Alma 29:9

Alma 29:9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

First Baptism

I got MY first baptism and our second and third on Saturday. Onny chose me to baptize her, which honestly surprised me ha.  But it was cool. And her cousin Dariela was baptized too. They're only 13 and 8 but an addition to the church is an addition to the church and they are excited about the church which is awesome. The baptism was scheduled for 3:00 but we didn't actually get started until 3:30 and Elders Tellez and Villatoro had a baptism at 4 so we were scrambling. Then it turned out that Onny's mom (A member) didn't want to give a short talk and Elder Lopez really wanted two speakers so he started getting nervous. And we didn't get all the keys we needed right when we needed them. So I played the prelude music on a keyboard and the first two hymns. We had Selibeth, the President of young womens in our branch give a short talk. Elder Lopez wanted to help out during the baptisms and asked Dariela if I could baptize her and she said "NO!" ha. So he baptized her and then I baptized Onny. I was SO nervous. First baptism ever and it was in Spanish. It's all a blur, I felt like I messed up but they didn't make me redo it so lets all pray right? It took an hour for us to do it all so we went a little over, but the members of the other branch just got to sing a few extra songs. Nothing wrong with that.

Before the baptism we were invited to Hermana Melva's grandson's 1st birthday party. He had about 30 guests or so. That baby is popular. And Hermana Melva insisted that we eat, which included 3 strips of STEAK. Nobody here every gets to eat steak so I was really fortunate. After the baptism we went back to see everything and it was mostly just family so we were going to leave but they insisted we stay, so we did. That baby had like 20 presents mostly cars and stuffed animals, but I'm thinking that they do more for a 1 yr old party than for a baby shower, but I don't really know. And we got to eat cake. Plus Hermana Melva's son asked us when we were going to visit him. He lives in Ojo and we didn't even know it! So another perspective family!

Christmas is going to be a lot different this year. No hot chocolate, I don't think. No snow. Different families that aren't really mine. No movies. Not as many Christmas lights, still some but not as many. Smaller trees. This could just be for my area but that is what it seems like it will be. BUT we have like 4 or 5 different dinner appointments, and I'm pretty sure they eat well for Christmas.

I think I told you about Javier. He was a reference from Hermano ArgeƱal. Well he has been off to work in Tegucigalpa this week, but we met with his daughter Keli. She has a ton of questions, and she seems really interested.. The only problem is she doesn't get along with her cousin at
all and her cousin is a member. So we're trying to get past that point. But she came to church yesterday and she went to the baptisms of Onny and Dariela.

Because of the baptisms we had exchanges and I went with Elder Villatoro. He is cool, but in my opinion he needs to learn English. He has been out for 18 months, and he knows only one word English. The word is "girlfriend". Everyone asks if you have or had a girlfriend EVERYONE ha. I think he talks about as much as I did before my mission which as most of you know is not very much. But it was a good experience to see other methods of teaching and contacting.

We've been teaching the Valladares family. Jose, Wendi, and they're two Daughters, ages 4 and 2. It's pretty tough with Wendi because she is Evangelico and they have a lot of different views from us. 1. they believe the gift of tongues is when people start blabbering and they say they are speaking for God, and 2. the people that translate the gift of tongues into Spanish are the prophets. It's tough at times but they still like us so they keeping allowing us to visit them. But they're really nice. The only real problem Jose has is he doesn't want to give up the coffee and I don't think he wants to pray about it because he doesn't it want it to be
bad. But his mom is a member and so I think that could help.

We contacted a reference from a sister in our ward. It's her cousin and his name is Marvin. He is really open to listening to all religions and he says that he lives like there will be no tomorrow in the good way. So he reads for us, he usually prays and he keeps listening to our messages. Everything seems to be going well and we committed him to prepare to be baptized the 31st of December. More priesthood is needed which is the foundation to a ward. So we are getting it all set up. Plus we visit less actives a ton. It's kind of annoying at times because they all say they'll go to church but they never do.

We also met Elvia and her daughter, Joselin, in Zamorano and they are from Ojo. So we talked to them and they've already received all the lessons and they believe. Joselin has already been baptised, but she didn't go to the confirmation, which we kind of feel like is a bad sign, but we are going to
see how it all goes with the lessons. And Elvia couldn't get baptized at that time because she was living with her boyfriend.

That is it for this week!

Elder Stone

Monday, December 5, 2011

The carnival came to Ojo de Agua!
It's amazing because O de A is a tiny pueblito. It is however a little
sad because they have about 3 rides, and they didn't look all that
great, granted I didn't pay to use it so maybe it was better than what
it looked like. But this must have been huge for here, because it was
here for about two weeks and every night about half that town was
There is a facebook page of Ojo de Agua though, thanks to the Branch
President, Presidente Beto. It sounded a little bit weird like the
photos and comments, but I haven't seen it so maybe you can see a
little more about where I've been living for the last month. I also
saw a website for the town over I
think, I don't know what's on it, but kind of cool, and there is a
Honduras Google page, Just a few fun things I've found
At times it feels like I'm walking around a farm. The animals all get
loose or roam around once in awhile without anybody guiding them.
I've walked by loose cows, horses, donkeys, and tons a chickens. The
other day I saw a pig that was 3 1/2 years old, it was the biggest pig
I've seen in my life! Just in someones back yard. It's kind of weird
because there are a ton of dogs and people don't usually care if a
stray dog walks into their house, but yesterday at church two dogs
tried to get in, and it didn't seem like the people minded but it
bothered me a little so I quietly grabbed them and got them outside
and stood by the door ha.
We go to District meetings every Thursday and last time we got off the
bus and we saw Santa! Granted he was black, handing out pepsi and his
assistant definitely wasn't an elf, but we saw Santa nonetheless.
It's still been slow, not many progressing investigators this week.
Onny is getting baptized on this next upcoming Saturday, and so is her
cousin Dariella. We had a Zone Conference Wednesday and President
Hernandez challenged us to find 6 families. The branches down here
really need priesthood. So far we have found 2 families. It's really
hard because no one here bothers to get married. But if President
says it can be done, we can do it. So we've been looking around and
asking for a lot of references. We have one investigator Alex, he is
15 and feels embarrassed to go to church so he never goes, and we
decided to slowly drop him. But he showed up yesterday and we didn't
even go to invite him. It was awesome, so I think we will be working
with him more.
We had a giant beehive in front of our house so we decided to knock it
down. In the morning I threw a rock and hit it, but only a piece of it
broke off. So that night we had the briliant idea of knocking it down
with a broom. Luckily it was right next to our door so we could run in
right after. The unlucky thing is right when I knocked it down I
wasn't thinking clearly so I brought the broom in with me and it had
at least 200 bees in it! There were 200 bees in our house and we
couldn't open the door to let them out because there were 1000 outside
waiting for us. Luckily they were very attracted to the light and it
was night time, so we moved our lamp to the other side of the room,
turned it on and turned of the other lights and they all swarmed over
there. Then we soaked them in all sorts of bug spray. It was amazing
because somehow we got away with Elder Lopez only getting stung once,
I feel bad because it was mostly my fault, but only one sting was a
We visited a less active member this week, and her husband decided to
start throwing anti-mormon literature at us. He said he wanted answers
but each time Elder Lopez tried to respond the guy wouldn't let him.
It was really annoying. The guy really had no interest in hearing the
true answers he just wanted us to contradict the other elders so we
just bore testimony prayed and left.
Fun times.
Love you guys!

Elder Stone

Thursday, December 1, 2011

   So in some aspects the real mission is kind of like the MTC, meaning basically every day is the same. Even though we are teaching different people it is still basically the same routine every day. From 8 to 12 all we do is study! 1 hour of personal, 2 hours of companion, and 1 hour of language. Then we have lunch at 12 then we go out and teach and contact. Dinner is at 8, and then we finish the day.    So we have to postpone the baptisms of Ruth and Nestor. They did not show up to church yesterday which is frustrating. Actually the only investigator that did show up is not living the law of chastity so she can not even be baptized.
   But we are still scheduled to baptize Hermana Zenaida this Saturday, because even though she did not go to church this week she has gone many many times before. Plus, she was sick so we will let it slide.
   We met Onny- her mom is a member but she was not. But we taught her the lessons she believes and she has a date for December 10th. And Dariela, she is the cousin of Onny, she just turned 8 and said that she wanted to be baptized, so that is easy enough ha. No one else is really progressing that I can think of right now. But last week we met a guy named Henry, and he said he had just prayed to God to figure out a way to get closer to his family, and then we showed up! We have tried to contact him since but he is always gone.
   Today was cool. We are in Tegus right now, and we met with a bunch of the other missionaries and we played basketball and soccer. On the down side, we had to get up at 5:30 to get here at a good time ha.
I think that is it for this week.
Love ya
Elder Stone

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Second Week

    So we had some baptismal dates, but Karrina is moving to the city for a month so we've postponed her date, and her brother Alex and sister Cintia and not ready so we've postponed their's too. Nestor is still on track for the 26th- the hardest thing with him is that he is used to smoking 10 cigarettes a day, but the last two days he's been down to 1, so I really hope he can keep it up and eventually quit. And we need to keep him attending church. Plus there is a sister in the ward, Hermana Zenaida, who is very active but is not a member because she was living with her boyfriend, but now he is in jail so we are scheduled for the 26th. She just needs to get rid of his posessions before the branch president will allow it.
    And then we've got about 5 other investigators. Hna Zenaida's daughter Isis- we need to get her to attend and teach her the lessons, but she seems willing to listen. Hna Ruth- we had to postpone her date too, she just never feels ready- hopefully we'll be able to change that. Hna Amanda's daughter, Onny; she already believes so we just have to challenge her. Hna Lucy is getting married in December, so hopefully we'll be able to teach and convert her husband. Finally Freddy, he's pretty cool, and he seems to believe what we teach, but never follows our commitments, except he reads the B of M and seems to like it and believe it, just not consistently. So we'll see how this all goes this week.
    We are really hesitant with our baptisms, though, because our ward consists of about 160 members but only 60 are active. So we are making sure that all of our new converts have very strong testimonies in this church. President Hernandez (President of the Mission) is coming down here tomorrow to do the baptismal interviews. I hope that he feels they are ready, and I hope their testimonies are strong.
    We were challenged to read the Book of Mormon before Christmas, so maybe you should try it too.
     The people here love their music and tv. It is always turned on and usually pretty loud. We go to a sister's house for most of our meals, and they always have some stupid soap opera on. I mean we thought tv polluted the minds of the Americans it so much worse here, especially when it comes to the material of the soap operas. Plus, little kids are watching it so they think all the stuff on it is fine.
     I'm not very good about writing about things so if you have specific questions be sure to ask and I'll do my best to answer them when I get them.
    Not too much else is going on. Because we have so many inactive members, we going on divisions with the branch president and another ward member on Sundays and Wednesdays, so these members get pretty
regular visits. So hopefully we'll be able to bump up the attendance.

Answers to Questions

There is only me and Elder Lopez in our apartment

We usually just walk where we are. I've taken two taxis, but that's pretty rare. And we take a bus twice a week for playing soccer and district meetings.

No rain so far. It's really hot/humid, and I hear this is a good time of year, too. I'll adjust sooner or later.

The roads in my area are only made of dirt and rocks. Lots of hills.

There are I think about 3000 people in my area or so and about 162 are members and about 60 are active.

The Branch President, President Beto, is only 24. He just got home from his mission two years ago. I hear one day the members love you and the next day they hate you, I haven't seen that so far.

The language just depends on the part of the day. Sometimes I can understand about everything that is going on and then sometimes I can't understand a thing to save my life. It's been getting frustrating the last couple of days because it feels like everybody expects me to know more. Except Elder Lopez, he is very encouraging.

Elder Lopez still does most of the teaching, he'll give time to me to add on or bear my testimony.

We are very fortunate in our house. We do have indoor plumming, the sink gets no water pressure though, and our shower is only cold water. ha And we've got lights.

We pay a lady in the ward to wash our clothes for us. And another cooks most of our lunch and dinners, which mostly consist of eggs and beans and some pork product. Still haven't quite adjusted to the food yet.

Only siestas we get are Pday, some time in between 2 and 6 or so.. ha

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

First Week in Honduras

Wow where should I begin?
  So in the the SL airport right before we boarded the plane we started talking to a guy, who is currently inactive but served a mission and still says it was the two best years of his life. I don't get how someone can do that. Serve, go inactive, and still say it was the best?In the Atlanta airport we were all beat. So most of us just slept for a couple hours. One of the elders started talking to some guys. Eventually he waved me and Elder Quevedo over, the funny thing about Elder Quevedo is that his grew up in Quebec Canada, and both his parents are from Peru. So he grew up speaking Spanish in his home. Then spoke French to most of the people and studied it throughout high school and then learned English in College and from watching Friends.. What is it with people watching Friends and learning English? Anyway we talked to the two guys from Honduras Ariel and Luis. Ariel was cool and I talked to him for awhile with my very broken Spanish. And he gave my first Limpira haha. So they study music, and I guess have a band.
  Flying above Central America I couldn't see a thing because there were so many clouds. The landing was a little trouble some, but we made it with no problems. President Hernandez was there with open arms to hug each of us. We dropped our stuff off at the mission home and went to get some lunch. That's probably the last time I'll get chicken ribs and shrimp in one meal in Honduras ha. Then we went back to the mission home and caught up on some sleep, and most of us didn't wake up until 8 PM and we found dinner waiting on the table.
  Tuesday we hung out at the mission home for the first day. It is really nice. There is a basketball hoop, a ping pong table, and a swimming pool, unfortunately we're still missionaries so we didn't get to swim. Then we went to the mission office, where we had orientation and then went on splits with the zone leaders. I went with Elder Adams, I think he's from layton. We went to visit a couple of his investigators to set up appointments but weren't able to have a lesson. One of his investigators though speaks really good english so that was cool haha. and I had my first real Honduran meal, eggs and ham, with beans and tortillas. Wednesday we got our companions. My trainor is Elder Lopez. He's from Mexico, but while on the mission he has learned quite a bit of english. so we speak a lot of spanglish. he is really cool, he's been out 20 months now. 
  We are serving in the Valle Verde zone in Ojo de Agua. We have 5 progressing investigators. and 4 with baptismal dates. Alex, Karrina, and Cintia are all siblings. They are going to get baptized on November 19th as long as everything goes right. Ruth is going to be baptized December 3rd. I'm really excited about her because she came to an activity we had Friday night and to church. And Nestor. His family are all members except him. We just started teaching him, but he came to church. He doesn't seem totally committed to it all because he'd rather play soccer than go to church. We'll see, because we taught him about the sabbath day and committed him to keep it holy.
  Everything is great. This really is a whole other spanish haha.
That's it for now.
Elder Stone