Saturday, June 28, 2014

Third times the charm

Monday June 23, 2014
Hola family and friends! 

Today is a little different because I am writing from an internet cafe that is below the city mall in the heart of San Pedro Sula! I´ll make this quick since we can´t be here for very much longer when it starts getting late. Today me and hermana S headed back to SPS for some more doctor visits. Nursing has been a big part of these last few weeks. Lots of missionaries with foot, leg, knee and back problems. Today when we showed up to the doctor there were three more missionary companionships waiting in the office that I had sent. Party at the doctor´s office! I really have no complaints. Putting on my nursing shoes is refreshing. 

The rainy season is back!
This week has been great. We are definitely headed into the rainy season here! It rains most afternoons and the streets fill up with water. It´s fun though, we are getting good use out of our umbrellas. The lightning here is nuts! Sometimes it is a little scary to have the lighting strike so close with a huge metal umbrella, but oh well... Lots of rain mean lots of power outages and being only with candlelight.

Studying by candlelight!
This week it´s gone out consistently, and one night it went out even until the next afternoon. We had church without power!! The members here sure are troops :) But it made for a good experience and the spirit was just as strong as ever. Our investigators have been progressing well and we are hoping to have 4 baptisms within the next 2 weeks (lots of prayers would be great for I, M, J and JE). We had a super good lesson with an investigator names JG. We watched the Restoration with him and the spirit was super strong. He said afterwards (even with a few tears in his eyes) that he knew now more than ever that Jose Smith is a prophet of God. We are so lucky to have the knowledge that we do!! 

This week I started studying each of the individual principles of the lessons again in more detail and spent a while just on God is Our Loving Heavenly Father. That one single point alone is a huge blessing that we understand more than most. Sometimes with a culture that is SUPER christian I forget that a belief in God doesn´t mean they understand who He is and that He is literally our father. We started asking our investigators that simple question (how do you imagine God is like?) and we have had some incredible lessons just specifically on who God is and our divine nature as His children. We would get lots of varying answers, but mostly people were a little stumped and would say "wow.. I´ve never really thought of that before." Most think He is a Great Spirit just like it says in Alma 18.

2 funny stories - Yesterday we were teaching with a member from the ward when we heard a herd of horses running behind us. When we turned around there were like 6 running straight for us! We all paniked and went running in all directions and all B kept saying was "que hacemos, que hacemos??!" (what do we do, what do we do??!) In the end they turned a corner at the last minute and we escaped certain death... haha we got a good laugh out of it. Especially since it was the native catratcha that was freaking out more than the rest of us!

We went back to conquer the muddy river again because the short cut was just tooooo great to pass up. We almost got past it without problems (what are the chances of something bad happening twice??) but just as I reached a rock with my foot my skirt ripped up the whole back....... Hermana O was DYING laughing. Luckily I was able to cover it up well enough to head back to the house to change and we were headed back for lunch anyway. But I was not going to let this little muddy river get the best of us!! So we went back for a third time (i know we are crazy) and we found a giant log and muscled it to make a path and vuala!!!

We passed with no problems and know we have a super great short cut to cut out walking time in between teaching appointments (just pat myself on the back.... haha) Like they always say... Third times the charm!!

Until Next Week,
Hermana Bennett

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Just call me part-time office secretary

Hola familia and friends! 

Grateful for another week here in the mission. This week has been pretty good. Lots of unique opportunities!

On Wednesday I got a call from Hermana Klein saying that one of the sister missionaries (that lives in the house next to mine) needed to go to the Doctor in San Pedro Sula for her knee and that it would be best if I came with her because I was familiar with the city (just call me catratcha... haha). We were planning on going friday, but something just didn´t sit right. So when the opportunity opened up to go the same day we took it. Our companions stayed behind in a division and we headed off! When we arrived to the doctor´s office, there was a young man that was headed out. He left and walked down the street, but about 2 mintues later he came back and said, "uh... can I talk to you guys for just a quick second?" So we went to talk to him and he told us that a while back he was taught by some missionaries once, was given a pamphlet and a book of mormon, but then got in a motorcycle accident and had to move to San Pedro Sula suddenly. But he said that he loved everything about our church, that he read the pamphlet and knew it was true. He said that he had been trying to get a hold of the missionaries so that he could continue learning and so when he saw us he was super excited! We were able to get his information (and he literally wrote everything down - name, number, email, address, house color, where it was situated, etc). He told us that he just felt good about the church and loved the organization. We were able to give him another book of mormon since he had left it when he moved. It was such a cool experience! He told us that it was the very last appointment with that doctor, too. So God put us there right when he needed us! It was no wonder we didn´t feel right about going friday!

The doctor ended up wanting to see Hermana S the next day as well which meant that we would need to stay in San Pedro Sula for the night which meant another night at President´s house! I seriously feel so spoiled... We went out to lunch with Hermana Klein and then went grocery shopping where there were tons of american products. it was nuts. Me and Hermana S almost died... It was also funny because at President´s house I grabbed the dishwasher soap and was smelling it and said, "Hermana S look!" Then we started laughing.... when in our lives were we ever fascinated with dishwasher soap?? That night we had to get the exercise bike out of the storage unit for her to do exercises for her knee and then played a game of giant tetris to try and put all the furniture back so it fit perfectly. When we were finished there was even lots of room left over! There is some sense of accomplishment in organization... haha. The rest of the night was spent helping hermana klein with burning some cds for a women´s conference and just talking and talking with president klein. It was a great night. The next day (after a hot shower.... what??) our appointment wasn´t until 1 and so they put us to work in the office. It was fun doing some of the administrative stuff. The other elders were a little weirded out to have sisters there for half a day.... haha. We also celebrated President Klein´s birthday with cake and ice cream. Me and hermana S decided it felt like a weekend vacation, and then it was back to work! President drove us back to Mezapa with the exercise bike in the back of his car. Being the nurse definitely has it´s blessings. I´m super grateful for my callling!

Things are still going well with our investigators. Some bumps in the road, but nothing that we haven´t seen before and nothing that can´t be overcome! The other day we were talking to J about his baptism date and then he said the prayer at the end and said, "Dear God, I just want to ask you a little thing (una cosita).... Can I get baptized on the 6th of june?" It had to be one of the sweetest things I have ever heard... :) Everyone here is hyped up about the world cup. We will be walking down the street and off in the distance we always hear "Gooooooaaaaaallllllllll!!!" Yesterday Honduras played and the streets were deserted.... haha there was also a torrential downpour so it´s a miracle that the power didn´t out!

There´s lots and lots of things that I could write about but I feel like this is already a novel. I hope that you all have a great week and I´ll try to be more organized with my thoughts!!! haha Love you all!!

Until Next Week,
Hermana Bennett

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Stuck in the Mud!

Pday from May at the Beach with President and Sister Klein and her District in Mezapa 
Hola friends and family! 
This week was a pretty good one! Good to hear that Matthew got a good Honduran surprise for his birthday :) So proud.... haha sounds like a new tradition in the making? Though in the picture he looked far too clean.... there`s always next year. Who`s birthday is next? Abby?? mwahahaha :)  

**Note from Angilyn's mom - Honduran's have a tradition of cracking an egg over the birthday person's head and pouring flour over the top!  I guess we were too nice and didn't get Matt messy enough!!!  And we let Scott off the hook this time. . . :)  We did this per request of Hermana Bennett for her brother!

Looking back on this week I`d have to say it was pretty normal when it comes to missionary life. Up at 6:30, exercise, shower, study, out walking and talking and teaching (and if you are hermana Olivas giving all the animals a fright), buying corn tortillas from the lady on the corner, lunch, language study, and out again teaching and singing hymns, yelling bueeeennnnnas, getting blown kisses and hearing "Boootiful guuurl!", letting those tan lines get more and more defined, feeling the spirit, drinking pepsi from investigators (or if you´re from honduras se dice "pexi"), almost getting bitten by a dog here or there (that really does happen to missionaries...), dodging cows and pigs, reading lots of scriptures, hearing "dios les bendiga" (God bless you) and "que les vaya bien" (do well), saying lots of prayers, back to the house at 8:00-8:30 (us sisters have to be in early because of the country we are in...), planning session, wash some clothes in the pila, million calls from dying missionaries, maybe write in the diary here or there, lights out at 10:30 aaannnnnddddd...... alarm goes off at 6:30 and it all begins again! I have to say I`ve gotten quite used to this missionary life and it sure is a life like no other. But I love it! 

Still working with M and everything is going great with him. As well as J, the son of G (the less active family we`ve been working with) - she has to work 4 sundays yes and 4 sundays no so this past month J has been coming to church by himself and he seems to really enjoy it! When we leave him folletos (literature, pamphlets) he fills in all the questions in the back and he is super smart. He thought he had to wait to be 12 to be baptized but we happily informed him that he didn`t have to wait :) we also have been working with a joven (young) named J. Just a few months back he had been receiving lessons from the Jehovah`s Witnesses, but after reading and praying about the Book of Mormon he told us that he knows that this is the truth.
The other night my companion Hermana Rioja from la paz called me with a medical question and then informed me that this Saturday C was getting baptized!! Do you remember the story I told about a girl that had a dream that 2 people were going to come by and teach her the truth and that she would go to church with them? Yes, her!! I was sooooooo happy :) That moment when we first contacted her was seriously one of the most spiritual I have had on my mission, an it really does make everything here worth it when you get to see someone accept the truth and change their lives. I grew to love her very much and it was the best feeling to hear that she had been baptized :) 

Yesterday in the morning we were going around to pass by for our investigators to come to church and we decide to take a short cut that we had previously taken in order to cut back on time..... the night before it had poured rain and so the little stream we had crossed was now a much wider river of muck and yucky water. But getting my creative gears going I utilized my umbrella to reach a stick that I pulled closer as a hand grip and found a log that I could reach to put my foot on. Patting myself on the back for my creativity I stepped onto the log aannnd, it sunk.... along with my foot up to mid-calf and to my dismay I lost balance and though my companion valiently tried to save me it was to no avail. I fell flat on my tousch up to my waist in MUCK. I sat there for a good minute in complete shock, completely covered in yucky goop (it was slightly a dejavu moment of Denmark when I tried to cross the monkey bars and feel in the river). NOooooo! After searching through the mud to recover my shoes we hurried to the nearest house and borrowed water from their pila to wash off as best as possible and then booked it home to be able to change and get to church on time. I had several options....A: cry B: laugh C: get upset or frustrated D: come up with a clever gospel analogy to use in the sacrament talk that I had been assigned. Initially I debated on B, had a slight moment with A, and then finally decided to choose option D :) haha if life throws you lemons, compare it to the gospel!!!

Sure do love you all! I hope you have a great week and are enjoying the first glimpses of summer :) Welcome to my world.

Until next week!
Hermana Bennett

Friday, June 6, 2014

Things are looking up!

Monday June 2, 2014
Hello to my wonderful friends and familia. 

I hope that this email finds you well. I feel like I just wrote you yesterday (maybe because it was just a few days ago... haha) I feel like things are started to pick up a little bit more here in Mezapa, though it might just be that my outlook is changing! Me and Hermana Olivas have really focused our efforts on being super obedient and then letting the Lord guide. In the end, it´s the Spirit that is doing the teaching which makes it vitally important to have it as a companion. More obedience = more spirit! I´ve been noticing a lot in the scriptures that it says to the degree of our obedience, or to the portion that we keep the commandments we will prosper with that same portion. So if we want a higher degree of the Spirit we need to have a higher degree of obedience. Not that we are disobedient missionaries, but there are always the little itty bitty things that we can do better. I´ve seen a big difference even in the past few days. 

We continue to work with M and he is progressing super well! He told us that he prayed to know if it was true and that the spirit told him "Go with my people..." How cool is that? Then in church on Sunday he was asked to say the prayer and while he was praying he thanked God for being able to find the church and that he could see now that it teaches the truth. I feel blessed to be able to see these miracles. In church on Sunday we finally had a good group of investigators come! It felt so wonderful after several weeks of drought... haha It really is so important for them to be able to come to church and feel the different Spirit that is there. To see the order and the unity that the church has. This week the branch is going on a temple trip. They are leaving at 2 in the morning to get to Tegucigalpa around 6 or 7, stay there all day and then return in the night. How blessed are we to have so many temples within a stones throw from our homes? I hope that I don´t ever take it for granted again! 

picture courtesy of  Federico Bozo
This week I discovered a new fruit called mamones.... Soooo good. They look like little limes, but when you break them open there is a little gooey pink ball that you suck on and then spit out the seed when you´re done. It seems like every other day I am discovering new fruit! It´s definitely something that I will miss. The people here have lots of different fruit trees in their yards. Anything from mangos, lemons, oranges (that are both green here), mangos, coconuts, mamones, pink pears, guava, guanabana, cacao, pineapples, papaya (which is slowly growing on me), bananas of all different shapes sizes and flavors, etc. There is also palmfruit which you don´t eat, but they send it to make oil and lots of other things and the seed is colorful and pretty. My companion is super observant and is always pointing out new flowers and strange exotic birds or other animals. This place truly is a garden! 

Sure love you all and I hope that you are doing well. I would love to here some updates on how you all are doing - you are in my thoughts and prayers always. Shout out to the ward, it´s crazy how many missionaries are serving! It´s a blessing to get to be a part of it. Another shout out to my "big" little brother for his birthday tomorrow. I invite someone to please crack an egg on his head for me.... thanks!!! (and then send me a picture.... haha)

Until next week!

Hermana Bennett