Monday, August 25, 2014

8/25/2014 La Ceiba, Honduras - Man, Is it hot!

Well I am in Honduras!! and dang is it hot! I was not able to write last week since transfers were on my p-day.


So it looks like I have two weeks to cover. For starters I have to mention is that the dinner before the group of missionaries that leave the CCM depart, the cooks brought out a couple chocolate fondue fountains and strawberries, marshmallows, doughnuts, and other fruit. That was pretty good.
My district minus Elder Adams who had to leave early. 
You can see him in the picture when I left that morning 
next to Elder Gibbons. But from left to right is 
Elder Aldrich, Elder Shepherd, Elder Lessard, me, 
Elder Gibbons, and Elder Saunders. 
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Pictures of the morning of  
my departure and the 
flight over El Salvador
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I had to take two flights, one to El Salvador and another to Honduras. I had to get up at 2 in the morning then we all departed.

President Klein, his wife, and a couple of other missionaries met us all at the gate. Then we left for a local church building in La Lima for orientation and going over safety and procedures. Luckily the church building had air conditioning because when I first stepped out in Honduras, I was in an instant sweat and it is harder to breathe from the humidity.
On arrival to Honduras with President and Sis. Klein
Afterwards we got together with a local zone and went contacting, walking around the streets talking to people. That was pretty fun except for the part of me not understanding 90% of what they were saying. I stayed a night in Lima in local housing for missionaries. Our room had 14 beds with triple decker bunk beds.
The room I stayed in the first night in Honduras
yep those are triple decker bunk beds

Following that I found out who my trainer was, it is Elder Itza. Elder Itza is from Mexico and speaks very little English. But he is awesome! He definitely knows what he is doing and I just love being his companion. Elder Itza has 2 months left in his mission so he has a ton of experience. With his experience and my enthusiasm we are going to do be very successful.
My companion Elder Itza. I caught him sleeping on the job

After that we left in buses to our areas. My area is....La Ceiba! That was a 4 hour bus ride from Lima.

Our apartment is a three room apartment. 1 bathroom, 1 bedroom, 1 living room, and another bedroom for our ropas. and yes we have a legit shower and toilet, a small refrigerator and microwave.

The people here are amazing and very loving. At first we went around all day contacting (going to houses or people on the street). Everyone treats you very nice, I have not met one person yet who has been mean or rude in anyway.

This one time my companion and I were sitting on a bench waiting for a bus and this guy came up to us on a bike with a 5ft long snake in his basket. He said that he found it when he was working and was taking it home. He was showing us the snake and motioning as if he was going to throw it on us, he thought he was hilarious. But my companion was freaking out just a little, and not me of course :).

So my district is brand new and that means no area book (history of the area) or a list of the members. we were and still are starting from scratch. Anyway we already have a baptismal date with someone out here so that is fantastic. The 20th of next month is the planned date. I am very excited.

Hows my Spanish? Well at first I couldn't understand the people at all here and barely my companion. now I still can't understand the people except for some words here and there and I can mostly understand my companion with the help of a dictionary. So it is coming along slowly but surely.
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Random picture in Honduras. Notice all of the wires.

A lot of the kids down here that are going to school are learning English in there classes. I can somewhat talk to them in English and my companion always offers my services to help them in learning their English. I did meet this one guy that grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and is bilingual. So I was able to explain to him the restoration, that was cool and a treat to speak in English for so long and have someone understand me. Usually when we are contacting I give my testimony on prayer or whatever principle of the gospel we are talking about.

Sunday in church was different but very much enjoyable. The local church building here has air conditioning so that is a blessing and three of our investigators made it to church. We invited around ten and 1 came with us and two others arrived a little later. It is fun trying to talk to the members in Spanish as they are smiling at me as I try to form my sentences in Spanish. Most of the time I look at my companion and he either answers for me or attempts to explain further their question.

Here in Honduras is very awesome especially here in La Ceiba because it a slightly cooler than everywhere else in Honduras due to the ocean breeze. Yes I can see the ocean, its about a mile from my apartment. So that is really nice.
Food here is great, a lot of beans tortillas and eggs. And if we are lucky, bread. We have a member across the street from us that makes us almuerzo and washes our clothes for us and occasionally makes us cena.
 The hermana in my ward that cooks us dinner 
and is now washing our clothes!! She is the best!!
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The grandson of the sister earlier, he is my bud! even though I cannot really communicate with him!

It is very green here because of all the rain, there isn't much yet but we are entering the rainy season. So recap Honduras: Hot, Constant sweat for two years, full of love, and did I mention hot?

-Elder Keller

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A shower buddy that I found the next morning.
It is a crab that crawled up from the drain.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

8/22/2014 Written Letter

This is the first letter I received by mail. It came yesterday, so it's behind in the sequential order of the emails a bit.

8/19/2014 Honduras Mission Home

Greetings from the Honduras, San Pedro Sula East Mission - 

We wanted to share the good news that our missionaries all have arrived safe and sounds from their various CCM's and MTC.  We are so happy to have them here in the mission with us.  They are all excited and ready to share their testimonies of the Savior, and bless the lives of all those they come in contact with.

If you are a Bishop, Stake President or Mission President, please share the good news with the families of the missionaries.  

Thank you for sending them to us!

Saludos desde el Honduras, San Pedro Sula Mission East - 

Queríamos compartir la buena noticia de que nuestros misioneros han llegado todos a salvo y sonidos de los diversos de CCM y MTC. Estamos muy contentos de tenerlos aquí en la misión con nosotros. Todos ellos están entusiasmados y dispuestos a compartir su testimonio del Salvador, y bendecir la vida de todos aquellos que entran en contacto con. 

Gracias por enviarlos a nosotros!

Si usted es un obispo, presidente de estaca o de misión, por favor, compartir las buenas nuevas con las familias de los misioneros.

Nuestro mejores deseos,

Presidente y Hna. Klein
Misión San Pedro Sula Este

8/12/2014 Guatemala CCM - City Tour

So another week down at the CCM. One more week until I am out of here and into the the actual field of Honduras! My district and I cannot wait until then.

So last week we went on a tour of the city of Guatemala. Its was really fun and a much different place than the US. One thing about Guatemala is that it is really green here, with a ton of trees. With all of the trees it reminds me of Washington but instead of Douglas fir trees they are all deciduous trees.

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The Market
We first went to this huge plaza where all of the older government buildings are, then proceeded to the market place. This market is an underground kind of market. But it is obviously more for tourists by the stuff they were selling. There were a whole bunch of jerseys and flutes and leather made stuff.

When you went deeper in to the belly of the beast you ran into the fruit market. This is where all of the locals were, and it smelled really good.

As we were walking we ran into a wall of stinky stench of meat. We look down the row and all we see is raw meat hanging all over the place with flies everywhere. Plus it was like 70 degrees out. Yeah, not the best sight.

Shortly after we made our way out of the marketplace and we took the bus to another location. This place contains a 3D map of all of Guatemala. The map is 99% accurate, it's a topography map with signs of where the cities are located. That was definitively a sight to see. Apparently when it rains, the trenches that they've made for the locations of river and streams fill up to exactly how they are now.

About the time we got done with that it was around 2:30 and we left for Wendy's for a late lunch. I didn't get a whole bunch, I just got a ten piece chicken nuggets, a large fries, large orange soda, and a medium chocolate frosty. And yes, I ate it all. Boy, did that taste good!!

I ended my day with relaxing in a chair in a nice cool breeze reading my scriptures.

Well besides that awesome trip, my week has been basically the same. With classes after classes.

One good thing is that both of my mock investigators both accepted the baptismal challenge. That was really awesome.

My Spanish is coming along, but we will see how much Spanish I actually know when I get out into Honduras. So by the time you guys receive another email I will be in Honduras. My six weeks here have flown and I can't believe that I have been here for over month. All the time that I have been here, my knowledge of the gospel as grown tenfold. I am very grateful to be out here and everyday my testimony grows of missionary work and the importance of Christ in my life.

I will definitely have a whole bunch more to talk about so expect a longer letter next week.

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 The city traffic, usually there is more traffic
-Elder Keller
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To scale map of Guatemala - totally out of cement since the 1900´s
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3d map of Guatemala
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Plaza and government palace in Guatemala
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Building in Guatemala. This woman does not seem happy.

Friday, August 22, 2014

8/4/2014 Guatemala CCM - Fasting & Blessings


Hola todas personas!!

I am writing a day early this week because tomorrow (my official preparation day) we are going to take a tour of Guatemala city. The best part we get to eat lunch at Wendy's!

The weather here is fantastic! This place is truly the land of eternal spring, just yesterday it was like in the 70's and with a nice breeze. That is great for sitting outside and reading weather.

So this week was another interesting week at the CCM. For starters my district has handed out 4 more copies of the Book of Mormon to people that are just on the street. A lot of the time when we talk to the Guatemalans they thank us for doing what we are doing and helping make Guatemala a better place.

So during sports time they banned soccer because there was a significantly high amount of injures from it. So there has been a lot of people playing foursquare, but instead of using your hands they use their feet. That has been...interesting to play.

And just yesterday was my first fast Sunday here. That was the first time ever that I fasted for whole 24 hours. Fasting (going without something that we cherish deeply or need, like food and water) is a huge blessing and my testimony grows even more every time I do so. I show God that I am willing to sacrifice for Him, and in return He blesses us. Usually fasting can be difficult for me since the longest I have gone without fasting was like 15 hours before. But this time I found strength and I wasn't hungry nor thirsty. This time I didn't really fast for myself but for others and I would think of that as I studied my scriptures and have faith that those people would be blessed. Dinner that day has never tasted so good before! They gave us a lot of food and even ice cream and it was delicious!

Since we are talking about food... the food that is usually consumed here at this CCM is food that basically has tortillas, rice, meat, and guacamole. Those are the basic ingredients and the cooks here are amazing so when they cook food it is always some different dish. Sometimes they make homemade pizza or have pasta or lasagna. And if I have not mentioned before, if i did then i am doing it again, we get ice cream every lunch.

When we are not eating we are working, working our butts off. I love learning more about the Lord's Gospel and preparing to teach it!

-Elder Keller