Monday, March 17, 2014

Wait, How Many Bags of Flour?

Arca de Noe! It's the best! 

The service activity was white washing for the communtiy. The calc took some time to figure out, but it turned out okay.

Youth activity: Edition Copá


Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Blessing of being in Honduras: I can't wear green today, because I only own one green article of clothing and it's hanging on the line to dry. But people don't know about the right to princh greenless gringas today, so I remain unpinched. That's a blessing.

Hra Cumatz and I use that phrase a lot: that's a blessing. So it I seem to be using it a lot in this email, it's just a habit build by the hundreds of times I have said "Es bendicion, eso" this week.

Last week, quite the opposite from using our P-day for rest and recouperation, we had the stressful and yet exciting adventure of learning how to make Tres Leche Cake. Before we even discuss this story, stop worrying: Yes, I will make this cake for you when I get home. Dad and Becca and anyone else who is living gluten free, start to consider now if this cake is worth consuming some gluten. I think it is. But we were taught to make it by a woman who owns a pulperia on our street and after spending a lot more time baking than we had planned, having a misunderstanding about the difference between frosting and whipped cream (which came from a misunderstanding about the difference between powdered sugar and powdered whipped cream mix. Spanish is tough sometimes), and very quickly redressing to look more like missionaries, we climbed into a taxi with a very large cake for a very bumpy ride to our FHE activity. There's a good news and a bad news to this taxi: bad news, we had puctured a hole in our cake pan and all three leches were leaking onto my lap for the ride. Uncomfortable, to say the least, especially when a couple of puppies tried to eat my sweetened condensed milk flavored leg. But, good news, the driver proclaimed "I will wed with this white girl!", so I am now engaged to a Honduran taxi driver named Charlie. But he still charged us a fare. Lame, fiancee. Lame.

Tres Leche Cake with our neighbor, Ruth. It was SO GOOD! 

Our district meeting was combined with the El Dorado district and the ZLs visited us as well, and it was quite enjoyable. Wonderfully spiritual and wonderfully fun. The best part is that we had a while to wait for everyone to show up, and there is a piano/keyboard thing in the chapel where we had the meeting, so I was playing hymns. I think I'll have to take up piano lessons again when I get home. We played the game most beloved by the mission, Noah's Arc. But we played outside and we put the chairs in a REALLY big circle on the lawn, so it was Extreme Noah's Arc. Pretty epic.

We've been working this week to cure the lack of motivation in our members and the really bad attitude about the church held by Copanecas in general. It makes my heart happy to read emails about people at home helping the missionaries. Keep helping the missionaries. Helping the missionaries is good. We visited our investigator Janet and not only got to meet her husband, but her brand new baby boy (yet to be named). Here is the epicness that is the Honduran woman: She went to a health center on Saturday because she was having contractions, had her baby at noon, and when we visited at 2pm the next day she was already walking around and working the home as usual (and looking adorable to boot). We shared a little message but then invited her to go take a much needed nap while we made her tortillas, cleaned up the patio (which is the outdoor kitchen and dining space), and kept her two girls entertained. It was a pretty sweet break to our previous citas, wherein Janet's neighbors said what I can sum up as "You're tacky and I hate you". Oh well.

Our big excitement of the week was a long awaited activity with the youth of the ward. Hra Cumatz has really been excited for this, because she teaches the youth Sunday School class, and she's pretty sure she has a transfer this week (but we still don't know). We spent a lot of time rounding the youth up and getting them excited to come, but once they all got here, it was pretty good. There were two goups: the activity section, being led by Hra. Cumatz and Livis, who teaches seminary, and the refreshment section, which fell into my charge. When my compa and Livis were first saying, we can make baleadas, I was thinking, Yeah. Sounds good. I can do baleadas. But then Livis made her shopping list and sent someone for the ingredients. She looks up from writing and says, "What do you think, like 4 bags of flour?" Important note: when I make tortillas, I use half of a bag of flour. If that. So using eight times the flour was a pretty challenging prospect. Long story short, my back and shoulders ended the day very sore from kneading and kneading and kneading this lump of dough that was bigger than Janet's new baby. But those baleadas were really delicious, everyone ended the night full and happy, and I was once again given my favorite green-light statement, "Sí, se puede casar." (Yes, you are indeed able to get married) It's a wonderful truth of Honduras: if you can cook good food, you have everything you need to have a successful marriage. And I've been told that I have marriage worthy food twice already. Word.

We were supposed to have district conference this weekend, but a power outtage and an internet fail rained a great storm on that parade. Here's hoping that general conference (only three weeks away!) will go better. Power outtages are funny--if it's already dark, we have to come home. So we come home, light some candles, sit out in the hammock and laugh about how utterly exausted we are. Always a good time.

Anyway, I love this work. I love this gospel. I love these people, even when they don't love me back. They're the Lord's children, and He loves them, and He loves me, so that's enough. I testify that this is God's work and His message, and that He is waiting anxiously for every one of His children to come back home to Him. That's why I'm here, even when it's hot and I am struggling to find my self respect underneath all my sweat and Prince Royce is trying to crumble my determination not to dance to that devliishly catchy song, "Darte un beso" (look it up, it's awesome--even if I can't enjoy it until 2015). God wants His children home again, and He sent me to Honduras to invite them to come. And I can put all of my effort into that.

¡Que le vaya muy bien!

Love, Hra Pickett

 So here's how Noah's Arc works: animals are written on slips of paper, and each slip has a partner (think animals entering the arc two by two). Someone throws the slips in the air, there is a mad scramble to snatch one and unfold it, and then each person makes the sound of their animal. Upon locating the partner animal, the pair then must run to an empty set of chairs. Or maybe it's not empty, and then you just have to wrestle the chair's current occupants out of said chair. It's a little dangerous in a skirt sometimes, but it's quite fun.

Shinanigans at district meeting: Elder Wing, Elder Lui (ZL), Elder Pace (DL), Elder Monge, and Elder Perrlman (who is also a ZL, but it pretty tough to spot down there at the bottom of the pile)

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