Tengo 20 años.
Now I'm old and grey and 20. And pretty soon I'm going to be 30 and that's really scary like where am I even going to be in 10 years? I mean, who am I going to be with is probably the most important question, LOL, cough, cough, but anyway...
I had an amazing birthday here in Honduras. I ate left over Crazy Bread for breakfast which wasn't the same as the cinnamon rolls or German pancakes that I would have gotten if I was home with my mom but it was probably the second best thing. Then we taught a few lessons in the morning and had an amazing experience with Adrianna, one of our investigators.
We met Adrianna a couple of weeks ago. We were out walking in the street on our way to visit one of our investigators, when all of a sudden we hear, "Hermanas! Hermanas! Vénganse por aquí!" And we turned around to see this woman flagging us down from the other side of the street. So we walked over and started talking with her and she asked us for a Book of Mormon. We gave her a copy and set up a return appointment. When we went back, she had read and marked her Book of Mormon and had really deep questions for us. She asked us what happens to the people who didn't have the opportunity to hear the gospel in this life before dying. So we explained the plan of salvation to her, saying that God loves each one of His children and has prepared the way for all of us to learn about and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, if not in this life, in the life to come. (To learn more about God's plan of salvation, click here!) And then she said, "Hermanas, I've prayed twice asking God if this is the truth. And I received my answer. He told me that yes, this is the true church."
Best birthday present ever.
Then I casually fried up some unripe banana and dipped it in ketchup for my birthday lunch becasue WHOOHOOO Honduras.
Then we taught some other amazing lessons to a couple of less active members and our golden investigator, O! O's story is a miracle. Really. He's the boyfriend of a less active member, J, that we're visiting. We met J and O a couple of months ago when I was still with Hermana Calpa. We knocked on their door, and J answered. She invited us in, we started talking with her, and then she told us, "Hermanas, I'm a member of the church but I haven't gone in a couple of years. And you two are an answer to my prayers. I was just sitting here thinking about all of the problems that I have in my life, looking for answers, looking for some way to cope, and then you knocked on my door. God sent you to me. Thank you."
And so we started visiting J a couple of times a week, helping her to get her life back on track. We also started teaching her boyfriend, O, who she lives with, but he honestly didn't want anything to do with us. When we taught him, he just sat there with a sour face and an attitude that shouted, "I'M BETTER THAN YOU AND DON'T CARE WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY." It was actually a little uncomfortable. Okay, maybe like a lot uncomfortable. He and J were having relationship problems, and J told us that they were going to break up. She moved to Roatan, one of the islands of Honduras, and he moved to Utila. So needless to say, we stopped visiting them.
Fast forward a couple of months to the end of August. Hermana Tito and I were walking down the street, and guess who we bumped into?! J! She told us that she and O had moved back to Ceiba. We set up an appointment to visit them, and when we went back a couple of days later, we saw a 360 degree turn around. It's honestly unbelievable the change that we've seen in this family. They're happy now. Their relationship isn't perfect, but it's better. A lot better. And O, once sulky and full of attitude, now has a baptismal date. He participates in the lessons, laughs and talks with us, and he even prayed in church last Sunday. Right now we're working on the wedding plans, and then shortly after, O is going to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God.
My favorite part about being a missionary is seeing the change that the gospel brings in people's lives. The power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. It makes bad men good and good men better. And it's universal. Each and every one of you can experience the changing and empowering effects of the Atonement. And if you want to learn how, just ask the missionaries.
I love my mission. I love Honduras. I love this gospel. And I love each one of you. Thank you for all of your love and support. And keep pressing on. Sometimes life is hard. Okay, basically all the time life is hard. But just remember this:
And remember that you're never, ever, ever alone. God loves you. He knows you. He knows you by name, and He will never, ever, ever forget you.
It's up to you to not forget Him.