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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Week ... eh

Monday, April 28, 2014

Well, this week was sort of interesting. We had some divisions, and a baptism on Saturday, and played soccer today. I wore my recently bought Forlán jersey. Yeah. it's dope.

To be brief, the baptism was cool. I have been teaching this lady, Eddy Torres, for about two months, and she decided to get baptized a little while ago. She read everything that we left her. And came to church, which for her was somewhat a challenge. She has a brother who is special needs and confined to a bed and she takes care of him. So for her, leaving is super planned and time restricted. When she shared her testimony at her baptism, she said that she had listened to a lot of different religions, but that nothing that had been preached to her has changed us the way the gospel has. It was a super inspiring testimony to listen to, and it was just another reminder from God that I am doing something important. 

Then, I was reminded of Elder Hollands talk on Friday morning waiting for a bus. I was standing with Elder Tahauri, one of our DL´s, going to finish divisions, and a guy walks by and yells, ¨Gringos hijos de ....¨ Fill in the dots dad. . . it's a super groseria. (It's a super offensive thing to say.)  I was just reminded that I have spent two years of my life suffering, seriously, in the Lord's service, and that I am part of that special group. Obviously, what I have lived has been little compared to others, but I feel privileged, as I think it's Paul who says, to have received stripes in the Lord's service, and to pass for maybe, just maybe, a little bit of what He did. 

And lastly on Friday, after ending divisions, we had to go get and drop off baptismal clothing. We also knew that the two elders were having some issues, so we thought it would be a good idea to do some studying with them. It was about 11 in the morning, and one of them had just gotten up....obviously things were bad from the get go. We started to do a comp study with them, and then we did a companionship inventory. That was fun. One of them, in talking about what the other one did, started crying, and couldn´t be stopped. THAT caught my attention, cuz you normally don´t cry during these things. Well, I asked if it was worth it waiting so long to talk about some stuff that you cry, and he responded that he was crying because he felt so guilty. The night before, he said he just had the incredible desire to hurt his comp and that he just fought with that for hours, and almost gave in. I was shocked. I mean, I have wanted to hit a comp, but it was a fleeting thing. I knew this Elder from earlier in the mission, and he had had a super planchy (I think lazy) comp, so I asked him if the time with that Elder had affected him. He said yes. So I told him to fix it. You could tell that there was some definite contention when we got there. When we left, we couldn´t feel any. The two seem to be doing much better. Something that we left with them was the challenge to give each other blessings every day to be able to feel HF´s love for the other through the blessing. I think its working. Cody, Idea for ya. When you want to kill a comp, cuz you will, give him a blessing. 

That was the highlight reel of my week. Love you all, talk to you soon!!! I will probably be at rafa´s to talk, so see ya there!!

Zach

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

HOLY WEEK

Monday, April 21, 2014

This week was sort of long. Everybody goes on vacation this week, which is the best way to celebrate Easter, right?? So apart from that, we did divisions with the AP´s again, I went with Mendoza in my area. He is Mexican, from Torreon, but everybody said that I looked more Latin than he did. Which was a laugh, and a hoot. Real knee slapper. The only thing that he does to prove that he really is Mexican is eat way more hot sauce than I do. Which he does very easily. Okay, not that easily. I eat a lot of hot sauce. I actually carry a bottle around with me all the time. It's called valentina. Super good.

Then, on Wednesday, I got a head cold....a bad one. It was not so bad on Wednesday, but I took the nurse´s advice to take the day off, and let my body recuperate, and work the next day, on Thursday. Well, I did that and it didn´t get better. So we had interviews with Presidente on Thursday. so he interviewed me in his house, where we all had to go to start with a meeting with him, and then he sent me back home on divisions after. So I spent 2 whole days in the house. Not fun.

Friday was a good day. We had some good citas that day, and worked all day. Saturday was good as well, we spent some good time contacting. I had a desire to contact out of nowhere, which I never have any desire to go contact. It is something that I really have to work to do. 

But we found some interesting people that could be positive in the future, so we will continue to work with them.

Sunday was a good day....mostly. The bishop told us to be in his office for PEC at 7 am. and then when we called him in the morning, he told us that he forgot to let us know that it was going to be after church. No big. 

Then, after church, they were discussing about how to reactivate, and how visits aren´t working (here they don´t really do home teaching, they supposedly visit every week, but it doesn´t work) I finally couldn´t take it, and just told everybody if they would do their stinking home teaching, they wouldn´t have so many inactives, they wouldn´t have so many issues, and almost everything they need could be fixed with that. I sort of ranted and raved, but it was justified. No hay que inventar el agua caliente. as they say here. I felt like it should have been said. 

Then, today, I got to help with some service for a smiles for Honduras dental group that does all sorts of free dental work for pre missionaries. I came with this group to Honduras when I was 13, and am helping them now that I am here. I can´t seem to get away from these people here in Honduras haha. I saw a guy that I met when I was thirteen, and went to his baptism when I was here the first time....and I see him again today!! Active, in a stake where they don´t send gringos cuz it is too dangerous. and another guy that has visited my dads office, and I know well!!! I was super stoked to see them. Dave sheets saw me, and goes, I am gonna face time your dad right now!!!! and I was like, Dave, that´s a bad idea. I have 9 weeks left. And He goes Yeah, you are probably right. 

That is pretty much it. Love you all!
Zach

PS happy birthday erin!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

SEMANA SANTA

Monday, April 14, 2014

Well, this is officially the slowest week of the year, and its only Monday. I don´t really want to do anything this week, all the people go on vacation, and there is never anybody home. It's not fun. and its also the hottest week. So lots of sweat.

Also, shout out to Cody, he broke his thumb. So, let me know if you need a hand haha. and Mas, you are in the red card club. I never got to go there, but I imagine it ain't fun. Especially for the stupidity of the call. Erin, I haven´t even seen you play volleyball yet, so go easy with lacrosse jaja. 

Well, this last week was a lot of fun. We did divisions with two areas to work and one time with another area so that they didn´t lose citas when one of the Elders had to go to immigration. So I worked with Elder Chi, from Belize, in my area, and then I went with Elder Juarez to Hibueras, one of the sketchiest areas of the mission, and I didn´t even get assaulted!!! It was great!!! SUPER SKETCHY, but I liked it. Straight hills though, that is one this I hate about our zone. It's all hills. 

We have some investigators progressing, and we have found some new ones. I like my new comp, we work well together and its lots of fun with him. I am the third one he will have killed, but he says I am not even close to being trunky, so I guess I am not. I really don´t think I am. 

This week should be interesting, We have divisions with the aps, and interviews with pres, so ya no, lots of fun. 

We had a quick week, but it was so blurred that we didn´t really have that many really super spiritual experiences. We did teach a lesson on Saturday to a super catholic kid, and his little brother, who was more accepting. We were teaching his little brother, Kenneth, who is a lot easier to talk to, when Jonathan, his older more contentious brother, came in and just started in on us. Now, we are not the smartest Elders in the whole world, but I have read the great apostasy like 6 times, and Bruce is really good at asking questions to help people understand things, so we tag teamed it. And we watched the kids countenance change!! He started off so contentious and wanting to fight, but as we answered his questions, and told him more and more to depend on God and the answers he gives, he seemed to calm down and soften just a little bit. It was amazing to see the spirit working in him. I don´t think he will accept very easily, or right now, but he at least has listened and felt something.

Well, that is pretty much it...

Happy Easter!!
I love you all!!!

Zach

Friday, April 11, 2014

CHANGES

Monday, April 7, 2014

So, I have a new comp. Elder Bruce. My old comp is the new assistant!!! So I must have done something right haha.

This week has been super long and not very productive. Monday was a good pday, we found a new investigator at a FHE....Tuesday we got changes. I was telling my comp the whole day that he was going to be the new AP...and he didn´t believe me. I started describing how President was going to call to tell him, and how I was going to answer the phone, and He was going to ask to speak to my comp, etc. Well, later that day, we leave the house, and the phone starts ringing in my pocket. I look at Fielding and go, ¨It´s prob Pres...¨ When to my surprise, IT WAS. HOLY COW. Fielding didn´t want to answer, even though it was for sure for him, I answered, talked to president for like five minutes, and then he asked to speak to my comp. HA. I PROPHESIED IT. So then Wednesday was changes, I said goodbye to Elnicky and Elggren. Thursday was district meeting, Friday was Consejo de Lideres de la mision, and Saturday and Sunday were conference. But we found some new people, thanks to some members.  We are planning an activity for the zone-stake to find new people and involve more the members, and it looks super hopeful. This week is going to be a lot of divisions, and getting to know new elders in the zone. We have a good zone right now, after Pres. destroyed the old one. So we should have no problems. hopefully...

We spent most of the week getting to know the area for Bruce. We did bring Eddy, a lady we are teaching, to GC, and it was great, she loved it!! She said to me afterwards, ¨I felt like they were speaking directly to me!¨
I know she took advantage of conference. My favorite talk was Elder Oaks on the Priesthood. SO GOOD.

That is sort of it this week. Short letter, I know, but I have to go teach a billion people before I come home. 

I love you all!
Zach

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Smells like changes and Black Water....

Monday, March 31, 2014

So, supposedly, my comp and I will be having changes this week. Sad, cuz I really like him, but happy, because I will get to know somebody else...who might just be my last comp. But we shall see. Also, Fielding might be going to the dirty, dirty south. Lucky guy.

This week was pretty good. A little bit busy, but nothing out of the usual. We have had a lot of baptisms this month, but it isn´t all great, because most of them are niños and will be pretty inactive in a few months. Cody, when you go on a mission, there will be the temptation to take the easy way out and baptize kids in between nine and twelve whose families aren´t members, but the kids come and stuff. Be careful with that. It's easy to do, and doesn´t require much effort, but its not worth it. You want quality, not quantity. So try to find grown men and families. Baptize them. And the kids that they have too. But just niños off the street?? Don´t do it. 

Honestly, The only thing worth telling is that I am super tired all the time and that its really hot. I am super stoked for general conference, and we should have some investigators there. We have found some decently positive people this week, so they should be coming to the general conference, and we should be making some decent progress with some people this week. 

We have had some really interesting interactions with the ward in the last little bit. Nobody here really does anything. Ward council doesn´t happen, nobody visits, home and visiting teaching are nonexistent in this ward, it's a disaster. So the bishop in third hour yesterday (which wasn´t even combined) talked about how to do visits. We watched a video on the good Samaritan. And the video portrayed a different side to the story than what I had thought about. In the video, I could really see, through the portrayal of the actors, the compassion in the face of the Samaritan, and I thought about how, or the thought came to me, that the Samaritan didn´t suddenly stop to help the Jew because he had an epiphany, or because he decided to do something nice for once. Humans don´t act against our nature, and being tied to the natural man causes us to act naturally in ways that are not in accordance with Gods laws. We don´t acquire habits or act certain ways without it being a result of a change, like it says in Mosiah 3-19. I had the thought, ´The good Samaritan was exactly that. A good Samaritan. and Why? because serving and having compassion was something that he did often, and not a spontaneous act. That's why the priest and the levite passed him. As Christ often taught, the knowledge of the law is worth nothing if you don´t live the spirit of it. The Samaritans were regarded by the Jews to be vile, idolatrous, and unclean. they wouldn´t even eat food that came from Samaria, such was their fear of being ¨unclean.¨ 

Not that which goeth into the mouth adefileth a man; but that which cometh out of the bmouth, this defileth a man.

So, its not what we eat, or touch, that necessarily defiles us. It was what we do. 

14 For our awords will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the bmountains to fall upon us to chide us from his presence.

And that determines our fate in the final judgement

 12 And I saw the adead, small and great, bstand before God; and the cbooks were opened: and another book was opened, which is the dbook of life: and the dead were ejudged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their fworks.

So The Samaritan did a good work, for which he will be judged accordingly. The priest and the Levite, however, fall into a different category....

 19 And we did amagnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the bresponsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not cteach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their dblood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.

My patriarchal blessing talks about how my missionary service will be a basis in my life of service in the church. I used to think that that meant that I was going to be called to serve to do missionary things all my life. I think, to a certain degree yes. I also think that this means that what I have seen in this country is an example of, sadly, how not to be a good priesthood holder. I think that my whole life, I will have these reminders in my head of what not to do, and how I don´t want the stains of their blood on my garments. I know I am not perfect, and even as a missionary I am not perfect, but for that reason Christ expiated my sins, my weaknesses, and all the things I cant fix. He truly did die for me, and for you, and for everybody else.

I love you all. 

Zach