Los Almendros is Beautiful to Elder Lund

Well, this past week I had changes. I knew I had a 75% chance of leaving, but as always, it was a little tough to leave the area, especially with a baptism this past Saturday that I missed and an upcoming family who will get married and baptized in March. It was tough saying goodbye, but I was able to despiderme de casi todos.
With that said, I love my new area and my new companion. I am in Los Almendros (Zona Choloma) with Elder Pivaral from Guatemala. Interestingly, Elder Pablo, my dad, served here about a year and a half ago. He baptized the members who we live with. Elder Pivaral and I already know each other well. We were in the same district in la zona El Carmen when he started his mission, we were in the same house for a change in Río Lindo, and now we are companions. He is a convert and has a strong testimony. Los Almendros is a lot poorer...it reminds me of the slums in Río de Janeiro because there are a lot of houses stacked up in the hills...but it is beautiful to me. It´s really really hot and it´s only getting hotter coming up on Semana Santa in Abril.
The first few weeks of the change before, they had baptized 6 people, but in the last 2 weeks, they said they had a hard time finding and teaching people. This first week, although a little short because of changes, we focused on finding and setting fechas and we were successful.

La estaca choloma (the choloma stake) has a plan for member missionary work. It starts with members writing down 20 names, choosing names based on prayer, PLANTING THE INITIAL SEEDS by doing one action each week such as sharing a book of mormon, watching a church movie, FHE, etc, all this while praying and fasting for their friend. When the initial seeds are planted, the full-time missionaries will come in, teach the doctrine, and baptize. Accelerating the work of salvation. We worked with families this past week as well. The ward is supportive (and there is a chapel!!!) with this initiative. They also recognized the need for a perpetual marriage fund so that the missionaries don´t have to worry about marrying people. They just focus on teaching, helping investigators repent, and then the members help with the marriage. As always, the investigators will have to do their part such as selling tamales or something like that.
As said before, we´ve been working hard and have had success. We found a family with 5 kids (two of them for baptism right now) and they miraculously came to church on Sunday. They told us they couldn´t, but around 9:45, they rang the gate and they had come in their motorcycle...SUPER MACIZO!!! The lesson in principios del evangelio was on eternal marriage and they enjoyed it. During the lesson after the high counselor gave his testimony of the blessings of eternal marriage, the husband touched the wife´s knee and looked at her with that "hey, do you want to marry me for eternity" look. They enjoyed it. They met the Bishop and high counselor and other members of the ward. They have two neighbor families who are members (a bit menos activo, but still members) who can help them a lot. La Familia Moncada Días - familia de oro. Still a lot of work to do, but we pleading with Heavenly Father to help us with this amazing family.
A lot of other amazing experiences. Things are going really well. 6 at church yesterday. Let´s keep it rolling.
As a companionship, we are really getting along.

Funny experience last night. First of all, dinner fell because it was far away and getting late so we went home and made baleadas. Our tortillas were a little ugly, so we decided to just eat tortillas, eggs, frijoles, and mantequilla (cream). It was a lot of fun. As we were about to go to bed, I noticed something inside the covers of my bed. I touched it and it felt like a squishy toy...I thought my comp was messing with me or I had a bag of bleach there but as I lifted up the covers, we discovered a garrobol (male iguana) was in my bed!!! (Sound familiar mom? jajajaja) After some time, I caught it (2 for 2) and we took pics, videos, etc. To make the story even better, this morning, we showed it to the hermana who lives with us (we live in a room seperated from the house...I guess you could say it´s a guest house...but much more chasta). As I was showing the hermana this morning, the garrobol shook a lot and the tail broke off...it hid under some tools as the dog started hunting it down. Long story short, we captured it again, taped the tail to the body again with duct tape, took pics, and then set it free near the river.

We didn´t have much to do for P-day, so we planned specifically for our batpisms this change (see Predicad Mi Evangelio 222) before going to Wendy´s for lunch. It was good to eat fast food again.
Well, I don´t have anything else. Pray for us so we can keep up the good work. #dedicated #loseyourself (in the work)


-Elder Lund

Los Almendros, Zona Choloma 2/16/14 - 2/23/15

Fe (Faith) -- A Short Word, But Brings Miracles

Well, another week here in the mission. We had set the goal to have 3 baptisms, but each one fell. However, we have a baptism this Saturday for A from San Francisco. His wife was going to be baptized as well, but told us last week that she doesn´t want to stop going to her evangelical church because she "met (came to know) Jesus" there...but after she told us that she is still going to go with her husband and learn more from us. I think she will follow her husband´s example when she recognizes the blessings and understands the doctrine of eternal marriage. Gotta have patience.

We had some ups and we had some downs with some investigators, but overall things are progressing. K is starting to open back up again. Her faith is building and she actually came to church yesterday! We also had R (11) and N come. R´s mom and sister didn´t come to church, but she is super animada and can help set the example for the family.

We had a lesson with J (N´s mom) this past Wednesday with one of the counselors of the Branch Presidency. We taught about the principle of Faith. Despite being such a short word (just "fe" in Spanish) it literally brings about miracles in our lives. Despite a good lesson, she still needs time to think about baptism. Thank you for being willing to donate for the operation, but we have been told not to give money (even for weddings) in order for the people to build their faith and remain active in the church after baptism.

I just found out from an email that investigators in Ocotillo - A y J and their son J - are making pizza with members so they can get married and baptized. Sweet!!!! The importance of planting seeds.

Well, yesterday we watched some videos from the Presidencia de Área about the Plan de Área 2015. It gave me a lot of ánimo to work harder in this part of the Lord´s vineyard. If you haven´t sent the birthday package, can you download these videos as well? Here´s the link:

After church, we went to San Francisco and had a neat experience. SF is kind of far and costs us 60 Lempiras in mototaxi (in total for both of us). When we got there, all of our citas had fallen within 5 minutes. I was a little bummed. I was thinking about taking a break for 15-20 minutes to think about some things (problems with chismes and chambres that some investigators had received from members of the ward earlier that day) but then remembered the experience in Ocotillo when the exact same thing happened. I had sat down and then remembered from Elder Holland´s BYU talk about Thomas Edison and said how after a devestating fire, Edison said "we´re rebuilding". We later found a referal and she and her two kids (R) went on to get baptized. Entonces, in San Francisco, I remembered that when I was discouraged and decided to "rebuild" and start contacting. To make a long story short, we found 2 great families. One family, the son was in San Pedro for 1-2 months during vacation and went to church with her older sister is a recent convert. We didn´t meet the family (only the son was there) but there are 4 in total that can be baptized. With a little more ánimo, we went contacting and I felt prompted to contact a house. The man said "come in come in"...joking around, I asked him if we knew each other and he said no, but we can right now. We went on to teach the Restoration and his wife came back at the end of "the great apostasy"...we finished the lesson and asked us about baptism. The "wife" (unión libre) told us "I want to get baptized, but I know I need to get married. A lot of churches say ´get baptized first and then married´ but I know from the bible that no fornicator can enter into the kingdom of God"...We challenged them to baptism and they accepted. They also know A so we invited them to his baptism. A lot of work to go, but my testimony has increased dramatically. When everything seems to have fallen, just say "we´re rebuilding" and then get to work.

Well, still don´t know if I have changes yet. We´ll find out tonight. If not, let´s have a good 4th change here in Río Lindo and if so, well, on to the next one.


-Elder Lund

Río Lindo, Zona Yojoa 2/9/14 - 2/16/15

Tender Mercies


Another pretty good week here in Río Lindo, except for the lack of baptisms, but those will come.

We started out the week with divisions with the APs. Elder Amezcua from DF Mexico came with us and Elder Merlos, my old comp from Texas, went with Río Lindo 2. We had some good lessons and I learned a lot. It was good talking with Merlos again about our converts we have from Ocotillo. I found out that E and D are pregnant. He is prepping to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, and their son turns 8 in March or April and will be baptized. They are both preparing to hopefully be sealed this year in the temple.

We had a lot of progress from a golden contact from December...Aníbal and his wife (already legally married) R. We visited them in San Francisco de Yojoa twice this past week...once with Hermano R (Elder´s Quorum President) and once with Hermana S (Soc Soc President). We were working with them to be baptized the 14th, but he works every other sunday so he wouldn´t be able to be confirmed on the 15th. We moved it to the 21st for this reason and also to give a little more time for R to stop drinking café. A is so pilas he already had stopped when he heard about it his first Sunday in church and he also asked us to visit his friend this upcoming week. Future QE President or Branch President.

We had a little more success with N and her mom this week. We were able to get on good terms again with her, but still no permission. Basically what happened is at the end of the lesson, I invited her to be baptized and she accepted "when I´m ready". I then told her that her daughter was ready to go and invited her to give permission. She said no. I felt prompted to ask her again and then she finally told us why. Her brothers are against the church and have been against it from the beginning, but have never talked to us (miedo?) One lives in the states and sends money to her, specifically for an upcoming operation that she needs. N gets baptized = no money. She accepted to have a lesson in the church this Wednesday with a member.

A lot of other tender mercies and milagritos, but not enough time to write.

We worked in San Antonio de Cortés this Thursday. It is super far away from Río Lindo (30-45 minutes in moto taxi and about 90 Lempiras per person) but we have some references and investigators that already have 2 asistencia at church. M and her 2 daughters. We taught her on her patio and challenged her to baptism. Afterwards, we were about to leave but felt impressed to contact a house that seemed to "stand out"...the woman let us in...again on the front patio... and had a Como Comenzar Enseñar with her. Turns out, 9 people live in her house - her 2 parents, her "husband", and her 5 siblings ages 21, 20, 18, 16, and 13. They don´t attend a church. She is very interested in the message. She accepted an invitation to be baptized. She gave us a phone number to call the next time we are in San Antonio. Super awesome experience, but a lot of challenges since they live super far away and it will be very difficult to go to church...planting seeds for the future branch/ward in San Antonio 5-15 years from now. Neat experience and super beautiful the ride back to Río Lindo.

Well, I´ve got a little cold right now, but we played fútbol (just us 4 missionaries from Río Lindo) and prepped for the week today. This could be my last week in Río Lindo as I have 3 changes, but as always, a dónde me mandes iré (o si no me mandes, me quedaré).

--Elder Lund

Río Lindo, Zona Yojoa 2/2/14 - 2/9/15

"Just Another Day in Paradise!"

 Elder Lund Interviewing for a Baptism
 P-Day at the Zoo--Reminded him of Put Put Goes to the Zoo from his younger days.

Well, we had a really great week...until Saturday night...but I´ll get into that later.

I finished 13 months in the mission this Tuesday by fasting with and for our investigator N to receive permission from her mother, J, to get baptized. We spent most of that day in San Francisco putting in some good quality work. We have 4 really good investigators that we are working with that are preparing for baptism starting the 14th of February and into March. J, M, A and R. A and R are super pilas, but I worry that they may not feel prepared to be baptized on the 14th. They have 2 church assistance and should be coming this upcoming Sunday. We are planning to have two lessons with member this week - one with Sociedad Socorro (Soc Soc) and one with Qúorum de Élderes.

We had a neat little experience on Thursday. We were planning on having a lesson with R and her two daughters (old contacts) but the other Elders planned to watch "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" so we invited them. We stopped by for the invitation, but the mom didn´t want to leave the house alone so we walked with the 11 year old daughter with a neighbor (less active member) to the chapel at 2 in the afternoon. We watched the film with other investigators in the church and they both enjoyed it. About an hour after we had dropped them both off, they rode their bikes to find us and she asked us for a Book of Mormon to read. We were kind of surprised but gave it to her. She came to church with that neighbor on Sunday and brought a friend. We´ll see what we can do in these upcoming weeks to help their families get reactivated and baptized.

Interesting experience with M and C with a member...but not enough time to explain. Hopefully just mentioning this now will help me remember in the future.

I did divisions with an Elder W from Oregon in Santa Cruz on Friday primarily to give the baptismal interview. It was my first interview and I was a little nervous before, but I settled down when I got to SC. His name is O and he lived in the states for several years so he knows Spanish and English. We had the interview in both languages switching back and forth. Good experience...felt the spirit...he´s pilas...great day. One of our investigators from Río Lindo, J, had moved to SC recently to study with his grandma. While on divisions, Elder W and I contacted the house and found him. "Coincidence, I think not!" Hopefully he can now more readily accept the gospel and go to church since he doesn´t work on Sundays.

When I got back to Río Lindo after divisions, we stopped by N because she texted us the night before saying that she had big news. We stopped by after lunch and she told us she had received permission from her mom to get baptized. We talked with the mom and she told us there were conditions but that it was true. We told them we would drop by later in the evening. We all felt super happy because of the answered prayers and fast we had had earlier that week.

Now for the bad news. That night, we went back with the Registro Bautismal to get her signature, but to be short, things had changed. She told us she would not sign until her daughter passed a test on Monday that she hadn´t been studying for this entire month. Basically, the mom was giving unrealistic expectations and not very forgiving with her "conditions for baptism"...we tried to reason with her and explain to her about Christ and how he gives us new conditions of repentance. N had promised to study more this school year, but to only give permission by passing a test with just 1 day preparation was illogical and unjust. After trying to express these concerns, she told us "thank you, but I don´t want you coming back to talk to me or my daughter ever again. Good night"...N left the room frustrated, angry, and crying. We tried to be humble about it and gave a handshake to leave. We walked back to the house (we didn´t have dinner) in silence.

We had been given a miracle but it had been taken away again. We feel stuck right now. We have literally done everything we could do - service, fasting, lessons with member in the church about the Joseph Smith movie, constant prayers day and night, etc etc. Our faith is a principle of action, but it has not become a principle of power. N came to church on her own yesterday without her mother´s permission. The grandpa, O, is a little more tranquilo and had called us that night saying "don´t listen to my daughter, she is sick in the head...o sea, loca"...we aren´t sure what we are going to do or if we´ll have the baptism this week or ever, but segun y sea la voluntad del Padre.

In other news, we went to the Zoo today as a zone. I´ll send pics. This zoo also had go-karts, paintball, swimming pools, and a rifle shooting range.  we just watched animals sleep and be lazy (and those things are against the manual misional of course)

Well, that´s all I´ve got this week. Cuídense...

--Elder Lund

Río Lindo, Zona Yojoa 1/27/14 - 2/2/15