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

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 96

This week flew by! To be honest, all the weeks are starting to blur together, so I'm sorry if I repeat stories or something. Elder Polendo and I keep so busy that it's just a constant whirlwind of awesome missionary work. Here were the highlights (I think they're all from this week haha)

- We had a sweet P-day today where the zone got together to eat carne asada and watch a movie! It took some serious preparation though! And honestly, if we didn't have sisters in the zone, the whole thing would have been a giant disaster. Thank goodness for sisters! Honestly, I've learned that the church absolutely cannot function without the Relief Society. So thanks to all you women out there for your hard work! Anyway, now that I'm off that tangent, it was a really successful activity (a little stressful though so I don't know if we'll do that again).

- To be honest, Elder Polendo and my greatest joy comes from the zone's success. And being with the other missionaries are the best moments of the week! I really love the whole zone, and we're working amazing together! We should have about 15 baptisms this next week and October looks really good!

- It looks like we might have had a breakthrough with Rosemary, the investigator we've been teaching for a couple months now. We had been giving her a little space recently with the whole baptism issue, but we prayed, fasted, and put a date with her for the 28th. She kind of accepted. But then she came to church again yesterday, and between classes, I showed her the baptismal font, and explained a little about how a baptismal service is. She seems a lot more comfortable with the idea. We should get a definite answer from her tomorrow. Whenever it happens, it will be one of the best baptisms of my mission. She'll be a leader in the church one day :)

- My comp, Elder Polendo, is hitting that realization that he's finishing the mission in 10 days. I think he's starting to freak out a little bit, but he continues working really well. Also, Elder Hebert, my old MTC comp, turned in his application to BYU! He tells me that something I told him made him change his mind, and he feels really good about the decision.

I hope all you guys had a great week, and that you have an even better week starting today! I love you all! Adios!

Elder Birt

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week 95

Hey everyone! This week just disappeared! I can't believe how fast things are going now!

Elder Polendo and I are focusing a ton on helping the zone these days, and we're seeing some great results! I think we had the most successful zone (as far as numbers) for the second straight week, so that's reason to celebrate!

This past Thursday, I was on divisions with one of our district leaders when it started POURING! I've never seen it rain so hard here in Honduras. We got drenched, but the worst part was the flooding. We had to wade through this one part where the water was almost up to my belt! And there were a bunch of cars that had died and the owners had abandoned them. It was pretty crazy!

Yesterday, was Independence Day in Honduras, which basically ruined everything at church. For some reason, the schools make it mandatory that the kids march in parades. Anyway, our attendance got cut in half yesterday (a mighty 63 in a ward), and we only had one investigator show up :( The majority of the zone had similar results.

We had a couple really sweet experiences yesterday! First, we set up an appointment in the morning with a member family that we had never visited before. This family is active and everything, but we'd never really talked to them before and they're not that involved with the ward. But we went over a few hours after church, and they had their non-member neighbors waiting for us in their house! We taught a simple, powerful lesson, and set up another appointment for this week. But for all you members out there, there's nothing that makes the missionaries more happy than doing something like that. I would know because my comp and I were high-fiving after leaving their house haha

Also, we showed up at one of our investigator family's houses the other day, only to receive the news that they had gotten married the day before! This is after we had been working on getting papers for them for about 2 months. Apparently, they just took matters into their own hands and got married themselves! Now, we just have to help them get baptized, which will be another project.

Thanks to everyone who still reads my blog! I'm impressed with everyone that's hung in there for 22 months. Heck, I don't even know if I would have done it haha. But seriously, thanks for everything and I love all you guys!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 94

Hey everyone! Sorry if anyone was waiting for my blog entry last week (mainly my mom), but we had an activity that went a little long. We´re keeping SUPER busy the last few weeks, and today is actually the first time in a while that I´ve been able to rest a little bit. Here´s the breakdown:

- Tuesday, we had a zone meeting. Instead of the district leaders controlling their own meeting like normal, Elder Polendo and I planned a totally beast 2 hour meeting! We felt like it was time to machete the missionaries (that´s what we say when leaders scold their missionaries for crappy numbers haha). For those of you who know me well, you probably know that´s not my personality at all, but that´s what the situation called for. And I think we did it in the right way too. Then, we had a little church tour after that turned out to be super spiritual! One of the sisters in our zone even started crying because the spirit was so strong. All in all, it was a sweet meeting.

- That same day, we did divisions. Elder Polendo went to another area to go dominate, while I held down the fort in Puerto Cortes.

- Wednesday morning, we finished divisions by playing basketball in the morning at the church. I´m a little rusty, but actually not as much as I thought I would be. Also, just a fun fact, we have an elder in the zone that has a basketball scholarship to go to University of San Diego, so he´s pretty dang good.

- Thursday, we did weekly planning as a zone (we´re basically trying to get the zone together as much as possible to help the unity). And then we had another division, where I left the area with Elder Madsen to dominate and my comp Polendo held down the fort.

- Friday, after doing a church tour with Madsen, the office called us, saying that Polendo had to go to San Pedro so he wouldn´t get thrown out of Honduras for being illegal haha. That lasted pretty much all day. It was super boring, but I got to catch up a bit with my friend Elder Bergquist from my MTC district

- Saturday, the APs called us on short notice, telling us that they were gonna visit us in our area. I got to do divisions with Elder Hebert again! It was a blast! And then the four of us tried to sleep on two mattresses in our house. It was pretty uncomfortable - I´ll just leave it at that.

With all that effort, the zone improved A TON! Seriously, I´ve never seen numbers in my entire mission as good as the ones we got last night. It´s extremely satisfying to see an entire zone buy in to what we said and improve so much. Elder Polendo and I just have to get even better next week though!

Funny (and stupid) story of the week: On Saturday, we started a fast with the APs, and prepared to break the fast Sunday night by buying a ton of junk food. So after church finishes Sunday, we race back to the house, finish our fast, and start going to town. We drank a couple cups of water each, ate a whole box of Vanilla Wafers (thanks for sending that mom!), drank a 3-liter of soda, and ate a bunch of other snacks. Turns out after, we felt pretty terrible. And even more terrible when we went to our lunch appointment, and the lady gave us soup. Hahaha looking back on it, we were pretty dumb, but hey, it was fun!

We´re working on 3 weddings in my area right now, but they´re all getting held up for various reasons. Also, Rosemary (I talked about her forever ago) is still going to church (9 straight weeks, I think). But she still won´t get baptized, although it gets closer in every visit. So there are baptisms coming, but we just don´t know exactly when :(

Thanks for all the love and support! You guys are awesome! Love you all! Nos vemos!

-Elder Birt

Two points that Cam wanted me to put on the blog from our questions to him

We do have a cook that makes us lunch every day, and a different member makes us dinner every night. We pay for the lunch - the dinner no. It´s pretty much the same honduran food as always, and I don´t think I´ve eaten fish the whole time actually. I did, however, try sopa de mondongo (cow stomach soup) for the first time a couple weeks ago. It´s probably the most infamous dish in the mission, but I actually didn´t mind it that much. It just tasted a little rubbery haha

The Honduras-Mexico soccer match was all anyone was talking about this week. It´s crazy here- it´s like a national holiday every time there´s an international match. As missionaries, we literally know the score of the game just from walking in the street and hearing the cheers (or cussing) after every goal. There´s also some fireworks and the occasional gunshots when Honduras scores. Everyone´s making fun of my comp because he´s Mexican haha

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Week 93

Time kind of got away from us today with a zone activity, and there was an issue with the computer. But I love you all and hope you're doing great! Sorry, I'll write more next week!