Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 103

Hey everyone! It´s finally coming to an end... two more days, and I´m done with the mission. Next Monday, and I´m back in the States. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that supported me in any way during the last two years- packages, letters, reading the blog, prayers. Thanks so much! It helped me get through the tough times, and made the sweet times even sweeter! I love all you guys! Until next week! I´ll be back on Facebook, and I want to talk with EVERYBODY and catch up on EVERYTHING! Que les vaya bien!
-Elder Birt (for a little bit longer ;)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 102

San Pedro Sula Mission Leadership Conference Nov 2013

Hey folks! Can you guys believe its November? Yeah, me neither. Everybody keeps telling me I'm old and about to leave. But no! I still have another full week to do work! Haha here are the highlights (and lowlights) of the week that was:

- The far-and-away biggest lowlight was getting that strange Honduran sickness yet again. I won't go into details, but it wasn't pretty. I didn't get any sleep Thursday night because of stomach pain and frequent visits to the good old bano. Then, I had to get up early and travel by bus Friday morning to the zone leader meeting in San Pedro. After getting back (and feeling like death), I got permission from President to rest for the day. I just had to get that sickness one more time! But luckily, I've been pretty much fine since yesterday.

- Other than being sick in the last zone leader meeting, it was pretty fun to see the whole gang. A ton (8 to be exact) of us finish the mission in nine days, so it was more a celebration than anything. Still cool though :)

- I also had my final interview with President Dester, which went really well. He gave me some good after-mission advice. If any of you see me after the mission, make sure I'm reading my scriptures EVERY day cuz that's the goal we put together.

- Today, we took the whole zone to Omoa, where we saw the castle and went to eat fish on the beach! It was the third time I've gone (it's kind of the main attraction in this zone, so we go pretty much every change), but I hadn't had fish on the beach before. It was delicious!

- Rosemary will FINALLY be baptized this Friday. It's probably the baptism I've fought for most in my entire mission, but it's well worth it. She'll be a great member, and the ward loves her. We also have three more baptisms the following Saturday, which, if things play out right, my parents and I might be able to see...? We'll have to wait and see with that.

- So on what has to be like the 15th try of my mission, I was somewhat able to make flour tortillas! They still weren't that great, but I was kind of able to do it the Honduran way. They basically take the dough, and slap it between their hands a bunch of times (kinda like pizza), and it creates a perfect flour tortilla. Honduran women can do it in about 3 seconds. I do it in about one minute, and they're not nearly as good. But hey, it's a start haha. Maybe I can try to make some tortillas when I get back (trust me, tortillas here are WAY better than any of that crap they have in the States)

Anywho, thanks for all the support guys! Can't wait to see you all! Love you! Adios!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 101

Hey everyone! It's almost Halloween! Which sadly, means next to nothing here in Honduras. They don't celebrate Halloween! How lame is that? Anyway, here's the update, bullet-list style, on the week that was:
- We had 12 investigators in church yesterday! It was one of those weeks where a lot of things went right. We found some people that were legitimately interested, had some people go that have been off and on for a while, etc. It was my highest total in Puerto Cortes, and should result in some baptisms, but sadly most would come after I leave.

- We did divisions twice this past week, and I really dodged a bullet when I left my area. Why? Because our cook gave the elders yuka (this horrible, tasteless, vegetable), chicharron (pig skin) with hair on it, and pig feet. That's about the worst Honduran meal I can think of. Only slightly better was the mondongo (cow stomach) soup which we had the next day. Needless to say, we might change cooks hahahaha.

- Ok, time for one of the CRAZIEST stories of my mission. So we've been teaching this 23-year old girl named Rosemary for about 4 months now. She's super awesome, and always has kept all of our commitments... except baptism. What I haven't told you guys is that her and her mom fight... like a lot. It's been getting progressively worse for the last few weeks, and apparently it reached it's breaking point yesterday morning because her mom kicked her out of the house! We called her after church to find out that she had gone to one of the member's houses to stay. She'll be there until she can find somewhere a little more permanent. The members are being super nice about it, and giving her all the time she needs to figure something out.

- Also, it's been raining a TON the last week, and we got pretty wet. I once again dodged a bullet, and missed the day with the most rain when I was out on divisions doing 5 baptismal interviews :)

Thanks for all your love and support guys! Have a great week, and I'll see you all soon!

-Elder Birt

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 100

What´s up everyone? Hope you all had fantastic weeks! For lack of time, I´ll just start with the list of highlights from the week...

-Carlos and Jade got married! It was awesome! She actually cried a little bit during the wedding. To be honest, Honduran weddings are really simple and somewhat lame most of the time. But the most important thing is that they made the commitment and are now obeying another of God´s commandments. We can save all the fancy stuff for the temple marriage (hopefully). They still have to clear a few hurdles (he works on Sundays, they both drink coffee) in order to be baptized, but that´s coming soon!

- We did a crazy service project on Saturday morning, where we helped a family that the sisters are teaching to move a GIANT heap of dirt and rocks to fill in a hole under their storage shed. It was pretty brutal work, and I have a nasty-looking blister now as a result. But the family went to church on Sunday, so it was worth it!

- We had a sweet zone activity this morning where we watched Rise of the Guardians (watch this movie if you haven´t yet because it´s excellent!) and ate some brownies! I hadn´t eaten brownies in sooooo long. I plan to never go that long without brownies again hahaha

Anyway, that´s it for this week. Apparently, it´s set that I´m coming home on November 18th, so I hope to see everyone when I get back! Love you guys! Adios!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 99

Hey, guys! Hope y'all had an awesome week (I included the y'all because I'm trying to convince my comp that Texas is the best state haha). It was an... interesting week here in Puerto Cortes.

First of all, it seems like every drunk person in Puerto Cortes (which is actually quite a few) wanted to talk to us this week. We had some of the strangest conversations of my entire mission this week... it seemed like all the craziness just came at the same time. The highlight though, was when a 104 year-old lady called us out in the street to give her a "Biblical answer" as to why her potatoes had spoiled. Ya, you just can't make this stuff up.

Ok, I lied, there were two highlights. The second was when an ex-convict got up to bear his testimony in church. Apparently, he was baptized as a kid, and just got out of jail recently. His testimony was very Evangelical, with a lot of "Hallelujahs" and "Gloria a Dios." It was probably the strangest testimony I've ever heard.

In good news of the week, Rosmery FINALLY has a baptismal date! But for some reason she wants to wait until the last week I'm here in Puerto Cortes, the 9th of November. In that time, she'll probably read a good chunk of the Book of Mormon and be the best-prepared convert I've ever had.

Also, we are FINALLY marrying Carlos and Jade this Friday. The sad part of that news is they're not quite ready to get baptized because they both drink coffee, and Carlos works on Sundays. But I feel like the marriage thing was the biggest hurdle, so we're making some good progress!

The biggest news in Honduras is that we're (I now refer to Honduras as "we" haha) almost for sure going to qualify for the World Cup! We beat Costa Rica this past Friday (absolutely everyone was in their house and we couldn't teach anyone) and just need a tie or win against Jamaica on Tuesday to qualify! Go Catrachos!

I love all you guys, and thank you for your support! We're ready for another week of success, and I hope you are too!
Elder Birt

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 98

Hey everyone! What an awesome conference right? It seemed like it passed by so fast though! My personal favorite talk was from President Uchtdorf, whose talk helped me with some questions I had about my investigators and why people should join the church.

It was an extremely busy week for me! First, I had what I call the "victory tour" with Elder Polendo on Monday and Tuesday, where he said goodbye to everyone from the zone and area. Wednesday was an awesome change meeting! It was really weird to see so many good friends go home, and think that the next group will have me in it!

My new comp is Elder Williams, from Bountiful, Utah. He has 15 months in the mission. I was actually in his zone when he entered the mission, so it's really weird that we're together as zone leaders all these months later. I still thought of him as the young buck that just entered the mission, but he's changed a lot over the last year.

They whitewashed one area and opened another in my zone, which meant I was running around like a chicken with his head cut off, trying to help the missionaries get situated and learn their areas. That took up a good chunk of two days this past week. Also, there are now 25 missionaries in my zone, with 11 sisters. The mission is growing super fast, and like they said in Conference, God is hastening His work!

We had a really good lesson yesterday right after the last session of General Conference, where we went on a visit with our bishop to an investigator family we've been teaching for a while. We were finally able to sort out all the problems, and agree on a definite plan for them to get married. We'll be turning in the papers this Wednesday, and they should get married in a couple weeks. It's really gratifying because I've been teaching them almost my entire time here, and they're a special family for me.

Well, that's about all for this week! I hope all you guys enjoyed Conference and that you have a wonderful week!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 97

Hey folks! There´s not much time this week because it´s my comp´s last P-day in the mission! So we´re gonna be doing some exciting things today. We already watched a movie with the zone and ate together at Wendys.

I obviously will have a new companion this Wednesday. I still have no idea who it will be though. And there are tons of changes in the zone. We´ll end up having 7 companionships of elders and 5 with sisters. It´s really exciting but sad at the same time because I really grew to love the zone that we have now.

We should finally be able to have a wedding here in a couple weeks. Turns out the sister was just hesitant because of money issues. If she would have told us a month ago, they would probably already be married. But she said she felt guilty telling us about it. We were able to get it out of her though haha. Anyway, we should turn in the papers this week, and then they have to wait 2 or 3 weeks for the government offices to prepare their papers. So that´s what should happen, but you guys know how Honduran marriages usually are pretty difficult.

Well, that´s it for this week. I love all you guys, and I´ll hopefully be able to write more next week about my new comp and the zone and all the other changes! Thanks for everything guys!

-Elder Birt