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

Monday, July 29, 2013

Changes ....

Monday, July 29, 2013
 
WOW. So this is a crazy week. As you all now know...yes. I had changes. My comp got subed to Zone Leader, and I am now a District Leader and Training! I am not the branch president. that is a different elder. I will take DL any time.
This week was pretty tranquilo at the beginning. With Esparza...fun. I survived four changes with the guy...so I can pretty much survive anything. haha. no...I really did learn a lot from him, and seeing as how I was with him in the south (he was my dl for a while) It is weird not being with him. I really did get used to him. I really got to know my blue and yellow side.
But that all changed Wednesday!!! I was told I was training, was going to be dl, and would be in my area for a fifth change. Which is a very long time, if you were wondering. I have more than a year and only two areas and four comps. That is not very normal. Well, the area part yes. but the only four comps is very unusual. I haven´t had any differences in my area.
But my new comp is CHILL!!! His name is Elder Benning. He is from Vacaville, California. I already asked him if he knows the Horns...or at least Donna. He said he might. He is a straight from the MTC gringo...which means I talk to everybody. But his spanish has improved in just the few days he has been with me. Not from being with me, but for being in honduras. He understands quite a bit. It is going to be a process...but it is fun. I really like him. Cool kid. Sort of interesting, training. I look at that and think...dang...that was me about 10 months ago. Weird to think I have come to far, and really don´t have that much time left right now. I mean....11 months is not much. And it just keeps going faster.

I also got to go do baptismal interviews for the first time last weekend, and I will be doing more this week. At least one. It is just a lot of traveling, and a lot of time that is spent and used to go from one place to the other. My district is cool. It's us, the other Elders Ward and Sol (yuscaran) and Zamorrano, Gutierrez and Guarchaj, and the zls. Edwards and Torres. I like it. It's a lot of extra stuff, but its fun.

We also have monopoly, and i destroyed last night. The other three united forces against me, but they couldn´t defeat me. Yeah. dope sauce.
And thanks for seeing Luis, dad. He told me that you did an awesome job. He also told me that mom cried when you were talking about me...and I totally got a litte homesick with that one. And mas...good job dude!! You are awesome. You have seriously worked hard for this, and you totally deserve it. You are such a good little dude.
Apart from that...nothing really. I got the duffel!!! pretzels!!! We enjoyed the pancakes...or like half of them. Yesterday. Everybody loves the licorice, and I am digging the clif bars. Thanks for the books too, I LOVE THEM. The Great Apostasy is awesome, and Mormon Doctrine is INTENSE. That is a crazy book. I will take good care of it, dad. Don´t worry.

Also, Vellver did give me the hug when I saw him today. It was a very tender, and sort of weird, moment...seeing as how he never hugged me like that before haha. (As we were just in Teguc, I asked Elder Vellver to give Zach a hug from his mom.  Glad to know he followed thru.) 
 
I am sorry, that memory card had stuff on it before, but I don´t know what happened. I think you guys should have most of the photos I sent to you, seeing as how I didn´t back it up. Please keep those, that is my first year on camera. or some of it.

Well, that is it. I get to walk the 23 kilometers (14 miles) one way and 23 kilometers (another 14 miles) back to Oropolí tomorrow to get one partida de solteria. it will be a long, long day tomorrow.

Love you all!!

Zach

Changes...

Monday, July 22, 2013
Sorry. A delayed updated. 

So I still don´t know if I have changes, but one of us does. So its a guessing game at this point.

This week was literally ALL branch work. We have been swamped. We had our audit, which will continue tomorrow, because when you have elders that don´t do their job and then leave the area they leave problems.

We also had to go to Teguc on Wednesday, like all day, to help Luis move. Sad day. but it was good, he needed to get out of here. He needs to see how the church really runs. And being in the ward he is in will help him a ton.  It was super sad to see them go, but they have good things waiting for them. I will miss that guy, and his family, and his cooking. and his fire that he brought with him to everything. He is so prepared to do great things, but he just .....doesn´t know it yet.

We also had a miserable chat with one of our members, ------. She wants to be a normal member....which means just show up on sunday and then go home. She doesn´t want a calling, she doesn´t want to go to the temple, she doesn´t want assignments...nothing. And she is literally as stubborn as a mule. And very proud. It's really hard for me to watch, because I know that I was like that at one point in time, with regards to humility. But it hurts me more that she is practically slapping God in the face. He wants to bless her, but she just is to thick headed to understand and closed to accept it. 

We also had a seminary and institute training, which was good. We are trying to get that program going, because it really doesn´t exist here. At all. And the church won´t go anywhere without the youth here, so its rough.

But then, Sunday, we had a training in Teguc. First off...they said AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS. That means that everybody but the presidency, right?? Well, they tell us that elders quorum no, because it is priesthood. and they didn´t have anything for mission leaders, which I am pretty sure is an auxiliary. It may not have it´s own chapter in manual 2, but i am pretty sure it should. I ended up staying the night in Teguc with Esparza to be there early to do branch stuff today in the morning, which we mostly got done. 

It was a busy week. We had only 29 at church. I honestly have no idea what happened. Wait, yes I do...we didn´t go to the Tenidero. With the sunday training, we had noone to send out there. And with the schedule of this last week, we couldn´t get there. So that will be this week. 

So much has happened this week that I literally don´t remember details. I did hit 13 months...woohoo. 
Other than that, I don´t remember much. 

But...side note. This is for mom and dad and mason. 

Well, you guys are at home!!! my home...Honduras. And I have various tips. I won´t give you a number, because I am just gonna write until I get mindblock...

Order the grape soda. it kicks the crap out of American grape soda. And the banana soda, just to try it. They are brand tropical. And if you aint drinking it out of a bag with a straw, you aint doin it right. 

Next, baleadas. Order them. Get them. Ask David what they are, and that you want good ones. He should know some places. They are typical food here. 

Next....jeez. right now the fresh fruit in season is nance, mammón, aguacate, ...mangos are on the way out. and the bananas are really good. they are called minimos,...they cost like 2 to 3 lempiras cada uno. and the fruit will cost you like 8 to 20 limps. 

ummm semitas. They are a sweetbread. BOMB. You can get them at 1, 2, or 3 limps at most pulps. papa, pida las semitas largas, y no las redondas. las largas en general son mejores.

ummm...what else....I am just trying to think....
Malteadas. Its flavored milk. it comes in four flavors. Cost thirteen limps, and comes in a bag or a carton. worth it. I normally get vainilla, its my fav. I don´t ever get the banana one. fresa and chocolate son buenos also. 

I apologize mid list for my spanglish. My brain is switching. 

Also, when you go places, ask for fresco natural. fruit juice. you can get right now....maracuya (passion fruit, one of my favs) nance (not that great, but try it) piña, limonada, naranja, lots of stuff. they are made with safe water, normally, and are better than soda. Also, they drink straight coke and pepsi here. Pretty much.

and dad,....just para que sepas, yo hablo como esta gente. asi que tengo un accento un poco feo y uso palabras que jamás has escuchado. puchica, massiso, cheque, cipote.....un buen. but its all good. 

I think those are all my tips for enjoying honduras. Also, just enjoy it. Try to live it as much as possible. and try as many things as you can. if you want touristy stuff, there is a decent market en plaza los dolores, mas arriba del centro. 

Side notes. I met David today in Little Ceasers. Small world. I also met a guy on Sunday that Abuela met when she was here. He walks up, goes Elder Glassett!!! And starts talking to me like he knows me. Funny story ...I was very surprised. 

and ps. nifu ni fa still exists. I saw it today. 

and pss. Ask the office elders to talk to Elder Velvver...he has the memory card that is waiting for you. He knows. 

love you !!!

Zach

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

So ..... crazy week.

Monday, July 15, 2013
 
Okay, I know....every week can´t be that crazy right??? But it seems like we always have crazy weeks. It can´t be helped here in Yuscarán.  This place has crazy written all over it.
To be honest, this week was pretty boring. That´s what made it crazy. We had some branch stuff to do. Fix problems with the other elders that had submerged between us. It all started because they didn´t want to help us pay part of a light bill for washing laundry, and got to the point that they called the zone leaders. Lil ridiklus, if you ask me. But it spiraled, and they sort of lost it. Well, one of them. So we sort of lost tuesday in that.  

Wednesday I went the 2 hour walk to the Tenidero with Luis, our convert. I got stung by a freaking wasp in the crown of my head. IT HURT FREAKING BAD. But it didn´t swell, We got the stinger out perty quick. And then we did some teaching.....found some pretty awesome people. This place is nuts. I think I described it a little bit in my letter last week, but they have no electric light, they are all poor, and all grow corn and beans. And all have guns and machetes, which ties into yesterday. And then we went and visited members. We have put new talk schedules and everything for the three hours in, so we have to go help the members with talks and classes.
Thursday was district meeting, and then we helped ....well, to be honest, I don´t really remember Thursday very well. Ahh...we had a seminary and institute training. Seeing as how we don´t have either one of the two it was an ask us why session. Most of the youth...pretty much all of them here are inactive. And nobody wants to come, and everybody studies sunday morning in school. We spent literally all day in that. And then I had to be at the church so my comp could do member interviews. Long day.
Friday we had interviews with president. He told us that one of the two of us were leaving, and that the other one would stay, but he didn´t tell us who. So I legitimately have no idea what will happen the 23 of this month. I want to stay, but want to go at the same time
For this reason. The mission could possibly be organizing an extension of our branch from this place that we go. The mission counselor has seen it, and thinks its a good idea. He is asking thirty members, but the manual says two and a priesthood holder, so we are working to that. And we are working and really seeing the branch grow. It's an amazing thing to see. A little bit of work and effort on the part of four 20 year olds...and the Lord blesses an entire town. I can´t imagine what would happen if this place would wake up a little bit. Speaking of that, ...and this will be in spanish, because my English gospel grammar and vocab suffers...
Papa, me puedes ayudar con algo?? estoy haciendo el plan misional de la rama con el LIder misional, y no se si puedes scanear una copia del plan del barrio, y quizas del barrio de mama, y mandarmelos por correo electronico. necesito ideas y ayuda, y creo que esto me va a ayudar.  (Zach is asking us to send him copies of our ward mission plans so he can try to incorporate something in his areas.)
let me get my brain back into gear.....done.
Then saturday we were going to work....But our day was turned into help Luis day. His landlord is practically kicking them out, so they had to be gone by today. I don´t know what is going on....they are looking for houses in teguc, and are probably leaving the branch. It's sad stuff...but most of that has to do with Sunday.

To continue with Saturday, I saw a grown man....and his wife....cry. They literally had no idea what they were going to do. I literally felt so in between a rock and a hard place. I have literally never seen somebody so desperate. Imagine that you go from making, on a weekly basis, like 20 grand. And you sometimes earn more. Your family is taken care of, and you have everything. And one car accident, caused by drunk driving,....robs you of work. In a matter of days...you have nothing. Months is worse. And you see a man work from day to day to feed his three children, forget him and his wife....I literally have never seen anyone hit a brick wall before. And one that they cannot get over alone. It was shocking to see. my heart broke. But we took care of it. But still, they will probably be leaving here. I will seriously miss them a ton.
And then Sunday...we went...or were going to the Tenidero. The house that Luis was going to rent here fell through, and so I stayed with the other two elders here the last minute to search for houses to help them, and Esparza went with Luis; Nery, the Mission Leader and Cristian, our convert here; to the Tenidero. There was a huge fight there started by two drunks that ended with machete and knife wounds, so the meeting didn´t go very well. But we still had 57 in attendance between the two, so it´s okay.
Today I spent waiting for my comp to get back from there, Teguc, and here. Honduras is in the gold cup, which is going on right now, and they are playing, Sso there is a lot of noise.
Funny story. I had a dream that I was trying to open a locker....and when I woke up I realized I had partially opened the window next to my bed in the night. My sleep patterns are a little screwey.
I also had really bad diahrrea starting Friday night and going till sunday...so I am a lot skinnier now than I was four days ago.
I loved hearing about everybody's week. Mom...for the whole family history thing, you might want to check to see if some of the POW camps of the south kept records. Anderson was a big camp in Georgia where they sent a lot of people, so he could have gone somewhere like that. Or he could still be buried in some hill in a remote mississippi town, who knows.
and Cody...I have some VERY IMPORTANT HOMEWORK for you. I found out from my buddy mckay that fall out boy is back together. I need you to go to a store, by the album, and I will pay you back in 11 months.
That is pretty much all I have time for this week. I love you all, and will be anxiously awaiting some stuff....whatever it may be. Oh, and I bought a hammock. True story. It's blue and green.
I love you all!!!!!
Zach


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

WHAT A WEEK!!!!

July, 8, 2013

Hey, so this week....big news....I am having the time of my life here.
This week was another long one. We walked the whole 24 kilometer round trip  (14.9 miles for those of us who don't use the metric system!!!)  to and from the tenidero on Tuesday. Wednesday was a slow day. Thursday was district meeting, taller de zona, and so that was a nothing day. It takes so long to travel here and everything is so far apart, not to mention our zls that do the meetings in the stupidest places, and we always get back late. Really late. But I got pretty sick Thursday night and Friday morning with another head cold, and Friday woke up with the whole dizziness thing whenever you stand up. So for me, the tenidero wasn´t happening. Esparza went with Luis, and I stayed on divisions in the house with Cristian.
They came back with some big news....the people there LOVE US. First, they have two evangelical churches that nobody really goes to. Then, they told us that they were going to give some land to a Catholic church, and the Catholics never came. So they told us we could build a church there if we wanted to. Still, it takes a lot more than just boom building a church, but they are open to it. We also found a whole different group of people to teach than we had been. There are two groups of people there: the family that we have been teaching, and everbody else. And they don´t get along and definitely do not mix. The family we were teaching .... well we found out some interesting stuff about them. One is that most of them have warrants out for arrest or capture. There are no police out there, and the police in this country are a sort of joke, so there is no law in this place. People take things into their own hands, so that situation is a little bit sketchy...but not for us. We were going to do the Sunday meeting in a borrowed house from the family, but then the city mayor told us that we could do it in the city communal center, that we just had to bring chairs. so we did. the family didn´t come, due to the problem that they have (the townspeople have apparently killed several of their family members. They did it because their is no law, and the members of the family were violent drunks that had stabbed and killed several people.) This is a pretty far out place. Nobody there has electric light. think 1860s...but with Honduran jerseys and machetes. Yeah. There are three people there who have plantas....generators. Aand they only have one or two light bulbs. Super old civ there. But so great!!! We had about 30 people in the meeting there, and about 35 here. The second counselor of the mission pres. took Esparza and Luis out there in the day, and explained how an extension would work, and says it is possible!!!! We just have to show with results. So that is what we plan on doing. The difficult part is going and coming back.
So Sunday, after church, I went in the 4 o clock bus with Nery and Cristian, two members from here. Esparza was there with Lluis. We got there late, and left and came back in the 6 o clock bus this morning. We stayed the night at a guy named Mariano´s house. Super nice. But something I ate the night before, most likely the mango, did some damage and I woke up with some intense diahrrea. But it ceased, so I am good. We didn´t sleep much, but I can sleep when I get home. Plus, if i am not tired, something is wrong.
We also had the highest baptizing month in the history of the mission, with 240ish. We didn´t baptize, but what we have done in this branch is pretty honorable, I would say. Luis is getting prepared to receive the Meliquisidec Priesthood, and is pretty happy. We are working with more complete organizations, and had our first Branch Counsel the other day. Stuff is starting to pick up here.
I miss the garden!!!! and find it odd that the first summer I am truly not there is the first low maintenance summer in our history....fishy.
Sounds like everything is going good at home. I love you all and hope that all is going well.
Missionary buds...keep working!!!! The work is accelerating, and we have to as well!!!
And from those from my mtc district, anybody heard from Jensen, Bever, Cook, Tarr and Nelson?? Don´t know whats going on with those dudes.
Zach

This is the city communal center they were allowed to hold services in in the area far, far away.  Tall blondish kid on the right - Zach.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 1, 2013 WOW

July 1, 2013

So, this week was pretty crazy. Super nuts.

Okay, so the week. Monday we did nothing. It was super great. We went to a members house, Luis, and played monopoly for like 6 hours. So fun. To just sit and do nothing. Then on Tuesday, the week began.
We left on Tuesday at 8 to go to the Tenidero, an aldea about 3 hours walking from here. We found a shortcut with the branch mission leader, and made it in under two. It was fantastic. Found a ton of ready people to listen, and super positive. It is a father, who is almost 100, and his 8 kids, and his 60 grandkids, and great grandkids. Yeah. It's a whole flipping tribe. Anyway, we met like half of them. And walked back. But when we walked back, we took the long way, because our ML told us we would def get jalon. Well, we didn´t. We arrived to the pueblo in the middle of a torrential rainstrom, at like 6. Went to Roberto's house, and taught him a little bit. Got home wet and cold and tired.  But it was so worth it.
Wednesday, I went and got an ingrown toenail removed!!! And it really didn´t hurt at all. Not even the shots. the nurse said I was the best elder she had ever seen with the shots...only a sister did better then I did. Oh well. You can´t win em all. She asked if I was going to cry, and I just looked at her. Mason would have been proud. Didn´t even flinch. Then we came back and visited Roberto again. THAT MAN IS GOLDEN. We taught him in depth the Plan of salvation. Hhe loved it. He told us, ¨I used to really love the Bible. I still do. But I am growing to love more the Book of Mormon and the church books, like Moses and Abraham. It really helps me to understand in a way that the Bible can´t do alone.¨ WOW.  He also came to church on sunday, white shirt and tie. It was awesome. He could be baptized tomorrow.
Thursday was short. We had a day of not really anything. We got back late from district meeting, so it was short.

Friday was another Tendidero day, but we were going with three members, with the five of us on four bikes. Well, not even halfway, my bike and the LM´s bike broke, so we turned back, and the other guys went there without us. We came back and did some visits and saw some people, did some visits, and then went to a FHE with like 25 members. It was awesome. We are using FHE as a way to get the branch more united. It´s working, we get tons of support from members, and we are trying to create an environment that is welcoming for inactives or non members. It's working and we are so hapy about it.

Then Saturday was all branch stuff. Office day. ehh.....not too bad. We were trying to figure out how to get all these people to church from this aldea, because supposedly there were a ton that were going to go. We didn´t want to do a bus, because they rake you over the coals. And walking wasn´t going to cut it. So we thought of trying to get somebody who has a pickup to help us. The lady was going to charge us 1000 lps...which is sort of a lot. I said okay because at the time it was the cheapest option we had. Well, my comp was a little irked by that...IDK why, I don´t know how to work this out. In my country we all have our own cars...anyway, he said that we were going out to find somebody with a car. I was all game, yellow as always. Well, we remembered a guy that sells food with his wife, and their shop has been closed for a few months. It was pretty good for decent money, and we often went there to get tacos or something. So we went to talk to him. He was out a job due to his kid being sick, because he and his wife couldn´t adequately take care of the baby and cook. He was working at the town brewery six days a week and with his cows Sunday. Then we told him we would pay him 500 limps and fill his tank to have him go pick up the people. He was all for it. More money than he makes in a week. So he went with our ward mission leader Sunday in the morning to pick them up. well, we were expecting like 12 or 14. But we called our ward mission leader....

20.
in the bed of this pickup. Wow. Then, we had sacrament and second hour. We ended early because Esparza and I had to go to a training in Ojo de Agua, and so we couldn´t really continue. We had 46 people in church on Sunday. 17 investigators, 1 family. Our zls told us that it was the highest investigators in church the mission had this week. Having all those people there, and feeling the spirit, and learning, and feeling loved and normal, was well worth all the sacrifice and problems from the week. Well worth it. 
I have suffered this week. I honestly don´t remember eating much at all. I haven´t slept well, have been exhausted, tired, sore, sunburned, spiritually and emotionally dead, and had a toenail taken out. But honestly, it was one of the best weeks of my mission. I have honestly seen how God blesses us for our efforts. I wasn´t perfect this week. Far from it. I made mistakes, and committed some errors. but God doesn´t ask us or bless us for being perfect, he does it because he loves us, and he sees we are trying.
I had a thought come to me as I was writing in my journal last night.
If I take all this credit, I am denying God the credit he deserves, and am no better than Satan. Trying to take honor and glory than God. I thought about it, and will quote it.
¨If I say that I did this all myself, I am horribly wrong. All of our efforts are what gives God the ability to work through us....mediums, like an artist. He can express himself through us to make life beautfiul for others, just as art makes like beautiful for people...¨

I am no author, but I thought it was pretty inspired. helps me to understand more and more My Eternal Father, and my flaws....as well as His willingness to accept all of me that is messed up and needs polishing and refinishing.
The training was about auditing. I learned a ton. I say it again, this scares me for the future.
But the guy who did the training was awesome. SUPER SUCCESSFUL man. He has some serious money and he attributes all of it to the church. Super strict, but man, does he love all of this. It was a district training, and it was worthwhile. He even gave us jalon in his 2013 Toyota Prado, a popular car here, like a highlander,....to yuscaran. bought us sandwiches, gatorade, tons of stuff.  He got in on the fact that it was like 6 and we hadn´t eaten all day. That is my week for you. Somebody told me that I look skinnier than a week ago. It;s probably true.
As for my week, another one is starting. I am in the mero winter in this country. It's wet, cold here and rains a ton. But I wouldn´t be anywhere else.
Part of our work this week is teach all those people out in their aldea and construct a mini meetinghouse for them. We are talking with our president about opening an extension there, missionary presided for meanwhile. It looks like it will go.
I love you all. I testify that this is God´s work. He loves us and is part of this work. More than we are.
Zach.....