Monday, November 26, 2012

Nov. 26

Dear Mom,
We had mission conference this week, and we found out that we might have the option of using Skype this year for Christmas to talk to our families, so that would be cool, but I would have to find someone with a computer with a webcam and a fast enough internet connection, so we´ll see about that.
I´m not going to put pictures on yet, and I didn´t get any at the baptism, because I forgot my camera, but I will see if I can get a copy from my companion´s camera to send to you.
The baptism went good, as well as the confirmation yesterday. He has been studying a lot of the stuff that we have given him, with the scriptures and liahona magazines and things like that, so it has been exciting to see him study that stuff recently.
We did actually have a small Thanksgiving celebration this week. We were with the zone this thursday, and so we decided to pitch in some money for our own little Thanksgiving celebration with food. So we got chicken, mashed potatoes, rolls, and pumpkin pie, and ate at the church this week, and had a nice meal together, which was pretty filling, and good food. So that was fun.
I´m pretty sure that our water problems won´t ever get fixed, there just isn´t really any water pressure here. The stove was just old, and had been having problems with sparking up and weird stuff like that before, but the new one is good. No we don´t have an oven, nor will we unless we buy one with our personal money. We just have a little countertop stove with two burners.
Other than that, nothing too exciting has been happening recently here.
Elder Ward

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nov. 19, 2012

Dear Mom,
I was going to put pictures on today, but I´m going to wait until next week because we have a baptism this Saturday, and I thought that you might want to see those pictures. We are baptizing a person who is 25 years old, who we found like 3 weeks ago and have been teaching, and helped him stop smoking. He stopped smoking in like a week, which is crazy! We fasted with him, and promised him that with the Lord´s help he could stop to get ready to be baptized, and he has completely stopped smoking now, so we are really excited for that.
This week has been good. It´s been a little crazy with divisions with other missionaries and stuff, and I was sick all of yesterday, and we got home from church and I just fell asleep, and slept through the night pretty much, but I am feeling a little better today. Yesterday we were told to stay in our apartments anyways though, because they had elections here in Honduras, and apparently they have had problems before with it being dangerous, so that was the best day possible to be sick.
My apartment is pretty nice. We have electricity just fine, with regular outlets and lights in every room. We were having problems with our stove, and it exploded this week and broke, so we got a brand new one, that works a lot better than the other one, so that´s good. We have running water, but not very good running water. The freezing shower works, and a spigot to fill up our 50 gallon tub that we keep water in to wash our hands and do laundry, and stuff like that. The sink in the bathroom doesn´t work at all, and the kitchen sink barely works, it just trickles. But the apartment is nice. It is pretty clean, and we only have little tiny ants that get everywhere, that we just ignore.
It sounds like Ben is doing well in Columbia, that is exciting that he´s already left. I got a letter from him this week, and based on the letter that he sent me from the Provo MTC, I don´t think that he got the letter that I sent to him to the MTC. I keep getting letters saying that people haven´t gotten any hand written letters that I´ve sent from Honduras... Do you know if anyone has gotten a letter from me in Honduras? Did you get the letter that I sent to James at your address? Because I sent that like a month ago...
I don´t have a lot of time on Monday to use the internet to read email, so it would be better to send me long things through Dear Elder.
We won´t have a Thanksgiving here, I don´t think, it´s an American holiday, but I´m not super disappointed about that.
Elder Ward

Monday, November 12, 2012

Nov. 12, 2012

Dear Mom,

I´m not sure if I got Ben´s letter... I haven´t gotten one from him in Honduras though.
I got 5 today. The one you sent from James, the Dear Elder that you sent to me came in 2 letters, your postcard from the moab trip, and one from sister himes that she wrote at a ward activity.
I haven´t found a printer yet to use, I´m still working on that...
We are not teaching any families regularly, but we have found a family that seems pretty positive, that we´ve been to twice, and we also have an investigator who is trying to stop smoking, and is working hard on that to prepare to be baptized. We fasted for him yesterday, and he joined us in that. He is progressing pretty well.
We contact in the street by going up and talking to people, and share a quick message, and invite them to church or give them a pamphlet or something like that.
The spanish is alright, but it´s hard to learn more every day. I don´t feel like I´m progressing as fast as I want to. I can understand a lot, but speaking is super hard for me.
Yes, we found a person to wash our clothes. She washes them with her washer, and returns them to us at the end of the day. We offered to pay here, but she wouldn´t let us, so we are just going to buy her like chocolate and stuff, idk yet, we´ll see.
The cheese here is just weird. There aren´t very many types that I like, and none of the cheeses are like the cheese from home, except for the cheese on Little Caesars pizzas, which is always the same, except the pizzas here are smaller, for the same price.
I haven´t heard anything about the earthquake in Guatemala.
I wrote Shalisa back today, and can probably send it on Thursday. I also got James´ card today, and replied to that. So I´ll probably send James´ to your house... 
Yup, that´s about all that I have for this week, just answers and stuff.
I hope that you are all doing good!
Elder Ward

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nov. 5, 2012

Dear Mom,

I am excited that Ben is leaving, and that he already got his visa that quick. I talked to a ton of elders in the MTC going to Colombia who were all waiting to get their visas to leave, so he is lucky to leave on time. That will be fun for him. Hopefully the letter that I sent to him in the Provo MTC gets there in time. That is also exciting that Tiffany is going to go on a mission too! That will be cool. 
I haven't heard anything other than what you´ve told me about hurricane sandy, although Ive heard a couple people mention it here, but I don´t know much about it. It sounds pretty big.. And the elections are coming up. That is exciting, I'm sure that I´ll hear a lot more about that this week.
A typical day is waking up, working out, eating cereal for breakfast, studying while waiting for the water to boil to shower with, showering, going back to studying until lunch, which we usually go to a member´s house to eat, which you can read dad´s email for information about what we eat, and a short story about something that we ate this week that was interesting. Then, we work for the rest of the day, talking to people on the street, members and investigators in their homes, other random appointments, some sort of dinner, normally around 7, because they eat dinner later here, so 7 is early. We go back to the apartment around 9 and plan for the next day and go to bed. Not too exciting.
P-days, we usually play soccer first thing in the morning. We drop our laundry off at the house of a member with a washer in the mornings, and go play soccer for a couple hours, come back, shower and eat, then we go out to use internet, go shopping for random stuff, and then for groceries, normally we go with other elders in the zone, and we come back at 6 and continue like a normal work day until 9.
We haven't really done anything more with the mission president. He is plenty busy with other stuff. We had interviews with him a couple of weeks ago, and I saw him today in the office and shook his hand, but other than that, we don't often see him or visit the mission office.
For service, we have carried roof materials up a ton of stairs one morning, and this week we moved bricks to help build a house for a member. Nothing too exciting for service so far, but it is good.
I hope that everything is good for you all!
Elder Ward

Dear Dad,
This week has been good. We have been trying to get a lot of new people to talk to, so we have been working extra hard to do that, which is good, I like working hard, and when my companion is more excited to work and go out and teach. So that has been good. I have been a little bit sick this week, but am just going to keep working and hope that the tiredness doesnt catch up to me and kill me. But I am starting to feel better now. We have been walking a ton recently, or maybe I am just more sore now. This hill is killing me! But that´s alright, that will just replace my morning workout. I´m kind of slacking in that department. I should be better in doing that, but I have little motivation early in the mornings.. But my goal is 20 pushups and 10 pull ups a day. We have a pullup bar here, because my companion is obsessed with working out. So I try to do that and a little bit of stretching, but thats about all I do right now... 
I have been trying to get better at cooking this week, but it is hard to do here. There arent all of the same ingredients, all of the titles of food and directions are in Spanish, We dont have a oven or microwave, and only have a stove with 1 working burner to cook everything with. But I made chicken quesadillas this week and some hamburger, as well as lame stuff like ramen and spaghetti and easy boiling foods like that. Most of the time we eat at a member´s house, which a normal meal for that is rice, beans, a block of cheese (which is normally the grossest part), maybe some avacado or tomato slices, and tortillas. And also we will almost always have banana soda, or occasionally like sprite or a different soda or juice. But the foods not too bad here, my stomach still isn´t loving it all, but it all tastes good. We never really have a set mealtime for lunch and dinner. or how many we will get. We had one day this week 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, a snack, and 2 dinners, which we were obligated to eat, and we have to eat everything on the plate to not offend them, so occassionally we get super full, and sometimes we are hungry, it just depends on the day. 
Thats a little sample of some of the stuff that happens here, just random stuff that I thought that I´d share.
Thats still weird to me that you guys got chickens. I dont know if I see the point in that... Are the eggs good? Have you cut ones head off and eaten one yet? WAIT! Hahaha, I have a funny story for you that I remembered, its a good one...
So I was at the house of some members that we visit quite a bit, and we were talking with them, and they were cooking something for us on the other side of the room, and we waited for the food, and they brought us our plates, and there were chicken legs on the plates, cooked and flavored and all that, but like chicken legs, like just the 3 little feet/toe thingys. They insisted that we try them and said that they were good, and I wanted to say that I had tried it, so we did. It wasn´t all that great. The flavor was fine, just like you´d flavor regular chicken meat, but there was only like bone and skin, there wasnt any meat to eat, so you basically just suck on it to get the flavor out, and eat at the skin. I didn´t spend too much time trying to eat it, but I can say that I have had chicken legs now. So that was a fun little experience.
Anyways, yup, that was good. I hope that you are doing well, and that everything was good for Halloween and stuff like that.
Elder Ward

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Oct. 29, 2012

Dear Mom,
I dont have much time, I ended up sending a big long email to Mishelae, so you can blame her, or something...
My shoes arent bad, just sunday/formal shoes in general, worn all day everyday, especially in an area like I am in in Honduras, is going to not feel great, especially if your socks arent good. And I am glad that you liked my speech about socks..
So, I was too impatient last week to wait for James´ letter, especially because he hadnt even sent it (everyone gets scared to write or send my letters when they see my address..), so I read it in Mishelae´s Dear Elder last Monday.. That´s crazy that he´s going to Alabama. But I am excited for him.  I´ll tell him more when I get his letter, and can reply to that.

Thank you for the sheet music and the talk. The talk is the right one, and i will have to print them both out next week, because today we are in an internet cafe instead of the normal church building that we use.

I do have a bank account with the mission, and a mission debit card for while I am here that I can take money out of for the month. I could use my American debit card too, from home, if I need to, but I will try to avoid it for a while as much as I can. I did run out of money already for this month, but we get more tomorrow, which is too bad, because I would have liked to get groceries today, because it is pday, but oh well..
I have not heard anything about a hurricane sandy... but Im so far inland that I doubt that I would.
My shoulderbag does have a camelback, but I want a nice backpack too, eventually..
A scripture that I like, that I forgot to give to Matthew Nuttal before I left (for the mission plaque), is Mormon 9:31. Or I had also thought about Mormon 9:22, because its more mission like, but I dont know exactly.
I probably like the Thorlos Golf socks better. And by the way, thank you for the package that you sent, I think that I forgot to say thanks last week.
Sorry that this email is only full of random weird replies in an order that probably doesnt make much sense, but I am doing good, and learning a lot!
I hope that everything is good there, and maybe gets a little bit less hectic soon.
Elder Ward

Dear Mishelae,
First of all, don´t you DARE say that cereal isn´t filling. Cereal is the source of LIFE! Cereal is the most important invention ever. One of the rules that they had here in the mission that they taught us the first day, is that we need to eat healthy foods, and the 3 examples it gave were: fruits, vegetables, and cereals. So I´ve been following that religiously. Mostly, only the cereal part... because it´s food that my stomach can actually handle well, although it is outrageously expensive here. It´s about 70-80 Limpiras for a small box of cereal, I saw one last time I went for 275 Limpira, which is almost $15.. 80 Limps is about $4, and $1 equals 20 Limpira. 
Anyways, now that you know those fun facts, and probably skipped over them, just like everyone skips over chapter 11´s information on money. (Yes, I did just quote a scripture in my email to try to prove that I´m a somewhat good missionary, are you impressed yet?) ;p
So anyways, after both of those tangents.. I just had to make sure that you understand the value of cereal, and of the money here I guess too, idk why.. I suppose that I can continue on in replying to you in a normal, sequencial manner starting from the beginning of your letter and replying in order... Here we go...
That is good that you got to go talk to the bishop, but bad that he didn´t send the papers yet. My bishop sent them in like 3 days from when he got them, and I had an appointment within the same week.

Yeah, the change with the missionary ages will be weird, but good. That is crazy how many papers got sent in this week! The first presidency and quorem of the twelve will be crazy busy these next few weeks after conference, but its good. Maybe China is opening up soon, and they will send them to a new Chinese MTC thats secretly being built right now... How do you feel about learning Chinese, Mishelae? Haha, that would be entertaining, but I dont think that 18 months is long enough to learn chinese. 1/2 of your mission would be in the MTC, like the russians, and japanese missionaries in Provo, haha. Yes, I am still planning on going to USU after the mission, and hanging out with all of the cool people there. Are you going to try to make it back from your mission in time for fall semester at USU when you get back? What are your after mission plans? Okay, I will admit, my sentence did not make any sense... You win the grammar correction game today. Arissa didn´t though, in her last email. She tried to correct my grammar, and told me that my brain was deteriorating into only Spanish mode, and that I couldn´t use English grammar right anymore, but I was right, and proved it to her in my last email.. I´m still an English genius, although my spelling skills are a little bit lacking, especially without spell check being in English and having every word that I type be marked in red as I type. And these ridiculous Spanish keyboards with different symbols and thrown in ñ´s and crazy stuff like that. But other than that, its all good. Wow, this email reply is taking up all of my internet time... Thanks a lot.. Except for that its my fault, because I´m just rambling now... I´m in an internet cafe... It´s exciting... or something like that...
Now back to your email reply...

Anyways, umm... We have a few investigators, but they are not progressing very well, or following up on commitments. We had 2 people and 3 families that said that they would come to church yesterday, but none of them showed up or were there when we tried to go get them to walk with them before church. So that was disappointing.. So we´ve been deciding whether to drop a few of our investigators that we have right now, and spend our time finding other people who would be better to teach and progress, but it is always hard to decide whether or not to drop an investigator. But we´ve been focusing on finding the last couple of days, and have found some people who seem positive about hearing our message, so we´ll see how that goes... We don´t really contact all that much. We never ever go door to door knocking, because every person would let us in and be willing to listen to a lesson for an hour or two, but they wouldn´t keep commitments or want to hear more, they would just be polite, and listen for an hour and take up time feeding us and stuff. So with contacting new people, sometimes we talk to people on the street, just go up and talk to people for a few minutes, because there are plenty enough people on the street in my mission, but we try to just get references as a way to get new people, which is a ton more effective. So that is all going well, I think..

So with the rule about being dressed up on Pdays, it is always best to go out dressed up, and keep your formal appearance, but there are times when you obviously can´t. I am typing this email in my missionary attire, but this morning when I woke up to go play soccer, I walked over to the field dressed down to play, so it just kind of depends. You should dress up as much as you can though. But with like service projects and things like that, that you would get dirty for, even during the week, we´ve dressed down to help out with it.
Well, now that I´ve spent all my time talking with you.... haha, it was a good stress relieving, positive pday activity... I probably should go... But I want to hear a formal apology about you saying that cereal is not that filling. That is disrespectful.
Anyways, don´t step on cracks, because they break your mother´s back(s).
Yeah, that´s my cheezy advice for the week.
Elder Ward

View of Tegucigalpa

     This is a picture from my laundry room, of the city Teguz. We have a good view. Sent October 8, 2012

Another view

 This is a picture from my laundry room, of the city Teguz. We have a good view. Sent October 8, 2012

Watching Conference

 This is how we watched conference. It´s a bad picture, but we watched it in like a little conference/meeting room in the church in English, with like 8 other missionaries from the states who all speak English. It was good though, it was nice to hear only English for a little bit. I enjoyed conference a lot. Sent October 8, 2012


 This is a picture of the area  that I am in right now, called Reparto, it is just a hill full of houses in the city Teguz. The Coca Cola sign on the hill, similar to the Hollywood sign in California. Also, if you look close, above the sign is a statue of Jesus. I haven´t been to either of these places yet to see them up close though.. My apartment is out of the picture to the right, on the other side of this hill. There is a lot of walking up this hill, the roads are either dirt, partially cemented, or they have attempted to be paved, but the bricks in the cobblestones stick out, and try to trip you as you walk up or down them. Good leg workout.. ;) Sent October 8, 2012

Laundry sink = washer

                                     another laundry room shot, of the pila Sent October 8, 2012

Laundry room/view

                                                     laundry room Sent October 8, 2012


                                             laundry room  (= washer) Sent October 8, 2012


I like the view from the laundry room, so I took some pictures of Teguz from the room, which I will include in the next email. In Honduras, we don´t get washers, or dryers, we get to go outside, and use the pila, which is a tub of water that you get from either rain water from the gutters to fill it, or bring your own water from buckets. So what you do to wash clothes, is you soak them for a few minutes, then pull them out and scrub  them with soap and your hands to clean them, and rinse them off, and hang them up do dry for the rest of the day. Each piece of clothing takes 5-10 minutes to clean, and the scrubbing hurts your fingers a little bit, but my clothes have never looked so clean. :) I only got through like 10 shirts this week, I´ll have to finish the rest of my laundry later... But that´s the process, unless I hire a cleaning lady to do it for me, which I might eventually have to, I don´t have enough time to do all my laundry in a week.  Sent October 8, 2012

Laundry room

This is the laundry room. The next few pictures are of our laundry room (well, technically it´s probably not a room because it´s outside, but it just stops, so it feels like a room without a roof and a wall.)  Sent October 8, 2012

Houses & barbed wire

This picture is a picture that I took from inside of the mission home. A lot of the nicer looking roofs are made of the red cobblestone thingy stuff or whatever. The poor houses-the ones that I visit in my area called Reparto, which is in the city of Teguz also-have tin roofs, which make it so you can´t hear anything when it rains. Notice the spirally loops of barbed wire that all of the nice houses have around the entire property. this barbed wire protection is on every wall sturdy enough to stand on to protect from jumping the fences or anything like that, or for parkour people, it would be our worst nightmare to try to do anything with this everywhere, good thing that I am a missionary now... :p  Sent October 8, 2012

Mission President, his wife, Matt's companion, and Matt

This picture is of the mission president, his wife, and my companion and I. We are in the mission home, and this is right after we found out who are trainers would be. Our group that all arrived at the same time had about 14 missionaries in it. 6 of us Elders from the Provo MTC. Sent October 8, 2012


This is a picture of the day that I went out with just a random missionary for a day, to see how Honduras is like, this isn´t my trainer or anything.. But the first day that I went out to teach, we were in the more poor part of Honduras, and we were in a teaching appointment, and it started to pour, so we asked if we could use some plastic bags to make these snazzy vests that we´re wearing.. Yeah, we´re cool.. I got soaked that day anyways, but my scriptures were dry, so that´s good. Sent October 8, 2012

Another plane view

                                            Another pic from airplane Sent October 8, 2012

Tegucigapla from the air

                                 This is a picture from the airplane of Teguz Sent October 8, 2012

MTC Companions

                    My companion and I, in our room, right before we both left. Sent October 8, 2012

MTC Roommates

                                     These are my roommates in the MTC Sent October 8, 2012

MTC District

                           This picture is of my MTC district, all 10 of us.  Sent October 8, 2012

Tegucigalpa Temple

I was trying to get the new Teguz temple in there. (Also you can notice how low the plane is, way before it prepares to land, but we did land safely, after trying twice...) Sent October 8, 2012