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."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hardest Week Yet.

Hey Family,

This week hasn´t been the best yet again and although I freaked out a bit, I didn´t let myself get too discouraged!  The worst part was that 10 of our 13 firm appointments fell through this week.  That is super rare.  Usually 2 or 3 fall through in a week like this and we had 10 fall through.  That was pretty discouraging.  I got to the point where I expected people to cancel on us and then they would!  Garbage.  But it did end well last night because an appointment we thought had fallen through actually happened and went really well!  It was with the parents of my recent convert A*.  

Other reasons why this week was lame were...We ran out of Saldo again (minutes on our cell phone) and we don't get anymore until the 8th.  Bummer.  It just makes life super hard when we can´t call ANYONE.  It´s also rained every SINGLE day this week.  Which makes for a lot of getting wet.  I´ve also been really sick to my stomach this week.  I ate some sketchy meat at a member's house and wasn´t feeling too great if you know what I mean....  On friday we did some service lifting huge heavy rocks to make a wall for a potential investigator and of course....I pulled a muscle and it hurts bad.  So sorry I sound like a downer but this week was a rough one.  And it didn´t help hearing BYU lost to Utah on Saturday night... boochica!!  OH!  And to top it all off yesterday we got chased by a naked glue sniffing hobo!  Ok that was actually really funny and not that bad but still!  haha

But you want to know what made this week all better??  A package from the fam!  And the best package yet!  It was filled with amazing goodies and to end a tape from the family!  It was the best way to pass the time sitting on the toilet.  Actually when we got the tape it was a total reinactment of the movie "The Best Two Years"!  I went crazy looking for my tape player and freaking out!  Funny stuff.  

My mom told me some people we asking for package ideas.  The thing I love the most is pics from home!  I´d love to just get as many pictures as possible from everyone!  If you just print them out from your home printer that´s fine!  Grandma included some pictures in one of her last letters and I LOVED them!  As always snacks are great!  With Halloween any extra candy would be greatly appreciated!  My favorite food item from my mom´s pakcage this time was the home baked cookies! It´s been almost a year since I had a home baked cookie.  No one here can afford ovens so it´s almost impossible to make.  Other random stuff are zebra F-301 pens, Mormon posters to hang up in the house, skinny ties, and what ever other church related material you´d like to send!  It´s surprizing how cool church stuff gets in the mission!  

I love you all!  

Thanks to Bryant, E. Marques, and Grandma for the letters!  

Elder Lawson

Elders Parrack, Johnson, Underwood, Edwards, Christiansen, Jensen, and I eating at Dunkin Dounuts! 

Elder Edwards and Elder Lawson.  Part of the Army of Heleman!

Elders Paz, Mendoza, Quevedo, Comstock, Edwards, Johnson, Parrack, and I eating fried rice at the Stake Presidents house!  

The shovel used to do the first pile of dirt at the groundbreaking of the temple like 5 years ago.  The Stake President has it!  He also spent a lot of time with Udorf and Holland at the dedication!  

Elder Comstock and I eating a delicious plate of normal Honduran food with a great surprize!  BACON!  Delicious.

Dirty after service project.

This says it all.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Going bananas to be over the hump!

Hey Fam!

It´s definitely banana season here in Honduras.  Kylie told me they grew a lot of bananas here but I didn´t think it would be this big!  There are guys with trucks filled with bananas on pretty much every street corner.  AND they are super cheap and SUPER tasty.  We bought a mano of bananas and have been eating them non-stop all week!  

Our investigators are progressing really slowly and we only had one in church this week.  But he is getting baptized this weekend!  So that´s pretty great.  

The other day we went to visit an inactive family that was apparently, as the Bishop said, a family that was "impossible to get in their house."  We went over and immediately got rejected.  We tried again and the lady came out and said no one else was home.  We asked to be able to talk just a little bit and she came over the the gate closer to talk to us.  Right when she got there we couldn´t more than ask her name before the rain just started pouring out of nowhere!  Her brother came out and yelled at her to let us in.  We did it!  We got in the impossible house!  Once there we talked just a bit and found out why they weren´t coming to church but soon they just left us and went in another room.  People here are like that sometimes.  They´ll just leave us sitting in their house and not come back for 10 minutes.  Eventually we met the whole family and found out why they don´t come so it was a mission accomplished!  

Sunday School was really interesting this week.  Our teacher for the investigator class is a little apostate sometimes but this week was just a bit crazy.  The lesson topic was the role of men and women in the family.  It started off fine and very by the book.  But then it trailed into where we should buy our groceries to not seem prideful because we don´t care about what others think of us.  Then somehow he started talking about how we as Latter-day Saints don´t bad-mouth other churches.  Needless to say it was a bit weird but to all the other members of the class I guess it made perfect sense.  

Sunday afternoon was very rare!  In priesthood the Bishop stood up and told us that with all the rain we´ve had lately a bunch of member´s houses are in danger of falling down the mountian.  The Elder´s Quorum President started volunteering everyone into teams of people that were going to go help dig out the houses that afternoon. Being the missionaries we didn´t have a chance.  We got volunteered right away and were sent to go help.  So...after lunch we went home and changed into normal clothes and spent the rest of the night in the rain with all the members shoveling dirt in the rain.  It was really cool seeing all the members soaking wet and dirty working together to help each other out.  Even Tomassa helped out!  She´s a convert of Elder Prows and was baptised 5 months ago.  They´re probably the most active family in the ward.  They go out visiting with the missionaries pretty much everyday and give us food all the time.  My birthday celebration was at their house!  They don´t have much but are willing to give everything to us!  She reminds me a lot of mom.  She´s a super strong woman that doesn´t take crap from nobody.  She jumped in there during the service and started sholving alongside us in the rain.  I think she probably did a lot more work that most of the men!  She´s a boss.  

Happy Birthday tomorrow to Abby!!!  She´s an adult now!  That´s sooo weird!  Have a fun trip to Disneyland!  I´m more than a little jealous...

Les Quiero Mucho!  
Elder Lawson

Playing "Monopoly Deal" now a P-Day tradition

All the kids going crazy before the Honduras Soccer Game

One year down, one to go!

Eating Applebees to go on my 1 year day!


A really awesome family we´re teaching! 

After service

Monday, September 16, 2013

The light always shines through the rain!

This week was great!  I have lots of good news!  

1st - I FOUND MY CAMERA!!!!  Apparently a member found it in the church and so he returned it to me Monday night!  I was very happy to hear he had it. Now I don´t have to buy a new one!  

2nd - Yansony, one of my recent converts now has the priesthood and passes the sacrament!  It makes me super happy to see him with all the other deacons.  

3rd - My new companion is Elder Edwards!  He´s a really awesome Gringo from Arizona.  I can already tell this change is going to be one of the best of my mission.  We get along really well, almost too well, and realized we´re super alike.  We have the same hair, height, scripture case, and passions for video making, running, looking really good, and the piano guys.  

4th - Honduras beat Mexico!  From what I hear it was a super great game and everyone here was going crazy!  A Mexican Elder made a bet with our lunch lady and because he lost he bought us all baleadas!!  YUM:)

5th - It´s been raining a TON lately.  On 3 different days we´ve come back to the house completely DRENCHED.  It was fun at the start but now it´s just getting annoying when all my clothes, and worse, my shoes are all wet.  

So the life of a Zone Leader is super busy.  I´ll give you a quick run though of our day on Wednesday.  First we went to changes (where all the missionaries meet up to get their new companions).  I met up with Elder Edwards and we got some lunch at Burger King. (Starting to sound like your mission, Dad!) Afterwards we had to help some new elders find thier house and area because they were both new.  Hnas. Bitter and Bundy were there before but they got taken out because our zone is too dangerous for Hermanas now.  So first we went to drop off all of Elder Edwards stuff at our house in a taxi of a member.  Then we came back and had to clean up the church and lock it up because we are the ones who borrowed the keys from the Stake President to open the church.  We kicked everyone out then locked up and crammed all of the stuff of Elder Redd and Elder Gonzales into a little taxi then somehow fit all 4 of us missionaries and the taxi driver (picture attached). I then showed them the house, but we had to drop them off really quick and go tho the other sister´s (Hna. Magoon) house because they also got taken out of the area and we were in charge of taking all the furniture out of the appartment.  We get there and find out they lived on the top floor!  We brought down all the stuff and packed it into a truck to go to another zone.  Then we hurried back to show the Elders around the area because they don't even know where any members live.  I knew a little bit so I showed them who I knew and then Elder Edwards and I took off to a meeting in the stake center.  After the meeting it was already 9 so we just went home.  So basically Elder Edwards´ first day in our area he didn´t see anything of the area besides the house.  So if you didn´t understand any of that its ok, but the only thing you need to know is that being a ZL is super busy!  

Well I love you all.  Hope everyone is well!  If you want to send me packages please give in to your desires!  Haha candy and snacks and knick knacks are great!  Anything I can put to use!  

Love you,
Elder Lawson

Kelvin´s baptism

Mopping up the church after the baptismal font overflowed...

Cool shirt a member was wearing! 

The Evolution of a missionary picture:
Elder Christiansen (First Day in Mission)
Elder Underwood (6 months)
Elder Lawson (1 year)
Elder Reyes (18 months)
Elder Prows (Last day in the mission)

Crammed into the little taxi with all the luggage 
(I took the picture while we were driving haha)

Elder Edwards and I soaked in matching ties

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Everything that goes up, must come down.

Hey Fam!  

Not the best week this week.  Just a series of events that were the most ideal, but I'm not letting it get me down!  

First, we ran out of saldo.  Not sure what the English word is, but it's basically telephone minutes.  This means we can't call anyone.  Annoying!  What good is a cell phone if we can't make calls?  Second, we had a bunch of emergencies this week leading into us having to go help out all the other missionaries in our zone.  I like being a zone leader but sometimes it's frustrating when our plans get canceled for emergencies.  This lead into no investigators coming to church. :( Worst of all is that no one in the zone had investigators either.  Bummer dude.  Today we have a music video activity in the zone which is fun, but editing the video was a nightmare.  We had to edit the same clips 3 times because the computer wasn't cooperating.  Needless to say I got frustrated and we wasted 10 hours in total on the video.  It did turn out to be a success though so that's good!  Finally, on top of all those little problems, I learned yesterday that my camera was stolen out of my bag in the church on Saturday.  Sigh... It was a junker camera and I have all my pictures backed up but it's just a pain to have to buy a new one that I like and all that lameness.  So not the best week, BUT!  I did learn alot.

On Thursday we had our "taller de zona" (Zone Workshop).  This is the one time a month where we get together and a zone and we, the ZLs, make announcements, check up on the missionaries, and give a class to the zone.  This month I decided to present a class about perspective and how sometimes we impede ourselves from accomplishing soooo much more.  I shared a video called "The Butterfly Circus." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p98KAEif3bI).  It's amazing.  Please watch it right now.  Not something you want to miss out on.  That's the thing I've learned the most this week.  Although things might not always go your way, although things might be hard, although sometimes you want to give up, it'll always get better in the end and you could always have it sooo much worse.  (1 Cor. 10:13)  God will never push us beyond what we are able to overcome.  All the trials, all the sadness, all the series of events that make our lives more stressful than they have to be, are never too much.  We CAN handle it.  So whatever your trial is, whatever your sadness, "Be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you."  (D&C 68:6)  The Savior has felt our struggles! I know it.  He felt every last pain we encounter.  He's felt every pain given to every person EVER.  We are sooo blessed.  He loves us.  He loves us more than we could ever know.  Sometimes we have mountians to climb, but we're all experienced climbers, we just don't realize it.  

My challenge to you is this.  Go thought this week with a SMILE!  You have been sooo blessed.  I know every last one of you has a better life than some of the sad stories I hear here in Honduras.  BE GRATEFUL.  Enjoy your blessings!  And remember you have a loving Heavenly Father that knows YOU.  He understands YOU.  And he wants YOU to be happy. So be happy! 

I love you all sooo much!  Please take care!  
Happy 27th birthday on Wednesday to my Mom!  I'll be thinking of you!  

Elder Lawson

La zona Espernaza y La zona Valle de Angeles

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Short Week

Hola Familia!  

I´m sorry but there is really not that much to report today.  The last few days have been fun filled with baptisms, interviews, district meetings, birthday parties, and catching up on things.  Life is going so extremely fast!  I can´t believe that in 2 weeks I´ll complete 1 year in the mission.  It´s CRAZY! 
I guess my coolest story from this weekend was Ariel´s baptism.  He has been going to church froever but never has wanted to take the crutial step to baptism.  We talked to him a bit and explained how important it is and had him choose a date.  We showed him the calendar on our phone and said tell us which date you would like.  After a long thinking period, without saying anything he took the phone and made an event for the 24th called "Ariel´s baptism."  It was really cool and he went through with it! 
Well everything here in Tegus is going great!  Changes are on my mom's birthday so we'll see if I have any changes!  I think Elder Reyes might be leaving me. 
I love you all!  Study hard and know I'm rooting for my Cougars from Honduras!  One year until I get to see them play again!  

-Elder Lawson

Ariel's Baptism

Birthday party at the Pinata house for Elder Jensen and Elder Rodriguez

My first cup of Joe! (No, it's not real coffee.)