Adventures! The first is a straight POURING of rain, so loud we had to give up on one of our lessons because none of us could hear each other, and the a really big semi drove by and sent a wave over the walkway and I got soaked. Literally. But I thought, Be fabulous anyway! So I was. And the second is from when we filled up the baptismal font for Gladis's baptism, and a dragonfly decided to die in the water when it was already full. We couldn't reach it, and we couldn't leave it there because it was huge and ugly, so I used my Mission:Impossible skills and shimmied out there to get it. It was pretty legit.
So it's been another very fast and very great week here in Honduras! The sun is still shining, the mosquitos are still biting, and life is good!
So I'm going to forego (I don't know if I spelled that correctly--the spell check is in Spanish, so there are red squigglies under just about everything) the attempts to take you all through my week day by day. We all know that would be boring and it probably has been in the past. So I'm just gonna go for the highlights. Sound good? Ok, here we go!
So Candido, who got baptized last week, had an appointment with us and his daughter's family for an FHE last Monday, and we went to that appointment but there were all these people gathered around his house and people fixing the roof and we found out that his house had caught fire! A spark from an outlet lit a shirt that was hanging to dry, and there was no one around to stop the blaze, so it burnt pretty hard for kind of a long time. Eventually though people realized what was happening and all of his neighbors got together to put the flames out. There isn´t a fire department here, but there is an incredible community spirit, and so the fire was put out. When we got there, everyone was only talking about blessings--thank goodness no one was hurt, the main structure of the house is still standing and undamaged. No one was negative. It is sad because the things that were more expensive in the house, like the television and the camera, were destroyed and another one of his daughters-in-law who lives there lost most of her clothes and all of the clothes she had already received or purchased for the baby she is expecting next month. But already she had three full trash bags of clothes people had donated, and she wasn't even kind of complaining. And Candido is only ever happy, even in moments of trials. The people here are incredible examples to me.
We also have a new family that we are teaching, Darlin, her daughter Lorena, and Lorena's little boy, Eduardo. We knocked on their door one night with a member who was pretty sure she knew the people who lived there and they invited us back. But this week we found out that Darlin has already taken the lessons (a very long time ago, when there were only elders here) and had a baptismal date set, but her (now ex) husband wouldn´t let her be baptized. But she already has an incredible testimony. She asked the elders and has asked us again if someone might do the work for her late son the next time the ward goes on a trip to the temple. Lorena is also very ready for the gospel, though she hasn´t heard it before, and we really think that both of them have been prepared to hear the gospel. And Eduardo is two, and I think he and Owen would be friends.
More and more of our investigators are keeping their commitments and growing. The family that is working to be married and baptized, the fam. Urquía, has almost saved up enough for their wedding already, so I know the Lord is blessing them in their efforts. We went to teach our dear family out in the jungle, fam. Sabion, and the little river that is usually up to our calves was up to our thighs! So the skirts got pretty wet, especially Saturday, when I got tangled up in the cable that has been installed for a guide rope and fell. That was equally gross and painful. No, wait, it was grosser. Yeah, definitely the gross factor was greater.
The members here are really great at coming with us to lessons and taking us to meet their friends. They just need a week or two to think up who they're going to take us to meet, but when they have a person, we're off! We met (or surpassed!) all of our goals this week, and while numbers aren't the most important indication of the work a missionary is doing, it is really nice to meet the goals we have set.
And here's the best part! On of our goals this week was a baptism and a confirmation, and that totally happened! I met this wonderful sister, Gladis, on my first day here, and the understanding was that she would be baptized that first Saturday. But she got a little nervous and kept pushing back the date, but last week she told us that she was ready and knew she needed to be baptized, and she came to church all by herself (and she's a 70ish year old woman, so that was kind of a big deal) which fulfilled the requirement for 3 times attendance to church, so on Thursday we went over the baptismal interview, on Friday our DL came to conduct that interview, on Saturday she was baptized, and yesterday she was confirmed a member and blessed with the gift of the Holy Ghost. And it was awesome! I can't think of a better moment than watching one of the Lord's children choosing to be follow Him, and demonstrating that committment with their baptism. If I have a baptism every Saturday for the next 70ish weeks, that's fine with me. (Also, if there are only 70ish of these letters left, y'all better start cherishing them, because that's not a lot ) (I would have put a little smiley face there, but this is a weird Spanish keyboard disguised as an English keyboard, so the buttons are in different places).
Also along the lines of awesome, twelve of our investigators came to church yesterday! Twelve! It was like Christmas came early! The mother of the fam. Sabion even hiked out of the jungle with her two little boys and without her husband (really big deal) to come! And Yeimy was talking to us last night and said the only thing keeping her from wanting to be baptized is that she'd have to go up infront of everyone to be confirmed, so we told her we'd ask the brother giving her the blessing to stand infront of her and block the ward's view. She said that would be perfect and she'd get baptized this week if he would do that. She's pretty cute.
In all honesty, it's a little hard sometimes. It's a little hard to be a Gringa instead of a proper person, and to have people lean to your companion and ask Now, does she speak Spanish? and then to prove them semi-right a few minutes later by being unable to conjure up the word you are searching for. And then there's the cultural and language divide between me and my companion, which causes uncomfortable situations sometimes, like when she does something that in Mexico is apparently just fine but in the US is the pinacle of condescencion and rudeness. And as I have previously mentioned, there are seriously so many mosquitos. So it's a little hard. But luckily, I was raised on movie quotes, so everytime I'm having a hard moment, I think two things: first, Tom Hanks saying It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great. and shortly afterward, Edna Mode saying Oh. Well, he'll just look fabulous anyway. And then I move on.
I miss you guys a lot. There's nothing like a mission to teach you how precious people are, and how much people matter (Mimi, I'm going to suggest it even surpasses Meredith Grey's near death experience). As much as I am focused and excited to fulfill this mission, I am so excited to be home with all of you again. The gospel is all about how we can be happy with the people we love, and so I am so grateful that while I am separated from you guys for a little while, we can be together forever after. I love you all more than I can say in English or in Spanish, and I'm praying for you a lot, and missionary prayers are pretty epic (that's what they tell me) so y'all should get ready for the rainstorm of blessings that is coming. (And Bill, I now agree with you. Y'all is an incredibly useful word. We have a y'all in Spanish and it's great).
I know that this Gospel is true. We had a set of brothers listening to the first lesson yesterday and telling us how impossible it is for the first vision to have happened, for any prophets to exist on the earth, how our religion is totally incorrect, and we were just bearing simple testimony (because that's really all you can do at times like those) and one of them interrupted me after I said the phrase the truth of God, and he said And what is God's truth? And I could say, Brother, that's very simple. God is our father, and He loves us, so He has given us a way to come back to Him. We follow this plan through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and perservering to the end of our lives in righteousness. And if we do that, we are going to live with God, with His son, Jesus Christ, and with our families in perfect happiness forever (he sat back and nodded at that point, like Oh, the white girl knows something, at least) (Also, we did manage to set up a return visit with them). I know that this Gospel is true, that it was and is taught by propehts of God, and that the whole point is so we can be happy with our familes, Heavenly and earthly, forever. Isn't that great? I can't imagine anything better.
Love you guys, and I´ll try to do epic stuff this week so I can tell you about it next Monday
Ok, so here is Hra Escalante with a kind of Latin candy--it's kind of like a laffytaffy on a stick, cover in chile (pepper). I had one, and now I never need another one ever again, but she loves them. Also, on the nights that we're about to collapse from starvation, we buy chocolate milk. It is my friend.