Honduras

Dallin and His Amigos













We normally would have heard from Dallin on Mother’s Day.  We had Skype ready and we had his face on the screen.  After ten minutes of staring at him, the screen went black and he was gone.  He called us later for literally one minute and told us that widespread storms had knocked out the power throughout Honduras.  He said that power outages were normal.  He told us that he would call us the following week.  We were able to talk with him last Sunday (5/21).

It was great to talk with him.  We were surprised how mature he looks and he sounds great.  It was great to see that he is happy.  We enjoyed listening to his Spanish accent.  He speaks better Spanish than English.  He also indicated that he has been healthy for 4 months or so now and feels like he is used to the parasites down there. 

As of May 1st, Dallin is in Portreillos, Honduras.  Portreillos has a population of 25,000.  The area is rural and very spread out.  He is in the city itself, which has a population of 5,000.  Portreillos is about one hour north of San Pedro Sula.  Dallin said that members and non members alike are extremely kind.  He said it is interesting because many houses also double as a “restaurants” where people go and eat. 

As far as the ward goes, he said that the size is similar to US wards.  They receive a lot of help from the members and he says his Bishop does a great job serving the members.  In addition to his mission responsibilities, he has been playing the piano in conferences and during ward meetings.  They have been working hard and have many investigators to teach.

Dallin’s new companion is Elder Tahay from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.  They get along very well and enjoy working together.  Dallin said he is very grateful because he has liked all his companions.  He and Elder Tahay are very grateful because they have to cook very few meals.  They are invited to people’s homes for both lunch and dinner.  Dallin lives in a duplex style apartment.  He says it is nice and they have access to a washer for which they are very happy.  He told us that the city is very safe.  It is very green and there are many rivers in the region.  Unfortunately, it is still very hot.  It is so hot that he had to buy long sleeve shirts because his arms constantly burning outweighed the desire to have short-sleeve dress shirts.  He says there is no other heat like Honduras.  The other feature they are grateful for in their house is that one of the rooms has an air conditioner in it.

Dallin mentioned a couple of fun facts.  He said that they went sightseeing and ran into some people from Saskatchewan.  He enjoyed seeing them and being able to speak English with them.  Right now, he speaks no English except when he is helping his companion learn English during language study each day.  He also mentioned that the ride into the city is very interesting.  They get in vans that are made for 12 but never have less than 20 in them.  He said it is quite an adventure.  According to Dallin, seat belts do not exist in Honduras.

Dallin expressed that he is grateful for serving his mission.  We asked him what his thoughts were and he said that there are moments when he stops and  realizes how blessed he is to be serving the people of Honduras.  In addition to teaching the Gospel, he has many opportunities to serve the people in ways that are crucial to their livelihood.  He spends a lot of time helping families with crops, gardens, and clearing out land to help sustain their families.  Dallin said that he has matured and learned more in 10 months than he would have learned here in years.  He wanted us to make sure that we said “hello” to everyone we could back in the States and to thank them for supporting him throughout his life. 

Mountain Climbing, Machetes, and Brownies

 An abandoned house on a huge mountain in our area

 One of the English classes we teach (this one not at the church)

We chopped down trees to build something for a Sister in the Ward

 My old companion and I up on the mountain

Brownies we made (San Pedro Sula=SPS)

SAN ANTONIO & 8 MONTHS





Sorry for the long delay, but we have been working hard and I haven’t had much time to write.  So, I have been in my new area for the past couple months.  My new area is San Antonio (not Texas haha).  When I got here, the first thing I thought of is the San Antonio Spurs.  Our area is super cool.  San Antonio is 10-15 minutes outside of San Pedro Sula.  It reminds me of the southwest deserts.  It is extremely hot and dry here.  We recently got a small air conditioner.  It has helped us a lot.  We live in a small house with three rooms.  The power goes out here.  A LOT.  San Antonio covers areas and parts of a place called Chamelecon, too.

My companion is a gringo from Idaho.  His name is Elder Lofgran.  He has 14 months in the mission and will likely be changed out in a few weeks because he almost has 6 months in this area.  He and I get along quite well.  We work hard and enjoy our time together.

We are now in a ward.  Our ward has a lot of members that are less active.  We are working on supporting them and inviting them to church.  I enjoyed the rural area but I also enjoy seeing more people.  The members are great about feeding us dinner almost every night.  We have been doing a bunch of contacting to search for people to teach. The area is friendly and it is a good area.  One of the hardest things is that everyone is so busy.  We do our best.  We did set a baptism date this week though, so we'll see how it goes.  Over the last couple of weeks, we have heard from Elder Christensen, Elder Alonzo, and President Bush.  They make me want to work harder.  We teach an English class each Saturday and it has been going well.

My health has been pretty good the last couple of weeks.  Today, we went to the Nike Store (Elder Lofgran has never been) and ate lunch at Denny's.  We also bought a few comfort foods at a place called Junior's (supermarket that has some American things).  I will have to buy some new tennis shoes soon because my shoes are completely worn thru.

I included a few pics.  I haven't been great with taking pictures and will try to be better with that this week.

It has been eight months.  I have learned a lot, so much more than I would have learned by staying home.  I have matured mentally and spiritually.  I cannot describe how much the mission has blessed my life.

Hope all is well in the states and hope to hear from you all soon!!


Love, Elder Cox

WEEK 26 - NEW BAPTISMS & EL CAJON DAM




WEEK 24 & 25 -TURKEY DINNER

Dallin helped “prepare” dinner at the request of a Sister from church.


Elder Cox is still in Dos Caminos.  He is working with investigators and is enjoying his companion.  They will be together until transfers in three weeks.  He is not sure if he is moving to a different area.  He says that it will be bittersweet.  He loves the people but is also excited for a new area. 

He was recently able to get a Walmart account (similar to Costco) and bought some much needed items along with some much needed candy.  The account has been a highlight for him!  He continues to enjoy preparation day trips to Wendy’s and playing soccer and basketball.  He feels fortunate to have lunches made for him now.  He thought they would have access to a washer but the washer is still broken.  Dallin said that he has to wash his pants and shoes everyday because they walk in mud sometimes up to the bottom of their calves. 

His health has been better lately.  He took medicine to help with the parasites.  The parasites seem to have subsided, but now he has a yeast infection in his intestines from all the meds.  They are treating the infection and he says he is doing well.  He is studying the scriptures and learning something new every day. He is excited for their investigators that are set to be baptized this Friday!



WEEK 22 & 23 - CHRISTMAS 2016


Talking with Dallin and his comp on Christmas Day
 
We spent Christmas with the familia Machado, their neighbors, and friends.
The Villanueva Zone

The gingerbread house we made at the Multi-Zona. (Give us a break, we didn't get much time)

Me and the comp (playin it cool was his idea).

I got to catch up with my zone leader from my first zone

Our House (we live on the bottom floor)

On Christmas day, he went to a member’s house and they made carne asada, sausage, and beans.  He was also able to Skype home.  He looked happy! Despite his health issues, he has gained 15 pounds.  His language skills are great, according to Courtney.  They spoke in Spanish for quite a while along with Dallin’s companion.  It was pretty entertaining to hear them talk and see that he is immersed in the language.  


WEEKS 20 - 21 MOTO-TAXIS AND JALAPENOS


Hi To All !!!!!

One thing that I have noticed that I really like is that there are so many motorcycles and moto-taxis in Honduras that I feel like I am at the sand dunes 24/7!   We have done some great things this past couple of weeks.  We were able to help paint for a sister in the ward.  It was exhausting but satisfying.  It was my comp's birthday.  We had some cake.  It was good.  We also went with some investigators and played soccer with some ward members.  We went clear up to the city for what we thought was a emergency zone meeting but when we got there we actually didn't need to go.

I realized that I have been on the mish for 5 months now.  I can't believe it has already been 5 months.  I have been feeling pretty good.  However, I had an allergic reaction to jalapenos and had to go to the hospital.  The reaction lasted like 3 hours and my hands and face were on fire.  I put my hands in a bucket of cold water to soothe the pain until 1 am.  We have hired a person to help us cook so that has been good.  We thought we had access to a washer but the washer broke.  So, we continue to wash and dry our own clothes.   

We met with a woman this week who had in the past been progressing as an investigator.  She told us that she didn't want us coming back.  We then discussed her reasons.  I thought about her reasons and about how members leave the church. I hope that people will have faith and doubt their doubts before they doubt their faith.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true.  Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  Thomas S. Monson is the prophet and Jesus Christ is the son of God who atoned for and died for our sins.  I am grateful for my faith.  Knowing these truths allow me to press forward with faith in Christ.

Have a great week and Merry Christmas!  


Love, Elder Cox