Valentine's Day, Miracles, New House?
15 February 2016 (Didn't send because the LDS server was down last week so almost NO ONE got emails from their missionaries all over the world.)
Hello Beautiful Family,
I'm super happy to see all your shining faces in the pictures you sent. Kyle, there's a forest on your face... :D I hope Jess likes forests in the winter season.
Thank you for all you've done for me and for the people that you are. This week was interesting... actually every week in Honduras is a little that way. You never know what to expect.
This week, God showed me that He puts His mighty hand between me and danger (for some missionaries, they haven't always had that same blessing). So we were walking home this week at 9 pm and I saw a teenager that was covering his eye, and my first thought was, "I hope he's okay." So I said hello and smiled to help cheer him up. We kept walking and he turned around and asked for two lempiras (probably to buy a cigarette) and we told him no. Then another teenager started running at us from behind. I turned around and when he saw that we had seen him, he stopped walking and we walked faster. When he was out of sight, we went home. Elder Guillen chastised me and told me, "Never say hello to a stranger at night. Those two teenagers could've robbed us." I didn't argue because they could've, but I trust that Heavenly Father protects me. I don't think he will allow something to happen to me if he doesn't want it to happen. Trust is greater than fear.
We haven't had a very good week for finding people that are ready to be baptized but we have felt the Holy Ghost and we know that God has been guiding us to help specific people. We are laying the foundations of a more perfect work and since day one I have felt that I was needed here to improve the atmosphere. The goal is always conversion and baptism but I think the ward needs some help before the community will naturally feel drawn to the righteousness of the Saints.
A lot of changes in the next few weeks to come. We had found a house before but they wanted 5000 lempiras and we said we'd talk and call them back. We didn't call cause it was so expensive and we felt bad to tell them no. So we said many prayers for finding a new house and then we found the owners of the 5000L house in the street and we told them why we hadn't called. So they said they'd rent the main part of the house to us for 3000L and I was so excited that I almost said yes on the spot but I still have to talk to my companion more and pray before we make a decision.
Elder Guillen and I always sing in the lessons and I have felt the Spirit more. What shoos the Spirit away are distractions and also because I occasionally dominate instead of sharing the time with my companion. But I'm working on it. It's just a bad habit that I got when I wasn't with Elder Reinoso for 2-3 weeks straight. PS Elder Reinoso is all better now. It's a bit strange but okay.
Rachel won't get baptized this week I think but we'll try again. The mom, Johana, wasn't there and then Johana and Rachel didn't go to church this week. They promised next week they would. We still need to teach the lessons to Rachel and teach her more frequently.
The zone here is a bit rebellious but they've improved a little since last week. This past month, we've only had three baptisms, between 22 missionaries. That's a little saddening but I hope we all can make changes for good this week. I hope that I could transfer all the information and experience that I have, and put it on a hard drive and uploaded to the brains of the new missionaries. They just act like little kids though, immature. (I wonder if the former missionaries would have said that about his 30+ who came to the mission at the same time 20 months ago?)
We did a lot of service projects on Saturday (washed a vicious dog, cleaned corn, lifted heavy objects) but we hope that by loving and serving, we can be an influence for good in the ward.
Love you all,
Mom, Keep up the hard missionary labors! If we bring but one soul back to God, how great will our joy be in heaven! Follow the influence of the Holy Ghost and pray fervently like you've always done. :D Love you to the sun and back.
You can enter into my FB and send me a list of friends that want to add me and I'll tell you which ones. They won't be able to add me if I don't accept their request so don't worry about that. :D Thank you.
Dad, Thank you for helping me to see that I'm doing better than I think I am. It's saddening when we need to be an example but even our house is chaos. I feel ashamed to do splits with other missionaries. I feel ashamed to report the daily and weekly stats. It's not that we are doing badly, we are doing really well. We just haven't been able to see the fruits of our labors yet. It's like the tree that hasn't brought forth fruit yet. It takes time. I feel barren without fruits to show the Lord of our labor. It's like coming to him with nothing in your hands when he's commanded us to work and let ourselves be laden with sheaves. But I know that He understands and He will bless us. He will bring forth miracles from small things. We will be diligent and He will be obligated to bless us.
Stake Conference in Danlí, Contacting, Cleaning the House
22 February 2016 (He sent both of these today)
Not much has happened this week so I'll try to take a little time at the end to respond to some of this week's family email.
We have Stake Conference this coming week in Danlí Stake. We will be getting a new Stake Presidency and so Elder José L. Alonso from the Area Presidency will be coming with President Bowler, to the Stake conference.
Elder Guillén and I have been contacting every single day this past week. We haven't found a lot of people to teach but we've had a lot of people invite us in. What usually happens is that we teach the restoration and invite them to read, pray, go to church, get baptized, etc. and then they say, "But we already go to a church." So it takes patience but we usually leave a commitment with those that will accept it and then come back to see if they really want to know more. The people here are so nice that they never like to say no. That has some ups and some downs.
I'll give you updates on those that start to progress later on.
Rachel's mom, Johana, said that she's considering letting Rachel get baptized. She said that she would pray about it and we hope that she gets an answer.
We finally have a Ward Mission Leader. He's whipping us back into a team! :D He doesn't live in the ward boundaries (he moved the same weekend that they extended the calling) but he prayed about the calling that the bishop extended him and felt that he should accept for the time being. His name is Jared Masaya.
We cleaned the house a ton today. I've just had the hugest desire to clean everything and do it quickly, even if we are going to move soon. Well, today I learned why I felt that way so strongly. President Alonso is going to visit some of the mission's houses to see if they are clean and adequate. I'm super happy that we cleaned a lot today. That gives us a chance to clean the rest before he comes in March for the check-ups.