San Pedro Sula East Mission
2013 - 2016

Friday, September 27, 2013

Welcome to our Humble Abode . . .

"The words “sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven,” from the hymn “Praise to the Man,”  always stir my soul. Sacrifice is defined as “the act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else more important or worthy.”  Sacrifice comes in many forms and may not always be convenient. Latter-day Saints make a covenant with the Lord to sacrifice. By doing so, we surrender our will to His, dedicating our lives to building up His kingdom and serving His children."

-- Robert K. Dellenbach - of the First Quorum of the Seventy

Well . . .

Just thought I'd take you on a little tour of some of the locations where our missionaries live.  It's quite interesting . . .

We know that not all missions are created equal.  We all seriously laugh out loud every time we get to show "The District" videos for missionary training.  They are excellent and we love them!  But we all just laugh when the missionaries arrive, get into cars to travel to their areas, and then arrive in apartments with kitchens, couches, kitchen tables, chairs.  

Our missionary apartments are SOOOOO not like that!  Their daily travel consists of wearing out their shoes on the rocky dirt roads that line the streets of nearly every place outside (and inside) San Pedro Sula.  Old orange donated school buses that careen from lane to lane, filled to the brim with all things imaginable - are their alternative transportation if they are going from city to city for some reason.  Sometimes smaller mini-vans held together with duct tape and painted in all sorts of rad colors is another alternative.  Nursing mothers on all the buses help keep their little ones under control . . . you name it our missionaries have seen it . 

But back to our humble abodes . . .

They may be humble in circumstance, but are blessed with an abundance of the Spirit, their own unique charm, and frequently a beautiful vista . . .

housing 9 housing 8 housing 5 housing 3

(Just a note - all photos are randomly inserted, but were all taken at our missionaries homes as we have visited them throughout the mission, they don't necessarily go together as grouped)

Typically . . . most have tile floors, some are cement.  Many are painted in bright colors that are typical of Honduras.  Almost all are empty of furnishings or kitchen items until we put something inside the homes for the missionaries use.  There is no such thing as a built in kitchen for most apartments.  

housing 11 housing 10 housing 7

(This is an example actually of an exceptional kitchen - we would love to be able to find more like this for our missionaries :)

The usual furnishings include one table for study, two folding chairs, two beds, a portable closet to hang up their clothes, a microwave, two fans, a two burner hot plate, a mini (seriously mini) refrigerator, two bowls, two plates, two forks, knives and spoons.  One small frying pan and a few other dishes.  A mop, a broom, two buckets (one to clean with, one to shower with), usually an iron and a few miscellaneous items . . . 

 . . .  and seriously that is about it . . . I can't think of much else.  Flushing the toilet usually means hauling a bucket of water into the bathroom and then pouring water down the toilet after use. 

housing 2 housing 4 housing 1

(we joined an apartment of sister missionaries to break our fast, it was amazing the delicious lunch they prepared to serve us.  Even going to great lengths to borrow a blender so we could make "licuados", an Honduran smoothie!)

Water, Water Everywhere but not a Drop to Drink . . . 

About half have running water, few to none have warm water.  Usually a shower is a trickle of water from an open pipe, if it runs at all.  Apartments have "pilas" sometimes in back of the home, sometimes outside in the yard.  They are essentially large concrete basins meant to do laundry.  Frequently the missionaries use the pila for washing up (it's a stretch to say bathing or a shower), washing their clothes etc.  Some missionaries hire a laundry person to assist with their laundry.

I've heard it likened to "camping in Sunday clothes".  Sounds pretty accurate . . .

housing 9 IMG_0833 IMG_0817 IMG_0818
This kitchen by the way . . . wins the prize for tidiness!
Invite us to dinner any day!!  

So I have to hand it to these hard working elders and sisters who seldom complain.  I love and admire them so much.  I cannot even begin to express how much they accomplish, in an environment very different from where they came from.  

(At least for most . . . we did have one missionary express great thanks for their wonderful home, expressing that it was better than the family enjoyed at home, and a 
real bed to sleep in . . . )

My heart . . .

is indeed humbled.

We know that each missionary everywhere is sacrificing their time, talents and service to share a gospel message and bring people in all countries to a knowledge of the Savior.  Each missionary struggles during their time of service with personal, physical, spiritual and emotional challenges.  It's a sacrifice.

Each one gives up something of value for the sake of something else more 
worthy or important.  

It's a sacrifice, we are a covenant people, and we have made a covenant to do so.

And we here in the San Pedro Sula East Mission
are counting the blessings.

For we are much blessed.

"I think that the very first blessing coming from sacrifice is the joy that we can feel when we pay the price. Perhaps the very thought that the sacrifice itself could be a blessing becomes a blessing. When we have that kind of thought and feel the joy, we might have received a blessing already."

-- Won Yong Ko - of the Second Quorum of the Seventy

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