Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Week 46: Adios Jardines!

Hola familia,
   How has everyone been doing? Things have been really good here in Honduras. This has been a pretty awesome week. It was my last week in Jardines de Toncontín, my last day was yesterday actually. I was there showing one of the Elders who will be there around the area and where our investigators are and everything. I was pretty sad to leave to be honest with you, i really loved the area. I was there for about 4 and a half months, which is how long i was in San Rafael, but the time went by ten times faster in this area...not sure why. I was expecting to be here for 8 months haha but now I´m in an area called Nuevo Loarque. Us 4 secretaries will be working there, its a big area and its a wealthier place from what i´ve heard. Ive actually never been there yet, tonight will be my first time in the area. I think i´ll be here for another 3 or 4 months.
    Things ended really really well in Jardines though, we invited Yesenia and her son Alexis from la familia Zuniga to be baptized on monday and we set the date for Saturday. They were both so excited, even though the rest of the family wasnt going to be able to. We had a really great baptismal service on saturday, about 25 members showed up to support them. Thats the most people ive ever had come to a baptism, it was really great and the spirit was present. After the were baptized, Alexis and Yesenia bore their testimonies. Alexis said that he wants to be a missionary and that he is going to start preparing now. The kid is really really smart and is going to be a huge help to the youth in the ward, and the mom has such a strong testimony in the restoration. I was really grateful to be able to participate in their baptism and conversion.
   Also monday in the morning i went to the Honduran was a really weird experience hah. the instructor kept calling on me to answer questions and explaining how things are different here from in the states. During the written test he was like reading over my shoulder and it was pretty funny because he would give me the answers in broken english. Everything turned out well though and i will be able to drive starting tomorrow. Its going to be crazy driving in the country...but dont worry mom, ill be safe and check my mirrors haha.
   well thank you for everything! i love you so much! let me know how everyone is doing.
Con mucho amor,
Elder Archibald

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Week 45: El tiempo esta volando

 Hey everybody,
     Another quick week here in the office and Jardines de Toncontín. The time has been flying by really fast but not fast enough, I´m ready to get out of the office to be honest hah. These 4 months have been wayyy too tiring and stressfull. I really miss the normal missionary life. Sounds like I´ll be leaving in September, so another 4 months...its weird to think that i´ll spend a third of my mission in the office. Im sure that when i final get out of this place ill be a lot more excited to go work and get stuff done. I´ll really appreciate the proselyting side of things a lot more.
     I love my area though, I try really hard to leave the office early at like 2:30 or 3 so we can eat a quick lunch and get to the area at 4 or so and have a good 5 hours if we skip dinner to visit less actives and investigators. We have a lot of potential here in the area to have a lot of success really soon. We have 9 investigators that have enough church attendance to get baptized as soon as they make the decision. Santos Matute has been going back and forth a lot...its been frustrating. We were at his house Saturday night and we had a really powerful lesson and he was so excited to get married and get baptized, but he didnt come to church the next day...his "wife" Ninfa came to church and said that he just didnt feel like going. Ninfa has a grandson named Sergio that wants to get baptized so i think we will baptize him this Saturday. Maybe Santos will be able to see the example in a child and that might touch his heart.
   Last night we went with La familia Zúniga and had a good lesson. The Dad carlos didnt really want to be there because there was a soccer game going on so he left and was just watching TV in the other room...I want to just tell him really directly, that if he really doesnt want his wife to leave him he has to start putting in some effort and actually care about her. It makes me really really sad to see that she has this HUGE testimony and wants to make covenants, but can´t...She´s been to church 5 or 6 times in a row, she goes to institute every friday, and all the activities in between. we told her to not lose hope and to be humble and have lots of patience. SHe still has plans to leave at the end of this year, but we are hoping things can patch up in their family. Really all they have to do is start with the little things like a family prayer every night and i know it would help them...they just have to put it in practice. But we did invite her sister-in-law, Yessenia, to be baptized with her son Alexis this Saturday with her niece Wendy. They are all really excited, except wendy isnt 100% sure we are going to be working with her these days.
    I did get kind of bad news i think, while president was signing some checks for me we were talking about my area and he says that i need to baptize my investigators as soon as possible because i think that he is going to be taking us out of the area and putting us somewhere else. Im really sad about it if that is really what is going to happen. I love this area. But we will see what happens. He said that we´d be opening an area, and thats always hard to get things going the first couple weeks especially if it is just recently closed which i think is the case.
    How are things going back home? I miss you all a ton. thank you for the support and prayers. HAVE A GREAT WEEK! until next time...
Con muchísimo amor,
Elder Archibald
PS. the pictures attached are my new honduran resident card...IM OFFICIALLY HONDURAN! also the view from the office, and our walk through some trees in the middle of the highway to the office every morning. The picture of all the houses on the hillside is probably the richest part of Honduras...its actually pretty haha.


Week 44: Feliz dia de la Marde

Hey familia,
     Well, not too much to write this week since we talked just yesterday haha. But it was really great to be able to talk to you all and see your faces. Everytime before i call home i get really nervous and almost dont want to call haha because i am really comfortable with the mission right now and I was worried that the call might make me homesick or get distracted from what Im doing here, BUT it was great, it gave me the little extra burst of whatever it was that i needed. I was glad that i was able to meet Avett and Katie and that I got to hear Luella talk for the first time! its going to be nuts when I get back home and everyone is grown up haha.
    After tha call we went to the area and had a few lessons. We went with this one family for the second was a really awkward lesson. About half way through the grandpa comes in without his shirt on (thats not the weird part, nobody wears shirts here) and asks us if we wanted to perform surgery on him. We were so confused, but then he turned around and showed us this giant pimple/cist thing on his back and told us he wanted us to cut it open. We laughed and told him no, but then he got really serious with us and said if we were really men of god we would do it for him haha. So we just told him to go to the doctor because hes the only person with authority to do that, we have authority to teach about christ haha. Then he went on forever about he was in the Honduran army 50 years ago back when "compasses didnt exist" and they had to use the sun to guide themselves, and how the army now adays have the best they have compasses. haha.
   We also went with la familia Zúniga (Esther, Carlos, Yessenia, Wendy, Alexis, Poleth), It was a really intense lesson, Esther and Carlos kind of got everything out in the open with the relationship and their feelings and they were arguing a was really sad at first because both of them were saying that it would probably be best if one of them just walked out and left the family. The Dad got up and wanted to give us a handshake to say goodbye because he might be leaving the next day, thats when the daughter left the room crying, but i didnt shake his hand and told him id see him the next day...he smiled and said okay. But we explained how no family is perfect, everyone has their problems, but they need to have hope, patience, and faith and things will work out for their own good. Both need to humble themselves, look for the good in eachother, and forgive one another. We explained that true happiness comes only through obedience to gods commandments and how living the gospel will make the family more united. We invited them to start kneeling down and praying as a family every night and we promised them that if they did that, and that if everyone came to church this sunday that they would feel the presence of the spirit in their home and the contention would leave. They commited themselves to do it, but it wasnt very we will see if they did it when we visit them tonight. I love this family a lot. They have the potencial to be an incredibly strong family and leaders in the church...they just have to humble themselves and start working on the little things...  that really applies to all of us. Its through the small and simple things that big changes and miracles come to pass. ie. prayer, reading the scriptures, service, etc.
Well I love you all so much, thank you for being a great example for me. I hope everybody is doing well! write me and tell me how your missions, work, kid raising, and everything else is going!
Con mucho amor,
Elder Archibald

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Week 43: Pusimos la fech

Hey family!
    Well we couldnt write yesterday because all the new missionaries came in and it was pretty crazy getting everything squared away. The office is really crazy as you know, but Im glad i get to write you today!
    First things first, About the Mother`s day call. I am free basically whenever saturday and sunday, its just a little difficult sunday afternoon because i have church from 1 to 4 pm. and the Rays have church sunday in the morning. I can use the google plus again this time and Elder Ray is awesome is letting me borrow his computer again. If you people can do it on Saturday it would be better because thats my P-Day...But we can work out the details during the week through Elder Ray...Man i love having family in the mission haha.
    On another note, La Familia Matute finally accepted a baptismal date! its a lot more sure than it has been before, but they are still on the edge with the desires to tie the knot and get married. The "Wife" isnt really helping a whole lot...she criticizes him a lot and isnt super supportive, but shes trying to improve. I had a really special experience with them yesterday, We decided to stop by just to see how they were doing. We asked how it has gone with the prayers and Santos (the husband) was really excited to tell us that he and Ninfa (the wife) had kneeled and prayed together the night before. Santos explained his experience and that he felt a small simple peace, but a confidence as well. He`s showing a lot of faith to continue forward. It was a really cool thing to be a part of because before i was trying to think of a million other things we could do to try and to get them to make the decision...but really this just shows how IMPORTANT and powerful true SINCERE prayer is. With TRUE intention...miracles can really happen and people WILL recieve an answer from their heavenly father. So we have the wedding date set for the 18th of this month in the morning, and the baptism for the 19th. Im really excited about it all.
    Also with la familia Sùniga, We have been focusing a lot more in the husband because hes a little more hard hearted and hasn`t really wanted to listen to us much. But yesterday he was there for the lesson but asking all kinds of questions that dont really matter in the grand scheme of things...but we kept listening to him and answering what we could while trying to direct things back the the restoration...anyways, towards the end we invited him to saying the prayer to end and at first he didnt want to and told his nephew, Alexis, to say the prayer. Alexis continued and said a good prayer and was an example for his family (he`s 11 years old by the way). But right after Alexis finished his prayer, Carlos (the husband) started and said another prayer haha. It was really cool, and it was a sincere prayer and so we are hoping to see some progress with this family.
     Things are going good though, we have some other families we are working with as well...I love the area.
Well, Thats about it for this week. thank you for all your prayers and for the support. Im staying safe here in Honduras haha.
Let me know how everybody is doing! I LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL!

con mucho amor,
Elder Archibald

Week 43: 10 Months

Hey family!
     Hows everybody doing? first off, i got the package from dad. THANK YOU! I have been craving some of those Ritter Sports for awhile...Feel free to send more haha. Also, that CD is awesome, it does make me miss my mandolin and guitar a little bit though. Did you say that it was Brett`s folk ensemble class professor whos CD it is? I think I want to take that class when I get back...I dont really like thinking about coming home though; I dont want to have to worry about what classes im going to take at the Y or finding work. The mission is so much simpler and easier in that sense.
   Anyways, This week has been a good one, but really rough as well. Samir didn`t end up getting baptized on Saturday. A bunch of things came crashing down all at once that really discouraged him. First off, His Boss moved their work to another part of Tegucigalpa...close to where i was in San Rafael actually, and he has had to work a lot more as well. And then also the house that we would always teach him in, the family is moving out and the Land Lady who lives below is really mad about it so she says that they cant have any visitors over. The family didnt listen at first and we still came over, but after that the Land Lady locked them out of their own house. And then Samir`s friend Samaria (She`s the one that has been really helping out with bringing him to church) let him know that she is only his friend and i think he expected something more. So know he is embarassed to be around her in the Church. We called him before we knew all of that he just told us that he wont be able to come to church anymore and probably wont be able to visit with us anymore. It was really really hard for me to hear that from him. Especially after all that happened...kind of like a punch in the stomach. It is incredible for me to see how hard Satan works on people that want to make changes in their lives and make covenants. We are going to see what we can do to get Samir to come back to church, but I`m just trying hard to not let it discourage me and to keep working hard to find other people that are ready to hear the message of the restored gospel. Just gotta keep hope and faith...lets kick some Satanàs
    We did have Ester and Yessenia come to church again this week. and they stayed for all 3 classes! they told us that they got so bored last time and didnt want to stay for the whole time, so thats why we started our own class for sunday school. But there are some awesome ladies in the ward that made a bigger effort to befriend them and that really helped a lot. We are still Trying to help her make the decision to get married...She and her "husband" have been together for 25 years and have 5 kids together. We are still praying to figure out what she needs to learn or hear to help her take the step forward to be able to get baptized.
    Well thats about it for this week. I LOVE YOU! you`re the best family a missionary could ask for. Keep up the good work in your succesfull lives :) haha
Con mucho mucho amor,
Elder Archibald
Ps. In San Rafael i baptized a man named Carlos, if you remember. Anyways, I just found out that he has recieved the Melchezidek Priesthood and went to Guatemala to do baptisms in the Temple. I tell you, nothing makes you feel better than when you see these people stay active in the church and continue progressing. All my baptisms are faithfully attending church in San Rafael with goals to go to the temple, except La Familia Zepeda.