Six Months in the Mission Field

Elder Lund, R and Elder M

Well, I hit six months in the mission field this past Friday. It is crazy how fast it has gone by. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to burn a tie. We got back a little late and we live in apartments. I hope to burn one at the year mark.

This week, Elder Ochoa from the 70 came to speak to all the missionaries in the Benque Stake Center. It was a great meeting and we learned a lot about faith in Jesus Christ, how we can develop it, and how we can help our investigators also develop faith unto repentance.

My companion has been sick the past two weeks. We were in the hospital four mornings this week for stool samples to see what's wrong. Not once has he truly complained about it. He always has a smile. I know for a fact I would be irritable and complain. I have learned a lot from him in this situation and I hope I can apply it.

We have 3 really pilas investigators with fechas not this saturday but the following saturday. 2 of them have to get married and they have 2 young kids. The third is also pilas. She would be this Saturday but a family member died so we´re rescheduling it for the following week. It´s been tough for other people to keep their commitments. I don´t get it sometimes. We teach great great lessons and get them to commit, but when Sunday rolls around they still don´t come to church. I really don´t want to drop them but we may need to drop a lot pretty soon.

Last night, we got locked out of our apartment. We left the keys inside when we went out to proselyte and when we got back at 9:30, we realized we were in trouble. We tried going to the dueñas house for the keys (right next door) but she was sleeping. We tried calling her. No luck. We had to sleep in the other Elder´s apartment. We had been doing some chapeando (machete) work in a field as service earlier and were all sweaty and itchy but couldn´t take a shower. We also didn´t have a bed, but we improvised and used some cardboard. When we got the keys in the morning, we returned to our apartment, but the electricty had gone out and their was no water to shower with. (hashtag) Cien por ciento catracho. (hashtag) foreign mission problems. I have photos of it but it´s on the other Elder´s camera. I will send it next week.

Well, that´s all I have. Talk to you next week.

-Elder Lund
Ocotillo, El Carmen, SPS 6/23/14 - 6/30/14

R's Baptism

We had a baptism this week! It was also my first baptism. Her name is R and she is the sister of V, the kid we baptized a couple weeks ago. The family was reactivated in the church and we had the opportunity to baptize the children who were not baptized or announced to the church when they were born. On Tuesday, another DL in the zone gave the interview and afterwards we asked her who she wanted to baptize her and she chose me. We had the baptism on Wednesday for her birthday. Pics hopefully will be attached. It had just rained and the pila water was kind of dirty, but it was a good baptismal service.

E and his family came to church for the second time in a row. He has a fecha for the 12 of Julio. The biggest challenge he has is to get married, but we and the ward are going to help him out every step of the way. He is good friends already with the bishop and his family and they will be a super pilas family when they get baptized. I hope we can continue to help them progress. He knows everything is true and has desires to be baptized. He is still a little skeptical with the 12th just because he knows he has to get married, but like I said, we are going to be there every step of the way.

We also have an Hermana named Y. All of her older sisters were baptized a year or two ago, but she wasn´t. We´re teaching her and she has a fecha for the 5th of Julio. She is pilas too. She is 18-20 years old and we always teach her with her super talkative sister. The sister also knows some English too. Y knows pretty much everything. She was a little unsure with President Monson, but we shared a mp3 talk with her and she felt good about it. She will be a strong member.

We are working with a lot of other people too, but it would take to long to write about everything.

Honduras lost to Ecuador on Friday. We were stuck in the apartments but everyone was watching it so we heard the game play by play. Elder G is super happy that they won. For P-Day today, we were given permission by President to watch one world cup game as a zone. We went to a residential area where a bunch of rich members live. It was fun. We watched Holanda beat Chile 2-0. There was another baptism on Friday night and the power went out with a huge rain and thunderstorm. It was cool. It was just bright enough to see the baptism with some emergency lights on. I caught an iguana with my bare hands yesterday. We also saw a pig about to go to the slaughter. It was squealing like crazy. It was both funny and sad at the same time.

I´m going to be sending some emails with videos, photos, and their explanations.

Well, that´s all I have. Talk to you next week.

-Elder Lund
Ocotillo, El Carmen, SPS 6/16/14 - 6/23/14

World Cup Week

This week had a lot of ups and a few downs, but overall it was a good week. The lights went out last Monday. This has been the first time since I left Copán where they would go out all the time. We planned on having a lesson with our investigator L, but unfortunately we couldn´t leave the house. L is 19 and has a lot of interest in the church. We had some super maciza lessons with a member family (Hermano Santos shout out) for the past two Mondays, but we are limited to teaching him because he works at his family´s pulperia - . He is reading in the Book of Mormon and waiting to receive an answer of it´s truthfulness. It may be slow, but he will come around and experience the joys of the gospel.

We began teaching some former investigators this week. F (mom), L (daughter), and the grandma. The grandma is super católica and will not accept anything we say. She asked us if we believed in Mary, which we do of course, but she made the claim we didn´t because she was supposedly a virgin all her life and Jesus didn´t have any brothers or sisters. I kind of wanted to machete her referencing to the last verse in Mateo 1 and Mateo 13:55 or something like that, but I just said ¨I´m pretty sure it references to Jesus´s siblings in the Bible, but I guess I have to study more.¨ We taught a pretty good Restoration overview lesson with them. We asked if they believed the things we taught were true. They said they did, but they are waiting for that confirmation from the Holy Ghost. We could´ve challenged them to baptism, but we didn´t. The grandma kept getting in the way during the lesson so we´ll challenge them at a further date.

I´ll be honest. I don´t like contacting. References are so much easier and they tend to be better anyways. But, we had some fun times contacting this week. We contacted one house where two ladies were gutting chickens for soup. Pretty cool, but they were busy so we´ll contact again in the future. Near that house, we contacted again and they were busy so we came back the next day. The dad was lying on the couch watching TV and we asked what day we could come back. He replied ¨ninguno¨ ... ouch. We did have some success with a pink house on that same street. They are a family of 5. The father (I believe step father) is indio and the mother and the two teenage kids are garífuna. The father´s sister also lives with them. The indio father seemed really into the church. We were supposed to teach them yesterday, but we couldn´t. When Honduras plays in the world cup, we can´t be out and we have to be in early. On Sunday, we could only work from 4-7 and we had some more important citas in el porvenir since we have baptismal dates coming up for some of them.

Speaking of the world cup, it´s pretty crazy. Actually, it´s been relatively calm. People are glued to their TVs, but nothing crazy has happened. People light off fireworks (which are more like mini explosives here in Honduras) and drink a lot, but nothing out of the usual. Honduras lost and everyone was all sad.

Before the mission I never watched champions league and I never watched the World Cup, but now that I can´t (well, supposedly we can occasionally, just not all day but we´re still not going to) watch, I really want to. I can´t wait to get back and start to follow fútbol more in depth.

Anyways, that´s most of my week. Left out a lot but got most of the good stuff in. Talk to you next week.

-Elder Lund
Ocotillo, El Carmen, SPS 6/9/14 - 6/16/14

Active in Living the Gospel

Well, another week living the missionary life which mostly included: fallen citas, people pretending they weren´t home, investigators who don´t keep commitments, just one investigator at church, and 2 days in San Pedro for doctor and dentist appointments. Woohoo! But it´s all good.

We´re almost done digging the hole for Hermana A for her latrine. It is now about a foot or so above my head. We still lack another meter or so. Hopefully we can finish it this upcoming Saturday. She will be excited for that.

We had a noche de hermanamiento this past Thursday where we watched the church video on John Tanner and his living of the law of consecration. It´s amazing to see his example in living this higher law. As members of the church, we may not have to sell everything we have, pack up, and leave our homes to go establish Zion, but the Lord does expect us to abandon our natural man tendencies and live righteously. 

We were talking with a stake high counselor at lunch on Sunday after church and he said there are two types of ¨active¨ members: those who are active in the church, and those who are active in living the gospel. First off, there are many many inactive members here in Honduras. I don´t know how it happens, but when we talk to them it´s as if they had not learned anything in the first place from the Word of Wisdom to principles of the Restoration and what it entails. These people still ¨go to church¨ but just different congregations believing it is the same since they are still worshipping God. Then, there are active members in the church. These members come to church nearly every Sunday, but they still don´t pay their tithing, they dress immodestly, etc. They aren´t truly converted. Then, there are those who are active in living the Gospel. They read the scriptures, pray daily, have noche de hogars, live the commandments because they want to, and attend both church and the temple regularly. The high counselor said that the stake is filled with active members, but there are usually only 2 or 3 families per ward who are truly active in living the gospel. As missionaries at church, we can see clearly who is doing this and who is not. The Lord needs more members who are active in living the gospel.

Well, that´s all I have this week. Hopefully more spiritually uplifting stories this next week.

-Elder Lund
Ocotillo, El Carmen, SPS 6/2/14 - 6/9/14

Productive Week

Pretty decent week here in Ocotillo. We taught some really good lessons and have about 10 planned baptisms for June (I believe 8 with fecha and 2 others that we still need to set a exact fecha with). The unfortunate thing is we only had 2 investigators at church yesterday. We are having some problems with our investigators keeping their compromisos. I don´t completely understand - we have awesome lessons, the spirit is present, and they accept the compromiso, but they just never seem to fulfill it. It´s a little frustrating sometimes especially since we are pressured to have a ¨mega bautismo¨ at the end of June.

I´ve started to stop reading things in English. I had a goal of reading the Standard Works in English, but it will probably be better to just study the scriptures in Spanish. I have the rest of my life to read in English. I have begun packing up my English Scriptures, the English Missionary Library, etc. I have started doing this because I feel like my Spanish has been so-so the past 6 weeks or so. It might just be that I realize all the mistakes I make that I hadn´t before, but either way this will help.

We´ve made friends with (potentially) a mara salvatrucha. He drives a moto taxi here in Ocotillo. When we walk by the moto taxi area he is always asking us where we need to go or what things we need. He was given us his number and we call him when we need rides. Yesterday, there was a huge thunderstorm that came all of the sudden. We were a good 15 minute walk from home so we called the guy and he picked us up.

Being in San Pedro (well, just outside but still pretty much SPS) is awesome. We´ve had McDonalds, Wendy´s, Little Caesar´s, and we can find pretty much anything in the stores that would be in the states. Today we played Basketball in the Stake Center (Benque). It was a lot of fun to finally play basketball indoors again.

Well, that´s all I have. Cheque.

-Elder Lund
Ocotillo, El Carmen, SPS 5/26/14 - 6/2/14