...............Just kidding. Because I love my mission. A bird could poop on me every day and I would still love my mission...probably (brb knocking on all the wood in La Ceiba). BUT GUYS GUESS WHAT. *drumroll* TODAY IS MY 8 MONTH MARK!
I know I say this all the time, but time is honestly going by so quickly. I remember my first transfer when it felt like time was moving slower than dial up internet or the lines in the secretary of state offices. I thought I was going to be in Honduras literally my entire life. But here I am today! With only 10 months more to go. The days and weeks are flying by, and before I know it, I'll be in the land of the free and the home of the brave drinking root beer and chocolate milk shakes and eating dozens and dozens of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
Speaking of the land of the free and the home of the brave, the Fourth of July is this week. The first Fourth of July that I'll celebrate outside of the United States. How sad! I don't know what I'm gonna do without potato salad and popsicles and fireworks and bug spray and America. Sigh. I guess I'll have to be satisfied with wearing red, white, and blue and singing the national anthem in my head all day long. I'll probably also shove a couple hamburgers from Burger King in my face and then call it a day.
Speaking of America, here are a few excerpts from some emails that I received today that made me laugh:
"I was studying the Restoration in PMG and I found the following sentence:
"Joseph Smith lived in the United States, which was probably the only country to enjoy religious freedom at the time." Put your hands up if you love America!!!" - Hermana Odekirk
"Also, we sang "my country tis of thee" and it made me cry." - my mom
There's nothing like living in another country to inspire some good, old patriotism in a person.
Anyway, this past Tuesday we had a multizone conference with Elder Adrian Ochoa of the Seventy. He talked to us about the importance of faith, not only in missionary work, but also in our day to day lives. Faith is the first principle of the gospel, and it's a principle that's fundamental and absolutely necessary. Without faith, we're nothing. Because we're human, we don't have a perfect knowledge or the way things are now, let alone the way things are going to be in the future. And sometimes it's scary. It's scary not knowing what's going to happen tomorrow. But we have a marvelous gift: we can trust in someone who does know. We can trust in a God who knows the past, the present, and the future. And when we trust in Him, we have faith in Him. We can press forward with a firm hope that things will get better. If we try our best to follow God, everything's going to be okay in the end. That's the promise He's given us. And if we're at a point in our lives when things still aren't okay, it's simply because it's not the end. Have faith. Move forward. You can do it.
But in order to progress in this life, we constantly need to increase and strengthen our faith. But how? The answer's simple: through prayer, the study of the scriptures, and obedience.
This week I started re-reading the Book of Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon. It's honestly my favorite book on earth (yes, even including Harry Potter). And the very beginning of the Book of Mormon is my absolute favorite. 1st and 2nd Nephi are the best. Nephi's a rockstar. Literally all the basic doctrine of salvation can be found in the first 120 pages of the Book of Mormon. Mmmmmmmmmmmm, there's some juicy stuff in there. But don't take my word for it. Go and read it for yourselves! And as an official representative of Jesus Christ, I promise that if you really read and ponder the first 120 pages of the Book of Mormon, your life will change. Something will stir within your heart and you will feel something that you've never felt before. And you, just like me and the other 15 million members of the church, will know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
"Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdome in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."
~ Moroni 10:3-5
Hermana Calpa and I were contacting Saturday because all of our appointments fell throuh. After getting rejected house after house for about an hour, Hermana Calpa was like, "That's it. I'm not contacting any more." We started walking down the street, passing the last house on the corner. And I was like, "Just one more house. The worst they can say is no." So we went up to the gate, yelled ''Buenas!" and a man came out. We introduced ourselves as missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and asked if we could share a short message with him. And he was like, "Sure!" At first I was a little freaked out cause he kept looking at me and smiling and I was like, smh at this creepy man. So I was like, "Let's sit outside to have the lesson!" Cause lol no way am I going into this guy's house when he's staring at me like he's never seen a gringa before. And we were like, "What's your name?" And he was like, "Adolfo Hitler." And I was like, "FREAK HERMANA LET'S GET OUT OF HERE." But then he was like, "Lolllllllllllll jokes, my last name's Martinez." So yeah, then we shared a short message about the Plan of Salvation and asked him when we could come back to visit again. And he was like, "You guys want to come back?" And we were like, "....yeah." And he was like, "Okay, but first do you want me to tell you the story of Joseph Smith from the very beginning?"
It turns out that Adolfo (Hitler) Martinez is a member of the Church. He was baptized 25 years ago but went inactive a year after his baptism. He then told me that I remind him of one of the sister missionaries that taught him way back then. "Seeing you has brought back all of my memories from that time," he told me. And in that moment, my heart was like, "OMG YAY THIS GUY'S NOT STARING AND SMILING AT ME CAUSE HE WANTS TO KIDNAP ME HE'S JUST REMINISCING ON THE GOOD OLD TIMES WITH THE SISTER MISSIONARIES." It was one of those moments when I felt like this is where I'm supposed to be. The Lord has called me to Honduras to help these people. I have a work to do here that no one else can do: only the gringa, Hermana Holdaway. And it's an amazing feeling to find the people that I was sent here to help. And I know that good old Hitler is one of them.
I walked away from that lesson like this:
Here are some pictures of me holding HUGE bugs and a tarantula from this museum that we went to this morning.
K now I'm actually done like whoops long email this week but you all love me so it's okayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!