Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Zone Conference

Well Im doing great! 
There isnt much to report on this week, except that we had zone conference which was awesome! But first, have I mentioned how awesome El Paraíso is? I think I did haha. But I am having a great time here! Im actually still learning how this area is, and what I realized this week is that this area is HUGE! I feel like im in Miraflores again because we have to plan each day with each area again. It is way to big to go from one side of the area to the next during the day multiple times. But that is such a blessing! I´m not seeing the same people everyday like in Las Unidas haha! There is a great variety of people here, but the good thing is that there isnt much of the rich snotty people here! They are all humble but not living in poverty. So our main priority still is trying to get to know the members of our area, because there is alot! The assistencia on sundays supposably hit about 200. So there is alot of work to do!! haha Well I think I mentioned this last week, but last week the Bishop asked me to give a talk this week, to motivate the members to work together. I was really excited about this! So during the week Ive been pondering on what to say. Hermana Vargas, one of the other missionaries in our ward said that in all that time she has been there, the bishop has never asked any missionary to talk, he doesnt like to because its a strong ward. The only time recently that its happened when E. Valladares asked to give a talk about 4 months ago. Anyway, I felt really priviledged! So Sunday came around, and I gave my talk. I prepared a bunch for it since I was really excited to give it! In my talk I tried to animate the members, not just saying, Hey! Give us references!! But instead, I tried to, well first present us because some dont even know that there are elders in the area again, but also to let them see that we were regular members before too, we know how they feel. As members, we have our friends and family members that are not members, but we dont give those references to whatever missionary. I strongly invited them to first, get to know us. We are really dispuestos to visit them, teach them, serve them, anything! I told them about the success we had in the Villa when the stake plan was to do 3 family home evenings a week! As well as how well going on divisions with the missionaries is. So that they can see how we work and how we teach. So they can see that we wont scare their friends away haha! Stuff like that. As soon as the first hour was finished, immediatley some members came up to us and said ´Hola! we are the Silva family! When can you guys come over?´ Man!! we were sooo happy! this continued until the end of church! I am so excited to see the results! 
On Tuesday we went to Teguz to the Mexican Embassy because some missionaries in the mission are waiting for their VISAs to go to their mission in Mexico. As well as my companion. My companion, Elder Rosales has 3 months in the mission, waiting to go to Mexico. President told us that he leaves this Wednesday, but the office has no idea whats going with that situation so we´ll see what happens! I think ill be recieving a mini-missionary. 
On Friday we had zone conference! Its when the President shaves us and says we need to straighten up! But in a loving way of course! haha Its also pretty cool because we get to see most of the missionaries in the mission. The city and the oriente get together for zone conferences, and the south missionaries have their own in the south. So it was nice to see the city elders again!!
 Anyway, during the conference sometimes there are some acitvities that we do to learn a certain principle. Well Hermana Lara, who is the enfermera of the mission, she needed a participate for her activity. I met Hermana Lara while I was in the south and of course now how i am, (always showing off ;) hahaha so guess who she calls on? Yeah that one elder, madero I think his name?? anyway, the principle was perseverar hasta el fin to get the best reward. So by the pulpit she showed me a piece of chocolate, she said, do you like chocolate? eat it. So I ate. Then she had a lollipop, do you want the lollipop? It takes 15 squats. Then she had a candybar? It takes 20 pushups to earn it. Then lastly, she had a Cocacola bottle. Coke is the great thing ever invented! <3 and it took 2 minutes being in the plank position. Ooooh que dificil right?? haha man it was so much fun because we put up a show! Era un gran relax!   

This is how El Paraíso looks like!

 This is our Ward Mission Leader, Elias and his wife, and my companion, Elder Rosales from Honduras, and the hermanas we are splitting the ward with, Hermana Moreno from Honduras and Hermana Vargas from Costa Rica.

This is our temporary chapel while the actual chapel is being reconstructed! It should be open in like 2 weeks!! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I´m in Paradise!

El Paraiso is the greatest place ever! 
Now I know why missionaries say that this area is one of the best in the mission! 
I testify of that! f you notice the little map on the blog that should be on the left side, you´ll see a map of our mission. El Paraiso queda under Danli. It is a small city kind of Well, Its like Wickenburg. But better... ;) Its a really powerful ward here! This ward is the best in the Stake of Danli. We split the ward with hermanas, but we have the good side haha. Because this area is know for being #1, they expect a lot out of us. Which is just what I wanted! We are opening area meaning that me and my companion are both entering the area not knowing anything. Starting fresh pretty much. My second time opening area, I opened my first area in the mission as well, so at least I had experience how to do successfully. So this week we have been going out with the members to get to know the area, and its HUGE! We have also been doing our best to get the members to get to know us and trust us. Letting them know that we are here to work, which hasnt been easy... the previous elderes didnt leave a good example and their isnt too much confidence with some members now. For example, we only have meals with members like 3 days of the week, the rest we are on our own. But little by little they start trusting us and then starting inviting us over to eat. We actually already have some references from them! I made sure to visit the bishop asap. He is a great guy! We talked to him and stuff and we let him know who we are and what we want to do, he was impressed. He told us he can see the honesty and sincerity in us. He even asked me to give a talk this sunday and saying pretty much the same thing we told him because we need to animate the members to work with the missionaries again. I gladly accepted the asignment, what better way for the members to get to know us? We are currently meeting in like a store house type of room on Sundays. The past couple months the chapel has been under reconstruction, and it should be open in October! It is a really nice chapel! It honestly feels wierd to be in a ward again lol wheres my humble little group I love!!!! I´ll upload some of my goodbye pictures of some members from Las Unidas speaking of them.
But this area is awesome! The people recieve us so easily! It is really really, REALLY wierd that someone rejects like they do in the city lol they dont slam doors here! The climate is great! Its a cold area, but right now its really fresco. My companion is great! He is Elder Rosales, he has 3 months and is from Choluteca Honduras! So he is a paisano haha for only having 3 months, he knows ALOT! Our lessons together are great! He is waiting to to get his Visa to go to his mission, which is in Mexico, DF sur. This week was pretty cool because it was Honduras´s Independence Day and their was a huge festival parade thing here. 
Oh! I completely forgot last week to write about the assignment I gave you guys about Nephi and Laban! Well, Nephi was commanded to kill Laban right? Well I thought that well he did it out of obedience and because the Lord commanded him to do it, and that it is better for one person to die than a whole nation. Well my companion and I realized that before Nephi was commanded to kill him, he and his brothers tried to reason with Laban before and it didnt work out. The first time Laman want, and Laban tried to kill him. Then they took the riches that they had, and what did Laban do? He robbed them and tried to kill them again... which by the Law of Moses (eye for an eye) Laban should be put to death right? Its interesting to think of it that way haha. 
Anyways, everything is going great here! We are having a great time getting to know this area and the members. Estamos echando fuego! 

                                             Im going to miss how steep the mountains are here haha

                                             My last day in Las Unidas. Saying goodbye to the area and the members.

                                                     El perro estaba triste porque me voy a ir... sniff sniff

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

El Paraíso is calling my name!

Well everything is going great in Las Unidas.
I truly love it here. I´ve been here for two weeks and a change (a total of 2 months). During this time we´ve worked hard and found a bunch of great people. Some prepared people and some not prepared. We´ve also worked hard with the members, trying to earn their trust and mostly reactivating them lol but also trying to have them help us in the obra misional. We have their trust now in my opinion. When they invite us over for ´tortillas y queso´ that usually means they love us. haha
I love these people so much!! They are so humble and ive learned a lot from them. Ive lived in a town my whole life and im used to it. Then going from being in the city a bunch during the mission, back to a small village, i feel at home.
 While Ive been here I´ve tried my best to help contribute to help this group become a branch, and I cant believe that last week they announced that they will send the papers at the end of this month! When I got here to this area the asistence at church on Sundays was 22, I am happy to say that this past sunday we brought it up to 41! 
 I have to share this experience with you guys: My companion and his last comp contacted this one guy in the street, and they put a cita, everytime they would go, he would never be home. And then I came, we kept going as well, but like always, never there. Its not that he was anything that incredible is just that for some reason he was a future investigator that we always kept trying to find. (ive never met him) But I always felt like going to his house and knock and see if he was home. Saturday night, we tried again. and guess what? He just got home from work! So he comes to the door and we talk for a little bit. He lives right in front of an Adventista church. So I wanted to get to know him a little bit by talking about if he has ever gone to the church in front of his house, it turns out that he doesnt go because they dont eat fish and he cant work on Saturdays... so that wasnt the answer that I wanted haha. And he firmly stated that he is catholic. And I forgot how but during the talking he said something like ´un bolo no puede guiar a otro bolo´ ... so he drinks. By this time I can tell that my companion wants to leave (consejo de grupo was starting) but I wanted to get to know him a little more. After a while, he started to realize we arent robots, we are real people. (that sounds wierd right?lol) so then he tells that hes talked to other missionaries before, like 3 years ago adn they gave him a book, then he lets us in. After a few minutes he finds this book, El Libro de Mormon. I open it and see the front page has a photo of the two missionaries and their testimonies written there... we were pretty surprised but grateful they did that! He goes on talking about how hes read the Book of Mormon upto Mosiah! And he has been marking his favorite scriptures. By now, we are beyond happy, we are sooo happy! then he tells us a story. He tells us that in his job, his workmates are pretty cruel and mean. And one time religion got brought up. Of course they were bashing on every religion, especially our church. And there was this certain guy that was talking bad about the Book of Mormon, and our investigator got frustrated, and he took out the Book of Mormon THAT HE HAD IN HIS BACKPACK and opened and read his favorite scriptures to them. (and by now, we have our eyes WIDE open we cannoy believe what we are hearing) and thennn... he tells us that he told them, firmly, holding the book, He said ´Yo SE, que este libro verdaderamente viene de Dios, no le he leido todo, pero yo se que es verdadero´ By this time, I´m tearing up, as macho and might that I am (Que humildad va?;) My companion and I were speechless, yes because of his testimony of the the veracidad of the book, but also because we are so grateful for recieving another blessing from our Heavenly Father. We definately learned that we always need to be listening to the Spirit because we never know who is waiting for us, and need to hear our message or visit them. I love the mission so much!
Well anyway, heres the juicy part of this blog post: Today was the day that they tell us if we have changes or not. We invtied all of the missionaries in the south to our stake center and we were going to see the changes together. It was so much fun being with everyone, ive made soo many amazing friends here!!  Well because Ive been here for only two months I figured I´d stay here...but guess what? Im leaving Choluteca... I AM OPENING AN AREA IN ´EL PARAISO´!!
 I cant believe it!! Im leaving the south and I am going to the EAST. Its nice and fresh over there. Everyone was congradulating me, saying that the area I am going to is one of the best areas in the mission and that they were proud of me for opening another area, President must really trust me! haha I am so excited!! Im pretty sad about leaving Las Unidas but I know that these changes were by revelation, and that is were the Lord needs me.
 I truly feel like Ive done my part here. Now its time to say goodbye to this amazing area.


                                                                         Last group photo together! 

 My Llave and I, Elder Saucedo, now its time to say goodbye to this awesome Columbian. In Columbia, they say Mi Llave to say my friend or my homie. Which is translated to My Key haha but its catchy!

 Elder Garry from Utah, Elder Tuz de Mexico, y Elder Iongi from Cali, Im gonna miss these guys a bunch!!!

                                                       This is our district, its always hard to say goodbye! 
-Elder Iongi is honestly one of my favorite friends that ive made on the mission! 

Shoutout to some of the hermanas from our zone for making us Pupusas for lunch! 
Pupusas are the El Salvador equivalent to Baleadas in Honduras. But the pupusas were super good!!

Elder Flores brought a Mexican flag to take pictures with, and all of the mexicans were going to take pictures, and it was funny because they were like, Donde esta Madero?? 
Diga a ese Mexicano que venga!! hahaha Awww I love my paisanos!! :)

                     The cool thing about being in the South is being close to Santos and Nelson. 
They are two different guys that both buy a whole bunch of different skins and make stuff with them. Exclusively for missionaries! Santos came all the way to our house on his bike the other day to show the skins he had! He really likes us because he doesn't do that with everyone, and we live far! He made me a custom White Boa Belt! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Making Tortillas!

Im doing great! 
This email is going to be reallllly interesting because of the news at the end...but dont look! 
You have to read everything else first! haha
This was a great week of work! We found a lot of interesting people, more on that later as well... But! Like the title says...we made tortillas! 
Like ive said before, tortillas are a HUGE thing in Honduras. You cannot eat a meal without tortillas! But i love it! And every day every house are always making tortillas at their house. And I think it was Friday, we were at an inactives house and we wanted to earn their trust, and so we asked the typical question, ¨hay algo que nosotros podemos hacer por usted? is there anything that we can do for you? barrer, trapiar, lavar trastes, ropa, moler tortillas, como sea!¨anything! and well this time..they said Yes! 
We were not expecting that! So they took us around back and said that we can help them make tortillas!
 We were super excited though because we´ve never done it before and we wanted to learn! So they taught us and we got  it! First it starts with corn, then they grind it up. And it turns into a type of masa. Then our job was to put into little balls and squish it with a piece of tile!  haha
I remembered all of those times my mom making homemade tortillas but not with a piece of tile!haha that was fun! 
Then after that the tortillas go on the stove to cook... ill let the picture of the stove speak for itself! thats how everyones stoves are here in the south! Its either those or the little electrical stoves. So we got stuck doing that service project was it was really fun, we bonded with the members for a while and they let us teach them after!
Speaking of teaching, I realized this week I love teaching!!! I love finding people who dont know much, but have a basic christian background and teaching them the truth, and watching their eyes as they slowly realize that EVERYTHING we are teaching comes from scripture that they already believe in, the Bible, and they start to realize that what we are teaching is true. Lately I have been studying the Bible A BUNCH!! alongside with some of the church´s reference books for help and ive learned a bunch! I thought I knew the Bible before, but now its a whole new level. Not only that, but its helped me understand some of the mysteries of the Book of Mormon. And would it surprise you to know that I still have not found not ONE contradiction. I love this scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 11:21: " Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men."
 I truly tesitify of this because while we teach, i truly feel like my tongue gets loosed and I dont even really have to think of the answer, its just comes out! Lately with all of the interesting investigators we´ve found, they just happen to have a lot of touchy subjects and questions about our church, but that doesnt worry us at all. We´ve learned to not have the spirit of contention with us AT ALL and teach with the spirit, in a calm, clear, loving voice. We´ve had so many experiences like this with a positive outcome! The other day we were teaching a lady that goes to the evangelical church, and she was kind of hard with us in the beginning, but she still let us in and teach. She had a lot of questions about everything but we replied in a loving way using the Bible. We taught the first time mostly about L1 and Authority, she had 0 questions at the end.
 The next city she had a lot more questions for us but of course, we had an answer. Towards the end it was time to challenge her for baptism, we truly felt like she would say Yes. And I asked her ´Si usted le pregunta a Dios, para saber la veracidad de estas cosas, y usted siente que ha recibido una respuesta en su corazón, que estaría despuesta hacer?¨ And she said I know what you want me to say, but i cant. She closed her bible and pretty much said shes realized that what we are teaching could clearly be true, but she doesnt want to ask God because she doesnt want to cause problems with her husband by going to a different church (Hes the Pastor). Well, at least we left a seed there that will one day grow! But anyway, I have a question for you guys! As I was studying the Book of Mormon I realized something.
 If Nephi and his family were still following the Law of Moses (Which pretty much says that if someone kills someone else, that person must be put to death too) Why was Nephi commanded to kill Laban? There is a response that will blow your mind! (Ill tell you next week!;) 
Ohh! This week has been raining like CRAZY! It feels like a hurricane! The other day after district meeting we went to Wendys, then at around 1 we were going to leave and then de repente it starts raining HARD! and we couldnt leave! All of Choluteca got flooded pretty bad. After a while we started studying haha we were stuck in Wendys with the elders from Iztoca and our ZLs. 
Ohh! And I forgot to say last week, there is this member in our group that is super awesome! He served his mission in Mexico a few years ago and he helps us out a bunch! He hasnt gotten along with the past elders in this area because they were pretty disobedient but you can tell that he truly trusts us! Because the other day he want to church with a really really nice tie, and I told him ¨me llega su corbata hombre!¨ ( i like your tie)You know what he does? He looks at the tie, and then looks at me and says, ´es una de mis favoritas´ and he starts to untie it and then he gives it to me! Of course then I gave him mine! But wow! These people are very loving. 
Ready for the news?
 Last sunday was testimony sunday and since its a group, everybody had to go up and bare their testimony haha but then at the end, one of the Iztoca ward´s councelors got up, and said...he had an announcement. Then his eyes started to water, and he says... At the end of this month, we will be sending the papers so that Las Unidas can be a BRANCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Everybody in the room pretty much went into shock!! We still cant believe it!
 We hope it all works out, the branch building will be such a blessing for us!

This is Daniel, we exchanged ties haha