VALENTINA AND JOSÉ ANGEL GOT BAPTIZED!!!!
Family and friends I think that is probably the best news I have ever given you. After a ton of headaches with the wedding papers and family members, I am pleased to tell you that José Angel and his WIFE Valentina are now the newest members of La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos días. WOOOOOOOO!!! It wasnt easy though....
As many of you know, in order to be baptized one needs to be keeping all the commandments. One of which being the Law of Chastity. Well as you will see, here in Honduras the marriage process is very complicated, so what people do is they just start a family, live together, and never actually get married. They just say that they are husband and wife. Well...technically that is against the law of chastity, so....We end up doing a lot of marriages here in the mission. This was the case with Valentina and José Angel.
In order to realize the wedding we need to take out special documents with both people that are going to get married. To get these, on Tuesday we first went with Valentina to the place where she was born to take out a legal document that says she is single. Then we took her to Choluteca to take out another document saying that she didn't have any misdemeanors. Afterwards, we had to go back to Marcovia to finish up the papers and then go home. The trip became more complicated because first she needed 2 witnesses to be able to take out the document, then we had to go make copies of the document, then we had to go to the bank and pay for it, then the printer didn't work....basically it was a nightmare but I felt like a boss working the Honduran Loyal (legal?) system.
On wednesday it was José Angel´s turn. We went all the way to a place called Nacaome. There we took out the single person paper and from there we went back to Choluteca to get the misdemenors one. Both trips were really long and in the end I was worried that I had forgotten a paper somewhere.
On Thursday we had a zone conference with President in Choluteca. (It was really fun to see everyone but it was weird for Elder Mendoza and I to not be in power anymore...) After the conference we went to meet with the Lawyer and he said everything was good to go! Nice! No worries right? Wrong! There was another little detail. José Angel´s parents have to be in the wedding to sign a document giving him permission to get married because he is only 20 and in Honduras the legal age is 21. Dangit. The good thing was his parents are really awesome and gave him permission. My worry was that they weren't going to be able to come because the dad works a ton. Stress, Stress, Stress. My comp and I prayed and fasted all week during all these trials that it would all work out and finally...it did! Everyone came to the wedding and it was a huge success! Afterwords I baptized Valentina and Elder Baez baptized José Angel. It was a very cool experience. Honestly one of my favorite baptisms! A very special moment.
There is another miracle family that we are working with here in the area! They are both members, baptized 3 years ago. A little bit after they were baptized the father stopped going to church and the mother went every once in a while. One day after sacrament meeting our cocinera (cook) told us that there was an 8 year old kid who hadn't been baptized yet. We for the first time met Ana and her son Nixion. We passed by that week to visit and that´s when we met Alfredo. At first our goal was only to help Nixion get baptized, but when we saw that Alfredo was there and a member already we changed our focus! We talked to him about the possibility of getting worthy and baptizing his son. He didn't know that he could baptize Nixion. This possiblity sparked an interest and the rest is history. We visit them a few times a week and they are now super active. We had a fun Family Home Evening with them the other night where we had the kids act out the story of Nephi and they really liked it. I love this family! On Sunday Alfredo recieved the priesthood and Nixion´s baptism should be in a few weeks. He´s super pilas and we even think he could be the new Branch President in 6 months because right now we don´t have one nor do we have candidates....
Sorry the email is late. Yesterday Elder Baez and I went to Tegus because he had an appointment with the immigration offices. It was a fun trip! I got to see a bunch of people (Like Gabriel! Remember him?) and get some errands done in Tegus. Everyone I saw said I looked really skinny. It's true though, I´ve lost a TON of weight. Hermana Smart said it was unhealthy how skinny I am now, but I like it! We ate pizza for lunch and back in the day I could eat half the pizza and yesterday I barely ate a fourth before I couldn't take anymore. Craziness! Yesterday was a fun Pday - in the end the only problem was we didn't have time to write home.
Weird Honduras happenings section.....
1. So many people showed up at church yesterday (75! We were sooooo happy! Our hard work is paying off!) that we didn't have enough water in the sacrament for everyone. What did that mean? During the passing of the sacrament we had to send someone to the store to buy pure water so we could bless it and re-pass to all the people that didn't have the oportunity yet.
2. After the sacrament one of the ill members of our branch just started throwing up and that made all kinds of panic with the people. Especially because we were all jammed into a little room and there isn't much air circulation. I was, however, surprized at the fast reaction time and quickness of cleaning up the mess. We only delayed about 10 minutes. I still had to teach the adult Sunday School class on the Old Testament with no preparation even though there are many members capable of doing it, but that´s a story for another day....
3. Breastfeeding. I´m sure I´ve mentioned it before, but its just not something you get used to. Here in the south it's just a natural part of life. Women don´t cover up anything and breastfeeding doesn't stop until the kid is 4 years old. There doesn't exist "non-breastfeeding" places either. I´ve seen it in sacrament meeting, Pizza Hut, walking down the isle in the grocery store, and oh too many times in lessons with the missionaries. Ugh. AWKWARD. That is one thing I will not miss about Honduras.
Happy Father´s day dad! I almost forgot because here Father´s day is in March...
Thanks to Grandma and Sister Hoeft for the Cards! I loved them!
Have a great week everyone! I know I will! There are only 8 left!
Valentina and Jose Angel!
Boda y Bautizmo (Wedding and Baptism)
Ana and Alfredo´s family in their house after FHE.
Wendy´s with José Angel. (His first time!)
Me and José Angel with a Black Geo Tracker!
I said I´d give him a ride but I didn´t have the keys...
Preaching to the turtles.
APs new and old at the zone conference