Well, it's finally here: my last days in Olanchito. Very bitter sweet. But I'm ready! Ready for the future, ready for transfers.
My last week in Olanchito was amazing. Amazing because Sunilda got baptized! Finally. I've been teaching her the entire six months that I've been here. As missionaries, we love investigators who progress quickly. But sometimes it's more of a miracle to be with someone throughout their entire conversion. And that's what I feel with Sunilda. I'm grateful to know that I was with her for her entire conversion. And in the end, it really doesn't matter how long it took, because she ended up where she needs to be. She's my miracle.
As I've told you all before, the power goes out basically every day here. And when the power goes out at night, it's a mission rule that we have to go back to our houses (I've already told some of you this story, so if you've heard it before, just bear with me, k?). Anyway, so one night the power went out, and Hermana Urresta and I were just chilling in our house reading our scriptures by candle light because we're super spiritual and stuff (http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=yzdrhTjA9uw). And then all of a sudden, we heard gun shots. And not like we heard gun shots that were a couple of miles away. Like we heard gun shots that were basically right outside our door. So um, we kind of freak out a little bit and frantically run into our bedroom and close and lock the door and sit huddling on the floor FREAKING OUT. And the gun shots kept going off. Like they would shoot a round or whatever, wait ten or fifteen minutes, and shoot again. I honestly thought I was going to die, oh my gosh. I was praying so hard that the power would come back on and that everything would be okay. But yeah. The power came on like half an hour later. And afterwards we talked with our neighbor through our windows and we were like, "WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED." And she told us that it was our neighbor who likes to go out and shoot his gun when the power goes out just to scare people. And I'm like, "HEHHHH, well it worked cause I was on the ground trembling and thinking I was gonna die." This tipo's shot his gun a couple more times since then. And LOL once Hermana Urresta and I were in the street walking home cause the power had gone out and everything was pitch black and this idiot shot his gun literally like ten feet away from us. LIKE K. RESPECT, PLEASE. And in that moment I found out that I can actually run really, really fast (those years in middle school track really paid off). But lol, mom, don't freak out because everything's fine and I'm alive. And it's basically like if you're singing "Titanium" in your head constantly then nothing bad can happen to you.
My mission has taught me very practical problem solving skills. Cause we kinda had a major problem at Sunilda's baptism this weekend, smh. Anywayyyyyy, so Sunilda arrived and we were like, "K! Here's your baptismal clothes! Go change!" And we went to wait for her in the bathroom, and first of all this fifty year old woman just starts taking off her clothes right in front of us and we're like, "K, there's cubicles and stuff." And so after we finally convinced her to go and change in the cubicle, the freaking baptismal skirt was too small. Like it didn't fit her. At all. And we're just standing there like "Uhhhhh, we don't have anything else." And she's like, "I guess I'm getting baptized in my underwear!" And I was like, "NOPE. SOS." And then I was really smart and was like, "LET'S USE A TABLE CLOTH." So we used a sacrament table cloth as a makeshift skirt. Hopefully it's not a sin to use the sacrament table cloth as baptismal clothing cause we really didn't have any other option. But yup. I'm a problem solver. If you guys have any every-day-life problems that need solving, just hit me up cause I've got you covered.
This week Sunilda fed us fried chicken. And she put ketchup on it. And that's all fine and dandy, but then she put M&M's on it as a garnish. And I was like: . I guess fried chicken with M&M's is apparently a thing?
We gave Sunilda a pamphlet and there was a picture of Joseph Smith in it, and she was like, "QUE GUAPO ES JOSE SMITH. QUIERO CASARME CON EL." Smh, Sunilda.
Reina (Alex and Eliza's mom) is one of the strongest, most faithful women that I've ever met. Reina was baptized 15 years ago, but she's been inactive in the church ever since then. When Hermana Muñoz and I started teaching her family, she started going back to church, and ever since then, she's been coming to church every Sunday! Anyway, her family is really poor, and sometimes they don't even have enough money to buy food. Their dad leaves the house every night to do who knows what, and for the past couple of weeks, he hasn't been working. So Reina got a job and started working all day, every day. Which means that Alex and Eliza and their little brother, Edward, were home alone most of the time. Hermana Urresta stopped by to visit them last week, and Reina was at work and their dad wasn't home. And they hadn't eaten anything all day. It was heartbreaking. So Hermana Urresta and I bought some bread and juice for the kids to eat, and we sat down to talk with them. Their financial situation is terrible, and it breaks my heart to see them suffer. Anyway, this Sunday before church started, Reina whispered in my ear, "Hermana Holdaway. I want to pay my tithing. Will you help me?" Tears came to my eyes as I watched her faithfully pay her tithing. This woman, who sometimes doesn't have enough money to feed her children, put the Lord first. What an amazing example she is. She sacrificed everything that she had in order to obey the commandments of the Lord. As a missionary, there's nothing more wonderful than to see people change their lives and actually live the gospel. Reina doesn't just believe, she acts, and she lives. And when I think that I've given everything that I have, I just remember her and her sacrifice, and I find the strength to give just a little bit more to the God that has given me everything.
I love you all! The next time we talk, I'll be in my new area!!
Love, love, love,
|"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" - Isaiah 52:7|
| The people in Olanchito like to eat iguana. And so I bought this shirt. |
To remember the city of the iguana-eaters.