D&C 76:22

And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! D&C 76:22

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

"So before Hurricane Mitch... "

So this week was good!!! Good stuff happened, but it was a little long.

Well, to start, Nothing really happened Tuesday. Or Monday. We had a zone conference on Wednesday, which involved a two hour bus ride to the city and 5 hours of instruction and then two hours back. Didn´t get much done. Sort of hard. But we have been trying to find people, seeing as we are still pretty new to this area.

We found a guy who fixes shoes whose name is NELSON. haha. I told him that is my dad´s name, and we shortly found out that he had chatted with missionaries in the past. We will be teaching him, hopefully. We also found a family-yes, a family- of a mother and father. pretty much all their kids are gone, and one is a member. Anyways, the mom walked the 45 minutes to church on Sunday. She was only there for third hour, but she loved it. she went with her husband and one of her other daughters to the temple with us today, and they absolutely loved it. I hope it helps them to move stuff along, We have to keep the dad from drinking and smoking.....but we have a really good relationship with them. They were scared to get married, but they have been together for 22 years. I asked them why, and they said that everything changes with marriage. I sort of laughed, and asked how. They couldn´t respond. I then explained to them that the only changes are that they are complying with the law of the land and of God, and after 22 years, not much was going to change, they were just going to have a piece of paper certifying all of it. I think it made sense, the mom told the branch president that she wants to get married and baptized quick. We will be making that happen.

We also got a letter from the inactive who told us that there had been a misunderstanding, and that she was now Catholic. haha. I sort of had to laugh. like it or not, once baptized, always member, it´s written here and in heaven. She still apparently believes that we worship ¨José Mitch¨ like they say here, and that it´s wrong that we don´t worship Mary. ayaiai. that whole Mary thing really gets my Lenny. (my goat) Look up Luke 11:27-28, Christ even said not to worship her. but whatevs. We will keep visiting her.

In the ZC on wed, Pres said that we shouldn´t worry about playing any type of sports during the week, because we wouldn´t have time with all the references from the temple. I didn´t say anything, just let it lie.

No, the packages still haven´t come. or they could have, and I just don´t have them. We shall see. Still no letters, either. but I could just not have them.

Also, about that lathrop family. Okay, so the lady said that her grandfather wasn´t born in Kansas, but that is where the inheritance of her father is. She mentioned a Marion something. So if this Virgil has a connection to Lathrop, it could be. Also, it would most likely be before 1900, because this members father was born in 1912. yeah, he is old. oO some connection to the year 1912.

Two fun facts about Honduras. Normal world measures time BC and AD.  In Honduras, they use BHM and AHM. Before and after hurricane mitch. I literally hear all the time, ¨no we have a lot of time living here. We moved here before mitch.¨ or ¨We were baptized after mitch, so just a little while ago.¨ I heard a four year old use Mitch as a reference, and I thought, you weren´t even alive yet!!!! You can´t use that!!!!!

Second, is this.....
Thanks to Jarvis, my amado comp from the MTC, I learned that they will be diving SPS into SPS OESTE and SPS ESTE!!!!! Four missions here in honduras!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woohoo!!!!!!!!

Also, we went to the temple again today. I noticed something interesting. On the chairs in the second ordinance room, the chairs have inlaid in them what appears to be chains. ´how fitting,´ i thought. ´chains on the chairs, and what we do is eternal.´ we chain families together forever. I had not noticed that before.

thats pretty much it. I think nothing else really happened. sorry if that's a boring letter. but it is what I got going on....

Anywho, love you guys, and see you in 16!!!!!!

Zach

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Well, my new area is intriguing. To answer some of Dad´s questions, the branch has about 80 registered members, but today we had an asistencia (I forgot the word in english) of 19. That is counting four missionaries and a district presidency member. So there is much work to be done. I am finding out that a lot of the inactives had a lot of problems with the prior branch president, and in place of fixing it or asking for forgiveness, they just inactivate. Oh well. I am learning a lot about how to teach primary. I taught both hours because the 22 year old assigned to be the primary president who also had third hours lesson didn´t show. We officialy had two primary girls. Luckily, you learn very quickly to just prepare both lessons, so i had no problems. I am slowly learning that the point of being here in branch has to deal with making the members and the branch grow. I am helping these people to not depend on the missionaries. That being said, We have a very, very, very long way to go. For the dedication of the temple, President Hernandez said that only those who have been paying tithing consistently for four months seguido can have a recommend, so that officially qualifies one member of the branch. I told the president, Elder Gomez, about back paying, but then I realized that nobody here has money to do that. haha.

This week we had dedicated to meeting members, inactives, and trying to find investigators. My comp is Elder --------, who was in my zone in Choluteca. We are getting along okay. He is very much about trying big exorbitant things to find little amounts of investigators. For example, he is trying to start a five week soccer tournament that includes about 100 people and paying refs and stuff, just to have the people supposedly come to church and lessons on nights that they don´t have a game. In his last ward, it bore one fruit. One of 100. I am completely opposed to the idea. I told him it was a waste of time, and that one in 100 is not using our time or efforts wisely. Then he told me that I didn´t have any faith, because I wasn´t willing to act. I replied that I have plenty of faith, I just don´t use it in stupid endeavors. We dropped the situation so as to not lose the spirit, but you get the picture. And I have a feeling that I am changing a little bit. I can´t give ground to him, because if I do, he takes the mile of the inch I gave him. So this is just a straight up no. I will say that he always finds a way to help me stay animated and excited, and I am constantly ironing his shirts and shining his shoes to help me to not kill him when he tells me I have no faith.

We also last Monday bought pancake mix, and I have had pancakes all week. Krusteaz ones. Not bad. I have not received any packages or letters, but I have to go to Teguc tomorrow to hand in diezmos and ofrendas (tithes and offerings), so we are going to the office, and I imagine they are there because there is money gone out of my account. They have to pay to get packages from the airport, so they use the account money of the Elder who they are for. On that note, speaking of money, I am going to be taking out of my gringo card more often here, because we are forty five minutes away from the nearest cajero (atm), so I can´t run out of money here. That would be bad. Buses start at like 30 limps and I don´t like hitchiking.

Well, for spiritual stuff. I have been reading last conferences talks every night before I go to bed, and I love one of them by President Monson. Called Consider the Blessings, its from the Sunday morning session. It talks all about how we can respond to promptings and be the answer to prayers. Well, I prayed to be able to understand the spirit better, and then I read my patriarchal blessing. It says (more or less) that I am blessed to understand the still small voice. Wow. So I doubled my praying efforts. And just yesterday, I was walking with my comp. We saw a little alley that we hadn´t seen before, and I thought- or had the thought, it wasn´t mine.- that we needed to walk that road. So we did. I just started down it, and comp had to come follow me. Well, we didn´t see anyone, no houses were occupied, so I started to think that we had just given the biggest turn in the world, as it was a detour out of our way. We then saw a group of people all looking at the HUGE fire that someone lit right by some houses, most likely to burn trash, that threatened pretty much everything here. We started talking to some of them, and really talked to a señora that was there. She was super smart and super friendly. super involved in like save the planet and keep kids out of smoking and drinking stuff. Well, come to find out, she is a MEMBER!!!!Iinactive from years. From San Pedro Sula. She went inactive there because the buildings were all in the most dangerous parts of the towns, and when she moved here, she went a few weeks before she had problems with some members but has been thinking about coming back. She is MARRIED, which never happens, and has one son that isn´t a member, and neither is her husband. I walked away from meeting her just thinking, Wow. I listened to what I thought were my own thoughts, and they definitely weren´t mine, and was led to someone who God needs back in church, back to help build his kingdom. She would be a HUGE asset to the rama (branch) right now, and so we are working with her. Or we will start to this week. Strengthened my testimony about listening to the spirit so much, and I am working hard to be better at it.

We also went to the temple on Monday!!! it was so cool!!!!!! That building is one of the prettiest temples I have seen. It really is what is said in psalms, ¨for who will come up to the mountain of the lord?¨ it is up on a mountain, and just emits a feeling of quiet power. I don´t know how quiet is a feeling, but there is no other way to describe it. And inside is so ornate and intricate.  This land will truly be blessed by this great building here in Tegucigalpa. I will send pictures soon. There was a just a calm, peaceful feeling inside. I understand better now, after 8 months here, the importance of the temple, and the importance of family. It talks about my family in my blessing, and I truly appreciate the chance I have to have the family I do. Really, in comparison to where I have been for 8 months, That is one of the main things I have realized. I will never take for granted what it means to be part of a family ever again. I can really see here how Satan works against the families. And the sad part is, he doesn´t even have to work that hard. After studying about the celestial kingdom, and having been to the temple, and realizing what it really is that we do with the priesthood, and the commandment that God has given us to have a family, I look at it differently. To be able to say that my parents are sealed,.....what a blessing. You remember when we all promised to make it back to one another in Sharon?? Well, when we made that promise, I didn´t make it with the intention of keeping it. Just to keep you guys from asking questions about where I was as a person and spiritually. But I can say that Now, I intend to keep it with everything I got. Everything. Venga lo que venga, sea lo que sea, with everything I got. Love you all.

That´s really it. I will tell that lady you found an ancestor, but if you could let me know where he was born, that would be great. Find out if he was ever in Kansas, or if there was a Lathrop in Kansas, please?? She would appreciate it. Ever since I told her about this, and that I have a line to this guy, she calls me Primo, which is cousin. everybody else is Hermano, but she calls me Primo. haha. makes me laugh, 

I really don´t have much else for this week. We went and visited some waterfalls, that were totally lame. TOTALLY lame. Ran through a bunch of tall grass, checked myself for ticks, found a ton in my clothes and none on my body. made me think of the brad paisley song Ticks. Look it up.....tomorrow. it is not a Sunday song. But singing the chorus in the shower made me laugh.

That's about it. Read D&C 19 when you get a chance, and then listen to the forgotten carols song Arise and shine forth. Thought about that this week. Don´t know why, but I did. And the lesson I taught in primary was all about Jesus being tempted by Satan, so no coincidence there.....

Love you all!!! have a fantastic time in Mesquite, and don´t let Cody drive home.

ZACH

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

HOLY CRAP!!!!!! I had some crazy intense changes. But first if you are wondering why I am writing on a Sunday, I have permission. from our branch president, Elder Gomez. We are going to be going to the temple on tours for the next three Mondays, so we probably won't have time to write.

Well, I am in a place called Yuscaran. I am in Valle Verde district. I am junior comp to Elder-------, who was with me in Cholu Este. He is DL. We are opening an area. HAHA. So much fun!!!!
We are in a branch of about 20. There are two other elders here, Gomez and his kid, Guzman. Gomez is Branch Pres. Right now, we are living in the chapel, and they have an apartment, but seeing as how he is BP, we are switching tomorrow. Don't worry I took pictures.

I am definitely on quite the adventure in this place. Yuscaran was founded for mines, and has tons of gold and silver still in them. It was the first city in Honduras to receive electric lights, and is super colonial like. But there is just one problem. We sit about two hours out of Teguc, and there are hardly no buses that go in or out of here. District meetings are like half an hour away, and we end up having to get rides in truck beds most of the time. There are also two factories of alcohol here in Yuscaran. So remember when we went to Salem in Mass. and we walked past that brewery and it smelled awful? Imagine waking up to that in the morning. Its terrible. Also, there is the river where they dump all the excess and waste from the factory, and that is in our area as well, so we have to cross it. and it smells even worse. But I am super excited to be here. It's cold here, like I have to use blankets at night, and i love it!!! After coming from the south and dying all day, its super fresco here. Also, both houses have hot water, because the apartment is super nice and the church used to be a hotel. so, it's all dandy in the morning showering with hot water.

We are trying to find more members to fill gaps. for example, I am temp. sec of branch, and training the primary president how to teach a class of 3 niñas and 3 babies. Harder than you think. She practically just reads them the primary manual. So, I am going to be helping her a lot. Also, we are trying to find more priesthood, and more families. The advantage is that there are a ton of non actives that live here, and a lot of them have families, so we are focusing to trying to find all of those to teach them, because then we accomplish both goals with less work.

Also, mother., you will never believe what happened this week. I FOUND SOMEONE WITH THE LAST NAME OF LATHROP. IN THIS LITTLE COLONIAL TOWN: Yeah, I know. Her grandfather is a gringo, from Kansas, and came here to mine, and had one child-her father. her grandfathers name is David Lathrop, and her great grandfather's is Virgil Lathrop. They are from Kansas. And left an inheritance for her Father that they will sadly never probably be able to claim. But I explained to her who John Lathrop was, and she is dying to know more. Please see what you can find.

I know you all probably have a million questions. I will answer a few quickly.
Our apartment is DOPE!!!!! It is easily the nicest house in the mission. We have a washer, dryer, stove, oven, microwave, blender, and tapwater we can practically drink. It is a really, really, really nice house. Like, states standards nice. I would live there to go to school no problem. So, can you put together some easy recipes, and send them my way?? I started the Sunday tradition of cooking a big meal for the three other elders and myself, and made homemade burgers today. Even made french fries and fry sauce.and put eggs on the burgers. But like, the pancake recipe that we have, easy pastas, meats maybe even some dessert stuff. like, i don't know. just see what you can find. That would be more than helpful. THANK YOU.

Umm...I don't know what else you want to know. Ask me this next week, but if you can send the letter earlier than Sunday, that would be great. I will send pictures next week, I hope. Hope.

Well, just one or two spiritual experiences.
I was thinking about it today while my comp was speaking in sacrament meeting. This town is full of precious metal. Makes me think of D and C when God says that if they go to a certain town, which I am pretty sure was Kirtland, they would find great treasures. Something like that. and I was thinking about what we are going to do to find all that treasure. Like, its probably hidden. We don't know anybody, or anything, we are going to be lost, the area is huge, and yada yada yada. I was thinking about that today as I was reading D and C 124. Jjust flipping through it, trying to find something else. Then I read verse 44. I don't know it in English, I was reading in Spanish, and the Spanish is ¨Si trabajáis con toda vuestra fuerza, yo consagraré ése lugar para que sea santo.¨ Pretty much, if you work with all your might, I will consecrate this place, so that it is sacred. I think that is pretty literal. But holy cow, that got me. I realized that I just needed to work, and if I worked hard, with all my might, and gave it all 110% of me, and more, that the lord will sanctify this town.

Sanctify it.

I prayed then to thank Him, and to let him know that I would do everything I possibly could to sanctify myself, so that He could work wonders through me. Joshua 5, I think. but that's for sure in Joshua. By me working hard, and sanctifying myself, he will sanctify this town. And That's what I plan on happening.

I love you all!!! I hope you all have had a great week, and that this next one is even better. I am going to the temple tomorrow, so I will let you know how it is.

Zach



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hola familia!! y todos.
I hope that you all had a fantastic week, and that the super bowl party was a blast. I don´t want to know what the food was, that will only make me jealous. I had chorizo, beans, eggs, and cheese with tortillas and some orange juice. I am sure that what you had was better.

Well, the weather up there sounds crazy. I am a little jealous, I want to see some snow so BAD.

So, this week was good. A little sad, but good.

This was the hard part of the week, and then I will talk about the good.

This week I learned what it means to be stiffnecked and heardhearted.

Heardhearted.
Well, we had a cita with the half family we are teaching. we watched the hour long restoration movie with them, hoping that that would change or soften the mother´s heart just a little bit. and it didn´t. Not that I can see. She won´t pray to get an answer.  She is sure that her answer will come just at some random moment. She also got mad at us because she doesn´t like it when we say that this is the only true church. Well, she is sort of angry at us for the main point of our message, my comp apologized for it sounding like that, but I didn´t. Christ never apologized to the Pharisees or the Sadducees that they couldn´t accept his message, and that they were in the wrong. So, I don´t apologize for saying truth. She was sort of offended, but I wouldn´t take it back. She asked me if her mother would be saved (her mother is a baptized Jehovah´s witness.) I said that she hadn´t been baptized by the proper authority, and in the correct manner, and so as of right now, she couldn´t enter god´s kingdom, following Juan 3:5. Well, she then asked me if that meant her mom was wasting her time. I said yes and no. I said that she wasn´t looking in the right place, she didn´t know where to find the truth. She got more offendded, and then we left. She won´t ask God. She talks about this great faith she has, but I have yet to see evidence of it. James 2:17-18

Stiffnecked.
We were teaching a staunch ------- about the restoration, and we got to prophets. The words that came out of his mouth, and I quote, were ¨I don´t know if I can believe in prophets, it seems too confusing.¨ Really?? No offense to -------- reading this, but you believe in Trans-substantiation, superogation, praying to Mary, indulgences, papal line of authority, beatification, the trinity, and that God is a mystery, and Prophets, something outlined in the BIBLE very CLEARLY is too confusing?? Amos 3:7, Ephesians 2:20 and 4:11-14, Exodus 33:11 and hebrews 5:4. And then the fact that God has been the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8. Well, we asked him if God had changed, and he said of course not, so then we said, sir, you just contradicted yourself. If god hasn´t changed, then prophets still exist. If you don´t believe that prophets exist, then you are saying that God has ceased to be God, due to a change. He responded with something irrelevant, and then we brought up the plan of salvation. He was a marriage counseler for the ------- church, but doesn´t believe in marriage past the grave. So we asked that if God had put families together, why would he give Peter the power to seal on earth and in heaven if there was nothing in heaven?? He said that we were just going to be spirits, but I said that if Christ said to be like his father who is perfect, and Christ has a body, and is perfect, and is the SAME as the father, then the father has to have a body, and by default, we will have bodies. He just said, well, the priest said it wasn´t like that, soo.....it can´t be. So entrenched in his own stuff that nothing can possibly ever change.

Now, the good stuff.
We found new investigators!!! We set dates for the 16 of February, and are working with them. Seven and two would be a family, so it´s good!!! I will include more about them next week, or when I have sent you pictures with them. So next week, hopefully. Don´t have a whole lot of time left.

Also, the bishop invited us over for dinner,. we got there, and there was nobody home. WE WAITED FOR 30 MINUTES AND NOBODY SHOWED. and we went back at 830 and still noone. Then, they show up at our apartment, with obviously bought food, and the wife says, ¨So why didn´t you show up, elders?¨ Excuse me? I waited for 45 minutes, knocked, and nobody. I told her that, and she didn´t seem very happy. Oh well. When you tell four elders to come over for dinner, and then nobody is clearly home, and then we have to go invent food because we were planning on eating something good, you have four unhappy elders.

I know that it sounds like I was sort of angry this week, but it´s quite the opposite. I have actually been really happy, just sometimes I need to vent to people. So that was this week. I LOVE being here, and working and doing the things I am doing. I am so excited to be moving on to a new place, even though this is going to be hard to leave. I wouldn´t want to be doing anything else with my life. Its sort of weird. I am pretty much happy all the time, but the times when I get frustrated or angry are so few and far between, and generally make pretty good stories. I learn alot from looking back at myself and recalculating. It´s something I learned from a talk by Elder Wirthlin, or an article in the Liahona. To be better disciples of Christ, we have to be constantly changing and growing. The gospel is a gospel of progress. If we don´t progress, we aren´t living it right. And we measure progress personally, not against other people. If we do it like that, against other people, we are like mason driving in the car- always in 3rd or 4th or 5th place, and never in first. I am honestly in 1st place right now, because I am a better person than I was yesterday, a week ago, a change ago, 8 months ago, and a year ago. (its been a year since I got my call, fyi) So always try to progress. It´s what the Lord wants.

Oh, and Family. Isn´t it about,....time?? I thought that "Progress, it´s what the Lord wants" would make a good slogan for the church. So that´s where that comes from. And that, ladies and gents, is my blue coming out.

Tell everybody thanks for writing me a little, it was super great. I need some help from uncle dave.....As of late, people have been asking if I speak English, and I say yes, and then they talk to me in something that resembles chinese ( I think.). So, I am just going to tell people I am German. So I need German phrases in order to hold up the facade. A little help? Just some simple phrases. Thanks.

Love you guys, have a fantastic week, and see you in about 16 months.

Zach