Monday, April 27, 2015

Birthday, Elder Johns, Leadership Conferences and Elder Ochoa

Hello Family,

What a fantastic week that we've all had! I loved reading all of your letters and not just cause they all said "Happy Birthday" but because everyone is doing just great. I am feeling great and I'm excited to go preach repentance and baptize. I have prayed for you this week and I know God has answered my prayers. Hang in there Kyle and Kristen! Finals are exhausting (or so I hear).

First off, here in Honduras, they love to throw eggs at people on their birthdays to celebrate. It's supposed to be fun but it's not. They also throw you in the pila... yeah the pila. BUT luckily I didn't remind anyone it was my birthday (actually I totally forgot it was my birthday until 2 in the afternoon) and only one family remembered but they were kind and didn't throw me in the pila or mess up my clothes with eggs because "Soy guapo!" Some freakish 30 year old started flirting with me and tried to give me a hug and then another 18 year old tried to hold my hand extra long when I gave her a handshake. Well, it's cause I'm single, "rich"-class, and white. (Shout out to Nate Shaw and Kaleb Boyer: "Let me all tell you what it's like, being male, middle-class, and white!")

Other than that, nothing happened on my birthday and I'm am extremely happy to avoid ALL attention on birthdays here in Honduras. No wonder everyone is so depressed here... they throw eggs at you on your birthday!!! ;) I prefer the Angel Food Cake with Triple Berry and Cream to celebrate a birthday but ice cream was good enough on Saturday for me :D Hope you all enjoyed it!

Elder Johns is my new companion and is from Colorado. He loves hunting and cowboy things and sports (football mainly). He had problems with his last companion and told me that he was planching in the last few weeks (or being disobedient). So he's not going to do that anymore he said and he realized he feels happier to work. I'll tell you more later and send pictures.

We had fantastic conferences for two days with Elder Ochoa and I got to ask some questions to him and I loved the answers. Lastima que no tengo me libreto de apuntes! Pero si, fue rico espiritualmente ;)  (Too bad I do not have my notes booklet! But it was rich in spirituality.)

One of the main things that we discussed was baptizing every week instead of subconsciously planning on baptizing in the ends of every month or every change. We talked about opening our mouths TONS more to FIND more of the elect of God that are ready to be taught. We've found some pretty good people. I'll share one of these experiences:

I decided to open my mouth more and on the buses to Tegucigalpa and back I met a man named Abraham that was really closed to listening to me at first, and all he wanted to do was talk. But I patiently listened attentively and directed my questions to help him learn of God. Then at the end, I gave him my Book of Mormon and asked him to read 3rd Nephi 11 while we were on the bus. He read the entire thing and LOVED it! He told me after, "This book is so much more clear and better than the Bible! Why do people say it's so bad?" So he's already been in touch recently with the missionaries and I gave him a number he can call to get a free Book of Mormon and then I wrote down where his mom lives and I hope that he can find the church and investigate soon.

Vicente and Sandra and Yilda have a fecha planned for June for their baptisms but it's not very set yet because they still need to be married and need to come to church more. Vicente needs to have a miracle happen so he can keep working but not on Sundays. They are the greatest. Vicente said that he knows he needs to be baptized and he also said that he believes this is the true church but I hope the members can actually follow through visiting and getting to know him so he feels comfortable in the church.

Love the mission work, even though it's not the most rapid thing right now and it feels like we have to drag the ward sometimes, it's great. We are changing a lot of things now including ward unity and reverence in Sacrament meeting. The members here need to learn that they can't just visit whoever they want. They need to visit their assigned members and they need to go with their companion. Thank you Dad for teaching me how to do it right so that I can teach them how to do it right. Am I allowed to take the initiative to teach the Elder's Quorum president how to run the visiting teaching stuff? The ward is doing very badly right now (63 came to church this Sunday) and everyone that's not coming says it's because we are the only one in the ward that visits them. We are planning an activity this coming month called The Battle of the Baleadas and all the organizations will group together to buy and make the best of the very best baleadas! Guess who'll be the judges! THE ELDERS :D ME and ELDER JOHNS! That's what I call being efficient: getting free food and strengthening ward unity. What are your ideas? Can't think of anything too extravagant because there's not much to work with here in Honduras.

Love you family! I just wanted to finish this week with my testimony of the gospel. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He and Heavenly Father love all of us sooo much. I know that we can be lifted up by Christ to have peace and feel his everlasting comfort. I know that this is the true church without a doubt. I know that missionary work is the greatest work that we all can do. I am a witness that God cares for each of us and wants to talk to us and bless us. I hope that we can do everything possible to recognize His voice by reading His words, praying to Him, and pondering His teachings in our heart. He lives!

Have a fantastic week and be good!
Hurrah por Israel!
Elder Tuft

PS Love the pictures Megan! Ava is so sweet! I got to see puppies being born this morning because the bishop's dog was VERY pregnant and had her babies! It was awesome!
Kristen, thanks for your quick letter in the library! I hope your studies go very well and the tests even better! $4 for gas is unheard of. Here in Honduras they all put diesel engines in their cars even though it's not fuel efficient.
Kyle and Jess, thanks for the pictures! That smile of Milo's is adorable!

I hope I didn't forget anything but I'm sorry if I did. Gtg
Tell the ward and friends hi for me! :D

PPS I'll call you after church on May 10th. We have church at 9 too :D Same passwords and usernames right? Can you send the information again Mom? Thanks.

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