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."

Friday, June 28, 2013

City Slicker

Hola amores, 

Well here I am!  Still here in the lovely city of Tegucigalpa!  Life here is seriously sooo different.  People move so much faster and are so much smarter!  Teaching is a lot easier because the people actually understand what you're telling them!  There are cars, buses, and motos that zoom by you every which way and there aren't any cross walks so you have to j-walk across the highway and be really careful.  I love that there are places to buy baleadas or Honduran tacos and every corner so we really don{t cook anymore.  I my old area we had to cook all of our meals.  Also the members here feed us a ton!  I{m definitely going to get fat again here in the city.  When I was in Choluteca i lost about 10 pounds and you could see my six pack for once!  But now i feel it slowly fading away :(  Sometimes we have to keep eating and eating even when we don't want to!  On Thursday this week was the worst.  Between 1 and 8 p.m. I ate:  lunch (rice, chicken, and french fries), 2 Honduran quesidillas, a doughnut, 4 pancakes, warm milk and cookies, and dinner (beans, eggs, cheese, and platanos).  Soooooo much food.  I thought I was going to explode.  I still haven't decided which is worse, starving or having to be overly stuffed.  

One of the only downers to being in the city is the water.  It's soooo much colder. Showering feel like ice.  I'll take a bucket any day over these ice cube showers.  Next time you take a shower turn in on all the way cold and try to bathe.  That's my life!  We have a little water heater but right now it's broken.  We should probably fix that...I did have the pleasure of taking a hot shower in the AP's house when we went on divisions the other day!  That was quite rico :)  My first one in 8 months!  Never again will hot showers or washing machines be taken for granted.  

The ward here is really helpful.  Not sure if you guys saw the fireside about missionary work last night, but it was super cool!  You should check it out if you didn't (http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/mormon-lmissionary-work-worldwide-broadcast?CID=HPL2P01W01032). They talked a ton about how members need to do their part in the work of salvation!  WE CAN[T DO IT ALONE!!!  So please help your local missionaries :) 

Being a ZL isn't too hard.  We're just in charge of making sure all the missionaries of our zone are working to their full potential.  We really take the full blame if our zone doesn't baptize.  We report to the AP's and they tell the mission president.  This Thursday our zone has their quarterly interviews with president and that means we get to hang out with him all day!  I'm excited for a chance to talk to pres more.  He's a really amazing guy and I want to get to know him better.  

Elder Reyes and I are getting along great!  We're hilarious together.  We both are working hard and getting these people to salvation!  He's a really good missionary and really has great connections with the people.  All the members here just love him!  It's fun.  

Funny city story of the week : Yesterday morning during the Sunday ¨race¨we were walking to pick up our super pilas investigator, Yesenia.  On our way we happened upon one of the infinite drunks that live in our neighborhood.  Right as we were approaching him he walked over to a wall, pulled his pants down, and just started taking a dump.  Yup, pooping in the street.  Only in Honduras right?  

I hope you guys are having fun and thinking and praying for me!  I still pray for you guys but it's hard to spend too much time thinking because I'm just so busy and having so much fun!  Remember the church is true and the book is blue!  

Also I found Glen Roper and his son Adam on page 99 of the General Conference issue of the Liahona.  Fun Fact!  

Thank you so much Grandma and Aunt Taryn for the magazines and letters!  Like I said they will arrive to me infinitely faster now that I'm in the city and a ZL.  We go to the mission offices almost every Monday.  

Love you!
Elder Lawson
Elder Reyes and I after the good ole USA put a beat down on Honduras! 
We sang the national anthem and said the pledge of allegiance!

Looking like thugs.

Volleyball game on P-day

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I think I love it here.

Dear Family,

First of all I'm super sorry I couldn't write yesterday.  We've been super busy doing a ton of stuff and we honestly didn't have any time to stop by the internet cafe to write.  Right now I also don't have anytime to read any emails, only time to tell you about all the changes to my life!  

So...I left the blistering heat of Choluteca!  Yeah!  I am now in the city of Tegus!  Wooo!  My Area is called the Travesia and my new comp is named Elder Reyes.  He's super awesome.  He was born and raised in Boston but his parents are both from Guatemala.  This means that he speaks perfect Spanish and he has a Boston accent in English.  It's hilarious to hear him say the word "Snickers" haha!  We're getting along super great.  We laugh and joke around a ton.  We're the Zone Leaders in the "Zona La Esperanza."  This means him and I are in charge of about 18 other missionaries.  This keeps us super busy making sure they are all being obedient and have the things they need.  This is the reason I couldn't write yesterday, Elder Reyes was showing me the ropes of being a ZL and showing me around the city.  I seriously LOVE it here!  The city of Tegucigalpa is beautiful and sooooo much different than Choluteca.  There are a lot of cars and people all over the place!  The members here are also amazing!  They feed us a TON!  My first day here we had 3 dinner appts.  I honestly couln't eat it all but I was able to find room somehow with much prayer. Haha.  I hear it's pretty dangerous in the city but I haven't seen anything yet.  There's just a bunch of drunk guys that live in our area.  Today I saw two of them fighting over trash!  Two drunk guys fighting over trash...Only in Honduras.  It was hilarious!  

So there's a Mormon Message about a kid from Honduras that used to be a gangster but changed his life and now is a member. (http://www.lds.org/media-library/video/youth/mormon-messages-for-youth?lang=eng&start=13&end=24#2011-05-007-a-change-of-heart)  I went to his house!  All the scenes when he's cooking and sitting on the roof and everything - I went there!  It's pretty cool.  I also watched this Mormon message without the subtitles and understood it, so my Spanish is improving a ton!  

Lastly, before I go I want to tell you about an investigator we found the other day!  Her name is Y* and she's great.  She was a reference and we had her phone number.  We called her and got directions to her house and couldn't find it to save our lives.  We looked an looked for 20 minutes and were about to give up when I saw one last house that kinda fit the discription.  We decided to go knock the door and what do you know it was her!  She let us in and we taught a great lesson to her about the restoration.  She was very receptive!  She then came to church with us on Sunday and loved it!  She has two little kids and during the lessons they always climb all over us and during sacrament they were running around, but we just think it's funny and as long as she's not stressing out we don't care!  Yesterday her two kids treated us like a beauty parlor and sprayed perfume on us and combed our hair.  It was funny.  They're super cute.  But Eldre Reyes and I are really excited because she's going to get baptized on the 29th!  She is definitely one of the chosen investigators!  

In summary it was super hard to leave my first area on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning because I seriously love the people there so much.  Saying goodbye almost brought me to tears.  But ever since I've gotten here to Tegus I've been happier than I've ever been in my mission.  I love it soooo much.  It's just so much faster, smarter, and more lively I guess!  Elder Reyes and I are going to do great things.  I'm a little nervous about all the new responsibility, but I know I can handle it and the Lord will help me out when I can't.  He's always there for us.  

Thanks for the books mom!  Now that I'm in the city I'm going to get letters an packages a TON faster.  But because I'm a ZL I'm not going to have as much time to email.  So if people who want to write me would switch to hand written letters I would greatly appreciate it!  

I love you all!  Hope you're having as much fun as me!  Remember you can always have fun no matter where you are or what situation you're living in!  

Elder Lawson

Goodbye Familia Aguilar!

Goodbye Elder Adams!  (Went home on Wednesday.)

Parrot at a member's house.

Me and Elder Reyes! (Ahem, Elder Reyes and I!)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lizards, Frogs, and Rain - Oh MY!

Buenas Tardes loved ones,

This week was a good one!  But really I'm just most excited for Wednesday because it's changes!  I still have no idea if I'm leaving or not, but it's pretty likely I'm going to leave.  Even though I'm looking forward to a change of scenery and people, I'm not super excited to leave behind Las Unidas.  I've now spent 7 months of my life living here, eating here, and serving the people here!  As much as I want to leave, leaving is going to be very hard.  I said goodbye to a few people yesterday and believe me, it was tough.  All of my friends are here!  But it's only for the best.  I've done my job and now it's time to move on.  

This week we finally ate gyrobo!  We were sitting in a lesson and in walked a guy selling a huge gyrobo he just killed.  Of course we bought it and brought it to a Hermana's house to cook!  A guy skinned it for us and the next day we ate it for lunch!  It tasted like chicken.  A little funky and made me feel weird.  I didn't like it much, but it wasn't the taste as much as the feeling.  I actually got really sick from it the next day and my stomach hasn't fully recovered yet.  Note to self: don't eat lizard, no matter how much it tastes like chicken.  But still a cool story! 

Funny story! - So this week Elder Briones and I were in a lesson and it went alright, but the lady wasn't really paying any attention to us.  (This happens alot because everyone lets us into their house even if they don't want to hear our message.  Many times it's super hard fro them to say no.)  Anyway, we were teaching the first lesson and at the end I asked her to pray.  She said, yeah ok and so we bowed our heads and...waited.  Then we waited some more.  I felt really awkward and started thinking "Did I say that right?"  "Did she not understand?"  As we sat there in silence I thought about what I should do.  If I say something and she's really praying silently it would be rude.  It was a very awkward situation.  We sat there staring at the ground about 2 or 3 minutes until an idea pops into my head.  I just said "Amen" really loud and she said "Amen" too and I got up shook her hand and got ready to leave.  Elder Briones just tilts his head and gives me a really funny look but goes with it.  It was pretty funny.  

A very Happy Father's Day to my Dad this week!!  

Elder Lawson

With one of the oldest members in Honduras.  
He was baptized in the 60's with the first of the firsts!

On the mountain top we climbed for p-day today.

The Gyrobo we ate!  That eventually made me super sick...

"It tasted like chicken!"

Trash bag over the backpack.

My water protection method!

L*, G* and D* baptism!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rain, rain, GO away!

It rained every single day this week!  I actually really like it.  It's just inconvienient when you have somewhere to go and don't want to get completely soaked...Other times...You LOVE just getting completely soaked (look at the picture).

Church yesterday was...interesting?  Before sacrament meeting started we were waiting in the foyer for our investigators that didn't show up when in walked an investigator of the other missionaries.  We were greating everyone that came in and as with Hondurans it's a custom to kiss the person's cheek when you greet them.  The members know that the missionaries don't do that but new people often are a little...mislead.  Needless to say a 12 year old girl walked up, I shook her hand and she attepted to give me a kiss on the cheek.  I did an awkward juke and was able to avoid it, but it was still a very awkward situation.  Elder Briones made fun of me the rest of the day as to how awkwardly I juked her.  

In sacrament meeting I gave my testimony since it's probably my last testimony meeting I'll have here because changes are next week.  It was my first time to speak at the pulpit in sacrament meeting in Honduras, but I handled it like a champ.  In all honestly my Spanish is getting pretty good.  I can communicate with everyone except for really old people and racist people.  The old people have 3 teeth so they don't talk clear and the racist people can't get past my accent because they're snotty and not opening their ears (unwilling to listen).  But it's seriously getting better and better each day!  

On Thursday we went to Wendy's to eat lunch (the only American resturant in Choluteca, we eat there at least once a week) and we ran into a ton of GRINGOS!  They were from some Southern Baptist church, here for a service project.  I went up to talk to one of them and I literally couldn't.  ENGLISH IS SOOO HARD!!!  Well, meeting people in English is hard.  Us missionaries talk in English all the time, but we never have to introduce ourselves or make small talk becuase we all have nametags and know each other.  But to meet someone new in English is VERY hard.  I realized I've probably met sooo many more people now in Spanish than I've met in English.  So now you guys are warned that when I get back I will definitely be one of those super DUPER awkward RM's.  there's no way to stop it.  Sorry all you potential wives...

Well you guys are the best!!  The new EFY songs are seriously soooo cool!  You should check them out.  (https://www.lds.org/youth/music?lang=eng) It's awesome how cool church stuff becomes on the mission.  If anyone is feeling generous they can go to Deseret Book and buy me magazines, books, charts, book marts, toys, quotes, you name it!  I'll think it's cool.  That you all so much for your support!  I love you! 

Elder Lawson

Enjoying the rain.

Cutting the grass in the backyard.

Cutting a Mango and hopefully not cutting off his hand in the process!

It's the rainy season alright!

E*'s baptism.

Tyler said it took months to baptize this girl because she lives really far away.

Laundry Day.  The socks really cracked me up!