Tuesday, March 31, 2015

General Conference weekend, Easter Week, Baptism of Alexander

Hello Family and Friends,

Everything is heating up here in Honduras for La Semana Santa! We had a candle in our house that melted to the counter in a little pile because it was so hot. We've lost a bunch of investigators because they aren't progressing and others because they never are home. We're still working hard and having fun at the same time. This week should be an awesome week with General Conference and Easter just ahead. I never had loved Gen. Conf. like I do now. In October, I was inches away from the screen, soaking in every word and loving every minute, seeing people from home that I knew on the screen. The missionaries thought it was weird that I knew so many people.

This week we just had two investigators come to church. Vicente is working as a firefighter. We prayed everyday that he would find work and so he found work. But now he won't come to church. Sandra, his wife, doesn't get that her church is the wrong church she says, "The Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith was a Prophet... what's that? I need to go to your church???" But we've explained it in every way possible: with members, without members, with other missionaries. It's always the same answer, "I already go to a church."

Damaris had a melt down last night. We passed her house and I saw her sitting in the shadows and I didn't think anything of it as we passed. So I waved and kept going. I took less than five steps, I think, when I just turned around. (Everyone says, I felt that I needed to do this or that, etc. when they feel the Holy Ghost, but this was a different experience. I know it was the Holy Ghost, but I didn't hear any words or feel anything.) I just turned. It felt natural and as I was walking, I asked myself, why go back? But I just kept walking. I got close enough to see that something was wrong. It was dark outside and I couldn't see her face but I heard her crying. We sat down next to her and asked what was wrong. She told us her "boyfriend-ish" person came and accused her of being with another guy (complete lie) and then beat her. The ironic thing is that her "boyfriend-ish" person has another women that lives with him. We sang, "Nearer My God to Thee" and I turned to tell her little boy, Leonel, "take care of your mom," and he responded, "I CAN'T!" and then ran to the bed and started to cry. I went over to him and he gave me the biggest hug ever. We cried with them. I learned what is was to "mourn with those that mourn." I've never known what to do to help someone crying but I understand now. They are such a special family. God loves them a lot. I felt his love for them that night.

This week we had Alexander's baptism. He bore his short testimony after and was really happy. His mom has been going back to church and was in the investigator class (Gospel Principles) and threw a fit because, "I'm not an investigator!" I had to explain that she wouldn't understand the other classes as much if she didn't understand the basics first. I proved to be right when she started arguing later about modern revelation and prophets in these days. I ended the conversation between the teacher and her and told her we would take the time later that day to explain things to her. Well, to explain a little more, yes, Alexander's mom, was baptized about 25 years ago but didn't go back after a few months of being a member. So we went to her house and she was waiting for us. She started to argue with us again and it was difficult to invite the Spirit into the lesson. When she stopped talking, we waited for a good five seconds to let everything calm down and sink in and then we shared our testimonies about prophets and shared scriptures about prophets in the Bible. By the end she was saying, "Now I understand the need for prophets." We continued teaching the Restoration and she shared with us that she was baptized because the other missionaries told her to compare the Book of Mormon with the Bible and so she thought it was the Bible. So she didn't read much further into it and was baptized. Somehow she missed the question in her interview, "Do you believe that Joseph Smith was a Prophet?" So she told us at the end when we invited her to read the Joseph Smith Pamphlet that she wasn't just going to read it but that she would fast and pray to understand it the day before reading it. We'll see if she actually did it later today. I hope.

Me basta decir que el bautismo fue muy bueno y que yo le bautizó a Alex. Voy a enviar otra foto del bautismo.  (Suffice it to say that the baptism was very good and I was able to baptized Alex. I will send another picture of the baptism.)

Samael Navarro, our old mission leader, came back from his mission early because he wasn't sleeping and was really sick and had hair falling out. He's doing a lot better now but he sleeps for hours on end. The bishop called him to be our mission leader again :D.

So last Monday, our zone got to watch Wreck it Ralph for P-day and I loved it so much that I'm going to share what I learned this week by quoting a little from it. There's a part where Ralph dives down out of the sky at the very end and he says, "I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me." As I thought a lot about 'agency' this week, choices: good and bad, consequences, and Adam and Eve, I learned more deeply that without the bad we cannot have good. We can accept that we are not perfect. One the phrases that I learned and have remembered for a while now is: Our imperfections make us perfect. I liked this phrase before just because it was a cool cliché but I understand it more now. I hope that this Easter Season we can all learn a little more about the role of Jesus Christ in our lives. We all fall short of the glory of God but because He rose from the tomb and from Gethsemane, and because He lives, we also can live. We can be forgiven of our sins.

Love you all and I hope you have a great Easter Sunday and Conference Weekend!

Elder Tuft
¡Hurrah por Israel!

Thanks for all the pictures you sent me this week! I love seeing everyone and all the great pictures. Wish I was as photogenic as Milo! :D

I am a little confused about the happenings with Lindsay this week. I hope she's doing better now. Will she be fixed for good or will they have to clean her out frequently? What caused all this? Is she still sick from what she had before and she just got worse because she wasn't going to the bathroom?

The Lauren you met I think is Lauren Brinton. She was a friend from school last year. That's cool that you got to go to the school with Milo and see a few familiar faces.

Love you Mom! Thanks for all the updates and the support you give me!

Thank you for your insights every week. They are always a highlight on Mondays (everyone's letters are highlights but I like hearing your thoughts that you learn every week).

When I was reading about Grandpa, I felt like a warm wave was washing over me. I felt the words in my mind, "You do everything you know how to do and I will be there with you." It was reassuring to know that God is always there for me in the good and the bad. I'll make sure to study the scriptures you sent me.

Ward Councils are very productive but then the members flake during the week. But the ward is getting better. We've had a recent problem with cell phones and wifi and people talking or playing during a lesson or a talk. Many of the investigators have told us that it shouldn't be that way. The members should be examples in all the things. We aren't perfect but we are different. People should see the difference that we make and that we are.

Love you Dad!

Get better Lindsay! And keep up the good, hard work Giavanna!
Love you family! :D

Sunday, March 29, 2015

La Cruz Hike, Investigators, Playing piano in Sacrament Meeting-YEA!

 As you can tell, we went to La Cruz again. It's a big hike. I'm also sending pics of some bugs that are interesting. They are dead!

The food you see is called Yuca with Pato de Cerdo, (or Yuca with Pig Feet). :D Yummm it's not that bad but yeah... nuff said.

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Spencer at the top of the La Cruz hike.
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(I think his companion is feeling a bit awkward here.)

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Does anyone know what KIND of spiders these are? Ewwwww!

Hello Family and Friends,

It's good to hear from all of you and that everyone is doing alright and super great! This week I'll start with all the investigators and finish with what I've learned and answering your questions.

Alexander Rodriguez was going to be baptized last Saturday but he wasn't. The morning of the interview he drank a cup of coffee. He's never had coffee in his life and his mom never buys coffee. But they did that morning and he drank it. So his baptism will be this Saturday. We re-shared the Word of Wisdom with them and shared with them the seriousness of obeying ALL the commandments with exactness. Alexander understands now but his mom is hard as a rock. They both came to church this week and then left after the first hour because of a family issue they had... I'm thinking it was his mom over-reacting. She over-reacts and is really controlling. Almost every time that I'm over there, she has a belt in her hand to punish the children for disobeying. As missionaries, we cannot counsel others but I have laid down the law with her and I hope to see small but constant changes with her. Alexander is great though.

Damaris declined being interviewed by the ZL's this week and so she won't be interviewed by President any time soon either. She told us that she doesn't feel ready and that when God says it's time, she will be baptized. Celeste, her daughter, and Celeste's cousin went to church this week. But Damaris didn't. We're just hoping that they can start progressing again.

Vicente and Sandra are doing fine as well. Sandra is understanding more now as well. Before she was really slow to realize that it doesn't matter if she already goes to a church and that she needs to go to the church that is the Living Church of a Living God. It took a while for her to understand that. As for Vicente, he doesn't want to make any commitments to be baptized right now and he still doesn't have work. He always tells us that Word of God is The Word of God, and so it's welcome in his home. He is also a little slow to understand that there is only one true church. We're planning on teaching The Restoration again so they can understand it better. I think showing them the video would be best as well. Yilda, their daughter, went to church with her dad as well this week. She sat with Celeste and the Bishop's wife (YW's President).

Maria is seeing a man now and has some obligation to him now because he is giving them money while Maria doesn't have work. She can't get baptized now because of this. She is very intelligent and understands the Law of Chastity and so she feels like it's not time to be baptized, and it's NOT! We're going to teach her the Law of Chastity today, again, to refresh her and to help her make a choice with this man: to marry him or to separate herself with him. I don't want her to accept money from a man that just wants to live temporarily with her.

Fernando, a recent convert that we taught, hasn't gone to church for three Sundays now and it's because he has a friend that is inviting him to the Evangelico Church and "they have FOOD there!" Fernando is a chubby, food-addict and Satan knows that's his weakness. We're working with him on a continual bases. I told President two weeks ago about not adding to the pool of less-actives, but Dad, to answer your question, he didn't say anything about that comment. He just kept moving along with the interview.

Josè is doing great in church and he wants to have a temple recommend soon. The problem is that he has a family that he loves and isn't married to the wife. He was, however, married to another women before being baptized 10 years ago. So he has to be divorced (10.000 Lempiras about) and then be married to Iris, his new "wife". So that's a process and so Iris can't be baptized and isn't progressing because of this little bump in the road. I'm just a little frustrated with the Laws of Honduras right now...

This past Thursday, I compiled all the stats from my district and analyzed them to help me know what our district needs. I found that we are having a great number of lessons every week but that we don't have investigators going to church and so they don't progress and can't be baptized. So, this week I taught about the importance of members in lessons and the importance of church for the investigators. As a result, Elder Saucedo and I had 7 investigators in church this week and my district, as well, had increased numbers in this area. I hope we can keep that up every week. We teach with this purpose in mind now: to help them read the Book of Mormon, to get them to church, to get them baptized and actively participating in church activities and callings.

We have other investigators but that's enough for this week. Now I want to share what I've learned and stories.

I GOT TO PLAY THE PIANO IN SACRAMENT AGAIN FINALLY!!!!!!!!!! :D Can I just say, My Life Is Complete! Even though I haven't played in four months or more, I remembered how to play the right hand! hahaha When I get back home, that's something that I want to continue doing. Not as a career but as a fun hobby that can have some great benefits.

This week, I learned how fragile life is. Not physical life, but spiritual life. People can be so stuck in their ways, myself included, and the struggle of Missionary Work is helping people see that there is a better way. Many know that the better way is through Christ but they don't know the best way to follow Him, and they deny the way we show them because of friends, peer-pressure, tradition, culture status, and just because everyone spreads lies about "Los Mormones!" I have literally seen a street full of people that we can contact, and then when we start walking around, the people hide and whisper and say, "The Mormons are coming! They worship Josè Smit!"

I have also learned a lot about not judging people. Even though I may judge the general Honduras common sense, the people themselves are kind and have true intentions. They want the best but they don't know where to find it. I have found a new love for missionary work and I don't want to leave this area especially. I might leave this change because I'm finishing Elder Saucedo's training in 3ish weeks. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to be home right now and I think to myself, I don't want to be home right now! hahaha! I remember when Kyle came home and he was so weird from being on the mission, well I can see that I am soooo weird too now. haha

I love my Heavenly Father SOOOOO much! I can feel His love for me and I have felt His love for every person I have taught this past week. Even though they might not be baptized while I'm here, they are definitely the people that Heavenly Father wants me to be teaching. I have found new and increased faith in Jesus Christ. God has given me a burning testimony of the truth and even though times can get rough, I have learned that there is one precious thing that I will always have with me: my testimony. I know this is the true church. I know it with all my heart. The Holy Ghost has made it known unto me.

I wrote Cesar this week because he said he wanted to go camping when he gets back from his two year service in a year and a half. I want to go camping really bad too! Even though living in Honduras is like camping, it's just not the same as being out in the West Desert when it begins to snow and you don't have a sleeping bag... ;D FYI that happened to me before...

Other things I miss are plumbing and lights that work 100000% of the time. Then we haven't had reliable light this week and that can be frustrating when your training a newbie and you need to watch the videos of District 1 and 2.

Love you family and friends with all my heart! Miss you guys a lot but us teenagers are out doing the Work of the Lord!

¡Hurrah por Israel!
Elder Tuft
Dad, Thanks for the good reminder about patriarchal blessings and my setting apart. I'll be sure to read them over again. I always carry my blessing in my bag when we work in the day. Easter is called La Semana Santa here and it's a biggish deal. I don't know yet cause I haven't experienced one yet but I haven't heard of many people talking about it. Cesar is in the same mission where Elder Saucedo lives. I don't know much about the mission there but it appears to be growing a lot faster than it is here in Honduras. We're working on getting ONE baptism for every missionary every month here in this mission. That's really difficult sometimes, especially to baptize families.

Mom, that's a busy week, as usual, for the family. I'm sorry to hear about Becky Morgan's dad. That's really sad. The St Patty's party sounds like it was a blast but I didn't get any pictures from that. And that Milo is getting BIG! Audrey Too! She already has her front teeth and tons of hair! :D Kyle didn't write me this week but maybe next week. He's busy, I understand. I didn't write him much on his mission either. But I love him tons and I know he loves me!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Testimony, Interviews, Baptism of Alexander, Sunday suprise talk and music leading

Hello Again Beautiful Family and Fun Friends,

This week went by sooo fast... let me just take a minute to breathe and slow down. There has just been so much to do. I wanted to comment about a few things with investigators but first, I want everyone to know that if they send me a message, I do read every single word while I am writing or before I write. I read everything. Sometimes I don't have time to respond to everything because I'm an obedient missionary. Just like the All-Seeing-Eye from Lord of the Rings, my eyes are All-Reading-Eyes!

I love reading all the letters from everyone and it's a challenge to read it all and remember everything when I have a time restraint. But I will always try my best.

This week I had the opportunity to bare my testimony to a young adult who has been searching for the right church to join. We've taught him before and he's already been baptized but it was when he was really young and he doesn't remember anything. My faith in Christ is stronger now because of the doubts that I've had. I have learned from experience that having doubts does not mean that we are bad people or that God will withhold heavenly help. What it means is that we have a question. Just like all questions, they need answers. The Book of Mormon is the answer. If you have a doubt, read The Book of Mormon. I promise that you will feel the Spirit testifying of it's truthfulness. The Book of Mormon was written to be tool to lead us to Christ in these, The Latter-days. Just like Elder Scott counseled to those who haven't read the Book of Mormon, "If that is the case, then do It!" 

We went back this week later and he had a Catholic girlfriend of his visiting, and we had the opportunity to share our testimonies again with her. This time, the young adult dude (Dairin), was helping to explain that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God. 

I'm still teaching English to the loud children at the school. The teacher invited us to eat at her house and we got to know her a little more now. She has a friend that is a member, and her daughter that passed away two years ago was a member. Her son is a member but has left the church too. She told us that she didn't believe Joseph Smith was called of God and we left it at that with her. We'll keep teaching as long as I'm here or as long as she needs to be baptized. She's a great person and can make Baleadas like I've never tasted before... I don't know if I've told you about Baleadas or Catrachos or the Mexican Tacos they make here. Love the food but I love Mommy's food more! We ate hamburgers today and I'll send pictures.

A miracle just happened too! We had our dinner appt call and cancel for tonight and that made me sad but 5 minutes later we had a member call and tell us she needed a blessing before she left for Tegucigalpa. So now we have time to help with that blessing. :D

The interview went well. Pres. Bowler asked me why we have many people progressing but not many baptisms. I told him that the progress of the people here is slow and filled with bumps in the road but they progress. Many people can't or don't want to get married because of laws they have here in Honduras. It's a real struggle. The other thing I told him is that my goal is not to baptize my goal is to have lasting conversions in the lives of all the people I talk to. It may be a small conversion or a big one like baptism but I don't want any more less-actives here in Honduras. I will not add to the pool of less-actives. 

Talking about baptisms, Angel and Helen from El Sitio got married and baptized finally and they are doing great. And I also heard that Familia Barrera will be getting married and baptized soon too (at least that's the goal). And this week, little Alexander is getting baptized and his mom is going back to church now. Alex let his mom know that working on Sunday is bad and is a sin and so she finally listened and chose to come to the Sacrament Meeting. Then the members dragged her into Relief Society and she loved it! So we have another family in the church... The dad is the next stop for us because we've never seen him and she is still living in fornication if she doesn't marry him or separate herself from him.

I would just like to tag Elder Kleiner in the Epic picture that looks like I edited it but I didn't! That was just a perfect moment... The others are from eating at Buffeteros today as Elders in the zone.

We also have an investigator family that is progressing a lot right now. We need to teach them the Law of Chastity still and that's the next lesson we have planned with them. Pray for that lesson. They are such an awesome family. The Dad, Vicente, is such a great guy and needs to find a good, stable job. The mom, Sandra, goes to a Evangelico church and still thinks that she can go to the Evangelico church and listen to us and progress. Next stop for her is the Book of Mormon but she can't read... She won't go to church either... So she's not progressing so much. The daughter, Yilda, just follows the example of her mom because it requires the least amount of change and effort. So, that's the family story for y'all.

We also taught an investigator again that we dropped previously, named Maria, and she's been going to Catholic Bible classes to learn more about the Bible. She says, I will never worship the Virgin Mary or the Saints and she knows that the LDS Church is the true church. She started crying when we bore our testimonies and said she would pray about the baptismal date that we set for her. She will be baptized. It's just a matter of the members befriending her and going to church from now on and para siempre! 

We also had a powerful testimony meeting at the house of a member family. The dad hasn't gone to church in a while but when we came, we saw a spark light up in his eyes and he came to church again this week. This next Sunday, we are going to be visiting people with him to help him remember his temple covenants and to help him feel the value of the Gospel more in his life. 

This Sunday, I felt like the meeting was all mine because the night before, Saturday, Mario Carcamo (2nd counselor) called me and said they needed me to speak because some complications arose. So I accepted and spoke on Sunday about Missionary Work. Then, 5 minutes before the meeting, they asked me to direct the music too because the lady that does it normally didn't show up. But it was a good meeting. We sang, "I Stand All-Amazed" and I started singing the first verse during the second verse and everyone looked at me funny and stopped singing, so I had a solo there for a little bit until I corrected myself and everyone joined in again. ;D hahaha that was really nerve-wracking. Vicente came and Alex came and another investigator, Benigna came (she's a member, not baptized cause she CANT be married because her other husband took off and no one can find him so she can't divorce him now...). So that's this week in a nut-shell. 

Just for the record, I haven't been assaulted, stabbed at, or robbed except for my watch. I'm clean from all harm too. I haven't tripped or fallen or received any big cuts or scrapes either. Honduras is kind of safe after-all! So, Mom, don't worry... I only have 15 months left to avoid all harm and danger... ;D

Tell Connor I miss him too! I miss everyone at home but I think everyone receives blessings for letting me go rather than keeping me at home.

Got to go! Everyone wear green on Tuesday then! Everyone eat green apples too so that they can be healthy and not need to go to the doctor!

Love you,
Elder Tuft
¡Hurrah por Israel!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Great Ward help and Changes (but not for me or Elder Saucedo)

Spencer after a basketball game on P-day

Spencer with some of his District, #3 from left is Elder Graigry Henrie.
(Spencer has an eye infection in his right eye and needs to do without contacts.)

Below is a group of mission friends: Spencer far left, #4 Elder Kristian Huff, #7 Elder Cy Jones
Spencer is using some scouting survival skills and some pyro-techno skills in order to get rid of the beehives at their house! (The netting he is using is what he sleeps in so the mosquitoes don't give him diseases while he sleeps.)
Hello Family and Friends,

Another week has gone by with new experiences, loaded with burdens and smiles, filled stomachs and filled health problems, nevertheless. Maybe we should put to the test, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," and everything will be good next week. God gives us trials to humble us. Above all, he loves us and wants us to be humble and refined in the fiery furnace of change and trials. To start off this week... I love you ALL.

I had some adventures of my own this week. None of them dangerous... but they would be stories to share around a campfire. I'll send a few pictures.

Our ward is working a lot with us now. There has been a huge push from the stake and from President Bowler (By the way, we have interviews with him again tomorrow :D We just found out about it.) and I hope all the wards can "Catch the Wave". The stake is wanting six baptisms from every ward. The mission is wanting one from every companionship in the mission to have 100 baptisms this next month. We are anticipating one baptism this month from La Concepcion (us). Damaris is that baptism. The problem is that she made the comment to a member on Tuesday this past week that she was pregnant. She will have to be interviewed by President before she can be baptized. We have been working and praying so hard, but nothing happens if the Lord doesn't want it to happen yet. We'll be working more with her.

We also had a beehive forming in our little backyard area and so I used some pyro-skills and a little bit of wilderness-survival merit badge crafty-work. I'll send some pics but there are more in my Dropbox account. And yes Mom, I used the net clothing you sent me as a shield from the bees.

I learned a lot about planning this week and we are calling EVERY appt we have one day before we actually have the appt, to confirm the appt instead of wasting time. It helps a lot and we are having more success. I have learned that, while I have great desires to serve, it serves me nothing to have unrealistic goals. I know that Mom and Dad have told me my whole life not to require so much of myself and wear myself out but I'm just learning now what that means. I can't work if I'm tired-out. A phrase that I've adopted this week is, "Wishy-washy doesn't work until wishy-washy plans well."

We've been working with Angelica Vasquez recently and she is positive but slow at accepting the whole truth of the matter. This week she told us she has an issue with music and dancing. She told us they are of the devil. She said some music is of God because it is inspired of God, but she is convinced that the true church cannot dance. She just doesn't understand the whole picture yet and we'll get there with her eventually.

I'm sorry to hear about all the health problems that people have been having. Everyone will and is in my prayers but more importantly is that everything is in God's hands. Love you guys and thanks for all the updates. I hope you get answers to your prayers this week. I am a firm believer that a smile make everything so much easier and to emphasize this point and finish my letter, I'd like to share a short story about this week. Here goes:

Yesterday, we went to visit a new investigator to plan a new appt but no one was answering the door. We heard someone inside and we saw someone looking at us through the fence. We could tell that whoever it was, they didn't want to answer the door and deal with us. We just kept knocking even though it could make the person mad... well, when the person finally opened the door, it was the mom and she was ticked. She said, "Digame!" or "Tell me what your here for!" and so I responded with a great big smile and said, "Hermana! We are so happy to see you! We wanted to talk to you just for a minute. How are you doing? Is there something we can do to help you today?" And her heart and expression changed immediately. She opened up to us and we have an appt with her now this week.

Smiles change everything.

¡Hurrah por Israel!
Elder Tuft

PS - Mom, my one eye is really small in that picture that I just sent and I don't know why... I'll keep an "eye" on it ;D  If you'd talk to Dr. Caywood about it, that would be helpful. I'm using contacts there and I haven't used contacts in a month or so. So maybe that's why.

Also, don't stress this week! You're hair will turn white faster, just like what happens when a bishop finishes his time as bishop, his hair turns more white.

Love you,

Monday, March 2, 2015

About the robbery (ies), investigators, ward council and ANTS in the Cyber

Spencer today at the Cyber writing us.

Hello Family and Friends,

I hope everyone is doing well and keeping busy and from what I've read so far, that's exactly what you've been doing.

So, Mom and Dad both asked about the robbery through the roof. It wasn't in our district or zone. It was the next zone over. It was in Elder Johnson's house. Elder Rigby had had his wallet robbed and then randomly it showed up (I don't remember how) and Elder Johnson had it at the house waiting to give it back to Elder Rigby. That day, a few guys cut a hole in the roof, stole all the food and the wallet and then left. Before all this however (in the previous 2 months), the same guys broke the windows of the house so the owner of the house replaced the windows and put bars on the windows. Then the same guys removed the bars and windows. And finally, the last time they went through the roof. To say the least, the missionaries don't live there anymore.

This week we taught English to 4th and 5th graders. We're slowly working on teaching the teacher of the class about the gospel. She was a member before but now she's almost Anti-Mormon. She says the church teaches way too much about Joseph Smith. I asked her what the Book of Mormon was about and she hasn't read it because she said it's about Joseph Smith. Ohhh Hondurans.... What will we ever do to erase that bad rumor you spread? All the 4th and 5th graders give us hugs now when we are in the streets. It helps to let people know we are normal. I love little kids :D

Damaris has a date set for the 21st this March. We will be visiting her a lot this week with members too. I hope but I don't feel like she will be baptized yet... everything in the Lord's time table.
There are hardly ever quiet moments in Danli. There is always someone blasting music or their car engine in front of your house or near it. But it doesn't bother me as much now. You get used to it. One thing that ALWAYS cracks me up is when a guy passes by the house selling meat and yells, "HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY la carne, si HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY la carneeeee........" And he trails off at the end. I'll see if I can record it and send it to you guys... :D It's hilarious!

Josè is doing great. He came to church and has a real desire to become active and receive all the blessings of an eternal family. He wasn't active for nine years and has a tattoo on his arm from that time that he regrets. But I told him the story about the girl (Fox???) That has tattoos all over her body and up and down her arms and that helped him relax a little bit. We taught the Plan of Salvation with the two commandments: Word of Wisdom and Chastity. We spoke especially about the seriousness of breaking the law of chastity and how we cannot have an eternal family if we don't obey the law of chastity. I was soooo sad at the end when I went to share the hymn book with his wife, Iris, and on her phone, she was watching pornography. She wasn't sitting next to her husband but I told her, "Iris, remember, we cannot watch bad things like that." But she saw in my eyes the seriousness of my words. I felt sad for her and mad at the sin. After, Elder Saucedo asked what she was watching and I told him. We were just soooo shocked that we could teach that commandment very clearly and as we teach it, someone can disobey it. We are going to be teaching it again in the next visit. We also are taking them to a member's house to learn more about families.

The ward council is working really hard with us. They are visiting and giving the ward everything they've got. Recently, the second counselor to the bishop, shared a story with us. He told us, he's been working and working so hard in the ward and in his work. The other day he came home and they had no more rice. Mario, the second counselor, began to cry because he felt like he was failing in providing for his family. He said, "But I trusted in the Lord and did all I could for Him and when I went to look for the last rice they had, he lifted up the jar and felt a heavy jar full of rice. He continued, "God blesses those who love and obey him. It was a powerful lesson."

We haven't been able to talk to Leydi yet but we're going there this week. We call and talk to her twice every week but she hasn't been available yet. Her baby is doing great. We are going to be concentrating our efforts on her this week. The Relief Society is also planning to visit her this week.

I have seen MY MISSIONARY COMMISSION before but I think it's time I print it out and smack it on the wall :D Thanks for sending it to me.
Love you Caleb! Thanks for the words of advice! :D We try to ask simple questions that make them think but it's really common here in Honduras for people not to think at all. So I got to thinking (hahaha) that we could do a fun, thinking exercise before some lessons to activate that part of their brains. Then they'll understand and answer the tougher questions :D
I hope you can rest this week from the wildfires that ran around the house all week long :D FIRE POWER right back at you! :D Hahaha

I've talked a lot about you guys to everyone I teach. And I don't know what changed but all of the sudden people are thinking that I'm way older than I am. They keep saying, "YOU'RE 18! You look 22 years old!" hahaha but I still don't have to shave everyday... well... if I want to be exactly obedient every day, I have to shave.

We've called Angel a million times but he doesn't answer us anymore. So, we've lessened the amount of calls we give him but we still aren't giving up. The ward and all the friends he had in the ward have lost contact with him too. And no one knows where he lives in La Reforma (the area of the sister missionaries). So, we keep praying. God answers prayers. :D They've finished the mourning services. They only hold the Vela, they call it, the night after and then bury the dead, and that's all. It's way way way fast. The mom has been wearing black ever since though. The whole ward has reached out to comfort her but she just doesn't want to let it go. We can't forget but we can let it go.

I am not so tan actually. The sun here is wimpy. It doesn't tan my skin hardly at all. I look very white still.

I would just like to add, there are ants crawling all around the computer screen right now... only in Honduras. But that's normal here hahahaha :D They're harmless.
Thanks for the letter sister. I hope you get into the Music Program :D That's so awesome! Your story es igual! :D We can't stalk Angel though... We only have a phone number for him. I don't know if I have changes this week. We find out tomorrow. My best guess is that I don't because I'm training Elder Saucedo still. I bet I'll be here for one or two more changes. Love you!

Love you Family! I hope everyone else is doing well. I don't hear from everyone all too often. Just Mom and Dad and Kristen :D They tell me tid bits of everyone's life so that's great :D I just wanted to know if Lindsay and Giavanna get my letters and read them. Even though it seems like such a boring thing to read a letter, I wish I had read every single one of Kyle's and Kristen's letters.

Hurrah por Isreal!
Elder Tuft