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!

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