San Pedro Sula East Mission
2013 - 2016

Thursday, February 28, 2013

114 Days to Honduras

Wow . . . I'm having a little difficulty comprehending that in just 


days . . . we are moving to the middle of an amazingly different world.

The small country of Honduras.

Officially the Republic of Honduras.

Specifically . . .

the city of San Pedro Sula.

Honduras is bordered to the West by Guatemala, to the Southwest by El Salvador, to the Southeast by Nicaragua, to the South by the Pacific Ocean, and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea.

I'm sure you're thinking . . .

What on earth are WE thinking!!!  ??

Especially when I share the following information with you all . . .

I must admit I was a wee bit worried when I read this 

Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Honduras each year for study, tourism, business, and volunteer work. However, crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country. Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. San Pedro Sula is considered to be the world’s most violent city, with 159 murders for every 100,000 residents in 2011. These threats have increased substantially over the past several years, and incidents can occur anywhere. In January 2012, the Peace Corps withdrew its volunteers from the country to conduct an administrative review of the security situation.

Transnational criminal organizations conduct narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout the country and use violence to control drug trafficking routes and carry out other criminal activity. Other criminals, acting both individually and in gangs in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, commit crimes such as murder, kidnapping, carjacking, armed robbery, rapes, and other aggravated assaults.

honduras - pico bonito nearby La Ceiba
 (Pico Bonito - dense National Forest  - home to large number of endangered species)

(San Pedro Sula)

U.S. citizens should be vigilant of their surroundings at all times, especially when entering or exiting their homes or hotels, cars, garages, schools, and workplaces. Whenever possible, travel in groups of two or more persons. Avoid wearing jewelry and do not carry large sums of money or display cash, ATM/credit cards, or other valuables. Avoid walking at night in most areas of Honduras, and do not walk alone on beaches, historic ruins, or trails. Incidents of crime along roads, including carjacking and kidnapping, are common in Honduras. Motorists should avoid traveling at night and always drive with their doors locked to deter potential robberies at traffic lights and on congested downtown streets.

I'm sure you're thinking . . .

What on earth are WE thinking!!!  ??

I think we'll be okay on the "travel in groups of two" we have that part figured out.  Avoid wearing jewelry  . . . don't really have any . . . but I may just have to stock up on the indigenous locally crafted earrings as I do love that sort of thing . . .

No chance we'll be carrying large sums of cash.

So I guess we'll have to be cautious AND smart . . .

so . . .

I guess you could say I experienced a few moments of anxiety.

Until I saw this . . .

and it took me about  . . .

5 seconds

to realize that I am going to love the people.  

I know it.

And I can hardly wait.

So stay tuned . . . because there is certainly
more to come. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

AND after two years . . .

Found this letter that offers a lot of insight into the life of a missionary -
(photos added by me for effect) 

Last Words from Honduras

Hey Fam,

Its here! The day has come and I've been thinking all week about what it was that I wanted to say you all today being my last time to write from here in Honduras. Ive slowly been writing this all week for you guys for my last email... I got the idea from a poem I have read in the mission.

I think I found out what the mission is.....

Its impossible to describe a mission, but rather its the moments, Its sending in your papers. Its opening the call that is signed by a prophet of the lord. Its the 3 months of time before the MTC that seems like its never gonna end. Its the hug from parents and brothers and sisters and walking away in the greatest adventure of a life time. The MTC, the rules, the packages, the classroom, the firesides and devotionals (actually being disappointed when its a Seventy speaking). Its flight plans, tons of food, testimonies, and cabin fever. Its the airport, a phone call sharing your first wanna be testimony in Spanish to your family as tears run down your face. Then out of the little swimming pool and into the ocean of uncertainty.

Its the mission presidents, trainers, realizing your didn't learn hardly any Spanish in those 9 weeks but loving it all at the same time. Its new food, new people, new culture, new language, new currency, new form of transportation, new routine, new everything under the sun (which is really hot). its a lot of first that change: first district meeting first contact, first lesson, first letter from home, first email, first Latin companion, first cold shower with water your not so sure you can touch and survive, first morning of trunkyness, first Sunday in church, first time a kid speaks and if and you turn to your comp to ask if that was Spanish and he only laughs, first First vision, first baptism... unforgettable, no matter how disorganized it is.

First changes come and its all a blurr after that. Its being anxious for your companion to leave then to your surprise you miss him when he is gone. Its 99 contacts.. and nothing. Its shaking fingers, lying children (my mom says shes not here), and barking biting dogs. But its the hope that contact number 100 will be the one. The one that wants to change. The one who has been crying for help to a God that he or she wants to follow, but doesn't know where to find him. The one that seems perfect: perfect questions, perfect work schedule, married, perfect kids that don't scream during a lesson and most importantly, a desire to make it work even if everything isn't perfect. its the hope of finding the one that gets you up every morning, gets you out of members house in 100 degree plus weather and when everyone is sleeping, and gets you to open your mouth and speak even though you don't speak well and don't like leaving your comfort zone.

Its finding the one, one convert, future priesthood holder, or better yet, one golden family. Its making plans, working with members, a lots and lots of prayers to help find that family. Many are found, but few choose to be chosen. Its thousands of disappointments as the family´s commitment falls to doubts, gossip, weather, or anything else clever that Satan comes up with on Saturday night. Its getting the family to church for the fist time and helping them feel at home. Its showing them the Church, presenting them to the bishop and other leaders, as well as the cute, outgoing teenage girl so that the young man in the investigator family will enjoy the experience as well. Its praying that the bishops 2 year old wont make too big of a fuss, that the speakers wont teach too much false doctrine, and that they will feel and recognize the spirit in spite of all that.
Its when that family gets baptized that the reality of what you are giving them hits you. Its the hope of having and eternal family. Its the hope of a better life, without pain and suffering. Its giving that Hope which brings you the greatest satisfaction and joy that you have ever experienced.

Its like going back in time and appreciating what you had back home. Its the firm declaration that you will never complain about vacuuming again when actually have carper, or mowing the lawn when you actually have grass.
Its having to shower with flip flops and washing your own clothes on those cement trays that you though they only used in the pioneer days.... and you learn to love it.
Its stepping into a baptismal font with freezing cold water, flipping a bug out, and doing your best to put your happy face on so that the little girl getting baptized doesn't get cold feet.
Its getting home soaked 75-80% of the time, whether from the rain or sweat, Its sitting in front of a fan wondering if you can do this another day in the oven your living in.
Its Elderes 14, Cockroaches 1 in a matter of just 2 weeks. Its letters and packages from home. Its wedding announcements, Dear Johns( luckily just to your buddies), pictures, and the realization that life does indeed move on without you!!
Its going through 3 pairs of shoes, ripped pants, missing buttons, shredded collars, and socks closer to heaven (holy).
Its ants, frogs, scorpions, cockroaches, rats, and the little bugs that give you killer diarrhea.
Its a rainstorm that soaks you and your comp cuz them so called umbrellas don't even work with true buckets are coming down on ya. Its walking through water up to your calves and not having anything else to do but laugh as people look at you like your crazy(which ISN'T a complete misconception). Its going out in the rain because an Elder once convinced you that for every rainstorm you work through, the hotter your future wife will be!

Its shortly after your year mark that you get a mini-calendar from your mom and sister and wondering if they are trying to kill you or if they think its gonna make time go by faster. From then on Its change day, Mothers day, Christmas Day, Hump Day, Birthday, P-day, Friendship Day, and Election Day (which always makes for an interesting Sunday). Its good days, bad days, killer journal entry days, and days that you just don't want to end. Those are the good ole days.
The days that cant be enjoyed without a price... hard work, sweat, discouragement, frustration, and faith.
Its discovering that God does hear and answer prayers. Sometimes He takes away from everyone else so that we can really get to know Him. Its coming to learn in a tiny degree, the power of the Atonement applies not only to vile sinners, but also to each individual, including you. Its feeling that power and knowing you'll never be the same.
Its knowing that you have a testimony and nobody can take that from you. Its building it one piece at a time. Joseph Smith was a prophet. The Book of Mormon is true. the priesthood keys have been restored. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. its sharing that testimony dozens of times a day that roots it deeply in your soul.
Its watching missionary after missionary give their final testimonies, while you are certain that day will never arrive for you... and then it does. Its learning the live in the moment and not for the moment because all too soon, its gone. Its the sunsets, the music, the dirt dusty streets, dirty kids. the tiny houses, and the love of the people. its soaking it all in, catching every detail, because you'll never get it back.
Its arriving at the last couple days in your mission, knowing your family is waiting NOT so patiently. Its those last couple contacts that you know you will never see get baptized but you still just wanna leave your soul with them.

Its wondering about the effect of one mission. Does one mission really have eternal consequences? Does planting one seed, teaching one lesson, finding one person really matter at all?
Did the mission of ONE make a difference?

Did His ministry, His teachings, His seed planting have an effect on the eternities?
Did His one infinite atonement pay the price of justice and give mercy her claim???
As you get ready to go back to the former life that you're convinced was just a dream, its realizing that while you were in the service of your fellow being, your have only been in the service of God. Its feeling your hear and soul overflow with gratitude for the chance you had to show your worth, give your all, and return with honor. its BECOMING like the ONE, the Only Begotten, the Son of Man, the Prince of Peace, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind, even Jesus Christ. Its those two years for which you will eternally praise the Lord, as the life that was converted more than any other was only one--YOU

Its the tears that roll down your cheek as you write your last email. Its knowing that this poem could go on forever but you don't know, when, how, or where to stop. Its wanting to tell your family how much you love them and hoping they will accept this as a final testimony from Honduras knowing now... without a doubt... that this is the true church.

Its being able to say SEE Y'ALL IN 3 DAYS knowing that these 2 years may come to an end... but the mission never will, just new people, clothes, cell phones, and your family and old friends back!
Its not having to say... UNTIL NEXT WEEK, rather... see you soon enough!
Im over excited to see all of you... you have no idea.
Love you all!!
Love your missionary

The Dedicated Life of Mormon Missionary

Found this today and love it!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Called to Serve

Welcome to this work in progress . . .

Excuse the mess while we are getting underway!

Truly the adventure has already begun . . . 

as we met with a member of the First Presidency of the Church
and received a call to . . .

Preside over a Spanish speaking mission
with the location to be assigned.

And myself - the wife,
to serve as a full time missionary in the mission
"over which my husband presides".

As I contemplate this overwhelming assignment . . . I discover there are many resources and information out there that pertain to missionaries and mission presidents . . . but not so many for the 
"mission presidents wife".

Thus the beginnings of this blog . . .

To chronicle our preparations along the way . . .

to document those inspirations, revelations . . .

hints and tips . . .

to a successful missionary adventure.

Anyone is invited to follow along in the journey!
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