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.