Saturday, March 19, 2011

Email from Monday, 24 January 2011

HELLO FAMILY!!! Thanks for writing. Well, this week was good here in Honduras. We found a lot of new investigators. They're really positive. They want to get baptized and they want to go to church. We are teaching a sister. Her name is Maria. The missionaries have been talking to her for over 8 years, and we taught her the other day about the doctrine of Christ, and she accepted a baptism date for the 5th of February. We're really excited. Her husband is a member. He's really excited as well. He's in the high council. Well, next week is going to be really good. I'm excited. We are going to take a lot of people to church next week. My bishop is crazy. We were invited to go to an activity at church. It was a teacher capacition meeting. They deceived us. They only invited us to talk about deep doctrine, and they talk about their missionary experiences. I thought it was fun, but was a complete waste of time. I went on a companionship exchange with a gringo this week. It felt good to be with a gringo again. I miss my previous companion, Elder Bothwell. Well, this is my companion´s last week on the mission. I hope he doesn't get trunky. We say baggy here in Honduras. Well, I love you all. Thanks for everything!!!

Email from Monday, 17 January 2011

Hello family. Well, this week was exceedingly good. We had a conference with an apostle. We saw Elder Ballard. Elder Jensen also came to visit with us. It was an amazing week. They gave amazing talks. I learned a lot. Well, one of our investigators was going to get married last week and baptized but he decided he doesn't want to get baptized. It's a little sad. His daughters have already been baptized. Well, I had a good week. We worked really hard. We don't have any baptism dates right now so it's a little difficult. My companion is a little trunky. This is his last month on the mission. Well, I don't have much to report. Everything is normal here in Honduras. Well, I love you all.

Email from Monday 10 January 2011

Hey family! Thanks for your letters. Sounds like everything´s ok! Well, this week has been good. I had my first leadership meeting on Wednesday. I almost didn't have my jacket for the meeting. I gave it to a member from my ward to dry clean it. I haven´t dry cleaned my jacket since the MTC. Well, it smells a lot better. I'm glad I gave it to him. He brought me the jacket 15 minutes before the meeting. Two of my companions from the MTC are now leaders. It was nice to see them at the meeting. Their Spanish has improved. We have a new plan for the mission. It's really good. It's a plan for the members so that they can get involved in mission work. I hope we have more success with our new plan. I took a blind man to church on Sunday. We were a little late for church because he walks so slow. We had to take a taxi instead of the bus. We want to baptize him this month but he's always working. He sells candies and chips in the market. He´s really positive. Well, I love you. You're always in my prayers.

Email from Monday, 3 January 2011

Well, this week has been good. We are working really hard. We found a new investigator and he went to church on Sunday. I'm really excited. He is really positive. He's going to bring his family to church next week. The other day I had a prayer in my heart for the whole day. It was really interesting experience. I really felt the spirit. It was kind of hard because I would always forget that I was praying. Well, I went on my first companionship exchange as a district leader. I went with Elder Erickson. He's learned a lot of Spanish. I went with him a year ago on a companionship exchange and he couldn't say anything. He's really improved. Well, I miss you all. I pray every day for you. Well, for the new year my companion and I played chess. I won! We went to bed early at 10;30. I was tired. Being a missionary is tiring. OK. I love you ADIOS!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Email from Monday, 27 December 2010

Wow, I really enjoyed our conversation. Thanks for all your love. I miss you all. I can't wait to see you all again. I appreciate all that you do. Our baptism was everything expected. I had the privilege of baptizing her. I performed my first interview. I was really nervous. I think I did a good job. He was ready to get baptized. I know I'll do better for the next interview. Well, I hope everyone had a good Christmas. I know I did. Well, this week has been good. We are contacting a lot. I'm really excited for the work. Tomorrow I'll have my first district meeting. I'm sure everything will go well. I planned the agenda way in advance. Well, I love everyone. Thanks for everything. OK, I love you all ¡Adios!

Email from Monday, 20 December 2010

Hey family. Thanks for the packages that you all sent me. They're awesome. I really like the new pants you sent me. I'm wearing them right now. Wow, I've had an amazing week. One of our investigators didn't want to get baptized for the whole month until she saw another baptism from other elders. After she saw the baptisms I asked her if she wanted to get baptized and she accepted. It was a miracle. We also placed another baptism date for next Saturday. We found a sister who attended church before but never got baptized because her companion didn't want to get married, so they recently separated and she is living alone. We read from the Book of Mormon with her and we invited her to get baptized and she accepted. We're really happy here. They´ve called me to be the district leader. I'm really excited and a little nervous, but I know God will help me. Elder Bothwell is going to my old area. He's going to be a trainer. I'm excited for him. He's a good elder. Well, thanks for everything! I love you all. I can't wait to talk to you all.

Email from Monday, 13 December 2010

Hello family. Seeing the picture you sent me almost made me cry. The Lord has really blessed us. Our house is beautiful. You look so happy in the picture, and everything looks so beautiful. I can't wait to see our home and our animals again. Our cat looks really big. It sounds like the missionaries in our area are having a hard time. Maybe you should give them the missionary Christmas challenge. I'm going to start it today. I'm excited. People here in Honduras celebrate Christmas the same way we do. They just don't have as much money as we do. They have Christmas trees, lights, and they usually have a dinner on Christmas. They eat tamales instead of ham and turkey. Well, we are having a lot of success in our area. We found 22 new investigators this week. We've been working really hard. Last week was really hard for us and we didn't have much success. But all the people that we contacted last week turned into to new investigators this week. It's like a miracle. I fasted to find new investigators and God provided. I´ve never found 22 investigators in a week in all my mission. We found a family of 7 the other day. They have a lot of potential. It's especially exciting for us due to the fact that they're all men. A worthy priesthood holder here in Honduras is really important because there are none. I think Elder Bothwell is going to be leaving the area soon. We have transfers on the 22nd. I sure am going to miss him. He's been a good companion. We had an activity as a district on Friday. We went caroling in our neighborhood. It was really effective. We found like 7 new investigators from the activity. We had a good time too. We're going to do it again this week. I'm going to sing and play the guitar for one of our missionary conferences this week. I'm really excited. I'm going to sing Noche de Luz. My zone leader is going to accompany on the piano. We're going to practice tomorrow! Well, I haven't received your package yet. I'm sure ill get it soon. Well, I miss you and I love you. Have an excellent week.

Email from Monday, 6 December 2010

Hey family. Well, we had a hard week. We made more contacts than there is sand on beach. My companion is getting stressed. He keeps getting these really bad headaches. We had to leave church early on Sunday because it got so bad. This transfer with Elder Bothwell has been a roller coaster. Well, I don't have any exciting news. We are still waiting to marry and baptize one of our investigators. He's still in Paraiso. Well, I love you all. OK, have a good week. Well, I love you all. You all will be in my prayers this week.

Email from Monday, 29 November 2010

Hello family. I love you all. My companion and I had a good Thanksgiving together. We ate turkey hot dogs and we played football with the camel that you sent me. I saw pictures of Kaitlyn and Nolan. They look so much different and I didn't even recognize them. I cant believe how much they have grown. Our house is really beautiful. God has really blessed us. I wish I was there for the party. We had a good week. We baptized 5 people this week. We thought we met our goal but one of our baptisms didn't go to church to get confirmed, but next week she's going to get confirmed. We really worked hard this month to reach our goal. We almost didn't baptized one. Her name is Eliadora. We have been teaching her for a month, and she hadn't gone to church because she was studying. So last week was her last week of school and she went to church, so we called she president to ask if we could baptize her with only one attendance, and he gave us permission on the condition that she would be baptized with her father. Her father isn't a member and he wasn't married so we planned a wedding in about a week so that they could get baptized this month. Her dad had already attended church like 4 or 5 times, so yeah, he went out of town for a month.. So he never showed up for his wedding, so we had to call the president again to get permission to baptize her without her father. So it was all kind of a hassle but she ended up getting baptized without her dad. We are going to baptize him next month. He´s going to return in December. Last month we baptized two families, and we are teaching some of the grandchildren of the one of the families. Their parents didn't want to give us permission to baptize them so we did a lot of praying, and on Thursday this week, the spirit really took over as we were talking to their parents about the baptism. I don't know how we did it, but we got permission to baptize them. We also have been teaching a girl named Cynthia. She´s really special. She´s the girl I wrote about in my previous letter. On the day of her baptism, it seemed like all hell was fighting against her so that she wouldn't´t get baptized. She is about 20 years old and she has a kid. She lives with her mom and I don't know what she heard about our church but she was punishing Cynthia and her daughter for getting baptized. So when we came over to take her to church to be interviewed and baptized she started crying and she really didn't feel ready to get baptized. So my companion and I told her that everything was going to be okay and we offered a prayer with her. She offered the prayer. After the prayer she felt better and decided to get baptized. The church is true, and Satan knows it's true, and I am completely convinced that he will do what ever it takes to put us off course. Even as member of this church we need to be careful. We never know what will come. This week has been exciting and very stressful. I'm glad it's over. We are really excited about this next month. Well, I love you all and I miss you all. Thanks for your letters and your love. Have a good week!

Email from Monday, 22 November 2010

Well, this week has been good. We should see some miracle this week. We have a goal of 5 baptisms this month and we haven't baptized anyone yet but we do have 5 people who are going to get baptized but we have a few situations that we need to resolve. We really need to get them resolved fast because this week is our last week of the month. We are going to marry a family this week and we don't have their birth certificates yet. We have to take their birth certificate from where they were born. The mom was born in another state here in Honduras and its not in our mission so we have to send other missionaries from the other mission to retrieve it, and the other baptism candidates that we have are kids and they need permission to get baptized and the mom has not given us permission yet because she hasn't seen a change in them. I had a really spiritual lesson the other day. We have been trying to get this girl baptized for like 2 months. In one of our lesion's I promised her if she would pray to know that she needs to get baptized that night after the lesson, she would receive an answer. The following day we visited her and she received an answer. We asked her if she prayed to know that she needs to get baptized. And her answer was yes, I prayed and I felt joy., a lot of joy and happiness. Then my companion asked her what that mean for her. And she told us that she should get baptized. The spirit really filled the room that night. It's an experience that I won't forget. God really does answer our prayers. I finished reading the Book of Mormon again. I love the Book of Mormon. I learn something new every time I read it. I was thinking about reading Doctrine and Covenants, but I decided to read the Book of Mormon again. I have also been studying a lot about the gifts of the Holy Ghost. We all have gifts and a way that we can know what gifts we have is by reading our patriachal blessing. Well, my companion and I are planning on celebrating Thanksgiving together. I think we are going to buy some turkey hot dogs and have us a little Thanksgiving dinner. I'm glad I'm with a gringo. We have a lot of fun together. Well, I miss you all and I love you.

Email from Monday, 15 November 2010

Well, I'm learning a lot about the gospel. We found someone to wash our clothes. It's heaven in my area. Well, this Sunday was good. One of our converts bore her testimony in church. It was powerful. Her kid also bore his testimony. It almost brought me to tears. I'm happy that you have decided to have Thanksgiving in our house. You'll have to send me pictures of the party. We are not going to have a Thanksgiving dinner here in Honduras. They don't celebrate the same holidays. Well, this week has been pretty normal. I don't have any good stories to tell you all. I love you all. Have a good week.

Email from Monday, 8 November 2010

Hey family. Thanks for your letters. I've had a good week. We are having success here. Elder Bothwell and I do not have transfers this month. I am excited! I love being with Elder Bothwell. He is a good missionary. He deserves to be the senior companion. Today we went bowling! It was so fun! I guess we did well last month so we got permission to go bowling. Well, I have a question for you and dad. How did you receive your testimonies? Oh, well, I am really enjoy the gospel right now. It's so true! I can't deny it! Joseph Smith was a prophet, the Book of Mormon is true! I love the Book of Mormon. I hope you are reading it. If not, I exhort you to read. Make it a daily activity. Every night before you go to bed, read from the Book of Mormon. You don't have to read much. Just a chapter or two. I usually read a chapter a day. Read a chapter a day to keep Satan away. Hehehe, ok, I love you all. I miss you all. I'm so grateful for the gospel in my life. I'm learning about life here on the mission. The people here are so poor. I wish I could do more for them. Well, I loooove each and everyone of you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Email from Monday, 1 November 2010

Hey family. Thanks for your letters. I really appreciate all the letters that you send me. They really help me. I am having a very good week. We baptized two families this week! They are amazing! I bought them scriptures today at the distribution center. The oldest daughter never decided to get baptized, but I know eventually she will get baptized. She went to the baptism on Saturday and she went to church on Sunday to see her parents and brother and sisters get confirmed. They are really special. The dad is going to receive the higher priesthood next Saturday. I'm really excited for this family. I hope I stay in this area for another transfer. I like it here. The members are really nice. We also found a really positive family yesterday. While we were teaching the mom was so interested and the dad as well. I can't wait to see them in the water. Our district reached its goal of 10 baptisms this month. I can't wait to see what we can do next month. We didn't reach our goal this month for baptisms in our area. We had a goal of 8. We only baptized 6. In our zone we only baptized 14. So half of the baptisms that our zone had, were in our district. Yeah, so I'm enjoying the mission right now. It's really fun when we have success. My companion is doing well. We didn't do anything for Halloween. We didn't know when Halloween was. So yeah, they don't celebrate Halloween here in Honduras. Some parts of Honduras celebrate it, but in my area Halloween is like an evil holiday when real demons come out and attack people. Well, sounds like you all had a good Halloween. I wish I could have been there. OK, I love you all. Have a good week.

Email from Monday, 25 October 2010

Hey family. Thanks for your letters. It's nice to hear from you all. I've had a good week. Well, I´m enjoying the mission. My companion is great. He likes to play soccer. I started using that book Adrienne sent me and I like it. It has really good ideas. We wash our clothes with a pila, and it always takes up a lot of time, so I was reading in the book and it has a few ideas about washing clothes, so I used the technique, and its amazing! I wash my clothes in a bucket instead of washing it by hand in the pila. Its much faster. So, my area is new to Tegucigalpa. It's about an hour away. It's a nice area. The members actually cook for us. I love it! I'm starting to gain weight. I'm not used to getting fed by the members. We are having success in our area. My companion and I don't speak very much English. I don't like English. I'm not used to speaking it. I gave a talk on Sunday. It went well. I didn't know I was going to give a talk. The bishop told me in the middle of the meeting and asked me to speak about something. So I decided to talk about repentance. I made a really good joke before I started my message. There are two Elder Smith´s in our ward, so I said that I was the original Elder Smith and that I was better looking. They all laughed. We should marry and baptize a family this week if everything turns out well. One of the missionaries in the office is managing our wedding and he hasn't taken out the birth certificate for the dad, and the office is closed right now because of strike, so my companion and I have been doing a lot of praying and fasting. I hope we can baptize them this month. Keep them in your prayers. Well, I love you all and I miss you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hey family. Thanks for your letters. Its nice to hear from you all. Well, I don't think they celebrate Halloween in Honduras. I'm with a gringo so we are definitely celebrating Halloween in our house after proselyting. Thanks for the package that you sent me. I really like the new tie and tie clip. I'm wearing the tie clip right now. It's really nice. I've been receiving a lot of complements from other missionaries about it. Thanks a lot. I really like the shirts too. I love you all so much. You are all amazing! This week has been good. We are going to marry another family this month. They are amazing. They practically teach themselves. They are really excited about their baptism and wedding. We gave them the rings that you sent me. They really like them. Well, I forgot to bring my camera with me today so I can't send you the pictures that I've been talking about. I'll make sure I bring the camera next week. I'm really enjoying my new area. We are having a lot of success. I really get along with my new companion. He is awesome. We are working well together. The Lord is truly blessing us with success for our obedience. Well, I don't know what else I can tell you. I love you and I miss you. You are always in my prayers.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hey family! Thanks for your letters. Sounds like everyone is doing just fine. This week has been amazing! We baptized a family! We didnt have baptism clothes for them the day of their baptism so I didn't get to baptize one of them because they had to borrow my clothes. I have pictures though! We are also teaching another family. They are golden! They are reading from the BOM, praying and going to church! The other day we taught about keeping the sabbath day holy and we told them that they needed to close their store in order to obey the commandment. So they totally did it! I was so very proud of them. They are going to be baptized this month on the 24th or the 30th. It depends because we need to get them married first. Well, this week is going really well. My new companions name is Elder Bothwell. His mom talks to you, Mom. He is a good missionary. I'm learning a lot from him. I'm going to send a picture of him and the baptisms as well. Well, I have not recieved your package yet but I'm sure I will get it soon. I don't have to wait like I did in the pueblos to recieve something. Well, I am really grateful for all the support that you all give. I really do love you all, AND i miss you. I'm so grateful that we are part of this gospel and that we were sealed in a temple of the Lord. I'm so very grateful you two made the decision to get married in the temple - it has changed my eternal life. I love you all more than you can imagine. I can't wait to see you all again. I will keep you all in my prayers. Have a good week.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hey everyone! Thanks for your letters! It's always nice to hear from you. Well, I really like my companion. He is a good missionary. He is ready to be a senior companion. I feel like the junior companion in the companionship, which is kind of funny. He is awesome. I am really going to enjoy this transfer. We have a lot in common. I really got lucky this transfer. He and his companion really worked hard last month. We are going to have a wedding and a baptism this next week. I am really excited and grateful for the success that the Lord has given us. I really enjoyed conference. I have made a few personal decisions that were inspired by conference. I have decided to read a chapter from the Book of Mormon ever day for the rest of my life. I have also decided that I am going to graduate from a 4 year college. I think I always had that in my mind but I'm really going to make it happen. The conference really helped me learn the importance of goals. This month we will have at least 4 baptisms. I am really excited. The Lord really does love me. I am completely convinced that the Lord loves me and he is always looking out for me. If we really examine our lives we can, discover all the love and blessings that God has granted us. Well, I'm going to have a year here pretty soon. I'm really excited. The first year of my mission is over and now it's time to put in to practice everything I've learned. Well, I'm in the city again. I'm not used to it. It's a lot different from the pueblos. The wards actually helps us. We teach more lessons with the members than other lessons. I am really grateful for my area and I'm even more grateful for the mall that we have in our area. I'm still teaching an English class in my new area. I don't know what to teach them without my English book. I need to get one soon. I'm going to ask the president for one. We have interviews next Friday. We have interviews every 3 months. I really like my district here. The only 2 Smiths in the mission are in the same district. The other Smith is really funny. He is really tall and goofy. He is the district leader.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Email from Monday, 27 September 2010

Hey everyone! Thanks for your letters. They are really appreciated. I love you all. I'm glad you had a good birthday. Well, it looks like I'm going to be with a gringo this month. I am being transferred to Tizatillo. It's in Tiloarque. I'm excited. It will give me a chance to practice my English. Its not that good right now. I am not going to participate in the talent show. Its prohibited. Our mission is very obedient. Today I'm in Tegucigalpa. I had to get my residence card. It looks like I'm a catracho. Wow, I didn't know I had a problem with motion sickness. I vomited on the way here today. I've never done that before. I had to vomit in a bag in front of everyone on the bus. It was really embarrassing. I hope that doesn't happen on the way home. It's a 3 hour ride home. I'm using a computer right now in Home Depot. It's so weird being in an American store. I feel like I'm back at home. Well, this week we baptised Alex. He is really good kid. I confirmed him a member of the church and I gave him the Holy Ghost Sunday. Before his baptism we asked him to pray to know that the Book of Mormon is true and he received an answer. He had a dream that he was going to go on a mission. In the confirmation I was inspired to tell that he is going to go on a mission. I think he can go on a mission. He is a little slow and he doesn't walk well but I think he can serve a mission for the temple or something like that. Well, I love you all, and I miss you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hey family. Sounds like all is well. I can't believe you found Padmay. I miss that little kitty. The cats here are not as nice as ours. I'm sure Ryan Mathews will make a few mores errors in his carrier. I can't wait to see him play. Well, this week has been a good week. Oh, let Ashley know that I love her and I miss her. Oh, and let her know I said happy birthday. I can't believe she is 20. She is getting so old. Happy birthday, mom! I can't believe you are going to see "The Phantom of the Opera." Wow, I bet those tickets cost an arm and a leg. You'll have to let me know how it went. I've always wanted to see a live opera. Well, this week has been good. We have a baptism this Saturday. I'm excited. My convert here in Jesus de Otoro is really progressing. He is going to receive a calling really soon. I think the president is going to call him as the secretary. He is a good guy. I love that family. He is going to baptize his little girl in December. Well, we should have transfers next week. I don't want to leave the area. I like it here, but I think its my time. I have 8 months in the Siguetepeque zone. But you never know. I could stay here another 2 months. Well, this week has been good. I love you all. Have a good week. Enjoy your birtdays!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Email from Monday, 13 September 2010

Hello everyone! I cant believe you all had a party without me! Well, it sounds like it was a successful party. I am doing just fine here in Honduras. We saw several miracles this week. Someone who was investigating the church for almost a year now got baptized Saturday, and I also learned the meaning of sacrifice on Sunday. We have an investigator who walks about an hour and a half to go to church. I made the trip to his house Sunday and boy was I tired. He can barely walk. He has a problem with his leg, and he has attended church 2 times. He has a baptism date for the 25th of this month. We also found an older lady who dreamed of being baptized in the church of Jesus Christ 3 times! She has a baptism date for the 25th as well. This week was really interesting. We were in a trio. I was with my old companion. I don't like being in a trio. Well, to answer your question about if I do service here - We did a service project at a school here in Jesus De Otoro on Wednesday. We painted a library. It was a lot of fun. Is it normal to put gasoline in the paint? They do things differently around here. We also helped a member clean his yard. This month we are going to have a talent show at church. I am going to play the guitar. I'm going to sing "Soy un Hijo de Dios." I'm excited! We don't have activities like you all have in the United States. There isn't enough money here in Jesus de Otoro to do those kinds of activities. Well, my English class is not going so well. I don't have very many students. I think we need to promote the class better, but while I was teaching the other day I really started to enjoy it. I think I want to be a teacher. Well, thanks for everything. I love you all. You all are always in my prayers.

Email from Monday, 6 September 2010

Hey family. Thanks for the pictures. I miss those animals. The animals here are so much different. They're not as clean so I cant play with them. Well, this week has been good. I scheduled a baptism date for the other missionaries that live in our house. We can't teach the person that I found because she isn't in our area. She is going to be baptized on the 25th of this month. This upcoming week I will be in a trio. One of the missionaries from our house has to go to Tegucigalpa for a week because they are having a special training for the leaders. I will be with my old companion and the companion that I am currently with. I pray for you all every night before I go to bed. I hope you all are doing the same. On Sunday, my recent convert received the priesthood. I am really excited for him. The president wants to give him a calling soon. I think he is going to be our mission leader. I'm not sure. They are doing really well. They are progressing in the church. I hope that he passes the sacrament next Sunday. That would be really cool for me. I'm sure he will. Well, I miss you all and I hope the best for you all. Thanks for everything that you all are doing right now. It really means a lot to me. This mission has really changed my life.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Email from Monday, 30 August 2010

Hey everyone. I have had a wonderful week. We married, baptized, and confirmed a family this week. I married someone before I got myself married. How funny is that? Thanks for the advice that you gave me about the mosquitos. The mission has given us bug repellent, and a mosquito net. I put the bug repellent on everyday. Its a commandment here on the mission. I'm happy to hear you have experienced dancers in your class. I'm glad you do not have to dumb it down, hehe. I have to do that for my English class. I understand your situation. The only way to fix the problem if there are student on different levels is to separate them into groups. That seems to be working in our class. Well, we recently got new students in our English class. One of them can speak English fairly well. She still needs a lot of practice. Well, this month has been really good. For the first time on my mission I achieved my companionship goal for baptisms. Our zone also achieved its goal for baptisms. We are very excited. Today we are going to go out to eat. Hopefully we aren't too late. We are suppose to meet at the restaurant at 1 and its 12:50. I always new Ryan Mathews would play for the NFL. I said that from the beginning. He is a good football player. Well, I heard something the other day that I would like to share with dad. If we miss a meal through out the day. What usually happens? We get hungry, right? Its the same with church. If you miss a class, you will go through the week spiritually hungry. You have to attend all of the classes. If you really pay attention to what's being taught I promise you, you will be uplifted and the Holy Ghost will teach you new truth that you never knew. As much as those programs that you watch are entertaining, they are not truths. If you want to know what a truth is read Jacob 4:13. OK, I love you all. I really do miss you. It sounds like everything is going well. Well, I love you all. Have a good week. Stay out of trouble and don't lose anymore cats.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Email from Monday, 23 August 2010

Hey family! Well, sounds like you all had a very good week. Thanks for the pictures that you sent me. It's nice to see you all. Well, this week has been successful. We baptized a younger kid this week. We also had transfers. I'm with Elder Medina. He is from Honduras. He is a good missionary. I'm kind of glad we have the change. It's a lot pressure having to train another missionary. Elder Medina has about 6 months in the mission, so I don't have to tell him what to do as I had to with Elder Coronado. I went on a companionship exchange this week. I went with a gringo. It was a lot of fun. His name is Elder Thomson. He is a good missionary. We talk English the whole time we were together. Our zone is really excited right now. We are going to set a record. Siguetepeque has never baptized more than 15 people in a month. We should pass that this month. I'm super excited. We are going to baptize 5 in my area this month. We are going to marry a family this next Friday and we are going to baptize them on Saturday! I'm sooooo excited!!!! The Lord is really working a miracle in our area. 4 of our baptism dates fell. The parents don't want to give permission to their kids to get baptized. We are going to keep on trying to get permission. If we can permission we will have 7 baptisms this month. That would be amazing, right!! We'll see what happens. I know if we have faith, anything is possible. It sounds like a lot has changed since I left. I really feel out of the loop, but I'm really enjoying the mission. I have never been so close to the Lord. I think it's a good thing that I feel out of the loop. I guess that means my mind is on something else more important. Yeah, I'm still teaching the English class. I couldn't teach the English class last Saturday because we hade companionship exchanges. Well, I have to get going. I love you all. I miss you.

Email from Monday, 16 August 2010

Hey everyone! Thanks for sending me those photos. Our back yard looks really nice. I can't wait to go swimming in the pool. This week has been really good. I learned a lot about faith this week. I'm really starting to understand what that word means. We have monthly baptism goals, and we have really been working hard towards our goal of 4 baptisms this month. I know we will reach our goal if we have faith and manifest our faith. We have 5 baptism dates lined up, and we have another that is pending. We have a family that we have been teaching and we finally were able to take out their birth certificates this week. The office had been closed for about 3 to 4 weeks, and we couldn't take out their birth certificates from another city, so we have the possibility to marry and baptize them this month. We are really working hard to get it all figured out. We will have to get them married in another city so that they can get married this month because here in Jesus de Otoro we have to wait 15 days. I'm sure really excited. All month we have been teaching them. They are really special. This will be the first family I have ever baptized here on the mission! We couldn't baptize the kid this Saturday. He drank coffee the day before his baptism. We are going to baptize him this Saturday. It's for sure. We bought him oatmeal to eat instead of coffee in the morning. He told us the other day that he hadn't drunken any coffee so I'm 100% positive he will be baptized this Saturday. I'm really learning a lot here in Honduras. I'm so glad I decided to serve a mission. This is the best thing I ever did. My companion from the MTC Elder Lloyd gave his very last testimony in a conference. He will be leaving in September. How strange, right? I saw his first testimony at the MTC and his last in Honduras. It was a really special moment for me. It made me realize how important the Atonement is to me. I don't truly know if I understand it. Its a subject I will have to study for the rest of my life. Well, we will find out today if we have transfers. I don't think we will be transferred this month. It would be odd if we got transferred. Well, you never know. Life is like a box of chocolates. My companion really wants to leave the area. He really isn't enjoying the mission right now. I try to help him but its difficult for him. He misses home. Well, I think I felt the same way my first few months on the mission. Well, I love you all. Thanks for everything.

Email from Monday, 9 August 2010

Hello family! Sounds like everyone had a successful week. I'm glad to hear your talks went well. This week has been a successful week for us as well. I'm really enjoying the mission. My companion is a little homesick but I've been trying to help him get over it. He is a funny guy. My Spanish is really coming along. I speak fairly well. I keep improving everyday. I study everyday. Ive been learning how to speak in a different form. There are two forms that I am learning. One is called the Tu and the other is called the Vosotros form. I can really speak well in the vosotros form. Vosotros is an older type of Spanish. The scriptures were written in vosotros. I like to speak in vosotros. Its fun. I don't speak so well in tu. I probably speak better in vosotros form because I read the scriptures all day. Well, we should have transfers next week. I think we are going to remain in the area. I hope I stay in the area. We are going to have success here. Yeah, the area that I am in does not have normal roads. They are dirt roads. We are always dirty in Jesus de Otoro. I think it's fun. My companion thinks otherwise. I try to stay clean but it's impossible here. We found someone that can cook for us. She started cooking last week. Her food is really good, so you all don't have to send me more food. We have to pay 30 limpiras every plate. It's worth it. We are going to baptize a little kid this Saturday. He doesn't know how to read very well, so we have been teaching him how to read every Saturday. He is really excited for the baptism. We are going to have a member baptize him. I am also teaching English every Saturday. It's actually really difficult because everyone is on different levels. So I decided this week that I'm going to actually prepare for the class on Saturday. I really don't have much time to prepare but I'm going to try to find time. Teaching is a lot harder than it looks. I can speak English, but I really don't know how to teach it. We have a book that we have been using, but it really doesn't explain how to present the material to the class. I was talking to a teacher the other day, and I told him that I teach an English class on Saturdays and he offered me a job at his school. How funny, right? Well, Thanks for your letters. I love you all. If you all want to send me a package, I would like shirts. I don't have very many clean shirts.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hola familia! How's everyone doing? I'm doing just fine. I finally received the package that you sent me. It is the most beautiful thing I have seen. Thanks. Well, this week has been good. I confirmed someone a member of the church and I gave him the Holy Ghost. I really liked that. I have had a good week. I'm really enjoying the mission. My companion is doing just fine. We should have a baptism this Saturday. I'm not too sure though. We'll find out. Sounds like everything is just fine in Bakersfield. I fasted for the family yesterday. I fasted that dad would find work, and it sounds like he did. What a miracle, right? Sometimes we take those little miracles for granted. Well, you guys are going to be famous here in Honduras. Every time I find a new investigator I like to show them pictures of you guys. It really helps build trust between us. I also like to show the pictures of the kitties. They always get a good laugh from those kitties. They always tell me that the kitties look like dogs. I should probably tell them that they act like dogs as well. I don't think I have ever seen a cat swim! Well, the mission is great. I have not sent the camera chip. I forgot to do that. Sorry. I'll do it as soon as I see the zone leaders. Being a trainer is a lot like being a dad. I think that's why they call trainers dads here on the mission. It's actually really difficult. Everything I do he copies. It really makes me nervous. I hope I am doing a good job. I'm learning to be really patient. I really regret being such a brat to you all. Hopefully, these experiences will help me in the future when I have a family of my own. Well, I love you all very much and I miss you all. You are all in my prayers. Thanks again for the package.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Email from Monday, 26 July 2010

Hey family! How is everyone? I'm sure you're all fine. I miss you all. This week has been good. We had a baptism Saturday, but they didn't show up on Sunday to receive the Holy Ghost. We baptized two teenagers. They are really excited about the church. They go to all the activities and they love to read the Book of Mormon. Their parents aren't as excited about the church. They wanted to be baptized but they don't want to do their part. They haven't attended church yet. I even offered them spaghetti if they went to church, but they never went. We want to baptized the whole family but their attendance is somewhat of a problem. The funniest thing happened this week. We found a family 2 weeks ago and we began teaching. On our 3rd visit we asked the mom to be baptized on the 31st of this month. Little did we know, she was already baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! Oh funny right!? She has been inactive for 4 years now and she finally went to church the week before we asked her to be re-baptized. Well, whats even more strange about what happened is that she has children that haven't been baptized, so we are going to baptize her little boy on the 7th of next month. He doesn't know how to read so we offered to teach him to read. We started teaching an English class every Saturday, and I asked my companion and the other missionary who lives with us to teach him to read. How weird right, sometimes the Lord works through us in mysterious ways. I can't believe we tried to baptize a member. Well, we have an amazing family that we are teaching right now. They are going to get married next month on the 7th or the 14th. I'm not too sure because we have to wait 15 days for their marriage document to be processed. They are totally loving the gospel. The father barely reads but he always reads the chapters that we assigned him. I am really excited for them. We also found a new investigator this week. He is really positive. His father died a while ago and we taught him the plan of salvation and he really enjoyed the lesson. The spirit really testified through us. We asked him to be baptized and he accepted. Now all we are missing is his attendance. Well, thanks for all of your letters. Thanks for the socks as well. I cant wait to get them. I'm even more excited for the junk food that you sent me! OK, thanks for everything. I love you all.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Email from Monday, 19 July 2010

Hey family! My new companion is learning quickly. The first week was a little difficult but it's getting a lot better. I had to teach all of the lessons, plan, contact, and fill out the area book. I pretty much had to do everything. He is a good missionary. I'm learning a lot. We are going to marry a family next month. I'm way excited. This will be my first family that I'm going to baptize! We are going to baptize 2 teenagers this Saturday. They are really excited about their baptisms. I'm excited for them. This will be my first baptism as a senior companion. This Sunday, we had 5 investigators attend church. It really gets my blood pumping when we have a lot of investigators attend church. I want everything to go perfectly so that they can enjoy their experience. I gave a talk last Sunday in church. I talked about missionary work. I have to teach the class for the investigators next week. I'm excited! I read in the Book of Mormon the other day that if we search for the kingdom of God first, God will provide for us. I know things will get better if you humble yourself before the Lord. I'm going to send my memory card for my pictures this week. I'm going to mail it in an envelope. I hope it gets to you all. I'm also going to send you all the letter that the president of the mission gave me because I am a trainer. Well, I miss you all, and I hope everything is going well.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Email from Monday, 12 July 2010

Hello everyone! Sounds like everyone is doing just fine. I haven't had a chance to do a baptism in a river yet. They used to do baptisms in the river here in Jesus De Otoro, but now we have a baptismal font. This week has been amazing! I am the senor companion. I am training a new missionary. His name is Elder Coronado. He is from Guatemala. He really looks up to me. I really have to be on my best behavior. I have to be perfect! We are learning a lot together. I am directing the area and it has been really interesting. It's really weird not being the junior companion. I have to make a lot of decisions, and sometimes it's really hard. I am really enjoying it though. My Spanish is getting so much better. I feel like it's doubled in just one week. The Lord is truly working through me. I could never do these things with out the Lord. We had 5 investigators attended church this WEEK! I couldn't believe it. We are trying to Baptiste a 35 year old man, but its been kind of difficult. His companion lives in Spain and she might be returning from Spain. He wants to be baptized but he is afraid if he gets baptized, she might return and he might sin, so he is going to talk to his companion in Spain and ask her if she wants to get married. It's kind of an interesting situation. I hope he gets baptized. We have two baptism dates right now. The other baptism never happened. Two of them moved away and the other doesn't want to listen to us, so we only have 2 baptism dates right now. We are probably going to marry a family next month. We will see what happens. They should be a baptismal date for next month. OK, I love you all, and I miss you. Keep me in your prayers.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Well, this week has been good. We have transfers this week. I think I might be a district leader for my area. I'm not too sure. I'll let you know next week. We will see what happens. I've been reading a lot about humility. Humility is a difficult attribute to acquire. If we are humble, we are willing to submit to the commandments. We also are confident that whatever the Lord wants us to do we can accomplish if we rely on our Savior. Our confidence should never be in ourselves but in the Lord. He is all powerful. If we rely on him, we can accomplish anything. The opposite of humility is pride. Pride is a serious problem. If we are prideful, we cannot progress. It is a stumbling block. Thinking we are better than others and glorifying things that we own are all signs of pride. Sometimes its hard to see pride in ourselves because we are prideful, and as soon as we think we're humble, we fail to be humble. The only way to overcome our pride is to submit to the Father and realize how weak we truly are. I have to give a talk next Sunday. I don't know the subject yet. We didn't have a class for the investigators, so we started teaching a class for the investigators last Sunday. Our branch is really starting to progress. We started an activity every Saturday. We share a message, play games,and we usually eat a little snack. When we first started it, no one helped us. We shared the message, we did the games, and bought all the snacks. This week the branch started doing the activity with out us!!!! We assigned people to take care of the activity, and it has worked! The branch is actually starting to look like a branch! The first week I got here we created a plan for a member that was addicted to alcohol. I've been here for about a month now and he hasn't relapsed. I'm way excited for him. The other Sunday he paid his tithing! He is doing really well. He started leaving with us to teach. He is way awesome. I don't remember if I told you this, but we had a baptism last Saturday. We baptized a 14 year old girl. He father really didn't want her to get baptized because he thinks she doesn't understand what we are teaching her. About a week before her baptism, we taught a beautiful lesson on faith and how we don't need to understand everything to have faith in god. It really changed his mind about the whole thing, so she ended up getting baptised. The spirit is really important in this work. We had no idea what to teach that man. We were sitting there in silence for about 3 minutes, and all of a sudden the Spirit told us what to teach and what to say. I could never do this work with out the spirit. Well, I hope everyone had a nice 4th of July. I love you all. I hope all is well.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hey mom and dad! Thanks for your letters. I really like the pictures. I don't really recognize dad's family. Its been a while. They look so much more mature, especially Alley. I wish I could have been there. I really miss the temple. I can't wait to be able to attend the temple again. It will be so much different. I'm happy that you all had a good week. I'm even happier that Ashley wants to be eligible to enter the temple. I hope her words are as strong as her actions. She is a very special girl. Don't ever give up hope. It sounds like dad is having a rough time. Don't worry, Dad. The Lord is your friend. Talk to him. Pray to him more than you have ever prayed before. Put your confidence in him. If we put our confidence in him, he can lift us up. He loves you, Dad, and he is waiting to hear and answer your prayers. I have had a good week. We had a baptism last Saturday. We baptized a 14 year old girl. It was a good baptism. We had a few investigators show up for the baptism. We are actually having some success here in Jesus de Otoro. I'm excited for the upcoming months. We should baptize about 6 people. Time is really flying here in Honduras. I'm really enjoying being a missionary. My area is nice but there isn't any food. We are teaching a family. They are amazing! They always want us to teach them. The dad doesn't want to get married. The other day I brought it up and I don't think he liked the idea. We could baptize the children but we want to baptize the family. The children are more interested. They all ways have questions and they love to read the Book of Mormon. Well, this week I have been studying and meditating about the Atonement. I don't understand the Atonement all that well. I know it is important and I know through it I can repent of my sins, but I have a question and I was hoping you guys could answer it for me. Why did Jesus Christ have to suffer? Well, I want to share my testimony with you guys. I know God loves us. I know that through Jesus Christ we can be clean of our sins. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know with all my heart that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Joseph translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I know that Thomas Spencer Monson is a prophet. I know that I am a missionary for Jesus Christ, and I know God is my friend. OK, I should get going. I love you all so very much. You are all in my prayers.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Email from Monday, 21 June 2010

Hey family, thanks for the letters. Sounds like you're all having a good time. Thanks for the picture of you all. Dad is a mad man. I can't believe he climbed down off that cliff. I wish I could have been there with you all. Grandpa's family looks good. They look different, but good. What happened to my old car? Are you going to repair it? I would like to have something to use after my mission. My week has been okay. We haven't had much success. Most of the baptism dates we had have been canceled. We only have one person who wants to get baptized, but she is having trouble with the word of wisdom. She can't stop drinking coffee, and we can't baptize her until she stopped drinking coffee. She had an interview last Friday but she didn't pass because she drank coffee. Her family is really funny. Her brother reminds me of George of the Jungle. He likes to run around naked and he fears nothing. The other day he kicked a bull. I couldn't believe it. He is about 5 or 6 years old. Her other brother is really funny as well. While we were teaching a lesson about the restoration, he all of sudden looked at me after I finished speaking and he said "¡Es un gringo!" It was really funny. I don't think they understand the message, but at least they're somewhat willing to listen. Our attendance at church has been low. Only 60 members showed up for church last Sunday. We brought a new investigator to church which made up for the attendance. She seems interested. They are a family of 5. We need to get them married before we can baptize them, but we asked them to be baptized and they accepted. Now we have to seal the deal. There isn't much to eat here in Jesus de Otoro. The members are really poor, so we have to eat at restaurants a lot. I really like this food called baleadas. They are amazing! It is tortilla, beans, eggs, and cheese. They put some sort of cream in it as well. Its called mantequilla. The food here in Honduras is actually descent. Contacting has been kind of tough lately. Everyone is watching the world cup. I guess the United States is doing really well right now. You guys should watch it. Honduras is playing today. They told us not to go to the restaurants because we are not allowed to watch the world cup and the president doesn't want to hear our confessions if we do watch it. They really like soccer here. If Honduras loses, I don't think we'll have much success this week. Everyone will be really sad. I have to go now. OK, I love you all, and I miss you! Thanks for your support.