Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Week 56: Transfers week

Hey familia!
     Well this has been a pretty great week out here in Loarque. Its been fun because we have been getting to know the members a lot better and working with them a lot more closely. On Wednesday we spent an hour with the Ward mission leader who is this 70 year old guy and works for the government...we just sat there as he told us one hilarious story after another. For example, He said that he left Honduras  all alone to go to Mexico when he was 15 where he worked being a handyman and sleeping in the streets and then after a decade or so he became best friends with the then future president of Mexico Vicente Fox. He also told us that when he was a young boy living in Olancho he used to play in the house of Martin Böhrman (Hitler´s right hand man) becuase he fled form Germany to Honduras in his submarine that he kept parked in the river by his house. And also while he was there in Olancho he grew up with Pepe Lobo the president of Honduras right now...then he showed us that he has his number saved in his phone as "Pepinillo"...then he tried calling him right there to say hi but he didnt answer. oh yeah, and it was his idea for the military ku to overthrow Mel Zelaya the old President of Honduras 3 years ago...and says that if he had 5 million dollars he could overthrow the government in 24 hours and 25,000 people would die. He always carries around 3 knives on him too because you never know who wants to abduct you to get information. I like to believe his stories because it makes life way more interesting.
    We had a really great activity on Saturday that we have been planning for the las couple weeks. We had a fireside and dinner for part member families where we talked about the temple watched a short video then we ate a chicken dinner. We made really nice personal invitations with the bishoprics signatures and handed them out to the families. It ended up starting an hour late but it was perfect because our investigators showed up late too haha. gotta love Honduran Standard Time. There were 40 people in all and 5 investigators so for me, i think that was a great success. A part member family we are teaching where the dad has been investigating the church for the last 7 years showed up and really enjoyed it. Also the mom and sister of a young man in the ward came and it was really great because they hadnt been to the church in a really long time. we are going to start teaching them soon. And also marcial and Yadira (the cubans) came, i was really surprised about that because they told us that there kid was sick and couldnt leave, but the kid got better! It was their first time in the church so we were super excited about that. At the end of the activity they thanked us for inviting them and that they loved it. They told us they needed us to come over on monday(today) because they have "exciting news" for us...i have no idea what it could be. Maybe she´s pregnant or they want to get baptized. We´ll find out!
     We have been able to see quite a few of our investigators progressing and showing that they have a desire to learn more...which is really where it all starts. We have one investigator named Joseph, he´s 20 years old, that came to church for the first time Yesterday. His mom was a less active lady in the ward and just started coming to church again recently...but some people are suspicious that its for ultirior motives (like for financial aid) because she always is asking us for money for medicine or things like that. But Joseph is a lot more sincere becuase he always get really embarassed when his mom talks about that kind of stuff and tells her not to do it and that he knows we arent supposed to help out with that stuff. We were really excited when we saw him, he wasnt able to come last week because he was taking care of his brother who has a lot of seizures. He has accepted the invitation to be baptized but he needs to attend church more consistently.
oh other story, I got pulled over the other day by the Honduran police...i guess our car matched the description of a car that was a part of some drug deal killing and so they searched the car and didnt find anything.
 I GOT A PACKAGE FROM MOM AND DAD! thank you! The chocolate was pretty melted so its in the freezer right now, one of them exploded ALL OVER haha but i cleaned it up alright. but dont let that discourage you from sending more chocolate in the future...near future. and i love the tie!! thank you!
Well that is it for this week! i hope youre all doing well! I LOVE YOU ALL! the time is flying by so fast and it is freaking me out. We have transfers this wednesday and then we´ll see if my replacement comes in the next couple weeks to start training and then if come this next change in september, i will only have 6 changes left in my mission....not that i´m counting.
Con mucho MUCHO amor,
Elder Archibald
ps. i also went on exchanges with Elder Martinez here in the office this week and it was pretty cool thinking about how brett and martinez´ older brother taught together as well about 5 years ago.

Week 55: El Picacho

Hola Familia!
    ¿Que tal? hows everyone going? im going to first start off with saying congrats to David, Whitney, Jonas, Miles, and Abel for their brand new baby!! thats so exciting! she is beautiful. Claire is a very fitting name. How did everything go? are the boys excited?...any other pregnant people in the family that i dont know about yet? haha.
    Things have been going okay here in the office. Its been really really stressful though...just a million things that can and do go wrong haha. All the missionaries are having problems with their debit cards and other really exciting things like that. Just some of the difficulties about being the financial secretary. President Fortuna has also asked me to make a bunch of reports and analysis about some expenses over the last year or two and is asking my opinion about increasing the missionary allowance and other things i think the missionaries would need help with.
   As for the area ill give you an update on my investigators. Christopher is doing well, he gave a talk in church yesterday which was pretty cool because its something that he´s wanted to do for awhile. We met with him before to help him prepare the talk and everything turned out really well. It was kind of a bummer that his mom didnt show up to support him though. We were hoping that that could have been a turning point. The cubans are doing pretty well. we havent had much time to meet with them this week, but we are inviting them to a ward activity for couples and we´ll talk about the temple and eternal marriage. Then afterwards we are going to have a dinner...we are hoping that it will get some part member families and investigators inside of the church to break that first burrier. We have been trying to do a lot of finding and we have a lot of appointments for this next week. Im looking forward to it. There are also a lot of opportunities to do service, the bad thing is we dont have service hours to go do that. I would like to go some saturday on our pday to be able to do it, but my companion doesnt want to. Maybe we can find sometime during the week.
     We had another sweet pday on saturday too. We went with President and his two sons to this park called Picacho where they have this giant statue of Christ on the mountain that you can see from everywhere in Tegucigalpa...a lot like the one in Brazil, only not quite as big. We took some great photos and ill send them next week to you because i have to get them from the other missionaries´ cameras because i didnt bring mine :(.  It was a lot of fun to go see that and its something that we havent been able to do before because its outside of our mission.
   Other than that things are doing great here in Honduras. I miss you all and am praying for you. I hope youre all staying safe and enjoying life. Ill be here holdin down the fort in Comayagüela.
mucho amor!
Elder Archibald
Ps. What happened in Aurora? every single person (not kidding) i talk to, when they ask where im from, start saying how sorry they are for what happened there. There was a shooting in a movie theatre or something right? anyone we know involved in that?
PPS. I FINALLY GOT MY SCRIPTURE COVERS! the guy dropped em off. i attached pictures. they turned out great.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Week 54

Hey Familia!
   Well this was a pretty fun week. In the area we´ve been trying to get to know some other parts that we havent been to and get to know some members that live in those areas. The area is actually pretty huge so there is a lot to do. It was pretty sweet this week too because we got to use the car in are area a few nights and we really took advantage of that...it really helps the work a lot. We have also been working in this part that is a little but more humble circumstances than the rest of the area, its called Los Altos de Loarque. Its pretty crazy to see how much nicer the people are and willing to talk to us and treat us like humans haha. When we contact in the wealthier areas its pretty hilarious how angry or scared people get just by us wanting to talk to them.
   We had a sweet Pday on saturday. In the morning we decided we wanted to go to this place called Valle de Angeles which is this really touristy small town where they have a lot of artesian stuff with museums and cultural stuff with a ton of little shops around. there were so many white people there! it freaked me out. They tried avoiding us though. Anyways, it was cool to get to see a pretty part of honduras. I took some pictures of the drive up there and a couple cool paintings that they have on the walls. I also bought a machete for 300 Lemps with a sweet leather case.
   Today we went to President Fortuna´s house to eat lunch, Hermana Fortuna made us some typical Dominican food and we played foosball haha. We are also planning a baseball game hopefully soon; president loves baseball...he says he knows Sammy Sosa haha.
   hey well i´m out of time. Let me know how everyone is doing! I LOVE YOU ALL
Elder Archibald

Monday, July 16, 2012

Week 53

Hey familia!
     This has probably been the fastest week of my mission so far. We have been so busy with helping President Fortuna out with getting adjusted. This last week he went around the whole mission have mini Zone conferences where he and Hermana Fortuna and the rest of the family were introducing themselves to the mission. I LOVE THE FORTUNA FAMILY! I am really excited to be able to get to know them really well these next few months. I think I will be leaving the next change on September 15th...well lets hope so at least. The thing thats been keeping me the busiest these last few days is the change of missionary debit cards, the church changed banks for all the missionaries outside of the US. So its been pretty crazy getting all that squared away (really really exciting i know). And other than that, there are some changes in the finances that pres. fortuna is doing (he is a really smart guy) so we are working with that. He really wants to make the missionaries lives a lot more comfortable. before all the missionaries paid their own light and water bills and all their transport, but now pres. fortuna wants to reimburse us, which is awesome. and he is thinking about getting small washing machines for the houses and maybe microwaves too haha. I think that would be pretty sweet.
   Other than all that boring office stuff things have been great. We played basketball on saturday for Pday at this park by our house and a little crowd of honduran kids showed up to watch us play haha. The stake presidency challenged us to a basketball game next saturday so we are going to see if we can get permission to go play with them.
    Things have been goood in the area...a little hard, but good. We have been having a hard time finding new people, we try talking to people, but the majority just slam their doors in our faces or yell at us. I guess once they get a little money their hearts get a little harder too. But we are trying to work a lot more closely with the members. We are planning a dinner for part member families and we are going to have a fireside about the temple and we have asked some of the couples that have been sealed in the ward to give their testimonies...we are hoping that we it will help those families out.
   also a short crazy story.. We were teaching the cuban family a couple nights ago and we had a good lesson and they fed us some cuban food afterwards and i said a not so funny joke saying that I`ve never tried the food because its prohibited in the States...nobody laughed. i guess its a touchy subject ha. anyways after the dinner as we were leaving the mom stood up, passed out, and completely fell on the floor really really hard. Luckily we were there to help her husband position her and lay her out. after a few minutes she came back but was in a lot of pain from when she fell and hit her knees and head. You could tell she was a little embarassed but im glad we were there to help her out. We stopped by the next day to see how she was doing and they were really glad that we came by and cared that we cared. We have another appointment with them right after this, we are hoping they will commit to come to church with us this sunday.

how are things back home? how did the move go for David and Whitney and the boys? anything cool going on in the world? Well i love you all and youre in my prayers. have a good week!!! until next time...

con MUCHO amor,

Elder Archibald

Friday, July 6, 2012

Week 52: One Year Mark

Hey everybody!
    This has been a pretty incredible week. It was pretty crazy all week getting things ready for President Flores to leave and President Fortuna to come. On thursday Sister Ray cooked a thanksgiving style lunch for all of us in the office and for President and his family....Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy...all that good stuff. It was delicious. It was fun being around president flores these last few days. You could kind of tell that he was ready to go home haha I imagine its gotta be pretty exciting to go home after 3 years away from home. Also Tuesday and Wednesday We had some zone conferences so that president and sister flores could give us their last testimonies and say good bye to the missionaries. afterward we all gave president and hermana flores the "goodbye handshake". it was a really special meeting and i learned a lot...but it wasnt really goobye for us in the office because we still had the rest of the week with him in the office.
     On Friday we went over with president flores and his family to the house of President Hernandez (mission president of the Tegucigalpa mission) and his wife cooked us a big lunch so that was really cool as well, afterward we hung around just for a few minutes playing ping pong with president flores. I also reached my one year mark in the mission which was pretty exciting. Its pretty crazy thinking about where i was a year ago during these days. I remember my first days in the MTC like it was yesterday...and it feels like it was only a month ago. The time has FLOWN by. its really crazy. Im over the hump now and im expecting it to go by even faster, so i have to work even harder.
     Later that night on friday we went to the airport to welcome President Fortuna. We were there for about 20 minutes or so before the plane landed. We were there waiting with President Flores and his family and Elder Laburiel who is an area 70 here. First off the plane was Elder Amado from the first quorum of the 70 so we got to meet him, i shook his hand and gave him a big hug. then a few minutes later President Fortuna came through the gate with his family and we greeted them and helped them with their bags (half their luggage got lost and arrived a day later). At that point President Flores took of his nametag and wasnt our mission president anymore...haha it was kind of weird to see that. After the airport i drove all their  bags to their house and we helped them get a little settled in. The next morning we had a meeting with President Fortuna as a mission office. He told us a lot about his life so we could get to know him better and then we explained a little bit about ourselves. He is an amazing man. I already look up to him and am so excited for the opportunity i will have to work with him so closely. He got baptized when he was 20 years old in the dominican republic and a year letter (1992) left on a mission to the Santo Domingo East mission. He got married a year after his mission and was called to be bishop right then, a few years after he was called to be stake president, and then just recently he has been a counselor to a mission president in the dominican republic. He is an accountant and his wife is a lawyer, he was in charge of all the buying of church properties in all of the Carribean. They have 3 kids, the older is 11, another 8, and the last is 3 years old. REALLY young kids to have as a mission president. Im really looking forward to getting to learn more from another mission president.
   Later on Saturday we went to the airport to say goodbye to Pres. Flores and his family. It was really good to be able to see them off. Hermana Flores started crying as she said goodbye to us and gave us all hugs. it was a memorable experience...I was really able to understand a little bit better how much mission presidents and their wives love their missionaries.
   Since then we`ve been with president fortuna basically all the time helping him out with the transition. Today He took me with his kids to their school so he could show me where it was so they could sign up for classes then we went out to eat and he had his first Baleada in Honduras. Its really cool being able to get to know him so well .

well i gotta run! lOVE YOU ALL

Elder Archibald