Monday, February 25, 2013

Feb. 25, 2013

My week wasn´t exciting last week, and I didn´t have a lot of time to write. This week hasn´t been all that exciting either. We had zone conference this week, and my companion and I brought investigators to the temple twice this week. There were supposed to be buses from the stake center, but both times that we went, there weren´t buses so we had to pay for taxis, it was pretty expensive, but I´ll get it reimbursed by the mission later. Saturday it was super crowded at the temple, the line was huge, there were like 50 buses that arrived that morning for field trips from high school aged students. So we stood in line to go through the temple for over an hour, and my face got sunburnt just from standing in line outside of the temple waiting. Not much else has happened. We only have one week left for people to come to the open house, so we´re going to be inviting and going with more people to the temple before it closes.
That´s all that´s happened.
Elder Ward

(we were online at the same time)

Elder Ward,

How do you like your companion?

Do high school kids go to school on Saturday?

Have you eaten any interesting foods lately?

How was church?  How is it different from our church?

Are you happy?  Do you like being a missionary?

Are bad things happening, so that is why you don't say much?

I love you!  I want to hear more!


My new companion is good. It is hard to be senior companion, but I am learning a lot from having to take charge, and make sure that we are following all of the rules and being effective in our work.
I don´t know why the school buses came on saturday, it was weird to me too. Maybe only their field trips are on Saturdays.
I haven´t eaten weird foods lately, we almost always eat in the house, 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. This week we ate lunch with a member-rice with vegetables and chicken stirred in, and we also had 2 members give us dinner on saturday, so we had double dinner that day. We also got fed lunch for the zone conference. Other than that, we always ate at home every day, but that´s okay, I like cup of soups.
Church is... Idk, its church. It´s different, but basically the same. I don´t know how to describe it very well.
Yeah, I´m happy, I´m tired right now. I spent all morning scrubbing laundry, so I´m not jumping up and down bubbly, and there really isn´t all that much new happening to write about.
No, bad things aren´t happening. Things are good, my companion and I are working hard, and the days/weeks are flying by. But things are good.
Elder Ward

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Feb. 18, 2013

Dear Mom,
The temple´s dedication is on March 17th. All of this month is the open house, and we´ve been inviting everyone to go. We went again this saturday for the second time through the tour, with an investigator. So that was good.
The references that we got were from the members. Each of the members in all of the wards in Teguz were asked to give references to get invitations to go to the temple. But it´s been really tough to try to find the directions.
There is no celebration of Valentine´s day here.
Nothing else super exciting has happened.
Elder Ward

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Feb. 11, 2013 Pictures

                          Our recent convert, who we baptized in November, and his niece.

     This picture is of me under a huge tree with this one branch that leaned over like 30 feet straight.

                 This is of our bus ride to the temple, with a lot of members from the stake.

        Pictures of the temple that we took Saturday, when we went through for the open house.

I took a few pictures at the temple. It doesn´t seem like my camera took super good quality pictures here to me though, idk. But here´s what I got.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Feb. 11, 2013

Dear everyone,
Well, this week has been a little bit crazy, but it has been good!
Monday we had a family home evening with some members and their nonmember friends, and we dedicated the house that they had just finished. So that was cool, and I had never done anything like that before, but it went well, and we taught a good lesson about families, and talked about ´The Family: A Proclamation to the World´ with all of them. Also this week, we had changes, and Elder Evans left to go to an area further south in the mission and he is training 2 new missionaries now. And I am also training now!!! Wednesday morning we went to the church that all of the Elders go to that have changes. We met with all of the Elders who were told that they would train, and all of the new Elders that flew in on Monday. There was a big group that came in this time, with like 25 latins, and only 1 gringo that came in. We had a little meeting with the President and his wife speaking to us, and afterwards the mission president assigned us to our new companions. I am now working with Elder Jaurez, from Guatemala. He is 18 years old, and spent 2 weeks in the Guatemala MTC, and then he served for about a month in Guatemala before he came to Honduras. I don´t have a picture with him yet, I know, I´m a slacker... But it has been interesting to work with a latin companion. I have had to learn a lot of Spanish in the last few days to be able to communicate with him well and explain everything to him. It has been a good change, and I am learning a ton of new stuff, now that I am the senion companion, and have to make all of the decisions and plan everything that we do together. I have had to step it up a little bit with taking charge and talking to everybody, all of our investigators, and the members, and that´s been a big responsibility on me. But it has been good. This week has been super hard, but I have learned a lot already, and I really do feel like my Spanish has gotten a lot better this week, since I don´t speak English to anyone anymore, and since I have to talk a lot of Spanish with my companion, with members, and investigators. My companion is good, he is willing and ready to work hard, which is good. We´ve been focusing on companionship study a lot, and we are trying to do the new missionary training program called the first 12 weeks, which is a bunch of training activities that they do in the mission, instead of teaching it all in the MTC. I am also working on helping my companion learn English. He wants to learn, and it is something that the latin Elders are supposed to focus on during their missions. So for language study, every day we´ve been working on helping him learn more English. It has been interesting to try to teach it, but it´s been good. He already knows a pretty good amount of the basics. So this week we have been working on inviting a lot of the people to go to the temple for the open house. This is the focus of missionary work in the city areas of our mission. We received a list of over 300 people in our area that we can contact who are less active members or just a bunch of random people. We are trying to visit these people and invite them to the temple, and also try to get references and find people to teach, because most of these people are part member families, so we are working to do that right now. It is hard to find any of these people, because almost all of the addresses that we have are just complete garbage, so it is difficult to find them with just general locations written. On Saturday, the temple opened to the public, to go in and see it for the open house, so we went with the stake to go see it. It is super nice their, like all temples, they did a really good job. I just barely finished sending mom a bunch of the pictures of the outside of the temple that we took. We went through the tour, and we got to help some people go through who were in wheelchairs, so it was good to help them, and talk to them a little bit.
This morning we had to wash clothes again by hand, because the lady in our ward who used to wash our clothes said that she couldn´t do it for us anymore. I think that she just stopped because Elder Evans was leaving... But Idk. We´re trying to find somebody else to help us, so that we don´t have to waste half of our P-days to go out back and wash all of our clothes. Hopefully we can find someone.
That´s about it for this week. Things are good here, and we are working hard. I am super tired now, but that´s okay. That´s how missionary work should be.
Love you all!
Elder Ward

Monday, February 4, 2013

Feb. 4, 2013

Alrighty everyone,
Well, I haven´t written a combined letter for quite some time, and I don´t have a ton of time to type to everyone individually, I will still try to get through emailing everyone, but I decided to write a collective email to celebrate my 6 Month Mark!!! Yeah, I´m 1/4th the way done with my mission already! That is rather exciting, but also super crazy! Time has flown by like crazy!
This week, Elder Evans and I have continued to work here in Reparto, Tegucigalpa, and we have been working hard. Especially with the Temple Open House opening today, and having invitations to pass out to references that have been given to us by the members of the ward.
We have been contacting some new references, and we have found some new people to teach, which is always good. We have been teaching an 18 year old kid that is trying to start his own business selling floor cleaning detergent, but he is a crazy smart kid, and he seems interested in learning about the gospel. He has some weird beliefs from his studying at other churches, but we are trying to explain to him some parts of the gospel, and teach the lessons. He reminds me of Ben a lot, he just looks like him, but a few shades darker skin.. But he seems positive.
Also, we met a kid on the street the other day, just randomly as we were talking with our recent convert (the one that we baptized at the end of November, who is doing super good, he is a priest, he blessed the Sacrament last week which was super cool, and he is working on getting the Melchezidek priesthood soon), and we were talking to him at this Pulpería (little store in someones house that has like chips and soda and candy), and we met this kid, and he said that he wanted to learn English, so we asked him if we could set an appointment with him to come to his house and teach him English and about our message. He agreed, so we went and met with him, and also his little sister was home, so we invited her to come listen too. (He is 14, she is 12) They both seemed kind of nervous at first to talk to us, so we decided to play a game with them, to kind of break the ice (This is something that our bishop told us to do, and he also taught us like 10 games that we can play with people to make things fun). We played a little game where one person writes down a word, and tells everyone the topic that the word relates to, and doesn´t show anybody. Then, he goes around the circle with a little glass with some water in it, and everyone guesses a word in the topic, and the person will fake them out by pretending to almost splash them with water, and everyone guesses until someone gets the right word, and then the person splashes them with water in their face. I don´t know why, but it was super fun for these kids, and we were having a lot of fun too. So after that, we could teach them easier, and they trusted us because we became friends before we tried to teach them anything. They were cool, and at the end of the lesson their mom came in, and we thought that she was going to get mad at us because we were there teaching her 2 kids without her being there, but she came in and started talking to us and told us that she was a member of our church, and that she has been inactive for like 10 years. So we invited them to church, and they said that they would. They didn´t come this Sunday, but I really hope that next Sunday they will all come.
Yesterday was testimony meeting at church, and Elder Evans and I were talking to a lot of members at church before the meeting started, and trying to encourage people to go up and bear their testimonies with us. I hadn´t ever gone up to bear my testimony in front of everyone yet in this ward, but we went up this time. I gave my testimony to the ward about the gospel and how it has changed my life, and how I have seen it help other people too. Then I talked about the temple, and told them about how cool it is, because a lot of the members haven´t ever been to a temple, and have only seen the one in the city from a distance. So I talked about how sacred it is, and how much you can feel the spirit when you go to it, and I encouraged people who weren´t worthy yet, to start making changes to be ready to get a recommend to go in. My testimony went a lot longer than I was planning, I just kind of kept talking in Spanish, and I didn´t feel nervous at all, like I normally do when I talk to a lot of people like that. We had a good asistance this week too, we had over 100 members again.
So the temple is what all of the members are talking about right now, and even a few other people out on the street too, sometimes people will stop us and ask about the temple, and we explain to them how it is different than regular church buildings.
We have been talking to a lot of people in the street this week. We set a goal of a certain number of people to talk to, just like approaching them and talking about the gospel, and so we talked to a lot of random people this week. We did hit our goal too, which was good.
Changes are coming up, they are this Wednesday, and I´m pretty sure that we´ll have something change. My companion has been in Reparto for 7 months, and I have been here for 4 now. Normally each missionary rotates out after 6 months, so I´m assuming that Elder Evans will be leaving this week. But I guess that I could leave too, we never really know. They tell us Tuesday night, which is hard, because then everyone has to pack until like 3 in the morning to get ready to leave the next morning.
So, that´s about everything that´s going on for the moment.
I hope that you all are doing great, I love you all!
Elder Ward

I already sent a long email to the whole family, so this one will be short and answer any questions that weren´t already answered in the other one.
A lot of people in Honduras will let us in just because we are a little persistant, and because they refuse to reject the preaching of ¨The Word¨, meaning any message about Jesus Christ. So because of that, we get into almost the majority of the houses that we go to. The whole culture here believes that if you go to a church, you are saved, and it doesn´t matter which church you go to, or which doctrine that they are taught, because they believe that there is no true church because ¨Church is in your heart¨. I hear that quote at least once every other day. It is hard to teach here, and to find people who really do want the truth, because some people just want to say that they believe in Jesus Christ, and say that they are saved from that.
And that´s a nationwide belief. Everyone says and believes like that. And there are some benefits and some challenges with this widespread belief. I´m still trying to learn how to teach in a way that this type of people will understand why our church is the only true church.
Elder Ward