How is it going? How has your November been? It has been great to hear from you all this past week. It was wonderful to have 2 Dear Elders, a bunch of Halloween cards from the Sandersons, and a letter from you guys! It was exactly what I needed. This last week has been supremely hard. I spent most of the week being sick sick sick sick sick. No bueno. I shake hands with people all day, eat strange food, the air is pretty filthy, and bugs, bugs, bugs. I pray every night that the bugs will not crawl all over me and it works. I’m serious. I have a force field around my bed. Siempre doy gracias para este. The spanish is coming. It is very discouraging at times. At times I can speak really well and at times I can’t. It all depends on the spirit – I can’t speak without it. The spirit is so key. It has been extremely humbling to be living here and it has given me new perception on life. In reality we are less than the dust of the earth. Humans are top dogs here en la tierra but they don’t obey their God. As it says in the scriptures, “even the dust moveth hither and thither at the command of God”. I have also experienced the principle that humility is not thinking less of you but thinking less about yourself. I am able to do this very well here. I have lost my life and in return I have gained it. I understand what it means to live – what is important and what isn’t important. People are so confused and it is terribly sad to see. Life is work, TV, food, and anything that brings pleasure. Nothing else. There is no trying to improve your life, just accept the condition that you are in and pass it on to the next generation. People say they believe in God, yet they don’t even know his commandments. Sorry rant, rant, rant. It is hard to organize my thoughts.
I am going to be very grateful this Thanksgiving. More grateful than all of you – I can promise that. 😀 I have nothing and because of this I realize how great life was before I left. My year away at college was a breezezeze. I had it good, a fantastic job that I loved, school, apartment, friends, computer, I could cook good food, I could drive a car, and the streets were asphalt, not rocks and dust. (Btw dogs are everywhere. If Brennon were here he would die. There is always a dog within sight) I often think back to how great I had it and am grateful for what I have now. It is hard not to think of home. Many times I find myself thinking about what I could be doing right now, rather than eating some sort of organ, or showering with a bucket, or sweating my guts out. But I have come to the conclusion that I will not be in Honduras forever. ha ha ha. Beautiful. I love it here and I will come to love it like a second home, but right now it is hard. I just need to work hard and the time will pass. I will be home in no time. Really I love the people here. The little kiddies are my favorite. They are so fun to goof around with.
We had a great dinner last night with one of the families in the ward. We had enchiladas, not like any I have ever had before. Basically fried tortillas so they are hard, with guacamole, meat from the vaca y gallina, tomatoes, y chile (hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot O_O), and some other stuff, just piled on these crispy tortillas. They were very good. Then we talked for a while and listened to the traditional music of Honduras. Beautiful – accordion, violin, cello, trumpets. ah. My kind of music, kind of a Latinized Beirut. There is also tons of crappy music here. I was in the bus on the way to a District Meeting in the city (oh by the way, I am in the city, mother. My area is Esperanza and the colonia is Trinidad. I am about a 35-minute bus ride from the soccer stadium.) I can buy soccer jerseys here, like Barcelona, Honduras, Peru, Brazil, etc for about 150 – 200 limpiras, 13 – 18 dollars. Ok, bus ride…. oh yes, everybody listens to reggaeton. Look it up on youtube. I have no idea what they are saying most of the time, because it is so fast, but I think it is terrible. They also play American rap. Yuck! Reggaeton all has the same beat, bum….. bum bum bum …. bumb bum bum…… etc. Always you can hear people blasting it from their houses. Reggaeton is the soundtrack of my mission – it is always playing in the background.
The work here is very frustrating. People are so kind and generous but so stubborn. We teach very clearly, ask them to do things, and keep commitments, but they don’t. We will have about 6-10 teaching appointments everyday with nonmembers or less actives. This last week we had 8 on Thursday and we only taught one family, because the others weren’t home. Most people don’t have schedules so it is hard to set up appointments. All people have to do is pray, ponder, and meditate to find out for themselves but they don’t even do that. It is so simple yet people don’t do it. People say they can’t come to church for this or that and we go and find them watching TV in their houses. Very frustrating. We had 3 fechas (baptismal dates) and all 3 of them fell through because they won’t find out for themselves and they lack the desire. We offer so much light and hope and happiness yet people are too lazy or too blind to see it. There are tons of churches that people have started up, and they realize the power that we have as missionaries to convince people, so they have all this false propaganda that they tell people about our church. When we show up they are already preconditioned to reject our message, even without hearing it for themselves. I doubt their preachers even know much about our church, but know that we have success. There are many lies about our church that circulate and many times we have had heated conversations with people, who are precondition to hate our church and us. bah basuras.
Monday and Thursday we go to the Stake Center and meet for p-day on Monday, and zone meeting on Thursday. There are lots of fast food places so we usually eat out on Mondays, and sometimes Thursdays. It is wonderful. There are guards everywhere with guns. Because it is so dangerous many businesses that have anything of worth to sell have guards. Every fast food joint has a guard standing out side the door with a gun. I want to get a picture of what my area is like and the beautiful view, but it is dangerous for me to take my camera out in the street. I will do it somehow. We live on a big hill. Our area is small, but we are always climbing around.
I do not have access to a piano. I played a little at the mission home when I first got here, but nothing since then. The branch here was created only a year ago, and is struggling to keep people coming and active. The president of the branch is fantastic. He is a return missionary from Guatemala and he is always so energetic. He really helps the people catch the spirit of this gospel. It will take time but this branch will turn into a ward.
Our mission president asked us to read the Book of Mormon in a month and a half and finish on Christmas. I have my small 4 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch Book of Mormon that I bought in the MTC and it is perfect. I started a week ago and I am almost to Alma. hah. I love reading in english. We circle any reference to Jesus, underline the words of the Savior, mark anything about missionary work in blue, attributes of the Savior in red, and any principals that stand out in yellow. It has been great to read it fast, like a real book. It has been a great testimony builder. I hope that all of you are studying everyday. I hope that all of you are praying everyday. These things are so basic but so vital for the life of families and individuals. It is how we stay converted to the gospel.
I have been thinking a lot about knowledge this week. Knowledge is indeed power. But knowledge to a man with out applying it makes him a fool. Wisdom is what we must seek, learn, and apply. It talks about this in D&C 130:18 – 19 I think of how much of an advantage we will have in the next life. In reality this is what we are here in earth for. To gain knowledge, be tested, learn, grow, get a body, learn how to be happy in this life, and take the knowledge we learned to benefit ourselves in the next life.
I just got the number for the pin but it is all right. I just need to have some extra cash just in case. By the way yes, putting money in my account is much better than spending an arm and a leg to send me a big package. I can buy stuff really cheap here anyways. I don’t know how I can respond to the dear elders. I’m sorry! I think I can just write and put it in the pouch. But keep sending me stuff! I love to hear from everyone. By the way I got the dear elders and your letter the same day. I miss wearing normal clothes. Just being able to put on some pants and a t-shirt and slip on some shoes is wonderful. Thank heavens I can still wear my church socks. Hah. OH I washed my laundry this week, all by HAND. Yep. My hands were terrible after 3 hours of washing 3 weeks of laundry. It was fun but my hands swelled up from all the water.
I saw a dead tarantula in the road the other day. Gross! Thank heavens I haven’t seen any live ones. Send me pictures from Thanksgiving. 😦 I’ll have a feast of oatmeal, pb & j, semetas, and this new fruit I found. It has spikes on it and is red. I can’t remember what it is called, oh lychee. Look it up. It is really good. You bite it in half to get the shell off and then the fruit inside is like a big peeled grape, with the consistency of a jellyfish. Not really, but it is what I imagine it would feel like.
Parker, keep away from the ladies, and I’m glad you fixed the accordion. Justin, keep playing soccer and I will try to send you a Barcelona jersey sometime. Jaxon I miss hanging wit you man. Dang it, all these kids here make me want to hang with Jaxon and Brennon. Brennon Jones – be creative. LOVE YOU ALL! Anyways, ADIOS! I love you all! I miss you all!
– ELDER JONES O_O