Honduras

Week 65 - FLEAS & HOOPS


 Coaching the Kids







 Our District

This week was another awesome week.

On Monday, we were walking to lunch when a random guy pulled up next to us and asked if we wanted to play basketball. We weren't sure what to think, but then he explained that he was a PE teacher at a private elementary school.  He asked us if we would travel to the school and teach the students how to play. We talked to President Bush and he gave us permission. 

It was a lot of fun.  We taught three different age groups.  I used all of the drills that I learned from coaching and playing with my Dad.  We taught them the basketball basics!  The coach has had a lot of contact with Mormons, so the zone leaders are headed over to teach him. 

Recently, we have experienced a flea problem here. Our landlord's dog had them and then passed them on to us.  We sprayed our house with chemicals.  We also hot washed our clothes to kill the fleas.  Fun!

We had a super cool district meeting this week as well.  We talked about general conference, sharing insights and things learned. Afterwards, we played a "Fly Swatter" game where all the general conference speakers were written on a white board, and someone would read a quote from their conference notes.  The first person to identify the speaker and find his name on the board won the game.  It was fun.   We are blessed to have an awesome district.

The “Kevin’s” had their baptismal interviews this week, and will have their upcoming baptisms this Saturday.  Kevin the Younger (haha) went with the ward to the temple in Tegucigalpa and had an awesome time.  He said he felt the Spirit really powerfully and wants to go back as soon as possible!!

Yesterday, we had a cool lesson.  Elder Huber and I had contact with an 18 year old man when we went to do the baptismal interview.  We went back yesterday for the return appointment.  As we were outside teaching him, we noticed that the other family members began to listen.  One actually came over to us.  By the time the lesson ended, there were four family members sitting outside listening to the lesson.  It was clear that they had been touched by the Spirit.  I recognized that the message that we were sharing made sense to them. 

The Holy Spirit is the most powerful tool in teaching and conversion.  I am grateful that as missionaries we have the opportunity to help others feel the light of the Gospel.  Even if people don't accept the Gospel, we are planting seeds in their hearts.  We are grateful to serve them.

Have an awesome week!

Thank you for supporting me!!

Elder Cox, San Pedro Sula, Honduras



WEEKS 60 - 64 CONFERENCE & GRAFFITI ANGELS


Graffiti in Our Area
Donuts & District Meeting
This Elder is from the Dominican Republic. He went out with us on Friday.  He already finished the mission, but his flight got changed because of the hurricane(s).
We Found a Sweet Juice Place in Our Area. Yum!


P-Day Basketball 

Caught In the Rain

 Conference
 Zone Activity Today
Kevin D. & His Dad

All is well here in San Pedro Sula!  This week was a very busy week.  

On Tuesday, Elder Dority had some work done on his toenail.  As a result, his walking abilities were very limited and we couldn't leave the apartment in the morning.  In the afternoon, we had our zone interviews with President Bush. We are truly blessed to have such a righteous and loving mission president. President and Hermana Bush are great!  Upon returning home, we planned for the next day.

On Wednesday, we had the Assistants to the President come to our area to go on splits.  They are members of our district, so it was a great opportunity to work with them. This is only possible because we are their district leaders. I went out to work with Elder Gutierrez (Nicaragua) and my companion with Elder Call (Nebraska).  I learned so much and we really enjoyed ourselves. They worked with us Wednesday and left Thursday morning.

Thursday, we had our weekly planning meeting.  It is crazy to think that we are already in Week 5 of this change!  It feels like my time with Elder Dority has flown by super fast!

We are excited for our upcoming baptisms, both of which are named Kevin.  Kevin D. is 15 years old and Kevin G. is 21 years old.  They are both excited for their baptisms and are well prepared.  They were able to attend conference this weekend and have their baptismal interviews this week.

Conference this weekend was a wonderful opportunity to hear the words of God's chosen servants.  Conference always feels like Christmas of sorts for missionaries.  I really enjoyed the talks of President Nelson, Elder Christofferson, and Elder Andersen at the end.  Conference felt like there was something missing without President Monson, but I think Elder Andersen did a great job with his last talk and closed conference well.  It was sad to hear of Elder Hales passing. 

President Bush and Hermana Bush came on Sunday to watch conference with the missionaries at our chapel.  It was fun to be with them and Hermana Bush brought lunch for the missionaries which was super nice of her!

Today for P-Day, our zone played “capture the flag” with water balloons.  We got super wet and enjoyed ourselves.  One Elder from our zone decided to dump a water bucket on me, so maybe a little too wet haha.

Overall, things are great here in our area of the mission.  Time is flying and it is crazy to think that Elder Dority and I only have 2 weeks left together! Well, I have to go now.  Everybody have an awesome week!

Love, Elder Cox

Week 59- Facing Our Egypts

San Pedro Sula Zone Conference with Elder Cordón

Hola!  How is everyone doing?

This week was an action packed week. First, on Wednesday, we had our mission conference, and Elder Cordón of the Seventy. He did a great job teaching and I really enjoyed the conference. He talked about our calling as missionaries, and that we are called not by men, but of God. Because of our call, he said we should be fearless in preaching the Gospel. He used the analogy of Moses, when he was called by God, and was shown all things in the heavens and earth. Afterwards, Satan appeared to him and told him to worship him. Moses basically said, ¨How could I just see all of those spectacular things and bow down and worship you?¨ Satan then began to call in terrible storms.  Moses then sent him out in the name of Christ.

After seeing all those things, Moses was called to lead the people out of Egypt.  He was prepared and he understood and realized that man is nothing.  Elder Cordon told us that we shouldn´t fear our supposed ¨Egypts¨ in the mission, because man is truly nothing.  I hope I explained his teachings.  He did a great job teaching us.

Elder Cordón of the Seventy 

Lunch Line

This Saturday, Norma was baptized.  She is one of our awesome investigators.  The ward did a great job of supporting Norma and even did a musical number.  Our ward is one of the oldest wards in Honduras and they have great gospel roots.  Norma has had it rough.  Her family is split between two religions, and for the longest time she wanted nothing to do with either church.  For some reason, she opened up toward us and we were excited to teach her.  The teachings went very well.  There were difficulties, but in the end, it went great. When she bore her testimony in the baptismal service and got emotional, I got a little emotional myself.  It was awesome.  We are very excited for her.


 
Norma’s Baptism 

 Great Support From Friends & Family
Happy Day!


Today for pday, we were invited to a family event by our investigator, Kevin.  We made pizzas at Pizza Hut.  Kevin works at Pizza Hut.  We had a pizza and spent time visiting.  Unfortunately, they wouldn’t let us take pictures in the kitchen, so no pizza making pictures.


Pizza Hut with Our Investigator

We also went to the Copan Hotel here in San Pedro. It feels like a hotel in the states. They had an event there so we went to see what was going on.  Next Monday, we are going there for the breakfast buffet, it looks amazing.



Chilliń with Elder Dority

Right now, my health is doing fine.  I am following a diet to see if it will help.  My health has been up and down and can change quickly but right now I am doing great. 


Overall, it was a awesome week!  Have a great day!


Elder Cox

Week 57 & 58 - POTATOES OR RICE?


Hello Everyone!

 I guess it’s been a little while, I’ve been super busy!  I am currently here in the city of San Pedro.  Our area includes the downtown part of the city.  I’ll admit, I didn’t want to be in the city, but honestly it has been awesome!  The work has been going really well and we have some baptisms coming up, the first of which will be this coming Saturday!  My companion is Elder Dority, he’s from South Jordan, Utah.  It has been awesome, he actually got to the mission at the same time I did. We were even in the same district in the MTC (Missionary Training Center)!  We both like working and get along super well.  We both thought we would never be comps in a million years, but here we are! I am doing better health wise.  I was sick for a good while, but things have been slowly getting better.  To figure out what the problem might be, I am trying first a Gluten-Free diet.  It is good because I am working on my chef skills.  It is hard because ALL the food here has gluten!

But overall, I am really satisfied with where I am at in the mission.  On the 26th, I only have 10 months left. Crazy!


This is truly the Lord’s work; there is no work more important on this Earth than saving God’s children.  I’m grateful to be a tiny piece of that work!  

Have a great week everyone!


The missionary sign for baptism, made using Elder Dority's Reeses Pieces.


District Meeting



Victory!  Last week we played capture the flag with another district using water balloons.  We had a great time and built district unity. 

 San Pedro Sula District






BAPTISM AND THE TOMB

Great  Day! 
El Arca de Cristo - Replica of Christ's Tomb
 El Arca de Cristo - Replica of the Cross

July 17th
We have been working with two of our best investigators and meeting a goal our zone has of 2 baptisms, every companionship, on July 29th. They are both teenage boys who have the potential to be future missionaries. One has a mother who is not sure if she wants her son to be baptized again, He was baptized at the age of 6 in the Catholic church and she is a very strong Catholic. We explained everything to her and we are praying her heart will be softened. She said she will give her permission for his baptism, but we want her to support him and come to the service.

This week we had the division of the stakes here in our zone. The Villanueva stake was split and divided into the Villanueva and Potrerillos stakes. Our stake still is extremely large, its boundaries cover a few hours of travel by bus. It was an exciting experience. It was presided over by two general authorities. 

I have been in Potrerillos three months now and next Wednesday there will be changes.  My time here has flown by and we have really enjoyed the area and the people.  We had a baptism last Saturday.  Our investigators are doing well.  My companion and I are doing well, too.  We get along and work well together.  I am trying to help him study English because he wants to learn.  He actually speaks pretty well.

Today, we went to a place called El Arca de Cristo, it is a replica of the tomb of Christ and the three crosses where He was crucified.  We also played soccer and just hung out together.  It was a good day, but it was a two hour bus ride there and two hours back.  The roads are rough and filled with potholes, so it is a long trip.  We also had some tacos for lunch.  The Mexican style tacos don’t exist here.

I am exercising faith and moving forward.  I have been trying to strengthen myself.  I know that it will all be for my good in the end, and I will keep moving forward and working my hardest.

I have enjoyed listening to hymns this week.  The Mormon Tabernacle Choir always helps me to feel the Spirit.  I have a pretty good collection of hymns that I listen to ALL the time ….. probably to the point where my companion gets annoyed.

I think one of my challenges is to help investigators overcome challenges in their lives.  Sometimes we want them to just keep listening and read The Book of Mormon, pray, etc. but they just are not able to consistently move forward.  It is difficult because we care about them.  We know God loves them and God has given men free agency.  I respect that and it is an essential part of the Plan of Salvation. It is the difference between the two proposals presented in Heaven.  We just have to take the message to their hearts, hope that they will accept it, and let God do the rest.

July 10th

We had a meeting with the local leaders (stake presidency) and are working on goals for the new stake.  The stake we are in right now will be splitting this Sunday and general authorities will be here to preside.  I am looking forward to it because we will be focusing on some new areas of the new stake that will need help.  I also have been really thinking about some of the young men here that are close to mission age.  I want to help them prepare for a mission and help them stay focused. I have felt that we have really been blessed here to find good people.  On a bad note, I got food poisoning on Monday and was sick Tuesday.  We tried and we were able to go work on Wednesday.  I didn’t feel great, but I don’t have time to be sick. I don’t like being at the house.  I want to visit and teach.  It reminds me of when I was younger and I would try sometimes to make excuses to avoid things.  If we put the Lord first, he will give us a way to complete his commandments.


July 2nd

I think I have learned some things that will help me in marriage. My companion and I had a disagreement while we were planning, and we both thought we were right. I just tried to fix things, and told him that our investigators are more important than our disagreement.  We needed to feel the Spirit.  My goal is to get rid of any ounce of pride that I still have in me.  I think it is the same in marriages, at the end of the day.  The relationship is more important than the argument.

I was thinking about how I need to do things of my own free will and not because ´this person´ says to do it but because I love the Lord. I think that the change in my obedience has come in my motivation behind it.  I just did it before at times because I knew I needed to do it, but now I have a desire to be diligent and obedient because I love the Lord, and I want to serve Him and make the best of the time I have here in the mission.


June 26th

I feel a little better this week.  I finished the medicine.  We are working hard, still looking for others prepared to hear the Lord’s message.  I have been working on trying to improve my study.  I have decided to take a specific topic each day and in that way better learn the scriptures as well.  Thinking about the temple and the eternal nature of things has been on my mind this week.  I just remember the scripture that says ¨To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life eternal¨ and that helps me focus.  I also remember the quote, “Obedience brings blessings, but obedience with exactness brings miracles.” 

June 12th
I really found  joy this week in the moments that I was teaching and focusing on others.  I know that when I think about myself I am not as happy.  We had zone conference this week.  I was able to talk with President about my health and other things.  Zone conferences are great to learn how to be a better person and missionary.  I also enjoy seeing other missionaries that we don’t get to see very often.  We had 2 baptisms this week.  During the baptisms, the power went out during a crazy storm with thunder and lightning.






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.