Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Week 34

Hey everybody, here is this weeks letter! i got the packages and had an AMAZING birthday week. thank you for everything.

Hola Familia!
Well this has been a pretty good week…I’m 20 now HAHA.  I had a really great birthday though.  It started off pretty normal, I got to the office and started doing some work and then later Elder & Sister Ray came in with some brownies they had made me and sang Happy Birthday to me.  The brownies were so good, now that I think about, I don’t think I’ve had brownies in at least 8 months HAHA.  But I’m really grateful the Rays did that for me, it was a really nice thing for them to do.  That night this family invited me over to teach a lesson to their neighbors, after that they surprised me and brought out a cake and sang.  I was really surprised.  It must have been a big sacrifice for them to buy a cake like that.  The next day me and my companion did our weekly run to the national post office and the airport to pick up mail and packages for the mission and I finally got your packages I was waiting for!  From Mom & Dad, Matt & Ali and Brett and Ashley.  Thank you so MUCH!!! They were amazing.  Mom/Dad thanks for the ties, they are my new favorite and can replace the ones that burned in the fireJ Also the jersey is awesome! I’m impressed that you fit everything in that tiny box.  I almost don’t want to eat the German chocolate you sent because I want it to last for a really long time HAHA, and it looks like Luella nd McKenzie are growing up so fast, I can’t believe it, I loved the pictures.  Also thank you for the candy/tide-to-go/ silly putty.  My companion love the silly puddy HAHA.  He’s never see it before.  At first he thought it was gum and almost ate it.

Saturday was awesome.  President Flores invited us over to his house to eat lunch and to celebrate my birthday.  We ate a bunch of typical food from El Salvador, because that’s where President and his family are from.  There were a ton of pupas and this salsa he had a guy go to El Salvador to buy.  Then after we ate, Sister Flores brought out a huge chocolate cake she made.  It’s like that German Chocolate cake with the coconut topping.  So overall I had a really great birthday!!

Things are pretty tough in the area though.  We’ve been finding and teaching a lot of new families that seemed to be really positive, but when we’ve come back to visit they say they’re too busy to meet with us or they are never around.  But there is this one family that we’re teaching, LaFamilia Sosa Mejta, that are very interested.  The dad has been in the army for 30 years, and they are a very close nit and kind family.  They want to go to Church, but it’s almost impossible for the dad to get off work.  But we are praying for a miracle.  I have a lot of hope for them because they look like they already are members of the Church in how they act and talk.  We’ll see what happens there.

Anyways, Thank you again for everything.  I love you all so much.  I love getting pictures from everybody and hearing how they’re doing.

Until next week
Con Amor,
Elder Archibald

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week 32

Hey family, Happy Valentine´s day!
    Im writing today because we were out running lots of errands yesterday and didnt get finished until about 6pm so we just went straight out to work from there. But this week has been pretty full, we´ll see if i can remember everything that happened. First off, on Tuesday Elder Martino from the second quorumn of the seventy came to visit the mission along with his wife. When he got here he had a meeting with just us missionaries in the office. We talked about some of the struggles of being in the office, how it can be really tiring with the schedule and just other things like that. He gave us advice on how we can improve and also asked a lot about how our areas are doing and who we are teaching and what we are doing to have more success. It was really cool to be in a small setting with just us few missionaries being able to learn a lot from him. After about an hour he left to go have some other meetings with president Flores.
     On Wednesday we had a Zone conference with half the mission where we got a lot of instruction from President Flores and Elder Martino. President Flores talked a lot about the importance of our Motives, Accions, and Results and how each one are important. And also how that fits in with some of the themes of the Honduras Comayaguela Mission. motive is "Servimos por Amor", our actions "Actuamos con rectitud, fe, y diligencia" and our results " Edificamos el Reino de Dios". Elder Martino talked a lot about the importance of members in missionary work. Each missionary is like Ammon, and we need to have our "Amulek" which is the member that works with you and helps you relate to the people your teaching and with that there is more success. Each person your teaching needs to have an Amulek from the ward to help them. Also talked a lot about improving your relationship with the ward mission leader and the bishop. We should ask people for their help because its revelation we have recieved, not just because we need whatever person to sit in on lessons with us. and to help us gain more trust and confidence with the bishop we should really ask for his advice and help rather that just thinking we know how to do everything better...also it would be nice to give him a tie and his wife a flower.
   Thursday was a super busy day in the office we were running around to different banks trying to come up with enough money to pay for busses for the missionaries that were at the other zone conference that came from really far away, but luckily everything worked out.
   On saturday i got my haircut, it was sweet. There´s this lady in the ward that cuts hair in a beauty salon, so all of us in the office went to get our haircut at this place with shampoo treatment and everything...haha we all felt pretty gay buy it was so worth it. and it was only 50 lempiras.
  On monday we had a sweet Zone activity. so the last few weeks there have been cleaning inspections of all the houses in the mission and our zone (Loarque) had the cleanest houses. so President took us to that zoo i went to earlier, except it was better this time because we had some really good BBQ and had more time to play soccer and check out more of the giant lion and leopards in sketchy cages. Elder Snow is in my zone too so its been fun to see how he´s been doing since the MTC, hes lost like 60 pounds so it was pretty funny to see him.
   Today we are getting all geared up for transfers tomorrow, its pretty stresfull because theres a lot of people changing house and i have to keep track of it all, and land lords are calling me every 5 minutes to ask for money so its been a little stressful, but everything should work out fine...i hope.
   But as far as the work in my area is going, its been a little slow. This las week we showed up to our appointments but nobody was there ever, so we just contacted a lot. but we are teaching a lot of inactive part member families and i think we will be able to baptize 2 famlies in march. its been a goal to baptize a family every month, in my 5 months in the field ive baptized 5 families...i hope that i can keep up with that.
well thats about it! i love you all so much! im still waitin for that package, but ill let you know when i get it.
Con mucho amor,
Elder Archibald
ps. tell Luella thanks for the Valentine!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Week 31

Hey family, the days are flying by here.  All kind of blurring together.  I’m loving my time here though.  This week was pretty full of random things.    Things are going a bit more smoothly in the office and there’s a lot more progress in the area with some new challenges.

 Well here is a quick funny story. this morning was really crazy. so we woke up this morning and we had no water at all through out the house. so we were kind of scrambling thinking about what we could do to shower and get ready, we thought about going to other houses that are in the mission but the only close ones only have 1 bathroom. so we decided to call  the office missionaries from the Tegucigalpa mission and see if we could borrow their bathrooms because they live right close to us. they said yes so we drove over there, but we weren’t exactly sure where they lived and they wouldn’t answer their phones. we stopped by their mission presidents house which we knew where it was to ask if he could give us directions he said that he would call his missionaries and they would come pick us up to show us the way. then after a few minutes of just sitting there and waiting the mission president comes out and invites us into his enormous house and says that we can just use his there we were in the other mission presidents house in our sleeping clothes and taking turns using all the showers in his house haha. really random. he also invited us to stay around and he wanted to make us breakfast haha. but we had to hurry back to our house

Tuesday I went to that store price smart that I was telling you about.  We had to change the name on the card from the old financial secretary’s name to mine.  They have pizza!  Like Costco pizza HAHA.  Its almost just as good, only they don’t have berry smoothies.
Wednesday was a pretty interesting day too.  Every first day of the month we make a giant check to pay for all the houses of the missionaries.  This month we made a check for 95,00 lempiras and cashed it out so we could take it around to deposit it in the accounts of the landlord’s banks.  Funny story though, when we were taking out the money this lady started yelling at us in the bank for having too much money and that the church needs to stop building churches and start building schools.  At that point everyone was looking at us with our giant sack of money.  Later we explained to her that we were paying housing for 155 missionaries and that the Church does a ton of humanitarian  aid and that the missionaries aren’t paid to be here.  Later we left the bank and got in the car as fast as possible with the money .. which is funny because it’s really not all that much money in the states.   Less than $5,000 to pay for over 50 houses.  But here, it’s more money than a lot of people have ever seen in their whole life.
Thursday we drove about an hour away to get our driver’s licenses, because it’s cheaper and easier there.  We set up  an appointment and everything before, but when we got there the policeman didn’t want to help us out.. unless we gave him money.  We decided we didn’t want to pay his bribe and just went back to the office.
Saturday for p-day we drove all the way to Comayagua to get a house ready for some missionaries that are going to open up an area.  I got some nice pictures with a donkey so that made the trip worth it. (Here´s my new seems like he really loves the gospel. Manso y humilde..)

Things are progressing in the area too.  When I first got here we didn’t really have a teaching pool at all, so we’ve had a big focus on finding.  Lots of contacting and walking, but it’s good though because I feel a lot less awkward at doors now HAHA.  We’ve found some good investigators, and a ton of inactivates.  So we are teaching the less actives to try and help them come to Church while at the same time teaching investigators who live in the same house.  We still don’t have any baptismal dates planned, but there are some people who are progressing and we have a lot of hope for them.
But that’s about it, I love you all.  Let me know how everybody’s doing.
Until next week!
Con mucho amor,

Elder Archibald

here´s the donkey we found on our trip to comayagua haha. other than that im really loving the office. ive made good friends with one of the APs his name is Elder Delahunty from Salt lake. hes a great missionary and we get along super well. he is leaving this transfer so im kinda bummed that i wont be able to have him in the house with the rest of us. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Week 30

Hey Everybody .

These weeks here in the office are flying by.  I'm still feeling pretty overwhelmed with everything I have to learn how to do...its a lot to do and a lot of little things that i could screw up and make big problems.... legal contracts for apartments and houses, dealing with old land lords that say we owe them money, missionaries asking for more money because they spent their allowance too fast, putting my name on checks with huge amounts of money to bring cash back to the office from the banks, and lots of other stuff like that.  And not to mention waking up at 5:30 every morning makes me pretty tired.  But it's actually been a blast being able to be where everything is happening and get to know more missionaries.  I'm learning a ton....but sometimes I don't feel like a missionary when I am in the office and I don't like that at all, but im just working hard and doing my best. I hope everythings going well in Germany

I'm still extremely happy about living in the mission home though, Ha Ha.  Hot water and the washer/dryer are amazing, and we have an oven too...not that I ever bake anything, but just nice to know I could if I wanted, Ha Ha.  Ha Ha, I do have a little bit of a hard time feeling sympathetic for the missionaries in Mom and Dad's mission though.  The only things that most of the apartments or houses have are 2 metal chairs, a folding table, an electric camping stove, beds, ironing board/iron, and a little thing to hang our clothes up....oh and the big concrete tub to wash our clothes, Ha Ha.  Oh one other thing I love about being in the office is that we have a cell phone, it makes life so much easier.  If an appointment falls through we can call them upon call someone else to set something up.  It's a huge help.   The President and I were talking today while I was having him sign some checks for me and he was telling me how he wants me to be in the office until he leaves and to be able to recieve the new mission president. I think that would be really neat to be able to get to know the new president while working in the office right there with him...but that means I'll be here until August 1st...or longer haha. its a LONG time. Also the other missionaries here have been telling me that its most likely that I'll we be assigned to be the district leader here during the changes in March...seems kind of crazy to me haha. lots of pressure too.  President is always saying how this needs to be the model district that the whole mission looks to.

Oh and I haven't been driving yet, I have to still go and apply for my licence...well first I need my Honduran residence card which takes awhile, but President says that I'm probably going to be the only one with a licence in the office because the rest don't really know how to drive haha. It's going to be pretty crazy.  And I also have to pay for the license with my personal money so I'll be making a withdrawel soon for that...

On Friday we got some really exciting news, we have this investigator who has been wanting to get baptized for a long time but has been waiting to get permission from the First Presidency.  His wife got baptized about a month ago, and Friday we got the letter of permission signed by the First Presidency.  So we scrambled to get everything coordinated and get the baptismal service ready for Saturday.  It was a little tough because Hilario (our investigator) and his wife Maxima are very old and can't walk very far or stand up for that long.  So we made a bunch of calls to find someone who could pick them up with their car.  Finally we found someone with a bus from the other ward that was willing to help us out.  We would have just called a taxi but taxis don't go to that area because it is too dangerous.  Everything turned out great with the baptism though.  All the missionaries from the office and President Flores were there.  I'm very grateful that we were able to complete that family.

Sunday I had to talk in church, I wasn't as nervous this time even though it was for twenty minutes.  I just taught the Restoration and showed the members what we as missionaries teach.  The ward here is awesome though, I'm really looking forward to working here and that I'll be able to be around for the next few months....If I'm here for as long as the President said I'll be here until August 1st....maybe longer.  YIKES.

So a couple things...I hope you havent already sent Nutela because right by the office theres this place called Price Smart and its basically like Costco..I actually think that its a Costco or Sam´s brand, anyways I can find a lot of stuff there. BUT if you DO send a package, I will always LOVE beef jerkey, sour patch kids/swedish fish, and tide to go pens or wipes. oh and another thing...I'm about half way through my journal, so if at some point in the very near future someone could buy and send me one of the same kinds of moleskins that David got me last christmas that would be great.

Has David and Whitney decided where they want to go yet between, Colorado or Washington?  What's Heather up to lately,  how are John  and Kelli  doing  with everything in CO?   Brett and Ashley with the new baby to come and work? Matt and Ali in LA?

...another thing haha...sorry for being so random hah. but ive been looking at some external hardrives here to be able to back up all my pictures and videos because im running out of space on my thumbdrive...theres a nice Samsung one i saw for 2,500 lemps which is about 125 dollars and its a terabyte of memory theres some that are a  little less expensive but are only half the memory for 100 bucks. and some that are more expensive. its because i know the guy that owns the office depot thats selling it and he said that he would give me a good deal...i think it be really nice to have so i dont lose all the talks/music/pictures/videos i have. i could be crazy for thinking about getting it...your opinions? im positive that it wont get stolen here if that were to be a worry. but yeah just thought id ask your opinion about what to do about protecting my files.

Hey well my times about up (we have 40 minutes to write now) I miss you tons Mom and Dad and I love reading your letters. I'm  praying for you always. Our missions are passing by extremely fast, I've already got 7 months and it feels like you were dropping me off at the MTC just yesterday haha. I love you guys, keep working hard and inspiring the future generations of the church in Germany. You are amazing.

Well, I love you all.  I would love to read letters from you all and see some pictures of what everyone is doing. You're all in my prayers.  The Church is true.  The Book of Mormon is true.  This is a Marvelous work.  The missionaries just need to work hard, keep focused, be happy and not over complicate things.  Simplify your life, be worthy of the promptings of the Spirit.

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Archibald

Week 29

Hey everybody, How’s it going?  Things are going great down here in Honduras.  I’m really enjoying my time in the office.  It’s funny though, because when they told me I needed to pack my bags, I thought I was going to take the spot of one of the missionaries that was here waiting for a visa to go to Mexico.  So we go to the office and they told me I was staying there HAHA.  I didn’t believe them at first.  So these next four weeks the old financial secretary is training me until we have changes on February 15th.

 President says he has a lot of trusts in me. He says that he only puts people in my position that he has 100% trust with. Out of all of the office secretaries, he says my job is the hardest and requires the most work and trust. He says although I have very little time in the mission I am very apt and able to do the job. He also said he brought me in because he really needed a change in the district of the office because there hasn’t been much success and he wanted to bring in my personality and excitement for the work to change the culture in the office. he complemented me on all the success I’ve had and told me that it is amazing the success I’ve had in this short amount of time.  He let me know that in my 4 months I have more baptisms and families baptized than any other missionary in the office, and most have more than a year...I thought my success was average for the mission haha. But I am saying this in all humility. I have A LOT to improve on, and personally I think I’m here in the office just to learn more...much much more. normally I’m supposed to be trained for 5 weeks to do this, but president needs my trainer in another area in 2 I had a week to learn EVERYTHING...I’m so overwhelmed guys, not sure how I’m gonna do it but I’m just going to have to learn fast. Also I’m not SUPER worried about my Spanish going down hill, because we can’t speak English in the office and I’m on the phone all the time with people from Guatemala or El Salvador  or wherever so my language will continue improving. It’s also really important that I keep my mind in the area and not in the office. I need to constantly be thinking about my investigators and the members in my area, my purpose is to baptize and I can’t forget that. My goal is to baptize a family every that I’m in the office and we only have nights to work it’ll be a little harder, but I just have to work smarter and more with the spirit. Also from here on out I’m a senior companion in the mission. My companion is Elder Quevedo from El Salvador, he has such a great testimony and really wants to work and is very loveable.

  It’s most likely that I’m going to be here for 4 transfers starting on the 15th.  Or it could be 5 transfers, so I’ll be here for anywhere between 7 to 9 months. I’m not sure how I feel about that because it seems like a really long time.  But they say that the time in the office goes by really fast.  There are 4 secretaries in the office.  One is in charge of materials for the mission, another with records, another with migration and there’s me with finances.  Usually the financial guy stays about twice as long s the other 3 because it is a lot of stuff to learn.

I’ll basically be in charge of making all the payments for the mission (houses, transportation  postage, materials, paychecks for people the mission hires, and basically everything else)  I’ll be going to a lot of banks … and it makes me nervous carrying large amounts of money around Honduras. HAHA  But I get to drive the mission car so that’s sweet.  I’m also really excited to be living in the Mission home because we have hot water, a washing machine and dyer, an oven, big fridge … basically everything.  IT’S AWESOME!  The only downside is that we have to get up at 5:30 every day to fit in our studies.  And I’m not too excited about only being able to do proselyting for half a day everyday … not a whole lot of time to actually teach and be a missionary, but that just means I need to work a lot harder and smarter.  The area I’m in is called Jardines de Toncontin.  It has the airport in it I think because the planes are always super close above our heads.  I’ll have to take some pictures and videos.  It’s pretty cool.  But the area is a pretty tough one they say.  A lot of members have been less active lately, so we need to help everyone get excited about the work again.  But I have a lot of hope for the area, there’s a lot of potential.

On Saturday we have our P-days, and this one was a lot of fun.  We went to a soccer court by President Flores’ house to play soccer against the Tegucigalpa Mission’s Secretaries.  (Our offices are in the same building … I actually spend most my time outside of the mission boundaries.  HAHA   Because the office and our house is outside of the mission as well as President’s house) we just take busses or taxis to and from our area every day.  But anyways, we played Comayaguela Mission vs Tegucigalpa Mission.  After we went to eat at president’s house.  Hermana Flores made us some amazing carne asada and rice.
That’s crazy about the ward splitting by the way; it’ll be interesting to see how the relationships between the wards develop. Also that’s a bummer about the business class; I’ve been trying to think of ideas but haven’t really come up with anything to help.

One thing that’s interesting about the mission here that might help you all in Germany, we kind of have a motto here "para buatizar y retener mas familias" which means to baptize and retain more families. So when someone asks us why we do something, like “elder why do you study your scriptures every day" to baptize and retain more families. "Why do you put your shoes on in the morning" to baptize and retain more families...everything we do we keep that in mind...and with that we are ALWAYS looking for families. It’s now against the rules here to teach children under 18 without a parent. We are really just trying to strengthen the church with people that will stay faithful. 

well I love you guys so much thanks for everything...if anyone wants to send a package soon I would appreciate some nutells, tide ‘to go, Colorado flag patch and whatever else haha!  and always pictures. 

Well that’s about it for this week.  Let me know how everybody is doing.  I love you all.

Con amor,
Elder Archibald