Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013

Dear everybody,
Today I think that I´ll just copy my thoughts and impressions from yesterday´s temple dedication with you all, directly from my journal entry because it will be easier than trying to write it all again, so here we go:
Today was the dedication of the Honduras Tegucigalpa Temple. I woke up early today and got ready to go. My companion and I stayed for all 3 of the dedicatory sessions. They were all good, and I enjoyed the spirit that there was for each one, but particularly I enjoyed the third session, where Elder Holland and President Uchtdorf both gave super good talks. Elder Holland spoke of the importance of temples and family history work. He spoke about how temples are important because first we do ordinances and make covenants for ourselves, and then afterwards, we do this work for those in the past that can´t do it for themselves. He talked about how we need to go to the temple even if we don´t want to, or if we don´t feel like it because we need to feel the peace from the temple and its comfort. A lot of the things he said I already knew the concept of, but still, the advice is just as necessary for me being a missionary as it is for the rest of the people here in Honduras listening to this message. Even though I knew a lot of the things that he was saying, he said things in a way that was more clear and made a lot of sense to me of how temples work and why temples are so important and how much it helps us to go. He said that we will feel the calm, peace, and spirit that we need when we go to the temple and explained that we develop Christlike attributes when we go to the temple and help others that can´t progress and need our help. He said something about us becoming in a small way other people´s saviors. He talked about the joy that we will find as we find our ancestor´s names and do their temple work, and then he said something that I liked a lot: ¨Welcome to the thrill of becoming saviors¨. At that point, it made sense to me how we are saving people by going to the temple, and that´s how we become more like the Savior. How if we want to become like Christ, we should go to the temple. So that was a cool quote. Then as he continued his talk, at one point, he stopped using the translator to talk to the people. He paused... Then a silence came over the room that I don´t know how to describe, but the spirit was there as Elder Holland started bearing his testimony in Spanish, with as much power and confidence as he ever would have in English, he spoke to the audience directly in their own language. It was simple, it was slow and enunciated and not all of it was pronounced exactly proper in Spanish, but it had such power and caught me off guard that my heart like skipped a beat or something weird. That sounds like a weird way to describe it, but I can´t really think of a better way, it sounds a little weird, but now I understand why a missionary can have such power just bearing a simple testimony with what little they know of a foreign language. So that was a good experience.
Then President Uchtdorf spoke to us about sitting in the cockpit with the pilots as they flew in to Honduras, and as they landed the airplane on the airport runway here in Tegucigalpa which is a little sketchy apparently (supposedly it´s the 2nd most dangerous airport in the world, but idk, I didn´t notice when I landed here), but he said something like ¨I´m glad that I didn´t have to land the plane on that landing¨, and talked about the pilots he met as he flew in to the city. Even in Honduras he will still add in airplane comments to his talk. ;) He continued to talk to us about how pilots will lead us to our destination and about the symbolism of the temple and that we should focus on the symbolism of the ordinances and not the architecture of the building. He also talked about how there are 2 types of sins, and this was something that I had never thought of before, there are sins against God, and there are sins against our fellow men. Then he quoted the scripture of the 2 greatest commandments that the Savior listed in the bible: to love God, and to love our neighbors. So if we love God we won´t sin against Him, and the same for our neighbors in life. So if we truly love God and everyone else, we won´t have any desire to sin. So the dedication was super good, and I am glad that I went to all 3 sessions.
So that was my journal entry for yesterday´s dedication. It was super good and I learned a ton there! We also went to the cultural night broadcast at our stake center, and we watched all of the dances of the youth from all of the stakes from all over Honduras, and that was pretty good.  We apparently are not going to have a meeting with President Uchtdorf or Elder Holland like we thought we would. Originally they said that we would, and for a lot of the dedications they do have a special missionary meeting, but I guess that they weren´t able to this time or something. That´s too bad. We woke up this morning and thought that we were going to get to see them today, because we got a text that said that we had to dress up in our suits and come to the big church in the middle of Teguz where we normally have all of our meetings, but it turned out that we just listened to a psychiatrist missionary couple that are over all of Central America, they were probably here for the dedication yesterday, so they would be in Honduras to meet with us and teach us. It was a little disappointing to get up early and go to this meeting and find out that we weren´t going to be able to hear from the general authorities, and to have a meeting on P-day too. Looks like I get to wash my clothes by hand tomorrow morning instead of today...
That´s about all that happened this week that was exciting. But now we have a dedicated temple 45 minutes away from my area. Hopefully we get to go a few times and do some sessions. This next week we have changes (missionary transfers), and I don´t know if I´ll stay or leave. I have 4 changes already in the same area, and normally missionaries don´t have longer than 4, but at the same time I am training a new missionary, which is normally for 2 changes. But my companion already started his training in Guatemala before he came to this mission, so I´m not sure what will happen. Either way is fine with me, we´ll just have to wait and see.
Well, I hope that you are all doing awesome!
Elder Ward

Yes, my missionary tag says ´Elder Ward´.
Baleadas are a honduran food that has tortillas, mantequilla (a creamy butter), beans, and eggs. That´s just for a basic baleada. If you want you can add fried platanos (banana things that you fry), avacado (my favorite vegetable now), and meats.
Dough soup is like soup with balls of fried dough in it. It wasn´t bad, but I liked the fried balls of dough plain better. We also this week went with a member and learned how to make spaghetti better, the sauce is sweeter how they make it here in honduras, and we made scrambled eggs with sliced up onions, tomatoes, and chili peppers.
We have a few investigators right now, but we are going to lose a couple of them when we get 4 new missionaries in our area to open up different areas. Right now our area has 3 basic areas: reparto, el hatillo, and hibueras, which they closed in like november because it was too dangerous for missionaries, so it was added to our area, but we hardly worked there because Í don´t like going there and having everyone beg me for money because I´m the only gringo they´ve seen in a long time because only latin missionaries were assigned there before. But they are going to reopen Hibueras, with latin missionaries I´m sure, they´ll also be the ZL´s of the new zone that´s opening up as our zone splits because it´s gotten too big. Then the super rich part of our area, El Hatillo, will open up with a couple of missionaries starting there, so our area right now is really big, but after this next week with the missionary changes, our area will be pretty small.
Well, this week really hasn´t been all that exciting, aside from the dedication which I already wrote about.
Elder Ward