Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Didn't See That Coming

Distrito Santa Bárbara #bestdistrictever #hashtagjokes

This picture was an accident, but I feel like it describes my life very effectively as of late. Analyze that.

The bespectacled missionaries of the zone (except Elder Nathan and I are the only ones with legitamate glasses)

Cumatz and Pickett, round 2! 

Oct 16 was the anniversary of my first attempt at making bread in Honduras, so I made it again to celebrate. The top cooked great, but the bottom...well, I miss convection ovens.

We had a birthday party today for P'day--Happy Birthday, Elder Baird!
All my "sons"! I've got a new one to meet tomorrow! 

Hello! Today is the 20th of October, and based upon what I've learned in the last 15 months, once the 20th roles around, the month is pretty much over. Scary, right?

So I left you all on a serious cliff hanger ending last week, what with impending transfers and all. I tried to make guesses about what was going to happen, but it didn't work out. I had no idea. O sea, no tenia ninguna idea. Ni una. But we got to cambios meeting, hugged all the sisters, gave all the elders high fives, filed into the chapel, and here's the shocker...my companion is Hermana Cumatz! AGAIN! That doesn't really happen. Basically, not ever. But it happened! So aircraft H. Pickett is being copiloted by a crazy little Chapina, and oh, it's going to be an exciting ride.

In other news on Cambios, Hna Davila returned to one of her former districts in La Fesitrahn, Hermana Harmon is training (I'm an ABUELITA!), and I have yet another "son" in the mission. I am now a mother of nine. If we carry on the mission family terminology, both of my parents are dead, the father of my two daughters has left me, and all of my two sons are born of different men. Someone should probably teach me the law of chasity. But, anyway...

We're keeping up with Bairon. When Hna Cumatz asked me what he was like as we headed to her first lesson with him, all I could think to say was "Me desaspera, ese hombre" (that man drives me crazy!). To the point that he had an interview with the branch president and afterward the branch president simply asked, Hermanas, will you baptize him already?, he's ready to be baptized. But he won't set a date. We mentioned last night that maybe he needed to exercise his faith enough to take a few steps without knowing everythying, and he said, "Oh no, hermanas. I could never do that." I was ready to shout, Oh ye of little faith, GET IN THE WATER! But we don't convert people that way in this church (story to follow), so I didn't say that. We're working on it. The best part is that we've got a third companion in future Elder Vivas, o sea, Johnny, who is soon setting out for his mission in Quetzaltanango, Guatemala. He just went to the temple. I'm jealous! And I'm also off topic, sorry. But yeah, Bairon. We're working on it.

We're also working with familia Tabora Sorto. They got to church before we did yesterday, and we were early! That's impressive! Everytime we visit them, I can't help but think of those who came to Alma because they had been denied entrance to the Zoramite synagog (see Alma 32, and ask for your own copy of the Book of Mormon to do so, if necessary). They a so truly humble. They have set a baptismal date for November 8th, but even as they set it, they were saying "But Hermanas, we won't be able to pay for our wedding." We just smiled and told them not to worry about it. (the branch president told us earlier in the day that, if they were really going to progress, the cost would get handled). So here's hoping for good news for them soon!

Here's the story for this week: There is a certain family, by the name of Lopez Funez, in the which the dad drinks, the mom is catholic (inactive), but both could be interested in finding real truth. So we've been visiting them, but we really struggle to find dad at home. Last week, he told us that his mom would be coming to visit the following Friday, and couldn't we come that day so that she could talk with us, also. Okay, sounds great. The day before our visit with them, the lesson with the neighbors fell through, and I suddenly felt like it would be better to visit fam. Lopez Funez early. They were both at home, but said "Oh, but you're supposed to come tomorrow!" They said they had a lot of questions, but absolutely wanted to wait until the following day. For us and for Kristy (our favorite RM), the way they said it set off a red flag. So we prepared to come the following day, but looked for someone who could come with us. Unfortunately, the only member we could contact who was not in Tegucigalpa for the branch temple trip didn't want to come that far at night. Hm. So we went alone.

We got there early. After chatting for a while (they were stalling, because family members had not arrived yet), in walked a man who was obviously an evangelical pastor (they just have a look about them), and his two "pastorcito" children. The daughter wore a floor length skirt and a headscarf. Big red flag. It seems that (this is what we patched together the next day) Daddy Lopez honestly desired to start up a friendly conversation about religion between the two religions paying him house calls. But our evangelical pastor in question had no interest in being friendly. We stayed all of a minute after the prayer, which was long enough to tell me that my praying without my head covered was an insult to every man present and an offense to God. I excused us and politely told him we weren't interested in contending. He informed us that he had come to contend. My companion reminded him who the father of contenion is (see 3 Nephi 11:29, machete points for Hna Cumatz), and we left. As we walked out, he was still calling us diabolical and saying things like "How disrespectful! Look how they are dressed!" In the morning, we took turns admitting that we had both had nightmares about evangelical pastors and felt like vomiting when we thought about the experience.

We had planned to stop by fam. Lopez Funez for five minutes to excuse ourselves for leaving and ask honestly if they would prefer that we stop coming. On the contrary, they told us that they had felt bad all night long and said "They shouldn't have treated you like that. We had questions about the Book of Mormon, can you explain these scriptures to us?" Didn't see that coming. But I should have. You know why? Because the truth is a more powerful force for good than a lie is a force for evil. Truth shines so valiently that it exposes all the darkness tries to conceal. Fam. Lopez learned that this week, and I relearned it.

I love being a missionary. I know that this gospel is true, and I know that I am serving as a representative of Jesus Christ, because I know by whom I was called--my Heavenly Father. I love this gospel, and I love my Savior, and even if I am chewed out by someone trying to propogate false doctrine every day for the rest of my mission, it is a small price to pay for the chance to walk in the footsteps of my Redeemer. I know that He lives, because I have received a testimony by the power of His Spirit, and I know that He keeps His promises, because I have seen them in my life and the lives of all those who keep the commandments.

Have a wonderful week and enjoy the rest of October--there's not much left, after all!

Love, Hermana Pickett

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