|Hna Gardner and Hna Johnson reminded me that I am short when compared to normal sized gringas|
In the words of Elder Christofferson, ¡Muy buenas tardes!
So we had a rollercoaster week, but not in an up and down sort of way. Just an off to San Pedro and back again sort of way. And that rollercoaster takes a loooooooooooooong time. Want to ride it with me? Here we go!
Tuesday was our Devocional Navideña, so at 5am we boarded the bus and at 9 we rolled into the church at Benque. Long time. But I finally found a pair of knitting needles, so I kept myself very well entertained. We were spiritually uplifted by our mission president, his wife, and our mission leaders. Favorite thought (and it was epic level powerful): Sister Dester spoke about the story of Peter walking on water, which called my attention because my good friend Hna Behan (shout out, Nica!) talks about that same account often. But Hermana Dester interpreted it in a way I hadn't heard before. She said that we, like Peter, were those of a particularly strong faith, the only ones who had seen the Savior do something amazing and had the confidence and courage to desire to join him. We had made it out of the boat. We were already walking on water. But somewhere in there, we started to think that the few steps we had taken were all that we could do, and suddenly found ourselves apparently alone and sinking. Christ's rebuke, O ye of little faith, wherefore did ye doubt? is not a comment on our lack of faith in the gospel; that faith is evident. It is a lack of faith in His support and in our own ability to continue. He asks why we doubted that He was always right there beisde us, ready to help. Here's the direct quote: "Christ promised that through faith, exact obedience, and hard work, you could do anything. Do you believe Him? And if you do, then what is stopping you from doing more?" Loved that.
We continued our week chock full of enthusiasm from our words of wisdom from the Desters, which was made only better by the pumpkin spice bread we found, baked, and devoured for district meeting. Life lesson from operating the oven in the Dolores building: Sometimes you are doing the right things, but in the wrong places, and thus not yeilding the desired results. Consult the professionals, make the necessary changes, and realize that life is easier than we make it sometimes. We spent quality time and a good lesson with Lisseth and her family. Her mom wanted to learn how to make bread, so I greased up my bread pans, we kneaded for a long time, and we indeed made bread. I heard it turned out pretty good (missionaries have tight schedules and we didn't get to sample it). We were overjoyed by the opportunity on Thursday to have divisions with the Sister Leader Trainers and thus make up the time we lost on Tuesday. I went teaching with Hermana Ugarte, who had to follow my example in spontaneous sweater purchasing, and we had a lovely time despite the bitter cold. But, surprise, I got a call at 6pm asking me to be in San Pedro the following day at 1pm to renew my residency. Because the one I had was going to expire about 25 days before I left Honduras. Article of Faith 12. So we took another long trip to San Pedro (and we saw missionaries from the San Pedro Sula East mission. Weird.) and lost another day. But that's okay! We love the work!
We're working with our organizations here, especially with the ideas of Enrichment night, Home Teachers, Mutual, etc, to help support the branch. On Saturday morning, we joined the Relief Society president and exactly one other sister to make and deliver sandwiches and juice to the elderly. (Mom, remember when you were Relief Society president?) So, there's a need for a little more enthusiasm there, but we passed out sandwiches and sang Christmas carols in the retirement home here, so that was nice.
Favorite story of the week: we went last night to visit Lisseth, who we had previously challenged to be baptized on the 20th. She hadn't responded too enthusiastically. But lst night, she was listening to a member's testimony about baptism and the gospel and, out of the clear blue, she said, "I know, baptism is wonderful, isn't it? I'm going to be baptized on the 20th!" I sort of thought that my spanish had failed me for a moment, and it took Hna Luna a second to process what she had said also, but we both got it eventually and we then got really excited! I was talking to her a little later on about temples and I mentioned that when she goes, she won't go alone, but rather she'll be able to take her son with her. I don't know what the deal is with that baby's dad, I just know that he's not around, he hasn't been around, and he won't be around. But Lisseth loves that little boy. And when I said she and Christopher would go together, her already lit up face went up to a whole new level of brilliancy and she was shining as she said, "Really!?" It was a great moment.
This morning we went to help a couple in the ward move and started painting the new house. Service is great. And it's a wonderful way to feel Christmasy. Go out and serve someone, it's a wonderful time. I also received my flight plans today, so I guess that means I'm really going to have to go home. That's a complicated kind of emotion. I'm going to try to explain it when I understand it better. That's the moment in Spanish that I would use the subjunctive tense, to place a spoken asterisk that says *if the moment exists in which I understand it better. Spanish. It's a useful little language.
I love being a missionary. Truth is simple and that is a simple truth: I love being a misisonary. It's not easy, it's not comfortable, and sometimes it's not fun, but I love it. The 90% that can be difficult is abosultely worth the 10% (or much, much more) that I can say, as did Sister Brown, It's a miracle.
I love you all and I hope you have the happiest of weeks!