Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Week 38: Second really bad haircut in Honduras

Hey Family,
 Well its been another good week down here in Honduras. Things are going well in the area; we have been able to find more investigators and have some progress with some we´ve been working with. A couple days ago I got a package in the mail from David and Whitney with a bunch of pictures. Thank you! I love getting pictures. Oh and thank the boys for the pictures they drew…star cop is the cop of the people, and the drawing of my belly button was great too.  It looks like the Jonas, Miles, and Abel  are loving their time in Florida. When are Dave, Whitney and the boys moving? How are things going for Mom and Dad with transfers in Germany? We have transfers this Wednesday so I´ve been busy with that. There are a lot of new areas opening up and a lot of houses changing. There´s 9 houses that I have to make sure I make contracts right and pay the right people the right amount at the right time so that missionaries don’t show up to the area without a place to live. From what I hear there´s going to be a lot of missionaries coming in…about 16, and only 2 leaving.
Things are going good in the area…for the most part. La Familia Matute are doing really well…except there´s problems with the whole process to get married. Turns out that the wife who is already a member lied about her husband getting killed because we found him and he is alive and well haha. But this is the worst part..she´s also legally married to another guy. I have no idea how that was possible here. This was really really bad news to get because this means that if Santos y Ninfa (the couple currently together) want to get married, she would have to get divorced…twice. Which would cost about 20,000 lempiras. So this probably means that Santos will not be getting baptized anytime soon. It is really frustrating that all of these people we have been teaching and have been progressing have all these problems that make it incredibly hard for them to make covenants. We had a really good Sunday though, 5 investigators showed up. Santos and his step son, This couple that members brought that we are going to teach tonight, and then this other investigator named Samir. Samir is 20 years old and has a really great desire to learn about the gospel. Its tough though because he lives at home and his parents wont allow him to bring a Book of Mormon inside the house, so what he has to do is walk to his friends house of his friends who are members and read the parts of the book of mormon that we left for him to read. This was his second Sunday of coming to church and we were talking afterwards and he told us that this is all very new to him, his whole life he´s been taught that there is only the bible and nothing more, but he told us that these last few days he´s been feeling really convinced, he just still has to pray. Taking the decision to go to church has been a really big decision considering his family is really against it, being evangelicals. I imagine making the decision to get baptized will be even harder, I really hope that we can explain and teach him the importance of it even though the family might not approve.
    also last wednesday we went to a members house to get our hair cut, and this lady was so excited to cut my hair because she says she is SO good at cutting gringos hair. I thought "Sweet!" but then i quickly lost my excitement when i saw her pull out her buzzer and start just mowing my hair down...haha so this will be the second buzz cut of the mission and probably lots more to come.
   I cannot believe that Cole is already going home... that is nuts! the time flew by. welp tell him i say hi and congratulations!
alright, welp, until next week, i love you all

Con mucho amor,
Elder Archibald

Week 37

Hey everybody!
     I feel like i just yesterday and i dont have a whole lot to say haha. Things are about the same here in the office, theres a new secretary thats pretty cool. His name is Elder Martinez and is Mexican! He speaks pure Chilango haha. And also something funny, as im writing this theres this Honduran Kid thats reading everything I`m writing right now over my shoulder and trying to pronounce it out loud. Also just before this i ran into Oscar Medina from La familia Medina that I baptized back in San Rafael. It was so awesome to see him. He looked so happy and was really proud to tell me that he and his family are still going to church every sunday and have plans to go to the temple. He said he thought he would never see me again, but it was really awesome to make contact there. Im telling you, there is nothing that makes you feel better than knowing that someone that you love that much stays faithful to their covenants..with their entire family as well. so right now i´m on a missionary high. i love it. we also got the picture and description of our new mission president today. He`s black! sweet. anyways he seems really amazing. im looking forward to meeting him, although it is going to be sad saying good bye to president flores because i have learned so much from him.
     Well La familia Matute still has a baptismal date for the 24th, but there has been some crazy stuff happening. So we´ve started the process to get them married and its always a hassle to do. The wife had been married earlier but told us that she has been divorced and isn’t married anymore. We called the registry to see if she showed up as single but it turns out that according to the records she is still married. I was bummed out when I heard that because it costs about 10,000 Lempiras to get divorced here which is like 500 dollars, and it might as well be a million because nobody has that kind of money here. And the process takes about 3 months to do. The wife, Ninfa, hasn’t talked to her husband in about 15 years so we had to look up his information too…and well it turns out that he was killed awhile ago. Which is very sad, but it makes the divorce process a whole lot easier. Now the “Divorce” is free and wont take a long time do. We are going to have to do some sort of activity to raise money for the wedding, we are thinking about selling Nacatamales or Donuts or doing some sort of soccer tourney where people pay just a few Lempiras to play.
      The other family we have, Abraham and Consuelo (the lady that fell down during the first lesson), We are working with them to get them to church. They are really amazing actually, have great testimonies, but its just hard to get them to come to church because they are SO old. Abraham still isn’t sure if he can get baptized because he is catheterized and has a bag attached to him…so we are thinking of options. Any ideas? Haha
   On Wednesday elder Ray cut off a mole I had on my neck. 
Things have been kind of rough in the area though...we had 3 families that were SUPER positive and really wanted to progress, but they all are going to move away really soon, like this week or the next. It has been kind of hard on me and Elder Quevedo because we are working really hard. But we just have to continue finding new people to teach. One thing that i love/hate  about the area is that it is HUGE. it could be divided into 4 different areas. but i will never get bored contacting here so thats a good thing. we are having a bit of a challenge in the ward...non of the member want to visit with us to our appointments because its really dangerous and they dont want to leave their house later than 6 pm...i dont blame them. 
    well how are things going back home in the states? elections? march madness? anymore babies or pregnant sisters? i love you all so much! i love hearing from you all.
until next week!

con amor,
Elder Archibald

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week 36

Hey everybody!
Well the time here in the office really seems to pass by a lot faster. There´s always a million things to be doing and not a whole lot of time to slow down. It is SUPER tiring here though.  Waking up at 5:30 every day is starting to take its toll on me…our exercise in the morning is pretty pitiful haha. Just a bunch of zombies walking around trying to do a few sit ups and push ups. And one of the secretaries here in the house is this short chubby el slavadoreño and he just sits… well, lays down on the couch and does these jerking movements that he calls sit-ups and he gets really mad when we start laughing at him.
     Also I got a package from John and Kelli! THANK YOU! It didn’t look like anyone got into this package, I got the SD cards in the candy haha. I´ll be sending a copy of my pictures home pretty soon so I can have a back up there. I loved the pictures too. I cant believe John went sky diving! Haha. That is nuts. Aiden looks a lot bigger, it is going to be so weird when I get back home with all the new nieces and nephews. And the tide-to –go pens are always are really handy to have with me…and of course the candy is always a really nice taste from home. Thank youuuu. I also got a few Letters this week. I got a great birthday letters from RJ and from Grandpa. Mitch Winter wrote me, He´s in San Salvador, it was great to hear from him. I also got a wedding announcement from Chad Bunker! 
 Things are going great in the area too. We have a family with a baptismal date for the 24th of this month! La Familia Matute. The mom, Ninfa, got baptized 20 years ago but is really really excited to return to the church. She´s a chef for the government here. The dad´s name is Santos and he is just as excited to join the church. And then Ninfa has custody of her grandson that will be getting baptized as well. BUT, just like every single other couple in Honduras…they are actually married. So we have to get going with that. Luckily it wont be too hard because they both are from pretty close to here in Tegucigalpa.
 Yesterday we had a really cool sunday. Randomly an investigator showed up to sacrament meeting that we had never seen before, we started talking to him and we invited him to sunday school and elder`s quorum. He didnt talk much during sunday school but in elders quorum he really opened up and was answering a lot of questions...The lesson was on the priesthood and it was amazing to see how much he caught on and answering questions about the importance of authority and how essencial it is to have in the true church of Jesus Christ. Afterwards we set up an appointment with him and we are planning on meeting with him today or tomorrow. the challange is that he works a lot and doesnt really have a set schedule. After church we always go visit people with a few of the members in the ward and we went to go talk to the aunt and uncle of one of the members. The aunt and uncle are the same age as grandpa, and really kind soft spoken people. We planned on watching a talk by President monson from General Conference because they wanted to hear the voice of a prophet. Right before we were about to star the lesson, the aunt tripped on a concrete block and fell down really hard and was bleeding all over the place. She was crying as we picked her up and sat her on the chair and cleaned up her wound that was actually pretty bad. once she settled down she told us she wanted to watch the video. so we continued. It was a very powerful lesson and at they end they said they both new that he really was a prophet of god, that joseph smith restored the church, and that the book of mormon is true...now they want to be baptized. the only thing is that the uncle has some health problems and isnt sure if he can actually be baptized...but we are going to figure out more with that soon. Its incredible how the lord blesses us. Before we werent having much success at all but me and Elder Quevedo just kept working hard and ...well...now we have a lot of stuff happening. its amazing. Elder Quevedo has been my favorite companion so far. he is such a humble guy and so easy to love. I thought he would be leaving at the end of march but president told us that he will be staying another transfer! Im so excited. Every day is a good day. Im starting to be able to balance my responsibilities in the office with my responsibilities as a missionary a lot better and i feel great haha.
     Hows everything going at home? When do David and Whitney move? i loved those pictures of Katie! how is Avett doing? i cant get over how awesome that name is haha. and how are matt and ali and rosie doing in LA, california dreamin?
well i love you all so much. thanks for EVERYTHING. i could not ask for a better family. almost all the doors i contact i show them our family picture and it really helps me to be able to connect with them and show them that i want their family to be happy like mine is.
until next week!
con mucho amor,
Elder Archibald

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Week 35

Hey family!
Hows everybody doing? It has been a pretty good week here in the office and in Jardines de Toncontín. Everything's been going pretty smooth with the finance stuff here in la Misión Honduras Comayagüela. I made my monthly trip to all the banks to pay all the landlords with my giant stack of Lempiras. Everything went smoothly at the bank though, no old Honduras ladies yelling at us for having too much money haha. Funny story though, now at each desk where the tellers are at there are big dividers between so you cant see what the other people are doing. I was talking to the teller and she told me that they put those up the next day after what happened the last time in the bank with us.  Other news, I still haven’t gotten my drivers license, I have to wait until I have my Honduras residence card which takes a long time to get…but im hoping that its sooner than later, I miss driving.
                On Saturday we had a fun p-day. All of us office missionaries and The Rays went to the Temple grounds and had a picnic. The Rays made us sloppy joes, potato salad, and cinnamon Rolls. It has been a really long time since I have eaten any of that kind of food hah, it was a nice taste of ´Merica. But the temple is taking forever to get finished; in the very beginning they were saying it would be done in May, then June, then August, then December, and now the very latest i've heard is in February…but i think that it could possibly be December. That’s what i'm hoping for at least. I really want to go there and see some of my families be sealed. From what i've heard from the missionaries that are in San Rafael basically everyone is still very active.  Las Familias Andino, Nuñez, and Medina are still all going to church every Sunday. The Medina family even goes along with the missionaries for there teaching appointments…its  makes me really happy to know that they are so active and really enduring to the end. We have also been seeing a lot more progress in my area here, Jardines de Toncontín. We found this one family, La familia Matute, contacting and the wife invited us right in. she got baptized about 20 years ago but has been inactive for a really long time but moved to the area recently and has been wondering where she could go to church again. She had also been praying a lot for her husband, that he would make some changes in his life and he has also been interested in god but just hasn’t had the chance to get kto  know his heavenly father. They accepted ta baptismal commitment during the first lesson, went to church the following Sunday (yesterday). and now tonight we are planning on putting the baptismal date. It has been really incredible to see how Heavenly Father puts people in our paths that are just waiting to hear and learn about the gospel. The ward i'm in is really great too, they are a huge help and are ready and willing to extend a hand of friendship. Sunday was really great though, the last few weeks we have really been struggling to get people to visit church, but everything kind of fell in place this week. We had 4 people attend church who haven't been in years and years. We've been focusing a lot in working with part member families to reactivate while teaching new investigators. We are teaching this one family where the wife used to be super active as a youth but got pregnant while she was a teenager and kind of fell away from the church. now she is living with her husband and daughter and she came to church for the first time in a really long time. the husband and daughter are also very interested. The daughter goes to a bilingual school and speaks perfect english so i get to teach in English for a little bit. I love it haha. It can really be frustrating sometimes because in spanish i can say what i need to say...but it is limited with my vocabulary. I feel like i am able to teach so much better in english...but i just have to keep working hard at the language so i can get to the point where i can express myself how i want to.
     That's awesome about mom and dads baptism! she sounds like she has a really great testimony. I'm sure our missions are very different as far as the people go, but really similar in a lot of other aspects. It'd be interesting to see your ward mission plan...its like pulling teeth to try and get our ward to do one, but it really does make a difference if there is one in place and the people are working with it.
    CONGRATS TO BRETT AND ASHLEY!!!! i love the name Avett!! haha he looks just like a little Brett. Yet another nephew/ niece that i get to meet when i get home...sometimes i lose track of who is pregnant and who is due soon, there is a lot of that going on in our family lately haha.

  well thats about it for this week. thank you so much for everything, you are an amazing family and i want all of the families i teach to be as happy as us. until next week...

Les amo mucho,
Elder Archibald