Ok, I’ve got to move fast today. I don’t have a lot of time, and I have a lot to say this week. I tried to remember all that happened this week by writing things down in my agenda, so here it goes.
Ok, good week. Good, good week. We taught a ton of lessons and opened the mouth a ton (abrir la boca, is open the mouth, in which we talk to at least 20 people everyday and invite them to church, give them a pamphlet, share something with their family, give quick service, etc).
Walter and Rosa still aren’t married. I know kind of crazy but there are always problems. Rosa actually had kidney stones this last week and was in pain all week. She feels a lot better now and they are planning on going to figure out their wedding at some department building out east of Tegucigalpa. They applied for marriage back in 2003 but it was denied because of some problems. But after time if they haven’t figured them out with the government they have a right to marriage. So we are planning to marry them on the 20th, baptize them on the 21st, and baptize another lady named Ruth on the 21. A big process, but its what it takes to have success.
I luv Honduras.
We had interviews with the president this past week. Pretty short and sweet for me since I am just starting the mission. Our zone all went to the office Tuesday at 10:30 in the morning to have interviews. President Hernandez is a great man, but very serious – Almost completely opposite of the last president. The last president used vos form to speak, which is very informal, which we are told not to use. Just one example of the differences. He told me I have great potential to grow and see miracles in this mission. I’m glad he said that because that is my biggest concern right now. I feel like the clock is ticking and I need to improve everyday, and look for the miracles that happen all around me.
I also went on two divisions this week. One with Elder Hernandez in which we stayed in my area, while our companions left to got to a meeting for all the district leaders in the mission. We did work. It was nice to be with a gringo for once. His parents are actually from Guatemala and he speaks super great Spanish for only being here for a month. We opened the mouth a ton. Nice to have a change every once in a while. Kind of gets stale with the same companion all the time. I also went on divisions with one of my zone leaders, elder Moffett. He leaves in May and it was nice to go with someone who had lots of experience here in the mission. I bought an electric translator from him. Super cool. I can type in any word or phrase in Spanish or English, and it will tell me what it means. There is also a quiz game that quizzes me on random vocabulary words. Super awesome for helping me increase the rate of learning. Oh, but before we went to his area we had district meeting that morning, and after we ate Little Caesars. He got a call from the AP´s that they were doing surprise inspections of the houses. So I had the privilege of driving around in the president’s car with the AP´s and Sister Hernandez, and my ZL to go see all the missionaries’ houses in my zone. Spankin nice. The back of the car was filled with big bags of cereal to give to missionaries if they passed. Everyone passed because Hermana Hernandez is nice, but there were some dirty houses. Ha. She also told me and my companion to find a new house. She said it wasn’t fit for missionaries to live in. I would have to agree with her. It is pretty bad. The roof will probably collapse this next year. So we are looking for another house that we can live in AND that we can congregate in for church. Pretty hard. We tried to ask a pastor of another church, who has a building that he doesn’t use, if we could buy it but out of his pride, and problems with our church he denied us. So he has a huge building completely empty, that he could make money off of but because we are Mormons he said no.
Bible bash. I had a good one this week. I didn’t want it to turn into that but I’ve learned my lesson, and will not do it again, or at least I hope. So I was buying a jersey of Barcelona this last p-day, when a guy comes up to me. He was about 22 years old. He knew English really well, and had studied in Illinois. He came up looking pretty innocent. He asked us if he could ask us a few questions about our church. So he started off easy with the whole coffee thing. So I gave him the answer, and he went on to the next question, without acknowledging my answer. I thought something was fishy so I kind of stayed on my toes to try and discern the real intention of his questions. He continued on this pattern for a while until he pulled out a small bible from his shirt pocket and read to me the chapter in Revelations where it says that you shouldn’t add or take away from this book. After he read this he just looked at me with a smug look on his face and didn’t say anything. So I basically said (this was all in Spanish it isn’t exactly what I said, but just about) that he was referring to The Book of Mormon. He said yes. So I asked him if he also knew that the same scripture can be found in Deuteronomy 4 (I think), practically at the beginning of the bible, and if that was the case that practically the whole bible isn’t of God, and that the scripture applies to the individual book (meaning Deuteronomy) not the bible. Lets just say he wasn’t too happy with me. So he continued on to ask questions that I answered easily. His whole purpose was to come and put doubts in my heart. He didn’t want answers and after every question he would say, you should think and meditate about my questions. He started to say that he didn’t feel the spirit from our message, and that he hasn’t seen miracles in our church. By this point I was annoyed. I stayed polite the whole time and kindly asked if he had attended our church. NO. Read the Book of Mormon. NO. Listened to the prophet. NO. Prayed about our message. NO. Well there you have it. That’s why you haven’t seen any miracles, because you don’t know about our church. Anyways I just strait out told him I knew what his intentions were, to place doubts in my heart, and bore my testimony. Asked his name (Hector), shook his hand, and said mucho gusto (pleased to meet you), and was done with it. My story telling skills don’t do this justice, but it was intense. I was polite, and kind. We were talking fast and passionately so people were bound to look and we were standing next to a line of people, so a lot of people heard our conversation. Anyways. I don’t like to Bible bash. The spirit isn’t there, and we gain nothing.
OH, and a request. I need the red marking lead in the mechanical dealio. I have enough for a bit but if you could send it in the mail that would be great.
So I had an experience this week. Among the many others of which I have told a bit about. This one was scary though. It was night, I was talking to a guy (abrir la boca) and when I first went to talk with him I could see a group of guys talking in a circle behind a wood fence 30 ft away. I noted it because things were a little fishy, and started talking to a guy in the street. We had talked for 3 minutes when my companion just starts running down the hill. So I quickly said goodbye to the man, and followed him in haste. I don’t know what would have happened if we stayed there, but I’m just glad we left. Where I live in the Trinidad it is nicer than the Estados Unidos which is down below. We try to stay out of there at night when we can. Everybody does drugs. I saw the same guy 4 different times during the day vending crack to people. That’s a lot of times to see one guy doing the same thing. When people do drugs, they cant feel the spirit, so it is hard to teach people in this area.
We had 8 investigators come to church this week. New record. 😀
I was on a bus this week that didn’t function. I don’t know why it was on the road, but every time the bus driver moved into a new gear the bus stalled. We went maybe 5 miles an hour at most. And because we are at the side of a mountain we just coast the whole way down.
Well this is all for this week. Things are well. I hope that this letter finds you all happy and excelling in all. So sad about Aunt Katie, but at least she can now accept the gospel. I’m so happy that Aunt Lucia and Uncle Tim, and Sofia are doing so well. This will be a great change for their lives. I got the pictures to work, so I uploaded some photos. Not all, but a lot. I’m happy here. I love Honduras. Different but this will be an experience that will help me prepare for what is ahead. LOVE YAL. Cheque.
– ELDER JONES O_O (your missionary)