It's Only A Camera...Life Lessons in the Mission Field


Well, another week in the mission field. Honestly, it was a little slow. My new trainer is getting to know the area better and we were both a little sick at the end of the week, but all is well. We have some promising investigators in the pipeline and we`re going to spend time searching for new families that live closer to the church building (20 minute walk instead of 30-45).

I learned a good lesson this week. This past P-day, my camera was stolen at the internet cafe. I had left the computer to go pay for my usage and started reading Jesus the Christ in the lobby while waiting for the other Elders to finish up. Not even 15 minutes had passed when I realized I had left my camera at the computer. A 20-somthing year old man was there and I asked him if he had seen it. He told me no, and I asked if I could look in his bag. It wasn`t there either. I was then informed by an employee that someone was there before him and was on for only a few minutes. Realizing that my camera was probably gone forever, I sat back down in the lobby and started thinking. At first, I was really upset and really mad. I thought to myself, "why didn`t I get a warning from the Holy Ghost? Dad had been warned in the middle of the night about an unknown gas leak at the laundromat...why didn`t the Lord help me with this?" After complaining (murmuring) for a solid 5 minutes, the question that so many people in this world have came to my attention: why does God let bad things happen? I started thinking again, "Well, God let`s people use their agency. If he interfered directly with their agency then He would cease to be God. But then again, He sometimes warns people of danger, helps people escape unharmed, etc. What is the reasoning with these different situations?" I thought some more and realized that our Heavenly Father lets things happen for a reason. Sometimes it`s for the reasoning explained in Alma 14:10-11. Sometimes we can learn something new or grow spiritually from the difficult setback. When I came to this conclusion, I said a quick prayer and began thinking of things I was supposed to learn from this situation. Here are just a few:
  1. Always live your life to be in tune with the spirit. (Even if you do this, realize the Lord may not warn you of everything)
  2. I felt terrible when my camera was stolen. How does God feel when we don`t pay our tithing (robbing God). Or as missionaries, how does God feel if we use the consecrated missionary funds unwisely or for personal items?
  3. Don`t take inappropriate photos or videos as a missionary. When I mean inappropriate, I mean something that could make the church look bad. For instance, I have heard of one Elder who had a video of them and a member family killing a pig for dinner. The method was culturally fine in Honduras, but would probably look brutal or inhumane in the eyes of Americans. Especially with the rise of social/mass media, these photos or videos could get into the wrong hands and virally spread on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube within a matter of hours.
  4. The things of this world (AKA, a camera) are really not that important, especially when you`re on the Lord`s errand as a missionary
  5. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Furthermore, "light up" someone`s day with kind words or actions (Mom...your email)
  6. Jesus Christ has descended below all things. He knows exactly how I felt. You should be happy, full of love, work hard, etc under any circumstance. Don`t let something outside of your control influence your emotional or physical state.
Bad things happen. It`s a fact of life. Always live your life so that you`re worthy of the guidance from the Holy Ghost and when bad things still happen, look for the good. Look for what you can learn from that experience. I learned a lot when my camera was stolen. Thankfully, I had transferred all the photos back home and cameras shouldn`t be too expensive here in Honduras.

Saturday was a little interesting. My comp had been sick the past couple days and I caught that sickness on Saturday. Both of us weren`t feeling well, but at the same time it really wasn`t that bad (relatively speaking). Anyways, the other Elders told us that morning that they were going to have a baptism that evening either at 5:00 or at 8:00 after the General Women`s Broadcast. We didn`t know about any of this because their investigator had issues with question 4 but had just gotten approval from the mission president. We adjusted our plans to invite an investigator to the baptism and then watch the broadcast after. We coordinated a ride with the branch missionaries (an elderly couple) and we felt good about it. Then everything fell apart. At 4:00 (an hour before the baptism) the Elders told us the baptism was cancelled because of problems with the bapitsmal font. We went to pick up the investigator, but she said she couldn`t make it. We decided to just take her daughter (30s...menos activa) to the broadcast. All of our plans fell and when we got to the church it was 6:00, we were a solid 45 minutes from the area we`ve been proselyting in recently and we didn`t have any confirmed appointments. We decided to watch the broadcast in the english room with the other gringa hermanas. Even though the estrogen levels present were a little much for me and my companion, I still learned a lot and felt the spirit during the broadcast. The topic of covenants was brought up a lot and I will definitely use the things I learned with my investigators. Even when plans fall apart, make the best of the opportunities that you have.
If you have time, I invite you to watch the two videos from that meeting:
¡Nos Vemos!
Elder Lund
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras 3/25/14 - 3/31/14

A New Companion and Some New Photos

 Elder Lund and His Birthday Presents

Santa Rosa 

Elder Lund with The J--The Wonderful Senior Couple Serving in Honduras--They go home soon.  Sister J is from Carmel.  


Another week in the mission field...this is going by way too fast. I´m continuing to learn and develop everyday (or at least trying to). 

It was a pretty ineffecient week in terms of teaching lessons and finding new people to teach. Elder P found out on Monday that he was being changed so we spent most of Tuesday saying goodbye to investigators, less-actives, and members who he had spent time working with the past 3 months.

On Wednesday, we got up at 3:00 AM to leave for San Pedro Sula. Elder P is now a Zone Leader in San Pedro and my new companion is Elder S. He is from southern California. We ate at the mall - Little Caesar´s Pizza - and left San Pedro around 2:00. We made pretty good time and arrived in Santa Rosa around 5:30. These past few days, we have worked by just getting to know all the members and our investigators. We haven´t had a ton of actual lessons, but they should start coming this week since we´re all settled in again.

Probably the most memorable experiences of the week occurred last night. We were working in Las Cidras which is located in the hills about a 30-40 minute walk from our house in Santa Rosa. We taught J and his family. J is an investigator but the mother (not his wife, but just living together) and the children are members. There was no electricity at their house, just a pair of candles to provide light. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that through the Atonement we can become cleansed from sin. It was very peaceful, and very calm throughout the entire lesson. Jose shared how much he loved the change that has occurred in his life by attending church the past 3 weeks. You could really see it in his eyes. We still have a lot to teach him and we have to overcome some BIG hurdles with him, but I believe he´s going to continue to progress because of his desire. After the lesson, we started walking back. We saw the lights of Santa Rosa in the distance, but there were still a ton of stars out. It was truly beautiful and one of those moments when I realized, "Wow, I´m a missionary in Honduras thousands of miles away from home." I will never forget it.

Well, that´s all I have. The work is really tough sometimes, but it´s rewarding.

Cheque Leque,

Elder Lund

Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras 3/18/14 - 3/24/14

Another Baptism, Elder Lund Celebrates his 20th Birthday in Honduras, Rain, and Awesome Baledas!

Elder Lund Really Likes Baleadas!

We had another baptism! A got baptized this past Friday. We´ve seen his progress from beginning to end (well, we´re still in the process of helping him endure to the end). He was truly the golden investigator and soaked up everything we taught him like a sponge. It was great to see him get baptized and confirmed and truly enter the straight and narrow path. Now, the rest of his family is going to be a little bit more difficult, but I think they´ll start to open their hearts more when they see the blessings in A´s life.

We played fútbol (on the basketball court, not a field) at the church Thursday night. While we were playing, it started raining super duro. It was a cool experience, but we got soaked. After, we had dinner in Santa Fe which was about a 10 minute walk and it started raining even harder. We were literally drenched and cold when we got to the member´s house. I don´t know if it was the difficult journey or the cooking, but those baleadas were awesome and probably the best I´ve had in Honduras so far. After dinner, we had a long 25 minute walk back to our casa. Although it wasn´t raining anymore, it was really windy and we were cold. Whatever, it´s the life of a missionary in Honduras. I´ll never forget the experience.

Well, I turned 20 yesterday. We had District Conference so we got to see a broadcast from Salt Lake for Central American Branches. Elders Richard G. Scott and Dallin H. Oaks talked. Us gringos had a room with the transmission in english. We listened to all the speakers in english except for Elder Scott because he can speak spanish. It was really cool listening to him in spanish. After the conference, Arsenio was confirmed and was being interviewed to receive the Aaronic Priesthood when we left to proselyte. 

We had a decent day teaching, and I did have a cream cheese cake at a member´s house before that. Pretty good birthday overall. My packages came on Saturday so thanks to all of you for everything!  
Short email this week, but I love you all and wish you the best.
Elder Lund

Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras 3/11/14 - 3/17/14

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Elder Lund's Birthday is this Sunday...sure hope he gets his packages in time!
(photo from the Js' Blog at Christmas time -- as seen in the mail room at the Mission Home)


Hermana Deisy, a member who we have dinner and visit with often with the other Elders, is reading "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" for her job as a teacher. I got to talk with her about it. I told her probably the most important habit for missionaries and teachers like herself is "First seek to understand, then to be understood." Also, even if you´re completely worthy to have the spirit in compliance with commandments and mission rules, if you get upset/frustrated/mad at someone else´s actions (even though they may be planchero actions), you are not going to have the spirit with you in your lessons. Be flechero (keep all commandments and mission rules) but also be proactive. I´m going to work on that more.

Nevertheless, I think it´s going to be a better week. A (va a cumplir 14) is getting baptized this week. The rest of the family is probably ready for baptism (they all have desires and so-so testimonies and we had fechas for them), but they still haven´t come to church yet (they have to come at least 3 times in order to get baptized here). I think when they see A get baptized and see the positive changes in his life, I think they´ll have a stronger desire to finally come to church and continue to progress further.

One morning this week, we went out to give service. We started out helping a member with her english homework. I helped her translate "The Fox and the Hen" was really difficult since the sentence patterns are different. After that, we saw a 70ish year old man in a dried up - but still really moist - river bed. He was widening the river with a shovel and pick-axe. I offered to help while my companion talked with him. He pulled out a cigarette and my companion started teaching about the Word of Wisdom. He had serious doubts with the doctrine surrounding it. He used the classic "God made it so it´s okay for us" even with cocaine and other hard drugs. I attempted to machete him with an example as I took a short break from my physcial labor. About 10 feet away, there was a huge puddle of dirty, disgusting water. By the way, the rivers and streams are absolutely gross here because of littering and other pollution. I asked him if God made made all that (pointing to the water). He said yes, and then I said to him ¡Tómalo!...drink it! He then exclaimed "No, No" ...I then asked why... "It´s bad, it´s contaminated" I then told him there are things that are bad for our bodies and the Word of Wisdom outlines those things. He understood, but he still didn´t change his position with coffee and tea. We tried getting a cita with him but ... no cita. But, we offered service and we planted seeds for future missionaries.

Last night, around 8:00, we were heading to a member´s house for dinner when all of the sudden we were confronted by 5 drunk 18-25 year olds. They started talking to us about why Mormons, Testigos (Jehova´s Witnesses), and others are crazy. Some of them also tried speaking to me in English which was really funny. They would say, "Whhhaaat´s ____ up" or "My __ name is ___ J...whaaat is ____ yyyour name?" Their breath was pretty bad and their slow speech was a combination of the alcohol and poor english. We then taught them a quick lesson in the street where we balanced 9 nails on top of 1 nailed into the dirt. They couldn´t find the way to balance it, but we shared with them that our thoughts are not God´s thoughts. Then, we balanced the 9 on top of the 1. By the time we finished the example, an additional 10-15 people were circled around watching and listening to our lesson. We taught some more, bore testimony, and then gave the original 5 the Chastity and Word of Wisdom pamphlets. They were much calmer after that. Don´t worry, there was no threat originally.

Well, that´s all I have time for. 

Cheque...Nos Vemos

Elder Lund

Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras 3/4/14 - 3/10/14

A Mission Demands Your All!

Elder Lund visits The Mayan Copan Ruins on Preparation Day

Elder Lund and Elder P


Another great week in the mission field. Even though it was overall awesome, the mission can be really hard sometimes. It demands your all - physically, mentally, and spiritually. We had ZERO investigators come to church this week which means we had ZERO progressing investigators (technically). We usually pick up one of the investigators but long story short we didn´t. But, the mission is also very rewarding. When you plow through the tough times, success eventually comes. Later that day, we had one good lesson, we became more united because of it, and we went on to have a great rest of the day contacting and teaching. 

Yesterday was also the first fast in the mission field. It depends on the companionship, but we fasted lunch to lunch. We had planned on breaking our fast at the house by ourselves. La Familia M (recent converts), however, invited us to lunch after church. They had prepared for us chicken noodle soup, tortillas, and grape soda (3 Litros, of course). This wasn´t the typical Campbell´s chicken noodle soup. They had literally cooked 2 recently killed chickens with noodles, potatoes, carrots, onions, and other vegetables. When it was all finished cooking, the broth was pretty much pure grease. When they served us, they also didn´t serve us with a typical cereal-sized bowl. They served each of us with two huge bowls typically used for mixing brownies. The food in Honduras is typically very good, but when I first looked at this huge bowl of soup, I really didn´t want to eat it. At that moment, I remembered a story from my football coach. Before the King City game my senior year, he had told us a story about himself and his grandpa (his grandpa had been awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II). One day as a child, he had told his grandpa that he was hungry. As his grandpa would normally do, he made his grandson a plate of eggs. However, he also wanted to teach his grandson a lesson. He then poured a bunch vinegar all over the eggs, essentially ruining the food. My football coach wouldn´t eat and his grandpa told him "Boy, you ain´t hungry." As the principles of this story were coming back to memory, I recited in my head "Boy, you ain´t hungry." But the thing is, I was, and I decided nothing would or should stop me from satisfying this hunger. Not only was I physically hungry, but I was also "hungry" to be the best missionary I could be, and the best missionaries form positive relationships with everyone and definitely eat everything they are served at meals. I made the deciscion and ate the whole bowl, which included the heart (which actually was kind of good), and some other weird body parts (either the throat or intestinal parts). But I wasn´t quite done yet. They then offered me chicken feet which included the foot up to the knee. Let´s just say "the chicken did have large talons" (Thanks Napoleon). It was weird. You kind of just had to nibble off the skin as you would nibble at a used corn on the cob. I broke the skin and pulled apart some ligaments connecting the foot to the knee. I asked if you eat the ligaments too, and they said yes. It felt like I was swallowing a shoe lace. I used the help from my grape soda to get it down my throat. All in all, it felt good to finish what I was given. The best part, however, was the fact that they also had family (a couple who is about to get married) at the table and we shared a lesson with them. They really liked it and are going to be our new investigators. They seem very promising.

We went to the Ruinas de Copan as a zone today. My companion woke up at 3:30 AM and turned on the lights which woke me up too (Even though we didn´t leave the house until 5:30). We took a small bus to the various stops on the way to the ruins to pick up the rest of the missionaries in the zone. We got to the ruins at about 9:00 and had a great time. We also had a great lunch in town - Pollo con Tajadas. We got back to Santa Rosa close to 4:00...long P-Day out of the house. 

I don´t really have much else to say. Our investigators are progressing (besides attending church...we are working on figuring that one out). We are finding a lot of people who are prepared to receive the gospel. Things are tough sometimes, but overall the joy that comes from working hard and serving others outweighs those other times. I really liked the"You ain´t hungry" story this week. It helped me expand my comfort zone. It´s easy to work hard/do the right thing when everything is going well, but what are you going to do when times are tough or you don´t want to do the things that are necessary. Are we truly hungry for success? Whenever you have something that you don´t want to do (whether it´s because you´re too tired, you´re too sick, it´s too hot/cold, you´re having a tough day etc etc etc), just think to yourself "Boy, you ain´t hungry." Then, tell yourself you are truly hungry, stop complaining, and just do it. You´ll be grateful for all the I´m glad I did(s) in place of all the I should have done(s) in your life.

Cheque Leque...

-Elder Lund

Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras 2/25/14 - 3/3/14