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, May 27, 2013

Sometimes it's gonna rain.....

Hey family!!  So it's been a crazy week full of...  Ok, well, it actually wasn't anymore exciting than usual, but I do have a cool story!  

So on Thursday night Elder Briones and I were at a cita with algunas investigators watching the movie "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" (It's super duper good, I've said it before, but I recommend it!).  We were watching and actually it was kinda lame because our investigator fell asleep.  I don't blame her though because she's pregnant and was laying down in a hammock.  During the movie I kept looking out the front door to see a bunch of thunder bolts in the distance.  It wasn't thundering nearby, but as the movie went the thunder got closer and closer.  Until right at the very end of the movie (when Joseph dies) it started to pick up more and more.  The movie ended and we got up off the floor (they don't have chairs) and quickly bore our testimonies.  The hermana was a little worried because the thunder had really picked up at this point. I responded by saying, "Well at least we won't run into any robbers!"  We said a quick prayer and we assured her that we were alright because the Lord is watching over us and we left into the Honduran night.  When we left it wasn't raining at all.  Maybe just a sprinkle.  Really quickley though the thunder picked up.  We saw a few HUGE lightning bolts really close to our faces and the sound was like someone breaking a tree in half.  At this point we are a little under a mile from the house.  I started to get pretty scared and walk hunched over.  Elder Briones laughed at me and told me to have more faith.  We then burst into a gospel discussion about Faith vs. Works and in this case what would be the work.  I said it was to run and hide in a ditch and he said to stand up straight and walk fast.  And so we stood up and broke into a classic Todd Lawson "Disney Walk."  The rain started to pick up harder and harder until we hit the main paved road.  At this point its POURING.  Elder Briones asks me if I want to run and I say "vaya pues!" and we take off running.  Here I am sprinting down a dark honduran road, ran pouring down from above, 15 mph wind in our face, shoes filling more and more with water by the minute, Ties flapping, heart beating, Book of Mormon still in hand, litteraly running for our lives from the thunder.  So what do we do?  We start screaming/singing "Called to Serve."  Yup.  "Called to Serve."  ha!  It was awesome.  We turned the corner onto muddy dirt path that is about 300 meters and leads to our house.  At this point we're soaked out of our minds and still sprinting in the crazy lightning and trying not to slip.  When we're about 200 meters from the house BOOM.  Everything went black.  The power just went out.  We scramble through the mud and using the lightning flashes to guide us make it to the house.  We were going nuts about how intense that just was and then we kneeled down and thanked the Lord for safely guiding us home.  It was definitely a mission experience I will never forget!  

This brings me to my topic for today.  In our lives there are many things that we can't control.  Stuff happens to us that we don't nessacerily want to hppen to us.  Trials are all around us.  In a zone confrence this week we watched a mormon message called "Mountains to Climb."  (http://www.lds.org/pages/mormon-messages#mountains-to-climb)  Please do me a favor and watch it.  It'll touch your soul and give you so much to be thankful for.  Warning, you might cry, I almost did.  We've all got trials in our lives, we can't change that.  Some more than others, some bigger than others.  But what we can change is our ATTITUDE. Attitude is everything.  You can put two people in the same situation, the same life even!, and one can have a blast and the other be miserable.  It's all about ATTITUDE.  This is something I've really learned in the mission.  There are so many missionaries that just hate being here.  They just want to go home.  Sometimes it makes me really sad because all they need to be happy, all they need to have joy is a little attitude change.  Just a little change in perception will make all the difference!  So all you out there who are listening, take the challege.  Look for things in your life that are hard, things you complain about on a daily basis and change your attitude.  Look for reasons you like your job and not reasons you hate it, look for the good in your siblings and spouses and not the things that drive you nuts.  Take a second to breathe and laugh a little.  Things get rough sometimes, really rough in cases, but confide in the Lord.  PRAY.  Our Heavenly Father is there for us. But most of all, BE HAPPY.  Sometimes it's gonna rain, but there are always reasons to have joy.  It all depends on your ATTITUDE.  

I love you all, be safe,

Elder Lawson

Poisonous Snake!!!

Tree climber. (Looking for Mangos?)

Preparing for the impending storms in life.

Soaking wet from running through the storm.

Rain! (and mud...)

Mangos!

All the members and investigators from las unidas!  The truck is full!!  :)



In front of the Parada Family's house!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Work, work, work

Hey Family!  

How is everyone doing?  Summer is starting up there huh!?  That's really exciting!  Things are heating up here too!  But this time it's actually not the weather, it's the work!  Elder Briones and I are getting down to business and getting work done!  (The Lord's work that is...)  We've found a bunch of people to teach it's hard keeping everything organized!  And with having to go and visit all the areas in my district I've just been busier than ever!  But I seriously love it.  

So life in Honduras is the normal.  HOT.  Other than that it's sweaty, smelly, and dirty.  But other than that it's freaking AWESOME!!!!  hahaha We've been losing electricity and water a lot lately.  It's kinda a bummer when it goes out because then I can't cook and have to sweat all night without the fan.  But there are a lot of people that I talk to everyday that can't afford light, so I shouldn't complain.  Some people can't even afford to have a house with 4 walls!  Or have to pull water out of a well and carry it 400 yards to their house.  I did that the other day for a bit to help some people.  I see some very sad things here in Honduras.  But what makes it all better is the fact that we have a loving Heavenly Father and He sent his Son to suffer more than any of us have or will ever suffer in our lives!  And He suffered for US.  FOR US.  Now think about that for a second and then tell me how hard the mission is or how hard school is or how your hungry or how you'll never be as good as others.  LOOK FOR THE MANY BLESSINGS IN YOUR LIVES.  Because I can assure you there are hundreds of thousands of millions of billions.  

Funny Story - Elder Briones and I were sitting on the side of the road drinking some sodas when a really nice old man, that I've actually talked to on the bus a few times approached us.  He started telling us about how great the mission is like everyone does, then he started telling us about a guy from the Bible named Jox.  We were like, "Hmmm.  I've never heard of Jox..."  He assured us it was there so I whipped out my bible and we started looking.  He couldn't find it so we looked in the index and....of course it wasn't there.  All he could tell us about Jox was that he had a ton of faith.  So we looked some more in the index and I saw "Jose Smith" so I said "Hey Hermano I think you mean Jose Smith right?  He had a ton of faith, so much that he prayed about it."  He then said "No I don't think so..."  So I assured him he was looking for Joseph Smith after all and I hope he believed me.  Elder Briones was laughing.  We're pretty sure he was looking for Job...but whatever.  One day he'll realize the truth!  

In church yesterday I was talking with one of my favorite jovens in our ward and we decided to calculate how many times I've been to church in my life. I'm coming up on 1000!  I might have already hit it!  that's a bunch of times!  It's crazy to think that I'm bringing others to there first time in church when they've got thousands to go too!  

So more Homework for you guys!  there's a really cool church video called "A search for truth."  It's on the D&C DVD's.  Look for it and watch it!  it's sooo cool!  Second, DO FAMILY PRAYER.  It only takes like 5 minutes but makes a big difference!  So start tonight during family night (Cause I'm very sure you'll have it) and keep going! 

Thanks mom for the package!!!  Thank all the rest of you for your emails and all your support! I love you! 

Elder Lawson

Making Chocolate no-bake cookies

Something's not right....

They never set.  (Turns out he used Nestle Quick as the chocolate!)

But - they tasted great!
My Package!  It got opened along the way....Sketch?  


Me and Elder Evans!  He's from Sandy, UT.

Wearing a Mexican sombrero with an American Flag in Honduras.  Confused much?

Catching a snake!  

Climbing on the roof of the stake center today!  


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mother's Day!


Hey Family! 

It's been a really great, and busy week!  On Tuesday and Wednesday Elder Briones and I just put the pedal to the metal and killed it.  We found a few new investigators that are super positive!  I was really excited about that.  On Wednesday night we walked out of our lesson and I just had the biggest smile on my face because the lady was just so pilas!  She asked all the right questions and she's just one of those people you know are the chosen ones.  there are just some people you teach and you can just feel the spirit sooo strongly when you teach them and it makes me sooo unbelievably happy. 

On Thursday I went on divisions with Elder Wilson in Iztoca.  We rode on their bikes and while we were riding something hilarious happened.  We got attacked by a wild pack of dogs!  We both just took off riding as fast as we can and they start chasing us.  I felt like the paper boy.   One ran in front of my bike and I almost ran it over another kept trying to bite me so I kept trying to kick it in the face!  It was awesome.  

This week we also went to Tegus for a meeting!  I was so excited.  We woke up at 3:30 AM and took the 3 hour bus ride there.  We ended up getting super lost, and showing up at the temple haha but it was a really fun trip.  I love the city!  I hope I get to go there someday!  

Kids always scream at us.  This week I was walking down the road and I kid jumped in front of me and yelled  ´´FOOTBALL AMERICANO!!!´´ It was super funny and random.  I love little things like that in the mission.  
It was really great to talk to my family yesterday through skype!  Sorry my email is pretty short this week, my keyboard is terrible in this Internet cafĂ©.  

Thanks for all the Love!
Elder Lawson


Some AWESOME BYU shoes!


Making a hammock - I'm going to buy one from him soon.

Riding bikes.


Monday, May 13, 2013

6 more weeks in Las Unidas!


This was quite the crazy week!  We had changes this week and so I thought I might be leaving because I've been here in Choluteca for 6 months now.  But I didn't!  I'll be here officially until the 12th of June I think.  Changes did bring some sadness though.  One of my best friends in the mission, Elder Magana, left for Tegoose!  :(  It was really sad to see him go.  I lived with him for 3 months and I've seen him at every church meeting and district meeting and meal times for 3 more months.  I'm now officially the only one left of the 4 of us that lived together when Elder Sears and I opened the Area.  Zamora, Magana, Sears, and Me.  Now just me!  So because I thought I might leave I actually went around and said goodbye to all of the members and converts in my area.  It was really sad.  Even though I didn't leave, I got a taste of what it's going to be like to leave.  SO SAD.  Although I'm getting a little tired of Las Unidas, the thought of leaving kills me.  I love these people sooo much I don't want to leave them.  

Crazy Sad Story of the Week - So on Wednesday night at about 10:30 we got a call from a family we've been teaching.  They just moved here in February from up north in San Pedro.  The mom and older siblings are members, but the younger two boys aren't.  The story of how we met them is pretty cool.  It was about 8 o'clock one night and we didn't have anything to do and were tempted to just go home early.  but I had a thought that we'd better go pass by one more house we had contacted a few weeks back.  We showed up and they weren't there, but this led us to meet the family!  Although we didn't know it the spirit lead us to them!  cool!  So anyway, we'd been teaching them for about a week or so when we got this call.  I picked up the phone and it was just a lady crying.  Crying Spanish doesn't really work out too well for me so I passed the phone to Elder Briones.  We found out that they had been kicked out of their house by their Aunt that they had been living with and had no where to stay.  We immediately got dressed again and went over to the house they were living in.   at this point it was really late, like 11.  I was kinda scared to be walking the streets this late because it's super dangerous here in Honduras.  We went to a member's house and knocked on the door and called a bunch, but they didn't answer.  We didn't know what to do so we prayed for answers.  We walked them back to their house and told them we were really sorry but couldn't do anything because it's against the rules for them to sleep at our house and even more so because they have a teenage daughter.  They ended up having to sleep outside and we'd pass by in the morning.  We passed by and bought them some breakfast because they didn't have a single penny.  That night we bought them dinner and talked to some people about getting money so they could take a bus home.  It's about 60 bucks for all of them to go home.  We got the money and gave it to them the next morning.  They are now happily sitting in San Pedro and I hope are doing well there.  It was just a very very humbling experience.  I can't imagine not having a house or even money for a little food.  So all you people out there, please, PLEASE be grateful for what you have.  You have been so blessed.  Instead of focusing on all you "need" in your life think about all the many things the Lord has blessed you with!  Because you really have sooo much.  

A quick little spiritual thought then I got to go.  This week I finally bought a stereo to play all my church music!  I was listening to a song I really like from the EFY 2008.  It's called "Let it Begin". Listen to it!  I'm sure you can search it online.  But really listen to the words.  It made me want to cry it's sooo pretty.  And what it says is TRUE!  Everyone makes mistakes, we're human.  But the thing that really matters is how we handle them.  Don't hide them and hold them in.  Start the repentance process.  You have been blessed with a Savior who loves you and he wants to to come back to him.  It's never too late.  It may seem super duper hard, you may feel like people won't understand, you may be nervous, but it's worth it!  They'll understand.  Who ever you've hurt will always love you.  To be completely clean again is worth it all.  So lift that burden off your chest, Talk to the people necessary and REPENT!!  

Thanks to everyone for always loving and supporting me!  
Elder Lawson

PS - I'm soooooo excited for Mother's day!!!!!  :))

Playing soccer with my converts on my "last" day.

Jumping rope with little girls.

Service project.

The family we helped get back to San Pedro.

Gathering firewood.  People here literally cook all their meals over fires.



Bringing firewood to our baptism this week.


B*'s baptism.

Baleadas!

Chinese food with Elder Clawson, Elder Wilson and our awesome Latin comps.