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, May 28, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

So it´s pday and we didn´t go to Teguc!!! woohoo!!!! We played soccer today, and its starting rainy season almost a month late, so it was drizzling while we played. Beautiful. This week was a little slow, but pretty good. We had 27 people in church this week, and we were missing some, so we are hoping for more next week. The number to beat is 32. That's what we are working towards.
This week there was a festival of mango here in Yuscaran. Its a pretty big deal. Three straight days of people partying and just doing nothing. Its pretty ridiculous. Our member, Luis, was selling food, and he makes some pretty tasty stuff. Its sad, though, because with the money he makes between this last weekend and the puppies his dog had, he is going to be moving back to Teguc. But, he will continue faithful and strong. We have faith in that. He is a good man with an intense desire to learn more about the gospel. But with the festival, came a lot of vacationers and there were parties until three in the morning across the street from our house. So much noise. So glad it's over. But it was interesting to see people get so excited for something. I have also seen more drunk people than in all my mission, all in one place.
We are working with a man named Roberto lately. He was baptized in 85ish in Teguc, but we cannot find record of him and neither can Salt Lake, so he needs to be baptized again. His brain is a doctrinal blender. He has been to Baptist, Catholic and JW churches in these twenty some odd years. He is good, because he reads and understands, but sometimes its difficult to work with him. Not his fault, but some of the questions he asks are hard to answer, and he is never really satisfied with our responses. I have some study time under my belt, and know some stuff, but he asks questions that I don´t even want to ask, because finding the answer would take years!!!! He asked us recently why in second nefi two it says that Eve would never have had children before the fall, if in Genesis 3:16 it says that God would multiply her pain in giving birth. that, in his interpretation, means that she would have had perfect children before the fall, it was the fall that made them imperfect. Well, that tried all my scriptural knowledge. (ps, if you ever teach the plan of salvation to jw, SKIP THE FALL. THAT IS A SORE POINT FOR THEM.) I used 2 Nephi 2:22 and 23. He said that that meant that the Book of Mormon was contradicting the Biblia. He wanted somewhere else where it said that. so, I used Moses 4 something, where Eve rejoices, and her and Adam are blessing God. I don´t remember the reference. but he sort of just left it at that. I am exhausting my scriptural knowledge tank with this guy. I am sure he will get baptized, but he is going to take some time, which is okay with me.
And then....the funny ish part. I had two grown women, sisters, make passes at me this week. One last Sunday, and one on Saturday. The first one is an inactive, and hasn´t been to church in years. Her friend yelled at me that if I liked her, she had said that I could have her. While she was standing there, trying to seduce me with her eyes. At least I think she was, I was busy trying to invent a response. I ended up saying, No, thanks. But that was very nice of you.
Then her sister. I didn´t know they were sisters until later, when I saw them together. Her sister isn´t a member, and started asking us what does elder mean, all that sort of stuff. Then she asked if missionaries could have girlfriends. I said no. She asked if that meant just Honduras. I said yes, that some missionaries have girlfriends in their home countries. She asked if I did. I said no and why are you asking. Para que nos casemos, she said. So that we get married. I just said, thanks, very nice of you, but I am okay single, thanks. For those of you who speak spanish, women in this country are Lanzadas. They sort of jump the gun. Tell you very openly what they want, and they want it when they want it. Its really really hard to deal with. all the yelling, and blowing kisses and all that. But I always say thank you, just to be polite.
And then today, we took another great jalon!!! Photo included. played soccer and came back, tranquilo. We also had zone conference this last week, which was fun. Learned quite a bit, and got some good time to see other elders and such.

Cody....congrats on band stuff. You better be recording stuff, and show it all to me when I get back. If you are still home. If not, stick it all on my ipod, and then go to the mtc.
Erin...you guys are nuts!!! That is an awesome photo. And sad stuff about losing, but they say you learn more in losing then winning.
Mas, you are a goof and you look old. And good job with bigger or better!! a blowflex!?!?!?! You better be using that to beef up a little, chico.
I love you all. To all my missionary buddies, keep on keepin on, and keep working!!!!!!!

Cow Tongue.  He ate it and liked it!  I won't tell you what their next mystery meal is going to be. 
This is what he means by a "jalon".  It is the hitch hiking vehicle and they are not all the same.  Pray he is safe while he travels please!!!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013 (11 months in the mission!)

(Paula's note:  Don't miss the pictures in this letter.  They are a tender mercy to us at home!)

This has been one of the hardest weeks of my mission. Without doubt. We are going through problems here in this little branch that I never thought I would have to deal with, and less at 20 years of age. But I absolutely am confiding in the Lord, and just hoping everything goes right. We are doing everything we can here, and need that promised help right about now. (Paula's note:  There are four missionaries in Zach's area.  These four make up the branch presidency.  So, in addition toregular missionary work, they also handle all the branch issues, which apparently are more than just the normal duties.)

We have been super involved with the branch this week. Meetings, correlations, new callings, fixing stuff, inactives, you name it. I have said it before, and I will say it again, I am learning so much about how the church works that it scares me, mostly because this is all in preparation for the future. Yikes. That future scares me.

Tuesday we went to Oropoli for a partida de solteria for the wedding of somebody. We went 45 minutes hitchhiking and 30 walking to get there, in the bumpiest ride of my life and then we found that it was incredibly difficult to leave that place. We talked to a lady who told us that she had spent two hours waiting and had had no luck, and no more buses were leaving, so she showed us the hotel there. Ha. But this whole experience was a testimony of the power of prayer for me. We prayed before we left to be able to go in and come out quickly and without problem. Well, we did what we needed to do, and left, and started walking. We were blessed with a miracle.!!! We took a jalon in the back of a corn truck, that was closed and dark and hot and dusty. About an hour we were in there. But that is in difference to a whole day spent walking. I really saw the power of prayer in that whole experience, and how when it is the Lords work, stuff gets done. he makes it possible. (Well you all now know his main form of transportation.  Please pray more than ever for his safety in his travels.)

I also am at 11 months. 13 to go. I remember celebrating hitting one month in the MTC, and I just laugh at myself. This is something. I am getting some serious time and feel like I have barely done anything with this year. Hindsight is 20-20, and you really realize looking back how fast it´s all gone. I am starting to gear up for year two. It will be better than year one. I am getting back all that fire from the MTC and adding to it my years worth of experience. It should be a fun time. I am hoping to just be the best missionary I possilby can while I am still here.

Erin, I know you will do great. Trust Cory he is a good guy and will help you a lot.
Mason...you are an animal. I don´t know where you got all that. You are definitely part.....something. I don´t know what but something.

Mom and dad. I am good. I have gotten all three of those packages, and grandma has a letter that I just sent to her, so in about a month and a half, it will be there. and mom....love you. you are the best mom ever. I told you to wait to read it after because I know you...:) Funny side note, got a letter from Tayler the other day. surprised?? I was, Thanks for asking. Interesting stuff is at work here. She said she saw you guys at Daniels farewell. Small world. haha.

Included are pics from our baptism!!!! THIS KID IS PILAS!!!!! We gave him a white shirt and I donated a tie, and he goes on visits with us and shares his testimony with EVERYONE!!!! It helps me to be a better missionary, being with him and he loves wearing that shirt and tie. I don´t think he will be able to serve a mission, but he is so sincere and has such a tender spirit, its hard not to feel the spirit with him there.

I love you all!!!!!!!!

That is pretty much it for this week. 

No this isn't Zach, it's Cody, but if you look closely you will notice it is the same baptismal font. 
We visited the people of this branch in 2008 and shared a sub for santa of sorts with them.  Cody was here long before Zach got there.  It is a sweet blessing to be able to visualize where Zach is. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Well, sorry, because off the bat, this letter won´t be much, seeing as how my parents were spoken to by me yesterday. But some of the highlight stuff.

We did a HUGE mothers day activity here in the branch, and we now know how the elders here in the past brought lots of people to church. They promised them activities with food, and then they would get them to promise to come to church. In my opinion, that is not how the game works. But we can modify it so that we don´t always do food, or so that they feel more of the spirit to be able to make it there on their own. it was a lot of work and a lot of stress, but it went okay. Mostly.

We also had a baptism!! Cristian, 20 years old. I forgot my camara and so there will be no pictures, but next week, I promise. We are still trying to deal with all the branch problems that seem to be magnifying and getting worse in range and scope....all sorts of people that we don´t even know are involved apparently. But the church is guided by revelation, so that´s how it works in the fourth floor of the temple and thats how it works in Yuscaran, I guess. We will figure out and be helped to a solution and to fixing this, but time will tell when.

I hope all of you missionary buddies out there are doing well, and that your families are too!!! I love you all, and thanks to all my buddies from school, home, the mtc, what have you, that I have met, because you have all made an impact in my life. Pretty much, it means you get my emails, so....if you get my emails, you made a positive impact in my life. So thanks. Love ya all!!!

I gotta go. Happy mothers day to all the moms out there, and love ya fam!!!
It was good to talk to you yesterday, and mom...I hope you enjoyed the letter.

Love to all!!!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

This week was crazy. It started off with no changes, which was a good thing and an okay thing. Sort of rough, but I will live. I do love most about my area, its just one little thing that makes me want to leave, but we shall see.

We went on Friday to visit an aldea about 3 walking hours outside of Yuscaran. We found a hitch for about half of it, which meant that Friday morning we spend about 2 hours traveling to get there. Its an older guy, Don Gustavo. he has 8 kids, over 50 grandkids, and over 60 ggrandkids. Its nuts. He had an amazing dream that was exactly like the spirit world, and I am sure will be baptized at all costs. Becuase they live so far away, that is a need to get them to church, which means bussing out there to bus them back. Then return them home. This brings stress number one.

We had to go get them in the morning, and were supposed to leave at six am, which means 5 wake up. The bus dude told us 1600 limps for the trip, which we thought was great and reasonable, and we were going to pull it out of the branch money. Well, getting up at five was bad. Horrible. Exhausted for Sunday. Then, on top of that, we didn't exactly understand them, and when they said 1600 per trip, they meant to go there and back. So to go and get them is one, go and drop them off is 2 trips. 3200 limps. We flipped a bit, and told them that that just wasn't going to fly, because they didn't explain themselves clearly. Granted we didn't ask, but its whatevs. Then on saturday at nine something at night the district drops another bomb on us.

That on sunday at 2 there will be a mandatory training in teguc, and all the auxilary presidencies have to go. Well, we are the presidency. So we took luis, our convert, and went, as he could well be the next bp here. We had to leave at noon, we got there late...and the worst part is when we called to see where the bus was that they had promised to pick us up in, a church bus, the bp of another branch told us that they just weren't going to go. Only the district presidente. So we called him and then HE told us that HE wasn't going to go....and we were already mid camino. I was so frustrated. Never again will I complain about going to a training at six in the morning with two weeks notice. Never again. All in all, I learned a ton. It was for all the presidents of all the organizations, so esparza went to the relief society one and I sat in on the sunday school one. And I am so grateful I went. I literally learned enough to better and reboot our entire system here, and I am so grateful for it. Saw the area 70, which was kinda neat, but didn't talk to him.

All of that, and I forgot to eat that morning. and then we didn't have time until later. So I bought (bad, right) cookies and a juice box for all three of us, and then at the thing the RS gave out cookies, and the juice box, so we snagged some of those and then bussed it home. It starting raining and so we took shelter in the police station at the desvio and chilled waiting for the bus that was never going to come, so we ended up talking with the police officer. She was nice and gave us mangoes. We finally got a jalon, at like 730, and got to the pueblo at like 8ish. So I didn't eat real food until 830 ish.  Then there was no power, because whenever it sort of rains, the power goes out.

Then today, was Teguc and just nuts. Running all over, trying to get stuff going, and planned for activites for mothers day here. Cinco de mayo isn't celebrated here, thats just a mexican shin dig.

Congrats to Cody on making state!!!! Jordan soccer, we love it!!!!!! Good luck to all those boys this next week. Petey, you will do fine. Erin and Mas, enjoy psych. I miss that show. And erin, you win some and you lose some, but don't get discouraged. Don't talk to them, just play next time, and let your feet talk.

Sort of busy and stressed right now still, because we have a ton that we have to do with the branch and all that. But it wll all work out, I am sure of it. I just need to learn more patience and faith, apparently.

Love you all!!!

Hope that you all have a great week, and a wonderful mothers day to all you mothers.....