Wednesday, May 21, 2014

As Clear as a Jeff

We found PIGLETS! They were so cute! But they do not like to be touched and Mama Pig does not like people touching her babies...
Baleada night with some members and investigators! Fun!
Mayan swimming pool! 
Reunited with Hermana Gisseman! We love each other a lot better now! 
"With silver bells and cockle shells and pretty [sister missionaries] all in a row!"

So I took this picture sitting behind this guy...

And then I had to take one launching over him, but I got in trouble because sitting on the statues is "prohibido"

I didn't touch it, promise.

I found bushes that look almost like rhodies! Yay, Washington!

We had each taken an individual shot here when an elder from the district said, Do you want one of all of you? And we replied, Yes, Elder, thanks for offering! He hadn't really meant to offer, but he took it for us anyway

Happy Monday! Aren't Mondays great?! I just love them.

We had a fantastic week out here in Copán! For starters, I'm officially serving my mission with my best friend. Seriously, I just love Hermana Miller! She is the greatest! And just as Elder Shuga told us all just before these last changes, if you love your companion, you will love your mission. It doesn't matter if the area is bad or the work is at a stand still. If you can be friends with your companion, you can be happy. It's the truth.

Aside from being with the awesome Hermana Miller, we really have seen a lot of wonderful happenings this week. On Monday (after a disaster involving microwave brownies--making a bunch of brownies in the microwave should never be that difficult!) we had a very sweet family home evening with a girl in our ward, Livis, and her brothers. Livis is currently considering serving a mission, but her parents don't really want her to go. On a spark of inspiration, Hermana Miller and I thought, "Well, our parents know why having a daughter serve a mission is a blessing--let's ask them!" I came prepared, then, with down right beautiful letters from my parents about the blessings that have come to them because my siblings and I served missions. Well, Hermana Miller and I might have cried a little, but I can firmly say that right now, I'd rather be serving this mission more than be doing anything else.

That sweet assurance of mission life love was put to the test Tuesday morning--those kinds of tests usually pop up real quick. Anyhow, we went to visit a family that is almost inactive and definitely has a strange sense of humor. When we arrived, we offered to help them with their laundry. Honduran culture lesson: Usually, there is very much persuasion involved before one would allow someone else, especially a pair of white sister missionaries, to do their laundry. It's actually a kind of embarrassing question, almost, and people usually respond with "Oh no, Hermanas, we could never allow you to do that" and then we persuade for five minutes and about 50% of the time, they let us help. This family not only put us right to work, but they watched with some amount of contempt and said "She can't wash. She's white. Look, look right there! She stained it!" Like that. So Hermana Miller and I sang primary songs and hymns served with a smile until it was time for our next appointment, and had to think "Okay. When I'm not in a perfect missionary moment, when I am washing really dirty clothes, when one little boy is splashing me and pulling my hair and lifting up my skirt, when little kids are yelling 'What does Jeff mean in English? It means sí, duh!' (Yes is difficult to pronounce, apparently) do I still love my mission more than anything else?" And you know what? Yes, yes I do.

On Wednesday we had the huge blessing to be able to have a zone conference with President and Sister Desters and the Assistants. It was spectacular. As soon as Hermana Miller and I got off of our bus in Copán (which was the last one leaving La Entrada, so it's really good we found it) we had this new inspiration to raise the bar. Parents, I literally have the best Mission President and President's wife ever. Don't ever worry about me being not taken care of--I'm fine! We were looking for a new contact on Wednesday night (who had been hard enough to find in the first place "Hi, we're looking for two teenagers with an aunt named Ruth who owns a shop in Santa Rita--Do you know them?") and we ended up at the wrong house, but they happily let us in and are now taking the discussions, so yeah, that's cool. Miracles are cool.

We really are seeing progression here. We are finally seeing some amount of interest from members in being involved in the teaching process (we had 10 lessons with a member present this week, which is still less than half of what we had my last week in Campana but it's a lot for Copán!) and we are really seeing a jump in church attendance. We had 58 people at church this week! A few of them, to be fair, were white people who are here visiting or doing humanitarian work (which was AWESOME!) but still, that's a lot of people! We had to keep setting out more chairs as people kept coming! I am so glad to see that by small and simple things, great things really are coming to pass in Copán.

PMG update: I've been studying Ch. 5 of Preach My Gospel, which is all about the Book of Mormon. Base line: if the BoM is true, everything else is. It doesn't get much clearer than that. And just to say, I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and a book of true scripture. And everythiing else follows.

I love this mission so much. I love this incredible chance to serve the Lord. I love my area, I triple love my companion, and I love these wonderful children of God who have been placed under my stewardship. I just love my life! (I even loved it yesterday afternoon, when I thought I had a 24 hour stomach flu. It only lasted 9 hours, so we're good.) I hope you all have a week as wonderful as mine are!

Hermana Pickett

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