Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Little by little

This week has been better than past weeks.. I am learning more Spanish little by little. This week I was able to baptize my first person ever! Her name is Meli Velasquez. I think I have talked about her before but she has had a very hard life. She is divorced, one of her sons was killed by the cartel, and she lives with 3 of her sons who are lazy and she does all of their cooking and cleaning. They are around 30 I think. She has a very strong testimony of the church.
We found her at a pulperia or a little street store. She came up to us and started talking about how dirty Honduras is. She is a little bit crazy. Our lessons would go over about 30 minutes more than usual every time because we could stop her from telling stories and ranting. She is very humble and is a great example to me.

This past week we were searching for her and we couldn't find her. We went to her house, the house she works at, and at her friends house. when we got to her friends house, we saw her inside, but when the owner asked if she wanted to talk to us she shook her head. We were sure we had lost her as an investigator. We let a few days pass. at 8:30 on Friday night, the night before her baptism, we had just finished a lesson near her house. I had the feeling we should go see if she was home, even though we had scheduled an appointment with a less active member. We rescheduled with the less active member and walked to Meli's house instead. It was like clockwork. I think the spirit told us to go there because we caught her in the street walking back from work. She explained to us that she wasn't at her house because she had been avoiding her son that she is fighting with and she said that she didn't want to talk to us before because she was very emotional. Luckily, she was still excited for her baptism. she has a very strong testimony of the church and I was so thankful to have the opportunity to baptize her. 
This morning we took a long hike to the Coca Cola mountains. The mountains are so green but almost like a rainforest. Super hot and humid and bugs EVERYWHERE. 
This place is growing on me but still has many customs that I am not used to. I think it is part of the culture to be rude. But it is nice to find the people that are willing to help us as missionaries. 
Have a great week everyone! I miss family and football but this week made it feel like it is worth it.

Elder Dowell

Friday, June 5, 2015

June 1st update

Dad note**
I have been a little selfish the past few weeks keeping Chandler's letters to myself.  Here is a compilation of a couple of his weekly updates.

We have one investigator that truly wants to be baptized. Her name is Meli and she is about 60 years old. One of her sons was killed by one of the drug cartels in 2003. She has many long stories that I don't understand. I think I will get to baptize her though so I am thankful for that opportunity. If she goes to church this next week she will be able to get baptized on June 6th.
We had a lesson with her this week on Saturday. I was so frustrated sitting in the meeting because my companion talked the entire hour. He only gave me time to bare my testimony. This frustrated me, but it made me even more frustrated that I couldn't think of anything to say! I wondered deeply of why Heavenly Father wanted me to come here, when He knows that I could so much easier teach people in English. I often feel like I would be a much better missionary if I were in an English speaking mission. 
After the lesson, my companion could tell how frustrated I was. He really is a cool dude but he bugs me sometimes. We went to a pulpuria or a little store after to get eggs. I asked the lady, tiene juevos? which I thought meant do you have eggs? but it really means, do you have balls? she said something smart to me and everyone started laughing. I was so so upset. I know it was funny looking back but I am still so upset that I feel like I cant communicate in a way that is normal for me.
Elder Lorenzana is a good guy. He always is willing to talk about the things that frustrate me. He has brought a lot of comfort to me. He is very knowledgeable of the scriptures and has a scripture for just about everything. I want to be like him in that way. He is super tight about the rules. its Pday today and we are wearing our church clothes because we didn't play soccer today. Last night I wanted to hurry and plan for the next day so we could take off our stupid clothes. He gave me a lecture on what the white shirt symbolizes and how I need to love wearing church clothes. I gave him the silent treatment after that one. ha ha I will wear these clothes but don't tell me to love them! ha ha 
Also his dad was a mission president in Guatemala so he lived in Guatemala for a while too, i think since he was 13.
Another investigator of ours, Mark Williams doesn't answer our calls or answer the door at his house so that is frustrating too. We really only have Meli as an investigator that is ready for baptism. Other than that we don't have many people to teach and that is frustrating. But I am pretty sure every missionary that ever lived has had that problem. 
A good thing that happened this week is we have been inviting a 21 year old less active member to go with us to lessons. He is super funny and has become our friend these last few weeks. Yesterday he told us that he was going to go on a mission! I thought that was awesome. He said he wanted to be like me because I talk to everyone, even though I dont know spanish haha.
That was nice of him to say.
I love and miss you all and the comforts of home! 

Elder Dowell

This week was a trial. It was super hot all week and we walked a lot, but there were many blessings that I often don't see until I am writing them.
We visited a different area because we were invited for dinner by some members. The ride to the colonia named Zapotal was amazing. The area I am in is the city of San Pedro Sula, but Zapotal is more on the outskirts and so it was full of green trees and a small little river. The first thing we saw when we got there was a horse that dislocated his knee. That image will be forever burned into my mind. It couldn't walk because the bones of its knee were literally separated and its leg was dangling. I felt so bad. It seemed pretty normal to everyone around though. 

One last match with Elder Merlos
 Meli, our investigator that is getting baptized on June 6th, was in the gospel principles class. she started crying because we were talking about repentance, and she felt so bad because she still has hate for the gang members that killed her son in 2003. We will meet with her this week to explain more about forgiving others, but what was funny was after she was done crying, she started laughing and told everyone in the class that she loves it when she sees gang members die or get arrested on the news. Not something that everyone would say in a gospel principles class but she is sincere. 

 Honduran Netflix

The heat got turned up a little bit and so did my temper! I find myself so much more frustrated than usual, both because of the heat and Spanish. Everyone speaks so fast that I often have a really hard time understanding. I'm guessing everyone that has ever learned Spanish has had this problem so I really need to get better at being patient. that is probably my worst quality as a person is patience. I am thankful that Heavenly Father is showing me my weaknesses.
I love you all so much and I think of you too. Have a great week!

Elder Dowell