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, December 28, 2013

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!


I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and you're all enjoying your Holiday break.  But there's no breaks for me! Christmas is a great time for sharing the gospel!   With all the people feeling the holiday spirit and their new year's resolutions, their hearts are super open to our message!  For this reason we had some very spiritual lessons.  I really feel like I'm becoming a better missionary!  Which I'm excited about.  

My message this week is all about the spirit of Christmas.  I got to go back to my old area in the city and it was really fun to see everyone again.  I met a guy named Marcos that doesn't really have anything.  He was a drunk I always saw in the street but stupidly never taught him anything.  The new elders found him and started teaching him.  His story is amazing.  A few years ago he got seriously injured and lost his job and his family.  For that reason he took up drinking and smoking even more than ever.  For years he was lost in a state of drunkeness and sadness.  Well, this week I got to visit him with Elder Workman.  We had a powerful lesson about the Savior and for the first time in my mission I had a lesson where an investigator almost cried because of the power of the Spirit.  He broke down when Elder Workman explained how after our lives Jesus is going to ask us how we lived and if we say bad he'll cry of grief and sorrow with us.  But equally if we respond good he will cry, but these tears will be tears of joy.  Marcos now has 2 days of no drinking or smoking.  A VERY big step for him.  I gave him a picture of Jesus to look at everytime he wants to drink or smoke and he appreciated it.  It was really touching to see someone so helpless, but with soo much joy.  He had nothing, but knew that if he relied on the Savior he could have joy and happiness.  After the lesson he got really excited and pulled up his mattress and showed us a pair of shoes he had hidden underneath.  I don't know if you remember but I had had a pair of shoes that were too big for me.  I left those shoes in my last house and the new Elders had found them and given them to Marcos for Chirstmas to wear to church!  I was overjoyed to see that my shoes could bring so much happiness to a person who used to be so sad.  This gospel really changes our lives and the lives of those around us.  Don't be selfish!  Share this gift with everyone else.  I'm tired of members putting up excuses to not share the gospel.  I don't care if they are Catholic, if they are smokers, if you don't know them that well, INVITE them to church, INVITE them to listen to the missionaries, bear your testimony to them.  Don't think of them how they are now, think of what they can become.  I made that mistake with Marcos.  I never reached out to him.  I thought he was just another drunk that would reject us.  The other Elders came along and didn't think that way.  They made the effort to share the gospel and look what happened!  He's preparing to change his life around and be baptized this month.  Don't let people like Marcos pass by you without sharing the gospel with them.  Not everyone is going to accept your invitaion. That's alright, they have their agency, it's not your job to say yes, but it IS your job to make the invitation.  They can't say yes if they never have the option of doing so.  So, invite your friends!  Invite your neighbors!  Invite your coworkers!  Invite everyone you know!  You'll be surprized at the good you can do.  There's plenty of room in the Celestial Kingdom for all of us:)  

Christmas is all about giving after all right?  Put a new years resolution to invite everyone you know to church this year!  You won't regret it!  

Thanks to The Brights, Ropers, Guthries, Jessens, Aunt Sarah and Uncle John and Aunt Dee and Uncle Jason for the Christmas cards!  

TALK TO YOU IN 2014!!!  
Elder Lawson

With a parrot in Danli (pics were on another Elder's camera for a few weeks!)

Elder Johnson!

The mini guitar from Elder Medivil

Christmas ties with Elder Mendoza

Seeing Alex in the Travesia

Christmas eve con presidente

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I deserve a Merit Badge for this week!

Hey fam!  

So this week was super fun, but super tiring!  That's basically my life now, Tired, Hungry, and Happy.  So let me walk you though my week one day at a time!  

Sunday - Normal day.  Elder Comstock and Dockendorf's last Sunday in the mission.  I wore a nice christmas tie my mom sent me with the 3 kings on it.  We had some FHEs.  At one of them I met a 5 year old girl that had all of the Articles of Faith memorized!  I couldn't believe it.  PILAS.  I don't think I ever memorized them all.... (Heavy sigh - yes he did!)

Monday - Went to the office in the morning to have our weekly meeting with president.  Before the meeting I was sitting at a computer doing important AP stuff and guess who walks up behind me?  Elder Joel Jones!!  We took some pics.  It was really great to see him again.  (Joel is a friend from freshman year at BYU!  He's in the Honduras Comayaguela Mission next door!)

Tuesday - Off to the South!  On Monday night I stayed up until midnight packing and writing in my journal to be all ready to hit the road in morning.  We woke up at 4:00 a.m. and went to the bus stop.  Running on 4 hours of sleep was rough but the Lord gave me a little boost of strength to make it.  We went to a place called San Lorenzo first to give our first training.  After the meeting we got on a bus and I went with some other missionaries to a place called Nacamoe.  It was out in the middle of nowhere and REALLY hot.  Nacome is the #1 hottest city in Honduras.  I forgot hot it is in the south until I went there this week!  I had fun there with Elder Head visiting really poor people in a far away pueblo.  

Wednesday - Woke up early again to take a bus from Nacaome to Choluteca.  The city was great!  There were a lot of things different but it still had the same feel.  I went on Divisions with two of my favorite missionaries.  Elder Preul and Elder Underwood!  They are miraculously comps and so after I gave the training to their zone we went in a trio and taught some people.  It was really really fun to be with them.  I actually just wanted to stay there.  Their house is really cool, it's a good ward, and they're super funny as always.  We also ate lunch in Wendy's (a southern tradition). (There I am with Elders Preul, Underwood, Jones, and Coombs.)  That night as I got out of the shower Preul and Underwood gave me a nice flour bath as a joke.  It got everywhere!  I guess they thought April fools came early this year...

Thursday - RETURN OF THE KING.  This day I got to go back to my old area in Choluteca, Iztoca!  It was sooo great.  I visted a lot of my old converts.  Lots of people remembered my name when I didn't think that they would!  I felt really loved and like a king in Iztoca!  I even got to drink my favorite type of water bag!  (There are different brands).  The end of the day was the only downer when we went to my old house and it was destroyed!  Sooo dirty.  We also didn't have the keys so we had to dig up some that I had buried in case of emergency 9 months ago.  Haha thank goodness for being prepared!  

Friday - On Friday I decided to take a break and hit up the beach!  Haha ok well that's a lie, but we did go to Cedeño, a fishing town on the coast and we taught the Elders and Hermanas there and went on divisions with the ZLs, as in all the other zones.  I got to go with Elder Magaña, my best Latin friend here in the mission, and it was really really fun!  We visited some investigators and took a quick pic on the beach.  From the beach you can see both Nicaragua and El Salvador.  It was a really cool opportunity to get to finally go to the beach!  I did really have a strong desire to swim though.  I'll be swimming soon though!  8 months!  

Saturday - Today we woke up in Cedeño at 2:30 a.m. to catch the 3 o'clock bus.  We went out to the street at 2:45 and waited.  Then waited.  Then waited some more.  We waited until 3:45 a.m. and the bus never came.  Depressed, we went back to the house and I went back to sleep on the tile floor like before. (There weren't any extra beds.)  Eventually we caught a bus and came home slowly but surely.  

This week was very very fun, but a long, tiring one.  

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!  I'm SUPER excited to talk with my family this Wednesday!  It's crazy that it's already Christmas!  Time flies these days.  

I love you all sooo much!  Merry Christmas!  
Elder Lawson

Church in Cedeno

Yes, the church has a Mortal Combat symbol!

The beach with Elder Magana.

Elder Jones from the Comayaguela mission stops by!  
(He's in the middle, not sure who the other elder is.)

Three Kings tie my mom sent.

Back to hitch hiking in Chuloteca.

Yum!  My favorite water bag.

Dug up a key to get into our old house!

Same dirty, disgusting bathroom.

Lunch at Wendy's with Elders Pruel, Underwood, Jones and Coombs.

Flour shower!!

Our future's so bright - gotta wear shades!

Elder Lawson, Elder Pruel, Elder Underwood

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas time is coming!!!

Hey fam-a-bam,

How's life treating you?  Finals over yet?  Cougs still winning?  I sure hope all is well.  Happy 11 days 'till Christmas!  It's coming so soon!  I can't believe it's December already.  

This week we had our mission Christmas party.  There were two and since I was in charge I got to go to both of them.  It was really fun seeing all the missionaries in the mission and chatting and playing with them.  We had musical preformaces and I participated both days.  On day one I teamed up with Elder Edwards and we played "Carol of the Bells" on the little harp my mom sent me.  It was super awesome and everyone thought it was really cool.  On day two I teamed up with Elder Preul and we sang "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas."  Do-wap-waps and everything.  It was super funny also, and again we got lots of complements.  My main goal in these two parties was to win the confidence of the all the missionaries and I think I was sucessful in doing so.  I just decided to be myself and make them laugh.  

This week I also spent a lot of time driving the mission car.  It's scary but I'm basically used to it now.  I did have to take a missionary to the airport that was going home and we got SUPER lost.  The enormous amounts of traffic and prideful drivers made it even more complicated.  We eventually got there and after some passport confusion he made it to his flight and safely home to Guatemala.  

I don't think I told you yet, but remember that Elder from the BYU football team?  Elder Pau'u?  Well he's in my ward here and he's awesome!  I'm trying to get in tight with him so I can have a friend on the football team.  He's super cool and this week at our ward Christmas party he taught us to do the Haka and we all did it together!  SO AWESOME.  

This week Elder Edwards, Comstock, and bunch of other friends of mine go home so it'll be sad, but the fun part is that I get to go back to the South!  This week I'll be cruising through Choluteca visiting and teaching the missionaries there.  I'm really excited to visit my old luch lady and all my converts!  It's going to be really really cool.  

Thanks for all your love a support guys, I'm sorry I'm not the most grateful person in the world, but I'm working on that!  You're the best and I'll talk to you next week!  

Hasta Luego!
Elder Lawson

P.S. There's another mission address I've never given you so here it is... It'll save you the hassle of writing out that big long one!  

Elder Tyler Lawson
Mision Honduras Tegucigalpa
Apartado Postal 556 ó 3539
Tegucigalpa, Honduras C.A.

Elder Cardona's last day! 

Learning the Haka with Elder Pau'u and preforming it at the ward Christmas party.

Matching with Pres! 

"Important AP stuff."

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The AP Life

Well Family, I can finally rest!  Wooooooo!!!!  

So this week was a LONG one.  But still a good one!  :)  It was just JAM PACKED with stuff to do.  

First, we had our ZL council on Wednesday.  Usually at these councils all I have to do is show up and listen and then present how well the zone did.  Well...this time no.  This time I had to put together all the presentations and give a class to all of the Zone Leaders.  It was a little intimidating speaking in front of all the best missionaries in the mission but they are all my friends so it wasn't bad.  I was just really stressed because I had to prepare everything and I didn't have much time.  I was also introducing a new way of doing dates and president wasn't very confident in it and that made me more nervous.  It went well though!  

Because it went so well and I wanted a break after those stressful few days, I went on vacation to Paradise!  Haha ok well it wasn't a vacation nor was it a real paradise, but it is a place in Honduras called Paraíso!  We went out to Danlí to do divisions with the Zone Leaders out there.  I was really excited because I have never been there before.  It was BEAUTIFUL.  Just rolling hills and great weather.  Just like Choluteca, but nicer and cleaner.  I really enjoyed my time there.  The only bummer was I forgot my camera!  Dang.  I did take a really cool pic with a parrot but it's on a camera in Danli.  You'll get it eventually!  

After a 2 hour bus ride and a tiring day in Danli we took off for the Villa de San Franciso.  There I got to see all the Elders from Valle Verde and go on divisions with Elder Chapman!  My companion from the MTC!  It was really fun.  We plucked corn and talked to a bunch of ranchers.  Everyone there lives on a farm.  Another cool thing was that my previous comp Elder Edwards was there so I got to meet everyone and see everything he always told me about!  We had a blast and even got to hitch hike in a semi truck!  Super cool.  

Other fun fact - I got to drive the mission car in Tegus rush hour.  It was NUTS.  I'm not going to go into much detail as to not scare you, but driving in Honduras is NOT like driving in the states.  

Sorry my time is up, but that's the most exciting stuff for now!  I'm really enjoying being AP!  This week we have our Christmas parties and the week after I'm going back to the south!!!  Sweet.  

I love you all!  Hope you are all safe and having fun staying warm!  I miss the cold!  It only lasted 3 days :(

Elder Lawson

Map of Tegucigalpa to Danli.  Consider the mountainous roads!

Then from Danli to Villa De San Francisco.

With Elder Merchant.

Office Elders in sweaters on Sunday when it was cold! 
(I guess he thinks this is funny since it is usually so hot there.)

Office Elders in matching ties.

Elder Lawson, President Hernandez, and Elder Mendoza.