|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.|
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.)