Living that Honduras life!
Happy New Year! It's a little tough, feeling like it's actually the first week of January when it's hot and humid outside, but I'm doing my best to take that one for reality. 2014 is going to be a pretty crazy year for me. It's the year I finish my mission, which means that it's the year that I do a whole bunch of epic things in the service of the Lord. Stay tuned for more. It's going to be awesome.
This week was pretty great! On New Year's Eve, like unto Christmas Eve, we had to come home early. But we were gifted some tamales by more than one sister we visited (tamales are GOOD!), so we had something to feast on. Also, due to a lack of movie theaters in rural Honduras, movies come to DVD a lot faster here (let's call that the reason) so we watched the new Disney movie, Frozen. Oh my goodness! Such an incredible film. Hermana Harmon and I were hooked. And then the twist came around and we were yelling for at least three minutes "NO! No puede ser! Digame que no es asi!" We were a little torn up about it. But all ended happily (we should know, we rewatched the ending about three times) and we have already begun integrated quotes from that movie into our daily lives. And I have all of the songs stuck in my head, so I wander around and sing them. Sometimes in Spanish. (Just imagine it--La puerta es el am-oooooooooooooooooooor!) So that's great.
Hra. Harmon and I are keeping pretty busy, but that's the way we like it. We are still visiting fam. Huezo faithfully, and every single one of them (including a sister who doesn't even sit in on our lessons) came to church this week! The dangerous part is that it was fast and testimony meeting, and there had been a temple trip on this last Friday, so everyone who bore their testimony talked about sealing and work for the dead. The bishop came in to the Basic Dotrines class and introduced himself to all of the investigators and explained that he was available to answer any questions, and then asked if anyone had questions, and Marco Huezo launched into what does sealing mean and is it necessary for salvation, etc. And after 10 minutes of that, the bishop said "Hermano, the missionaries will be able to answer those questions for you when they come to visit." And we were both thinking, Bishop! We do this EVERY DAY! It is your turn! But apparently when we go to visit tonight, we will have the great blessing of answering questions for an hour. Seriously though, it is a blessing. We are so happy that the fam. Huezo is doing so much work to investigate the church and as of right now, they are all progressing nicely to be baptized on the 18th.
We are discovering this week that here in Honduras it is much more common to have family than to have neighbors. About five times this week, we had to say, Wait, you're cousins/sisters-in-law/brothers? Are you kidding? The best one was a girl who sat in on one of our lessons and said, I'm his cousin, and then a few minutes later we referenced one of our other investigators and she said, That's my mom. And then we asked why she didn't live with her mother, and she says, "You know Marco who lives in La Gran Villa (very close to our house)? I live in that same house. Marco is my brother in law." And I'm thinking, the gosple has now come at you from three different directions. I think it's time you were an investigator. But it's kind of magical that families live so close here. No need to take a car or a plane, you can just walk over to your sister's or your parent's or your uncle's house and hang out. It's pretty cool. And it also gives people great motivation to come to church, ie You are Johanna's cousin? She's coming to church this week--when you come, you can sit with her!
It's also pretty amazing how many people are ready and willing to listen to the message of the gospel. We talked to a pair of sisters the other day at a pulperia (like a corner store sort of thing) and they invited us to come back and meet their family, and they are super pilas! We are seeing mighty changes of heart and miracles in people's lives--being a missionary is pretty amazing!
Aside from being amazing, being a missionary is also pretty fun. Hra Harmon and I are generally having a pretty good time. On the way out of a lesson yesterday, she got distracted by a couple of kids and ended up almost walking into a rather old, rather drunk man. She corrected herself by sticking her hand out in the defensive "I am a missionary, I only do handshakes" stance, but after firmly grasping her hand for longer than is acceptable (and I'm looking at his glazed over expression and I'm ready to start saying "Drunk, Hermana! He's REALLY drunk!") he says, "Feliz año nuevo!" (but imagine that in your best inebriated, toothless Spanish man voice) and starts pulling her in for the hug. That's when I took my companion firmly by the shoulders, told the man, Escuse us, and yanked her away from him. He really did have a good grip on her. But we got away and took off down the street laughing. It just got funnier and funnier the more we thought about it. It was lucky though that I got my brownie points for saving her in the afternoon, because in the evening Hra. Harmon officially joined the dog bite club! He didn't get her very good--it just looks like a little scrape, it didn't even bleed. But I guess I need to work on my judgement skills, because as this dog started barking I thought "He's just defending his territory, which is over there. We are walking on a horizontal plane parallel to his territory, so he won't pursue." Yes, that was the word in my head. But he did pursue. Whoops. We've decided that the dogs of Campana are posessed by deamons because it's way Satan can think of to deter us from the work. Guess he's getting pretty desperate :)
I am so grateful for this time that I have to serve as a missionary. The Lord is teaching me so much about who He wants me to be, and it is such a miracle that day after day He keeps giving me the opportunity to change. Even more, it is a miracle that day after day He is trusting me with His precious children here in Campana. I love the Lord, I love His gospel, and I love to be one of His missionaries! 2014, here I come!
Les quiero mucho!
P.S. Muy feliz cumpleaños to Uncle Craig, Uncle Ron, and Jake! Hope it's a happy day!