Thursday, April 26, 2012

Week 42

Hey family!
¿Cómo están todos? Another good week down here in Honduras. First off, thank you to Brett and Ashley for the Easter package! I haven’t had a ring pop in a really long time haha and the nerf gun is awesome…I pass time by shooting the lizards in our house with it. Also to answer some questions from your letters: Yes the office has air conditioning, which is awesome because this is the hottest time of the year. Mom, we call our district meeting lessons Temas, what are they in German? And Brett, your Spanish is still pretty good…looks right to me at least. Also, thanks for doing my taxes dad, that was a lot bigger tax return than I thought i´d get. That’s crazy that cole is already back home and at BYU. How is he doing? I´m still waiting for the package from Dad, I hope it gets here soon. We go to the post office every Wednesday, so hopefully I’ll see it there. That’s also cool that Jason Esplin was the financial secretary in Brazil…we´ll see if I’ll be a CFO haha. I’m thinking that what I do is a lot more accounting than finance stuff…or at least I hope because if not I’m changing majors hah.
This week kind of flew by so its hard to remember everything that happened. I have a new companion, his name is Elder Gonzales. He is from El Salvador and will be Elder Quevedos replacement. Elder Q is training him to be the materials secretary before he gets changed on the 9th. I`ll be sad to see Elder Quevedo go, he has been my favorite companion by far.
Things have been going pretty well in the area; the ward is still struggling but things are headed in the right direction. Attendance has been going up slowly but surely. The ward is a little bit more excited about missionary work now that we´ve been bringing investigators pretty consistently to church. Yesterday we had 5 in the sacrament meeting…we were expecting a lot more, but it was still great.  We also started to teach a Gospel Principles class for the new members and investigators because they will be able to learn more than in gospel doctrine..and frankly they other class was really boring, so we had to do something to switch things up. There`s a ward that had 65 investigators in sacrament meeting last sunday and over a hundred references because each member commited to bringing someone to church. Once the Bishopric got the names of the people they wrote personalized invitations to each person invited and gave them a set of was a huge success for them. It really shows that if a ward will magnify their callings and work together they can do a whole lot more than just the missionaries
Samir showed up like always, he still has his baptismal date for this Saturday. He works a lot though so its hard to find him and we still have a few more lessons to teach him before the baptism, so let’s hope everything goes well. He´s awesome though, his best friend just got back from his mission in Chile so that helps out a lot too.
We also had this other Family come to Church, la Familia Súniga. I wrote about them a few weeks ago about how the mom and the sister in law just showed up to church without being invited. They are a really great family except for the husband wants nothing to do with us...and thats kind of the reason why the mom doesnt really want to get married to him...even though they have ben together for 25 years and have 5 kids together. Its a hard thing for me to understand. But We are going to keep trying to talk to the dad and see if he will soften his heart if he sees the whole family going to least to the point where he will be more loving towards his family and maybe then they will want to get married.
Its a similar situation with la Familia Matute...The husband wasnt really sure if he wanted to get married the the wife...which is kind of understandable because she is 15 years older than him and is pretty mean to him...BUT nonetheless he finally decided that he wanted to get married and get baptized. So now we just have to get papers moving for the wedding...I really had no idea before the mission that i would be helping so many people fix their marital problems. Im just glad that I have a great example in Mom and Dad and I know how a marriage and a family is suppposed to work and how it can be happy. A lot of people say that i dont understand their problems and that i cant help, which is partly true...I`ve never been married or anything, but I tell them how happy my family is and i know that it is because of the Gospel, and i know it can change their family life as well.
Alright, well thats about it for this week. I love you all. Thanks for your prayers and your support! hope all is well in Germany, Florida, Salt Lake, Colorado, St. George, and LA. haha. Hasta luego
Con mucho amor,
Elder Archibald
ps. Mothers day is on the 10th of April in Honduras...i forget when it is in America, i think its the second sunday of the month, right? anyways, im sure that we could do the whole webcam thing again this time and it will be a lot easier now that i`m in the office. You`d just have to talk with Elder Ray and he can help us set it up. I am available monday through Friday from about 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Week 41: Éxito...Por Fin!

Hey family,
Well this has been a really awesome week down here in Honduras. First off, everyone is finally back home from la Semana Santa so we´ve been able to find people in their houses to talk to and teach.  This week there have been a few miracles that have really helped the work move along in our area.
First off, our investigator, Samir, has a baptismal date for the 28th of this month! It has been really tough to find him lately because of his work schedule. We can never go to his house because his family hates the church so we always have to set up an appointment with this member family, La Familia Sosa, who are his friends but they aren’t home a lot either so it really takes a lot of planning.  And on top of that they live in this part of our area that’s really far from where we usually are. But on Tuesday we were over there (Las Brisas) to follow up on a contact we had, but nobody was home. We went and tried a few more doors but nobody really wants to talk to us in this area. Then we thought we´d just stop by and see if La Familia Sosa was at home. When we got there the door was open so we knocked and said hello, and the daughter came to greet us,  And guess who came out to greet us after…Samir! He gave us this really surprised look that we were there and thought that the family had called us to tell us to come over because he´s never really at their house if we don’t have an appointment, but they hadn´t. We started talking and told us that he´s really glad we came over because he had been thinking a lot about the church and has had some doubts and wanted to call us, but something held him back. He told us about how all this has been really hard because of how he was raised and that this is pretty different. The fast and testimony meeting last Sunday really impacted him, and he was able to see the amazing impact the church and the Book of Mormon has left on so many people. He also said that he prayed earlier in the morning and asked for some sign to let him know if he should join the church. He took us showing up out of the blue unannounced and unanticipated as his sign.  It really was a miracle. After that he told us that he wants to be baptized, and we set the date for the 28th. The cool thing is that one of his best friends will be coming home from his mission in Chile on the 17th and has been talking over email with him and they are both really excited.  So all we need to do now is finishing teaching him the lessons and keep him coming to church, he´s been 3 times in a row already.
Also another miracle that happened this week with La Familia Matute. The missionaries from the Mission Tegucigalpa brought over a stack of Notas de Soltería, which is basically just a paper from the government that says someone is single and can get married. In that big stack we found there was a paper for La Familia Matute, saying that the wife is single! Which means that she doesn’t need a divorce after all and can get married soon. We went to their house that night to tell them the good news and she was really really happy, but the husband was just normal…I guess he has to think about it and decide if he really wants to marry her. We hope he makes the right decision. But at least there is nothing really impeding them from progressing that is out of their hands.     
     The ward is really struggling though; the attendance is way down. The Bishop is really discouraged and is just waiting to get released i think. So we´ve been trying to work really hard just trying to bring people to church. Sunday we had 5 investigators in church which was really great. Samir showed up on his own, and then those ladies that went to church last week to the other ward that we´ve been teaching (Éster y Yessenia) they showed up...which was a really big surprise because they had a nephew die and they had the funeral that day, but they ended up showing up to sacrament meeting so that was a really great surprise. They are really great, the only problem is that Éster doesnt want to get married to her children´s father who she is living with, and Yessenia´s husband lives in Haiti and comes home twice a year...but they arent actually married. So we are still debating if it would be a good idea for her to get baptized before getting married...some really difficult situations. But Elder Quevedo and I are SUPER excited for next sunday because we have 12 investigadors that have given really strong commitments of coming to we are hoping to have them all come.
    We´ve seen a real turn around in the area this week...there was so much time where we were working hard without any fruits, but finally, all at once, we´ve been  blessed with a lot of new investigators that truly want to listen to us and progress. We found 8 new investigators in 5 days, and we have plans to find more.
   Well, things are really going great here in the mission...I´ve never really been as excited as this to go work. I love my area and i love the people. sincerely. Just shows that we all need to keep just a little more faith, diligence, and patience, and blessings will come.
I LOVE YOU ALL! thanks for being awesome. hope everybody is doing good with all of the things they are doing in life and wherever they might be! 

Con mucho amor,
Elder Archibald

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Week 40 Feliz Easter

Hey family,
Well, to start off, it has been soo hot this week. I´m not sure what the temperature has been but  my tender gringo skin has been taking a beating from the sun. Also this last week is “La Semana Santa” (holy week) to remember Easter and the events leading up to it. Its pretty cool that there´s a big focus on it as a culture. Everyone takes work and school off for the week and go up north to the beaches…I honestly don’t know how some of these people afford it, but they definitely need of a good vacation. The sad part is that during the “Holy Week” where they celebrate the resurrection and the atonement and everything, A lot of the people just get incredibly drunk for the 7 days…it’s a lot like Christmas here haha. It is the weirdest thing though going around contacting because NOBODY is home because they are up north in the place called Tela. My area has been a ghost town so its been a little slow lately.
                Elder Quevedo and I had a pretty crazy lesson last Monday though. We found this family in this really shady part of my area called La Ventania. Its just a bunch of shacks along the side of this river with a lot of marijuana that the local gangs are growing. Anyways, we got this reference to teach the granddaughter of Hilario (who we baptized a month ago). We went to teach out the back door of the house right by the river because it was really hot inside, so we were just sitting there in this really jungle-y area and as we were teaching I saw the largest spider I have ever seen in my life crawl up onto my companion´s shoulder. It was just like those tarantulas you would see on TV only a little longer/skinner legs…but furry and everything. When I saw it I let out an involuntary audible “”  Elder Quevedo looked over at his shoulder, jumped up out of his chair, then hit the spider and sent it flying about 15 feet away. He is a champ and held back his tears from being terrified as we finished teaching.
                Also we got a set of some ghetto concrete weights in the house so we´ve been lifting in the mornings, which makes exercise a little more exciting at 5:30 in the morning…I’m also trying not to get fat here in the office haha we sit a lot during the day and eat a lot too. I´ve been kinda sick lately though, every transfer I get an annoying cold for a couple days.
                Easter was good. It was just a pretty normal Sunday; it was really nice though because a lot more people opened their doors and were more receptive to our message because of the date. We had 6 really positive contacts and found some new investigators. There were two investigators that showed up to the neighboring ward of their own initiative and during the Sunday school class they told the missionaries that they wanted to be baptized and everything…the good news is that they actually live in Jardines de Toncontín (my area)! The missionaries gave us the reference and we went to their house right after church and they were very excited to see that we came to visit them so soon after. We couldn’t teach them because her husband wasn’t home, but we set an appointment for Wednesday. Tender mercies…
We´ve been having a really tough time lately in the area, we haven’t baptized recently but we have a lot of investigating families that are really really positive.  The hard thing is that everyone of them has a pretty big problem that keeps them from going to church or getting baptized…La Familia Ramirez Pineda the wife broke her leg really bad and can´t even use crutches to leave the house. There are 5 in that family and said that they know the Book of Mormon is true but they don’t want to go without their mom. Abraham y Consuelo are really old and they both can’t go at the same time because they sell stuff from their house and they are afraid to leave their house alone they´ll get robbed. They know the church is true as well. Samir has gone to church 3 times, but if he gets baptized his family will kick him out of the house. La Familia Matute, I already told you about their situation how the wife needs to get divorced from her first husband, but they keep coming to church every Sunday…I just really hope they don’t get discouraged. La Familia Hernandez, they have a testimony of the restoration, but the husband has a really hard walking because has really bad knees and they have 2 little kids that the mom can´t handle on their own… It’s been frustrating because here are these 10 or 11 people who want to be baptized but for one reason or the other just can’t…right now at least.
About the mole that Elder Ray removed haha…Sorry I didn’t let you guys know before, but it was just on my neck right where my collar is and it would rub against my shirt all day and was really uncomfortable… Elder Ray said that he could take it off real quick and easy so while I was in the office he just numbed it up and then cut it off. It wasn’t a big procedure or anything but the next time I´ll let you all know before.
 Also, I haven’t gotten any Dearelders in about 2 months…Its not super reliable down here so I think it would just be better if you emailed me the letters that you would normally send through that and I’ll just print them off. Speaking of…Cole is back home right? When does Elder Lontine get home? And when do Trent and Brandon head off? Has max gotten his call yet?
Well, that about sums it up for this week. Oh yeah, if someone plans on sending me a package in the future It would be nice to have more of those Shout wipes…they work better than the tide to-go pens I think (good call Ali). And a small Colorado flag patch to sew on my bag would be sweet. Also that journal that David gave me for Christmas is almost filled up, if someone could send me another one like it that would be really great.
I love you all! Thanks for everything. I have the best family in the world! Let me know how everybody is doing, I love getting your letters and photos.
Con mucho amor,
Elder Archibald
Ps. Those scripture covers that I bought forever ago, well the lady said that it’s likely that I could be getting them this week…keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Week 39

Hey everybody,

    Welp, another week passed down here in good `ol Honduras. Things are going pretty good, everything went well with changes and everybody had a house to live in hah. Also, one of the knew missionaries that came in, his name is David Livingston and it turns out we had a lot of friend in common up at the Y like Becca Young. Its weird to think that the new elders that are coming in think that im old in the mission when i still feel pretty green. Ive really learned who to manage stress with my time here in the office, theres always a million things to do, but getting yourself worked up about things doesnt help at all. So just keepin things chill and easy going. How`s everything going at home? i guess the olympics are happening now right? everyone here has been going crazy about the soccer games. Its so hard to find anyone to talk to while the games are on TV because if you knock on the door they usually dont answer or just yell at you for interupting their TV kind of amazes me how much TV they watch here haha i swear, like 12 hours straight. 
     I guess i got my "TV time" in too this weekend with general conference. Before the mission I really did enjoy conference, but it is SO MUCH BETTER here on the mission. I really get a lot more out of it because i am able to watch it with my own needs in mind as well as the needs of my investigators. I wasnt able to watch the first session in English, but the rest i did. it really is a lot better than having to listen to a translator that shows little to no emotion. Unfortunately practically no investigators came to the conference. which is really frustrating because all of the investigators would have had their questions answered by the prophet and apostles if they just would have showed a little desire and made the effort to go to the church and watch conference. Now we just have to wait 6 months for the next one to come around.
    Also, on a sad note, the donkey I took pictures with died the other day. It ate some Garbage and died. the funny/sad part is that the owner of the donkey found some plastic plates and wrap with the missionaries names on it who lived there.
    Things are kind of the same in the area, we continue finding all these really great people that are truly interested in the gospel, but the all have really big problems that make it difficult for them to get to church (severly broken leg, cant leave their house because gangsters will rob them, have really damaged knees, etc) so ive just been trying to keep patience throughout all this. It has been kind of tough to make the decision to drop some of the investigators to look for new ones. It takes some serious prayer to know if its the right thing to do or not, but we feel like we just need to find people that are ready right now, and in the future we will be able to help the others. 
    Anyways i hope everybody is doing well back in Florida, Utah, Colorado, California, and Germany! Its crazy how spread out our family is. Welp, until next week...I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Archibald