Sunday, March 13, 2016

March 12, 2016
Ok, the answers! Yes, everybody was thrilled to see me.

And speaking of that-meeting the people-I´ve always said that I wouldn´t return to honduras but I´ve totally changed my mind. You all want to come here? 

 Thanks for the camera. It will be put to good use, I´m feeling the need for photography cause time is ticking!

And holy cow. So busy. But I love it. No time for getting baggy. We finally finished the multizones and we are doneeeeeee. Huge burden lifted off my back. They all turned out great though. Super spiritual, well run (there were some technology hiccups on the second multizone but the substance of the meeting still was excellent). The little workshops my comp and I had to give included a recent convert that just got endowed giving a little spiel and a question and answer session focused on the book of mormon and how to use it as a missionary tool. But I love being busy. Going to bed at 10 being dead tired and then waking up at 5:30 to get everything ready. And then, all of a sudden, everything wraps up and we´re just regular missionaries and we can enjoy living with 6 people and its a blast. We have a lot of fun. 

There´s always issues between 6 people but I get along with everybody. I just need to be more patient and less uptight with the secretaries. Mission secretaries always have a reputation for being incompetent and its not always far off. The one exception is the financial secretary, the vegas kid, he´s solid and works like crazy. It just stresses me though when stuff doesn´t get done-like, literally, you have ONE job and had a month to do it and put it off til the last minute and didn´t get it done. It´s a work in progress. But we have fun, lots of practical jokes and board games. Throw having a car in the mix and life gets even better. 
And the office boys. Our house. The AP´s (us) and the secretaries. From left to right-Ruelas (from Lake Placid, Florida, now lives in TX), Hansen, Aldrich (From Vegas), Solis, Perez (from El Salvador), and Ramirez (From Bolivia)
Solis and I.  We thought we were taking a scenic picture but nope, still got the razor wire fence around the church behind us
Solis - He´s my second comp from Costa Rica. Basically after the mission I have places to stay in a steady route from mexico to costa rica. And driving is a BLAST. first, many of the roads are dirt so drifting around corners is a plus (The mission gets a new car in july so I don´t feel too bad about it). Second, everyone drives crazy and you just have to be real aggressive. I´m cutting and weaving and cutting people off but here that´s how you avoid accidents. And there are never wrecks because everyone is on high alert while driving instead of texting and eating and reading the paper in your car like back in the states. Plus theres always like 8 people in the car so that´s fun too.)
I just feel good about life. I feel comfortable in my personality and how I do stuff and I like who I am, even though there´s a whole lot I need to improve. I also really need to improve my patience, I used to be so patient and tranquil but I think being AP has made me a little short. 

And yes, we deal with problems on the daily. Not big problems but yes, no doubt. Had to send a missionary home today, early, but it ended up being a good experience for him and he´s got hope. I was able to talk to him a little bit and share a little of my history and it was a good chat. 

 And I´m gonna take curtis down as soon as I walk in the door. Establish real quick that I´m still the alpha around here. 

 And our ward is great. Its a small but very effective ward. there´s also a big group of single adults that are older and have flexible schedules that help us out in the work alot. 

 Our investigators-my two favorites right now are still Flor and her son Brayan, and Jose Machado. Things are just clicking, they like the doctrine, see changes in their lives, do the things we ask them to do-Jose keeps on attending institute and surprised us the other day asking us to explain vicarious work and he loved the idea. I also gave a couple blessings this week, one of them to my comp-he had been really sick all of a sudden, just zika symptoms (which is actually a huge deal here) and not even 5 minutes after the blessing he was just fine. I don´t know when I´ll actually get it in my head that priesthood blessings actually work. 

Also, the coffee. Coffee unroasted just smells kind of sour. Not real attractive haha. Plus it always comes into the co op wet and their job is dry it and re sell it. 

Anyways, that was my update! I´ll be on for a little while longer if you all want to chat. I´m thrilled that everyone is doing so well though! Time is flying but its time to see the family. You and Dad are looking great too, you look younger than when I left. 

Love you all! 
March 7, 2016

love this place so much (LaCeiba)
and the best part was is that I went out and visited with navas as well, just a regular ol walk down memory lane. 

And heres elder hansen feeling real uncomfortable

Also, here´s another funny picture from our little roadtrip to Ceiba. I think they forgot he was back there and took off. 

March 5, 2016
 So, I have very little time to write, because after getting back from Ceiba last night at 10 after a multizone and visiting people and bringing fridge to missionaries houses, we woke up and decided to go to morazan. So I got to to visit some of my old people again! I loved it. Felt like home. Loved seeing the people. Here are the pictures from Morazan. Pictures from Ceiba will come on monday, Ill have time to write then.


Also, ceiba was excellent because I got to see my converts and all the people I love so much there and spend time with them, and it was great because I could see all the fruits of my labor that I couldn´t see at the moment. People that had gone back to church or that are getting sealed that I had worked so much with. Really gratifying. And people gave us so much food. And they were tickled with the visits because missionaries always say they´re going to visit and then never do. I´ll fill you in on the details on monday when I have more time.
The pictures are us sitting on a huge pile of coffee in the warehouse of the familia reyes, me with some of the reyes family, me with ¨El Sarco¨. Just wanted to send you all something!
Oh, and the multizone went flawlessly. I was so happy with the results because it was my first time and there is a ton of work that goes into it but it turned out well. two more and then I´m done til the next set rolls around!

Love you all!

February 27, 2016
And yup, you could say I am the big cheese now. AP 1, right hand man, all that good stuff. Just hoping my head doesn't get too big. I've learned that my job isn't really all that much work (except when I'm in my area like a regular missionary) but what it really is is being able to be trusted when it really matters. I may not do anything for a couple of weeks except make reports and go on divisions with zone leaders and then all of a sudden (this week, for example) we have three multizone conferences throughout the mission and I'll be training and speeching and organizing everything from catering to the handouts. And giving my real frank opinions to president Klein. I've learned so much by working closely with President Klein.
As far as our people go-we haven't been able to find Fanny! Their house is all closed up, and I'm bummed. But Flor and Brayan are progressing wonderfully and are made for the gospel. Their home has made a 180 turn and its things like that that keep me on the mission-seeing the real changes in families. Brayan told his mom (flor) that he loved her for the first time in his young adult life the other day. We havn't even taught anything about the family, but we just get them feeling the spirit and the spirit does the rest. We also found a new investigator that is excellent, his name is Jose, and we found him because he was already attending institute on his about solid. We've had 2 lessons and he went to institute again and to a movie night we threw in the chapel. He gets things and just wants to learn and learn and has accepted baptism. He's talked about how he's tried other churches and nothing else has filled him or given him answers. One of those honest truth seekers. And we had a ward movie night yesterday and watched The Other Side of Heaven and it made me baggy as heck but everybody loved it.

Also, this week Solis and I will be roadtripping! We'll be driving to ceiba for the first multi zone and we'll get to visit converts. He served in the area pegged up to las colinas so we'll drive around visiting everybody and I'm pumped!

And about Curtis. Partly its the age, I pretty much quit reading the scriptures from 16-18 apart from seminary and I'm turning out alright. He'll be just fine. Just look at all the kids in our ward that didn't do jack squat when they were young and now they're great missionaries. And In the mission I've known so many missionaries that couldn't tell matthew from malachai and they turn out being super solid. And its the kids that start out super strong that fizzle out later on, thats another thing I've seen on the mission. I think the important thing is that you don't push him too much. He'll grow to resent it and associate spiritual things with force and obligation and nobody wants that. Plus you all are just good solid parents and teach by example and have fun while doing it so I wouldn't worry about a thing.

Hi Kate! How's Aaron? You still haven't told me where you went camping! How fluent are you in spanish? We'll have to have a good chat with srta ohl. Howd you end up making friends in waterford lakes?
And tell sterling that I'm a big fan of his .22! Where are you going shooting?

And I'm glad sunburst is going well, at least in Orlando! Where are the sales coming from lately? Do we get the villages or is that Tampa?
Also, a little request. I no longer have a functioning camera. The cheap camera I bought in Roatan finally kicked the bucket. Think you could send me a basic point and shoot? I'd like to finish my mission with lots of pictures haha. 

And I love you all very much. Not a whole lot of time left! Also loved the pictures and everyone is looking so big and adult.
February 20, 2016
I do! His name is Elder Solis and he's another from Costa Rica. Great kid, we have fun. 

And Hodson, good old riley. We saw his plane go off and everything, the airport is right next to our area. He was kind of all of the above. Pretty calm about it though. He's just gonna go bum around for a few months, and then move to idaho for the summer to date his girlfriend, and then start school in a community college in Vegas. 
Elder Hodson (Scott's AP companion) just coming home -  Dix released him at the airport (small world!)
On housing, I don't know. Just find me an apartment, I don't wanna miss out on housing waiting around on Tobler. Let me know when you have some good options and I'll look them up. 

And Sarah, ya gotta tell us how the church ranch kid turned out. My buddy Gillens has family that work on the ranch, maybe they know eachother. Also, tell Irish hi for me, Irish she was my girlfriend. But gosh dang it dark haired girls are looking attractive. Really at this point any girl is looking attractive. 

 And yes! Get that garden growing! We gotta make good use of our land and follow  the prophet and all that, I say you just keep on planting. Also, I don't know what we're doing wrong, because Honduras oranges are way better than florida oranges. I'm gonna bring back seeds with me. How are the chickens? As soon as I get my own house I'm getting chickens and a garden and running a cow if there's room. 

Sterlings getting the ruger? I still reccomend the wood, its just classier. They're pricey though arent they? Its a great gun. Have you found a place to shoot?

And Dad, you better believe I'm planning on the roadtrip! Nice and slow. Take our time. Visit Rhys. How cheap is gas? That sounds like a dream come true and I just hope gas prices are slightly highter in a couple years for my future oil and gas career! I do definitely plan on taking the truck out but if I happen to come across a good deal on an older toyota or an early 2000's silverado I'd probably take it. And if gas prices stay low I can buy whatever the heck I want, Ill go buy my dodge back! I think I'm pretty sold on the fords though, my little truck has been real good to me. 

Provo job-no idea. Any ideas? I'd plan to work the first year but I also plan to make a killing on the summer job and not have to work during the school year. But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. 

 How's seminary going? I did like the story  from 2 kings last week. 

Anyway, here's a little update. Had a really good week in spite of Hodson leaving and all that. Now that Hodson is gone and I'm AP 1 and training Solis I'm forced to do everything for myself. I've always been that way, I can't learn until I have to figure it out for myself. But I've got it now. I'm just being a good AP and it feels good. I'm on top of things (who ever would have thought that organizational skills would have been one of my strongpoints) , good ideas, and things are just going well for me. I have definitely had some divine help though, the whole "weaknesses becoming strengths" thing from Ether 12 is so true. I love being AP though because it keeps life interesting. Still get to do lots of missionary/proselyting work but I get to break it up with lots of office/administrative type stuff. 

And Fernando and Fanny are doing great. We had another great lesson with Fanny and she got an answer to her prayers and she said that she just felt a "knowing", just a quiet sense of peace and comfort and she took it as her answer. She's great and just radiates light and just looks like a Mormon. 

Also, another one of our investigators named Magnor, big guy that's like the spanish version of Kent, was at his job guarding bananas (seriously, he's a security gaurd guarding banana fields and I really don't understand the theft risk) and one of his co-workers had a book of Mormon so they started talking about it and then another co-worker came over and started critizing the mormons so old Magnor just opens up to a chapter we had read with him and his family the other day and shares the story of captain Moroni just macheting the heck out of this guy telling him that we teach good things and that we teach of God and of families and how Captain Moroni is a good example of the kind of men we should be. I have no idea how he found the chapter and he was like "I didn't even know what I was looking for I just opened the book and the words came out of my mouth!" Just a little funny story but I hope it strengthened his faith a little bit. 

But yeah, life is good here. We have a fun house and you can not imagine the tomfoolery that goes around in that house with a bunch of mormon boys and no alcohol. We've got kids from Las Vegas, Bolivia, Florida, Florida (Thats right, another kid from Florida!!!), Costa Rica, and El Salvador. 

Anyways. We're gonna go play pingpong with our EQ's president and then go off to work. 

 How's sunburst doing? and North Carolina branch? 

Anyways, love you all! 
February 13, 2016
First, answering the questions! Tobler´s name is Christian, we haven´t been together in the misison since the CCM but he´s cool and we get along. We would be good roommates. I just know its on the north side near the stadium. Kinda far but I would be driving.

Second, it has been cold!! I have been in hog heaven. Loving it!. It dipped down to 60 degrees one night and there were a few moments when it started to sprinkle and it was windy and I actually was cold.
Where did Kate go camping? I´m impressed. And yes, Sarah´s friend isn´t too bad! But who´s the spanish one on the right? And that´s the great thing about the west-limitless public land, just go! Although I´ve heard that some fools in Utah and other western states want to sell public land, and that would be the end of everything good about the west. Then everything gets put under lock and key and say goodbye to cheap grazing and open hunting and fishing and camping and hiking. As for shooting places that aren´t idea except ocala. Ask Jason. You just gotta know somebody.

Send me strawberry pictures, that´s always fun!
And I don´t have a new companion yet but I don know who he is-he´s another from Costa Rica and I´m pumped.

And yes, I remember well Lorna Strang! And I feel bad for not visiting her more often, good for you all! Do it more often, and tell her I said hi.
And yeah, I talk to Orrin every week. He´s got a broken foot right now.

How are politics looking?
And that garage entrance looks good, holy cow! Profesional level. That might not be too bad of a business, stuff like that is just starting to catch on in the east and I imagine lots of people would want it?

And you guys bought her the car right? Good for you all. Also really glad to hear how well seminary is going. That´s actually one of the really strong things here in honduras and it makes such a big difference. I´m gonna look for those scriptures, I´ve never heard of that story.

Why don´t you have any wood?? Nor a garden??
And sterling! Gun questions-I would reccomend the wood stock just because it looks way better. And it will weigh a little more and the gun will be more accurate. If you can afford it the ruger 10/22 is an excellent gun and is a classic and one of the best 22´s that they make. Noah has or had one, you should ask him how he likes it.

Here´s my week. I had a really good week actually. I´d been kind of in a spiritual rut. You all know me, I´ve always struggled to be spiritual and to feel stuff so this week I had been fasting for an investigator and to get myself out of the rut and it worked-we had an excellent week. We did divisions a few times, inviting zone leaders to our area, and the week was full of just small, little miracles. This week I talked less, let the spirit talk more, and just testified more than anything and let the people pay attention to how they feel and then they naturally follow their feelings. Keep it simple, keep it loving, and get members involved and everything goes well. There´s just so much energy in the mission right now-everything is picking up and the work is spreading and all of the missionaries are having miracles in the people they teach and it´s exciting. Our new focus of the mission is working-focusing on personal revelation and going to the temple. The highlight of this week was finding Fernando and Fanny (its actually a really common name here, don´t laugh). We´d talked with Fanny when we were teaching her brother and long story short we got an appointment and I show up with my buddy Elder Solano from California. We had an excellent lesson, and we talked about things like God´s plan, the eternal nature of the family, how to recieve revelation, how to change our lives, things like that-all very relaxed, not rushed, with lots of testifying-and at the end we kneeled with the family and listen to the father, Fernando, pray. And we visited them yesterday with a couple friends that they have that are super active members and it´s just going along wonderfully. And then on thursday I was on divisions in Progreso with Elder Patterson (he´s the one who´s the son of the TCU coach) and in our last appointment we taught a guy named Carlos. We had to walk through the nastiest hood I´ve seen in Honduras (I hate progreso, so glad I´ll never have to serve there) passing by gangsters on every corner, but we made it to his house without getting robbed so no worries. We had a great lesson with Carlos, full of the spirit, about the law of chastity. He lives with his ¨house companion¨ who´s an older woman who gets drunk every day and just criticizes him all day long for having a drug problem. We taught about baptism and we were like ¨look, you guys have to get married or seperate if you want to get baptized¨ And Carlos just looked at us, though, and then just testified about the gospel and how he is going to make changes in his life and said, in short, ¨I need to follow Christ. What we are doing here isn´t correct. I want to do the right thing and be baptized, so, we will be splitting up¨. It was great and the spirit was felt by all. This stuff happens every week, just the difference is that this week, with a little divine help, I´ve been able to feel more and appreciate more the things that happen.
Also, the other day I was studying about Adam Ondi Ahman and the new jerusalem and all, and I was thinking-¨what would happen if I married a woman and then the prophet calls us to zion and she doesn´t want to go?¨ I need to look for a wife that´s gonna follow the prophet. I sure have my share of sins and imperfections but when the prophet or the Lord speaks, I go.

Anyway, times a tickin. Love you all! And I´ll be able to talk apartments on monday when Tobler gets me the hookup.
Love you all!
February 6, 2016

It did get here fast! Now that I've spent a little time in the office I've come to realize that the slowness isn't the governments fault for once haha. 

BYU housing-no idea. All my friends in the mission are going to USU or the U or other colleges in Utah. I don't have a clue who I'd room with! And I'm not opposed to an apartment. Save money. As long as its not a total dump. And being with sophomores is just fine. The kids my age are married haha.  

I'm excited to see pictures of this stoneworking thing! sounds pretty cool. 

And no, Hodson still has a week left. We are super busy but I was still more stressed as a zone leader. Maybe I'm just in my rythm. The secretaries have a car and we drive it a couple times a week. They made a policy change on a worldwide level and now the APs don't travel as much, they just bring zone leaders to them so the zone leaders learn from the example of the area of the APs. And It sucks! I was so excited to go visit all of my old areas. I'll still have the chance but not as much as I was hoping for. So yeah, we definitely have an area and our job is to have the best area in the mission and be able to use it as a training ground for zone leaders. I like what I do though. I'm doing my best to break the whole stuck up pharasaiacal reputation of APs. Last night we had Navas and his new companion come down and we did divisions in our area and had a blast. Focus of the mission is on preaching repentence and getting people to the temple. We're kind of on a back-to-basics kick and I'm a big pusher of it. Keep it simple. Book of Mormon and revelation. We're having all the missionaries re-visit the training courses we do in the first 12 weeks on the mission. Not trying to reinvent the wheel. 

These past couple of weeks have been a blur. I really can't recall much-old Vidal is doing great and loving his calling and he got the priesthood the other day, and we have a baptism for next saturday. The members are great and they work. We have a very effective ward. And yes, I'm always focused. Always baggy but it doesn't hold me back! I'm gonna buy a journal so I can start journaling again. Nothing crazy happened this week. We had a zone leader meeting in pico bonito back in la ceiba and I directed the meeting in jeans and a tshirt out in the jungle and it was the best meeting we've ever had. We are always still in the same-invite people to change, get them to read the book of mormon and feel it's power, get them to pray and feel something from above, and get them to open their minds and their hearts a little bit. We also have had a couple funerals this week. And gosh dang it I almost cried in one of them. Young mother in the ward passed away and I watched her husband explain to their six year old son over the casket what had happened. Really makes you appreciate the gospel and the security it brings us. We get content and casual until something shakes us up and makes us see the eternal picture.  And then the other one wasn't quite as sad because it was an older lady that had been sick for a long time but her granddaughter was all alone when she died and didn't have any other number to call but ours so we went to her house and helped arrange the body and funeral operations and called up the members to help and pay for a funeral. The church really mobilizes here, it's nice. Some units here get really stingy and forget the reason that we pay fast offerings and the reasons the wards recieve a budget. so, it was a first time experience for me dealing with a body and finding a coffin with a family that has no money. And then we spent a couple hours just talking with the granddaughter giving her a little love and support out on lawn chairs in the lawn. This life isn't the end! 

I think that's all I got for you all. Love you all!