Monday, October 30, 2017

2 Years and 3 Birthdays!!!

So usually missionaries will make homemade covers (using old Liahona magazines)  for their agendas and usually their last agenda of the mission is usually pretty funny... this is my last agenda before I go home! hahaha everyone loves it!

Well, today is a pretty big day for me in my life... I have reached the 2-year mark in my mission, now I'm just waiting for the day that I get on the plane! And today is also the day that I turn 21! (I still feel like I am 18!) Oh, and isn't it a little strange how I am celebrating my Third birthday on my 2-year mission?! Oh well! I'm sure that doesn't happen too often, but I like it! Everyone always dreams of their 21st birthday, and having the craziest birthday party ever! (drinking emoji) But good thing I am not home for it! Instead... I will be teaching Romans 6 to a group of Seminary students! Yay! (Pretty crazy, right?) 
Anyway, this is also a big day because this will be the last letter that I will be sending to you all from my mission. 
The Last one! 
I honestly cannot believe it! I am actually going to see my family next week. That obviously brings me a lot of joy... but also, I remember that that means I am leaving this country. I love Honduras so much! Soo much! I feel bad for whoever talks to me when I get home because they are going to hear nothing but how great Honduras is and how amazing the mission is!
This past week has been super awesome! Well last, last Saturday was awesome because we have a group activity! We did a Game Night. Where everyone participates and we play group activities where everyone laughs and has a great time.The elders before haven't done many activities before so it kind of surprised everyone. So we wanted to make it special so we even decorated the house/chapel! Everyone had a great time and we served Tajaditas Preparadas! They are like banana chips with ground beef... one of my favorite plates here!! We invited EVERYONE!! And a lot showed up! The room was full! We watched the John Tanner video and everyone had a teardrop in the corner of their eye... and then we went into action and started the activities! We threw the kids (not literally...maybe) into the other room and had them watch Moana while the big kids to play in the other room. Because inside the house is all one room...there was a lot of noise and echo! But everyone still had a great time! The best part about it... is the last week we had some inactive people come to church and some investigators that showed up for the first time! It was awesome! It really paid off! 

So this week we´ve been concentrating on the investigators that we currently have and tried to help especially with whatever challenge they've been having. Its been pretty interesting, we´ve had to drop some investigators as well as finding more investigators within the same household sometimes! So on Friday, some members took us to the river in El Chaguiton! We wanted to see if it was suitable to have a baptism there or not. It was a lot of fun. But an eye opener because they told us that river was their water supply. That is the water they use to wash their clothes, dishes, etc. And... it isn't really close to their house! I think sometimes we take the running water that we have in our house for granted! But anyway, it was beautiful out there! And well I don't know if you caught it but... Yes, I mentioned the magic B word! Baptism! This last Saturday was the day that I hit 2 years! And what better way to celebrate two years than to baptize?! We had the amazing opportunity to baptize Lucidalia this weekend. She is so amazing! She is a 50-year-old mother that loves the gospel! She is always happy and energetic! Since the first time we taught her, she always agreed to everything that we taught. Of course, she would have some reasonable questions but she understood everything! When it came down to do the interview I really wanted to make sure that she really knew what she was doing and make sure that it was something that she wanted to do. So I asked her the Pre-interview questions and she understood everything... and after she said yes to the final question there was a moment of silence... (I felt like I shouldn't say anything) and after a while my companion says... "Well, do you have any questions?" and then out of nowhere, she starts crying and crying and crying! I look at my companion and give him the "way to go, you know that she hates questions" look! hahaha just kidding! But yeah, she was crying and she expressed her feelings to us. She said that she couldn't believe that the time has finally come for her baptism, this is something that she has really been wanting to do for a while. She said that she knew that this will bless her life as well as her family. And there we had it, just what we wanted to see before her baptism. We were able to see that she REALLY wanted to get baptized and for the right reasons. And she mentioned that she wanted me to baptize her. I gladly accepted, she didn't know what Saturday meant for me, but it was the perfect way to celebrate my 2-year anniversary. The day of her baptism went perfectly. Some her family went (which was just what she wanted) and we went to Ward building that San Marcos belongs to in Choluteca. (The convenient thing about baptizing in Choluteca is that the water is warm because it is so hot outside!) We had the van FULL of people that didn't want to miss her baptism! It was awesome. One of the best moments of my mission was when she went into the water and she came out of the water in tears. Tears of joy for being baptized in the true church of Jesus Christ and for being baptized by someone who has the authority to baptize and be clean once again.

This is Seydi and Ena, two of our investigators who are getting baptized next! :D

So this was my last Sunday in San Marcos. It was very sad. I had to give my last testimony/talk. After teaching these same people every day and sharing my testimony you´d think that I would be completely used to it, but I don't know what happened...all that I remember is that when I went up and testified one last time to them the truthfulness of this church, and sharing my personal testimony... I ended up in tears. I think it was due to the fact that the church was full. If you remember correctly, our first Sunday here we had 15 people at church, the regulars. But this Sunday was different...we had THIRTY people at church. It was FULL! A mixture of the regulars, inactives, and investigators. Especially the investigators that I care sooo much for! It was funny because when I sat down I looked around and they were all in tears!
 What a bunch of crybabies... haha!
 I will never forget when we stood up and sang 152 for the last time... Para Siempre Dios Este Con Vos.

Song of the week:
Hardest Thing I Ever Loved to Do by Nashville Tribute


Elder Madero

Miraflores A-B (Opening area)
   -Elder Westburg
   -Elder Carter
   -Elder Marin
Villa Olimpica B
   -Elder Agren
   -Elder Espinoza
Las Unidas
   -Elder Saucedo
El Paraíso A (District Leader & Training) (Opening area)
   -Elder Rosales
   -Elder Medina
   -Elder Guerra
La Villa de San Fransisco (Zone Leader)
   -Elder Harris 
   -Elder Poquioma
30 de Julio (President´s Assistant)
   -Elder Akubeze
   -Elder Lindsay
San Marcos (Training) (Opening area)
   -Elder Taylor

Monday, October 16, 2017

I Can Go The Distance!

Just THREE more weeks!
 I cannot believe it! Time is going by so fast. There is a part of me that says Woohoo, I´m almost going home! But there is also a really big part of me that says Oh no... these are my last days in this country as a missionary! I´m going to miss it here so much! Elder Taylor and I have been having a lot of awesome experiences here. We always try to have a great time with everything and time goes by fast! Weeks feel like days, and days feel like weeks sometimes! But I love it! 
This week has been a little rough, I´ve been sick because of the weather. Its SO cold here!! We are the only missionaries in the South that are freezing!! Well, I am the only one... my companion is from Idaho and he is never cold! Im shivering every morning! We werent able to find too many new investigators this week, but we worked with the ones that we currently have...and guess what! We helped alot of them get to church! We had EIGHT investigators at church! (In a ward, that may be pretty normal, but here... thats a miracle!) We had the help of some Motortaxis to take our investigators to church as well as some members! Long story short, they all loved church! We were so happy that the teachers showed up to church so that we didnt have to do everything! We did have to speak, but I love speaking now! haha This week I spoke about something that I love preaching! About modern day prophets! I love General Conference so much! After this past Conference, I downloaded all of the talks and we listen to them pretty much every night and morning. Listening to modern day prophets and apostles daily really helps me build my testimony that they truly are called of God during these times. There is an article in the back of a Liahona that I read the other day that I love. Its called the Case For A Living Prophet. Which talks about why having a modern day prophet makes COMPLETE SENSE to anyone who really believes in the Bible. Most people today think that God doesnt call prophets like he did before, like he always has. Why? (No one knows) But I like what the article says,

 “May I suggest some possible reasons? Perhaps God does not speak to man anymore because He cannot. He has lost the power.”
-He said, “Of course that would be blasphemous.”
“Well, then, if you don’t accept that, perhaps He doesn’t speak to men because He doesn’t love us anymore and He is no longer interested in the affairs of men.”
-“No,” he said, “God loves all men, and He is no respecter of persons.”
“Well, then, if He could speak, and if He loves us, then the only other possible answer, as I see it, is that we don’t need Him. We have made such rapid strides in science and we are so well educated that we don’t need God anymore.”
-And then he said—and his voice trembled as he thought of impending war—“Mr. Brown, there never was a time in the history of the world when the voice of God was needed as it is needed now. Perhaps you can tell me why He doesn’t speak.”
  My answer was: “He does speak, He has spoken; but men need faith to hear Him.”

I love teaching the people of this country that He still speaks to us today, in different ways. And that this is His true church, and HE guides His church. He loves us, just like he loved his children in ancient times, and he will always love us. 

You know who really loved church this Sunday? Yup, you guessed it! Erick! He is still so positive! He has gone to church on his own 4 Sundays in a row! We are running out of things to teach him! haha he knows so much! We gave him a Liahona this week so that he can continue learning. Our other investigators are progressing very well as well! Remember that family reference that we recieved from our other investigator? Well 4 of them went to church this sunday! They loved it! They say that they will be back next week but with their whole family! These past couple weeks we´ve had the support of the ward that is in charge of San Marcos as well! The councelor of the bishopric in the Choluteca ward has been driving down to San Marcos to go out and visit with us and see how things are going here! We are getting some support now! We are really happy about that because we´ve come to realize that is what has been lacking here in San Marcos.

There other night we were teaching Seminary and we are currently in the book of Acts. Certain scriptures caught my attention. In Acts 20, Paul is pretty much saying goodbye, he knows that when he goes to Jerusalen, something will happen, and they will never see him again.

"18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,

19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:

20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,

21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.

24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. " 

Its interesting because I find myself in the same sitatuion. Im getting to the point where I am going to have to start to say goodbye. But I really like what Paul says here: "neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." It was another reminder to me that I need to finish strong! Like Drake says, You Only Serve Your Mission Once... well he says something like that. More like Hercules says, I Can Go The Distance! 

Try to find what is wrong in this image...

As I was standing there at the grocery store... something caught my attention. Under the mouse, I thought I saw a book that looked reallllly familiar to me! So I spoke to the cashier and he just laughed and said, Yeah, the Book of Mormon is really useful! I let him know that it is alot more useful if he reads it instead! haha

Try to find what is wrong in this image...

There was a bug in my enchilada!! It was still good though! :)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

General Conference

I met some members this week... and as I was trying to start conversation I asked what their dogs name was when I walked inside their home. 
"Como se llama su perro?"
"El que esta afuera"
"El unico que esta afuera!"
And so I walked to the door and I said "COMO SE LLAMA ESTE PERRO?!"
and the whole family yells "CUAL!!!" 
...That poor dog´s name is Cual...I was so confused! haha because that means Which?

General Conference was amazing!
As always! There were so many amazing talks, one of my favorite one was the talk given byAdilson de Paula Parrella
If you remember correctly, you will understand why ;) We couldn´t watch it in San Marcos, so we had to take a trip to Choluteca and watch it at the Stake Center. We are about an hour away from Choluteca, so its not that easy. We had to go early Saturday morning, watch the conferences, then return to San we had to miss the Priesthood Session. But we haddd to come back because we had to be at San Marcos Sunday morning to pick up our Sanmarqueños! We contracted a bus and of course, everyone arrived 45 mintes late! Good thing we told everyone that the conference started at 9!haha so we made it on time when the conference actually started at 10! Do you know what the best part was? Eric came to the Conference!! Eric is that investigator that we found looking for Bessy! haha he still progressing alot! He understands the Book of Mormon completely and even reads the Index to learn more! what?! who does that?? And so him going to an ACTUAL church in Choluteca and hearing the modern day prophets really helped have a better perspective of the church. He loves it! You know your investigator knows alot when you watch the Restoration video with him and he knows the story behind every scene! Even that part when Joseph Smith Sr is finishing reading the book of mormon and he is reading out loud, Eric immediately yelled out "Hes reading in Moroni!" And he LITERALLY recites the first part of Moroni´s promise in Moroni 10:3-5! He is going to be an incredible missionary one day! All of the members are really helping with fellowshiping our investigators! 
Oh! So this week we had a really cool experience happen! So we found in the street an inactive member, but she invited us over to her mother in laws house to visit, so we said yes and set up an appointment. When we showed up, we taught something short and even got to know the family that lives there. They´ve seen missionaries before but theyve never talked to them, so we taught them a little as well. They were kind of positive, not too bad. So we put another appointment. When we came back that next day, the brother and sister were not there! And they were the positive ones and so there at their house we gave them a call and they said "No, we´re not going home! You guys need to come here. We are at our neighbor´s house. The family here is waiting for you!" I couldnt tell if it was a joke or not... but we gave a shot! To our surprise, it was legit! 
(This is one of my favorite mission stories)
So we go into the house and there are about 6 people there sitting and ready to listen to us. We are in shock. Our INVESTIGATORS gave us a reference for a family, what?!?! So I keep thinking this a prank or something...but nope! The family actually admitted it, saying that theyve never spoken to missionaries like us, but they want to try, see what we have to say. So we try our best to be careful and not say anything too delicate and may lose them, we teach very slow and tried to clarify everything. Of course they had a lot of random questions, which is normal. I love questions because it means they trust us enough to ask us! So sometimes I would even get up and use certain examples to explain things so that it is very clear, for example... using their front door (Yes, they actually have a front door! I was surprised too...) and comparing that to baptism, and using my house keys to explain the priesthood. We had a lot of laughs and they all understood it. Of course we heard the typical ´but ive already been baptized in another church´ responses, but we cleared everything up, and they all looked satisfied with what we taught... BUT THATS NOT EVEN THE BEST PART! So my mistake when I entered the house was thinking that the whole family was already there. I did notice a graduation picture up on the wall in the house, and that person in the picture wasnt there at that moment... but I didnt pay too much attention to that. So as we were wrapping up, and answering last minute questions, the bedroom door that was right next to us (it was actually just a bedsheet hung up to work as a door) was opened and someone came out. It was a young lady who looked very happy to see us. We were confused, we thought the whole family was with us listening... but! she said "I´m Fransis, I´m the oldest sibbling. I heard everything that you guys taught today. I didnt want to come out when you came because I was tired, but I couldnt sleep. Everything that you taught made sense. I´ve never been baptized, my grandma keeps telling me that I need to be baptized or else I will not enter the Kingdom of God. But she is forcing me to get baptized in her church, but I do not want to, I told her I will find my own path. And your message really caught my attention." I was in complete shock, but filled with joy! She listened the entire time, and Spirit testified one of the truthfulness of our message without her even seeing us or interacting with us! The only thing I can say was "Will you prepare to follow the example of Jesus Chris and be baptized by someone who holds the authority to do so?" She said "Yes!"

This the San Marcos group that came to Choluteca! 

This is our little house! Its little, but powerful... we have hot water, a washermachine, and dryer! :D 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The beginning of my last transfer!

For Pday we played soccer at Choluteca, so as you can see... we are really burnt!

Well, this is going to be a sad week... the northamerican missionaries that came with me to Honduras from the MTC about 2 years ago are going home! That includes some of my best friends of the mission like Elder Akubeze and Elder Lindsay! I cannot believe it! I am officially the oldest fart of the mission! Just 6 more weeks and I´m home! But its not like im thinking about that! ;) 
Anyway, this has been a great week! We´ve had a lot of awesome experiences! Here are some of them:  
-Well a couple weeks ago we were walking to our next appointment and when we arrived we noticed that the dad had a huge pile of cindler blocks outside of his house, and he was talking them behind his house. And so we ask if he would like some help, he just looked at us, and said "No dont worry, you will get dirty", and then he walked to the back of his house with the blocks in his hands. So I look at my companion and say, Lets get dirty! So we grab some cindler blocks and start taking them to the back of the house. He was obviously very surprised that two strangers were grabbing his things and going into his property, but we also saw that he was pretty grateful. We didnt say one thing to each other until we finished, and then he said Thank You. It felt good :) The cool thing is that when we finished I told my companion to remember that experience, because in your mission you need to help everyone, members, investigators, or just random people. We may see the blessings of doing so immediately or the next missionaries in the future will see it. The appointment that we had with that family fell.
-Now, fast forward to this week. We were contacting a really far little neighborhood one morning getting to know that part of the area. And we didnt find anyonnnne all morning! Until we knocked the last house that we were going to knock for that morning. The lady inside was a little busy but she let us in! We taught something brief and put another appointment with her. She was somewhat positive, but we didnt know if she was put in our path for a reason, so we made her a priority. Strangely enough she said that Yes we can come back, but not to that house, she said that she spends more time and her mom´s house and that we should go there instead. So she gave us the directions, lucky for us, it was in the neighborhood that we are usually in most frequently. And so fastforwarding that day of the second visit, we go and try to find her house. So there we are walking down a small alley and all we know is that somewhere on the next street we had to look for a green house. But as we were walking down this alley in our path were these two ladies who were resting from carry heavy bags, and so we said "Do you need any help with the bags?" and they said that they were going the opposite direction, and so we said "Dang it! We would help but we have an appointment with someone that lives over here and we are late". One of them asked who we were looking for, and we say "Riccy. She starts laughing and says that she is her sister! And the other lady there said "So where is the church here in San Marcos?" So we tell her and then she says "Okay, we´ll see you on Sunday". We thought it was a joke, but then she lets us know that she just moved into San Marcos and that she is member of the church, baptized in San Pedro Sula! And now she is living right now to Riccy! What a blessing!!! And then they tried giving directions to us, but it was pretty complicated and they didnt want to walk back down because of the heavy bags, but then, almost like if it were meant to be, the dad walks right toward us coming home from work! And so the sister tells her dad to show us where they live. So we follow him home, and we realized that it would be IMPOSSIBLE for us to find that house on our own! Yes there was a green house, but behind a gate and vicious dogs!! But luckily the dad was very nice and kept telling us go in! Go into the house! We knocked, but then he said No! Just go in!! So that he wouldnt get mad at us, we go in! haha and then the mom sees us and then says "Oh, hello! Come in take a seat" And we do so, but we are so confused!! Why are these people so nice to us!? Riccy was nice to us since the first day, her sister was nice enough to talk to us and show us where she lived, the dad was nice enough to let us (two strangers) into his home, and the mom, not knowing that we´ve spoken with any of her family, sits us down and gives us Pepsi almost immediately! What is going on?! So after introducing ourselves and stuff, we tell them to spill the beans! Why are they being so nice? And this is what she said: "Well, I dont know you guys at all, all I know is that you´re very nice people. We heard that you help Don Chayo." We said Who?! "Don Chayo is my cousin, he said that two very nice gringos helped him bring in cindler blocks into his home randomly, and that he was very grateful." And so because of that, not only did Riccy listen to our second message, but her whole family!!! They are super positive!
- This past week we had the awesome opportunity to have a Seveny visit our mission! Elder Zeballos came! We had two conferences with him, the city and the south. And so the office elders call me days before the south conference and say "Well, we just wanted to let you know that Elder Zeballos wanted to interview some misisonaries, and you have been chosen by him." What!? I was not expecting that!! And so the day of the conference came and at the end I had the opportunity to have a personal interview with Elder Zeballos from the CentralAmerica Area Presidency! It was an awesome experience, he was super nice and very smart.
-So last week I wrote about Eric, the investigator that we found as we were looking for Bessy, remember? Well this is the update with him. We went back to his house and guess what? He was waiting for us! he read everything he was supposed to read! And he understood ALL of it! He even made a list of questions! And they were all genuine good questions! But wait theres more! He invited his sister to the appointment too. She is the older sister and she kind of had that look on her face at first that says "Lets see what these wierd Mormons are teaching my brother". And so we include her into lesson and she was quite at first, trying to find any contradiction or error or anything! After a while we can see that she had that "hmmm...that actually makes sense" look. Towards the end of the lesson she was really interested in learning more and wanted some homework! She ASKED for an assignment to read. And they SHE asked, when are we coming back. And then ERIC asked when and where do we gather for church, they asked so many things that made it very clear that they are investigators made of GOLD! Pure 24K Gold! So then we came back for the second visit, of course, BOTH of them kept their commitments! We anwered all of their questions and they understood all of it! They said they would go to church...but we hear that alot. And so on Sunday we wake up and guess what? Its pooring rain and there is no power! We took a bucket shower with the little water we had and got ready, honestly not expecting no one to show up to church. So because there was no power we didnt have cellphone reception, so we couldnt call Eric to see if they were still coming or not. (We honestly thought that they werent) And so we had to go stop by their house to verify. Luckily enough, when we show up they are almost done getting ready! We were shocked! We were like ´Your actually going to church??´ ...I know, we werent being positive, but we were shocked! So they came to church, and according to them, they loved it!! We only had an attendance of 15 people, but also we had a member from Tegucigalpa come this week! She just randomly showed up on her own. But we are sooo grateful that she came because she comes from a strong missionary ward, and so she, being a stranger even to us, helped us with our investigators!! It was a miracle! This week is General Conference, so I hope they can join us as we go to Choluteca to watch it! :D

During one of visits with the members, we may have mentioned that we love grilled corn.
 The next time we visited them, guess what? They surprised us with some super good corn! :D

Monday, September 18, 2017

These are the moments that I love!

Well this has been a great week! 
I´ve had a lot of moments when I said, Wow, these are the moments that I am going to miss. On the mission we always run into certain situations where it is so obvious that it was all part of Gods plan even though we didnt see it coming in the beginning. Here are some experiences that happened this week:
- So there are some days where all of our appointments fall, and we are left to just contact everyone and all of the houses! And so we were contacting every house that we felt should be knocked on, with no luck. Everyone seems to be busy or not home! Until we found a very poor looking house a couple blocks away from the church. This older lady came out and attended us for a while, her name was Marta, so how could I forget her! haha She said that it would be better if we return another day (everyone says that so that was too promising). But then after a few days, we decided to come back... and we knocked and guess what? It was Marta! But it wasnt the same one... It turns out it was her daughter! (We call them Marta One and Marta Two). Well the daughter let us in and we shared a message, it was so awesome! She was incredibly positive! She understood everything. So we put an appointment for another day, and when we went back... guess what? Marta 1 or Marta 2 didnt answer... this time it was Luis! Luis is the brother! So Luis let us in and listened to us, and Marta 2 arrived and joined in. It turns out that Luis is even more positive than Marta 2!! So we put another appointment... and when we came back, guess what? Thats right! Luis answered again... with Marta 2.. annnd? Cristina One! (She has a daughter named Cristiana too/two) So it turns out that Cristina is the sister and she is also positive! This week Marta 2 and two younger siblings came to church!! So if we look back to that first day, we would never even imagined we would have found this awesome family!
- So on another occasion, we were contacting and getting to know some other farther towns and we were talking with everyone. We came to this house in the middle of nowhere. We clearly saw some people hide when they saw us, and you can hear them say "son los muchachos". Well anyway, finally this nice lady came out and talked to us, she clearly didnt want anything, but the ones that usually want something better are sometimes too shy to come out, so we fight are way in! She lets us in and the people came out from their hiding spots! We met two other people who were very positive. One lived there and the other lived farther back in San Marcos. Her name was Bessy. So we get their directions and set an appointment for another day. They said Yes! They will be there. So that days comes around and we look for Bessy. Her direction was the white house in front the old buses by the main  road. I thought I knew exactly what she was talking about until we stood in front of the old buses by the main road, and what did I see? well not a white house!! I said Ahhhh! There was only one house there and it was a pink one with a popcorn machine outside, I always see a grouchy old lady out side, but I said, well, lets go check it out. So we knock and this 17 year old kid comes out. We start the conversation asking if he knew a Bessy Sandoval... he gave me a confused look and said no... well that was too bad. So we started talking to him. We talked a little about our message and we gave him a Restoration pamphlet. He seemed like one of those kids that think they know it all and everything else is false. So he didnt catch my attention too much. After about a week, we came back to his house. He was there and let us in, he still had that ´I know everything look´, but to our surprise, he read the whole pamphlet, and said I understand most of it, but I want to know more about this Joseph Smith. We gave him that ´are you serious?´ look! lol It turns out that he is one of the most positive investigators that I have ever met on my mission!! That day we left him with a book of mormon and he read what we left him! We were there yesterday and he understands everythinnnnggg! He feels already that the book is true and wants to keep learning more. He asked uss about church. The best part was yesterday, we were about to leave his house, and he said "So did you end up finding Bessy´s house?" I said "Who´s Bessy?" He said "The reason why you knocked on my door in the first place" I said "ohh yeah! No we didnt, but because we met her, we are here, and we know that this where we are supposed to be." He completely agreed.
- This other experience happened last tuesday. Well last monday we completely forgot to do laundry! So Tuesday morning we threw half of our clothes into the washer and then into the dryer as we were studying. Then we threw in the next load into the washer... as soon as the washer was filled with water.. guess what? the power goes out. Ahhhhh!! Long story short, the power didnt come back for a lonnng time! and so we still went out and worked (I had to wear one of my companion´s shirts) and we had a lot of great appointments in the morning, but after lunch was rough. Once again, we were contacting and getting to know the area. We go up, and up, and upppp! We were knocking all of the doors on this high hill. We met some nice people, some very mean people. But this was the best part... we were down to the last two houses. And we knock on the first door,and once again "son los hermanos!!" and they all hide! Well finally a nice lady comes out and she talks to us for a while, but she wasnt interested, she said " You know, God wants you to visit that house right there" pointing towards the second house, I said Really? She said "Yes, go knock that door" So we trusted her! We went to that door and knocked on that house and no answer. We looked towards the back of the house and found the husband cutting weeds, so we jump the fence and offer help, he says thanks, but no thanks. He talks to us for a while and says that we can come back another day. We had no idea what to expect. So when we go back days later, he was there! With his wife. He did all of his mandados earlier that day that he can be there when we were going to return! So we teach them the Gospel of Jesuschrist and they understood all of it!! They are soo positive its insane! Towards the end of the lesson it was getting dark, and we were far from home. But he didnt mind offering the closing prayer, and when we opened our eyes, the light in the room was on! The power came back! We all just kind of sat back and said Wow... (In my head I was thinking Woohoo! Im going to have clean clothes for tomorrow!! haha) But it was truly a miracle. We are really excited for the next visit. 
There are more experiences but I dont have time to write them all. The thing is that its insane how we never know when God is preparing people and putting them in our road, we need to always be ready!

Each 15th de Septiembre, Honduras always has parades to celebrate their day of independence. 

 Im glad I was able to spend both days in towns like El Paraiso and San Marcos. They are the best in small towns! EVERYONE was there watching the parades and no one was home, so we said, well lets check it out for a while! We were very impressed! My companion was a drum major back in highschool so was telling me which kids were off and which had no idea what they were doing! lol

Well one of our seminary students nearly died of boredom this week... I hope I wasnt like this when I went to seminary! 

-This poor little girl didnt make it to the bathroom.... 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Our little humble church!

Well, all is well in San Marcos!
 We are having a great time! The weather here is incredible! Its always nice and fresh, and usually rainy. Its been raining alot these last few days, I dont think that is has to do with the hurricanes and stuff, I think its just typical San Marcos! This week we´ve seen alot awesome miracles in our work here. I am so happy because of that I like knowing that Elder Taylor is getting a better training that I did. Its not that I wasnt trained right, its just that my first area was so darn hard! It was so hard to get a real new investigator! And here, we can easily see people in our path and we can truly see that they have been prepared to hear our message. Well yesterday was Dia de Los Niños... so it was pretty hectic. All of the kids knew that it was "their day" and they were going crazy, and all of the old drunk guys thought that i was their day to act like kids. So last night was pretty insane and hard to sleep. But yesterday at church we had a bunch at church so that was awesome! 
Here are some pictures of our little church.

 Its kind of on a main street, so there is always alot of noise by motortaxis, bikes, and people driving way too fast without a muffler, so that sucks... But the church is pretty nice! Its part of house that we rent. Its just one big room, divided by a homemade wall divider thing. In that way we can have Sunday school with the adults and primary in the other room. So yes, its usually pretty noisy! Whenever our group leader doesnt show up we have to direct the meetings, give the talks, and bless the sacrement. Yesterday we tried to have the youth speak to spice it up a little bit... luckily enough, 2 speakers, our sunday school teacher, and the third hour teacher didnt show up... So guess who had to teach and talk without any preparation? So while I was teaching the sunday school class, my poor companion had to take care of the Primary class on his own... Hopefully we did okay, everyone said they would be back next week!

 haha we gave them all bags of candy to celebrate Dia de Los Niños! But I love it! We also have to teach Seminary everyday to the youth and so my companion has had a lot of practice speaking spanish in front of people that can help him. His spanish is pretty good now! There isnt too much new this week, so thats all for today! Stay tuned!

Work, work, work!

Well here I am in lovely San Marcos de Colon! 

It is pretty much it is hard not to think of home! haha I love it so much! My companion is pretty awesome too! 

He is keeping up and is learning fast! Something that we are super happy about is that this town is alot bigger than we thought! A couple days ago we thought we pretty much had the whole area down, but then we found out there are still HUGE neighborhoods farter southeast! Its crazy! So we are super excited to see what people we find there. But anyway, we have had a lot of cool experiences!
Well first of all, like Ive mentioned before, we are in a small group. We are doing our best to have it grow. So we went around getting to know all of the members and guess what? The group leader is inactive! He hasnt even gone to church in the past 6 months!! what?! He hasnt been able to attend church because of his job. He is a driver of a motortaxi and they are alwaysss working, even sundays. And part of that too was the he wouldnt make church a priority either. But that job has been getting him into some serious problems. For example, the first time we went to his house to meet him he wasnt there, he was in jail... who would have known that was actually a blessing!! Why? because since then he has had the desire to change. It was his perfect way out! They took away his motortaxi, so he doesnt have to work on sundays anymore. He can start going back to church...wierd, exactly the same week when two new missionaries show up to his house ready to make a difference! So we are really working hard together! Its hard to get him going though haha our first week we animated him enough to get to church... the next week we animated him to get to church... on time! and also direct the meeting! So that was a huge accomplishment because he cant even remember the last time he directed, it has always been the elders!
The cool thing about this area is that we have an awesome cocinera! There is a lady that we pay and she cooks us lunch! The good thing is that she actually knows how to cook! Her name is Karla and she is one of the most active members in the group. She and her family are pretty awesome too! We had a really funny experience the other day... we were talking about where the church used to me here in San Marcos, and I told her that yeah I`ve seen it before because i`ve came to San Marcos before to play soccer with other missionaries, and that I went into the church when it was right next to Las Michoacanas. (If you remember about a year ago I sent pictures of that when I was in the south) and so she said Ohh!! I remember about a year ago I saw a bunch of missionaries there and all I remember were two papos (which means Idiots in Honduran language) taking pictures of Las Michoacanas when they should be taking pictures of the town and the park and the landscape!! .... I was like Hermana... that was me....... she got all red and was super embarrased! hahaha it was so funny! 

Her husband is very interesting. He is Honduran but grew up in the states all of his life. His life has been being in and out of different prisons in the usa. He grew up in cali and so he knows the gang life. But the other day we were really chatting with him and he told us everything about his life pretty much. He most talked about the things that hes done, but the most important part is the part where hes had a mighty change of heart. Hes changed completely! Now, he didnt just spill the beans, we had to gain his confidence first over time. But, well my parents know, most of friends were kind of like that anyway haha so im kind of used to it. My poor companion was pretty much scared to death! But it was good for him, I really want him to learn to love EVERYONE. It doesnt matter what theyve done or who they are. So the husband told us that he has been working with President Bowler with the repentance process, but since President Bowler is gone now... he doesnt know whats next. Thats when I thought... hmmm... I know someone that could help! President Chase! And so we are working alot with him trying to change and become a better person. He knows perfect english and so he also helping me teach my companion to learn spanish. Just that night, guess what happened? We went to sleep early because the lights went out, and so I was asleep from like 8pm. And at around 10:10pm I receive a phone call.... from?? President Chase!! So I get up and he says " Okay Elder Madero, I need you to remember some AP things and help me with some information" Ahhhh! But I left the office!! jk I didnt say that lol. But it was perfect that he called because we talked about Karla`s husband and how we can help!
As we`ve been working here in this area, my companion and I have really learned something important, REALLY following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Something that I`ve repeated in my head alot while contacting is "Why am I here in this part of the area? Why were we sent here?" And from there, we ALWAYS find someone, someone is really willing to listen to us, or an inactive member. There is always somone, if we stop and listen. We had a really cool experience the other when we contacted two really positive people, Karen and Sandra... it was insane how positive they were when we went and taught the first lesson!! Insane!! So for our next visit, we went with Karla so she can help them progress and guess what? The father said Theyre not here! But I could see into his soul that he was lying!! Ahhh! I was sooo mad! So Karla went back home and we just kept on contacting, but I did not feel good at all. Because as we were walking there we turned the corner to the road, and I saw someone with a white shirt in the next door house that ran inside when she saw us, and I thought it was her or someone that went and told them Hide! The mormons are coming! And so I just kept thinking of that person... who wasss that?? After about an hour I told my companion, Look man, I dont feel right, I`ll feel alot better if we go back and knock on Karen and Sandras door to see if theyre there. He said Okay! So we walk all of the way back, and when we knock on their door guess what? Nothing! no answer... bu then we went and knocked on the next house where I saw that person... and sure enough, it was that same person with the white shirt! i said WHO ARE YOU!!?! lol just kidding... we introduced ourselves and we contacted her and guess what... she became of our BEST investigators that we currently have!! She is really catholic, but super smart! She completely understands our message! Not only that, but when we finished with her, we knocked on Karen and Sandras door and they had just arrived! So although we werent expecting that, it was all part of the Lords plan... we just had to be obedient to the promptings to go back at that time! 
Another cool experience was our first week here, we were completely lost... and so we start contacting to meet some new people! we found a lot of awesome people and some even let us in and teach. There was this one house where they easily and lovingly let us into their home, we shared our message, it was a little rough for my companion because it was one of his first, but it was good! It was strange because when we finished, the mom said, where is your church? so we gave her the directions and she asked what time is started, and so we told her... and then obviously we invited her. And she just like that she said Yes. It was funny though because when we left that house I told my companion, man, if I had a lempira for everytime someone has told me that they would go to church and wouldnt go, I`d be rich! But this experience kind of reminded me of the movie the Best Two Years. That one part of the investigator actually calls them back! Because on Sunday, guess what? She came to church!!!! What?! That was a miracle! 

Something that Im really trying to teach my companion is that we need to love everyone here! If they dont want to listen to us thats fine, but we can still serve them. And we`ve been putting that into practice! We have been giving service to everyone! One time we were walking around and we saw a sister that was resting, she had a broom right next to her so we went up to her door and asked if she needed help sweeping! She said No she already finished. So we offered to Mop! She laughed and said no, but instead we can go to the back of the house and help the guys finish shoveling dirt! (She said it in a sarcastic way, thinking we werent serious) And so we say Okay! And she yells Gordo!! Los muchachos te van a ayudar!! And you can hear him say, Mandolos atras pues! And she laughed, thinking we were still just messing around! And so we say, Podemos pasar? And she sure, we went to the back of the house and we asked... Donde esta la pala?! and we started shoveling, and shoveling, and shoveling! But they were super fun!

And they were actually really grateful for te help and they put the appointment to come back! It turns out that one of the guys working has actually read the book of mormon and wants another copy! Yes!! We also helped one of our most positive investigators Seidy with her house, shes pregrant right now so she is super sick, but she said >jokingly< you can cut the weeds and trees at my house! She didnt believe us when we said That we would be there the next morning in working clothes ready to clean her house!! It was alot of fun, we taught my companion how to use a machete the honduran way! haha