Progress in Many Forms

Well, another week in the mission field. Hit 15 months on Friday.
We were planning on baptizing the Familia Muncada D, but the father is still having palabra de sabiduría issues. They are planning for another fecha, the 10th of April. Another change without baptisms, but the beat goes on.
Normal week and not a whole lot to talk about. People progressing, people not progressing so much, and people dropped.

We did have some great progress with María Dolores and her daughter Carolina. She is extremely shy and we´ve been teaching her (starting this past week) basic principles like prophets, faith, and prayer. We gave her a Book of Mormon with a list of 67 scriptures and she had read 6 or 7 between teaching visits. When we invited her to go to church, she was so-so but she ended up coming. It was actually a milagrito. We went to go pick up another family and we passed la Familia I. Seconds later, D was leaving her house with her daughter and her daughter´s friend M. We called for the member family and they helped fellowship and take them to church. Still a lot of problems, but good progress.
Well, another cambio. My companion Elder Pivaral has changes and my new comp is Elder Peres from the same zone. I believe he is from the Domican Republic.

-Elder Lund

Los Almendros, Zona Choloma 3/23/15 - 3/30/15

Getting Hot

 Tres Leches Birthday Cake--Yum!

Well, another week in the mission field. Kind of a difficult week because our two baptisms fell, but the beat goes on.
Instead of explaining in depth all the things that went wrong (to sum it up, one baptismal candidate was still having issues with his younger cousin and the other still has a fear of drowning and won´t leave her room to talk to us with the rest of her member family), I will write about two quick experiences we had.
Thursday afternoon, we decided to visit C briefly before one of our planned appointments. Turns out, she had caught chikungunya (as almost everyone else here in Choloma) a few days earlier and was really sick. She accepted a short 10 minute lesson outside her house on her patio. We read Alma 7:11-12 and then explained the importance of prayer. We asked her if she prays morning and night and she said she did not. We taught her how to properly pray and then she accepted to pray and gave a brief, but sincere, prayer to end the visit. Milagrito. In the past, she refused and refused to pray and was having a tough time understanding the material.
This upcoming week, we have plans to baptize the Familia M - a family of 7 (4 baptisms at this time). The great thing about this family is the potential they have as an eternal family as well as their deseos to improve their lives. The members have helped out a ton. They have had visits, donated food after the surgery their youngest child had on his toe, etc, etc. We plan on baptizing them Friday or Sunday morning because the husband works every other day and has work this Saturday.
It was really really hot this week here in Choloma. A quote from the movie Holes came to mind. The granddaughter is digging holes on Christmas day and she says "I´m tired of this Grandpa!" and then the ´loving´ grandfather replies "Well that´s too darn bad!!! (clean version) You keep diggin´..." Well, Semana Santa is coming up and it´s going to be a hot one. Well, that´s just too darn bad...we´re going to keep working.

-Elder Lund

Los Almendros, Zona Choloma 3/17/15 - 3/23/15

Feliz Cumpleanos--21

 Happy Birthday Elder Lund

What a week. Well, first things first, I hit the "9 months to go" mark so I took a pic to commemorate.
At the beginning of the week, I wasn´t in our area too much. I did two divisions this past week - Miercoles with Elder W in Los Almendros 2 and Thursday with Elder O in La Jutosa. See pics.
Wednesday was a really good day. We worked really hard and because everything is close, we were able to enter "into houses" (really just sitting down on the front porches) and taught lessons. We ended the day with 1 lesson with member and 8 other lessons with a handful of Libros de Mormón entregados and desafíos bautismales. Elder W is from Atascadero, California and he played football and basketball so we talked a lot that night about the mission, sports, etc. Carmel had played Atascadero in 7 on 7 in Arroyo Grande and they played some preseason games versus schools like Seaside and Salinas. It was cool to talk about stuff before the mission and actually being able to relate. He is an awesome missionary with a ton of enthusiasm. He´s planning on perhaps going to BYU after the mission.
On Thursday, I went back with my companion for weekly planning and then went on divisions with Elder O in La Jutosa after lunch. He was born in Colombia, but grew up in Canada (so he knows both english and spanish perfectly), and his family is actually now living in Weston, Florida, just northwest of Miami. We had some citas that fell, but overall a really good day. He is a really good teacher and I was able to learn a lot from him.
On Saturday, we had a multi-mission conference. Misión Oeste and Este combined to receive capacitaion from 4 General Authorities - Elder Ochoa from the Area Presidency, Elder Davies from the Presiding Bishopric, Elder Maynes from the Presidency of the 70, and Elder Neil L. Andersen from the Quorum of the Twelve. SUPER MACISO! We learned a lot about conversion and the Atonement from Elder Andersen and about the mission in general from the other Autoridades Generales.
We had a great Sunday as well. 9 investigators came to church and the 10th was outside because he had some pena because he came in shorts and sandals.
Unfortunately, we didn´t have any baptisms. We were going to have a baptism for A, an 11 year old who lives with her grandma who is a member. We were going to try to have it, but too many things happened and it would have been pushing it. She was with her dad and couldn´t come to church the week before, she was having trouble with baptismal interview questions, and we never really received a 100% sure signature from her parents for permission. We told the grandma if she could get the signature from one of the parents. You know in school when the teacher asks the struggling student to show his parents his poor grades. He has to get a signature from his parents so the teacher knows they saw the grades but the young student tries to forge it out of fear, and the forged signature is totally noticeable. Well, that´s what our signature of the registro bautismal looked like. It was in block letters and they put "4:00" as the fecha. My companion and I looked at it in the house, laughed a bit, and asked them to get a new one. But, she came to church and is preparing for the interview so she should be getting baptized this Saturday.
We also have another baptism this saturday for I. He didn´t go to church last week because he had gotten drunk the night before (for his birthday) and was smoking a cigarrete when we came to pick him up. De hecho, he when he saw us, he was super embarrased,  We met with him that afternoon and taught Word of Wisdom again and the importance of reading the LDM every day. Since that day, the Lord has worked miracles and a mighty change in his heart. He threw away his cigarretes, he´s reading, and he´s a lot more pilas. He told us he wanted to be baptized this Saturday and we didn´t have to "empujarle" towards the fecha. His older brother is a recent convert and is giving a lot of support.
We are seeing a lot of miracles, large and small, right now in this area. I recognize them as miracles because the Lord is doing the heavy lifting. Realmente, He is the one that touches and changes hearts. He prepares the people, we just need to be instruments, work hard, have the spirit, and do His will.
Good P-day today. We went as a zone to Puerto Cortez. We actually went a little bit further down the coast to Omoa. It was really cool seeing the beach again. We went to el Castillo de Omoa and took a lot of pics. We ran out of time to eat lunch there, so we came back. Oh ya, it´s my birthday. 21. Wow, time flies. I got the package from Grandma and Grandpa Jones, but still haven´t gotten your packages yet. Probably tomorrow. Enjoyable birthday, great P-day. "Just another day in Paradise."
Well, I have a lot more stories, people progressing (14 with fechas bautismales) and a lot of funny moments. There are still some tough moments, but as the scriptures always say, "and it came to pass"...

-Elder Lund

Los Almendros, Zona Choloma 3/9/14 - 3/16/15

Leadership Training

Well, another week here in Los Almendros! We had some problemitas this week with investigators, but overall pretty good.

We taught the Restoration to a grandma and her granddaughter (the granddaughter is 40) who were truly not ready to receive the message. They were spewing apostasy left and right. "La Biblia dice que cualquiera persona que tenga el deseo puede ser un apostol....(Yo)...Hermana, donde dice esto?...Bueno, no sé, pero yo digo que es así." She later went on to say that there are millones de apostoles throughout the world. Que Apostasía!!! We read some machete scriptures, but she harderned her heart. "Somos la iglesia!!! Jesús no va a venir por 4 paredes y un techo!" Ok hermana...vamos a regresar más adelante.

I had divisions with Elder Z, the ZL in Puerto Cortes. His little brother just got into BYU by the way and we talked about that. We had some good lessons and good contacts. They live right next to the refinery so there are a bunch of big-rigs hauling gasoline to all parts of the country. We didn´t have anything to do around 6:30 so we street contacted someone resting in una hamaca. Turns out, they live in Tegucigalpa and were waiting to fill up and leave in the morning with 6000 gallons of gasoline. We gave them a Book of Mormon and talked about the book and the church.

On Friday, we woke up early and went to Chamelecón for a Leadership Training Meeting. All the DLs and ZLs received capacitation from the Assistants and President Dester. I learned a lot and it was a really good day. We ate Pizza Hut in la terminal (bus station) on our way back.

When I got back, I gave an interview to a baptism in Los Almendros 2, but unfortunately she needs a little more time. I tried to be super loving and charitable, but she may be a little desanimado. The Elders were a little upset as well, but she has a chance to be baptized this Saturday or the next.

We had a pretty good Sunday. 4 investigators at church, better than I had expected. We did divisions with members in our ward who are super pilas. I went with hermano Carlos Marlet and we visited la familia L and a PF J y A. J is an inactive member and is the same age as C. They went to seminary together, but took different paths. J started a family with A while C served a mission in Chile. Big difference, but thanks to the atonement, J has the opportunity to "come back to the fold" and potentially have an eternal family. We had a good lesson with F. L as well.

Decent P-day. My comp is a little sick right now. We played fútbol with los zipotes (guys from the hood) in the morning. I went to retrieve the ball when it went out of bounds and it was in the ditch where water goes off into the river. It was filled with dirt and I thought it was secure but when I stepped into it it turns out that it was just mud and my foot went all the way down to the bottom. (Kind of like when Joseph Smith´s brother get´s stuck at the beginning of "The Restoration" video..."José, aydúdame!!!...Me caí" jaja) See the pic.

Anyways, that was this past week. We have a potential baptism this week, but still some problemitas. Cheque!

-Elder Lund

Los Almendros, Zona Choloma 2/23/14 - 3/2/15

A Visit From Elder Ochoa

Elder Lund and The Zona Choloma with Elder Ochoa and President and Sister Dester

Selling donuts to help members earn money


Well, another quick week here in Los Almendros.

On Wednesday, we had a multi-zone conference with Elder Ochoa from the Presidencia de Area. It was an awesome conference, and I learned a lot. President Dester showed us the established baptismal goal for 2015...we plan to double the baptisms. I truly believe that this is possible. We are going to work a lot with the members as the primary sources of finding, teaching, and baptizing. The members are encouraged to write down, by name, their contacts. "Si no hay nombres, no hay metas ni planes" Elder Ochoa was awesome. He really focused on faith, repentance, and of course, BAPTISM! We as missionaries are here to find the people who are ready to accept the restored gospel (the sheep who follow the voice of the pastor), teach them and help them repent, and then when they are prepared, baptize them. Simple. We shouldn´t be focusing on baptizing every month, but every week. Always finding, teaching, and baptizing those who have desires to change their lives and follow the good shepherd. Great conference. A lot of ánimo right now (at least on my part).

We had some challenges and problems this week, but overall really good. The "familia de o" is looking more and more golden each time we visit them. We found out last week that they are actually married!!! However, there are still some challenges, the biggest being that the husband drinks. The oldest daughter went to church with a member-neighbor and the parents were going to come in their motorcycle later. BUT, the husband went out to drink with his buddies instead of coming straight home from work (the night shift) and didn´t come back until 2 in the afternoon. I went to visit them with the ward mission leader and found out about all this. The husband was asleep drunk. The 3 year old son even knew about his dad´s problems..."mi papá anda bolo"...speaking of that...the 3 year old son, J, has a genetical problem with two of his smallest toes on his right foot and is going to have surgery this Wednesday. They grew larger than the other ones. The pinky toe and the ring toe are much larger than the big toe. I tried explaining to them the "this little piggy went to market" but the joke didn´t translate well. Anyways, they needed to buy a special soap to wash the foot in preparation for the operation, but the father "lost it" when he went drinking with his buddies. The wife was really upset and started crying after telling us. They had said a prayer as a couple before going to bed Friday night, but she recognizes that the adversary is making his attacks. We had a good lesson with her and gave her ánimo. Yes, their is a challenge, but I know that the Lord can touch and change his heart. This just means that this family has even more to gain from the gospel.

We are working a lot to get other people married. We worked with the Bishop to sell donuts from Pricemart (or Price Smart? I´m not sure...but it´s the equivalent to Costco or Sam´s Club) to members and missionaries. The family also sold 4 boxes door to door. See the pic...We sold 18 boxes with a ganancia of 720 Lempiras. Not bad. My companion and I bought 3 boxes...plenty of breakfast for this week.

Well, I hit the 14th month mark this past Friday...this is going by way too fast. By the end of this change I will have 15 months in the mission with about 8 1/2 months to go. Still not too baggy...just focused on working hard. #dedicated #loseyourself (in the work)

I´ll end with a story from the ward mission leader´s testimony yesterday:

Hay la historia de una conversación entre un padre y su hijo. El hijo le preguntó "Papá, ¿crees que puedo vivir todos los mandamientos durante el transcurso de este año?" El padre, riéndose un poquito, le respondió "No hijo, no creo que puedas." El hijo, le preguntó otra vez "Papá, ¿crees que puedo vivir todos los mandamientos este mes?" Otra vez, le respondió que no. "¿Una semana?" "No" respondió el padre. "¿Un día?" Tampoco. "¿Una hora?" "Bueno," respondió el padre esta vez, "tal vez, pero todavía creo que no puedas" El hijo preguntó a su padre una ultima vez, "Papá, crees que puedo vivir perfectamente los mandamientos durante el transcurso de un minuto?" Por fin, el padre le contestó "Sí. Creo que puedes." Entonces, el hijo le dijo a su padre "Bueno, este significa que debemos vivir los mandamientos minuto trás minuto, y luego hora tras hora, hasta que podamos vivir los mandamientos perfectamente y lleguemos a ser como Nuestro Padre Celestial. Claro, no somos perfectos en esta vida, pero podemos tratar de vivir los mandamientos perfectamente en cada momento."

Well, have a great week!

-Elder Lund

Los Almendros, Zona Choloma 2/23/14 - 3/2/15