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."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Baptism #2!!

Buenos Dias!  

First I need to ask, how'd the family/roomate prayers go this week??  I hope you all have good news for me!  I know that if you do this simple thing you wont regret it!  

So this month has gone by like a flash!  I really can't describe how fast the mission is going by.  Last night I had a dream I was at my house and I was so sad because my mission seemed so quick!  So this week I'm going to try my best into savoring every single moment!  

So...I have a problem.  I'm geting FAT.  I guess it could be worse and I could still be starving, but I kinda liked being really skinny!  I've definitely put all my weight back on and then some.  The people here feed us sooo much!  It's like an all you can eat buffet, but once you're full you can't just stop eating, you have to finish everything on your plate.  So it's really a all you CAN'T eat buffet.  Rough life, but I'm soooo grateful to these people for all the food!  It's just making me super fat.  And it's soda with every meal and huge plates of all sorts of greesey things.  Last night I almost puked again because it was a plate full of nothing but acidic greasey food.  But still delicious:)   Weird food of the week - chicken neck.  Not too bad, just a ton of little bones so not worth eating.  

So Nicolle got baptized this week!  It was great!  She's seriously the cutest little girl ever.  I saw her running around at church yesterday with the biggest smile ever on her face.  It made me really happy!  Crazy to think that just 4 weeks ago I helped her carry a heavy bag of water up to her house and now she's a member.  As for the actual baptism, again this week we had issues with the van to bring us to the baptism and it started really late.  But I've never heard of a Honduran baptism starting on time.  

We have an investigator named Henri that we've been teaching for a long long time.  Casi since the begining.  Way back in November we were walking through our area and he pulled up in his track and asked us to come over and teach him and his son some more English because they both know a little bit.  Our first few lessons were teaching English but in a gospely way.  As time progressed we didn't even say anything in English, it's now all gospel, all the time.  I love it.  This week we had a really spirtual lesson with him.  We talked about recieving answers to our prayers and how the gospel blesses our lives.  I don't think I've felt the spirit since I've been here as strongly as a felt it that night.  He told us that he talked to the missionaries 10 years ago but the timing wasn't right in his life (something we never knew before) but we asked him if he thinks the timing is right this time, and he said yes!  He told us he knows the Book of Mormon is true and loves the organaization of the church.  Our hearts were just beaming with joy.  But here's the sad part, he still has yet to come to church with us.  We wait and wait and are so discouraged when no one shows up.  This week we had zero investigators in church.  I just want so badly to help these people come to their Savior and it's so saddening when they don't want to.  But that's the mission, finding the people that really want to make this change in their lives.  

Before the mission, I don't think I ever realized how big a part Christ plays in our lives.  He's literally the center.  Our church is The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints.  Sometimes we get caught up in all the latter day prophets and Book of Mormon, (the stuff that makes our church different) and don't realize how important our Savior is.  We really are very similar to other churches.  The only difference is our chruch is the exact same church that was on the earth when Christ was here and is the only one that's 100% true.  When people tell us they go to other churches we always applaude them because this really is still a good thing.  Some people really don't understand our chruch though.  I can't tell you how many times we have to explain to people that we are Christian and we believe the same things.  Some people are really funny though, we'll teach them a ton about everything the resturation, Jose Smith, too!  And they accept it all.  "Oh yeah I believe Jose Smith is a prophet and we believe all the same things."  Us - "Ok then will you come to church with us?"  "Oh I already have a church and don't want to change."  One kid even told us that even if he knew our chruch was true he wouldn't go to it because it was too far away and his chruch was right across the street!  Crazy.  Everyone here is all talk and no show.  It's gets frusterating sometimes.  Their favorite line to say when we ask them to come to church with us is "Si Dios quiere" which means "If God wants" but it really means to them, no.  But we always respond, "Si, Dios quiere" as in, "Yes, God wants."  Haha but what can you do?  Alot of other people tell us that all churches worship the same God and so why should they go to ours with all our rules?  they just don't understand.  We just try our best to continuamente try our best to help the most people possible come to the one and only true chruch.  

Lastly, one you thing I want all of you  to remember is Heavenly Father answers our prayers always.  No matter how small the task he will help us if we ask in faith.  So what ever thing you need in your life right now, what ever worry you have, PRAY!  I can't tell you how much we pray in the mission.  It's probably upwords of 20 prayers everyday.  No matter how small the task may seem, God has time for all of our worries.  Just the other day we were waiting for a member family to arrive at our family home evening with Henri.  It was late and we were scared they weren't going to show.  But then I saw a car coming in the distance and said a quick prayer it would be them and it was!  I know, super small thing, but it made all the difference!  Just have the faith He will answer us and He will.  

Well that's all folks!  Thanks so much for you're continual support and prayers!  I love you soooo much!  

Elder Lawson

As always, mom's comments/extra information in blue.

Look at my soccer ball already!  Honduras takes a toll on things.

I think it is funny he is pointing to Honduras instead of Colorado!  
Obviously he's adjusting just fine.

He assured me he DID NOT eat this scorpion.

Elder's Torres and Wallis came to visit! 
 They were there to do "divisions" with them??

 Getting "Halon" the Spanish word for hitchhiking.  
(Don't be alarmed, it isn't like hitchhiking here in the states.  They mostly catch rides in the back of trucks, which makes me feel tons better!  Ha!)

Like this pic - looks perfectly safe, right?

I sent the same tie to each one of his friend's who are serving around the world in an effort for them to feel "tied" together!  They are all supposed to send me pics of them wearing the so I can create one large pic with them all together.  That is why Tyler sent these pics without a real explanation for them.

Pictures from a ward activity where we did a play on the pre-existence.

Nicole's baptism!

Such a cute girl.  I asked if all the mother's want the missionaries to marry their daughters to give them better lives and he responded, "Yes every single mom asks us to take their daughter and marry her.  It's a bit ridiculous at times...  They love asking about our girlfriends and stuff like that.  And all the girls here are in love with us too...."

 Fresh fruit in season!

Melon - very sweet!

Dead Gyrobos!  It's so satifying to see them dead!  
But the one above our room lives on...

I asked if the dog behind him was dead and he said, "Nope just looks dead.  if it were dead the other dogs would have eaten it already."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

An Eventful Week!

Hola loved ones!  

So I woke up to a very nice surprise this morning!  12 baby scorpions in my bed!  I awoke and saw them crawling around but I was like half awake so I rolled over and tried to sleep again.  I then realized what actually happened and jumped up flipping out!  I shook out my sheets and luckily haven't found any stings on my body!  pheww!  While cleaning the house we found the mom scorpion and it was huge!  I attached a picture.  The creepy crawers here in Honduras are crazy!  (It's the last pic added - prepare yourself for the horror!)

The work here has been going really well lately!  We've been working with Nicole preparing her for her baptism this coming Saturday!  I'm so excited!  This week I also had the opportunity to give a blessing to our ward mission leader who got in a bike accident.  I also never told you but I got to do a house dedication a few weeks back!  Blessings in Spanish are scary but my Spanish is improving by leaps and bounds!  I can talk with some ease now.  I did however, have my first Spanish mix up this week...It was a pretty bad one too.  I didn't know it happened until that night when Elder Sears told Elders Zamora and Magana what I said.  Needless to say they laughed at me for the rest of the night and the next day. I was teaching Nicole and her dad about Jesus Christ and I was talking about the Atonement.  I was trying to say Jesus suffered for our sins and during his suffering he felt all of our pains and difficulties.  The word for pain being "penas" but instead, I said he suffered for all our "penes" which means (insert male apendage here).  It was quite embarrassing.  I'm lucky Victor (our investigator) nor Elder Sears said anything during the lesson... I'm lucky this is only my first one, but I can't see how it could be more embarrassing.

So my problems with the not being able to eat the food are totally over, but my new problem is the members giving us too much food!  I'm gonna get fat!  Yesterday we had two big lunches and a huge dinner!  I thought my stomach was going to explode.  I was praying so hard just to be able to finish the food on my plate.  Also this week I had the opportunity (trying to be positive haha) to eat chicken liver and intestines. . . It was interesting. . . and by that I mean disgusting.  Have you ever had liver before?  Yuck.  I do feel pretty proud of myself for finishing it all though!  

Funny story: The bishop the other day told us that people need to start showing up on time to things.  (It's true, church here always starts 10 minutes late).  But what he said was that everyone here is on Honduran Standard time which is late to everything and they need to be on Mormon Standard Time which is prompt.  Haha I almost laughed out loud that here Mormon standard time is early!  

Challege for the week: Pray as a family (or as roomates if applicable) every night!  Do this along with your personal prayers, and I can testify that it will spirtually strengthen you and you will have more peace in your homes!  

This morning I got a ton of letters!  It was like Christmas!  I was soooo happy!  Thank you to the Smiths, the Hamiltons, the Scotts, Abby Evans, Mom, and Aunt Dee for the letters!  Mail is the best!  

I love you all!  Christ is our Savior and The Church is true!  Don't forget it!  
Elder Lawson

P.S. Also, I totally forgot to tell you!!  I had fresh squeezed Watermelon juice this week!  You would have loved it!  Right now is watermelon and mango season so everyone gives us unripe mangos (they like to eat them that way and they aren't bad), watermelon, and cantaloupe to eat!  Last month was oranges and they are to die for!  Sooooo good.  Fresh squeezed orange juice here?  YUM!  

Some things he told me in our email back and forth this week:
1.  How's your health?  Health is great.  I have random coughing fits from the dust and smoke here but that's something I think I'll just have my whole mission.  Two weeks ago I had a day where I had to stay home sick but other than that I've been fine and I'm totally healed now! 
2.  Any word on transfers?  Changes are in two weeks so I'll find out what's going to happen then. 
3.  Do you need anything?  Another package would be great!  :)  As far as things I need...I can get it all here, but care packages are always loved with sweets and goodies!  I'll think this week and let you know of anything specific I need.  Thanks mommy!  How much longer do you predict till I get the other one?  4 weeks?  Haha.

Roommates, companions, and friends.

The entire zone.

Colorado scented deodorant!  Ahhh, smells like home!

I need to ask him what they call Honduran cowboys!  El Dorkos?

Typical daily walk.

Full missioary clothes with my running shoes!  We had a dinner appointment like 4 km away so instead of riding on the bikes with everyone else I decided to strap on my running shoes and book it along side them!  It was so fun!  I miss running! 

Typical Honduran style bike riding.  I´ve seen a family of five all on one bike!  
We´re one of the only areas that have bikes to ride.

That was the momma and you can see a baby on it´s back!  

Monday, January 14, 2013

First Baptism!!!

Hola hermanos!  

How's life in the good ole USA??  Things here in Honduras are going great!  The time is really starting to fly.  This week went even faster than last!  Orlin's baptism was this Saturday and it was so exciting!  It started out a little rough though.  The baptism was planned for 5 o'clock so we had planned to gather everyone at 4:30 to leave from las unidas and go to the church.  (Our bishop owns that little bus and sends it over to our area for all church events so we don't have to worry about transportation, which is a HUGE blessing since the people can't afford/are willing to take the bus.)  The only problem is it's not such a blessing when it doesn't show up!  For once we had everyone there and ready on time to go to the baptism and we waited and waited and nothing!  (Picture #1) After 45 minutes it finally showed up!  We were sooo happy!  The baptism started late, but everything else went super well!  Yesterday we filled the buscito to the brim with people and went to church to have Orlin's conformation!  Although only 2 of them were investigators, it always makes super happy to see so many people coming to church with us!  When we got there I was like "Wooo!  Iglesia!  Nos encanta la iglesia!!!" ("Church, we love the church!") and everyone looked at me weird, but I was just sooo happy!  Also yesterday we (us four missionaries) sang "Love one another" in English and Spanish and then both at the same time, it was really cool! 
So Saturday was my 4 months in the mission day, how crazy is that!  It's already 1/6 over!  It seems like time has just flown by and it just keeps getting faster!  I'm so grateful to be here.  The members here have so much faith!  They go to meetings all the time in the church and most are there for something everyday.  AND Seminary starts at 5 AM here.  5:00!  I thought I had it bad.... 

Other than that, not much else is new.  Just teaching lessons, gathering people to come to ward activities with us, hitch-hiking, eating beans, climbing the mountian to Nicole's house (I think she'll get baptized soon!) (See last week's letter for clarification.), getting yelled at by kids, preaching the gospel, and loving every second of it!!  

Thank you all for all your love and support!  I'll try to remember some good stories for next week!  Adios!  

Elder Lawson

Honduran haircut by a member.  Look at the house in the background!  
Sticks and tin just like he said.

Pic sent to me by Elder Smith's (left) mom so I'm not sure the story.  They are obviously eating dinner out and it looks like Chinese but I could be wrong.

Waiting for the van to pick them up to go to the baptism.  I think Tyler was stressed it wasn't going to show up.  Looks at his body language!  So sad.

Orlin's baptism!

Tyler, Orlin and Elder Sears.

Another pic with Orlin.

Obvious pose when holding a football.

Hand puppet found in a member's home.

Random guy with a Rockies shirt on!  Tyler was pretty excited to see it.

Dead cockroach.  Look at the good sized ant to the bottom right of the pic.  
Gives you an idea of how big this roach is!  Yuck!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's already Monday?!

Hello loved ones!!  

Holy Cow this week FLEW by!  It could honestly still be Thursday.  But that's a good thing!  I'm finally getting fully thrown into the work, and it feels so great!  Quick shout out to Kylie for her Birthday today!  She's 20 if you didn't know, what a Grandma!  So Happy Birthday to her!  

I have my first baptism this weekend!  His name is Orlin.  He's only 8 years old but he really likes the church!  He's been going with his neighbors for the last 4 months!  So we're finally going to baptize him this Saturday.  (He will actually be baptized by someone in their ward - it's a mission rule - but the missionaries get credit for it.)  We have another investigator named Nicole!  And she's also only 9.  Yeah lots of little kids, but they're the only ones that have really strong desires to go to chruch!  But Nicole lives on top of a HUGE mountian that we have to climb everytime to get to her house.  We first met her one day while we were walking we saw her carrying a huge bag of water to her house and we could tell she was struggling.  So of course I offered to help her and took the water.  She kept telling us to go higher and higher up this mountian until we were seriously at the top and there was her house!  Later we came back to teach her and she was home alone.  The kids here are seriously so mature. She was home alone taking care of her 2 year old brother and watching the house because they don't have locks and there are a lot of thieves that live near by.  She's NINE!  It's insane how fast kids grow up here.  But she's got the sweetest heart and she came to church with us yesterday and loved it!  (I asked if the parents approve these baptisms and he responded: "They are super approving!  She really wants us to take her kids to church.  She investigated the church years back but can't get baptized since her husband is already married to another woman and has 2 different families.")  On Friday night there was a ward talent show and we got a TON of people from or area to come!  Elder Sears and I were stoked!  We had a tiny buscito to bring everyone!  (See pictures)  We fit 25 people into that little bus!  Honduras Style!  It was great.  A member drove and I was hanging out of the side with the door open.  (PLEASE pray for his safety!  This isn't the first story he has told me about the driving situations he finds himself in down there.)

I'm really starting to love the food here.  Baleadas are definitely my favorite!  Really all it is is a tortilla with beans and cheese and cream but it's so great! We buy them off the street whenever possible and it's sooo good!  It's crazy to think I didn't like it at first!  

Thanks a ton for the constant support!  And thanks to Aunt Sarah, the Plumbs, and Grandma for the letters! 

Elder Lawson

Update on Tyler's move to the house he was helping to fix up.  The mission president said they couldn't move in because the husband of the couple works too much and his wife is young!  Also, Tyler's been sick with a cold for 4 weeks now and is finally feeling better.  His nose was green so I told him to go to a doctor.  He said: "Haha I'm not going to a doctor mom unless I'm dying.  But there are no laws here and I'm sure I could buy prescription drugs at a pharmacy.  But it's not green anymore so I'm good.  Just keep working and it all gets better!"

I also asked him what he did that day for p-day and if he does any tracting.  He said, "Cleaned the house, ate baleadas and a paupausa, played basketball for 3 hours, ate lunch at Wendy's and came to the internet cafe.  We just teach lessons run around finding people and bringing them to activities.  We actually haven't done much contacting lately just been teaching the people we have."  
Tons of pictures this week!  He said he forgot where he was this week so he's getting used to it!  Tyler's comments underneath:

An Iguana!  Gyrobos are brown iguana's are green.

Studying my cool new planner.

Elder Magana.

Elder Zamora.

A typical Honduran house of sticks.

Me eating a chili!  I ate the whole thing! I'm starting to get a liking for spicy food.  We put hot sauce on everything cause it's super plain without.  

The most basic of basic honduran meal.  Rice beans tortillas and an egg.  
Costs about 10 cents, but I love it.  

Me making tortillas with less actives!  Called molear(ing)

A little less active boy that's freaking cute. 

Honduran kitchen.  Tyler helping to make tortillas.

25 people in one van.

Getting ready to leave for the ward talent show.

My sweat-stained pants after one day of wearing.

Working with the primary!  

BALEADAS!!!  yum!  

This is my first papausa!  I ate it this morning!  You can show this one to Josh Hardman.  Paupausas are the heart of el Salvador like baleadas are the heart of Honduras!  

Tyler sent me this one as we were both online so I could "see" him as we spoke.

Internet cafe they email from each week.

Toy Missionaries converting all the other toys!

New Years's eve!  (The food wasn't very good likewise Christmas.)

An average family picture in Honduras.  They're super funny it's just a bunch of photo shop and super cheesy!