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, March 22, 2014

Words of Wisdom

¡¿Que Ondas?!

Welcome to another edition of "What's going on with my (fill in the blank with your relation to me [son, nephew, grandson, friend, best friend, kinda friend, ex-boyfriend, acquaintance, stranger, co-worker, etc.]) in Honduras!!" haha

Well this week was a good one!  But I seem to say that every week huh?  I guess I'll let you decide if it was a good one!  Here's what happened...

First, I did something I have never done before.  I broke the word of wisdom!  BUT!  Before you all freak out and think that your (son, nephew, grandson, friend, best friend, kinda friend, ex-boyfriend, acquaintance, stranger, co-worker, etc) is a sinner, I have some explaining to do... (for those of you who aren't members of the church, the word of wisdom is a commandment given to us by a loving Heavenly Father who wants us to keep good care of our bodies and therefore prohibits the consumption of 5 things being, alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, tea, and coffee).  OK.  So here's what happened.  I was on divisions (a companion switch for a day, I do them on average 3 times a week as AP) with Elder Smith (picture below).  A super awesome, funny elder that grew up in Louisiana (LSU fan, go tigers, suck it roll tide) and most recently lived in Utah.  So the point is we showed up at a member's house and they gave us lunch.  We sit down and the maid brings us a pitcher of juice with two glasses.  I look at the pitcher and think "hmmm that looks a lot like iced tea..." So I asked the lady, "What type of juice is that?" She told me it was tamarindo (a delicious fruit juice) so I said "ok" and took a sip.  Well...It wasn't tamarindo.  the cool thing was when I tried to drink it I like choked a little like the spirit was trying to tell me "hey, this is bad!" I had never tried iced tea before, so I didn't know exactly what it tasted like so I could be sure but I poured it back in the pitcher and put the pitcher back in the fridge while the maid went to the pulperia to buy more drink mix.  When she came back she had two packets of iced tea in her hands and the mystery was solved!  She would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for the meadling elders!  Haha but after that I just asked for water and made up an excuse about how it was really hot and drinking juice makes you feel sick.  The maid isn't a member so I just let it go and afterwords just kept on doing what we do best, preaching the gospel!  haha I know this story is kinda pointless and doesn't have really anything to do with missionary work but it was one of the funnier and more exciting things that happened this week so I thought I'd include it!  haha

Ok now for a cool story that actually has to do with the gospel!  Yeah!  It's about Gabriel.  I mentioned him last week but basically he's the greatest man I've met in all of Hondruas.  He has serious financial, family, spiritual, and smoking problems but wants to change all of that.  We've been visiting with him for about a month now and he's changed sooo much!  Now he's praying every morning and helping his wife with the chores.  It's great!  The best was what happened Monday night though.  He's a taxi driver and we always call him every night to bring us home because we want to support him and chat some more.  This night was special though.  As we were driving he told us that he wanted to make a promise in front of us and God that he wouldn't smoke anymore and we were like "sweet do it!!" and then he took the pack of cigarettes he had in the car and said "won't need these anymore" and threw them out the window!  It was so great!  Elder Mendoza and I were so happy to see this we couldn't contain it!  He's super ready to be a member of Christ's true church and on the 29th he's getting baptized!  That's his plan at least!  Helping people like him really make the mission worth while.  The two years of hard work, no worldly entertainment, separation from you family, it all becomes worth it when you can see the difference this one true gospel can make in people.  I'm so happy to have the opportunity to serve a mission and be able to really love and serve the people in Honduras.  It's great! You all can try it too!  As President Kimball said, "Every member a missionary." We're all in this work together!  Let's get to it!  Invite your friends!  Welcome the new people!  Be an awesome member missionary!  I promise you missionary work is unbelievably rewarding.  :)

Have a great week everyone!  I love you! 

Elder Lawson

Elder Smith

Picking wild raspberries in the woods of Valle de Angeles.



Me with a ton of coffee and a Word of Wisdom pamphlet!

A cool view of the mountian town of Valle de Angeles.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

18 months young

Hey fam!

I bet you´re all a little confused as to why I'm writing on Monday and not on Saturday like usual.  Well....we decided to change it so we could go play soccer with our zone for once.  Really not that exciting, but it was a super fun time!  I had like 2 months without playing soccer so it was fun to get out and play!  I got some nasty turf burns though because I was throwing down some nasty slide tackles!  :)  But anyways, that's that.  

So how's it all going at home?  Getting warm yet?  I´ve about had it with the heat and it just gets hotter and hotter!  Oh how I wish May would come with all the rain it brings...haha but Honduras is Honduras!  

Well this week I finished the first 18 months of my mission and that means I only have 5 left!  (For school and changes in the mission I'm going to end up going home a month early.)  I honestly can't believe the time has passed so fast.  Honestly, completing the big 1 - 8 left me reflecting a lot on my mission and how I've grown as a missionary.  I realize that I honestly have progressed a lot.  I can speak Spanish basically fluently now and I'm not really all the scared to talk to strangers and get into their personal beliefs.  The biggest is that rejection doesn't affect me AT ALL.  Like people can yell terrible things at us or just treat us like we don't exist, and I don't feel a thing.  I guess this trait will be a big help when I get back to the real world and have to start talking to girls again and get rejected by them!  haha.  

One thing that was super weird to think about was the fact that my Dad and my Aunt only served for 18 months in their missions.  Like, if I were them I'd be going home!  I don't like that thought.  I do think about home sometimes, but I would never want to go right now!  I don't feel ready yet.  I'm glad the Lord called me at a time where I could serve him for the full 2 years.  (Haha well 23 months, but that's a whole nother story...) Honestly this week more than ever I have felt the Lord in my life and working through me in my mission.  I'd like to share a stories of people whose lives were changed by the Lord acting through me this week...

1. Natalia - She was baptized!  She's a little girl of 11 years that just loves the gospel.  Her mom was the Relief Society President 15ish years ago but shortly thereafter she went inactive because of a comment another sister made.  One day when we were walking in our area we saw her sitting in front of her little wooden house without electricity.  We started talking to her and that's when we learned that she used to go to church and that she hadn't been in a really long time.  We started visiting her and her daughter Natalia started talking the discussions.  One day she told us that Natalia needed notebooks for school but she didn't have money to buy them for her.  So what we did was that night we bought the books and brought them to the house.  They were in the doorway so we gave the notebook to a random lady walking by and told her to give it to them.  We wrote "To Natailia from God" on the book and the lady gave it to them for us!  Natalia freaked out and we took off running.  They didn't catch us!  The next day they asked us about it and we denied it.  Natalia then said, "It must have been an angel!"  With such light in her eyes.  I just wanted to cry.  She's so awesome.  We also had to change the day of her baptism from Saturday to Sunday because of Stake Conference and she was so mad because she wanted to get baptized as soon as possible.  She also said that if she had to wait she would because she knew that the Mormon Church was the only true church so she needed to get baptized in that one!  She was a little nervous, but it was so great getting to baptize her yesterday and see the joy she had!  

Gabriel - Gabriel is honestly the reason I am on a mission.  He's going to get baptized on the 29th so I'll have to tell you more about him then, but honestly he has given me a different perspective on how God puts people in our path that we need to help.  Let's just say he's got some huge family issues, used to be a drunk, and just needed somebody to vent to and we were those people.  I have never felt so much love for someone ever before in my life.  He's the best!  

Christina - Christina was a random lady that I was able to make her day.  It was basically a Jesus Moment.  haha We were walking though a really ghetto housing complex (ya know with like grime and dirt and darkness) and I saw an oldish lady sitting on the ground outside an apartment.  I'm not sure if she was crying, but I felt that I needed to talk to her.  As we walked by I stopped my comp and I asked her how she was and if we could do anything for her.  I sat down on the dirty ground beside her and talked a little bit to her about the situation.  She told me that she lived there with her teenage son but that the landlord had kicked them out.  I told her that I couldn't give her any money but I could give her the word of God.  I told her that the wonderful thing was that even though she no longer had a house, she still had a Savior. And he loves her more than anything.  I told her to be of good cheer because no matter how many trials the world throws at us we will always be happy if we remember God and keep the commandments.  She smiled and we left.  It honestly felt so amazing in that moment to be a missionary and share that great news with her.  

I love you all!  Have a great week!  Talk to you on Saturday again!  

Elder Lawson
 
Soccer with the zone.

Burning a shirt and pants for my 18 months 
since I never burned a shirt at my one year mark.


Me and Elder Hatch (Shout out to Colorado!) on a rock in Valle Verde.

Natalia's baptism! 




Saturday, March 8, 2014

Despised and Rejected by Men

Hey family! 

This week was a normal one.  We did have quite the amount of rejection experiences though!  Let me go through a few….

1. We show up at this house and knock the door.  A girl comes out, sees us, and then goes back in and hides.  We keep knocking and we see her poking her head out from behind the wall but she never came so we leave.  We decided to go back and try again the next day.  This time we knock and a little girl comes to the door.  She tells us she´s alone only with her toddler sister.  We are like “ok when can we come back?”  Right in that moment, a teenage girl comes to the door.  The little girl sees her and is like “oh yeah, she’s here too, I forgot."  The teenage girl sees us and doesn’t know what to do.  We greet her and she just stares at us and doesn’t say anything.  Then she walks out of the house right by us and then walks down into a dead end in her porch and then got confused and came back by us and went inside again.  SO WEIRD.  La verdad it was just really funny more than anything.  WHY WILL PEOPLE GO THROUGH SUCH HURDLES JUST TO AVOID US?!?!  Haha it’s really funny sometimes. 

2. I contacted a guy named Danny and he told us to come back any day around 5 o’clock.  We go back and his door is open and we are calling his name so he’ll come out.  Right then his neighbor comes out of her house and tells us he’s not home.  I ask her “But he just left his door open?” and she was like “uhhh yeah I mean sometimes.”  Haha totally lying.  I then ask her “ok well that’s weird because he told us to pass by at this time” and she got awkward and walked outside and down the street a little ways.  I then asked her if I should shut the gate and she was like “oh no I’m going back in” and she went in and closed the gate.  It was super strange and SO obvious she was lying.  Haha

3. We contacted a lady a few days ago and she told us to come back another day.  We came back and knocked the door and we just hear from inside “Nobody’s home!”  We are just like, “No but the sister said she’d be here!” and the neighbor (oh neighbors always trying to lead us astray) says, “No the lady you are looking for moved to Spain.” We just started laughing hysterically.  We were like, “No we met here 2 days ago!”  Haha oh the lies! 

4. This last one happened a few weeks ago. We were looking in the mission book and found a name and address of an old investigator named Santos so we went looking for him.  We get to the house described, but since there aren’t real addresses in Honduras, the addresses are just “down the street green house with a big tree next to the shoe store," we ask somebody if they know him.  They just look confused and are like, “uhhh...I’ve never heard of a Santos living here before." So we were like okay maybe he lives in the next house over.  We ask those neighbors and they give us the same response: “No, I don’t know any Santos.”  Right then an old guy walks up to the first house and the lady we’re talking to yells, “Hey Santos how are you?!” I was just like, “uhhhh…Is that guy named Santos?”  And she just acted confused and said, “Oh you meant THAT Santos? Oh…yeah I know him, but don’t talk to him he’s Catholic,”  We were just like, “ok well I can tell we aren’t welcome here.”  Haha, oh the funny rejection stories in the mission!  

Our investigators are doing well!  I'm a happy camper.  I only have 3 more weeks here and then I'm southward bound.  It's nuts how fast time is going by!  

Sorry, no pics this week.  But next week we're headed out to Danli so I'll take some then!  

Love you all,
Elder Lawson

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mustache March

Hey family!  

Happy March!  I can't believe time is going by sooo fast it's absolutely nuts!  We decided to celebrate Mustache March with style.... :)  (See pics below.)

We had Zone Conference was this week which means it was nuts for me!  There were 3 conferences.  One for each Region (City, East, and South).  The City and East ones we did here in the city and we drive down to the South to do that one.  I got to drive all the way to Choluteca!  It's about 3 hours on a two lane highway with potholes and such but it was actually a really easy smooth drive.  At each conference I gave a 25 minute presentation about dedicating ourselves to the mission and working hard.  I first started talking about remember why we are here on missions and all we had done to prepare for this day and showed this clip....(http://bcove.me/tdxjtwvv).  Then I switched themes a bit and showed this clip (AMAZING) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6FKiNVbw3Y). I talked a lot about how much our Savior did for us and how this is a way we can pay him back.  He was tired but he kept on working.  How we cannot be slothful or lazy, we need to always remember how extremely important our job here is as missionaries.  I gave them a few minutes to write in their journals goals and impressions and then finished by showing this mormon message (https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2010-12-0130-a-priesthood-duty?lang=eng). I ended by reminding them that they only get to serve a mission once, so they better make the most of it.  I really liked my presentation and thought all three of them went really well.  

Other than this we have some really good investigators and I'm really excited for their progress.  The gospel really can change lives!  

I spent some time figuring out some BYU stuff for this fall so I gotta run.  I'm sorry I didn't write more, but until next week I love you all!  

CONGRATS TO ABBY ON HER ACCEPTANCE TO BYU!!!  RISE AND SHOUT BABY!!!!

Thanks to Sister Hekking for the letter!  

Love,
Elder Lawson

Mustache March!

Criminals!




Cockroach that was on my bed and then was dead...



Cool hoodie I bought in Valle de Angeles today.