Loany's baptism! She's in white, the young man is Eduard (he baptized her), her nephews are in the foreground and the supermodel on the left is her friend/our investigator, Yumari
Hello from another sunny day in Puerto Cortes, Honduras! And what a wonderful, blessing packed week it has been!
So first things first, Loany got baptized ! (that's how you spell that word, right? Because I really can't remember) She was all ready to go and she was so excited! As she was standing in the water, I was just remembering the first day we went to visit her. She was a reference from the other Campana sisters who had told them simply "I want to hear about your gospel". And less than a month later, she's been baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and her life will never be the same again. How cool is that!!??
So, other awesome happenings of this week...Honduras played against Jamaica (which is Spanish sounds like Ham-AY-ka, so I was a little confused about who we were playing against, but I got it) as a part of the ongoing qualifiers for the World Cup. People get really, really excited about futbol here. Like firecrackers and guns going off, people screaming for 5 minutes every time a goal is scored, driving around for an hour and a half after the game screaming victory after they won. That kind of excited. So , we didn't have very many evening visits who were home or wanted to hear from us, because they were busy. Except one woman who left the game watching to listen to us teach about the Book of Mormon. I was pretty impressed.
I had a serious adventure --I made bread! Like normal let it rise and then make sandwiches on it bread. Although, I can't ever make bread on a working day again, because I was way too concerned about that bread all day long. I worried about those two little loaves like a mother worries about her children. And I really should be worrying about other stuff during my working days as a missionary, so I think I'll just bake on P-day now. But it turned out semi-ok. It wasn't quite done in the middle, so I really didn't like it, but the other sisters in the house loved it and devoured both loaves in about 10 hours.
Highlight for was that we had interviews with President Dester. That was really amazing! I only get four more of those on my mission and I'm sad it's not more, because it was an incredibly spiritual experience! And I feel way less stressed after that and I feel like I'm doing this work in the way the Lord wants me to do it. That's a good feeling.
we had a service project in a hospital. Life tip: never visit an Hondureño hospital. I felt almost claustrophobic the whole time we were there. You know how hospitals are well lit and white and sterile looking? Yeah, this one was really dark and dirty and smelled bad. It didn't feel like a place to heal, it just felt like a place to die. But I'm not really supposed to be writing anything negative about my mission...so let's focus on the fact that for service, we cleaned it. With straight bleach. So I feel a little better. Also, let's focus on the fact that I am perfectly healthy and I plan to remain so for the duration of my mission, so we're good. But also , we had a movie night and invited all of our investigators and like 20 of them showed up! I wish that that many would have come to church, but at least they came to an activity with the ward! But we watched the movie One Good Man, the church movie about the man called as a bishop, and I struggle with that movie because 1. We've watched it about 5 times and I have it memorized (which, I know, is a common occurrence for me, but I'm not enjoying it) 2. There's a scene where a kid comes home from his mission and it makes me day dream about when I can be in the SLC airport and see whoever comes to pick me up, and daydreaming about that is not conducive to greater focus and 3. The oldest daughter gets married, and that makes ALL of the sisters day dream about getting married. Again, not good for focus. But someday, I'll get back to BYU and I'll take a class with Tim Threfall (who plays the bishop) and I'll be like "The elders and sisters in Zona Choloma love you!"
I think that's just about enough day by day recounting. We're working with a family lately, almost every day, the fam. Mancia Garcia (I'm pretty sure I've mentioned them before). They are so receptive and so great! Hra. Deñia has received her testimony and wants to be baptized, but she also wants to wait for her husband. But that's a little problematic, because Hro. Jose has a smoking problem, and he needs to quit before he can be baptized. Which is going to be a little hard. But the hard is what makes it great, so we're going to keep working with him and it will all be okay. But we know they are going to be baptized. They are so great. Last night we stopped by to ask why they didn't come to church and they fed us dinner. It was SO good! They make these things here called tajadas (fried platanos or fried bananos verdes) that are crazy delicious. I will be making those a lot when I get home from the mission.
Speaking of making things, when I get home, I am coming with an array of Honureñan breakfasts. Specifically breakfasts. Get ready.
Also exciting this week, we have been working with a part member family this week in which the father and oldest son are finally hearing the gospel. And they all came to church (except for the mom, who was sick). But here were all these potential priesthood holders (Dad and three sons) coming to church as a family. That was pretty magical. But we are also working with a girl who just makes my heart hurt. She is so beautiful and so kind and loving, but she's got this jerk-faced (there's a stronger word that more fully describes him that some other missionaries might feel comfortable using here, but I didn't like it before my mission and I still don't like it now, despite the serious appropriateness of the situation) boyfriend who treats her really badly, so she has little to no feeling of her self worth and her actions really reflect that, like when she wears hardly anything to feel desirable and she turns to eating disorders because she's scared her boyfriend doesn't think she's beautiful. So it's time for some serious woman empowerment so she can dump him and be happy. It could happen. I feel it.
We had another zone activity that involved movie watching this morning, and we watched a film called Rise of the Guardians. Seriously good movie. And I'm not just saying that because watching a movie on the mission is the equivalent of eating dinner on Fast . It was really good. If you haven't seen it and are in a position to movie watch (Sorry, Megan), you should get it out of the Redbox and watch it. Or maybe it's on Netflix. I wouldn't know. What was really cool (beyond the actual movie itself) is that is was written by a playwright named David Lindsay-Abairre, who wrote a play called Rabbithole that I like a lot. But Rabbithole is horribly sad, so I was kind of worried that David was the sort of guy who just wrote really sad stuff. But this movie left all of us with a wonderful feeling of hope and even the Spirit of God, so it's nice to know that I don't need to worry about David wallowing in sadness.
I love this Gospel, and I love sharing it everyday. I love the Lord and I am so glad that He is trusting me with His children here in Campana. I heard an interesting perspective this week that, because we were already aware we would be coming on our missions in the pre-earth existence, we had so many people who we had promised to find and bring them the gospel. And I'm finding them! And I get to be here to see the power of God wrought out upon their lives. That is an incredible blessing, and I am so grateful for it. Keep on praying--prayer power trumps any force the world may use to combat against us. Keep reading the scriptures! They are the words of eternal life! Stay strong in the Gospel. This is the path to salvation and happiness, and while it might not be easy, there is peace and safety here. Wickedness really isn't happiness. I see a testimony of that every day. The only lasting peace and happiness we can find is in following our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love Him and I am so happy to serve Him and all of our Father's children in Campana.
¡Mucho amor a todos! Ustedes son mis favoritos. Muchísimas gracias por todos sus correos y apoyo y amor. Y sus oraciones también! Yo puedo sentir el poder de su amor aquí y yo sé que los ángeles del están conmigo para levantarme. ¡Les amo! ¡Nos vemos en 14.75 meses!
Love, Hra Pickett
P.S. Bill, my companion was looking at the pictures in my calendar and said "This brother is handsome. He looks like Nicholas Cage, before Nicholas Cage got old." So way to look like a young Nicholas Cage :)