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."

Saturday, November 30, 2013

SURPRIZE!!!!

Hey Family! 

So....I bet you didn't expect to hear from your favorite missionary on a Saturday huh??  Well...you better get used to it because Saturday is my new PDAY!  We had changes this week and I was called as the new Assistant to the President.  Or as I like to say..."Assistant (to the) President"  haha (Dwight Shrute - the office).  

I know most of you probably don't understand that terminology, so I'll explain a little bit of exactly what it means to be AP....

1. I'm one of 2 in the whole mission.  We are the leaders and do literally what the title portrays: assist the President.  But we're not secretaries or councilors, (because he has those too) we're assistants...haha.  We basically assist with everything he needs help with.  We have meetings with him every week and we speak in every zone leader council and zone conference.  The biggest thing is that we are an example to the other missionaries.  

2. We get to travel the mission visiting with the missionaires.  This means I'm going to get to go down south to visit and also see what it's like out east in Danli!  That's going to be really fun.  

3. I have meetings with the President and even have my own desk in the office.  That means I'm one of the first people to get letters and packages!  I also live with the 4 other office elders in a big house the has hot water!!!  (my favorite)  (The office elders assist with keeping track of the finances for the whole mission, making reservations, dealing with housing, etc.  Basically all the "business" of running a mission.) 

4. I get to drive the mission car!  It's fun, but super scary.  The roads here are insane.  It's a truck but I'm already getting used to driving here.  

5. I have my own personal cell phone and all the missionaries call me about all their problems!  haha

6. My companion is Elder Mendoza from TORREON, Mexico.  (Yes, Jeff Wray served in his stake!)  He's great and I know we are going to do great things for the mission.  

7. I know you have questions so fire away!  There's so much I don't know how to tell it all!  I don't even know it all yet!  

Other news is that it's been soooooo cold here lately.  Coldest it's ever been on my mission.  For this reason I bought a nice grey sweater :)

Thanksgiving was AWESOME!!  We played baseball and ate turkey with potatoes and stuffing!  YUM.  I sent some pictures.  Thanks sooo much to the Galindo family for putting it on for us.  

We got to go to the temple today with special permission from the President.  It was awesome!  A really cool part was that I ran into a bunch of guys from my ward in Choluteca!  The best part was that they remembered me!  I was so happy they knew who I was!  

Thanks to Papooh for the package!!  I'm saving it for Christmas don't worry!  

I love you all, be ready for next Saturday!  
Elder Lawson

Tyler also told me in another email that he will be an AP for about 6 months and then he will ask to spend the last 3 months of his mission training new missionaries down south.  If anyone is interested, here is the google map numbers for where he lives: 14.099899,-87.159611.

Hot chilie I ate!  (I'm starting to like spicy food.)


Saying goodbye to Ever and Ericka!   
(It's not too sad because I'm soooo close by!)

Saying goodbye to Yesenia.

Packing up the taxi with all my stuff!

Thanksgiving!

Last meal with Elder Edwards!

YUM!!  My belly is so happy!

Christmas is coming!

Driving the truck!

Elder Mendoza, my new companion, and I.

The Office Elders Christmas 2013!  
Elder Lawson, Elder Mendoza, Elder AngiƱadas, Elder Olivares, 
Elder Cruz, Elder Merchant (He didn't list them in order so I'm not sure who is who!)




Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I Survived!

Hey Fam!  

So I survived the Honduran Elecitons!!  And guess what?!  Absolutely nothing happened.  It was the lamest 3 days of my life.  Ok not true, I enjoyed them, but still.... Ok, recap, so for those of you who don´t know, this Sunday were the presidential elections here in Honduras.  My beautiful country isn´t so beautiful in the aspect of its curruption.  The people are crazy, but I see where their frustration comes from.  When you have presidents buying out the public and changing the voting boxes it can be hard.  Unfortunately, this leads to people acting irrationally and doing things they shouldn´t.  Like killing gringos.  For this reason all us missionaries were confined in our houses for 87 hours.  9pm on friday until 12 noon today.  It was an enjoyable time however.  I got to wash all my laundry by hand, cook and eat a lot of food, do P90x, play chess and backgammon, watch church movies, and read almost all of the book of 3rd Nephi.  In the end nothing out of the usual happened.  I only heard like 4 gun shots and that´s like any other normal night.  So, if any of you worried about me you did it in vain because absolutely nothing happend!  Don´t worry!  

Elder Jensen also went home this week!  Well...He´s not home yet, but he´s here with his parents!  Because we´re his ZL´s we got to go with him to the airport to get them!  He was freaking out!  Being in the airport reminded me of when I first got to Honduras.  That was over a year ago!  I can´t believe it!  Seeing him hug his mom did make me want to hug my own, but we´re at less than a month until Christmas so I can wait to at least talk to her!  

Happy Thanksgiving this week!  We already have plans to eat with a member that really, really wants to be an American sooo bad!  He´s serioulsy my favorite person in this country. He wants to leave Honduras so bad he learned to speak fluent English from youtube videos!  Selvin needs a visa! Needless to say I´m very exicted to get a real Thanksgiving meal!  I hope it´s good!  

Changes are also this week and it´s my turn to leave!  We´ll see where I go!  I´d love to go anywhere outside the city!  I´ve had my city fun and now I´m ready to leave.  Danli or Choluteca here I come!  I´ll let you know the exciting news next Monday!  

Have a fun filled week and a good break!  I already had mine, I´m ready to get out there and get working already!  

Love you,
Elder Lawson 

Our total food stash!

Making burritos!


Making Chocolate no-bake cookies!  My favorite!

Yum!!

Thanks for the cocoa mom, they turned out great!

Monday, November 18, 2013

BODA!!!!!!! ELLOS SE CASARON BABY!!!!


Hola Familia! 
I have great news!  Ever and Ericka got married!  The wedding was great!  They even bought rings!  That was the first time I had ever seen that in Honduras.  It was really cool seeing them all "doll"ed up and ready to get HITCHED!  Ever got baptized after and it was a really special baptism!  He's a little big so I was nervous I wouldn't be able to dip him all the way under but it all came out all well!  After church we started getting everything prepared and there wasn't any water to fill up the font!  We freaked out and finally at the last minute there was enough water and everyone showed up for the wedding and every little thing turned out great! 
This week I took a really big challege and did an English fast!  It's just like a regular fast, but instead of giving up food you give up English!  It was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done.  I started when I woke up on Tuesday and ended this morning when I woke up.  The hardest part was a special ZL meeting we had this week where I got to see all my friends and I could only talk to them in Spanish!  Ugh.  But I did learn a lot about Spanish so it was totally worth it.  I just hope I get another Latin companion soon so I can do some more practicing!  

Another exciting thing about this week was we got to play soccer!  I don't know if you remember, but over 6 months ago an Elder broke his foot playing soccer and President banned it forever!  Well....this week he gave it back to us!  We can now play once a month.  It's something really fun to look forward too!  

So for the elections nobody should worry about me!  (Yeah, right.) I will be kept in the house for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday!  The best part is my house is basically a bomb shelter.  We live behind a huge green metal fence and way in the back up the stairs and in a cemet house.  It would be hard for any harm to come to me.  But just so you know I won't be writing until Tuesday.  And maybe not even Tuesday.  But just so you know if I don't write you that doesn't mean I'm hurt or dying.  That just means I'm safe and sound, bored out of my mind in my house!  So please PLEASE don't worry.  If anything bad were to happen to me you would hear from the church way WAY before I could ever email. 
Other notable things from this week are..... first, a guy in our area that always yells "Lauson!" at the top of his lungs when he sees me.  I'm going to get my haircut by him this week.  We'll see how it goes!  He's not acutally crazy for real, just a really funny crazy.  I want to convert him!  ...second, A BABY WAS NAMED AFTER ME!  If you remember one day we tried to give a blessing to baby without a name, well another day they asked us for suggestions on what to name it and wondered what our names were.  I found out this week that in the end they named the baby Tyler!  WOW!  The only weird thing is how the spelled it.  "Ttiler"  interesting...But it's still my name because they got it from me and say it like my name!  

Thanks for all the love!  I hope there are still some people that read this!  If you do you get extra blessings!  

Love,
Elder Lawson

Soccer is back!

Doing service at a church bodega with the Zone.


Ericka and Ever's wedding and baptism! 





Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Member Missionaries

Hey Family!  

This week was a good one!  Full of citas, exploring our area, and Missionary work siempre!  Our investigators are doing well and we're excited for Ever and Ericka's wedding this weekend!  My first wedding!  It's gonna be great!

This week I learned a really valuable lesson about the role of members and missionary work.  I´m going to give you all a little shaving, but in the words of Elder Holland it'll be "just enough fire in my voice to singe your eyebrows a little."  Member missionary work is very VERY important.  It's actually one of our callings as members of the church.  When President David O. Mckay said "Every member a missionary" he didn't mean that every member "could" be a missionary.  He said every member IS a missionary!  Whether or not you serve a full time mission, EVERYONE can benefit from missionary work.  You can all be missionaries like me!  Now having come on a mission I can testify of this.  Our job as missionaries is WAY WAY more effective when the members help us.  So share the gospel!  

I'm going to be a little harsh here, but when you don't do member missionary work you aren't only failing in this calling, you are wasting the Lord's time.  When members don't invite people to come to church or listen to the missionaries, the missionaries don't have any other choice but to go look for people to teach by themselves.  That means knocking doors.  How effective is that?  I'll tell you, NOT.  It's not effective at all.  It really just living on a prayer.  A lot of missionary time is wasted when members don't give references and now they are more needed than ever with the great influx of missionaries in the field.  That's why the first presidency is going so crazy about Missionary work right now.  Missionaries are out there wasting time without references!  The Lord needs you to bring his children back into the fold!  

So here's your job.  Go though a mental list of all your work partners, friends, aquantiences, and family members.  Think and pray about each one carefully and pick 5 that you are going to set goals to share the gospel with.  Ways of sharing the gospel doesn't have to be so direct as "Will you come to church with me this weekend?" But they can be invitations to your house for a Family Home Evening where you invite the missionaries or an invitation to a ward party.  But here's the tricky part!  You can't just do that.  You have to share a little bit of your testimony too.  They hardly ever will go asking you about the church, you have to ask them!  Don't be shy!  You made a promise to do this when you got baptized and now you have to complete with it!  Be brave my friends.  You can do this.  It's scary, I know, but you CAN do it.  Let your testimony be your power!

I recommend you all turn back to conference and watch this talk, It was my favorite, he says it all way better than I do...
 (http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/hastening-the-lords-game-plan?lang=eng) (Also the reason my email right after conference weekend was called "exclamation point!")

NOW IS THE TIME!!  DO IT!!  BE MEMBER MISSIONARIES!!!
I love you all, Have a great week,
Elder Lawson

Taking "the bomb" (It cleans your system out to help reset it!)

Getting dirty doing service.



GO COUGARS!!

The city is a jungle too!





New shoes came in the mail!!!!

So nice to have a sole with no holes!

Perfectly clean, no dirt.  That's about to change!

All the missionaries in the city for Elder Ochoa's visit.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Honduras is a sinful place, but I'm trying to change that!


Buenas Tardes Familia! 
Hope everything up north is going well!  Things here in Honduras are great but it´s getting harder and harder to live when we are surrounded by sin!  From women wearing spandex as pants and see through shirts to drug deals, Honduras is really a different world.  Or is it?  Is that the style back at home?  I don´t know if it´s "missionary goggles" or what, but it is just shocking that women whould wear such revealing clothing.  Don´t they understand that they are special and that when they flaut themselves they may find a man but that man will just leave them in even worse shape after?  haha sorry to go all preacher, but it´s just ridiculous!  "The natural man is an enemy to God" that´s all I have to say about that.  So you young women out there (if there even are any that read my letters), don´t fall to the temptations of the world.  You know who you really are, be that person. 
Phew!  Entonces, now to talk about drugs, the funniest thing happened to us the other day!  We walked up to visit a member who was sick.  When we got there a guy sitting in the street outside told us that he went to the hospital.  Right as he was telling us all of this two guys behind him were literally doing a drug exchange.  I saw the crack right there exchanged for money.  And the worst part was they weren´t even secret about it!  It was just like, "Whatever two gringos are right there, here´s the stuff."  Pretty funny actually! 
Happy Halloween to everyone!  We didn´t do too much celebrating on Halloween, just had district meeting and dressed up as twins with matching pants and ties!  After the meeting, the Stake President´s wife planned a little Halloween party in which we dressed up and ate a bunch of candy.  It was really nice of her and super fun!  That night we weren´t allowed to go out because here in Honduras Halloween is a very diobolical night  in which bad people come out to play.  Apparently they dress up in costumes and do all sorts of shananagins so we stay inside.  Like I said - SINFUL!  

Sunday was probably the most sinful of all the days!  Every Sunday the markets are really big selling food and lottery tickets but recently they have been getting really big with politics!  That means that people drive by in cars wearing either red or blue and yelling hateful stuff at the other.  There was a rally going on across the street from the church and all though out sacrament meeting all we could hear was blasting music.  Quite the interesting sacrament meeting if you ask me.  When you put that with all the apostasy it makes for a challenge to keep things under control.  But we handle it! 

Another funny story, but not about sin this time - So we have a progressing investigator couple in which the wife is a less active member and her husband is not a member.  They are VERY positive and are going to get married and he will be baptized on the 17th!  Were super excited for them and I am most of all because they are the first family I´m going to baptize!  All the rest of my converts have been children, jovenes (young), or single parents.  It´s super exciting to finally bring a family into the church!  ANYWAY,  the funny part of the story is that this week we went to visit them and a little ways into the lesson the wife stopped us and asked if the church exsisted in China.  We explained that in China the church isn´t there because of communism, but in that part of the world the church exists like in Japan and Korea.  She said "oh" and then told us one of her friends told her that "Mormon" in Chinese means "door to the devil."  We laughed for a bit and explained that it was just a lie.  To which she responded, "I know I already asked a Chinese person about it."  Haha, we all laughed together and it was great to be able to clear everything up for her! 
Remember to be grateful you live in such an amazing country!  On Sunday we also went to go give a blessing to the hermano that was sick.  We went to the hospital and to be completely honest it was scarier than a lot of haunted houses I´ve been in.  I don´t want to go into much detail, but it was a big building with broken windows, dirty floors, people needing help everywhere, and not enough help to go around.  Worst of all they didn´t let a lot of family members in to even go see their loved ones.  I don´t know what else to say but be grateful that when you get sick you have a nice clean place you can go with well studied doctors and all the luxuries of life.  Not a hot dirty building of suffering.  

Hope you all had a happy Halloween and are enjoying the coming winter!  I´m still sweating my life away in a place that very well could be where the devil lives!   Haha.  But the brightside is amongst all the sin we are the angels sent from God to help these people.  THERE IS STILL HOPE FOR HONDURAS! 
"Wickedness never was Happiness."  Don´t sin!  It's not worth it!  I´ve seen way WAY too many lives destroyed because of sin here.  People, sick, living in the streets without a single thing or loved one to their name.  Don´t let that happen to you!  The straight and narrow is the only camino (road)!  

I love you all and wish you the best this week!  
Elder Lawson
PS - The last and possibly worst sinful thing here in Honduras are the missionaries that root for the Utah Utes.  GROSS. 
GO COUGS!  

The zone these days!

Sending a package to Elder Peacock in Peru!  

New TAN pants! 
(They just got permission to wear light colored pants.)

New BYU t-shirt from the Jessens!
(Tyler's Aunt and Uncle)

Happy Halloween!

Chocolate pop tarts from Mom!

Triplets for Halloween.


Halloween party at the Stake President's house.

MONEY!!!!

Halloween package came on October 30th!

Trip to the tourist town of Valle de Angeles this morning.

Masking fun....