salvation. One of the boys asked, "Are you waiting spiritually for the second coming of Christ?" and we responded, "We are waiting with all our heart, might, mind, and strength for the second coming of Christ." He was about to rebuttal us and put up his finger in protest but them thought about it for a second and bowed his head in defeated silence. The rest of the lesson was a smash and all the teenagers invited us to come back and teach them more. Whether that means they want to prepare more questions or if they want to actually learn, we'll see.

I'm always praying for you guys and I hope Sister Anderson know that she will be my prayers and fasts. And Thanks for the cool story about the Provo City Center Temple! That's incredible!

We walked three kids and three teenagers to church this week because their parents didn't want to go but their kids did. We actually were walking by a random house and saw a teenage girl and her little sister and just asked, "Hey! Do you want to go to church with us?" and they said yes but their parents said no. So that was cool! We walked into the chapel late though, in the middle of a talk, and the whole ward was looking at us (like we had a little army of investigators) and they all were so happy to see we were working really hard. That night, the bishop told us he'd like to set apart some time to go with us to some families. The ward is changing, and the people are changing here. Thank you for your prayers and Mom, thank you for your prayer after the Skype Call cause people are becoming a little more receptive to the Gospel! I wish with all my heart that people will feel the Holy Ghost and decide to change their lives because they know what we are teaching is true and because God loves them more than they can comprehend.

Love you family! The Church is the ONLY TRUE CHURCH on the earth. Joseph Smith was and is a prophet called of God. The Book of Mormon is true and I invite you to start reading it again when you can. We grow closer to God as we read the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the BoM (Bomb! ;)

Hurrah Por Israel!
Elder Tuft

PS Thank you Kristen for you letter too! I love hearing from you every week! You'll be a great EFY counselor if you get accepted! Good luck moving on Saturday! You'll do fine.... No Tenga Pena! Mucho Amor!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!

Feliz Navidad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh Mommy! You shouldn't have, but thank you for the gift that you sent with the mission suitcases! (MP3 and your personal speakers. This is a complete guess but did you get new speakers for Christmas?)

So, guess what! Tomorrow is Christmas! and I'm freaking out to see you guys! I might cry... but that's okay cause I'll be in the chapel with just Elder Huff. We are expecting to Skype at 12 our time (11 your time) then and that will work out just fine. And I did see you in the video! And Kristen too! Elder Webb asked if Kristen was available for when he went back home in two months-ish.

Today, we tried to make waffles and I was in charge of making them. So, I came to a problem while I was making them... How many cups are in a Gallon? I could have figured it out but I just asked everyone else instead and they said 8 cups... WRONG! 16 cups is the right answer. So I put a whole gallon of milk in the dry ingredients. To say the least, we had to restart and for that reason I am writing you guys late. We also made two gallons of hot chocolate, and Elder Webb had the brilliant idea of dropping little chocolate balls into the mix. The problem is that the chocolate balls sank to the bottom and then we didn't have a long enough spoon to stir the very bottom of the pot and so they melted and burned on the bottom. Have you smelled coffee or morcof (mor-mon cof-fee)? It smelled and tasted like that. What I learned: Never let scouts or missionaries (they are the same thing) cook without adult supervision. Yes, we need supervision.

I got attacked by a dog this week. It was pretty chill. It started to run at me and didn't stop but I didn't start running, I just let it attack me. Well, to say the least, I had complete confidence that God would fulfill my patriarchal blessing and so I just ignored the dog as it lunged to bite me. I think God must have slapped that dog in the face as he lunged for me because the dog totally missed biting my leg and just body slammed me. Then it fell to the dirt road whimpering, got up, and ran away still whimpering. It was pretty chill, like I said before. The scriptures say "Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed. For the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9

We are still working but it seems like nobody is ready to receive the Gospel quite yet. We have talked to TONS of people this past week and sang a million Christmas songs. Everyone just says, we go to a church and then they shut the door. Some even have the nerve to tell us that we are welcome anytime because it's the word of God, but then they hide when we show up at their house for the second time. Soooo, we are working more with the members.

We would've had a baptism this week but when our investigator, Damaris. (She's a she) called her mom to invite her to the baptism, her mom told her she would be disowned if she was baptized again into "La Iglesia Mormona," as they call it here. She has some doubts now and so we have prayed, invited her to pray to know. We've taught more, and done all we can. It's up to her now. Does she want to continue to make the sacrifice to go to church? Will she trust in the Lord more than in her mom? But everything will happen as it needs to happen.

Our other investigadora is named Leydi. She is VERY pregnant and so we postponed her baptism till after she has the baby. But she will for sure get baptized. She's changed her entire life around. She's gone from being a drug-addict to a loving and caring mother. And she's only 19 years old too.

We have other investigators but they have individual problems that are a little more in depth. One main problem that we have here is that people claim that they know what the Bible says and say they live what the Bible teaches. Buuuuut, they always live in fornication and adultery, so obviously, they haven't read the Bible. We even have some people tell us what the Book of Mormon is about and they haven't read any of it. They spread lies that we worship Joseph Smith and that the BoM is actually the "Book of José Smith". Yes, that has happened. They are crazy here. They listen to Satan more than to God. Who was it that told me I'd be baptizing left and right?

I've realized that a mission is not just about baptizing. That is the goal but not everyone is going to accept the truth. Some will even revile against it. In the mission FIELD, there is Wheat and there are Tares. When we reap in the field, sometimes we only find in our hand a bunch of tares. These are they that we give to God to either change to wheat or throw into the fire to burn. I love finding wheat though.

My area is so big that we can't walk the entire thing in a day. We can hardly walk half of it in a day. It's soooooo big. We have a method for working in each area of our area, but sometimes it's hard because we want to visit our investigators almost every day and can't. It's working fine though, just a lot of walking.

Elder Huff was feeling really baggy yesterday and so I held a little devotional with just him. We wrote all our problems and things we hated down on paper, crumpled them up, and then lit them on fire. I read a few scriptures about giving everything to God and not holding anything back from him and now he's just fine. We're both baggy but we are both working hard and praying even harder. Some missionaries have felt (including me) that they aren't worthy to bear la placa del Señor over their heart. That's, of course, a lie, but sometime we still feel inadequate. It's in those times that we have to serve and leave our memories of our weaknesses in the past. The Savior is the perfect example to us when He said, "No como yo quiero, pero como tu quieres."

See you tomorrow then! Merry Christmas. More of Christ and More of Happiness. More Peace because He is the Prince of Peace. More of Happiness because He overcame the sorrow of the World for us. More, because of Him. He loves us and so We Love Him.

For God so loved the world that He sent His Son... John 3:16
Hurrah por Isreal!
Love, Elder Spencer James
Dad, The un-roofed part is like our backyard. It's enclosed and we put our clothes out there to dry. Our house isn't the most clean but it's a lot cleaner than when I first came. We sing all the time and we sing loud at times, but always hymns and the whole neighborhood CAN hear us. The Bishop hasn't said anything but he asked us to sing to his family and so we did. His daughter is about to go on a mission but I forgot where. Our mission leader is also about to leave on his mission.

The Elders in El Sitio got robbed last week. All their cameras and scriptures and money and identification was stolen. But they are okay. The robbers just held a gun up to Elder Coe, (I think I've mentioned him before), and demanded everything from them. They are doing fine now and all the identification issues are taken care of.

Andres and Carolina (from El Sitio) are participating in ward activities and go to church every week together now. Angel and Helen are getting baptized this weekend if they can get the papers back in time. We gave them (before I left) 200 Lempiras and they took that and expanded it to earn more than enough for the wedding but also enough to live without starving from day to day. They also are saving their tithing money to pay, after their baptisms. It is a miracle. They had to earn 3500 lempiras in less than 3 weeks while paying for personal expenses and tithing! They are sooooooooooo ready to be baptized. They will be very important to the El Sitio area or in any area that God sends them.

The Hna from last week is doing fine. She's still attending the Barrio La Conce with us on Sundays. It's hard because our ward has 80 active members or less and many people feel discouraged because their ward isn't very big. They all dream of the day to have their chapel filled.

Your last question, Dad, we don't have addresses. We have landmarks. We have pulperias here that are like little stores with essential needs for the area. They serve as landmarks and reference points for houses. They are like Walmart or Reams for you us at home but there are a million different pulperias in one small area. There are almost as many 'pulps' as there are churches here (There actually might be more pulps than churches, I'm not sure exactly.) Nate Shaw would love the idea of a pulp near our houses.

Tons of love! Merry Christmas, talk to you tomorrow!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Cambios, and Miracles can happen

Hello Family,

This week has been quite a race. Many things have happened and many things have changed.

I have been called away from El Sitio and but placed in the East of the Mission in a place called Danli. Specifically, I am in Vista Hermosa. It's hotter there but not bad still. I hope you got the mug shots of my new Companion, Elder Huff. He just finished his training, so he has 4.5 months on the mission... I only have 6 months... BUT MIRACLES HAVE AND WILL HAPPEN to those with willing hearts and open hands. Mom, you are going to die... He's from SPRINGVILLE!!! He moved to Spanish Fork about a year ago but he's lived in Springville for a while.  I hope you can enjoy that time getting to know the family of him, if you have the chance. He's a great singer and loves dancing. He's been accepted to BYU to the MDT (Music, Dance, Theater) after his mission. We have had a lot of fun harmonizing and singing hymns for people. 

The ward here is awesome! They ask us to tell them when we have lessons with our investigators and give us times they can go with us to teach. Our church building is really, really nice too! This past Sunday, I was invited to bear my testimony and that was awesome. The ward is really small here so we hope to help it grow huge! (This week we had 80 members and we want to have 150 according to the Stake's expectations).

We also had a fantastic Saturday. We were really in tune with the Spirit all day, and had a really productive day. I wanted to share an experience we had Saturday night. We were walking along the dirty and dusty road in the dark and Elder Huff said that he had a feeling to stop by a house that he thought was the house of a member but wasn't certain. We knocked and immediately an old lady answered and said, "Elderes! Estuve esperando por alguien de la iglesia!" So we went inside and found out that she was indeed a member and that the ward had planned a temple trip to leave this morning and had said they would pick her up at 4:30 in the morning to go. That was all correct information but the ward had forgotten to pick her up! So she felt bad and forgotten and wanted to go back to her old ward. We didn't know what to do, so we brought out "El es la Dádiva" tarjetas and talked a little bit about that. Just after, the Hna said she had a daughter that served a mission but wasn't active and lived in the same house as her. So we invited her daughter and the daughter´s boyfriend to come and listen to our message. As we waited for them to come, I asked the Hna, "Hna, ¿Cual es su foto favorito de Cristo que tiene en su pared alli?" She told me her favorite was of Christ in Gethsemani and the Spirit whispered, "Teach the Atonement." I looked at Elder Huff and he had his scriptures opened to Alma 7: 11-12 already! So the Spirit led us to this family and then told us what to teach. It was a great lesson and now the boyfriend (not a member) has committed to come to church next week with the daughter. We have more lessons with them this week, so we'll see. 

I've seen so many miracles this week, and I'm trying to write them down. But, honestly, I'm having a hard time finding time to write in my journal big paragraphs like before. I still write but it's hard because I'm a lot busier now. Whish leads me to the next shocker... I'm District Leader now.  It's a bit scary but things have been going good and we had our first District Meeting and that was another miracle. I shared everything that has been going through my mind regarding my mission for the Savior, including D&C 100. That was a really good lesson. Something that I thought was really good was that we sat in a circle to have the lesson and had more of a discussion that I led. E. Huff told me that he felt like the district needed exactly what I taught (Elder Huff has been here for two cambios already). He told me that the last DLs just taught boring Preach My Gospel lessons that didn't help unify the District. I'm grateful that God has given me the capability to see the necessities of people so I don't just say words, I try and say words that mean something to them that receive it. Also, Thank you Timberline for teaching me something useful!

We have four progressing investigators now: Leydi (pregnant at 8 months and so we might have to postpone her baptism that is scheduled for the Saturday), Damaris (who needs to have a few more lessons and interviews before she's ready but she says she feels ready), and then Adita and Gabriela (Family: the first girl is 15, and the second is 9 years old. They have just been absorbed by the ward this Sunday, their first Sunday at church, and I know they will get baptized if God wants it to be so).

That's all for now folks. But thank you for your support and all the emails that I received this week. I have been truly blessed, and I have received my witness that the refiners fire is the place to be! There isn't anywhere else that we can grow, even though it's not at all comfortable.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUNT KAREN!!! I hope you have a great birthday and a great Christmas! (And  I still feel bad for mowing your lawn so short when I was visiting 7 months ago! I hope the snow has covered it up by now! ;D )

Mom, I have the bishop right next door to where we live now and he has a washer that we can only wash our whites in! So that's a blessing! We still have to wash our own clothes in the basin though! It's not so bad.

Thank you all for you thoughts and the video and I love the pictures as always! I'm making a wall-collage of you guys for Christmas! And I hope to finish writing letters to you but you might have to wait till New Years to get them!

Also, could you make me a Skype account then give me the password and username next week? Just tell me a time to Skype you and I'll confirm with you next week the times that we've worked out! I'm thinking around 10 am right now but we'll see.

Keep smiling and walking on sunshine! Like you guys all have written this week, we have trials but we can learn to look for the sun in the dark clouds and smile when it rains. Rain is refreshing anyway! One thing that helps me in the morning is waking up and smiling as I sing songs and hymns with Elder Huff - Elder Huff and Tuff! Who thought that two Springville boys (19 and 18 years old) would find themselves together teaching the Gospel in Honduras!?!?!

Hurrah por Israel!

Elder Tuft

PS:  You guys need to watch "He is the Gift" or for Kyle, Kristen, and Tom "El es la Dádiva"!!! Just go onto and it's the first thing you'll see! It'll be Christman Joy into every heart in the home instantly, it's that powerful. God wants the world to know that HE LIVES and that HE is still there even though they can't see HIM with their eyes.

Elder Tuft
PS then tell me your thoughts

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lots learned again, but that should be every week, I hope!

Hey Family and Friends,                                                                                     8 December 2014

It's been a normal, hard, and rewarding week.. I got the packages, Mom, on Wednesday!  Kristen (and family) thank you for the USB and the video of you guys. I'll see more of you on the 25th! The USB was a great idea and I really loved everything you sent. I will have to have all the files modified to be mp3 or mp4 though because they don't work on anything down here. I can watch them on a computer but we don't have one. I can watch them on some TV's but we don't even have that capability. I have felt really restricted by some of the rules of late. I understand why they are there, and that I am no exception, but I also feel like the Gospel is much more effective when we use all mediums to learn and grow. Everything will work together for good in the end. 

Mom and Dad, If you have time, read section 100 of D&C and then read my patriarchal blessing again paragraphs 4, 6, and 7. I saw a missionary get sent home this week. He was such a great person with a very strong testimony. He taught me that we can seek and strive to have a "mighty testimony". He had sooo much potential but then threw it all away because he didn't obey the mission rules to stay inside your zone, unless you have permission to leave. I was so sad when he went home. We also had some sisters this week do something not so smart... They locked their keys in the house and then broke into the house to get them and open the door. Now they have a 16,000 Lps fine because they didn't have a contract for renting the house. People can do some dumb things. I am guilty of dumb things, even some things I'm not proud of. It's been a really personal learning process. I never knew I could begin to change like I have. And so, I have learned the following this week.

LDS Video on YouTube : "Forgiveness: My burden was made light" (minute 7:07 y adelante)

God loves us and so He gives us experiences to grow. Just let Him make you grow! You cannot grow alone just like a plant cannot plant itself, water itself, or move itself into the area with the appropriate amount sunlight. A plant cannot increase its defenses against bugs and viruses either. We are then plant and God is the Master Gardener. Just let Him garden.

We did go to the temple last week, but we didn't go inside. I still haven't gone inside since I left the CCM. I hope I can go inside soon. We also didn't have changes yet. This Wednesday we will have changes. I want to stay because of the members and investigators that I have here. I want to leave because of the rudeness of this city to us. All the other churches combine against us and spread rumors and lies about the "Mormon" Church. They say we worship Joseph Smith. They tease us about not drinking coffee. They tell our investigators that they will be disowned by the community if they join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then they send out their false ministers and preach false doctrines but having the appearance of godliness "but denying the power thereof". I wish I was a British police officer with two batons! One called "Did-you-feel-that!" and the other "How-about-that?!" I just had to recap and expound a little more about the "Understand-Me" Stick. It gets frustrating sometimes but these thoughts help lighten my mood.

Dad, I told the story about digging up Peter Shirts to illustrate the seriousness of the work for the dead. Do you think they understand how important it is now? Ha ha! J

I wrote down this week in my planner "The power of ONE choice...diligently attending to the things of God,” with the reference to D&C 84: 42-44. So if that makes sense to you, then you’ll understand what I was thinking but I don't remember exactly at this moment.

Angel doesn't have work yet but he will this week. He can't start his marriage paper until he has the money and so he might not be baptized or married this month but we have planned for the 27th! And so we pray! I'll send pictures now.

Love you all and Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Tuft

PS – Kristen, I just want pictures that remind you of Gospel things (like the temple cover that you put on the agenda for me.) I want to decorate my agendas/planners with them. If they could be the right size (bigger is better because I can crop it, but small is not), that would be great! You know Kristen :D You decorated your agendas all the time, I'm guessing.

Thank you, Mom for the literal picture of our Church building... that made me laugh :D Ha ha haAnd the Muppets don't live on Sesame street either :D But good try! Love you Mother and Kristen! I need photos of you two, as well, because I have all the family on the wall but you guys! :D

I got the packages but it some of the presents had ripped from the ride so I closed it all up in one box and I don't know still what's in it. Thank you soooooooo muuuuuuch :D I am so grateful for all that you and Dad do for me. I can feel your love here in Honduras. 

PSS - Elder Rincon is the oldest in his family. His dad was an alcoholic and he has suffered poverty for a year or two of his life. He reminds me of Kyle sometimes because he is comfortable being in charge and leading. Other times, he takes it too far and spends an hour trying to beat the same message into me that he has learned. I just patiently bear it at these times cause it's worth the wait and not worth losing a friend. He is also reserved too. He's a great guy with great potential. God loves Elder Rincon and I have felt that much. I don't need much more than that I guess :D 

Love you more than X's and O's! (and huge smacks!)

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Great Week and I Learned A LOT!

Lizcano Family feeling peaceful at the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple December 2014

Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple 2014 Dec
Spencer with Hna Zuniga November 2014

An investigator, Leonel, being taught by Spencer's and Elder D. November 2014

Sesia, one of the member's little girl.

Elder Rincon in the alleyway where they live.

Hno Zuniga learning the alphabet.

Looking into the city from Kbranch.

Spencer's study area in his house - El Sitio.
Hello Family,

I gotta write fast so I apologize now. I hope it's not a shorter letter this week.

So first, Mom, ask the Quesada's if they're name comes from Salvador or if they have connections from Salvador in their family. I found someone with their last name using 'z' and everything. I'd love to hear if there is a connection. But I bet not.

Kristen, Can you send me your favorite picture of the Church? I want to make covers for my Agendas like you did for me. But I want to have a few with pictures from you and the family. They have to be relatively small but not so small. You know.

We didn't celebrate at all for Thanksgiving so it was really different. But it doesn't matter, I still remembered to be grateful and to celebrate the reason for the holiday. Thank you family as well. Without your support and help and love, I would be nothing.

We visited Angel and Helen this week a lot. They went to the temple with us this Saturday and said they didn't want to leave. They felt the peace and it astonished them that such a feeling existed. It's pretty much fijo (set) that they're going to get baptized and go to the Temple in a year. The only problem is that they have no money. On Thanksgiving day, I learned a lot more about being grateful. I had prayed to have an increased understanding of gratitude that day and my prayer was answered. When we visited Angel and Helen that day, they expressed how hard it was to live and to survive cause they literally had no food, no electricity and one or two pairs of clothes. Their other clothes got robbed while they were hanging out to dry after the wash. They ran out of candles and had no light. Their baby was starving and Helen had nothing to feed him. Their neighbors aren't much better off. There are a million other things that they could have complained about but they only wanted food. We helped them out that night with some food and candles to say the least. We never give them money though cause that's not helping much. We taught a lesson about hope and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We taught about God's love for them and for all of His children. Mom, Dad, the Spirit was there with us. Helen had tears on her face and Angel was silently pondering their condition, and their repentance. He told us that ever since we came to their house, they have only felt good things regardless of their trials. On top of everything, their baby was sick. Milan se llama. We offered to give him a blessing. We asked if they believed in God and Jesus Christ and told them that healing only comes through faith on Him (both temporal and spiritual). We left so humbled that night. The next day, their baby was completely healed. Angel found a job and starts soon. He has to find 200 Limps ($10) to start his job though. He'll be selling honey for 33 Lps everyday. I hope that brings some success in their lives. We have been trying to work with the ward to help them but so far, nothing has happened (except the temple trip, which was great). To say the least, I learned a lot. Mainly, I ask myself with more sincerity now "What has God given me?"

Then I asked God about all the temptations and feelings I've been having. I told him how difficult it was and as I was kneeling and feeling all that weight, these words came to my mind: "Can you feel how I felt? In that moment in the Garden, Spencer, I saw you and I know you perfectly." Since then, I can't say that I haven't had struggles but my burden has been made light. When I understood the Atonement, my burden was made light. The more I understand about the Atonement and the more I try to listen and follow him (rather than just doing my duty and going through the motions), the more my burden is made light. He strengthens me so I can do more. I learned gratitude for the Savior. I learned more about the Atonement too. There is one voice that tells me every time I see Him, "All that you feel is fake. You've been indoctrinated into your church and now it's all in your mind. I've tried to feel. I've tried and while everyone is feeling the 'Spirit', I feel nothing." But it's wrong. Just go to the Temple and you know he's wrong.

The mission is the hardest thing I've ever done. When I was younger, I thought that a mission would be great, happy, and always just like a meadow of daisies and sun. I was not only very wrong, but that isn't God's plan. If he wanted us to be in a meadow full of flowers without a care in the world, he would've just put all of us in the Garden of Eden without the tree of life and without the forbidden fruit. Satan wouldn't be allowed to tempt us. God is that powerful. As we experience good and bad, we grow. As we grow, we earn our Salvation. As we earn our Salvation we can help others earn their's. And lastly, as we help others grow closer to God, we grow closer to God and become more like him.

My patriarchal blessing says that I need to not only "Go Forward" but also says, "and listen continually". The Lord can be our Guide as we listen for Him. Listening to Him comes after we listen FOR Him.

Lastly, I learned what it means to kneel when you can't stand. So when life is to hard to stand, just kneel. And when you kneel, ask God to show you what it means: "Thy will be done." and then remember who you are. I promise that we ALL can grow closer to God. I know He lives more than ever now.

There is so much more to tell but I can't tell it right now. Hopefully someday you can know what Honduras is like. Someday you'll meet all my investigators and get to know who I taught and teach every day. Thank you family for giving me your love and trust. I hope and pray that everything is well at home. Christmas is the best time of the year. Christ is the center of the word, and "mas" in Spanish means more. Entonces "Christ-more" or More of Christ is what Christmas means. :D

Wish I could be there with you guys this Christmas but I wouldn't exchange what I've learned and experienced on my mission for anything. And Mom and Dad, thank you for saying everyday of my life, "Remember Who You Are". That has helped me a lot on my mission even though it's sooo simple.  REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE!

Keep praying for my investigators! They are doing great but their is so much more that they could be doing still. Carolina and Andres came to church but Andres is still hesitant to make a commitment to church so pray for that.

Also, Dad, could you explain the 'Hurrah for Israel' thing to me. It does mean something to me like: Go-Forward-With-Faith kind of thing, but I'm wondering what inspired you to write it at the end of every letter. Does it have personal meaning to you?

And Mom, Spanish is easier but I don't understand always because many words have double or triple meanings or uses. I can translate but it takes time. I hope translating will teach me more about the order of phrases in Spanish (and more words). I can't say everything I want to still. I hope to have the same command over Spanish as I do English someday.

Elder Spencer Tuft

PS I got Kristen's package with the tie but not the other 3 packages yet. Thank you for sending them. LOVES!!! and that little Audrey is a cutie in the vid! (A video to her cousin, Krissa, letting Krissa, who was not feeling well, know she loves her.)