Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 23, 2013

umm, how about I just try to call the home phone before I get on skype for 2 seconds, I think that my companions going to get a phone chip to call the US, so I can just warn yall before I get on. I imagine that it will be between 1 and 2 here, so between noon and 1 there (i think, I don`t remember how to do that math). but yeah.
we were looking at apartments for some of the sisters in our zone. we have to approve of any missionaries changing houses before they move.
yes, divisions are splits, just for a day.
for the christmas party we just sang and had a meeting, ate lunch, and I did some extra paperwork that I hadn`t finished from yuscaran and then we watched the santa clause.
alright, I don`t have much to write right now, because I`ll talk to you all on wednesday.

elder ward

Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 16, 2013

okay, I will call on the 25th, sometime in the afternoon. just get on and stay on all day and ill call
[as zone leader] we normally run errands like bringing stuff to other missionaries or working with lawyers to get the investigators married or do baptismal interviews or do divisions with other missionaries. stuff like that. we did divisions twice this week with missionaries in our zone. we also had a mission christmas party in tegus, so we had to go all the way up there again, but it was good. I also met bethany`s (my friend from snow college) fiance today. he served his mission here and came back to visit.
we found a gairobo today in an apartment we were looking at, so I took a picture of it. it`s like a big iguana.
we played soccer this morning, and we ordered jerseys as a zone that should be pretty cool.
My trainer is going home this week, so I said goodbye to him today. that was a little weird.
Well, i don`t really know what else to say. I guess i`ll end.
I hope everyone`s still doing well,

Elder Ward

Friday, December 13, 2013

December 9, 2013

my time to use the computer each week feels much shorter now. we`ve done a lot of stuff today, so now its late, but i`ll try and write a little bit to you right now.
yes, I know who the new branch president is, i`ve called and explained some stuff to him, but it will be very hard for them starting without any experience, but maybe they`ll have some new ideas for how to improve the area without too much prejudice or anything.
I don`t know why it`s so hot here, it`s not all that humid, but it is definitely hot. here the whole city of choluteca is really flat and dry. it did rain this week and after that it felt really humid. it is very surprising the difference that you feel when you walk into an air conditioned room. our house just has fans, but the church and a lot of public places have ac.
For christmas, i can call the 25th, (or the 24th maybe, latin american christmas) but i don`t know at what time yet. if you have a preference just let me know. we already figured out where we can use a computer with some friends of ours. The rule this time is use skype for just 1 hour, so it will be shorter than last times. i`ll keep you updated on that in the coming weeks.
no, im not sick anymore
we have meetings in tegus every month for the zls
as a zl we just run errands for other missionaries in the mornings and go on divisions and stuff sometimes. we just have no free time, and it`s hard to squease studying in in the mornings with all the stuff that we do.
that`s about it this week. we are working hard, we are always busy. we are definitely always sweating and dirty, but it`s good not to have any dead time. time is going by quickly without any breaks or any stops.
elder ward

i`ll definitely send some of this hot your way. id love to have some cold. at least we found an internet cafe with ac here. they have nice computers too.
my new area isn`t huge. there are a lot of missionaries in this city, and each ward has like 2 or 3 sets of missionaries. our zone is pretty big, we have some elders that are like an hour away, but most of the others are within walking distance. in my zone there are 13 elders and 8 sisters, but one elder is going home next week (that`s why there`s an odd number, they`re in a trio) there are like 14 or 15 zones in the mission. my companion has like 4 or 5 months as a zl. zone conferences are what the mission president and the aps set up. i`m only in charge of watching over district meetings and zone workshops, once a month.
zone conferences are every 3 months
we have some investigators, but it`s hard to get everyone to church. we try to get everyone to a place in our area where they can all get in the back of a members truck who will take them to church, but we (as missionaries) can`t go in the back of trucks here anymore, so we have to walk like 20 extra minutes to get to church after visiting and inviting our investigators.
I am feeling better. My stomach has been adjusting to eating members food instead of just buying whatever i need. it`s weird not to have to buy food, we just eat with others, and we will get super fat this christmas from eating with so many members and people.
I think that`s all the news I have right now. we are working hard and getting exhausted every day, but its good to always be super busy.
elder ward

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

This week I had 2 exciting events happen that I´ll explain in this email.
First, we had the most amazing Thanksgiving dinner that any missionary has ever had in Honduras. Second, I finally had changes and left Yuscarán!!
Alright, well I´ll explain a little of my week: the last weekend of november for the elections was when we stayed inside for 3 days straight. Then we had pday a day later (tuesday) and wednesday we worked for the last time in Yuscarán. Then, thursday, we went like 2 hours out to this area way far out in our zone and had an amazing thanksgiving with some members that live there. We went and had our district meeting in the morning there, and after, we went and they had cleared away a spot for us to go and play football there. I´m not referring to spanish fútbol like soccer, we brought out the real american ball and threw it around and played a little bit. They were really trying to adapt the american culture for us that day. After we threw the ball around a bit in the morning, we went into their house and we helped prepare the food a little bit, but it was a ton for just us. They had 3 turkeys, a huge thing of mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, jellos, salads, rolls, yams and marshmallows, and every other thanksgiving food that we would need. Plus all of the desserts, we had cookies, cakes, bars, and apple pie. It was an amazing meal that our whole zone got for free. This family is super rich, and they just offered to do this for us, just because they wanted to share with others who would apreciate it. it was so cool!
Then, thursday night, we got the phone call. They told me that my companion was leaving, and that the other elder from my branch was leaving, I was starting to get worried that I was going to stay in yuscaran because I had thought that my companion was going to be the next branch president, but then they told him he was leaving. But at the end they told me that I was also leaving. I came to one of the southern parts of honduras called Porvenir, Choluteca. It´s about 3 hours in bus south of tegus, unless you´re in a slow bus like ours, which took over 4.. The south is super hot, but it´s full of a lot nicer people. I´m in a really nice ward now too, and a good area. Yesterday in church it was weird because I just sat there in the back with my investigators and realized that I didn´t have to do anything in the meeting but listen. I didn´t conduct the meeting or the hymns, I didn´t bless or pass the sacrament or anything. Everything just worked without me having to do anything. Our ward is in the stake center down here in the south, which the building is massive, it´s bigger than my home church or my home stake center even. I´ll have to take a picture to send sometime.. We had like 130 people in church yesterday, which felt like a lot to me. It was nice to go to church with a lot of people again.
My new companions super cool too. I´m with the elder who was my DL about a year ago. He and I get along well and he is a great missionary. He´s from Riverton, Utah and has 20 months in the mission, so he´s pretty close to finishing. I just got called to be a Zone Leader this change, so he´s teaching me how to be a ZL. I didn´t think that I would be a ZL because most of the time you have to be a DL for a little bit before they call you to be ZL. But it´s interesting. I will have to learn a lot, because there are many differences between here and yuscaran. Choluteca feels like a completely different mission because everything is changed and it has its own kind of atmosphere. Our zone is really big now too, we have 21 missionaries in our zone and 8 of them are sisters, which is a lot. But it´s been good to get to know everyone here and learn how everything works here. I´ve been sick a lot this last weekend too. I got some stomach sickness that has been annoying me. Saturday we had to stay home because I really couldn´t go out. Sunday I felt a little better and today I´ve been doing pretty good, but it has not been fun being so sick.
I´m excited to be here and to start doing something new. I have a great area, a great ward, and a great companion and plenty to do, so I just need to start working like crazy. We´re going to always be busy now here, we have to work in our area, organize all the zone stuff with our big zone, we have a leader meeting in Tegus this week so we´ll have to go all the way back up there, and I imagine that we´ll be going on quite a few divisions with the people in our zone soon.
I hope that all of you everywhere are doing well and that my family can all recover from their sicknesses. I know that it´s not fun at all, but hopefully it´s just for a little bit.
I love you all!

Elder Ward

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 26, 2013

I´ll put in a picture of our cake. It was very delicious. I love eating the rainbow chip frosting, even if it was a little expensive.
No, I actually wasn´t too stir crazy after the weekend of being in the house for 3 days. We ordered chinese and had people bring us food. We were supposedly going to have church sunday but nobody came, everyone went to the elections, so we didn´t have the meeting.
Nothing exciting happened in yuscaran either. Everything was super chill here. Everyone here likes the other political party that lost, so I guess people were sad, and in Tegus I guess that some people are protesting because not all of the votes were counted in it.
We don´t go to a internet café, we have the church computer that we use to email.
Well, I guess that´s it for this week.

Elder Ward

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November 18, 2013

Hey, I got my Christmas package this week! Thanks so much for putting that all together and getting it here early. Last year I stuck with the schedule pretty well and opened 1 envelop each day, but this year I was a little more impatient and I already read all of the letters from the family and ward members. It was nice to read so many notes from so many people who I haven´t heard from in a while. I can´t promise that I´ll have time to respond to each of them anytime soon though...
Well, we got really close to having a baptism this week. It was going to be for a 10 year old kid who we´ve been teaching for a little while. We taught him and he had his baptismal interview and passed and everything and we set the date for yesterday after church, but we went over in the morning and he left to go somewhere else when we went to bring him to church and his mom said that she wouldn´t give him permission to be baptized or sign the baptismal paper form thing (i dont remember how to say that in english anymore), so we lost our baptism for this month.. So that was sad that he was ready but at the end he couldn´t. Church was a little bit better this week, we had 17 people come, but most of our teachers didn´t come and so I had to kind of make up a sunday school lesson right on the spot... and a sacrament meeting talk. But they both went well-ish. We also had a member of the mission presidency come to our sacrament meeting to finish a temple recommend interview for one of our members who is going to get married in the temple, so we gave out the first full use temple recommend in all of the members in yuscaran. So that´s momentuous I guess. (i don´t think that´s a real word but I´ll leave it).
This weekend will be weird. The election stuff this year is getting pretty crazy. Here in yuscaran not so much, just a whole bunch of advertising and campaigning which is loud and annoying, being as we live right in front of central park.. So, this weekend, we have strict orders not to leave our houses for all of sat, sun, and monday, not even to go across the street to the pulperia to buy food or anything. So that will be weird. So, they may change pday to tuesday or wednesday next week, so if I don´t write exactly on time, it doesn´t mean that I´m dead from the crazy electionist peoples, it just means that I´ll get on later in the week.
Well, I think that´s about it.. I bought frosting today and I already have a cake mix so we´re going to make a delicious cake this week, because I doubt that we´ll have an oven in my next area. I´ll miss the other Elders´ kitchen when I leave.
Changes are on the 27th btw, so I´ll either know next week or the week after where I´m headed.
That´s about it. Don´t worry about the elections or anything. I´ll follow the rules and be safe. I´m in the chillaxist little village in honduras, nothing´s going to happen here.
Elder Ward

from Mom:

Hey!!! <:<‏  

You were not supposed to open your Christmas early!  Now what will you do for Christmas?

from Elder Ward:

Hey! I only opened the letters! and a couple of the presents that sounded like candy when I shook them. the Tic tac present was too obvious, and I had to have good breath for my investigators, so I opened it.. but I still have the rest for christmas. I just had to hide the package to avoid opening everything. ;)

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

We went on a hike today to look for some waterfalls, we didn´t end up finding them, and it started raining like crazy, so we came back, but it was still fun.
This week has been alright, but we only had 5 members in church yesterday and we haven´t had much success recently. It´s all going kind of slow, but were still working here.
There´s not really a lot to say this week, sorry this is short..
I hope that you are all doing well.
Elder Ward

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November 5, 2013

Dear family and friends,
Yesterday for Pday we went to a tourist place between where I am and Tegus in the mountains called Valle de Angeles to hang out and buy some stuff. It had a lot of little shops and stuff for tourism. There were lots of other gringos there too, it was kind of weird.
Here´s some pictures of us in the shops seeing some of the stuff there. The pic with us eating ice cream is me and my companion. They had a whole bunch of weird flavors of ice cream, like cookies and cream, and the one I tried: avocado. It was surprisingly really really good. Everything was expensive there, so I didn´t buy much.

We got back really late last night from valle de angeles, so I didn´t have time to write yesterday.


For Halloween, we passed by a cemetery at night in our area. We had to come back to our houses early though on that day, because it´s witch day here, they don´t celebrate, they just have weird superstitions. We went home earlier and one elder bought a bunch of candy and we watched a church movie about Gordon B Hinckley. That´s about it.
It is nice to work with just church stuff. Yeah you can feel the spirit a lot working in the Lord´s work, but it isn´t something that´s always there, you still have to look for the spirit and live right so that you can have the spirit and guidance of the Lord.
Yes,  I like being on a mission. Yes, I like being out somewhere else, outside of the US.
Elder Ward

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

Fellowshiping nights are our activity nights for the members. We don´t always do like a lesson or something spiritual, sometimes they´re just for fun, so we call them fellowship nights.
That pancake mix and stuff is for all 4 of us yuscaran elders. It is a lot though, but we use it quite a bit. I think that we´re going to use the cake mix for some branch activity. We made some for the mothers day activity, and everyone went on and on about how good the cake was, even though it was the basic cake with frosting, so we´ll probably make a couple for the branch and a couple for us.
here´s what happened this week:
This week we had a special mission conference with Elder Ochoa from the Quorum of the Seventy come to talk to our mission. There were 3 sessions over 3 days, he talked to the missionaries in the city, in the south, and then us missionaries in the east of our mission. He talked to us about a lot of stuff and gave examples and demonstrations and stuff to show us how to be better missionaries. It was a good experience and I felt the spirit a lot telling me some stuff I need to do in the branch and stuff I need to do better. It was a good conference, and it lasted for the whole day on friday. We came back and had our weekly branch activity, not many people came to that, but it was still fun. Then, saturday morning we had an activity to clean the church, and we actually had a lot of people come to help with that, and we got a lot done. The church looks a lot better now, and we had a lot of fun doing it too. We started a water fight with the kids, and we all ended up soaked by the end. Even a few of the adults joined in and everyone that came got at least a little bit wet. Our investigator even came to the cleaning activity, but he didn´t end up coming to church yesterday, even though he said that he was going to. We didn´t have many people come to church yesterday. That was a little sad. But the old branch president is starting to come back to church, and that might help out because he knows a lot about the church and the doctrine and everything.
That was all the excitement from this week. Things are going well though. I get along with my companion well and everything.
Right now, I study like 3 or 4 chapters of the BofM every day to finish before christmas, because our mission president challenged us to, and I study PMG and spanish and I also read a lot of church manuals and other church books and pamphlets to help out each of the leaders in their classes. I´ve even read some weird books like the RS daughers in my kingdom to help out our RS president who can hardly read. Its all interesting though. I do sometimes wish that I could just focus on scriptures a lot more though too. Sometimes I have to go through all of our paperwork and financial stuff too in the mornings so I don´t always have a ton of time to study whatever.
Elder Ward

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 22, 2013

Hey all!
We had changes this week! My companion left, and so I stay here in Yuscarán my 5th change. I´ve been here forever! But it´s alright here, I´ll survive it here in my second area... My new companion is one of my friends from my MTC district, so we have the exact same time in the mission. He´s from Spanish Fork, Utah. It´s weird being with a gringo again and always talking english. Also, one of the other elders from the other area left this change to be a ZL, so we have a new Elder from Guatemala here training. So we still have 3 gringos and a guatemalan in this area, we´ve had that pattern for a few changes now. So we´ve been showing the new Elders around here this week and showing them how to do stuff with the branch.
We´ve been doing fellowshiping nights here in the branch every friday night, and this week we had over 20 people show up, which was cool, we even had some investigators and quite a few less active members. Yesterday in church we almost had 20 members, but we had our investigator come to church, so that was good. It´s been a while since we´ve had an investigator come from either area. So it was good to have people come this week and have a little bit more success here than the last few weeks.
I am enjoying being able to learn new things in this area and always see new things and meet new people and being able to serve the people here. Even though it is hard in this area and we have plenty of problems, I still know that I need to be here a little longer to help more people learn about the gospel and to help the branch here grow however I can. I know that each of the parts of this gospel are all interrelated, the missionary work, the temple work, the ordinances and blessings that come from the priesthood, each of the classes and meetings that the church has are for the same eternal purpose: the salvation of many souls. Each of us has been called to do our little part in the work of salvation, which will help us gain our own salvation if we serve faithfully. I have a testimony of this gospel and the many opportunities that we have to progress are a sign of God´s love for each of us. It doesn´t matter where we start, as long as we do start, on our journey to progress. I know that everything that this church teaches is true, and that the church is perfect, even when the people in the church are not. I know that studying the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, will change our lives profoundly if we strive to apply what the spirit testifies to our individual lives. I am grateful for the testimonies of all of you and for your love and support that helps me to be out here on my mission. I love you all and hope that you will feel God´s love and a desire to serve Him.

Elder Matthew Ward

Sorry, we couldn´t write yesterday because when we got back from Tegus the power was out from 2 in the afternoon until 11 this morning, so we just barely got on to write to everyone.
This week was good. We had changes which I explained in my other email, but yeah, it was a good week. Yesterday we bought a ton of food from Tegus in bulk. We got 2 bags of 10 lbs each of pancake mix and 2 big things of syrup and 4 cake mixes that I have to make before I leave this area and don´t have an oven anymore. I´ll send a picture of all of it.
I hope that everyone is doing well.
Elder Ward

October 14, 2013

I wrote so late last time because we got back late from an activity with the zone and then all 4 of us still had to email, and I wrote to you and to Mishelae, but I didn´t finish and I had to get off the computer, and then my companion wrote until really late, so I didn´t have time to finish emailing, so I just sent the messages that I had finished to you 2 and didn´t get to write to anyone else.
This week was good. It´s been kind of stressful with a ton of members asking for help (food or money help), but it´s been alright. Everyone in Yuscarán is sick right now, I swear... I have a cold right now which has been annoying more than anything. Next week is changes, so we´ll see what happens. I still don´t think that I´ll be leaving here for another change at least, but we´ll see if one of the other 4 leave this week. Other than that, not much has happened this week.

Elder Ward

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 7, 2013

Conference was super good. We tried to watch it at the church, but our cable didn´t work very well. (we have cable and a TV, but the cable didn´t have all of the channels) So at the end we had to go to the other 2 missionaries´ house to watch it, because they had a better cable connection, and then we got on our laptop and streamed the whole conference in english for the 3 gringos, and we watched it laying down on their beds. It was pretty chill, and it was a good conference. I missed a few talks while preparing all of the tech stuff, so last night I had to go back and watch all of the talks that I missed. It was good though. I received some good answers, even for questions that I hadn´t even written down or asked for or anything. We were glad that we got to listen to priesthood session too, even though I would prefer to be able to watch it in a stake center.
Well, I hope that you are all doing well.
Elder Ward

Sunday, October 6, 2013

September 30, 2013

Yes we still always just contact in the streets, the members don´t help out to much right now, but hopefully little by little they will get more excited to help out and invite people to activities and church. Our investigators seem a little bit better now, we at least have a few that look like they should progress.
I´m glad that they´re going to broadcast priesthood session, because we were just planning on not being able to watch it here, because we can´t travel all the way out to our district center to watch it. We´re just going to watch on BYU internation TV here in the church.
We had district conference this week (yesterday), so we took a bus with like 20 members to the church building like an hour away. At first I was worried because the bus didn´t start for like 15 minutes, so we were late to pick people up to go, but we prayed and it started and we picked everyone up and were able to drive over and be to the meeting on time. The meeting was really long. They talked for 3 hours without any breaks or anything, and all of the kids there were getting antsy to go do stuff. It was long even for me after a while, but it was good. The district president talked, and so did our mission president and his wife. They challenged all of the members and everyone to read the book of mormon before christmas this year, so I´m going to have to get on that, because there isn´t much time left before christmas. It worked out well with timing though, because I´m just about to finish reading the book of mormon. It was a good conference and I was very glad that everything worked out with planning transportation and that so many members could go to the conference and learn there.
We also had interviews with the mission president this week. It was good to talk to him and learn some new stuff. It seems like president trusts me a lot from some of the things he´s told me, so it was good to hear that from him.

Also yesterday we had a deep doctrine class in the afternoon that I taught. I explained in depth the true meaning of Kolob as portrayed in the facsimile 2 from the Book of Abraham. I gave an analysis on the relation between the symbols of God and Heaven and Eternity and the Sun and things that go on in the temple as shown in the hieroglyphics. The only problem was that nobody came to my class, so I just drew the picture on our whiteboard for nothing. ;p No, just kidding, I didn´t give any class, but a couple of weeks ago I found a little like 30 page book here in the church about the interpretations of the 3 facsimiles in the book of Abraham and what they mean, it was really interesting. I learned a lot about the symbols from it, and so I was bored yesterday, so I drew it on the whiteboard when I needed a break from studying. It actually only took a little less than an hour, which is good for how good it turned out, given that I have little talent at drawing or art or anything. There´s a lot of symbols in it that are confusing to draw. So I thought that I would include a couple of pictures of that. :)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 23, 2013

Yes, I only had a stomach sickness.
We had a better turnout to church this week. We had about 20 people. We also had a lot of people at our activity, almost 30.
Yes, we have some investigators now, but it will be hard for them to progress.
No, I can´t think of anything that I need for christmas.
Thanks for the pictures. I don´t have much to tell about this week. It was kind of boring. I learned some cool stuff about the importance of setting goals this week, which was good. That´s about it though. We did a service project on saturday to go mow someone´s lawn, but with machetes... That was tough. I had to go buy a machete to help out with the service, because they didn´t have 2, and only had a small one.. (and I wanted one and it was cheap...) 

It was a hard service, and I have a few blisters from chopping grass. It is very tiring to chop the grass swing at a time. It´s not very effective either. I was tired after doing that. That´s about as exciting as this week was.
I hope that things are going well there.

Elder Ward

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

Yeah, it was kind of sad that we didn´t have people for that sacrament meeting. This week we didn´t have people because there was another festival, and another parade. We had even less this week, so we had a record number of fewest people to take the sacrament, just five.. the four elders and a member that came.
 It was alright though, we watched the Testaments instead of having classes, and had a ten minute sacrament meeting, with just the absolute basic meeting. It was rather pathetic, and it was loud outside again.
So that was kind of lame.
 I haven´t worked much in my area this week either, I went on divisions twice, and was sick for one day this week. It´s kind of been a weird week.
That´s too bad that you all have been feeling sick too..
 Well, I hope that you have a good week this next week

 Elder Ward

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September 9, 2013

Hey everyone, here´s the update for the week (it´s probably more like an update for the month by now, because I´m a slacker at group emailing):
First off, I hope that everyone from my family is alright and learning to love going without power and boiling water and cleaning up fallen trees and dealing with floods and mudslides. That sounds like an adventure for you all. Some of it sounds a little familiar... Mostly just the power outages for long periods of time and filtering water, haha, hopefully the weather gets better there and that there aren´t more enchantments of large green vortexes over our house knocking over trees anymore...
Well, this week has been good, we had changes this week, but me and my companion stay the same. The other Elders in our area had changes though. The elder who´s had a ton of time in this area and basically taught me how to do everything here in the branch left. An elder who was in my MTC district came in his place, which is cool because we already know each other and have gotten right to work. We´ve done a ton of divisions with him this week, so that I can teach him how to do a lot of stuff here in the branch because his companion is still just barely starting out in the mission and is learning spanish more than anything. So that was the big change this week. We´ve had a lot to do for the branch this week too. We did visits on saturday with all 4 elders, but a lot of people said that they weren´t going to come to church this sunday because of another festival that they had in Yuscaran (I´ve come to hate the festivals here in yuscaran, because they´re pointless and always on sundays, and they´ve had like 5 already in the 4 months I´ve been here). So almost all of the members had children in the parade, and it was required that the children would go to the parade, so everyone said that they weren´t going to come. So sunday morning, I had all of the classes prepared and a sacrament talk prepared to give, because nobody would take any assignments because they weren´t going to come. Then, at like 9:30, we have 1 member at church, so we are just waiting for more people to come, when the 2nd counselor to the mission president comes in to our meeting, and of course he comes on the worst day possible to come to one of our meetings. We talked to him for a while, and with him and 1 more member that showed up, we had sunday school, and after we had sacrament meeting, with 7 people in the meeting: 4 elders, the 2nd counselor, and 2 members, while we listened to the noise of the marching bands from the parade right outside. We took the sacrament, and after we finished, President turned to me and asked ´Are you going to give talks this sunday or no?´, and I told him that each of the elders had something prepared to share, but he said that we should just end the meeting early, without any sacrament talks, so I announced that this sunday, we wouldn´t have any talks, and we ended the meeting. So that was the most tiny, pathetic little sacrament meeting that I had seen in my life.
We´ve also had a few meetings that we´ve had to go to and a bunch of errands to run. I ran around Tegus doing a whole bunch of stuff today, and worked more than relaxed - a normal pday for me now, haha. But we got everything done today while we were there in Tegus, and I got everything I needed.
Anyways, it´s been a crazy week, but it´s been good. It´s been hard, because we have no investigators right now, and way too much stuff to do for the branch, but we´ll have to balance our time to go out and contact and teach and preach and work as missionaries do. :D
I hope that everyone´s doing well!!
Love you all!
Elder Ward

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2, 2013

and dad, (so that I don´t have to repeat saying everything twice..)
Thank you again for the package. I am enjoying the music, although I think of home often when I listen to some of the songs that I´ve heard you or Mishelae play on the piano all through my childhood.
Also, I have happily found out the secret to all of my workouts before my mission, and why I had been so lazy with working out during most of my mission. It´s because I work so much harder when I have music. This week I started a new workout program, but each day I´ll listen to the music, which isn´t even like fast paced or anything, but it helps a ton. Even if it´s like Mozart or something simple, it still helps me keep track of time and get going to a rythme. So now I´ll get buff before I come home from my mission. ;p
My other umbrella didn´t have a flashlight in it. It was bigger too, and not by the same brand. idk.
We did have our baptism this week! It was a little weird, because we did it in a swimming pool by their house. This guy owns this little old swimming pool there, and we asked him if we could use it, and he said yes. it went well, but it was difficult to find a second witness for the baptism, and we were worried we would have to redo the baptism, but it all worked out at the end.
We also had the confirmation in church yesterday, so I baptized and confirmed her, and we had a baby blessing for her son. I had never participated in a baby blessing before.
We´ve been contacting a lot this week. We´ve had a little bit of success, but not too much. This next week is changes, and we´re pretty sure that the elder who is the  first counselor is going to leave this change, which will be sad, because he knows a lot more about the branch and the area than I do, so I will be the one with the most time here in Yuscarán after he leaves.
I don´t think that my companion and I will change this time, but maybe. We´ll see.
I think that that´s about it for this week. I´m glad that you got my letter. 
Here´s some pictures that we took yesterday of us,

and another picture of us studying and doing tithing in the office. It took a while to get the camera timers to go off right so we would all be in it and studying.
We had more people come to church this week, and things are going better than before now. Hopefully the changes that come this week will help us with everything that we´re working on here.
I love you,
Elder Ward

August 26, 2013

Hello everyone!
This week has been interesting. I don´t know, it´s kind of just been an off week. We don´t have any investigators right now, so it´s been difficult to do much teaching. We have had some stuff to do to stay busy with the branch though, but it has been a weird week. It´s rained a lot this week, but thanks to the package from my parents that I got this week, I had a cool new umbrella to use that works really well and has a cool little flashlight on the bottom, which is perfect for my area, because when it rains, the power always goes out, so now I don´t have to carry both an umbrella and a flashlight.  
I also enjoyed the cards and candy in my package, and
I got a USB full of music, so I bought a sweet new mp3 player that looks like a car. It has really nice speakers too, and it was pretty cheap. So now I have a lot of good music to listen to. :)   
This week was kind of depressing, because we didn´t have hardly anyone come to church again. We´re going to have to change something, but I don´t know..
Also our baptism fell through. We were going to have a baptism this week, but when we went for the baptism on Saturday, it was really rainy and we couldn´t go out hiking out to the spot where we normally have baptisms. So we postponed it until next week. Our investigator did come to church again though, so that´s good.

I don´t know, other than that, it was a boring week here.


August 19, 2013

Yeah, it is kind of weird that that package hasn´t gotten here yet, I asked today in the mission office, but it wasn´t there either, so we´ll see if it arrives.. What did it look like, was it big, did it have valuable stuff in it?
I haven´t taken out money from my card so far on my mission, I still have left over from the 200 that I had to have for luggage and stuff from the airport..
The vosotros form isn´t used here in central or south america, just in spain. But it also uses vosotros in the scriptures. It is supposed to be less formal when used.
So, the honeymoon was in florida in the end, not hawaii, that´s where mishelae said that they were going...
This week was good.. I wrote like 4 days ago, so not much else has happened. We went to Tegus today, and I also got a haircut, and my hairs really short now.. That´s about it, idk.
This sunday at church, we switched the schedule for church so that we had priesthood and relief society classes first, then sunday school, and then sacrament meeting last, because everyone has been coming like an hour late to church and missing sacrament... It turned out well, and we made sure that the RS and Elders quorum presidents both taught the lesson this week, which they weren´t doing before.We called our recent convert, to be the YW president. She is excited about doing that, and should do a good job. Now we just need a primary teacher... We´re working on that. A family was upset because we released the previous primary teacher, and she and her family got mad and didn´t come to church this sunday... sigh.
But we´re setting up a better organization of the church, so that it can run a little bit smoother when the elders come and go, the teachers and members will still have their own little setup and classes that the elders don´t always have to teach. That´s my goal at least, is that they can become more self sufficient spiritually, temporally would be super nice too. It´s interesting, but I´m learning a bunch..
Well, that´s it I guess this week. Tune in next time..
Elder Ward

August 15, 2013

Some of you may be wondering why I am emailing so late in the week or why you haven´t received emails this monday... This monday we worked like it was a normal day so that we could go to the temple on thursday (today).
So now I feel like I have to report about 2 weeks instead of just 1, not that much exciting stuff has happened. We are still working here in the branch and with our investigators. We have found 2 new families that have moved here to yuscaran in the past who we never knew about, so we have been working with them and with their families that aren´t members. We have been busy with organizing the quorums and groups in the branch and calling new presidents and teachers that are going to do their jobs at church. We had a program with the branch this sunday about missionary work, but it was kind of sad because it rained all morning and hardly anyone came to church that day. We only had 18 people come to church...
This week, we had zone conference on wednesday, and we stayed overnight in Tegus to go to the temple this morning. It was weird working in Tegus again when I did divisions with an elder in his area after zone conference, I had to run between cars and try not to get hit, and it was louder and full of people, and I went to a church that had a ton of people there, like 200 members. That was weird to see, coming from little yuscaran. We stayed overnight at the AP´s house, which was good. We woke up this morning and went to the temple to do a session, for the first time for me in like a year. It was interesting to do it in Spanish, but I understood everything, but it was weird that they talked to us in vosotros form.. After the session we went into the celestial room, and when I finished my prayer, I looked up and everyone had already left the room and I was alone in the celestial room. I have never done that before. It was a little weird, but super cool. Then we bought a ton of stuff for the branch at the distribution center and then we came back. That´s about it for this week, but it has been a good week.
I have not received either package yet, and even went to the mission office to look for it and didn´t find it... I don´t know what happened there.
I hope that everyone is doing super well!

Elder Ward

August 5, 2013

Mom and Dad,
We had another baptism this week!! Yeah! Our investigator wanted to be baptized this saturday. We went to a city in our district that has a chapel built by the church and a baptismal font. It was a little expensive to pay for the transportation, but it was good. I´ll include some pictures.
Being in the branch presidency is a little crazy. Everyone here keeps asking for food or money helps that the church welfare helps out with. That´s been a power that´s been abused a ton here in this branch in the past.

This month we´re going to get to go to the temple (finally), with our zone, and maybe again with the branch if anyone comes to get a recommend. I´m excited to go again. It´s been a long time! (since september)
We´ve been doing good in the branch and we almost had 40 people come yesterday, which is pretty good.
I´ve had a lot of baptisms lately because all of the investigators that we´ve had have progressed and now almost all of them have been baptized, but we haven´t done as good of a job with finding new investigators to replace the old ones, so right now we only have 1 investigator, so this week we´ll have to start searching again.
No, I didn´t do anything for my year mark. Supposedly here you are supposed to burn a tie for 6 months, a shirt for a year, and pants for 18 months, but I haven´t burned anything and i don´t think that I will.
That´s about it for this week. Good luck with the wedding!

Elder Ward

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 29, 2013

This week we had changes (exchanges). My companion left, which was sad because we got along really well and were working hard together. My new companion is from Guatemala and has 6 months in the mission. He is the 3rd companion that I´ve had from Guatemala, and all 3 of them came to Honduras the same day, crazy right? I guess that I´m just always supposed to work with Guatemalans with 6 months less than me, haha. He is 18 years old and seems pretty chill. The elder who was branch president left, and now we have a new elder here in the area who´s from California, just barely starting out. So we have 3 gringos here and we´re going to teach my companion a lot of english, while we teach the new elder spanish. It´s been confusing trying to teach both of them, because the elder and I, who have been here for a few changes have been trying to teach them both how to do things in the branch and here in a new area, but we have to say it once in english and once in spanish and sometimes we get confused to switch between the two.
We had a wedding here in the church on Thursday for some members from a different part of honduras, and we had to help for preparations for that. We also had to explain to the new elders here how stuff works here in the branch. We visited a lot of members during this week. We´ve been working a lot more with the branch and we made visits to a lot of the less active members on Saturday to introduce the new ones and to invite them to come back to church.Yesterday we had the confirmation of the guy we baptized last week, which was cool.
That´s been my week, basically. This next week I hit my 1 year mark, crazy!!
Love you all!
Elder Ward

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 22, 2013

(I included part of my letter to him so you could understand his responses.)

Elder Ward,

What does the mission president ask you about in the interviews? Does he teach you things or does he just ask you questions?

Did you get your package yet?  Missionary Mall replaced your umbrella for free after I showed them the pictures you sent of the umbrella, so thank you!

I didn't realize your church/apartment wasn't in your area.

Thank you for the pictures! Are you still teaching Primary? If so, how is that going?


The mission president mostly just asks a couple of questions for interviews.
I haven´t gotten my package yet, but they don´t normally send mail the last couple weeks before transfers. I´ll probably be able to pick it up during changes this wednesday.
Yes, I am still teaching primary. It´s going well, I´ve gotten better at it, but I have to prepare more than I was doing before. This week, I bought a lot of new crayons and colored pencils for the kids to draw. We had a whole bunch of broken and tiny crayons and colored pencils before. I also prepared a puzzle out of a picture of the savior as the good shepherd and we had a lesson about shepherds and sheep. It was good, and I showed the story on the whiteboard and let the kids draw sheep and put together the puzzle and stuff like that, so they seemed to like it.
My week hasn´t been super exciting, but it´s been busy. My weeks been kind of crazy, scrambled, all over the place. We have had to do a lot for the branch this week. But we had a baptism this week too! That was cool, but he didn´t come to church to get confirmed. :( But next week he will come. This next week we have transfers, and we will have some big changes here in the area. I´m pretty sure that my companion will be leaving, but we´ll see what happens.
So that´s what´s happening right now. Thank you for telling me about everything that´s been going on.

Elder Ward

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 15, 2013

Thanks for wishing me a happy birthday, it was a good birthday, although nothing really exciting happened. Well, church was good. Our convert from a few weeks ago gave a talk in church about faith that she was nervous about, but we helped her prepare for it, and she did a really good job. We also had the confirmation for the son of the lady we've been teaching. They were both supposed to get baptized this week, but she didn´t pass the baptismal interview yet, but her son still wanted to get baptized this week. I imagine that she´ll get baptized later on in this month. The baptism went well though. We had interviews with the Mission President this week, which went well. Its rained a couple of times... Idk. That´s all the news that I have, its not that I don´t have time to email, life´s just pretty much the same all the time here. Yesterday we went house hunting for a family in the branch that had to leave their house (their landlord insisted they leave today), so we went and searched all over yuscaran for houses for this family. It was really hot this week. I don´t know what else to write. Nothing much happened.
I guess I´ll answer some questions:
We haven´t taught a ton this week, it´s been busy with other stuff, we´ve barely had time to visit the investigators and recent converts and members that we have to help right now that we haven´t had any time for a long time to look for new investigators. Our area is farther away from the church, we actually live in the other elders´ area and we have to walk like 10 minutes to get into our area, and another 10 minutes to visit the nearest member or investigator in our area. We walk quite a bit on this little dirt road all the time. For little stuff, we´ll buy from the little stores that people have in their houses called pulperias. If we need something like specific, we´ll go to tegus to a supermarket. I don´t think that there are any more festivals until independence day in september.
Here´s some pictures of the baptism. And a pic of me on a bridge in our area.

Friday, July 12, 2013

July 9, 2013

I don´t know if you have some of these or not, but here's some pictures from a while ago.

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013

Thanks for wishing me a happy birthday, it´s crazy that I´ve been away for such a long time!
And thank you sending a package, I´m sure it will get here relatively soon.
Well this Jehovah´s Witness lady and her son are getting baptized this saturday!!! (I hope). The whole family came to church this week, her and her 4 kids. We just need to finish teaching and have the interview.
I´m attaching some pictures of the umbrella right now. Thank you for sending another.
Well, I feel kind of boring this week, but nothing happened.

Elder Ward

July 1, 2013

This week has been good. Nothing too exciting, but here´s my update that I sent to dad:
Yeah, the baptism was good. We aren´t teaching her family, her mom always says that she´s busy, and her kids are toddlers. But she is helping us to find references to teach. We are teaching a 16 year old girl that lives next to her, which is perfect because we can reteach the lessons to her and teach the lessons for the first time to this teenage girl. This same girl also came to my english class this week. The english class was good. We only had one this week, because no one showed up the first class. The class that we did teach, we were actually on divisions, so my zone leader was here with me, and he´s a gringo too, so he helped teach the class. We had 4 people come this week, all of them were teenagers, but we´re going to advertise a little more to have more people come. It went alright though. We taught something simple. We´ll see how it goes and if we get a group to consistently come to the class.
We´re also teaching a lady who was a Jehovah´s Witness, until she met us, that is. She is pretty positive for baptism. She already has received a testimony that the church is true, but it is hard for her to believe that there is more than just the bible, or why we need revelation in these days. But we´ve been teaching and bit by bit she´s learning. It´s pretty cool. She didn´t come to church yesterday though. None of our investigators did. That was kind of a bummer. Especially when the other pair of Elders in our area brought 20 investigators to church... haha, we had 46 people come to church this last week, a new record. The other elders are visiting this village that´s like 3 hours away walking to visit some people. There´s a huge family there that they´re teaching, and they brought 20 people of that family to church this week by renting a bus to drive them all over here and back. So that was cool.
That´s about all that´s happened recently. Nothing too crazy going on. There´s been a ton of rain lately, and thunderstorms. We had to stay with some investigators in their house for a couple hours during a big rain storm this saturday. They live super far away from where we live, like almost half an hour walking, and we were visiting them at night before we went home, and it started to rain super hard, and of course the power goes out, because any time it starts to rain the power dies here. So we chilled with them for a little bit. Then we left and had to walk back in the drizzling rain with the flashlight that I always have to carry around. My nice umbrella broke too. It was spring loaded, so all you do is push a button to open it, but one day it got stuck, so I pushed the button repeatedly and the spring exploded and half the umbrella shot out of my hand. The spring is like 3 feet long, so there´s like no way that I can put it back in, so I´ll have to invent a new way to keep it open, we´ll see.
That´s about it for now. It was a good week though.
It sounds like you all are doing well!
Elder Ward

June 24, 2013

the pictures are first: our room, second: the office, and third: the primary room

these are of the church´s outside, and the sacrament meeting room

4 kids from a branch activity

A birthday party that we went to, and talked to some members and friends.

Hello Everyone,
This week has been good, my companion and I had our first baptism here in Yuscaran! This Saturday we went back up into the woods for another baptismal service in our favorite little pool that we dammed up on Friday in this little stream. I got to do the baptism, the water was pretty frigid, but it was a good experience. The lady is 24 years old and we´ve been teaching her for only about a month. She felt the spirit when we watched the Joseph Smith video together, but didn´t tell us until the next visit that she had been touched so much by the video. She progressed a ton, and stopped drinking coffee and made a lot of other sacrifices to join the church. She said that she had always been searching for a church that would help her to change to become a different, new person. She didn´t want to go to a church just to go, but to change. it´s been neat to see the changes that she´s been willing to make.
Things have been well in our little branch here. It´s been growing too. Before we only had like 25 people each week come to church. But last week we had 32 people, and yesterday we hit our new record, 39!! We´ve had a lot of investigators coming too, which has been great! I gave another talk this week in Sacrament Meeting that went well. In the branch we´ve been trying to reorganize a lot of the leadership in the church to help the members become more responsible and have opportunities to serve as leaders. So we called a new Relief Society Presidency and have been working with them to help them go out and do visits, and we are trying to work with the few priesthood holders that we have in the branch to form a better Elders Quorum Presidency.
We have a few investigators right now that seem positive. We have one couple that we are teaching, and we went Saturday morning to help this investigator clear out this field to plant beans there. That was a service project that I hadn´t ever done before.. We´re also teaching a Jehovah´s Witness member. That´s been a little interesting. But she said that it´s possible that Joseph Smith could have been called by God to be a prophet, but she wants to learn more. She came to church yesterday, so that´s a good sign.
One morning I decided to build a little obstacle course in the little church patio that we have out of blocks and rocks so that I could do some parkour jumps, precisions, and exercises. That was pretty fun. 
I think that we´re going to start teaching English classes this week, because so many investigators and members have requested it recently. We´ll see how that goes...
Well, that´s all that I can think of for the stuff that´s happened this week. Things are going well, and I´m always learning more and strengthening my testimony of the gospel. I know that this church is true and that it gives us happiness and helps us to become converted to Jesus Christ. We can only change through Him and His Atonement. There is only 1 path in this life that we should follow to gain the Eternal Life, and that path is through Him.
Elder Ward

June 18, 2013

[Sorry we had some problems posting to the blog, but we should be up and running again now--Tiauna.]

Sorry that I couldn´t email yesterday. I didn´t have much time yesterday, I only had the chance to get on, write to the mission president, and read all of the letters that I had in my inbox, and then we had to go to a FHE with some members, so I had to go, and respond today...
Thank you for your prayers and all of your help and care for me.
That´s cool that you met Kate at Seagull Book. She´s been working there for a long time now... She was one of my friends in my high school group. She´s in quinn, tiffany, and brianna´s ward in Lindon. She also went to Timp Academy, but was a year younger than I.
We can´t read just any LDS author book. We can only read scriptures, PMG, Jesus the Christ, and some like church manuals and things like specifically from the church.
Nothing changed here in Yuscarán for changes. Everyone stayed the same.
Things are good here, and I think that we´ll have a baptism this next Saturday. We have this super cool investigator that´s all ready. We had 32 people come to sacrament meeting yesterday! New record! Before we only had like 27 people each week. But we had 6 of our investigators come for church on sunday, it was awesome! (well, technically only 4, and 2 kids, but still)...
Things are going good here.
I hope that everything´s good there.
Elder Ward

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

June 10, 2013

I am doing good, I am feeling better, 100%, no worries.  The sickness only lasted like 5 days. Anyways, here´s an update that I sent to dad:
For me, this week was a little bit slow, I got over my sickness at the beginning of the week, but my companion got worse during the week, and so a couple of days we hardly went out and worked. But I have had some extra time to sleep and get some rest that my body has needed, as well as extra time to study. I have had some cool experiences this week during my study time, and I feel more close to the Savior and I feel like I can feel His love more than I could before as I devoted a little more time to my study of my purpose as a missionary.
Things are going pretty well here. yesterday at church, we had an investigator come who seems like she really wants to change her life, which is super cool. We also had a less active girl come, whose brother we are teaching and hoping that we can baptize him soon. He wants too, we just have to work with the parents right now. I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting yesterday about faith, and after I sat down I realized that I talked for like 10 to 15 minutes without any problems and without any fear or worries about my spanish. I don´t feel nervous to speak in front of people anymore, it´s weird, because that used to be a big problem for me..
Anyways, thanks for the update mom, I appreciate that you take the time to write to me what´s going on in everyone´s lives. It sounds like everyone is well and changing into summer mode well.
This week is changes week, but I doubt that we´ll have anything change much here.
Elder Ward

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June 3, 2013

This week has been pretty good.. I´ve been feeling pretty sick though... I´ve had a stomachache for the last 2 weeks and this last week I´ve had a cold and a couple days ago I got this really annoying headache. All 4 of the elders here in Yuscaran are sick right now... So saturday night and sunday we didn´t go out and work. I've been trying to rest, because I think that that was probably the original problem was that I was walking a lot farther every day, not getting as much sleep and starting to excercize, as well as that I´m not cooking my own food anymore and just have to eat what the other elders are buying...
But I´m trying to rest and recooperate and get better.. I´ve slept a lot these last few days, so hopefully my body can have more energy to go do stuff..
We had a baptism this last week, for an 8 year old girl. She randomly decided to get baptized when we invited her again this saturday. We had a cleaning activity at the church, and we asked her if she wanted to get baptized and showed her the baptismal clothes that we had for her, and her family helped convince her to do it. She is the daughter of the elder´s quorum president, and we took her up in the woods in this little stream to baptize her in this little pool that we formed like a month ago. It was a nice little baptismal service, just her family and us 4 elders in the woods..
I´ll see if I can get the pictures from my companions camera, I didn´t bring my camera to it.
That´s about all for now. Things are going good, even if I am sick, we are working and having success.
Elder Ward

I do like my companion. He and I get along really well.
The weather is good, its always warm, sometimes a little too warm. Its started to rain a lot here though. This last week its rained almost every day, so I´ve been getting a little bit wet some days. One day we had a huge rain storm, where we weren´t prepared with umbrellas or flashlights, and it rained a ton and the power went out at night, and we still had to cross almost our entire area to get back home in the pitch black. Luckily the other elders came to drop some members off in our area, so we got under their umbrellas, and we all used one flashlight to get back, fun times... The power goes out here all the time, its kind of crazy. At first it was fun, but now it´s just annoying.
We don´t have bikes or cars, nor will I in my mission. I always walk, sometimes we take the bus for big meetings or stuff like that.
We can only read church stuff on the mission. Why? Do you have a good book to recommend?
Elder Ward

Saturday, June 1, 2013

May 27, 2013

Hey everyone!

This week went by fast! We had a zone conference and I went on divisions (companion exchanges) twice...
But it´s been a good week. We´ve continued teaching and finding new people to teach. We have a lot of investigators right now, they all just need to come to church and then get baptized and we´ll be set. :P
I realized that last week I sent pictures without giving a description of any of them... oops. So the pictures of last week were: first one with me and my first convert, the one with the ´sexy and I know it´ shirt. The other people was his family (his brother and his nephew and niece...?) The other is of my zone right now. And the picture of cereal is too show that I was so excited to find cereal directly imported from the states one day, that I bought a huge box of Reese´s puffs. They are super tasty, but they were a tiny bit expensive...

Today´s pictures are of the culture in honduras.. Well, a little bit. One´s a picture of an investigator and his 2 year old son on a donkey. 

The other is a little family that is probably the most active family of our branch. The girl in pink is super cute, and funny in my primary class.

This week I got to try a new food that I hadn´t had before: cow tongue. Yeah, it was a little bit weird. We normally cook together with the other 2 elders from our area that live like a block away from us, so one of the elders from mexico offered to make us cow tongue soup. So he bought everything and made it for us. It was a green soup that was spicy, and had chunks of this meat, but it was super rubbery and you couldn´t really chew it... you just had to swallow it after chewing for awhile... But it was alright I guess... I ate it all. I also made chimichangas this week for the other elders, with some fried rice that I made, and that turned out pretty well, but it was super spicy, because I had this same elder from mexico make the salsa that I used to cook the meat, and he made it super spicy with like jalepeños and stuff. But it was good.

We had the annual Mango Festival here this weekend, but it was mostly just a whole bunch of noise and selling stuff in the park right next to our house.. They had a parade that we watched from the balcony of the church, but it wasn´t too exciting. All through the week  there were a lot of people buying guaro (a cheap, horrible smelling alcohol), so there were a bunch of drunk people too. But we got to try some different foods that they were selling and stuff, so that was good.

That´s about it for this week...

I love you all and hope that you´re all doing well!

Elder Ward

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 20, 2013

Dear Everyone!
Well, here I am, in my second area, working hard! We have been working with our investigators and with the members of the branch, trying to invite everyone to come to our church meetings. That´s probably the hardest part of helping people get baptized is that nobody ever wants to come to church. The church is even in the middle of Centro, so it´s not even hard for the people to come. But we´re still inviting everyone to come. We had 27 people come this week, but we had an investigator family that my companion was teaching before I got here. We just have to work on the marriage papers and get all of the stuff ready for a wedding. That´s also a challenge here in my mission. Anyone we want to baptize has to get married first because everyone here just lives together, even after 10 or 20 years of being together, the couples won´t get married. So in our mission, we say that our work as missionaries involves an extra step: We find, teach, marry, baptize, and retain, as part our duty as missionaries. So that´s always fun. But we´re working with this investigator to help her get baptized. We have also found a lot of new investigators this week. I really feel like we are trying harder to find by the spirit, and we have found new investigators by listening to the guide of the spirit. It´s neat to see who has been prepared to hear our message. I´ve been a little bit sick this week, I think it was probably somthing that we ate, because my companion felt sick in the stomach too. On Friday morning, I slept in the morning instead of studying and then worked in the afternoon. I´ve been working normal since then, but I still am sick, but we have too many appts to take a day off to rest. But that´s alright, I´m feeling a little better today, but it´s been hard working while being so tired. It looks like I´m the official new primary teacher... I´m not sure how I feel about that yet.. I taught a lesson yesterday with the kids about keep the sabbath day holy... After my lesson, like during church, the kids left (with the permission of their parents) and went to the pulpería (little store like a gas station store) and bought treats, and then came back to my class. Fail. They will learn little by little, as their parents learn too, and teach them to obey the rules of the church. But I colored a really nice picture of some animals on a roller coaster with our crayons and colored pencils with the kids, and helped them paint apples and noah´s ark and pictures that we have here in the coloring books. So I guess that the class wasn´t a complete waste ;p
I´m going to keep finding more activities to do with the kids and learn new ways to teach them. If anyone has good suggestions, I´m definitely open to learning how to teach them simply. We sing songs and show pictures and stuff like that, but I have to keep them entertained for 2 hours straight in the same little room... Haha, it´s fun.
We also taught seminary this week. We have a teacher for the class, but she doesn´t really prepare the lessons, and just expects that the missionaries will come to help teach the class. We´re trying to help her (and the entire branch) become more independant, so that they know how the church functions, what we believe, and how to lead it by themselves. We´re basically starting from nothing right now. It´s crazy to figure out how everything works and to teach everyone else. But I´m learning a ton more too.
 Well, that´s all for this update.. I´ll add some pictures too, but I might have to send some in separate emails. I can´t send many pics per email...
Love you all!
Elder Ward
me and my first convert.
 The other people was his family (his brother and his nephew and niece...?) 
my zone right now.
the picture of cereal is too show that I was so excited to find cereal directly imported from the states one day, that I bought a huge box of Reese´s puffs. They are super tasty, but they were a tiny bit expensive...

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 12, 2013

Notes from Elder Ward's Mother's Day call:

They have 11 investigators in his new area. Yuscarán is a small town. He lives directly across the street from a park. It is about 8 km to the edge of his area. His companion just finished training and is a convert to the church. He likes his companion, and he said they get along well.

His new “apartment” is actually a room in the church. The church used to be a hotel. I think he said it is more modern than many buildings, but is still older and falling apart. He said the bathrooms there and in the other missionaries' apartment are like in the United States. In the kitchen, they have a microwave, a 2-burner stovetop, and 2 small fridges. He and his companion put a pull-up bar in a room downstairs, under the chapel, so they can have a workout room. Most of the time they have water, but not always. He said most faucets only have one handle—and one option: cold. Most people have buckets of water to store water—like 50 gallon buckets—because the water is so unreliable.

We asked what the neighbors thought about the missionaries. He said that they think the missionaries worship Joseph Smith, and they also think the missionaries are paid for their service.

There were about 25 people at church and about 85 baptized members. He taught Primary again. There were six children at the beginning, but some left before the end. If the people live in this village, the church is close for them, but for those living in other villages it is far away, so they don't usually come.

They did a Mother's Day activity either Friday or Saturday night. They encouraged the branch members to bring an investigator with them. He said they had lots of food, and it went well.

The elders make up the branch presidency. He is the secretary. There aren't a lot of worthy priesthood holders in the branch.

They spend a lot of their time running the branch: Meetings, interviews, etc. They are also the janitors, gardeners, etc. He thinks they probably spend about 1/2 of their time running the branch and 1/2 of their time doing mission stuff.

They were getting up early in the morning to have seminary, but no one was coming, so they are going to try having it in the evening.

He said his testimony has grown on his mission. It has been a gradual process through study and teaching.

He encouraged us to put pictures of Christ over the tape on packages we send to help them to get to him. He said packages often arrive banged up a little, but not too bad. He has received every package we have sent to him. The mail is a lot slower in getting to him now because they changed the way the zone leaders pick up the mail.

It takes 45 minutes by bus to get to the weekly zone meetings. It is 1 1/2 hours to the mission office in Tegucigalpa. He had to go there last Monday to sign papers so he could sign checks for the branch. Only he and one other missionary of the four in the area have residency. There are 6 missionaries in their district, 60 in their zone, and 250 in their mission. He has interviews with the mission president and zone conferences about every 3 months.

It sounds like he can get most things down there that he needs like toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, etc. They go grocery shopping on P-days and usually go to the little stores in his area. He compared them go a store you would see in a gas station here. If they want to do serious shopping, they have to go to Tegucigalpa. On P-days, they have to dress up in their missionary clothes if they go anywhere besides to exercise (like to go play soccer).

They plan to visit different villages in their area a couple of times this week. When we asked him if they speak different dialects in different villages, he said no.

His favorite food that he has had there is a fried tortilla with salad, chicken and guacamole. He said they eat a lot of eggs, beans and tortillas. In his last area, the members fed them a lot, but the members don't feed the missionaries in this area. This affects the amount of money they have to live on, but he said he is budgeting and doing okay.

For breakfast, he usually has cold cereal and powdered milk (he said he can't get milk from the store, but it only comes in liter bottles and is expensive). They either make something or go out to eat for lunch and dinner. He said it costs about $1.25 for a meal out at a local place there, but he prefers to make something at the apartment because it is even cheaper. He said the ice cream isn't good there. They don't sell any local chocolate that he has seen, but they sell American candy bars, and those are good.

He said he has been tired a lot in this area. They walk almost everywhere. He thinks it is because it is a bigger area than the one where he served in Tegucigalpa, so they are always running around going places/exercising more.

We asked him what animals he has seen. He said turtles, chickens (which roost in the trees), frogs, dogs, cats, pigs, and parakeets. When we asked if he had seen wild parakeets, he said no, they were pets.

At the end of the call, he bore his testimony to us, and that was so neat. He testified of the Savior and the importance of reading the Book of Mormon. It was wonderful to hear his voice and see his face! We miss him a lot! It is exciting to see the changes in him and hear of the experiences he is having! We are so grateful he has this opportunity to serve the people in Honduras!