They do celebrate Valentines Day here. Se llama El Dia de amistad y amor, or the day of friendship and love. It is pretty important. All the men of the branch are going to do something for all the sisters in the branch. We are going to have a giant cake and tomorrow we are going to spend the afternoon making tacos.
By the way, we made banana bread this last week and it was super good. In all reality, it was really, really, really good. I love hanging out with Rosa, Walter and their family. They are my family here in Honduras. They have had a lot of challenges with their marriage papers and Rosa’s health. Walter’s assistant just got in an accident, and they have to pay a lot of money to fix their bus and a taxi. They are having tons of problems, but Rosa is really strong. She understands that this is Satan trying to disanimate (is that a word in English? There are words that I have forgotten how to say in English) her, to keep her from getting married and baptized. We had a family home evening with them this last Saturday and we made tamales beforehand. Really quite fun. We also dedicated their house so they don’t have any more spirit problems. There are lots of problems with witchcraft down here. If you want a girlfriend, a house, a motorcycle, or ANYTHING, you go to a witch lady/man (brujo), and she/he will do some satanic stuff and use the power of the devil to make it happen. It’s real and it’s scary. I have definitely felt some weird things here. We have a big hill called Cerro brujo or witch hill, because at night the brujos go to the bottom of the hill to practice magic, and lots of people say the hill is on fire. It never really burns; apparently it is a different kind of magic fire. I don’t know how to explain it in English.
We didn’t have baptisms this week. There were too many problems to figure out and not enough time. We rescheduled the baptism for this next Friday. Things should go really well. We are expecting 6 baptisms for this month.
Normally it is difficult to marry families here for 2 reasons. First is the money, second is that the paperwork and the requirements are really tough. The AP’s came to give us a little presentation the other day about a new perpetual marriage fund that we are doing as a mission. It is truly a blessing and an inspired program. We as missionaries are going to receive 25 (500 limpirias) more dollars every month. It doesn’t sound like much, but here it is a ton of money. The purpose is so that we can live more comfortably and as missionaries we are going to donate 150 limpirias of the 500 to this fund. With all the missionaries doing this we will have over 30,000 limps every month to use to help marry families. That is about 35 – 40 families we can marry every month with the assistance of this fund. All we have to do is fill out a paper, they fulfill the requirements, and show that the family, the branch, and the missionaries did what they can to try and help out.
I got almost everything in the package from Grandma and
Grandpa, just not the sketchpad. 😦 Que triste. I was actually contemplating buying a sketchpad a couple of weeks ago, because I usually end up using valuable space in my agenda to doodle. Ha.
Before you send me a package, could you look and see if you could get car stickers that say “La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias.” I want to get 2 for Walter’s busses. That would be golden if you could find that for me. Oh and a small Book of Mormon in Spanish (by small I mean 4 inches by 2 1/2 inches).
So my companion and I went to Pricesmart (the equivalent of Costco here – pretty much the same thing, same food and everything) and we bought memberships! Bien masiso. So now I can buy humungo bags of cereal, for cheap! Nice American food, for cheap. I like it.
This last week was pretty awesome as far as missionary work. We have been focusing more on the members, and less in abrir la boca (contacting) so we can get references. Just in the past 2 weeks we have received over 30 references! It is about 6 families and the rest individuals. Pretty sweet. We have a lot to work with, and are excited to get to know all of these new people. The branch is doing pretty well. We have problems with individual families that are inactive, so we divided and went to visit them, to talk about the New and Everlasting Covenant of marriage, to set their sights higher, and have them start working for something. We hope this will give them the fuel to get active again. We have a plan to be official in 3 months. We are hopefully going to move to a new house soon. Thanks to a generous man (whose name I cannot divulge), who is willing to support us for the next 3 months, we will have the money to rent the house. When we are official, we will get help from the stake. By that point we should have the attendance, and the priesthood necessary. We just have to work really hard these next couple of months. Our attendance was 74 yesterday. That is pretty good considering that the ward we are a part of only has 35.
I was walking down the street this last week, and the phrase “Keep the change ya filthy animal” came into my mind. Reminded me of my conversations with Parker. Man I miss that dude. Parker, send me more videos playing the accordion! Thanks for sending me the video of me playing. It was awesome to see!
One of the referrals we received this week was truly a blessing. Her name is Rosario. She has had questions about our church, and has a really great knowledge of the bible. All of her questions and her comments to us fit exactly perfect to what our church teaches. We have only had one lesson with her, but she is really promising. She has a family of 4. It’s funny how things work out. It is too hard to explain all that happens here; much would seem like a coincidence but in reality is God directing the lives of those he has prepared.
At times it is hard to keep my excitement for the work. Serving a mission is hard. Mentally it is taxing. Not that of the studying, but in thinking of all that I am doing. Thinking about all that is happening, adapting, and learning new things, keeping ahead in the language, learning to talk with people, trusting in the spirit. I have learned more in the past, almost 6 months, than I have learned my entire life. Lessons that I couldn’t learn, habits I couldn’t make, fears I couldn’t conquer, charity I couldn’t develop in any other way. Being on a mission is such a blessing.
Love you family. Keep it real! get it? get it? get it? (Parker)
I LOVE YOU FAMILY