Wednesday, September 18, 2013

¡Hola from Honduras!

All the New Missionaries from 3 different MTC's
With Presidente and Hermana Klein

Well familia and friends, here I am! I´m writing to you from my very first Internet cafe here in Honduras. It is crazy to be here finally. I still am in shock. Since today was "cambios" (which means changes - where we get new companions and go to new areas) today is our P-day for the week. Usually P-days will be on MONDAYS but every 6 weeks it will be on Wednesdays  I didn´t realize we were coming here to email yet, so I forgot my little post-it that has all the lovely things I wanted to write to you about... So I will try to remember! If I forget I will write more Monday.

Me - Barney - Despain - Hna Powell
With Hno Montes
Last picture with my District

First, I´ll talk about the end of my time at the CCM. It was very bittersweet! I LOVE all the people that I was able to meet and learn and grow with. I´ve said it before, but this work truly does knit together hearts. The hardest goodbyes were my teachers, Hno Montes and Hna Powell, my district, and mis compañeras! Hermana Barney is now is Provo, Utah, and most of the other members of my district our back in various places in the states. (except for Hna Despain, E. Grigg and I). 

With CCM Mission President and wife
We ended our week on a great note! It was Mexico´s Independence day on Sunday, so on Saturday night we had a fiesta! They invited some of the youth from the area to put on a show for us in the gym. Everyone was being so loud and rowdy - my thought were "are we allowed to have this much fun??" haha I was expecting the mission pres to stop us any moment but he was laughing and smiling with us. 

Lots of Flaco Dancers and singing, even indoor fireworks! That was unexpected. The food was also very traditional. We had what is called pozole - a soup that has pork, hominy , lettuce, limones, chile, and other goods. It was yummy! I took a picture. 

Pozole - Yummy!

Then on Sunday night, we participated in the nationwide GRITO. It was broadcast to the CCM aty 11:00pm (shock.... gasp.... we were allowed to be awake at that time!!!) The president of Mexico says viva so and so, viva this, viva that, and then after everytime we yell VIVA and at the end everyone yells VIVA MEXICO! It was awesome. It made me wish that America was that patriotic. We watched a movie called "Mexico en sus sentidos" Look it up on Youtube, it was cool :)

On my way......

The plane ride here was uneventful - me and hna Despain sat next to each other. That morning trying to check in was a little hectic though! Hna Despain had lost her Visa! She was looking everywhere for it at the baggage check but couldn´t find it. I was helping her dig through her bags but to no avail. As I was kneeling by her bag, right there in the airport, I said a prayer that we could find it. After we walked over to immigration, i started looking in her bags again - and there it was! It saved us loads of time, stress, and dinero.... and that Hna Despain didn´t get stuck in Mexico for forever... haha I love these little experiences that seem so small and insignificant, but really testify that Heavenly Father watches out for us and hears our prayers! 

First look at Honduras, San Pedro Sula Airport

First impression of Honduras - GREEN!!! So luscious and green. We landed in the San Pedro Sula airport and I was expecting a bigger airport, but it was tiny. Pres Klein and his wife as well as some missionaries were there to pick us up and take us to a stake center. I also thought that the city would be a little bigger but the only areas I have seen are pretty rural. I love it :) Lots of dirt roads, lots of people walking in the streets, and mucho español... haha It is HOT and HUMID.... mucho humida! The second you walk outside you are sweating buckets. The first day we had lots of orientation (mostly all in Spanish ..) The president also pulled the 3 gringas aside to have a special meeting about safety. Since we are rubias, we stand out!! And not in a good way. We attract a lot of unwanted attention and whistling. I´ve already seen that I get stared at a lot walking down the road. And I get called gringa and americana a lot. But oh well... Anyways he just told us all of the extra precautions we have to take and to always have the spirit with us. We will always have native companions who have already had a lifetime of "street smarts" here in these types of countries and they look out for us. The members are supposedly really good at looking out for us as well. Basically Pres. Klein told us not to look so pretty... haha not to wear as much makeup, jewelry, etc.

The first night before we even got to sleep or anything we went contacting on the streets! I got paired up with a sister named Hna Trajavoy. She was great. I was definitely nervous and the Hondureños speak muy rapido!! It was pouring rain as well with lots of thunder so it was hard to here. But we ended up placing a couple copies of the Book of Mormon. One family that was sitting outside was super nice and gave us an umbrella after we gave them some pamphlets. One lady let us in her house to pray with her and she asked me to say the prayer! It was a good experience, but it also showed me how important and beneficial it will be to work with the members and get referrals from them. Street contacting is great, but not necessarily as effective. It rained and rained, my shoes got muddy, what a great experience!

Last night we stayed in a house of one of the companionship's and it was surprisingly nicer than I was expecting. Today I found out that my new companion is Hermana Baltazar from Guatemala. I already love her! She speaks very clear Spanish so I can understand her pretty well and she is very patient. It is not the mission nurse for the West, but all is well. It just feels right and I know this is where and who I need to be with! President Klein said that for these next two weeks, I´m strictly to focus on getting acclimated to missionary work, and we will worry about nursing stuff after. We´re easing me into it instead of having me jump in head first. He says my number one priority is missionary work, and that was a relief to me! Hna Baltazar and I are actually going to be staying in the same house that I slept in last night. I totally lucked out for the first transfer. We even have running water! (which apparently is rare) No warm water, but the cold shower is actually refreshing. 

PS - they just opened up Roaton to hermanas!! Crazy, huh? Who knows, maybe some time in the next year and a half I´ll find myself in the same place that you all went on a cruise to! 

Right now we are shopping for food and getting everything squared away for the rest of the week. There wasn´t a bus to take us back to our area after the cambios so we had to walk a distance until we found one of the local buses to take us. That was quite the experience. The first casualty of the mission is the wheel of my big suitcase.... It is completely torn up and broken from the dirt roads! 

First Casualty - I lost a wheel on my big suitcase!!

Every day we eat lunch with a different member of the church. Today we ate with the primary president :) It is SO HOT.... my hair will be in a bun and a braid for the next year and a half...

Well my time is super short, but I can already tell that I am going to LOVE it here. It´s overwhelming for sure, but I can do hard things with Christ by my side :) One step, one spoonful at a time. The language will come, I´ll get familiar with the area and the people, it will just take time. I´m excited to get going, jump in head first and really give my all to the Lord! I´ll write more on Monday. I love you all!

Hermana Bennett

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