Monday, August 26, 2013

Week 92

Hey everybody, hope everyone had a great week! From what I've heard, there's a lot of excitement with school starting up! Good luck to everyone who's starting up! For me, there was a TON of change this past week, so I'll try to hit the high points for you guys.
- My new comp is Elder Polendo, from Chihuahua, Mexico. He has 23 months in the mission, and yet again, I will be someone's last comp (for the fourth time). He was AP for the last 8 months, so he's regarded as one of the best. We're firing on all cylinders right now, but we need to incorporate some of our ideas to help the zone.

- We'll have a baptism this week! Her name is Reina, a lady in her 60s that heard the missionaries before. She's a little crazy- she doesn't have any filter, so it's anyone's guess what she's going to say. She's already made a few offensive comments, so we are going to try to fix that problem before it gets worse.

- Skousen and I found a sweet family about 3 weeks ago that have gone to church the last two weeks. As usual, the woman wants to get married, and the man doesn't for some reason.

- We should have a wedding/baptism for Carlos and Jade, but it probably won't happen until the second or third week of September. They're on board, but he has work on Sundays, which is the only thing in the way.

- We went to a place called Omoa today for a zone activity! It's kind of a touristy place, and there's this sweet castle we visited. Then we went to the beach after (to be honest, I don't know why we go to the beach as missionaries. We all just wanted to get in the water, but couldn't haha). And we ate at Pizza Hut after! So it was a sweet little activity.

- Elder Duncan from the Area Presidency will be visiting this week! We'll have a mission conference on Thursday, and then a leadership meeting for the ZLs on Friday. I'm looking forward to it a lot!

- Crazy story of the week: We saw a dog sleeping in the street one day. He got up and there was a car coming toward him pretty fast. For some reason, the dog didn't do anything and got nailed by the car! The collision was surprisingly loud. But more amazingly, the dog just got up and ran away after. Everybody that saw was just like "Did that really happen?"

Well, that's about it for today. Hope y'all (decided to be Texan today) have a great week! Adios!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 91

Hey folks! It was a wonderful week this week, and thanks to everyone who sent birthday messages or packages! I can't believe I'm 21 now!

Well, my comp went home yesterday, so I'm currently with Elder Taafua, an elder finishing his first change in Honduras. We'll just be together until Wednesday, when we'll have changes for the whole mission. But for three days, I'm the only zone leader for the biggest zone of the mission! Yippee! But I'll be e-mailing you guys next week with another new comp!

I gotta tip my hat to Elder Skousen, who worked until the very end. Heck, we had three people go to church for the first time yesterday (and six total), despite some challenges here in Puerto Cortes (more on that later). The APs just came yesterday, and whisked him away to San Pedro though. Amazing how it all finishes so fast!

The members tried to throw a surprise party for Elder Skousen on Saturday. They told me about it Saturday morning, so I could get him to the church at the right time. It was all going perfectly- he didn't even have a clue what was going on. And then, we were visiting a member in the afternoon, and she let it slip. Skousen ended up finding out, but more than anything, he was just glad they were throwing him a party. Also, the surprise would have been foiled anyway when we showed up at 5 (the time they told me) and hardly anyone was there. Latins are great, but they have a thing for being late for ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

Also, there was like a 2 week-long party here in Puerto Cortes these last two weeks. Apparently, it was for some Catholic holiday; no one here even knows, they just know they celebrate with parties. It was pretty cool actually! Every day, there was a party in a different neighborhood. And then, they had a parade for the whole town on Friday and "Carnaval" on Saturday! We passed by a couple of these parties during the two weeks they had them- not exactly the most Mormon of parties... I'll just leave it at that. Also, our attendance almost got cut in half because people all stayed up late on Saturday for Carnaval. What can you do?

We have a baptism set up for the 31st for a lady named Reina. She's actually kinda crazy. When we first met her, we thought she wasn't all there, but it turns out she's just a little odd. But she's super smart and knows about our church from when the missionaries visited her in Belize. Plus she's super nice! She gives us some kind of dessert every time we visit her! So we're happy about her baptism, and hope it inspires others to follow.

That's about it for this week! Thanks to my parents and grandparents for the packages! I love them! And I love all of you guys! Adios!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Week 90

Hey peeps! Hope everyone had a great week! There was a little bit of everything this past week, so we´re gonna go at this bullet-list style.

- First, we had a stake conference yesterday! It started at 8:00 though! Whoever made that decision did not think it through. It made it pretty much impossible to bring people to church (Honduran people really love sleeping), so we only had 2 investigators yesterday. It was similar luck for most of the zone as well. Also, they're splitting our zone in October!

- Second, we had a multi-zone conference on Friday! It lasted five hours, which is a little longer than usual. President gave some good advice, but the highlight for me was Elder Hebert's great training class.

- Third, we just went on a little shopping spree! Normally, that doesn't excite me that much, but I just bought tennis shoes for 11 bucks! No Honduran people have size 12 shoes, so they sell them for dirt cheap haha. Also, I bought a machete to cut the lawn when I get back (I'm just kidding, it takes forever and really sucks. But it's still a cool machete).

- We continue to bring people to church, but NO ONE will accept a set-in-stone baptismal date. It's driving me insane! We should be marrying and baptizing a really awesome couple soon (hopefully by the end of the month), but the Honduran government office isn't giving us the papers we need to marry them. We always leave that place pretty annoyed actually. Just imagine the driver's license office in the States, but like 500 times more inefficient. Yeah, that's what we're up against :(

Well, that's my update for the week. I'm surrounded by bagginess (trunkiness) lately! My comp leaves next week, and my best friend Rory Jones is finishing up this week! Congrats to them for finishing with honor! Adios y nos vemos la proxima semana!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Week 89

Hey folks! Hope everyone had a great week! It's already August! What has happened to 2013?

Anyway, we had a sweet zone activity this morning! We had a water balloon fight, played some soccer, and then cooked up some hot dogs! I think it was the first time I've eaten hot dogs in Honduras haha. Go America!

This week, the zone recovered and got back on track! We basically got back to the old numbers we had before all the disasters of 2 weeks ago.

In meetings news, we had our zone leader council this past Friday. This Friday, we will have a multi-zone conference with President Dester! And Saturday and Sunday, we have special meetings because they're dividing our stake! That's just evidence of some good missionary work over the past few years, so everyone is stoked!

So we talked with this drunk guy a few days ago. He was one of those friendly drunks that says outrageous things, so it was a fun conversation. Also, it seems like every Honduran drunk person knows a little bit of english, so they always try to talk with us in their terrible english haha. Anyway, this guy thought he was a sniper, and even started to do sniper moves with an imaginary gun. My comp and I just egged him on a little bit because it was hilarious :)

The challenge we're facing right now is setting baptismal dates with our investigators. We have a bunch of people who go to church and want to get baptized. But when we try to set a date, they get scared and say they're not prepared and a bunch of other excuses. It's frustrating, but hopefully we'll have a little success before Skousen leaves in a couple weeks.

Thanks for all the support! Love you guys!
Elder Birt