Monday, February 3, 2014

With 15 seconds to spare

I raided Hra Harmon's camera this week and I found this picture from Christmas. Thanks for the trader joe's chocolate, it was amazing!

So we had a pretty strong feeling this week that it was going to be my last one in Campana, so we decided last Thursday that we were going to make this week count! Hence, we set a higher goal for lessons, street contacts, and references than I have EVER set in my mission! This week was insane!

I love being busy. It's the best thing ever. Which is good, because this week we were busy. Every night this week we have come home ready to die, we are so tired. But we received a talk to read two weeks ago by Elder Callister of the presidency of the 70 and he said that we need to be consecrated missionaries, and consecrated missionaries put EVERYTHING on the alter of sacrifice, which means at the end of the day, there shouldn't be anything left to give. That about sums it up!

We are still working hard with Johana and her family, and on Monday we visited them after having our first "official" FHE with fam. Huezo. That was awesome. Fam. Huezo is actually a neighboring family to Johana, so we take them with us when we visit them now. And fam. Huezo is the best collection of member missionaries I have ever seen! We went one night with Yeimy and Odalis and right away they were saying "We are so much happier now that we are baptized. You should get baptized. Are you not sure? You should pray. God answers prayers. There's this verse in James, it's 1:5..." And then we went with Maria. Oh, Maria. First, here's a Spanish principle. There is Usted, which is You but formal and polite. There is Tú, which is You but in a more familiar way, usually for family and friends but never used here, except in prayer. And then there is Vos. And you only use Vos for your closest and most basic relationships, or its super disrespectful because it's so casual. I have talked to a lot of people who say they won't even talk to their spouse in Vos because it's disrepectful. So Maria is saying again and again to Johana's husband, "Marry her!" and she's saying it in Vos. It will always bring joy to my heart to think of Maria saying "Casáte!" over and over again. But the good news is that, after we left, the two of them talked it out and they want to get married and baptized. Johana told us the other night that out of the blue, Miguel just got a really good and really stable job, and she feels like God is already blessing them for their choices to be obedient. We testified that He is.

We also had our first lesson with Candy Huezo's husband, and the two of them are already golden. His work schedule is pretty hectic, but they are already married, so a bad schedule is definitely the least of two evils. Kendi and Mexi, our two little girls out in Puente Alto, have gotten over their fear of getting water in their ears and nose and are psyched to get baptized soon. Laynie, I showed them a picture of your baptism and that helped a lot. Thanks for making righteous decisions :) We had  couple of really cool first lessons this week: Karen, who is Julia's sister, Cyntia, who was listening to the missionaries in Fesitranh before moving away and already wants to be baptized, and fam. Oriana. Get this: it's eight people! And they have numerous family members who are converts to the church and who are super excited to help us teach them. We are so pumped!

We had a pretty sweet experience with one of our less active members this week, Alba. She has been promising missionaries for years that she'll come back to church, and she doesn't come. So when we went to visit on Sunday afternoon, ready to talk about Día de Reposo (the sabbath day) again, she looked at us and said, "God must be pretty angry with me, right?" And I decided that no, God isn't angry with us when we fail Him. It's pretty hard for us to understand that, because even with the people that we love, we can very easily get to frustration and anger when people don't do what they said they would. But, with His infinite and perfect love, our Heavenly Father does not turn to anger, but rather to heartbreak. He is not frustrated, but He is deeply saddened. We shared with Alba the blessings and purpose of the sacrament, that we can be clean and happy again, and one of my favorite scriptures from 3 Nephi 9. It is a plea from the Savior that says in essence (I don't have my English scriptures, sorry) Will you not repent and come unto me, that I may heal you? He wants to help. He wants us to be happy. We just have to walk far enough forward that His arms may envelope us, and we can be healed. It's a miracle, and it's the sweetest truth in creation. I love that I get to tell people about it all day. I love this work!

But amidst all of these wonderful moments, we started feeling a little bit of pressure to meet those insanely high goals we had set for this week--namely, the 60 lessons we wanted. At 7:00pm, we had fulfilled our visits with recent converts and less actives, but we needed two more lessons, and the first one fell. It was chill, we found another one. But it ran a little long, and then our guy for the last visit, Pablo, wasn't where he said he would be. Two problems: we can't look for him, because we don't know where he lives, and we didn't have time to look for him, because consecrated missionaries are exactly obedient and enter their house at 8:00 or 8:30 if they are in a visit. So we had to find him before 8:00. It was impotant. We searched around a bit and started to feel pretty tight on time, but at 7:55 our stake president's wife called from her house, "We found him, Sisters! He's here with us!" So we had that lesson with Pablo and the stake president's family (pretty awesome teaching companions, right?) but Pablo was rambling about very off topic things and we had to cut him kind of short at 8:25. And his prayer/ Saida's explaination of how we pray took about 2 and a half minutes, so we shook hands and cheek kissed and RAN home, but we made it! With 15 seconds to spare! It was pretty awesome, and we feel like we used every bit of our time optimally this week, which was great. But we moved the goal down a little bit for next week, so Hra Harmon's new compa won't have a heart attack.

I love this work so much. I love the Lord, I love this time that I have to serve Him, and I love His children that I am with here. It will be pretty hard if I have to leave this week, because over the last five and a half months (it's been a while here in Campana) these people and this ward have become like my family. But the Lord has made a way for us to always be with those we love, even the people we meet in Honduras and might only know for five and a half months. I am grateful for every moment that I have spent here. I am grateful that the Lord continually puts a mirror before me and shows me that I have such a great need to change, and then He helps me do it. I love Him and I know that this gospel is truly and uniquely His.

I hope you can all stay busy in the work of the Lord, be it in your home, your job, school, or just in the crazy opportunities to meet one of the Lord's children in the street. It's the best way to spend a week I know!

Hra Pickett

My "twitter" umbrella finally died, after 6 months of fighting bravely. #Restinpeace

So on Monday I had to desfrost the feezer part of our fridge with Hra Harmon's blow dryer. Eventually, I could just pull out huge chunks of ice. It was sweet. 
 I am so grateful for this time that I have had with Hra Harmon! She is such an incredible blessing and I wouldn't have rather spent the last 8 weeks with anyone else! 

Huezo baptism! I had to do some serious deep breathing to chill out from all the stress, but seeing all of them in white seriously helped :)

We saw this great view of the mountains as we walked one day and both of us stopped and said, "Wait, we're actually in Honduras. Weird. Let's take a picture!" 
We are teaching these two sweet kids, Ronan and Isabel. They said they want to be missionaries, too, so we lent them out tags. 

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