Elder Lawson's Adventures in Honduras

Elder Lawson's Adventures in Honduras
Heleman 13:4, "And it came to pass that they would not suffer that he should enter into the city; therefore he went and got upon the wall thereof, and stretched forth his hand and cried with a loud voice, and prophesied unto the people whatsoever things the Lord put into his heart."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

And so it ends...

Dear Family,

Well...it's all over.  My mission has come to an end and now it's just a distant dream.  Although I've moved on (besides the occasional flashbacks), I still love and will always remember the people I met in Honduras.  My mission was a very special time for me full of growth in many different ways.  I learned things I will never forget.  For those of you out there debating whether or not to serve a mission know that it isn't easy.  It isn't always fun.  But I will never, EVER, say it wasn't worth every second of hunger, rejection, sweat, exhaustion, and depression, because it was.  Through trials my mission changed me into the person I am now.  A more confident, determined, understanding, loving, and stronger version of myself.  It was hard, I'm not going to lie.  Many times I even wanted to throw-in the towel and go home, but I think those are the times when I learned the most about myself.  Those long days were the ones that gave me the strength to know that from here on out I can handle anything life throws at me.

In reflection, I served the best mission I could.  I gave my heart to the Lord and served his children to the best of my ability.  I have no regrets.  Of course there are always things we wish we could have changed, but in the grand scheme of things, my mission was Awesome.  I loved it.  It changed me and I will never forget such an amazing experience.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's kingdom on the earth today.  Our Savior Jesus Christ is at the head and he works through divinely called prophets and apostles.  ONLY through Him can we return to live with our Father in Heaven again.  Repentance, such an easy concept, yet so hard to master.

May God's Love be with you all,
Tyler Lawson

PS - Here are the last pictures I took on my way home.  They are some of my favorites too!

PiƱata Me!!  Thanks to the sisters in my district! 

Last P-Day on the Beach

Baptism of Alonzo

The branch's goodbye party

Elder Underwood and I's Cheezy Smile

Gabriel and Elder Mendoza

With President and Sister Bowler

Shining my shoes in the airport! 
 I wanted to do this my whole mission!  

Home Sweet Home :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

2 John 1:1

1 nefi 4:1 first 6 words, Alma 17:11 words 2-6 "me" words 8-end, JSH 1:7 words 1-9 “20th”

Alma 17:14 “I”, Alma 17:16 “I”

Alma 37:6 words 32-34, Jeremiah 20:7 words 8-9, 2011 Spring General Conference title of Elder Boyd K. Packer´s address, D&C 6:9 word 13, words 1-7

1 nefi 16:22 words 1-14 “Elder Lawson”, 3 nefi 11:9 word 17, 1 john 5:21

Jeremiah 20:7 words 8-9, Isaiah 53:3 words 3-7, 2 tim 1:12 words 10-end

Eter 12:38 “Elder Lawson”

D&C 76:22 “I”

Esther 8:13 word 6, D&C 107:82 word 5, Alma 11:30 words 3-5 "me", Mark 5:19 words 10-end

Daniel 2:3 words 7-8, Matt 5:33 word 8, D&C 10:4 words 22-25, Haggai 2:15 words 1-2, Alma 34:34 words 17-21, 1 sam 9:21 word 21, 1 thes 5:10 words 5-14, Mormon 7:7 words 63-end

2 cor 13:11

1 cor 16:24

Title of President Monson's Closing remarks in all conferences,
Elder Lawson

That was all Tyler sent this week.  He wanted us to decipher his message, which his grandmother did.  Here is what it says:

Subject line:  2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth.

And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long suffering and afflictions, that ye may shoe forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls. 

I was at this time in my 20th year.  And assuredly it was great, for I had undertaken to preach the word of God.  Therefore, this was the cause for which I had undertaken the work, that perhaps I might bring them unto repentance; that perhaps they might bring them to know of the plan of redemption.  In many instances I was guided by the Holy Spirit to say nothing but repentance unto this generation.  And it came to pass that I, Elder Lawson, did speak much unto my brethren saying, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”  I was despised and rejected of men; nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 

And now I, Elder Lawson, bid farewell unto the Gentiles, yea, and also unto my brethren whom I love, until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted with your blood.

And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which I give of him:  That he lives!  For President said unto me, Go home to thy friends, and tell them the great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

I have been diligent unto the end.  And now I will return to my family. That whether we wake or sleep we should live together with him in a state of happiness which hath no end.  Finally, brethren, farewell.  Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.  My love be with you all in Christ Jesus, Amen.

Until we meet again.

Elder Lawson

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

4 Things

Well, Family and Friends, the time is shortly approaching us.  In less than 10 days I will hug you and see your pretty faces.  I'd like to take this moment ot share with you the 4 main life lessons that I've learned here on my mission...

1. Gratitude.  I really can't explain how my perspective on life in the United States has changed in my time here in Honduras.  People here live VERY differently.  They don't have the fancy gagets we have, they don't have the cars, the money, or the fashion.  Sometimes they don't even have money for a bite to eat. Yes they still complain like you and I, but for the most part they realize that life goes on and you've got to make the most of it.  If we live life always wanting more and more, we'll never be satisfied.  So it's better to just be grateful for what we have!  

2. Repentence.  I can't tell you how many times I have felt like Alma in Alma 29.  Oh wicked pueblo!  Why won't you repent!?!  I have seen the hardships that sin brings on the lives of people.  I guess before the mission I just thought that most people were naturally good.  Since being a missionary I've had a closer look on the real side of the world.  The evil that it is.  I truly have a testimony that "Wickedness never was happiness" (Alma 41:3).  After seeing and trying to help so many wicked, lost people I've just ended up frustrated in my failure when they won't listen.  It seems so easy, yet so hard.  It's better to just not sin.  I PROMISE.  

3. One true church.  There is ONE true church of God.  It is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I KNOW it.  There is no doubt in my mind.  Before my mission I had never really seen much of other churches.  Here in Honduras I have been in the heart of the battle of words and doctrine.  Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, established ONE church and it is ours.  There is no denying it.  I am certain of it.  

4. Love.  Being a member of the church and feeling the Savior`s love, changes you.  He loves everyone.  I thought I knew of love before but I was wrong.  I have had many experiences when I can't explain why, but I just feel so much love for someone.  All I want is for them to feel my love and know that they have a Father in Heaven that loves them too. Really, that is our principal message.  He loves us, He knows us, Every one.  We just need to let His love in.  

The war is almost over, the battle is almost won,
Goodbye my loves,
Elder Lawson
Cows.  Lots of cows in Buena Vista.

Eating a crab.

Dead iguana that we are about to eat!

Eating coconuts

Iguana, looks and tastes like chicken wings!

Eating iguana

We moved out beds outside because it was so hot!

Sleeping outside - the sky is amazing!

Taking water out of the well for Valentina's sister Carolina.

Elder Baez is a natural!

Me with the dog that bit me!  Turns out it's Valentina's sister's dog!  We went out to visit her to see if it had rabies (it doesn't by the way) and we used teaching her as an excuse.  Well...turns out that she loved our message and even came to church on Sunday!  God works in mysterious ways I guess! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Second Wind

Hey fam!  

For those of you aquainted with running, a "second wind" is when you are running and you feel super tired but you just keep on pushing and all of a sudden you get a little special boost of energy.  I know others of you won`t believe this is possible, if you hate running, but I testify that it is real.  Anyway, this week I had a very strong second wind for missionary work!  

So one night we were at a member`s house chilling in the hammocks waiting for an investigator to show up.  I was talking to the old lady and she asked me how much time I had left.  When I said "2 weeks" the words stung coming out of my mouth!  It was a weird realization that the end is near!  When it didn't look like the investigator was going to show, I thought, "Dang!  We gotta do something!"  I asked my comp what we should do.  I immediately thought of one family that lived on the complete other side of our area.  About a 15 min walk at missionary pace.  My comp suggested that we visit a less active young adult that lived nearby.  I thought, "No we can`t visit him because we have to go visit that family!"  I told my comp that I wanted to go all the way over there to see them and he was like, "Uh...okay." So we left.  When we got there all the doors were closed and I thought, "Dang, we walked all the way over here for nothing."  We yelled "Buenas Noches" through the door and the family opened!  They invited us in and we were able to share the first lesson with them and they were very attentive!  I have no doubt that the spirit was telling me that night that they were prepared and if I put excuses and done what was easier we might not have found them!  

Cool fact number 2 this week is that I dedicated a tomb!  A very old very sick member of our branch died this week and the funeral was on Wednesday.  He could hardly walk so it was probably a good thing, because now he`s in a lot happier place.  The dedicating experience wasn't like any other though.  One of the man`s sons was very drunk and crazy and kinda through a fit.  Right before I gave the prayer he ran over to the empty tomb poured a bottle of beer in and then threw the bottle in too.  So yes, I blessed a tomb with a beer bottle in it.  Not something ya do everyday I guess. 

Finally, Before you all freak out when you see the picture, I have some news.  There`s a saying in the mission that you can`t go home until your girlfriend leaves you, you get bit by a dog, and you poop your pants.  Well...I am pleased to say I have now passed through two of the check list.  On Saturday afternoon I was playing with some little kids and I guess the dog got scared and bit me on the arm.  It's actually not very bad and I already made sure the dog was vaccinated, cleaned it out good, and the nurse put me on some antibiotics.  Now I just need to poop my pants!  Hahaha, I've had a few close calls already....

My last 2 weeks of glory!  You all are going to have to help me with English when I get back.  This week in my interview with president I said a prayer in English and I accidently slipped in 3 Spanish words!  oops.  

Love yas,
Elder Lawson

P.S. We`re going to the temple next Thursday so I'm not sure if we`ll have p-day on Monday or if it`ll get moved to Thursday, so if you don't hear from me on Monday it's because I'm going to write Thursday!  :D

Mud oven

Chopping firewood to help make tamales

Carved my name in a tree to live on in Honduras forever!

Dog bite.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Elder Lawson, where the freak are you?"

Hey Family and Friends!  

Well it was kinda a bummer not getting to hear from you last week or say much, but that's just the way the tortilla crumbles I guess!  Here I am with a nice Honduran update!  

Things are going well!  We have a few progressing invesitgators and the church attendence is more or less stable.  Dropped a little this week, but it could have been because of the soccer game.  I also got hugged by another drunk guy!  Elder Baez thinks it's funny that they always hug me and not him.  I just told the drunk to dance for me and got a kick out of his dance.  Elder Baez is a good as ever and he's keeping me focused for this last little bit that I have left.  I'm a pretty happy camper because I got to do two things this week I've wanted to do my whole life!  Milk a cow and kill a chicken.  These two things are SUPER common here in Buena Vista.  Not sure if you have realized, but I basically live on a farm.  This week I did have a pretty eye opening experience though!  

So we were visiting with a member a lady who's husband got shot and killed last week (don't worry he was a big thief and kinda had it coming). The point is, while visiting her I had a "where the freak am I?" moment.  We showed up and entered her little dirt, one room house where all there was was a hammock.  She sat in the hammock and the rest of us were standing around her.  It was hot and dirty and noisy.  There were about 6 baby puppy dogs in a corner whimpering, neighbors outside talking, and her baby daughter crying.  Over all these crazy circumstances, there I am, a little white boy in a shirt and tie, talking in Spanish about our Savior Jesus Christ and his wonderful Plan of Salvation.  Then all of a sudden the baby starts crying louder and so what does the lady do?  Whips out her boob and starts trying to get the baby to lach on.  Well, turns out the baby wasn't hungry and didn't want to eat, so she just kept trying to shove it in her face all the while the baby screams louder.  We all stood there patiently waiting for her to calm the baby down and I continued with the lesson.  The funny thing about all of this is that for me, all these circumstances were normal.  NORMAL!  As I stood there afterwords it all hit me.  "Elder Lawson, WHERE ARE YOU?!"  Well self, I'm in Honduras.  And that is normal life here.  Crazy huh?  

The 4th of July last week was fun.  Like I said in the pictures we ate chili dogs and had root beer floats.  Very American if you ask me.  

The mission is ending sooner than I think and with only 3 short weeks left I'm trying to do my best to go all out.  There is still a lot of work to be done and its my job to do it!  

Congrats to my parents on their anniversary this week and congrats to Elder Preul who finishes his mission today!  

Have a good one! See ya real soon!  
Elder Lawson

4th of July

Chili dogs

and rootbeer floats!

Animals just eat up the gospel!

Milking a cow!

Drinking FRESH milk!

Surprisingly, I didn't get diarrhea!

My hammock

See, more animals eating up the gospel!

Climbing the water tower

At the top

Another Samuel the Lamanite pic

Cutting the head off a chicken

Baby Turtle!!

With Jose Angel, Valentina, and Samircito in church!