So best news first! This week we were incredibly blessed to see the baptisms of Angie and Victor! Apparently the water was freezing, but they were both happy and glowing with the Spirit. Victor stood up to bear his testimony yesterday for Fast Sunday (the last one of 2013--pretty crazy, right?) and said "I would just like to give my simple testimony that I know I have just been confirmed a member of the true church of Jesus Christ." That was pretty cool. I have this fun habit when we first meet people of imagining them in white at their baptisms, so it is a beyond fantastic moment to actually see what I had imagined. But so much more than people being baptized, it is a miracle to watch people being changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and choosing to follow Him. I know that this week, two more precious children of our Heavenly Father entered in by the gate to the path to eternal life. And I am so grateful that I could be even the smallest part of the circumstances prepared to help them along the way.
And now the funny story for the week (because it involves pretty much the whole week and a bit of the previous one). So two Wednesdays ago, we were approaching the front door of an investigator and as I stepped around their sleeping dog, she jerked awake and snapped at me. And with the snapping, one of her teeth scratched me. But there really isn't a word in English or Spanish that can say "scratched me with her teeth" and communicate very well what happened (the closest I can think of is grazed, but that still necesitates mentioning teeth), so I had to call the nurse and use the word bite. She was a little worried, but she told me that if the dog lived a week, I would be fine. So last Thursday, when we saw that said dog was still alive, I was feeling pretty great about not having rabis. But then, we went to visit this kid named Danilo (he's the one who came to church and had Breny ask if we could visit his family) and Danilo's rather violent dog was not chained up. Why he was not chained up, I will never know. But I took one step inside the yard to verify for Hra Gisseman if he was chained up, and the rather violent dog came running. Most of the bite was deterred by my skirt, which now has three little holes and one big one, but he got me a little bit. Whoops. So I was properly bitten by a dog this week.
here's my dog bite! Mostly, it just looks like a bruise, so that's anticlimatic.
But the fun doesn't end there! So after determining that we could not teach that lesson with Danilo (Hra Gisseman blatantly refused to come within twenty yards of that house) I was taken to Hra Breny, who is a nurse and a kind soul. So she washed my wound out pretty well and put some gauze on it and fed us some hot chocolate for the shock and sent us on our way. But I called up the nurse again to tell her I had been bitten again (she was the first of maybe five people to say "Are you kidding me?" I don't see how that would be a funny joke) and she wasn't satisfied with saying "Okay, well just watch it and if it's alive in seven days you're fine." So on Saturday, we took the bus to San Pedro Sula and, after getting lost and spending about 20 minutes hunting for the stake center and asking for directions in Spanish, we met up with the nurse and I got a tetnus shot! But I'm counting that as a blessing because my last tetnus shot hit five years on Nov 10 or something like that, so I needed one anyway. And then, just to wrap up the list that Hra Gisseman and I were making of things we weren't sure we could write home about, the crazy bus drivers of Honduras finally went one step too far and the front end of our bus drove into the side of another bus attempting to merge. Nobody got hurt and the busses weren't even that damaged. It was just a funny sort of day. I kind of felt like I was living in that "Isn't it ironic?" song when everything goes wrong at once.
So, yeah, those are the highlight events of the week. We are continuing work with fam. Buh because even though they are really ready to be baptized, they need to come to church so that we can be confident that they are ready to come every week after being baptized. We are pretty excited about fam. Huezo, although we have a bad habit of being there for more than an hour answering questions. It's not that the questions are bad. It's just that we need more time in the day! We also have a new investigator named Carol who is really progressing rapidly. She can totally already feel the Spirit testifying of the message and I really have high hopes for her.
We took a day trip today to a place called Omoa and saw a fort that was built there in the 1700s. It was pretty fun to keep saying "We're just on a roof. On a castle. In Honduras." We definitely had a party taking pictures. We went to the beach for lunch and ate at a restaurant that is right on the water. Normally people get seafood when they eat right next to the ocean, but our bus ride to San Pedro and some other circumstances this week had put me a little low on funds, so I opted for the cheaper carne asada plate. But it was still wonderfully delicious so we're good. It smelled just like it smells in Edmonds, though, so that was a moment of me feeling a little baggy (that is the name here for the emotion of "Oh, I miss home!") But it only lasted a second.
here is the picturesque beach at Omoa!
This is how we sister missionary!
I love being a missionary. I am so glad that I am here and that the Lord is trusting me with this work. Claro que sí, I love and miss all of you, but I am so happy to be here. I know that the Lord is blessing me in this service and that He will continue to do so for the next 13.25 months and beyond!
I know that this church is true. I know that it is the same church that Jesus Christ established personally upon the earth and that it contains the same gospel that He preached. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us, and He has given us His Son so that we can come back to Him, and He gave us this gospel so we can know how to follow Him. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that today, this line of prophetic authority continues in Thomas S. Monson. I know it, I live it, I love it!
I hope you are all doing well and not being bitten by dogs or mosquitos or hormigas. But if you are, welcome to the party! Viva la misión!
Love, Hra Pickett