All right, well I’m in paradise. I just had the nicest change. It’s going to be a real challenge, but I am going to thoroughly enjoy it. I am opening an area that has been closed for 5 months, training, and staying as DL. Like I said at the beginning, my area is called paradise or Paraiso. I am in the Zone Danli, to the east of Tegucigalpa. My area is about 15 minutes from Nicaragua. It is a really nice big area, shared with two other missionaries and is divided by the calle pricipal. It is green, moist, and beautiful and a huge change from my last area. People respond well when I throw out greetings in the street and have a genuine interest in what we have to say. It doesn’t seem to be as dangerous, but we have a ton of narcotic officers pass from Nicaragua, and we often hear gunshots at night. Drugs and money are found here on the road going from my area to Danli. We are the only elders outside of Danli. We take a 40 min bus ride to get to Danli that costs a dollar – pretty cheap.
The ZLs are spankin nice. They went and found us a house, so that it would be a bit easier opening the area. The only problem is that it wasn’t furnished but we were able to get a table, mattresses, fridge and a stove. We live in the upstairs of a house and the owner is a really nice lady. It was actually kind of a miracle how they found the house. The ZL’s came to the area to find us a house, and to find people to teach before we got there. Elder Jensen felt like he should knock a door and ask this lady if she would rent out the upstairs of her house. She said yes, and we moved in a week later. It just so happened that when we were moving in some of our stuff, the first counselor in the stake presidencies wife started talking to one of the neighbors. We found out later that the neighbor mentioned to her that a couple of days ago she had a dream where my companion, Elder Romangnoli and I were cleaning her front porch. The Hermana responded that we were here to clean her spirit, and that she should let us teach her. Kind of a cool experience. We went and talked to her the next day, but she wouldn’t even let us come into the house to pray with her. It may take some time.
My companion is Elder Romagnoli (it sounds like pasta) the gn forms a ene in Spanish which is like a y and a n sound. He is really chill. He is actually 18 due to the fact that in Mexico they can leave earlier. He is really down to earth and we are going to get along really well. He was at a school of the church before the mission and had a scholarship for dancing traditional Spanish dances from his area in Mexico. He is from Vera Cruz I believe. He is always dancing and smiling. ja. He’s really solid. He came with lots of knowledge and tons of excitement, and his teaching will improve with time. We haven’t had much time to teach being that we had district meeting Thursday, and Friday we found a map and walked around the area, and Saturday and Sunday were spent in good ole General Conference.
I loved general conference. It was a hoot. We have a sly bunch of gringos here and we enjoyed watching it in English and munching on tons of grub. We played Uno and watched press conference, danced, and talked between sessions. I loved all of the talks but I think that the one that was just for me was President Uchtdorfs talk about regrets. I can happily say that up to this point of the mission I have very little regrets, and the ones that I do have are small and insignificant. But seeing the bigger scale of things really is what I have been thinking about and fed my eager mind on this subject. I am OCD thinking about the future and planning things out, and making sure I live up to my full potential. To do so I know I have to live not just as a good missionary or as a good person. I must live even higher, do things even better, and be truly converted and attached to the spirit to do so, living my life according to the will of the lord. I have heard many people share stories and confess regrets and problems that they wish they didn’t have, working as a CNA, and one in particular when this man cursed his life and everything he had, because he had messed up his life so bad he had no hope of ever fixing it. But as long as we have Christ, and time we may fix anything. Like what President Uchtdorf said, don’t look back but look forward because in the future regrets may be changed. I also loved the general theme of families, conversion, and missionary work. Overall it was a nice time to sit back, relax, and be spiritually fed.
In my area there are a lot more bugs than in the city mostly because I live right next to a mountain. In fact I almost stepped on a frog last night. There are tons of frogs, and they make a really funny sound. I couldn’t believe it came from a frog. I’m going to catch one and send it to yall.
I was really critical when I met our mission leader and it proved to teach me a lesson. I looked on the outside and listened to him speak and assumed too much. Anyway we left last night with him to go meet some members, menos activo people, and listening to him talk with them made me realize just how great of a man and a member he is. He used to be a borracho (a drunk) who was not kind to his wife and had no job. He was not faithful to his wife. Then 13 years ago 2 missionaries found him, took care of him and taught him the gospel. Now he is a completely changed man, with a son on a mission. I listened to him talk last night and couldn’t believe the dedication, love, and knowledge that came from him. You don’t find members like him everyday. He is really going to be a great asset to us and I’m excited to get to work here with him. Once we get started and have more investigators we will be having baptisms every Saturday. Not only that but my area has been untouched for 5 months, so it ready to be harvested. My companion has an excitement that is contagious and we are ready to get working this week. I believe that in this area several things in my patriarchal blessing will be fulfilled. After being in 2 hard areas for more than a year, I am grateful for this opportunity and challenge to show the lord my devotion to him and my love for his children.
Ok, and just so you know Parker cannot go on his mission – Not yet. I can’t go 4 years without seeing my buddy. Listen….. Parker isn’t mature enough. aha. Ok, yes he is, BUT, the rule is extended to those if they desire and have prepared, and are spiritually mature enough. It isn’t that he has to leave at 18 upon graduating from high school. Just make it a part of your prayers. WE have business to be doing b4uleafmedood. Que la recuerda.
I don’t have much more time to write. Just know that I love you and that you all are the best.
– ELDER JONES O_O
P.S. Hermana Rosa is from Paraiso. I called her Saturday for her birthday and she is going to come up here sometime to introduce me to her family so we can teach them about the gospel.