Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas Preparations

This week has been a good week because it is finally starting to cool down!! I don't think I will ever need a sweater, but it is perfect t-shirt weather. As it is getting close to Christmas, everyone has started preparing with their trees and food! There are many nice people and they sometimes just come up and give us tamales or baleadas. As we are contacting people for Christmas, there are some that do it for the right reasons, but when we ask them what the reason is for celebrating Christmas, there are not many that know that the true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate Jesus! The people celebrate by throwing little fireworks and more than anything, by drinking. it is a bit redundant, but I suppose it is the Honduran culture. 
We have even ran into people that do not celebrate Christmas. When we ask them if the believe in Jesus Christ they say yes of course! One lady specifically told us that it is a sin to celebrate Christmas because it is not in the bible. We were shocked, but she said that nobody in her church celebrates Christmas because that is what their pastor taught them. I asked her if she thinks its OK that we celebrate Christmas. she said no. Then I asked if it is okay if we celebrate Jesus Christ every day. She said yes. Then I asked if it were ok if Christmas was everyday, and she said yes! I think we just have to make it a little more clear for them what Christmas really is.
Although they do not celebrate Thanksgiving, we invited the other elders, elder Navarro (from Panama) and elder Chapeton (from Guatemala and my first Zone leader) to eat with us at Bettys. We go to a restaurant called Bettys because they have giant baleadas and hamburgers too! We had a little thanksgiving dinner with them. To them it was a normal meal but for Elder Markus and I it meant alot! 
We have also been teaching a few younger guys. one kid that is 18 and one that is 16. Elder Markus and I noticed how when people are young it is easier to teach them. I think its because they havent quite figured out what they want in life. We meet with the 18 year old and his family too. We visited them with a very helpful sister in our ward, she is almost like our mom in the mission because she gives us food and sometimes visits investigators with us. Her son is serving in Nicaragua. But we went to visit Juan and his family and we taught them the plan of salvation. I could tell the spirit was there. We explained it, and the sister testified of the plan and it was very powerful. It is better to have a member of the church there to help us, and to testify of what we are teaching. 
This week until the 13th there is a fair in town and so El Centro, the main part of our area, is packed with people from out of town. It is awesome! They sell stuff for super cheap and there are tons of people for us to talk to. This week we have plans to have lessons with lots of members, and to contact many people that are in our area for the fair.
I hope you all have a great week, I love and miss you!

Elder Dowell

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Children of Honduras

Hello everyone!

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions as we prepared a little girl for baptism, and had many ups and downs of the week.

I will start with the baptism. The girl we baptized asked my companion, Elder Melgar to do the service. The members of the branch really didn’t help us out to much. When we called to ask for people that could speak or give their testimony at the service, they acted like it was such a huge burden, so we had to call a few before we could convince someone to do it. The service was held after church yesterday. We lost the agenda for the service and nobody seemed to care so I put together the schedule again on a piece of paper.

I was also able to teach the Gospel Principles class this week! The thing is, I love to teach the class, and the only problem is that I am not too good at it. I prepared the message and it felt like nobody understood me! I would usually get angry but this time I decided to stay calm and think of a few ways to better my teaching. But part of the reason it was not too great was because yesterday in the street a guy came up and started talking nonsense to us. I thought he was drunk, so I invited him to church, not thinking much of it. Well, he actually came! But it turned out that he was mentally challenged and kept trying to talk over me in the class, it was super disruptive, but one of the other missionaries helped him out.

As far as statistics go, our week was not a bad week. We had many new people to visit with. One in particular was a lady that we had visited before. We contacted her a few weeks ago and she didn’t seem too interested. We were walking down her street when my comp wanted to contact her. I had little faith and said that she didn’t want anything. My comp pointed out that we had nothing to do, and we knocked and she let us in. I was spiritually slapped in the face because it was one of the best lessons I have ever had! She had many questions about the plan of salvation, and she even told us that she was very interested in our message and she didn’t know why. We explained that this was the spirit, it was a great opportunity to teach of the Plan that Heavenly Father has for us.

The best story that I have for this week is one of my favorites of the whole mission so far.

Elder Melgar and I were on our way to a visit with a member when we saw the cutest little girl sitting on the porch steps outside of her humble Honduran house. She was light skinned, and had her hair all done up to go out somewhere with her mom. She had some cute little flip flops and big eyes. she was even eating a giant thing of pink cotton candy. It was one of the cutest things I have ever seen. I pointed out this scene to Elder Melgar and he agreed that this little 4 year old girl was cute, so when we got close to her we both waved, and smiled at her like a mom smiles at a baby. Hoping for a cute little wave back. we were not so warmly welcomed with a middle finger from this 3-4 year old girl. I just about died from laughing. This might help describe the people that we teach each day. We walked by the same street later in the week and she flipped us off again. A little more expected but equally as funny.

I hope you all have a great week this week and my stories can lift your mood a bit!

I love and miss you all!


Elder Dowell

The "average" Honduran Bus