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!
AND PLEASE SEND ME YOUR NUMBER OR SKYPE NAME SO I CAN CALL YOU AT 11 AM YOUR TIME!!!!!!!!