Sunday, April 30, 2017

18 Months!

Well this has been an interesting week. 
And I am really relieved that it is pretty much over! It was has been super stressful! Man, I remember the days when I was able to go to sleep like a 9pm! Now I got to sleep every night never earlier than 11pm because we have to call of the zone leaders for the dats of the zone. But this new assignment is honestly the funnest thing ever! (Its really tough, but really fun!) I finally completed one of my biggest dreams! Ill explain:
Ok, I remember when I would wrestle in highschool, it was really hard on me. Well, i think its hard on everyone! But i was really determined to work hard! I remember what would really help me keep motivated were some really cool motivational speeches that you can find on youtube. (My mom is a witness of this because I would have her listen to them with me sometimes. lol) But yeah, everytime I would go running at 4 in the morning I would listen to them, opr right before a fight. They really helped me remember that I can always become someone better if I work hard. 
One of my favorite ones was one by Eric Thomas called ´How bad do you want it?´. Its really motivational! Now, when I listen to music, I usually picture in my head myself playing that song, playing it, singing it, dancing it, etc. I dont know if that is a normal thing that everyone does. So when I would listen to these motivational speeches I would always picture myself saying them to a group of people. Helping people get to get up and work hard! Anyway, so when I was assigned my new companion, Elder Akubeze, we realized something. We are both really into these speeches! We have them all pretty much memorized! haha so anyway, as the APs of the mission we are in charge of the conferences and councils of the mission. And so we are always having to prepare and teach classes. But this week was my first Zone Conference! The whole mission gets together to hear some classes, but also to hear the new assigned AP! (No pressure right?)  So we came up with the best class that we can! And it was definitely a dream come true! The class that we made was epic! It was about being the 4th Missionary. We tried to really help the missionaries do more so that they can become more. We helped them realize that they should take advantage of the mission, to use this time to really grow. So that they can finish their mission and say that they've truly changed. Not just coast. No just be an average missionary, or just an average person. We helped them understand they need to have a vision in their minds of who they can become, and they need to get up and do it! It was so awesome!! I finally got to fulfill that dream that I mentioned earlier! (I know I am not perfect, or the perfect example) But I was able to help others to achive their dreams! We were able to teach what we´ve learned and applied from those motivational speeches into the obra misional! Our class was alot of fun, we used little activities and stuff to keep their attention and to have them learn what we are trying to teach in different ways. But heres my favorite part. We really wanted to share a video with them, a video that goes along with what we are teaching. About really knowing who you are and never forgetting that, always trying to be the best that we can be. And it came to me! We used one of the final scenes of one of my favorite movies, The Lion King. The part where Simba talks to his father, and the father says that he has forgotten him because he forgot who he was. Its really good! So had the City Conference on Monday and it came out to be a complete success! (I am not saying this to boast or anything) After the conference our mission president came up to us and said ´That was incredible. I can firmly say that was one of the best classes from the APs that ive heard since ive been here!´ Im not kidding you,he said that! We were so proud of ourselves because we put in alot of work into it! The missionaries would mention to us that they loved it! 

And so on Tuesday we drove to the South to go to the Zone Conference which would be on Wednesday morning. But yeah, if you realize, I said Drive! I got to drive the new office truck all of the way from Teguz to the south which was about 5 hours!! It was so much fun! It took me a while to get used to driving again but it was like riding a bike! The South Conference came out pretty good too! While ive been here, there have been some huge changes that the Area Presidency wants us to change so my companion and I have really been trying to present new changes in the mission in a way where the missionaries wont get mad or anything, but so that they understand. For example, there were some changes with the dress code and what we decided to do with the other office elders is to create a funny video that explained why those new rules were going to go into effect. The mission loved the video we made!!! After they watched they all wanted us to copy that video on to their USBs. So on Thursday we were finallllllly able to work in our area. We had a lot of catching up to do in our area. The good thing is that the youth in our ward dont mind going on divisions with us. So that day we were forced to do divisions because we had to find all of our investigators! So i went out that afternoon with a young man that is going on his mission soon, his name is Larry. So I take him to a few appointments and he does a good job in helping em out! But then at night at the last hour our last appointment fell and so we had to to contact.
Im still pretty new in this area so I am still learning where I am sometimes haha. So we start contacting this one random road and EVERYONE rejects us! Like everyonnne.... it was pretty sad. And I felt pretty bad because I was trying my best to animate him to go on the mission and stuff. So i had a little prayer in my heart that something can change. So then we finished that road, he said Ahh dont worry, that road is full of people that dont want anything. There is not one mormon that lives on that street. And i look at him and I say, Yet. Always stay positive! And so then I noticed this young man coming straight toward us, and you know what? He was wearing a Patriot Wrestling sweater on! And i said, Finally! And so we go contact him, (it turns out he does not wrestle, or know English in case you were wondering) But anyway, OF COURSE he was positive! Not only was he positive, but he said that we could actually go to his house right then and teach him! And he is realllly interested in our message! It was a miracle! It really changed Larry´s perspective that we should always be positive. The Lord will always put prepared people in our paths.

We had frozen yogurt! :´)

Since I hit 18 months, the tradition in the mission is to burn a skirt! So we burnt the skirts for us that we completing 18 months and a tie for those hitting 6 months! 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

New Assignement!

The Madero Generation!

                                                                                -Elder Madero (AP)
                                                                                -Elder Guerra (ZL)
                                                                                -Elder Alvarado (DL)
                                                                                -Elder Rowe

My new assignment, im not gonna lie, is pretty awesome. We work alot with our mission president! I now have alot more responsibility than what I usually do. This coming week we are going to have two zone conferences in which we have to teach the whole mission! I always admired the AP´s classes throughout my mission and I am really excited to give back to the mission now! You know what the best part of this assignment is? My new companion is literally one of my bestest friends of my mission. Ever since I started my mission I became friends with Elder Akubeze from England. And now, we are companions! We are literally always having the greatest time ever! The area that I am in now is called La 30 de Julio, it is literally directly behind the Villa Olimpica! So this area is pretty awesome too! Im back in a strong ward! (Its about time!haha) The ward members are pretty sweet! Our area is pretty dangerous (so they say) nothing too bad yet from what Ive seen. It is a really big change though, compared to my last area. I´ll share an experience from my second day in this area. We were out contacting and my companion was showing me around, we go to a house and guess what? When we went inside and I introduced myself and everything, and they were really nice. And she said that she could not attend us because she was cooking, and then she invited us to eat! She was making fried fish! I love fried fish!! So she said to come back in an hour and she will make us lunch. When we left I asked my companion, who she a member? He says Nope! I ask, Is she an investigator? Nope! Shes the wife of the investigator, someone that we only taught once! What?!?! That did not happen once in La Villa de SF! haha so I was honestly really surprised to get a free lunch from people who are not even members! Thats when I knew, I am in a good area! :) Its so wierd because alot of the members here and actually willing to help us! They come out and visit people with us!! what?! haha Well I dont want to write too much so that I will have something to write for next week, but I want to share two cool experiences. 
1. The first happened a few days ago when we were on our way to an appointment and then as we were walking I see an older lady, and then I think....wait, I know her. But I do not know who or where she is from......... It drove me insane! But then, it hit me!! She is Angela!!! The invesitgator from LA Villa de SF that we found in the Carpeta de Area! I totally forgot that the previous APs were teaching her and that now I am here! I completely forgot! So I ran over and talked to her and she says that she is now not only visiting here, but now she living here!!! What!?! Awesome!!
2. This experience was honestly one of those mission impacting stories, it was incredible. So last week we were contacting, and right by the area of the Villa Olimpica, but on our side, we find some inactive members. So we got inside their house. Which was a one room house with a whole family living there. They are 5 total. They were really nice. They were all baptized except for the dad and the daughter. We asked why they stopped going to church and they said that they just felt disanimated and stopped. They started going to another church. The dad even told me that he is now a pastor! Honestly, we were happy, at least they still had Christ in their hearts right? We talked to the members of the family how long ago since they were baptized and then we go through that whole story and then we ask why the dad didnt get baptized. The dad tells us that he was recieving the missionaries for a long time and went to church alot! He really liked it. But he wasnt fully convinced. So the day of the baptism came, and he didnt feel ready and he decided that well, he had to lie so they he doesnt get baptized that day. He looked up online excused on why not to get baptized and then he decided to say that he killed someone recently and that he wasnt worthy!! What!? Woh goes to that extreme?! So of course, it wasnt true. Well anyway, this family wasnt positive at all. The members had zero desire to come back to church, and the daughter and the dad had no interest because they already go to another church and everything. But the dad did say, he guys can come back whenever you want, you are always welcome. We put an appointment a few days back and that day it was raining like crazy and too late, we couldnt make it. So last night we were in that area, and we decided to see how they are doing. This time, only the dad and the daughter were there. We werent that excited to visit them honestly. But we felt that we should visit them. We go into this one room house and we start the lesson. We try to gain his confidence and in time he starts to trust us a little more. I dont want to go over exactly what we said but we mostly focused on the scriptures Matthew 4:18-22. We focused on Following Christ in general. We focuse on just testifying that JesusChrist lives and loves us, and we let the Spirit do the rest. and Wow! He immediately started crying. A grown man starts crying right in front of us and tell us everything. He tells how much of a hard time that he is going through right now and that he has been praying to God to know the truth. Yes, he is going to a church right now, but he doesnt feel right. He feels like something is missing. He tells that he feels better singing the hymns that we sang with him in the beginning of that lesson (All Is Well) compared to how he feels in his church. He continued talking about that he really thinks that we have been sent to his house in this very time in his life. For the second time. He recognized that the first time that the missionaries visited him was an opportunity to learn the truth, but he rejected it. And he feels bad and he told us that he truly wants to learn the truth. He wants to learn the correct way to serve God. And then he bring out his Bible and says, please help me understand this chapter in 1 Corintios Chapter 7 about marraige. What he couldnt understand is why in the churches that he has been to they do not emphazise Families. We helped him understand that he is correct. Every religion should tesifity of Christ, and help families be together forever. We gave him the Plan of Salvation booklet and he noticed that on the cover was JesusChrist, and on the first two pages was pictures of happy families. Once again, he gets into tears. He tells that recently, weeks before our first visit. While working in San Pedro Sula, he has been having the desire to be part of the true church. And he told us straight up, Ive been thinking, and ive came to the conclusion that I know that the church of Latter Day Saints is the true church. 
It was truly a miracle. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Big News!

Well, this is probably going to be the best blog post ever written in the history of history. I do not know where to start.
 But I´ll try my best!
  1. First of all, we´ve seen some success in La Villa de San Fransisco! We´ve been working super hard to try to get some of the inactives to come back, which of course has not been easy. But we finally saw some fruits! Ill share my favorite one that just happened last night. Well we´ve been visiting this inactive named Sonalí, shes pretty cool. She is like in her 50s. She has been to the temple and everything. Been she went inactive because she listened to the District President´s son, who has his own church here and told her a bunch of lies. So throughtout thetime we´ve been visiting her we taught her everything we know, testistfy with all of our heart that this is the true church. After a while, she felt it. We know this because when we visited her yesterday we watch the Restoration movie with her and at the end, she had tears in her eyes. And she said, Well I feel like I should do something. The other day I was thinking to go talk with my pastor and tell him that I am going to return to my church. And I told her,´but you do not what he is going to tell you right?´ and she said, ´Yes I know, he will give me alot of reasons on why to stay there. but I cant waste anymore time. I cannot just leave either, I want to leave but the same that the members of the church always cared for me even when I assisted this church, I want to follow the same example and leave thiss church but with a good relationship with them.´ We were shocked! I really felt that her idea was revelation to her especifically because we never thought of that. We know that she is definately going to be an amazing member and leader in the church, along with her family!
  2. As we´ve been working with the less active and inactive members we helped this other family come back to church! A family of 5! All because this teenager wanted to get baptized! Sharon found us and she told us, we visited her and her family and then about a month later, splash! They´re adesome! So we had a really spiritual baptismal service this past saturday. Last year there was only one baptism, and I am happy that we started this year off right with our first baptism! The branch was realluy happy and supported us.
  3. I had to go to Migration again and renew my citizenship thing to be here in Honduras. I told the front office chick that I wanted to stay here in Honduras so I think that really sped things up with the paperwork! haha We went to go eat at Johnny Rockets (#tradition)! It was super good! Everytime I go it gets me baggy and I miss the state´s burgers! Sooon.....
  4. So there are changes! I am leaving La Villa de San Fransisco. I am not going to lie I am little sad and a little happy. I am a pueblo type of guy and I am going to miss this place. But another part of me says, no your not! haha This zone is awesome though! We really did bond alot and have good chemistry within us. We were on the informativo of the month with the zone that most baptized in the month. Being one of the smallest and difficult zone in the all Honduras...jk, just this mission! haha so we were all super happy! I am going to go an area in Tegucigalpa! I am going to be in an area called La 30 de Julio. It is literally directly behind La Villa Olimpica!!! Woohoo! 
  5. Elder Guerra, my kid, just finished training his kid. and he now has 6 months. And guess what? He is going to be Zone Leader in the best zone in the south!!! He is one of the youngest ZLs ever!
  6. Elder Alvarado, my grandkid, just finished his training in El Paraíso, and now he is going to be District Leader and training! at only 3 months! I´m going to have a great-grandkid! What?!
  7. Elder Madero, is going to be the new President´s Assistant.
  8. Check out this coco! Its coco time and it is super delicious! 

 This is my Mamá and the family. (Except for the branch President Liniker, hes in Cortez right now)

Sorry the pictures are late. I cant upload the pictures through the chapel´s internet...too slow
This is when we went to Johnny Rockets! 

This is the Valle Verde zone. 
We really got into solving the Rubik´s cube, thats all that we do when we are together!haha seeing who can do it faster.
ts sad saying goodbye to these awesome guys!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

wasn't General Conference amazing!? The talks were incredible!

      Man, wasnt General Conference amazing!? The talks were incredible! 

This has been an incredible weekend!
 Why? Because it was General Conference! But we are in the District of Valle Verde.......The power frequently goes out, or there is no signal in the District Center. So our Mission President called us in the middle of last week and said, Well, round up your zone, and come up to Tegucigalpa and stay the night here so you guys can watch General Conference without any trouble. So of course, we were all really excited! And it all worked out perfectly! Saturday morning we went up to Teguz and we were assigned to go to the Esperanza building. There we had a little room for the gringos haha so we can watch Conference in english. But then guess what? People from the Church were there and were recording us for some MTC videos for other missionaries. So that was pretty fun! Were´nt the Conference talks just incredible?! I loved them soo much! It was so much fun! We went and ate at Pizza Hut after and it was funny because there are alot of missionaries in our zone that have never been to Teguz and they were really surprised that they make real american food here! haha  And then we stayed with the office elders in the mission house. The plan was to go back home after the first sesson on Sunday, so that we can make it back home in time, its like a 2 hour drive, but after the first sesson we realized that the buses will not go back to the villa until 5. So we said, well, we can go to to the church right by the bus terminal and watch the last session and then leave. So we went to the Kennedy building watch it there. Then we went home and everything was awesome!
But, this weekend was really meaningful to me more than just because of conference! If you guys remember, I used to be here in Tegucigalpa. It was my first area and my second area. In Miraflores and La Villa Olimpica. And in BOTH areas I got emergency changes out of there. So I never got to say goodbye to some important members. And guess what? Everything always works out!!!!! Guess why? Because more than a year after those changes, I finally got to see them again! When we went to the Esperanza building, It just so happened to be that the in the Villa Olimpica they lost their power, so they came to this building to watch it! So I got to see all of the Villa´s families! And you know what, it feels so amazing when members that you havent seen in a year barely glance at you and then they instantly remember you and have a smile on their face! It was awesome!! While I was in the Villa, one of my favorite families was the Stake presidents family. But when I got changes they went to Costa Rica so I never got to say goodbye! So it was so nice to be able to say goodbye and to the other members there as well! (They are going to go El Salvador soon because he got called to be a mission president there! But wait theres more!! When we were at the bus terminal we decided to go to that church building right next to there, of course all of La Kennedy´s members were there, but you know what?! It just soo happened to be that some Miraflores members were there too!!!! WHAT?!!? Especially one person in particular! Jose Luis Molina. This guy was my ward mission leader there along with Freddy Suazo (Who I ran into on the last temple trip) Jose Luis is a returned missionary from Belice English Speaking. This guy has always been my hero! Like for real he is literally my brother!! He always took care of us and helped us so much! And I never got to say goodbye because of emergency changes. But of course, everything always works out, and we were reunited.
 I didnt even recognize some of the members but they recognized me!!
 Man, what a weekend! :)

Check this out, one day we were walking down a street in La Villa and, like always, we see a bunch of houses that sell Ropa Americana, but this particular house really caught my attention... do you see why?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Enduring Afflictions in La Villa!

Well this has been a great week!
 Well kind of, its been really interesting... we have been having some problems with the people here. We realized one of the reasons why this area is hard. First you need to know that lately we´ve been finding some incredible investigators! Like, super amazing!! People who were really determined to change their lives and possible baptisms. But you know what? Since there are alottt of inactive members here in this pueblo, alot of them have gone to other churches or formed their own church, mostly evangelical churches. And when they realize that we are teaching these people, they go and talk bad about our church. They are inactive obviously because they dont have a firm testimony of the church, and they have doubts. So the things that they are teaching them are completely false! This is my first and only area where this has been a problem! We hate it! Do you know how hard it is to find and baptize people as it is? Now imagine doing all of that, and having one of the pastors go around to your investigators and teach them a bunch of lies! Uugghh!! But, we´ve talked with some of our investigators and we clarified all of them, although with some, it was too late. But it was really interesting, this week I was reading in 2 Timothy 4. And in verses 14-15,

  1.  Paul is talking about a certain Alexander which made his mission dificult because Alexander the coppersmith was did him ´much evil´. So I felt like we compared to him in some way. If we keep reading in verses 17 it says ´Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.´

  In this epistle in talks about how Paul withstood all aflictions and hard times, and he invites Timothy to do it as well. We´ve really been trying to put this into practice. We´ve learned that we cannot control everything, people have their agency. 
We just have to do our part and the Lord will bless us. And we saw the blessings as we kept working hard and having a postive attitude. This certain morning we were walking around contacting... and at this moment there we were knocking on this door, and the person inside saw us and said ´No hay nadie!´ and hid. Great. But as we were at this door there was this guy to the left of us, like half a block away, and he is just kind of leaning on his house wall watching us. And he yells and says if he can ask us something, and he calls us over. Of course we go and he asks ´We dont people believe in Christ?´ This was definatly an inspried question. It was interesting, and this guy was interesting. (Why? Well mostly because I heard CCR playing in the background in his house!) So we talked to him and tried to respond his question as carefully as possible. This guy is Alberto. Who is about 32 years old, he has some addictions and doesnt really beleive in God, well he said that he really felt like he needed to talk to us that day and they he wants to change. Well, so far, hes been progressing and is really making an effort to change! This guy is incredible! We lost about 3 investigators because of this pastor (ex-member) was talking bad about us and then as we kept working hard we found some incredble people like Alberto!
 This area is rough. The mission is rough. But I love it! I am learning so much! My companion and I are doing great, we are really different but I am doing the best that I can to make the best out of it and its working out! haha 

like these little stickers that they put on the doors, we just kind of laugh and say, ´We´ll see about that´. You´d be surprised how many houses with these stickers actually let us 

We had Zone Conference this week. This are the missonaries from my group! You may remember them from the pictures of the CCM.