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."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

4 Things

Well, Family and Friends, the time is shortly approaching us.  In less than 10 days I will hug you and see your pretty faces.  I'd like to take this moment ot share with you the 4 main life lessons that I've learned here on my mission...

1. Gratitude.  I really can't explain how my perspective on life in the United States has changed in my time here in Honduras.  People here live VERY differently.  They don't have the fancy gagets we have, they don't have the cars, the money, or the fashion.  Sometimes they don't even have money for a bite to eat. Yes they still complain like you and I, but for the most part they realize that life goes on and you've got to make the most of it.  If we live life always wanting more and more, we'll never be satisfied.  So it's better to just be grateful for what we have!  

2. Repentence.  I can't tell you how many times I have felt like Alma in Alma 29.  Oh wicked pueblo!  Why won't you repent!?!  I have seen the hardships that sin brings on the lives of people.  I guess before the mission I just thought that most people were naturally good.  Since being a missionary I've had a closer look on the real side of the world.  The evil that it is.  I truly have a testimony that "Wickedness never was happiness" (Alma 41:3).  After seeing and trying to help so many wicked, lost people I've just ended up frustrated in my failure when they won't listen.  It seems so easy, yet so hard.  It's better to just not sin.  I PROMISE.  

3. One true church.  There is ONE true church of God.  It is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I KNOW it.  There is no doubt in my mind.  Before my mission I had never really seen much of other churches.  Here in Honduras I have been in the heart of the battle of words and doctrine.  Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, established ONE church and it is ours.  There is no denying it.  I am certain of it.  

4. Love.  Being a member of the church and feeling the Savior`s love, changes you.  He loves everyone.  I thought I knew of love before but I was wrong.  I have had many experiences when I can't explain why, but I just feel so much love for someone.  All I want is for them to feel my love and know that they have a Father in Heaven that loves them too. Really, that is our principal message.  He loves us, He knows us, Every one.  We just need to let His love in.  

The war is almost over, the battle is almost won,
Goodbye my loves,
Elder Lawson
Cows.  Lots of cows in Buena Vista.

Eating a crab.

Dead iguana that we are about to eat!

Eating coconuts

Iguana, looks and tastes like chicken wings!

Eating iguana

We moved out beds outside because it was so hot!

Sleeping outside - the sky is amazing!

Taking water out of the well for Valentina's sister Carolina.

Elder Baez is a natural!

Me with the dog that bit me!  Turns out it's Valentina's sister's dog!  We went out to visit her to see if it had rabies (it doesn't by the way) and we used teaching her as an excuse.  Well...turns out that she loved our message and even came to church on Sunday!  God works in mysterious ways I guess! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Second Wind

Hey fam!  

For those of you aquainted with running, a "second wind" is when you are running and you feel super tired but you just keep on pushing and all of a sudden you get a little special boost of energy.  I know others of you won`t believe this is possible, if you hate running, but I testify that it is real.  Anyway, this week I had a very strong second wind for missionary work!  

So one night we were at a member`s house chilling in the hammocks waiting for an investigator to show up.  I was talking to the old lady and she asked me how much time I had left.  When I said "2 weeks" the words stung coming out of my mouth!  It was a weird realization that the end is near!  When it didn't look like the investigator was going to show, I thought, "Dang!  We gotta do something!"  I asked my comp what we should do.  I immediately thought of one family that lived on the complete other side of our area.  About a 15 min walk at missionary pace.  My comp suggested that we visit a less active young adult that lived nearby.  I thought, "No we can`t visit him because we have to go visit that family!"  I told my comp that I wanted to go all the way over there to see them and he was like, "Uh...okay." So we left.  When we got there all the doors were closed and I thought, "Dang, we walked all the way over here for nothing."  We yelled "Buenas Noches" through the door and the family opened!  They invited us in and we were able to share the first lesson with them and they were very attentive!  I have no doubt that the spirit was telling me that night that they were prepared and if I put excuses and done what was easier we might not have found them!  

Cool fact number 2 this week is that I dedicated a tomb!  A very old very sick member of our branch died this week and the funeral was on Wednesday.  He could hardly walk so it was probably a good thing, because now he`s in a lot happier place.  The dedicating experience wasn't like any other though.  One of the man`s sons was very drunk and crazy and kinda through a fit.  Right before I gave the prayer he ran over to the empty tomb poured a bottle of beer in and then threw the bottle in too.  So yes, I blessed a tomb with a beer bottle in it.  Not something ya do everyday I guess. 

Finally, Before you all freak out when you see the picture, I have some news.  There`s a saying in the mission that you can`t go home until your girlfriend leaves you, you get bit by a dog, and you poop your pants.  Well...I am pleased to say I have now passed through two of the check list.  On Saturday afternoon I was playing with some little kids and I guess the dog got scared and bit me on the arm.  It's actually not very bad and I already made sure the dog was vaccinated, cleaned it out good, and the nurse put me on some antibiotics.  Now I just need to poop my pants!  Hahaha, I've had a few close calls already....

My last 2 weeks of glory!  You all are going to have to help me with English when I get back.  This week in my interview with president I said a prayer in English and I accidently slipped in 3 Spanish words!  oops.  

Love yas,
Elder Lawson

P.S. We`re going to the temple next Thursday so I'm not sure if we`ll have p-day on Monday or if it`ll get moved to Thursday, so if you don't hear from me on Monday it's because I'm going to write Thursday!  :D

Mud oven

Chopping firewood to help make tamales

Carved my name in a tree to live on in Honduras forever!

Dog bite.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Elder Lawson, where the freak are you?"

Hey Family and Friends!  

Well it was kinda a bummer not getting to hear from you last week or say much, but that's just the way the tortilla crumbles I guess!  Here I am with a nice Honduran update!  

Things are going well!  We have a few progressing invesitgators and the church attendence is more or less stable.  Dropped a little this week, but it could have been because of the soccer game.  I also got hugged by another drunk guy!  Elder Baez thinks it's funny that they always hug me and not him.  I just told the drunk to dance for me and got a kick out of his dance.  Elder Baez is a good as ever and he's keeping me focused for this last little bit that I have left.  I'm a pretty happy camper because I got to do two things this week I've wanted to do my whole life!  Milk a cow and kill a chicken.  These two things are SUPER common here in Buena Vista.  Not sure if you have realized, but I basically live on a farm.  This week I did have a pretty eye opening experience though!  

So we were visiting with a member a lady who's husband got shot and killed last week (don't worry he was a big thief and kinda had it coming). The point is, while visiting her I had a "where the freak am I?" moment.  We showed up and entered her little dirt, one room house where all there was was a hammock.  She sat in the hammock and the rest of us were standing around her.  It was hot and dirty and noisy.  There were about 6 baby puppy dogs in a corner whimpering, neighbors outside talking, and her baby daughter crying.  Over all these crazy circumstances, there I am, a little white boy in a shirt and tie, talking in Spanish about our Savior Jesus Christ and his wonderful Plan of Salvation.  Then all of a sudden the baby starts crying louder and so what does the lady do?  Whips out her boob and starts trying to get the baby to lach on.  Well, turns out the baby wasn't hungry and didn't want to eat, so she just kept trying to shove it in her face all the while the baby screams louder.  We all stood there patiently waiting for her to calm the baby down and I continued with the lesson.  The funny thing about all of this is that for me, all these circumstances were normal.  NORMAL!  As I stood there afterwords it all hit me.  "Elder Lawson, WHERE ARE YOU?!"  Well self, I'm in Honduras.  And that is normal life here.  Crazy huh?  

The 4th of July last week was fun.  Like I said in the pictures we ate chili dogs and had root beer floats.  Very American if you ask me.  

The mission is ending sooner than I think and with only 3 short weeks left I'm trying to do my best to go all out.  There is still a lot of work to be done and its my job to do it!  

Congrats to my parents on their anniversary this week and congrats to Elder Preul who finishes his mission today!  

Have a good one! See ya real soon!  
Elder Lawson

4th of July

Chili dogs

and rootbeer floats!

Animals just eat up the gospel!

Milking a cow!

Drinking FRESH milk!

Surprisingly, I didn't get diarrhea!

My hammock

See, more animals eating up the gospel!

Climbing the water tower

At the top

Another Samuel the Lamanite pic

Cutting the head off a chicken

Baby Turtle!!

With Jose Angel, Valentina, and Samircito in church! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Look at your skype account!

We didn't hear from Tyler all day last week and were a bit concerned.  It's not like him to not email each week.  We finally got an email with the title of "Look at your skype account."  We rushed to log in and found this text message:

Hola mommy!

So we went to Tegus today and I had an interview with President to renew my temple recommend and he is so awesome!!  The only not awesome part was that we spent 8 hours on buses and didn't get back until right now and this little laptop in the church has about 2,332,554,654 million viruses on it and doesn't want to load myldsmail.net.....SO  I'm just going to send you this little message for now and we'll see if I can go to the internet cafe on Thursday, but if not, it will just have to be until next week that you hear from me and I hear from you!  :( sad day, but the good news is that I'll be seeing you in exactly 1 month from today!  Wooo!               

So this week went alright.  The work is slow but we're doing our best to have fun despite the fact!  The 4th of July was a good time, I celebrated with Elder Chapman and Elder Pau'u.  Chili dogs were eaten and the national anthem was sung.  GO AMERICA.  Don't let me forget to kiss that holy ground when we walk out of the airport!  :)  Only having a month left is kind of freaking me out a bit but I'm holding on!  In all honesty my interview with president helped a lot today.  Like I said, he's amazing. And his wife too!  I only got to meet her for a split second, but she's SUPER nice and I could feel her love already.  Hope you guys had a fun weekend and tell Uncle Chad congrats on the wedding for me!     

The only other exciting news was that a bunch of gringos came to visit an evangelical church every day this week and it totally freaked me out.  I guess it had been too long since I had saw a gringo in vacation clothes, ya know....cargo shorts, tank tops, big hats, long socks and tennis shoes?  Yuck.  The point is I was pretty scared and didn't even talk to them.  I felt more at home with my Honduran homies!  I made jokes saying, "What do these gringos think they are doing in our country!?"  haha   Well...It's a bummer I didn't get to see your messages this week, or even write very much, but it's reassuring that in a month I'll see all your faces!  So really these last emails don't matter all that much.  Gotta live up the mission while it still lasts anyway!  

Love you lots, Elder Lawson