I'm just gonna come right out and say it: missions are hard. This past week has been the hardest week of my life. I know I've probably said that about every week of my mission so far, but this week I really mean it. Adjusting to living in a third world country has been a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. Obviously before coming to Honduras I knew that it was going to be a whole different way of life, but it's an entirely different thing to actually live it! It's been a big adjustment. I really miss the things that I used to take for granted...like showers, flushing toilets, clean dishes, washing machines....we're honestly so blessed to live in America. And living in Honduras for these past two weeks has really made me realize that. There are people here who literally have nothing. They live in shacks with no electricity, dirt floors, no water, not even chairs to sit on. My heart breaks to see the living conditions here.
On a happier note, I understand a lot more Spanish than I did two weeks ago! It's nice to actually see my progress in the language improve. But it's still hard. The Spanish here is so crazy! The hardest part for me is not being able to connect and express my love for the people I'm teaching. It's honestly crazy how much I love these people! And it's frustrating to not be able to talk to them or really get to know them. But I know that that will all come with time. I have to be patient with myself. This is a crazy thing that I'm doing, and I shouldn't be as hard on myself as I am. But that's always been hard for me. I just want to be perfect at the language right now! Waiting is hard. But all things come "poco a poco." That's what Hermana Alejandro always says.
The rain here is so crazy. I love it. I love the sound of rain, and down here, I get to listen to it basically every day! It's the best. And the stars. Oh my gosh, the sky here is the prettiest thing I've ever seen in my entire life. At night, all I want to do is lay down and watch the stars. It's hard though, because when we're walking I want to look at the stars, but I can't because I have to watch the road. If you're not careful while you're walking, you'll walk in a pile of cow poop or you'll fall into a hole. Oh, Honduras.
For Christmas, all of the Elders and Hermanas in my district are doing a gift exchange! We each drew a name and have to buy a gift for that person. So we're gonna have a little Christmas party on Wednesday! So that will be fun. And our zone leader called us last night and told me that I have a letter!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I'm so excited. I don't know who it's from, but I'll get it on Wednesday. What a happy Christmas gift. And today I had 32 emails from you all! That's the most I've ever gotten! I felt so loved and happy. Thank you all for taking the time to keep in touch with me. It really means a lot! And it's what I look forward to the most during the week.
Here are some quick little bullet points about my week:
**Hermana Alejandro and I went to teach one our recent converts. We walked to their backyard, and a woman was casually skinning cow legs. There were literally cow legs all over the lawn. I almost died.
**Honduras has these wonderful chips that are basically like twisty Doritos and they're the best thing that's ever happened to me. Well, that's a lie, because Nutella is the best thing that's ever happened to me, so yeah.
**Speaking of Nutella, we taught a guy who works for Nutella last week. If that's not proof that I'm supposed to be in Honduras, then I don't know what is.
**There are geckos living in my house.
**I'm going to learn how to make tortillas and tamales tomorrow!
**People stare at me all the time here. Like I'll be walking down the street with Hermana Alejandro and people will just stare. It makes me a little uncomfortable LIKE LEAVE ME ALONE I KNOW I'M AMERICAN AND HAVE BLUE EYES BUT WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT. But actually sometimes it's really scary. Cause people will cat call at me and stuff and ahhhh. I don't wanna die. But I'll be okay. Hermana Alejandro is really good at making sure that I'm safe.
**I don't know how I'm going to eat beans, rice, and fried bananas every day for 18 months. Cause I already want to die, and it's only been two weeks.
**Crocs are the best thing that have ever happened to me.
Well, merry Christmas to you all! I hope you have a wonderful time with your families. And enjoy the snow for me! Cause there's definitely no snow down here in Honduras. And always remember the true meaning of Christmas! I want to share a quick scripture with you all before I end this email. It's in The Book of Mormon, Helaman : "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
Christ is a constant in our lives. When everything else seems to fall apart, He will always be there. My mission has really taught me how to rely on Christ. And whenever I feel like I'm not strong enough, or whenever I think that this is too hard for me to do, I just remember that I have Christ on my side. And if I build my life upon that foundation, upon Christ, then I will not fall. Not only that, but I cannot fall. What an amazing promise. This Christmas season, I encourage all of you to remember your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Strengthen your relationship with Him so that you have someone to rely on when life gets hard.
I love you all! Merry Christmas!