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."

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happy Birthday Dylan!!

First I´d like to send a big shout out to Dylan for his birthday this Saturday!  12 years old!  He's gonna get the priesthood soon!  Congrats buddy!   

This week was quite the crazy one!  I went 3 days without sleeping in my own house or seeing my area!  Let me tell you, being District Leader isn't any walk in the park!  But I love all the responsibility   But leaving my district meant that Elder Briones (Bree-yon-neys) had to do some growing up!  He had to show other elders around our area and set up all our appointments and call the members and everything!  I'm so proud of him!   
So first I went out to El Truinfo.  It's a little city that you have to take an hour long bus ride on dirt roads almost to Nicaragua to get to.  It was a fun trip!  I spent the night there and got to sleep in their air conditioning!  It's literally the worst air-conditioning unit I've ever seen and you can barely feel the cold, but it's better than nothing!   

The next morning we went back to Choluteca and I met up with Elder Briones for only 20 minutes or so and then he left again!  I stayed on divisions with the ZL's to do some baptism interviews and so they could do M*'s interview!  The interviews went well the only problem was that I had to do 5 and I was getting sicker and sicker as time went on.  :(  It all turned out alright and I got to chill and listen to all of Elder Evan's good piano music at the end of the day.  I slept there and woke up the next morning to finally return to my area and see that good old Elder Briones did good things and set up everything for M*'s baptism!  She was baptized that day but it was pathetic the turn out.  We showed up at 4 when the baptism was supposed to start and not a single member was there to support us.  We had to wait until almost 5 and still only the bishop and the young woman's president were there.  It was kind of disappointing the ward dropping the ball on us, but M* got baptized in the end so all is well!   The thing we learn here though is SUPPORT THE MISSIONARIES!!!  Please? :)  

So to explain the other baptism I had this week they are the investigators of the Sister missionaries in my district.  There names are J* and M* and they are probably the most awesome kids ever.  their grandma is a member and so they've been going to church with her for a while.  They had talked about baptism but weren't really sure if they wanted to be baptized.  They were scared they were going to drowned.  That's where the DL comes in.  I came to visit and helped them realize they need to be baptized and showed them a picture of my baptism and told them I was nervous too.  They agreed to be baptized the following week.  I came back to do the interviews and they chose me to baptize them!  I was excited and so I came back on Saturday night to do the baptism!  

To end I want share a great experience i had the other night.  I was walking about 1.5 miles from the Hermana's area in Choluteca to the bridge where we would eventually hitch hike to get home and so I had a lot of time to think.  But what I really wanted to figure out was why, at this moment, I was so happy.  I was walking this big distance, I was super sticky and gross from sweating all day (as always), My backpack was heavy with wet baptism clothes, I was still sick, I was very hungry, and I had just stepped in a big mud pile.  But somehow I was HAPPY.  I just could not stop smiling.  As I walked thought the almost abandoned streets of Choluteca Honduras at 8:30 p.m. I could not wipe the smile off my face and I realized that I freaking LOVE being a missionary.  There's no other solution.  

The mission is very hard, Probably harder than anything I've ever done at times, but it's sooo rewarding.  I've learned so much and I'm starting to realize how much I've changed.  I've always known a lot about the gospel, but I think I'm finally putting everything together.  I'm finally figuring out how incredibly important this work is.  How much our Father in Heaven loves us and how our Savior knows each and every one of us personally.  He knows our trials and our difficulties.  I've always known that but now I'm finally realizing what it really means.  I've still got so much to learn too.  So much to understand.  I can't wait to see what else I learn and how much I grow in these next 16 months!   

Good luck to everyone on their finals!  I think they're this week?  

I love you all sooooooo much!  Be safe!  Elder Lawson

Me with my favorite animal!

J* and M*'s baptism.

On Divisions in El Truinfo with Elder Olsen.

M*'s family and baptism.

P-day ping pong.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Feeling hot, Hot, HOT


What a hot week it´s been!  Around 100 degrees everyday with out AC.  I´m sorry I talk about the heat sooo much but that´s all anyone talks about here so I´m really used to it.  I will show up at any given house and the person will just be like "Que Calor!"  And we're like "Yep it's pretty hot huh, just like everyday."  haha The other night I had just taken a shower and it was like 11:00 p.m. and I was writing in my journal and beads of sweat were dripping on the pages.  RIDICULOUS.  But I'm actually getting used to constantly being sweaty so that's good!  

So yesterday was a VERY good day.  Mission wise it was alright, but what made it amazing was the love from home!  I got 3 packages all FILLED with goodies!  Needless to say I am very VERY greatful.  Everyone was super jealous of me.  I shared the goodies with my cook lady and her family.  You should have seen the pure joy on Lehi's (her 3 year old son) face when he was eating sour patch kids and skittles for the first time.  

So how are things at home?  How's everyone doing in school and work?  Finals are coming up huh?  Good luck!  Things here are going well!  On Wednesday we put on a ward activity to find new people to teach and to strengthen the testimonies of our investigators.  We wanted to watch the movie called "Joseph Smith: The prophet of the Restoration."  If you haven't seen it, WATCH IT.  It's amazing.  We had the whole activity planned out a week and a half before.  There was someone to make invitations, popcorn, the drink, and to bring the chairs and projector.  But what we came to find out  is that everyone had forgotten about their duties with the confrence weekend and so we had a few issues... I spent all morning calling different people asking them about what they were supposed to do and everyone told me that they had no idea about the activity.  Bummer.  We called a super awesome member in our area and she helped us do it all.  We made 80 bags of popcorn ourseleves over a fire and made kool-aid in a 5 gallon bucket.  haha At 6:30 when the movie was supposed to start there was absolutely nobody there.  I was pooping bricks.  All this work for nothing?  We then decided to go run to the houses of our investigators to convince them to come and they did.  In the end it went well.  We watched th movie and had a ton of extra popcorn and kool-aid.  The investigators really enjoyed it and the spirit was really strong.  The only problem was the members didn't do their part with the planning nor with even showing up to the activity.  This was a bummer.  So to all of you out there, GO TO WARD ACTIVITIES and SUPPORT THE MISSIONARIES!!!  That's the moral of the story.  

This weekend I´m going to have another baptism!  Her name is M* and she is 15.  She went to visit the temple open house and felt the spirit so now wants to be baptised!  She told us the other day that she felt that the Book of Mormon was true. :) We've been teaching her everything and we're excited for this weekend.  Funny thing, the other day we were teaching her about the Word of Wisdom and her crazy little brother ran up with an empty pack of cigarettes and threw it at us.  We just laughed at the unbelievable irony.  

WE'VE BEEN LIED TO - You know Christopher Columbus?  The first European to come to Latin America?  Well his name isn't actually Christopher Columbus.  It's Cristoffel Colon.  Just thought I would crush all your American history knowlege like mine was.

Good luck to My Dad and Aunt Taryn in the Boston Marathon today!  I'm thinking about you!  (Side note: We are all fine, we left the area before the bombs went off.  I had sent Tyler an email right when I heard what happened and he emailed back saying he saw it on the news at a Pizza Hut and was very worried!  Very grateful for technology so Tyler wouldn't have to be frightened too long not knowing anything.)

Thank you soooo much again to Mom, Kylie + Sister Hekking, and Grandma for the Packages!  And thanks to Bryant, Sis. Hekking, Grandma, and  Papooh for the letters! 

Lots of Love,
Elder Lawson

The Choluteca Bridge (They are very prideful of it).
I had to keep in the incorrect grammar there.  It shows how much he is losing his English!  He has a math mind but he knows to say "They are very PROUD of it."

Beautiful sunset!

Cooking popcorn over a fire for our activity.

Carrying around our "Home Phone" because we needed to call people 
and we don't have a cell phone.  (I wonder where he plugs it in?)

My distict having district meeting outside because the church was locked.

"Blanky, shake hands with Everyone!"

HAPPY GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!  I hope you all enjoyed conference as much as I did!  This weekend was super great.  Since being on the mission I've grown to love (really more of an adoration) General Confrence.  I've been looking forward to this session for 6 months now!  I think as a missionary without all the distractions of the world it's a lot easier to appreciate conference, to focus and actually learn something.  I learned a lot in the MTC and I learned a lot yesterday!  I don't know, I just love hearing the words directly from the mouths of the prophets.  Conference is really different here in Honduras.  First off it's all in Spanish but luckily I got to go to a special room with all the other Gringos to watch it in English.  But not until after watching Packer's talk all in Spanish.  I was surprized at how much I understood!  2nd difference is that no one watches conference at their house.  Everyone goes to the church.  I think this is for 1 of 3 reasons.  First, a lot of people don't have TV or cable and for this they can't watch it.  Second is I'm not sure if they even know it's on TV.  But the biggest reason I think is gossip.  If you don't show up at the chapel to watch everyone talks about why you weren't there or notices you were gone.  The church is very corrupt like that here.  Kinda sad.  So everyone goes to watch at the church.  But the 3rd and biggest difference to confrence is the sessions people attend.  For sessions 1, 2, and 4 there were about 40 or so people in attendance watching.  But for Sunday Morning session there were almost 1000.  EVERYONE goes to the Sunday morning session and nothing else.  For priesthood it was the bishoprics and RM's and Priests preparing for the mission.  That's really it.  Just some interesting facts about conference here! 
This week I had the opportunity to do divisions with Elder W*!  It was fun.  He's a newbie straight out of the MTC.  He's a good kid though and we had a fun time.  I love working with him because it helps me realize how far I've already come. 
Funny story - this week I had the opportunity (trying to be positive) of eating beats and liver for one of my meals.  I literally couldn't swallow the Liver.  Out of all the food in the world I think Liver is my least favorite.  So I causually snuck it into my pocket.  But the funny thing is the member's have a pet cat and while we were talking the cat kept coming over and sniffing my pocket.  I kept pushing him away and luckily I got away with my crime safely.  When we left I threw the liver at a dog and made his day. 
One thing I realized even more this week is how much we take for granted in the States.  There are some people that live here that don't have electricity and only have running water once a week.  We're so blessed to have these two things at all times and Air conditioning on top of it!  And Computers and Internet and Stoves and Pure water!  so just be greatful, so very greatful.  No one in the States should ever complain about stuff they don't have, because they are sooooo sooo very blessed. 
Well I'm a little short on time today but Thanks to hma. Graham, Andrew Lauer, Mom, and Josh Jaeger for the letters!  I really appreciate them! 
Always with Love,
Elder Lawson

Me with two little kids in a Denver Broncos jersey and a Denver Nuggets jersey!  Now I have Rockies, Nuggets, and Broncos in my collection! 

Entire Zone

Cleaning the Pila

General confrenece with Elder Clawson.  
One of my best friends in the mission.
(This is the first time I have heard of him so I'm confused...)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

La Semana Santa

Buenas días mis amores!  

This week was quite the busy one.  I think it was the fastest week of my mission by far.  time keeps going by faster and faster and sometimes I just want it to slow down!  It's insane to think that it's now April.  I've been in the mission 7 months!  What the Heck??!   
So this week, the week of Easter, here is called "la semana santa" or the translation "Holy Week."  Really it's like spring break for everyone.  No one works and instead they all go the beach or the pool to relax.  It's usually the hottest week of the year but the first few days of the week were pretty cool!  I didn't sweat too much those days, so that's a plus!  Apparently there was a HUGE storm in Tegoose and so that's why we had some cool weather.  But on Thursday the heat came back and it was freaking strong!  Hottest days of the mission yet.  You seriously can't stand in the sun or you'd melt.  But besides the heat there's a bunch of other traditions for la semana santa.  One is these guys that go around wearing masks pulling pranks on people.  We watched for a little bit, but I didn't understand a thing they said so it wasn't super funny for me.  Another odd thing about Honduras is the people here love soup.  It makes zero sense to me because it's so freaking hot I have no idea why anyone would want to eat soup!  One soup special to la semana santa is "Sopa de torta de pescado", or in English Fish bread soup.  It's bread that has pieces of fish, complete with bone and everything, baked into the bread.  they then take this and put it in the soup.  The people here call it delicious and I call it delicious when talking to them, but in reality it's terrible. 
On Saturday I had the great opportunity to go back to El Truinfo!  It's part of my district so my Comp and I went out there to do a baptisimal interview.  It was seriously so hot. We walked for about a half an hour to get to the interivew and then a half an hour walk back.  I got to the church in Truinfo and we started filling the font.  I soaked my head in water and laid under the fan to cool off.  I think that picture is one of my favorites of the mission.  Just totally EXAUSTED.  That's how the mission is!  Always tired.  I get home each night and can't wait to get to sleep.  But I love it.  All this busy-ness running around is so fun! 
M* got baptized this week!  We've had her as an investigator for a long time.  Elder Sears and I found her just contacting.  We were walking in our area and it was my turn to contact so we just said hey how's it going and set up a time to come back.  We kept teaching and put a baptism date but she said she wasn't ready.  That day passed and so we put another one and again she said she wasn't ready.  We then had to have a serious talk with her.  She said she wanted to be baptised but not yet.  So we told her that she needed to put a date herself.  She decided on her birthday (this Wednesday) and she went through with it!  I think she's been one of my favorite baptisms yet.  Just because I saw her make a total transition and we've been teaching her forever. 
Yesterday we had a pretty interesting experience.  We were visiting my converts A* and her family.  Her husband then came in and started to preach to us from the Bible and how there's only one Bible and we don't need the Book of Mormon.  The funny thing is he's a member.  He was baptized when he was a teenager but now goes to a Catholic church.  I showed him one of my favorite scriptures 2nd Nephi 29:3,4, and 8.  I read them with such power and it was really cool to hear the power that comes from the Book of Mormon!  

I love you!  Take care!  
Elder Lawson
M*'s baptism!

Bear Creek, Colorado t-shirt!

Baptism cake!

Ghetto PB&J.  Desperate times in Honduras.

Hot and exhausted

Pretending to steal the super duper nice speakers in the church.