Honduras

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. 

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