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."

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Time flies like an airplane


Hey Family,
This has been such a busy week!  I feel like I say that every week, but I guess it's because every week is a busy week! 
Elder Ochoa came to visit our mission this week and his talk was really great!  He was inspiring and taught us a lot about how to be better missionaries!  I enjoyed his talk a lot. 
This week we got locked out of a room in our apartment and didn't have any clothes to wear.  We tried many different methods to open the door and failed miserably.  I sent a bunch of videos home about this experience so hopefully my mom or dad can put them all together and show you all. (Nope, not gonna happen.)
My second pair of shoes was falling apart so I bought some boots.  The only thing is they might be women's boots....I don't care and neither does anyone in this country so I'm going to keep wearing them until my new shoes come in the mail!  I've gotten to that moment in my mission where all my stuff is starting to fall apart!  My shirts are excellent, but my pants are taking a beating and my shoes have had it the worst. 
My message for this week is to be grateful!  This week I was in a house with a family and it started raining.  A little afterwards a river started running through their house!  The sister was embarrassed but said that it happens everytime it rains.  THEY HAVE A RIVER IN THEIR HOUSE!!  Be grateful that every last one of you can sleep DRY at night not having to worry about waking up under water.  People in the states have it SOOOO good.  I feel like I'm going to get home and be amazed at how much of a mansion my house is. Just thinking about it is weird that only 4 people live in a house sooo big.  Here 6 people live in a house the size of my bedroom.  Please loved ones, be grateful!  Life is a lot better that way too!  

Happy Halloween this week!  Be safe and Choose the Right everyone! 
Elder Lawson

All my companions!  Elder Sears, Elder Edwards, and Elder Reyes.

Goodbye Elder Sears!  Good luck in Houston!
(Elder Sears was removed from Honduras for safety reasons.  
He is finishing his mission in Texas.)

My "Good Church Shoes" now ruined.  That's the second pair in a year.



We bought recorders for fun!

New boots I bought that are controversially woman's boots.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Serving your fellow man


Hey fam!
Changes were this week but I stayed the same!  I´m still in The Travesía with Elder Edwards and couldn´t be happier to stay!  
We had many opportunities to serve this week.  One of them was pouring the foundation of the third floor of an apartment building.  It was really cool seeing how they do construction work here.  It consisted of climbing a rickitty ladder to the second floor then mixing all the cement right there on the floor of the second level and afterwards scooping it into buckets and lifting it up to the third floor to pour into the frames. My job was to stand on a piece of wood going across two walls 20 feet up and lifting the buckets to the thrid floor.  We got really dirty with cement and stuff but it was fun!  All the guys were smoking, it was funny, but they gave us banana smoothies and bread with mantaquilla so I was content.  
Funny service story - Because of changes, our area got a lot bigger and now includes a really poor part of town up in the mountians.  A few days ago we were walking to a member´s house that lives up there and along the way we saw a older lady carrying a really big bag.  Of course we stopped and offered to help her.  We walked with her a bit and she told us her son got baptized in our church. (Later we found out he didn´t.) As we kept walking we asked her where she lived and she said "aqui no más" meaning just right up here.  We walked another 10 minutes going higher and higher up the mountian.  We stopped to take a break and asked her again and she said "aqui no más" and after 10 more steps pointed to a house WAY up in the mountian.  We were just like uhhhhh..  So we kept walking with her and her son all the way up until we got to wire fence that we climbed over and followed a dirt trail with a few switchbacks that went all the way up to their house.  The house reminded me of being in the South.  It was just a tiny wooden house without electricity and a fire outside for cooking.  We didn´t have time to visit with them right then so we made an appointment to come back on Sunday.  On Sunday we left from the church and it took us 35 minutes to walk at missionary speed to their house.  we finally got there, switchbacks and todo and they weren´t even there!  It was pretty funny.  I actually said on the way up, "How funny would it be if they weren´t there?"  We took a picture knocking on their door with the phone (attached) and enjoyed the view for a second and went back down to visit another member.  Kinda funny!  We´ll see if we can find them this week! 
This week Alejandra got baptized!  She´s a 12 year old girl that has been coming to church for a little bit since her mom re'-activated.  She´s great and the best part about her baptism is that Alex did the baptizing!  Yup, the same Alex that I helped baptize.  My convert baptized her!  It was a very special baptism for me.  It´s actually kinda funny, where she lives the owner is a little...well...mean.  I´m not sure what religon he is, but let's just say he certinally isn´t a member.  He hates us because we´re white.  He says we are just here "gospeling" the people and trying to trick them.  His dogs are vicious and hate us (probably his doing) and the other day he actually told us we weren´t welcome to ever come back and visit Denia.  She´s not even his family!  He´s just the dueño of her house!  It´s ridiculous.  I want to know if he´s Catholic, because if he is, he doesn´t know anything about his history because the Spañards came over and forced all of the people to be Catholic or they would kill them.  I´m pretty sure that´s a lot more "gospeling" than the loving, inviting, work we do.  Needless to say Denia is going to move.
Elder Ochoa of the 70 is coming this week so it should be exciting to hear what he says! 
I´m going to the mission office right now to see if I have any mail so a pre-thank you if you sent anything!  

Les Quiero, Cuidense mucho,

Elder Lawson


Knocking on the door of the house at the top of the mountain.

MTC buddies - all are Zone Leaders now.

New haircut: short on the sides, long on top.

Alejandra´s baptism! 


Don't worry mom!  I didn't drive it!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

NO MORE RICE!!!!!


Hey family! 
Ever eaten so much rice you can´t stand to think about eating it anymore?  Well...I´ve basically reached that point.  We eat it every single day, if not twice a day.  It gets sooooo old.  I haven´t gotten tired of beans yet at all, I still love them!  but I´m so done with eating rice.  I don´t see myself eating much of it at all after the mission. 
Yesterday was quite the exciting Sunday at church.  We had a few investigators there and since it was fast and testimony meeting Elder Edwards and I decided to "salt the sacrament."  (When you go up and bear your testimony before everyone else about missionary work so everyone else starts thinking about it and then bears their testimony too and the members end up helping us out more with references because they are excited to do missionary work.)  This plan, however, backfired when the high council representative got up and made all the young people in the audience that are of mission age come up in front of everybody.  Then he lectured everyone about how we need to send every 20 year old boy and girl on a mission.  This kinda freaked me out because my converts Alex and Jenny were up there in front of everybody and they felt really awkward because they don´t really want to go on missions at the moment.  He then made all of those chosen volunteers give their testimony from the pulpit.  This is when all my frustrations and worries went away.  Alex and Jenny were going to bear their testimonies!  They did so great!  I couldn´t believe how well they did.  I was just smiling at them really big from the seats.  They were totally ready to bear their testimonies they just needed that little push and they did AWESOME! 
The other day I felt like Elder Edwards and I were something out of a movie.  It was a Saturday morning and we were walking through our area coming back from a really great appointment.  All of the normal Saturday activities were going on but I just felt like him and I were standing out.  Like we were too good to be in that place.  Like we were glowing.  I don´t know, it was cool.  We were just walking though a busy market with dirt ground, people yelling and selling all sorts of food, really loud music, buses and cars zooming by and then us in the middle walking with only Books of Mormon in the hand like we owned the place.  It was sweet.  

Only in Honduras....During priesthood hour at church we got a phone call so I went out to the hallway to take it.  Guess what I bumped into when I opened the door?  A STRAY DOG!  There was a dog inside the church.  I chased it out and was really shocked.  (I guess I shouldn´t have been...)
On Sunday night the power went out so we had to go home.  (Walking around our area when there is no power is SKETCH.)  Imagine, two little white boys walking through one of the most dangerous, sinful, cities in the world in the pitch black.  Probably not the ideal situation.  Anyway, we went home but the problem was we didn´t have any food!  We had fasted that day too so we were really hungry after only eating some rice and salad for lunch.  We looked through the cupboard and know what we found?  Nothing but a half loaf of bread and an avacado. So what do we do?  YUP guacamole sandwiches.  They were not good at all.  But hey, you´re only in the mission once right? 
Today for our PDAY we went to Picacho!  It´s a big Jesus statue on the mountain.  It´s basically a cheap copy of Rio de Janerio.  Lots of things in this country are just cheap copies of stuff, clothes, toys, movies (illegal), and electronics. It was pretty cool.  The view was AMAZING!  You could see the whole city!  I felt like I cheated the system a bit though because usually you have to climb up to get to see a great view (like 14ers in Colorado) but in this case the bus just brought us to the top.  I think it´s so cool that I live in a city!  After living in the suburbs my whole life it´s crazy that I´m living in a capital city! 
The work is still going pretty well!  We should have some baptisms this weekend.  Changes are this week though and I´m worried I won´t be here to see them!  We´ll see what happens. 
Love you all!  Thanks for all the love and support!  Happy Birthday today to my Dad!!  Sounds like he had a fun trip! 
Love,
Elder Lawson


Lecha (Lychee) Fruit that I really like.  It´s like a sweet mamon (Other Honduran Fruit).  I know it looks gross but it´s really good!  

Preaching the gospel to EVERYONE!

Bagged Milk I drink everyday.  It´s safer than the boxed milk.

Going a day without our backpacks, only our scriptures!

Our not so delicious guacamole sandwiches in the dark.

P-day trip to Picacho














Friday, October 11, 2013

Exclamation Points!!!!!!!

Hey Family!  

I hope you all were able to enjoy conference as much as I did! I noticed two great, very important themes!  The first was missionary work!  Uchtdorf, Nielson, Ballard, and Mckonkie all talked about missionary work and how we all should be doing it all the time!  I really liked the excitement that the speakers had for missionary work!  You all should catch the wave and get excited too!  Missionary work is a lot more sucessful when the members actually help.  I can testify of that!  The other main theme I saw and liked was the roles of men and woman.  Elders Christoffersen, Cook, Anderson, and Sister Stephens all talked about how the world is dying and woman are becoming more and more manly and this is not the way of God.  I thought that was cool how they explained the equal but different roles of both genders.  The coolest docrine I thought was the analogy given by Elder Anderson of the window.  The priesthood is the light of God.  And priesthood holders just open the window to let the light in.  It was a really cool way of explaining how the priesthood blesses our lives.  I had never really thought before how many blessing we recieve as members of the church from God through the priesthood.  We are so blessed!  

Again Honduran Conference was very bizarre.  30 people at the Saturday sessions and Sunday afternoon, 150 people at Priesthood the session, and 400 on Sunday morning.  I still feel like there´s something they don´t understand...

Elder Ochoa of the 70, who talked in the last session, is coming to our mission in a few weeks so that´s really exciting!  I´ll get to meet him.  

We cut Henry, our investigator´s hair this week!  He had long nasty hair and we cut almost all of it off!  I´m not much of a hair stylists and neither is Elder Edwards, but his girlfriend is!  So we justified telling Henry we knew what we were doing on that account.  Haha, it didn´t turn out too shabby!  

This week we tried to visit an American girl that is living here.  We got REJECTED.  It was my first American rejection!  I really feel bad for missionaries in the states.  We just tried to ask her how she was doing and she just kept saying, "Now´s not a good time, maybe later."  OUCH.  Any normal Honduran person would try to talk us into leaving but we ALWAYS can get a few words in to start a conversation.  This was just flat out RUDE.  But now I have more sympathy for missionaries in other countries.  

So you heard the Prophets: Who ya gonna invite to church?  Do it!  I guarantee you won't get rejected as hard as me!  

Thanks to Aunt Dee and Andrew for the letters!  I still really apreciate snail mail letters because I know they´re harder!  

Love,
Elder Lawson

Areopostale shirt in Honduras!

Gringo room to watch General Conference in English.

Zone!

Nerd glasses, kind of like the ones my Dad used to wear in college!

Chocolate banana treat after Priesthood session of conference!

Just barely can't plug in the stove top.


Cutting the long hair of an investigator, Henry.


The result!  Not too shabby considering we had no idea what we were doing!

With Ariel.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

It just gets faster....


Hey Family!
This week went by so fast I can´t even remember what we did!  On Tuesday we had interviews with President and so we spent almost the whole day at his house. 
The rest of this week was full of lessons, fallen appointments, and missionary meetings.  We also have been trying to run more!  We ran all the way to the office Elder´s house on saturday morning.  It´s about 4 miles and there´s a HUGE hill at the end.  I want to get back in shape because I´m super fat.  

On Saturday night we threw an open house at the church for non-members to come and learn what Mormons are all about and how we don´t worship Joseph Smith like everyone thinks.  It went really well and a lot of people showed up.  All the ward leaders did a good job helping out.  

Strange situation....On Sunday morning we got to our investigator´s house and his friend was there that just had had a baby this week.  The baby was sick and so they asked us to give it a blessing.  Here´s the catch, the mom hadn´t decided on a name for the baby yet!  Hmmm, kinda hard to give a blessing to someone without a name...So we called President and he said it couldn´t be done.  So we just decided to say a prayer for the baby instead!  It was pretty funny. 
Hope you all are doing excellent and staying strong!  Sorry the email is a little lame this week, but I hope the pictures and videos make up for it! 
Love,
Elder Lawson

PS: Saw a BYU hat this week!  My first sighting of BYU clothing!  He was a taxi driver and cruised by so I couldn´t take a pic.  It was a nice hat though!  


Strange vegetable.

Shoes worn out in the service of the Lord.

Making guacamole (YUM!) and playing "Monopoly Deal" a p-day tradition now.

Rain, rain, GO AWAY!



Picture with our investigator Henry and his mom, Mama Trina (She´s a hoot!).