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."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I love to see the Temple!!

Hey Family!  

SNOW?!?!  I'm super jealous.  As always it's about 100 degrees here and getting hotter.  Everyone keeps telling us that the hottest time of the year isn't until Easter.  A member told us next month we'll be covered in sweat before the sun even comes up.  Yippee!

This week I had the amazing opportunity to go the Puertas Abiertas del Templo in Tegucigalpa!  As I have said before, right now I'm in a super strong ward.  A lot of the members are at the church almost everyday for activities or meetings.  When news of the Temple came out they all worked together selling things and working to gain enough money to have buses to bring all the people that want to go to the open house there.  They didn't just raise enough money for one bus though, they raised enough to take three separate trips with 3 buses each day!  For this it was our job to invite every person we saw to come to the temple with us!  The first week we couldn't get a single person to come, I'm not sure what happened, but everyone flaked.  But this week we had almost 25 non-members from our area alone that went to the temple with us!  It was great!  We left in the morning on Wednesday around 9am and got back that night around 7.  It's a 3 hour bus ride each way from Choluteca to Tegucigalpa.  The temple here is sooooo pretty.  It was my first time ever going to an open house!  I really enjoyed it.  I can't wait to go through after it's dedicated, President says we'll get to go every 3 months!  We're going back to the open house again this Wednesday.  

As far as the work goes things are well.  We didn't have any baptisms this month, but this weekend we have a family of three!  I'm excited.  March looks like it's going to be a very sucessful month.  We have the chance to have almost 10 baptisms!  So we'll see what happens!  We've just been super busy with the temple trips and baptismal interviews lately time seems to be FLYING by!  I hope it's going fast for you too!  

Hay un montón de experiencias espirituales en mi misión y lo siento que no se las digo.  Creo que mi parte favorito de la misión es a dar mi testimonio en lecciones.  El otro día yo estaba en una lección con una investigadora que todavía no ha recibido una respuesta de sus oraciones.  Ella ha leído partes del libro de mormón y dice que ha orado, pero como muchas personas aquí ella no ha orado específicamente para ver que si estas cosas son verdaderas.  Yo di mi testimonio que la iglesia es verdadera, y si nosotros hacemos nuestro parte y leer, meditar, y orar vamos a recibir una respuesta de nuestras oraciones.  Yo sé ésta porque yo he orado y yo he recibido una respuesta.  Si nosotros pedimos con fe y un conocimiento que vamos a recibirla, Dios va a contestar nuestras oraciones   Él siempre está para nosotros.  Como sus hijos él solo quiere ayudarnos a encontrar la verdad, pero él no puede hacer nada si nosotros no hacemos nuestro parte.  Mi desafió a ustedes es lean y oren.  No importa si ya es miembro o no.  Lean y Oren y ustedes van a recibir una respuesta.  Yo se lo prometo.  Yo les testifico en el nombre de Jesucristo, amén.  

Elder Lawson

Translation thanks to www.translate.google.com:

There are a lot of spiritual experiences on my mission and I'm sorry to say they are not. I think my favorite part of the mission is to give my testimony in lessons. The other day I was in a lesson with an investigator who has not yet received a response to your prayers. She has read parts of the Book of Mormon and says he has prayed, but as many people here she has prayed specifically to see if these things are true. I gave my testimony that the church is true, and if we do our part and read, meditate, and pray we will receive an answer to our prayers. I know this because I have prayed and I have received a response. If we ask in faith and knowledge that we will receive it, God will answer our prayers He is always for us. As his children he just wants to help us find the truth, but he can not do anything if we do not do our part. My challenge to you is to read and pray. No matter if you are a member or not. Read and Pray and you will receive a response. I can promise you. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Chasing some baby pigs with the Book of Mormon

Living my secret dream of being a honduran bus operator

 Going to the temple!! 

Another HUGE scorpion! 

Honduran Sunset

New Haircut!  It's SUPER short on the sides!

The beautiful path Elder Sears and I made in the backyard.
More information on this taken from Elder Sear's email:  "We moved into a new house and I love it! we got some cement blocks and made a trail out to our pila and put some stones on either side to make it pretty. the grass was completely dead so we started scooping water out of the pila and chucking it all over the grass in the backyard.  It's suprisingly relaxing, just throwing water on the grass and watching it get greener everyday, our lawn has made a lot of progress."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Race!

¡Hola quierdos hermanos!  

¿Qué tal en los Estados?  La vida Honduranio es una vida buena.  Elder Sears y yo estamos trabajando duro y estamos divirtiéndonos.  (Google Translator:  How about in the States? Honduranio life is a good life. Elder Sears and I are working hard and we're having fun.)  We call every Sunday morning "the race" because we literally have to run around our area to get everyone together for church.  This week "the race" was awesome!  We were running around and a bunch of people were coming with us.  After gathering in the front to wait for the van to come pick us all up for church we saw some other members waiting on another road, so we rushed over there and when we turned the corner there were another 15 people walking down the street to come with us!!  Elder Sears and I were literally busting with joy.  We crammed all 30 people into the back of 2 pick-up-trucks and went ourselves to find jalon (to hitch-hike for a ride) to meet them at the church.  After church only the little van was going back to Las Unidas so we had to fit all 30 people into it.  We couldn't fit, so we said "We'll race you there!" and ran to find a jalon to take us home!  A truck stopped to pick us up right as the bus passed by and we were able to pass by them in the back of the truck!  All the little boys thought we were super heros as we zoomed by standing in the back of the truck with our ties flapping in the wind!  It felt pretty awesome.  In the end a very successful Sunday!  It always makes me so happy to see so many people going to church!  

In my personal study this week I've been reading up a lot about Christ-like attributes and how we can become nearer to our Savior as humans.  I was studying the difference between "faith" and "hope."  I learned that faith is things that we believe right now or belief in things that have happened.  Like I believe Christ died for us and I believe my Savior lives.  But hope is our belief in things that are to come.  Our faith as it goes to future events.  Being the math nerd I am I thought of it as a limit.  faith - > hope as x - > infinity.  I also made a comparasion to a flower.  We have a seed of faith and as we nourish it we grow our flower of hope.  But we need to use another Christ-like attribute of patience to let it grow.  Elder Sears added that Charity is the pollen of the flower.  It spreads to help others along their path!  Not sure why I shared this, but just something I thought was cool!  

This Wednesday I get to go to the open house of the temple with our investigators and I'm really excited!  It'll be my first time ever going to an open house.  Also, it's only my 3rd time going to Tegucigalpa.  Everyone here is super DUPER pumped for the temple and they've been doing a ton of work to raise money to have buses to take us.  The members here are really faithful.  The other day we showed up at a member's house and she had been spending all day making white scrunchies for the temple.  Others are at the church every night for activities.  Like I said they're pretty dedicated.  It's awesome.  

Not sure what else to say, time is seriously going by soooo fast and the sweat here in Choluteca is dripping faster!  It's been like 100 degrees everyday.  I hope you all are doing well and had a good Valentine's Day!  

Muchisimus Gracias a Los Jessens, Madison, Andrew, and Jackson por las cartas y a mi madre por el paquete!  (Thanks to Muchisimus Jessens, Madison, Andrew, and Jackson's letters and my mother for the package!)

Digame si tiene preguntas de Honduras!  
Les amo mucho!
(Tell me if you have questions of Honduras!
I love you so much!)

Elder Lawson

Our new house, barbed wire on top! 

The Bathroom 
(This is nice compared to the last one he had.  It was so bad I never posted a pic of it!)

Elder Sears washing pots in the shower

Walking to our laundry lady's house to get clean pants

You´re the best!  I loved it!  And I´m taking the vitamins! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The weather is hot, but the gospel is hotter!!

Heeeeellllooo Family!  

How was your week??  Things here in Honduras are great!  The work is really booming right now and so is the sun!  The other day I took my planner out of my pocket and was literally able to squeeze the sweat out of it!  Yuck!  So yes, it's baking here!  I miss the cold Februaries of Colorado!  It'll be weird the next time I feel cold!  Or even have a back that's not wet with sweat.... yuck!  But Elder Sears and I aren't letting the hot weather slow us down!  Changes were this week, but we stayed together in our same area but with one difference, we live there now!  We found a house and moved in on Saturday.  Now we don't have to take the bus/hitch-hike everyday to get from home to work.  The new house is a lot smaller, but with only two people it's nice and homey.  AND!  We have water and electricty all day!  With a flushing toilet I might add!  So life is good here.  We asked a member of our ward to help us move with his truck and when he showed up Elder Sears and I looked at each other and were like "We're gonna have to make 2 or 3 trips."  The truck was tiny!  But the Hondurans had other ideas! Some how they were able to pack all of our stuff into this little truck and then throw ourselves literally on the side!  (See picture)  Don't worry mom I'm being safe!  (Yup, looks perfectly safe to me.)  We only drove like 20 mph and it wasn't too far of a drive.  
On Tuesday we went to Elder Smith's area, Oricuina, to help them out with the work.  It was a really fun trip!  After working we were waiting for trucks to pass so we could ask for jalon (hitch-hiking) and we saw a bunch of mangos hanging from a nearby tree.  Of course we wanted to eat them, so with the help of some neighbors, we bajared (stole) them and right then a truck showed up and offered to take us.  So we jumped into the back of the truck and took off for Choluteca with mangos in hand!  It was a fun trip to say the least! 
This week Honduras played the US in soccer and it was a HUGE deal here.  Honduras won and all the people were crazy happy.  They compared it to a little ant beating an elephant.  We just went along with them and said we were happy too 'cause we're catratchos (Hondurans) like them!  

This past week Elder Sears and I really gained a testimony of fasting.  Up until now we haven't had any golden investigators or really any families to teach.  We try to focus and look for families more than anything because the gospel is centered in the family.  So we decided to fast that we could find a family and guess what?  WE FOUND 6!!  They're really great and it's so exciting to go to every lesson 'cause they really want to learn from us!  My favorite is this couple named E* and W*.  He's 20 and she's 19 and they have a 1 year old son with long blonde hair that's sooo cute.  I love teaching them.  E* is so cool and really interested in the gospel.  They agreed that they need to get married and want to be baptized!  So, pretty much the highlight of my life.  Family, I have a testimony that God does answer our prayers and fasting.  Just ask and you will recieve.  But if you don't ask, or if you don't ask with a pure heart having faith you'll recieve it, he's not going to give it to you.  Moroni 10:3-5.  So if you're struggling, if there's something you need in this life.  PRAY.  God is always there for us.  He's never going to leave us hanging!  I know you'll recieve an answer to your prayers.  I recieve answers to my prayers everyday here in the mission.  It may not be big things, but they are still answers none the less!  Like my plaque scripture says, "Continually raise your voice to the Lord in prayer."  2nd Nephi 4:35

I love you all and thank you sooo much for your continual support!  

Elder Lawson

PS - Has anyone ever sang the hymn "Come away to Sunday School" in Sacrament meeting before?  'Cause we totally sang it in Spanish yesterday...Oh, how I love Honduran church!  Talk to you next week! 

This week I told Tyler:  "You sound so happy son.  It makes me feel better knowing you are really enjoying yourself and looking to each day with a renewed energy and hope!"  He responded: "I'm having some fun!  It's a lot easier when I have awesome investigators to look forward too!  I know I'm going to look back and the mission is going to be a blur so I need to live it up!  I gotta go soon cause we need to buy a ton of stuff for our new house, I love you sooo much mommy!  Thank you for all you do to help me!!  I love you!!"  Gosh, I miss that boy!  Here are the pics - as always, my comments in blue:

Divisions (Splits) with Elder Smith
I asked about the sun hurting his eyes - he's very sensitive to the sun and gets headaches often at home without wearing sunglasses - and he said, "The Lord has blessed me and I've never had headaches or really been bothered too bad."

Moto taxi in Oricunia


Bajaring (stealing) the mangos!

I feel a meme here:  Goes on a mission, learns to steal.


New planner!

Jalon (hitch hiking). 95% of the time it's in the back of a truck 
because everyone here has trucks

Looks safe to me.

Baleadas with Elder Magana
 (Elder Zamora got transferred to Tegu, and Elder Magana stayed in 
Chulo to train a new missionary.)


Yup, perfectly safe.  What could possibly go wrong with this?  
*heavy sigh*

I was shocked to see a fan on the top.  Tyler said, "Haha yeah we have fans!  Are you kidding?  We'd die without them."

Monday, February 4, 2013

February Already?!!

Quierdos Hermanos, (Dear Brothers?)

Comó estamos?!  (How to find us?) This week was a crazy one to say the least!  We took two trips to help out other areas and they were super fun!  On Wednesday we went to help out the Hermanas (Sister Missionaries) with contacting in their area in Choluteca.  It was really fun to work in a different area and talk to different people.  While talking to a lady her son walked up to me and said nothing but "tonto" which means dummy.  Haha I was like, "aww porque?"  And he just said it again!  It was pretty funny.  Kids here harrass us all the time!  on Saturday literally 20 little kids were yelling "Mormones Quieren Café!?" (Mormons want coffee) at us all day.  It was ridiculous.  They followed us to a lesson and yelled it from behind bushes while we were teaching on the porch.  Also during this lesson at the very end Elder Sears was bearing his testimony and a car drove by blasting Opum Gangum Style.  The road was really bad so the guy was driving really really slow.  She couldn't even hear Elder Sears the music was so loud.  It was pretty funny, but we didn't let it kill the spirit!  

On Thursday we went out to work in a little city close to the border of Nicaragua called El Truinfo to help Elder Wallis there. (He said they need help reviving the area.)  It's an hour ride in a tiny bus filled to the brim with people.  They have a super big house that even has an empty pool in the backyard.  The next morning we woke up and hiked a mountian with a big cross on top of it for exercise.  I think the coolest experience came the night before. We all split up and Elder Magana and I went to do 2 hours of contacting.  I set out with 15 pass along cards, 3 folletos, and a Libro de Mormon.  My goal was to come back 2 hours later with empty hands.  I did it!  Giving away the Book of Mormon was my favorite.  I just went up to a random family sitting on their porch (around 5:00 p.m. when the sun goes down everyone just sits outside because it's nice and cool and it's too hot inside), and I asked them how they were doing and introduced myself then said I had a question for them.  I said "Han visto este libro antes?" (Have you seen this book before?) holding up the Book of Mormon.  they said no.  So I gave a brief history of the Book of Mormon and then bore my testimony that if they read it and prayed they too could know it was true.  I think my favorite part of the mission is bearing my testimony to people I just meet on the street and inviting them to come unto our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It kills me when people reject us without even thinking.  They don't realize that we are ONLY here because we love them and want then to feel the joy that we have with the true gospel in our lives.  

Changes are this week and we still don't know what's going to happen.  Elder Zamora has been here for 9 months so he's going to leave but with Elder Sears and I it's a toss up.  We both think that we'll stay together. No matter what happens I'm moving this week though because we found a house in our area!  This way we won't have to hitch-hike as much and can spend more time working there.  

Thanks to Trenton and The Culebro Family for the letters!!  

Con Amor,
Elder Lawson

This week I asked about transfers, how we would find out where he is, and if he would be able to go to the temple open house in a few weeks.  This is what he said:  "You'll find out next week!  But I'm not going anywhere.  I'll still be here for sure.  Oh I forgot to tell you that I do get to go to the open house 3 times!!  Starting in two weeks!  I'm super excited for all the temple stuff!"

Riding in "jalon" aka hitch hiking

A member's dog had a ton of puppies!  I wanted to steal them.

Trying to hide a puppy in his back pack!

Elder Sears tries to steal one too.

Trip to Tuinfo!

Very tight fit.  Tyler, Elder Wallis, Elder Sears, and Elder Zamora.

Pool at the missionaries house in Tuinfo.

Trip up la cruz

Only two years 'til Hawaii!

MORE hitch hiking - grrrrrrr!

Watermelon season!

Helping make tamales for service!