Monday, November 30, 2015

Last month!!!!....

Hey guys! Sorry I wont be able to write so much on the blog this time. Instead of sending all of the pictures from the first day until now, and im replying to the individual emails. i LOVE hearing from you guys thank you so much! Im sorry that i cannot always reply but i read every single one and usually, just kidding. I usually laugh! :) Everything is going well this week! Its been a little hard with these investigators but thats part of being a missionary, i still love it though! Like one time we found this guy hes 17 and his name is Daniel, and my trainer said he wanted me to handle this one, so i taugh him the lessons and everything you can feel that the spirit was there! After a couple days I gave him the baptismal invitation and he accepted! He said he felt an assurance in his prayers and he feels like this is what he needed to do. So i was super happy but then the next visit was kinda bad... We showed up and he was so upset because his father realized he wanted to be baptized and he freaked out and ripped up everything we gave him. The dad was a Buddhist and did not want us going anymore :/ things like that happen sometimes but i know that our heavenly father will work things out! Im getting used to the spanish! I know how to use Uested now! :) it was really hard for me at first! Thanksgiving was awesome! SO much food! Because theres a lot of enlgish speakers they celebrated Thanksgiving too! Enjoy the pictures! Talk to ya next week! :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Que Cheque!!!!

Everyone says Cheque around here! Which means awesome, alright, or good. Oh! and Massiso! Thats how you know your cool! If you say, Eso es Massiso! haha! I´m still getting used to the culture down here but i love it! Also! Instead of pointing with your finger, people just point with their lips. Like theyre kissing the air, but theyre actually was wierd the first few times! But yeah I am having a great time and this week has been more of a missionary week. Ok, weell first ill start with a little bit about tegucigalpa and the life here. I am not gonna lie, i got LUCKY! Lucky that i got to serve in tegucigalpa my first area, everyone usually goes to the south, and the south is HOT! Everyone talks about the south being the hottest place ever, and its very poorrr, and lots of mountains to walk up. (But if you ask any missonary that has been there, they say that it was their favorite and if they can go back, they would want to) But yeah, being in the city makes life not as bad as it coulddd be. Elder Westberg and I have one of the biggest areas in the mission. It used to be a ZONE! Meaning, its so big that there used to be smaller assigned areas for missionaries. But thats alright, we love it! So yeah, our area is by far the Richest! Of course we have some poor places, but the majority of it is rich! So the cars are usually really nice and the houses are huge! For example, we have two beautiful Porches in our ward! that says alot for Honduras. And the elder and I usually have to decide whether the houses are apartments or one house, and its usually only one house! ;) Everytime I am in a vehicle, I am scared! The traffic here is worst i have EVER seen! They go wayyy to fast, stop wayyy to suddenly, and there are no driving rules around here, i have seen about 3 traffic jams in the same intersection already! (Its always funny to see them try to figure out getting out of it!lol) I would say that about 75% of the vehicles here are all Taxis! Always honking at us (I dont wave anymore!lol) The weather here is amazing! (Not as great as Guatamala though, they have AMAZING weather) But here is good too. Its always cloudy, so theres always a nice breeze so its about 75 when we walk around, but its annoying because sometimes it will SUDDENLY rain! Like, out of nowhere! Sometimes I forget my umbrella and... well yeah ill just stop there. Because this city is rich, alottt of the youth speak english. The bilingual school is fairly cheap though so the majority of the youth in general all know english, which i gotta hand to Honduras is pretty good! The food is amazing! I like the words of my companion, ´If the food doesnt ave an excessive about of sugar than it has an excessive about of fat!´Which is soo true... I think im going to get fat lol The ultimate Honduran food is what is called Baleadas. Its like a taco with a flour tortilla with beans, eggs, cheese, and big slice of butter. can taste the butter, like alot. But its good! And Saturday Javier fed us Mondongo! Ok, its like a soup, with cow stomach, banana, and vegestables. Its not as good as menudo because it doesnt have as much spices but its still good! Try making it sometime ;) Yesterday Hermana Fields fed us Salpicon. I think it was by far my favorite! Its like machaca con rice but with lots of lemon in it. It was sooo good! Well thats enoguh about Tegucs for now. One of my favorite experiences was at a service project we did last week. So we´re still new at that time right? So we figured by helping the ward out in the service project we will build a good realtionship. So we go and theyre completely fixing one of the members really old beat up house. Some people are painting, rebuilding, or working outside. Well being the kind of guy that i am, cough cough, i decided to work outside! Hardworking man you know ;) So i asked the guys what can i do, and they decided that I can TRY taking out the weeds. I didnt know what they meant by Try, its not that hard right? Just use a hoe to take them out. Well when i asked where the tool was, they kinda smirked and handed me a Machete! I thought it was a joke, like they just wanted to be entertained!lol but no, thats what they use! Its kind of hard how to explain how they use a machete for that but yeah they do! And i got good at it fast and we built a good relationship after they laught at me trying my first couple times!haha but yeah this ward is AMAZING! By companion is pretty cool! He is also District leader so im learning alot about that position and what is expected of missionaries. Which is a great experience for a new guy like me! We get along very well because we both like to work hard, and get things done! So with that being said, yeah, we work ALOT! even until the last 5 minutes of the day! He brought his iPod which is loaded with christmas music so thats always entertaining. He also brought P90X so we do that every morning! Kind of exhausting...but its awesome! I miss my gym and weights though!!!!! He also has a bunch of John Bytheway talks, but he also has Hank Smith talks. Which Bytheway, im sorry to say, is better than John. Look up his talks ! theyre so good! (And mom, really listen to one of his talks called Real Life, youll cry at the end;) and one called somethnig about 5 temptations killers) But yeah my companion and I are always laughing and having a good time and we´re pretty good at talking with people! As a missionary I have learned alot! I have officially had my ups and downs. We ALB alot and we usually have a lot of success with it. But for a couple days this week, we got nothing. Literally. No new lessions, no investigators, cancelled appointments,etc. That investigator i talked about last week, Nelson, was doing reallly good, but that it fell. He was so close! He was saying multiple times that this chuch is true and he KNOWS its true. He was on his way to baptism! He even argued with his parents who live en los estados that he WILL go to our church this sunday whether they like it or not, and that hes old enough to make his choices. So that takes guts and having faith. But then he talked with his abuelo, who is a evanglical pastor, he told him sooo many lies and stuff about mormons that he messed with his mind so much that now he wont even look at at the bom because of a video he watched on youtube which is false. I was so sad! But after lots of explaing it was no use, the only thing we can do is bare our tresitmony. And we felt the spirit so strong that i know he felt it! I just hope he prays again. It was a little depressing for me because it was my first experience with that. But i have a great trainer. He kept telling me not to give up. And I think it was viernes where we got 5 new lessons in, 4 new investigators, 3 desafios, and it was a good day completely! I learned that sometimes we will have bad days, but at the end of every tunnel there is always light, and lots of blessings de nuestro padre celestial. There is a LOT of experiences like this but I dont have time to stay tunes for next week :) Miss you guys! literally eveyone!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Loving Tegucigalpa!!!!!

Hello everyone! I bet your all worried about me because i havent been able to write much the past couple weeks...but im finally in Tegucigalpa!! I`ll do my best to as descriptive as possible on whats been going on, but just know, i am having the best time of life!
     Well leaving the MTC was excited and kind of depressing. It was like one biggg family! I loved being with the other elders and hermanas so much, and all growing together. We had the most spiritual and funniest moments ever, even some were a little too ridiculous to write!lol We ended up leaving tuesday morning (3 in the morning) and from the Guatamala airport we went to the El Salvador! After a couple hours we finally ended out to Honduras (Home-duras;) Good thing that most of elders and hermanas that we were in my zone in the ccm were also going to the same mision so we still had a good time! You guys would have been so scared if you were riding this plane because it does a couple rounds around the city to slow down and get the right angle to land, but it flies SUPER close to the city, like CLOSE. We thought something was going wrong and we were gonna crash, but we didnt :) Once we got off the plane I was sooo happy that the airport was like the ones from guatamala or el salvador, it was just like the Phoenix airport! So far Honduras was looking good, It wasnt look run down and too ghetto looking (it still doesnt btw). Presend and Mrs. President Bowler met us there and they are so nice! They knew us all by name and where we came from, President has been to Wickenburg so we kept talking about that, but I told him its not much ;) Then we went to the stake center but ill get to that later.
     Ohh and btw, you guys have no idea what the struggle is like trying to decide what category I am down here, since I know both english and spanish, I am both Latino and Gringo, and the leaders keep making me choose for different activities. For example, the President of the MTC pulled me aside one time and looked me in the eye and said (jokingly) which one I was because we were going to do a sesson in the Guatamala temple and he had to enroll me in either the gringos or latinos, but the thing with that is if i choose one side the others get angry!lol If i go with the gringos fora while, the latinos get mad, and vice versa. It was a joke around the MTC and even the teachers and everyone got involved. haha that was always fun.
     So we are at the Stake Center and the President says some introductionsand then he assigns us a temprorary companion to start working! I got assigned a gringo, like me ;) and we went to start Abriendo La Boca (talking with people in the streets) and as we were leaving the Stake Center I get one of my first real looks into the city of Tegucigalpa! So my companion is telling me the stuff about tegucs and saying how nice the people are, but then as soon as we hit the road there is a bunch of taxis honking at us, and so... I waved back! I thought that they were being nice and welcoming us in. Once two different Taxi cars stopped by us I later learned by my companion that this normal, they want business, so dont wave! haha that was so new to me! 
     The city here is HUGE! I think there is about 2 million people! The city is like a big valley, but its `overgrown`onto and past the mountains that are around us. There is (surprisingly) a lot of upper-class houses that i never expected, but ive also seen a lot of other lower class. I didnt get much of a culture shock because it really reminds me of Mexico. Like, exactly! Except for all of the mountains which are ALOT of fun to walk up...not. 
   Anyway, (there is so much to talk about sorry if i get out of topic sometimes) once me and companion start walking around knocking and stuff, one of the first guys we found is actually a guy that did read the book of Mormon and had some questions! My gringo companion didnt know much spanish so me, the new guy, the guy who BARELY arrived into the field, had to do all of the talking pretty much! So i did the best that I can and answered everything and accepted a second visit! That was my FIRST experience and i nailed it! Later on that night we stay at the President`s Assisant`s house and it was huge! The missionaryies dream house! Well, for me it was because of the gym that they have there!lol ill try to include some pictures from it. 
     The next morning we get some training and then its the ceremony where we get assigned our companions! It was awesome! My companion (trainer) is Elder Westberg and he is awesome! I got so lucky! we have a lot in common and we get along. He has about 17 months in and hes teaching me all that he can and i can tell that ive learned alot so far! AND...we are opening up a new area!! Meaning we have to start from scratch! AND... we are staying in the City! (which is a little rare, since the city is small compared to how big the mission is here). So we arrive at our house and its small but its way better then expected, we have RUNNING WATER! But no hot water... but still! When we arrived it was super dirty and we had to clean it a bunch but now it feels like home! We have a pila too, meaning we have to wash clothes! Yay! 
     So later that day we start working! Since we dont know ANYTHING about the area or the members we decided to wing it, and go outside, see what happens. We explore for a little bit then we end finding a member, Javier, we talk with him and stuff and hes inactive. But he is the BIGGEST blessing we have recieved here so far! After we got dont talking he told us that he wanted to show us around! And he did, ALL afternoon night! and still wanted to come with us the next day! He then said Òhh and if you have dirty clothes you can just bring it me and ill wash it for free! like WHAT!?¿ This guy is awesome! If it wasnt for hime we would still be aimlessly walking around. 
     Mutual night we ended up going to the church to try to learn more about the area and people. Me and my companion ended learning really quick that EVERYONE is this nice! the members here are amazing and they want to help us so much! One of the members, the Elders Quorum President looked me in the eye and told me, Do you have everything you need for your mision? If you EVER need anything you ask us, do NOT ask your parents back home, they have enough to worry about! hahah! I love it here! The ward building is HUGE! two story building and so many extra rooms and only one ward meets there! Its crazy, they have a lot of plata here ;)
     Everyday my companion and I try a different area in our HUGE area (one of the biggest in the whole mission) try a different area to learn, abrienda la boca on the way and im getting just as good as my companion talking with people. Alot of the people are catholic, but MOSTLY Evangelical. Like you have no idea how many there are here! But we still like talking with them because a lot of them dont really have a testimony like they claim to have. Ohh! We were walking in Loma Linda the other day and we saw some 25 year old playing gis guitar and walkinga round so i talk to hime and stuff, play the guitar a little then he lets us in to share a message. He said he was a hardcore Evangelical but he`ll still listen. We taught him the Restoration and he loved it! It was my first experience that Ive had where they say ``I dont know what is, but something inside of me is telling me that what you guys are teaching is true`. I was happy!! But we have had more of those expereinces, and we´re getting more investigators! 
     My time is running out, but Ill write more next week, there is still so much to write. Dont woryy about me guys :) I am having a great time doing the obra of our heavenly father :) My spanish is coming along too! The only thing i have to work on is using Uested. But ill get the hang of it after a while. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hey guys!! I'm at Honduras!!!!!

Hey guys! Im at Honduras! This place is amazing and ive only been here for like an hour! The city here is huge! Leaving the MTC was pretty sad because of the family and home that I made there. There are so many amazing experiences that I had that I don't have time to write. Well tomorrow I will receive my companion and start training! And we're about to start to go proselyting right now! Talk to ya next week! Im having the greatest time of my life!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I'm Here!!!!!!

Hey guys!! Im here at the Guatamala MTC and i am having the GREATEST time of my life! I dont even know where to start! But I guess I can start with the plane ride here. Once we said our goodbyes it was pretty sad of course, but I prayed for comfort, next thing you know minutes later a former missionary president sits in front of me at the airport and we start talking alot about what im about to go through. I was the only missionary in the Phoenix airport. So we board the plane and i ended up sitting towards the back with still no missionaries around. But then i can see some shuffling of seats up ahead and then some people move around and this guy sits by me, a Returned Missionary!! So i was just amazed how im already receiving answers to my prayers! We go to Salt Lake airport, then LA, along the way picking up other missionaries, and we all became a big family! Even until this day, we still look after each other, we call each other El Squadron!lol From the LA airport to Guatemala City airport was really long! and at one in the morning... but the friends i made are awesome! One even came from Arizona and wrestled! He was one of Ryan Allreds main compitetion (only Arizona wrestlers would understand) So Im teaching spanish to all of my friends the planeride here and a lot of gospel related words, and one of the elders was like, well i want to see you put the words into action, I have an extra book of Mormon in my backpack, i DARE you to place your first book to the passenger by you, who was spanish speaking only. I took on the challenge and he was SUPER interested! it was awesome, i acted like i fell asleep and he started reading it for a while! So things were looking good so far! 
     The MTC treats us soo well! Theres about half "gringos" and half other elders from all around! All learning spanish, there are 6 weekers and 2 weekers, at first i was really worried that i was put into the 2 weeks... i was with all the native speakers and it was hard to keep up... but will lots of praying and practicing on my own, ive been getting a bunch of compliments on my spanish! Around here, Im known as THAT gringo thats fluent in spanish haha I love it! I sit in the middle of the table and from both ends of both sides people keep yelling at me "Madero!! Como se dice ____," or "How do I say___". And you guys know me, I dont mind it all ;) Ive been speaking nothing but spanish and now my thoughts are in spanish too! its wierd lol writing this is actually really difficult because i forget how to spell some words in english! 
     The training here is pretty intense, every 30 minutes is planned out, but nothing i cant handle. I got sooo lucky, kinda... My districto got a teacher named Elder Hernandez, and he the hardest teacher here! and hes not afraid to say that. But i couldnt be any more happier. He is determined to make is LITERALLY the BEST missionaries possible. He is teaching so much doctrine, teaching skills, and so many inspiring experiences that he went through. Ive learned alot! We also do a lot of ACTUALY teaching with investigators and other missionaries so we keep getting better. He has alot of really good, odd points in his lessions... one of my favorites: El libro de tu mision te dice que traigas un buen par de zapatos para caminar mucho en el mission, pero yo no creo que eso es sierto, si tus zapatos esta gastados, no estas enseñando, tus pantalones deben de estar gastados por estar sentadado mucho y enseñando" haha he always say stuff like that, but its making us grow!
     The MTC in general is one big family, on top of El Squadron haha, we are always messing around and having a good time. I found out that alotttt of the gringos here all wrestlers! Ive found about 8, and mostly all state placers in arizona, utah, and idaho! So during our free time we go to the gym, and we have all of these native little guys are just blown away by what we do as a sport haha its so funny! Well show them some of moves that we do and they all have their jaws dropped, one time they were doing pullups (about 3 or 5) and it was a competition, before they knew i was "fit"... and I asked them how much i can do, they thought about it but then they decided with 6-8, so i get on the bar and rep out 18 solid pullups! it was the on the best moments ever because after that they are all like "Ayyyy Maderrro!" and then they start flexing haha 
     So my birthday just passed and I was a lttle worried because of the traditions that they do, so i kept it on the downlow, but somehow the Presidents wife found out and she made everyone sing happy birthday en espanol and the cafeteria was LOUD! it was awesome! And all of the Elders would tell me throughtout that whole day..."your lucky we dont have any eggs" hahaha (They crack eggs on the birthday persons head) theyre so loving huh? ;) Im trying to write everything that I can about the MTC but there is literally WAY to much and im limited in time... Im grown so much spiritually and emotiontly, and of course.. physically (Flexing emoji) lol 
     I miss you guys! family, friends, and just american people in gerenal! But Im adapting really fast, im helping others out alot when i should be helping myself, but it feels good. The MTC President Cox loves me because he was looking out for me after i told him i was worried about my spanish and the two weeks, but now he keeps calling me up to say or read stuff every time we have a devotional! The only thing im struggling with is using the conext of Uested instead of talking with Tu. But ill get it! I talked to some gringos that have some inside information and hes says that the people that leave to Tegucigalpa are going to be leaving on the plane next Tuesday at 3 in the morning, which is good...but bad. I may not be able to type next week because Pdays are on monday in the field, and tuesdays in the MTC.I cant upload photos here, so youll have to wait! But dont worry about me, im growing so much! I have a family here and were all helping each other grow. The teachers and trainers are amazing. The food is awesome! I miss you guys!
This is when we just got to the MTC in Guatemala.  LOTS OF GREAT TIMES!!

We went to our mission presidents house.... and this was my favorite room!!!