Guess what?! I'm in Honduras!!!! How crazy is that?? And gosh is it hot here! So I left the MTC really really late on Monday night and arrived in Honduras around noon on Tuesday! The flight in was amazing! The whole country was just covered in a layer of clouds and gradually we descended untill we were flying straight through the clouds! We then poked out of the bottom and there it was! The great city of Tegucigalpa! We flew by a big statue of Jesus on a mountian and then descended closer and closer to the ground. We flew like we were going to touch the houses - we were literally no more than 100 feet above them! We then did a really quick 90 degree bank turn and landed safely. The coolest thing about the bank turn was it went right around the new Temple!! It's so pretty. I hope I get to go! After landing we went through customs, met the mission president, and he put us with all of our luggage into a van. We hopped in and away we went cruising through the streets of Honduras!! The cars here are crazy. There's really no rules on the streets. No one stops at stop signs and its really a free for all with a ton of honking. The next morning I got assigned my companion. His name is Elder Sears and he's a gringo from California! Thank goodness! It's nice to have a comp that speaks English. We got asigned to a "new" area near Choluteca. Choluteca is the second biggest city in my mission and it's about 3 hours by bus south of Tegucigalpa. (It's on the western coast.) I say "new" because it's really just an old area that was split into two because the work is just booming here. Honduras is so poor. Like I can't even describe. I was on the bus driving down here and my mouth was just hanging open at all the poverty I was seeing. It's really humbling. We got to our house and the bus just stopped and we got all our luggage out and it drove away and me Elder Sears and my two new roommates who are both from Mexico and don't speak English were just sitting there on the side of the road. We then walked up a little dirt street and there it was, home sweet home! All four of us live together in a nice sized, 5 room house. It has running water 4 hours a day and this week those four hours were 12pm to 4pm. So I've been showering with a bucket all week! Crazy huh? After dropping off our stuff we immediately went to an investigators house to meet them. They are crazy poor. They live in a one room mud house with dirt floors. Wow was it eye opening. I really couldn't believe it. This is real Honduras. When people told me it was one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, I didn't realize this is what they meant! It's truely very humbling. After that lesson we went back to the house and realized that since it went from being a two elder house to a four elder house, Elder Sears and I didn't have beds! We resorted to sleeping on the tables! Yep my first mission experience is sleeping on tables and showering with a bucket! But that's what I wanted right? The next morning guess what I woke up to? A rooster cockodoodle doo-ing! There are a ton of wild animals just walking around here! Including chickens, pigs, cats, and lots and lots of stray dogs. It takes some getting used to. So does the food. I'm not really liking the food so far here, well I like it, but My stomach doesn't. I really can't eat much or else I get super sick. Remember that 5 pounds I gained in the MTC? Yup. Gone. My favorite food is called tajitas? Not sure, but it's fried plantians with salsa and sometimes meats and other things on top. Like nachos! Another funny thing about the food here is everything is in bags! Drinks wise. You can buy water bags for 2 limps (about 10 cents) or when you buy a soda they pour it into a bag! It's pretty weird. We have a lady who cooks us lunch everyday and does our laundry for 1000 limps a month. That's about 50 bucks? Not bad for like 20 meals and laundry! The currency here is the limpira and it's pretty cool! It's really colorful. Today I bought a pillow! That was pretty exciting. Until now I've been using dirty laundry as a pillow. haha! Also today we played soccer and I got worked!! Remember all that confidence I gained in the MTC? Yup I've been humbled... The latians are so good! You want to know the craziest thing to happen to me though? I was walking down a dirt road (all the roads are dirt) deep in my area and guess what I heard? Opum Gangum Style. hahahaha what?!?! I couldn't believe that song has blown up so big to make it from Korea to the poorest corners of Honduras! I can only imagine what it did to the US. When I left on my mission it was still a Korean youtube sensation! I couldn't stop laughing. Like I was saying about the people though, they are just soooo humble and nice. You'll walk by and they all just sit in front of their houses at night and you'll go up and talk to one of them and they'll actually listen! People in America are just so snobby. Haha mom you're going to have a heart attack when I tell you this, but kids here are given so much freedom! Parents just let their kids run around in the streets and do what ever they like! Every night we walk down the streets and I see 3 years olds lighting fireworks and throwing them in the street! Today I saw a little kid younger than Dylan standing on a street corner by himself selling plastic cups. Just stuff like that. It's really crazy how mature the kids are here.
Well I guess that's all I really have time for. I haven't gotten any mail yet and it looks like I'll probably only get mail every 2 weeks or so, but I hear dearelder is the best way to do it! And it's free since I'm in a pouch mission. So do that and hopefully I'll get some mail before next monday! I've got a lesson tonight with an investigator that we found on Friday! His name is Erik and he's super interested in the gospel! I hope he gets baptized! My Spanish is not very good, actually it's terrible, but I'll get better! I just can't understand anything anyone says! Oh that reminds me of my first contact! That first morning after waking up on the table and showering with the bucket, we got on a bus to ride to district meeting and an old man sat down next to me, so of course I said "hola" to which he said "spanish spanish spanish." I had no idea. I then proceeded to tell him I was new to Honduras and I was a missionary and I invited him to church! He said more Spanish and then it was our stop and I had to leave. I didn't understand a single word he said, but at least I got my first contact on my first day|! Wooo!
I love you all! Pray for me to be safe and pick up Spanish! Hope to hear from you soon! Sorry no pictures, the computers here are really slow, I'll work on sending some next week!
After he sent this email all the pictures started coming in, but there were no explanations so I did the best I could. He was still online so I asked him why he asked us to pray for his safety, he said "you just never know" but that he wasn't scared or anything. He does have a mattress now and he said he was at an Internet cafe writing the email.
Tyler with his companion, Elder Sears (I think) and his Mission President and wife. Look how TALL Tyler looks! He must b so happy about that!
Water in a bag.
Saying goodbye to Elders Pruel and Chapman
Sleeping on a TABLE!!
Eggs, beans, plantains, tortillas and some kind of meat?
I assume this is his house?
Looks like he's gotten into the "swing" of things!
I have no idea....
Shoes worn out in the service of the Lord.
We asked if this was his possible Thanksgiving dinner! I assume it is his alarm clock.
"It's all about the money, money, money...."