Sunday, November 30, 2014

11/26 - Baptisms and Keys Stuck on the Roof

¿Qué Honda?

My investigator Lily, that has had quite a few difficulties these past couple weeks, was baptized this last Saturday. This was a great triumph for her. Just a couple days before the baptism she lost both of her jobs. Luckily she stayed strong and continued forward with baptism. I performed the baptism. Everything went smoothly and well. Another investigator of missionaries in our district also was getting baptized, but the person that was going to baptize the investigator couldn't make it. So I ended up doing that as well. The entire time the spirit could be felt. I was super nervous, as I said a prayer in my heart,  I felt a boost of confidence and comfort. And you know what? Everything is fine, and there was no need to be nervous or worry about it.

Another funny story this week is during our weekly mission correlation meeting (meeting with all the missionaries in our ward) we ended up being locked out. Okay, we had keys to the church building and the gate. We entered through the gate,  Elder Ramirez threw the keys up to Elder Hansgen for him to unlock the Church Building. Unfortunately he threw it too high and it landed on the roof. So then we were locked out of the building, but also locked in on the property. So we had to scavenge around looking for anything that we could use to get up high. We tried lifting someone up to the roof, but the roof was too high. Eventually we found this cement filled tire with a pole in it.  I think it is used for volleyball to hold the net up or something. Anyway, we rolled that to the front and used that to get up there and grab the keys. It was all worth it in the end because Hermana Turner brought homemade cupcakes for all of us to eat.

Also this week has been an achievement for Elder Hansgen and me  as we worked hard with our less active members in our area to come to church. When Sunday rolled around quite a few of them showed up. The usual attendance for our ward is 100ish (and that's considered big here) and this last Sunday it was 125. It goes to show that hard work, praying, and exercising faith works and is essential in missionary work and all throughout life.  The Book of James chapter 2 talks about faith and works. It is a great chapter to read and I highly recommend it. 

-Elder Keller

Thursday, November 20, 2014

11/18 - First trip to San Pedro Sula

I have clocked in a lot of hours on buses this week.  To start off my companion, Elder Hansgen, had to renew his residency here in Honduras. So basically that means we travel 5 hours to San Pedro Sula, wait in line for another 2-3 hours and spend only 2 minutes for the actual renewal process and travel back to La Ceiba for another 5 hours. But one cool thing I got out of it...I went to San Pedro Sula for the first time. We also visited the mission office there. So when we took a taxi the guy tried to charge us  L170 each, when the usual rate is around L80. Luckily we were able to knock some sense into him and he realized we are not just some average gringos. But that happens to me a lot here especially now my companion and I are both gringos.

While we were there we actually met missionaries from "the other side" or otherwise called the San Pedro Sula Oeste mission. I got to admit, they are a little weird. I am glad I am in the mission that I am in.

For Preparation day on Monday we went to Trujillo. Some people actually say that Trujillo has better beaches than Roatan. But the place is gorgeous, definitely one of Honduras's highlights. We played soccer on the beach and had a blast. My companion unfortunately got sun burned and looks like a tomato. The sky was nice and clear and water super azul, agua azul (which is also a water company here aguazul). What was really cool is that we visited a fort. The oldest fort in the continental America. It was pretty small but a member that Elder Hansgen knew from before in the area got a killer deal on tickets to go in.

Overall, this week has been good. I didn't really like traveling to San Pedro too much because it sucked up a lot of all of our day.

Oh and by the way, Lily (our investigator) went to the hospital last week because she had appendicitis. Luckily enough they operated on her quickly enough and that everything is ok. We had to move her baptismal date to next week. She still has a string testimony and really wants to be baptized and was sad that she couldn't do it last week. We gave her a priesthood blessing and she is already walking around and doing her normal stuff. Her one month bed rest recovery  from what the doctor recommended went to two weeks. That was a great blessing for her.

Cuidense, vaya bien

-Elder Keller

11/10 - Christ is our foundation

¿Qué pedo?

Well, a lot has happened in this past week. First of all, we got another investigator with a baptismal date. The story is quite interesting and very spiritual. We have been working with this investigator since September. She believes all parts of the Gospel, has a testimony of the Church is true and everything. The thing was that when she went to church for the first time, she didn't have the best experience. Bueno, she had great time during the sacrament meeting and felt the spirit, but the next two hours were not so much the same. Through body language and the lack of members introducing themselves to her, she was offended. If any of you want to help the missionaries out, here is a greatly fantastic way: Talk to the investigators that are brought by the missionaries. Just introduce yourselves and welcome them, and kind of make sure they get to the places where they need to be. Anyway, since that, she has been kind of hesitant of progressing any further. But through lessons with her and getting more members to befriend her.. She still wouldn't accept baptism. Our last visit with her, I was with my new companion (Elder Hansgen).  We were really trying to find that root cause of what is keeping her back. He looks at me and I am like, I have no idea, but though divine inspiration of the Holy Ghost (no doubt) my thoughts were directed to a scripture in the Book of Mormon. It was Helaman 5:12. I talked about how Christ is our foundation and that no matter what Satan throws our way we will not fall and we will overcome it. But it all starts with faith in Jesus Christ. She started to get red eyed and a few tears, then I kind of went more in the importance of faith and how our purpose here on this earth is basically to follow the example of Jesus Christ. So as long as we have faith in Him, and our loving Heavenly Father, there shouldn't be anything that can stop us from doing what they say. Right then I challenged her to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized on a certain date. She said yes. After she accepted it she suddenly started crying uncontrollably for five minutes. We just sat there. But the spirit there was very strong.

It goes to show the spirit is a very powerful tool and knows exactly what to say. And that some people just need an extra amount of time. But in the end, God knows us all individually and knows how we can be blessed.

-Elder Keller

11/3 - You never know who the Spirit will touch

This week has been a crazy one. Well I got my new companion last Wednesday, Elder Hansgen. It is pronounced (Henchin). He is from Utah and as you can guess, he is a gringo. Elder Hansgen has a 16 months under his belts already and has a ton of energy.

Thursday we had a fundraiser for some investigators of ours to get married. To complete the entire process of her marriage in Honduras is around L1,500. This is about $75, which is a lot here. We sold Hamburgers and did very well. Right now they are on track to getting married and then after that they can get baptized. We are all very excited for them.

The thing about preaching or just talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that you never know who you are going to touch. We were focusing in on one investigator and her roommate decided to sit in (or rather didn't leave). After our lesson we didn't think too much about her. But it goes to show that the Spirit touches all. Because when we went back to visit with the investigator, she wasn't there, but her roommate was. She invited us right in and straight up asked us questions about the Book of Mormon and the Church. She is really interested and energetic about learning more, she has been going to church these past two times. We need to be always in tune with the Holy Ghost and realize the power and sacredness of the message that we share of Jesus Christ.

-Elder Keller

So a bike ran over my foot...Just kidding this is just lint from my socks!

Monday, November 3, 2014

10/29 - New Companion in the Hospital

This week has been the start of the dreadful fall-winter season of Honduras. It is actually not that bad, quite refreshing. Usually it is a blistering 90 degrees with 100% humidity but recently it’s been more in the low 80s and this morning was 79. As you can probably guess it rained a ton. All morning and all throughout the day. The bad thing about that is that all of that water has to go someplace. And since we are basically 10 ft. about sea level, there tends to be flooding. As we are going to our appointments we would just see people in knee deep water trying to get it out of their houses.

An investigator of ours (Lily) has been taking our discussions really great and keeping all of our commitments with her. Unfortunately recently she no longer has a job. And she was already living pay check to pay check, so finding dinner to eat and amongst other things has been a challenge for her. She told us that one night that she did have dinner, nothing to eat. But out of the blue one of her friends called her up and invited her to come over for some dinner. She said that she hadn't talked to this friend in forever and was strange that she called her. And then the next day she was late to coming to church (and it is like a twenty minute walk) and as she was walking there a taxi rolled up next to her and said to hop in and that its free. Luckily enough the guy was genuine and was not trying to kidnap her. But also a remarkable thing is that a taxi never ever offers a ride for free. So for that to happen, was a great blessing. She does recognize that these are blessings of God of keeping His commandments and doing her best to follow the example of Jesus Christ. This is a reassurance for me that God loves us and blesses us always. So when hardships arise and the going gets tough, we need to stay true always and remain faithful.

This Wednesday was changes and my companion is officially dead (that is when a missionary is done with his 2 years). But Tuesday and Wednesday, all day I had to stay in the hospital. Another missionary in my district, Elder Wilson, has dengue. In a hospital in a third world country isn't as bad as it sounds. Fortunately we stayed in one of the nicer hospitals. It’s smaller than the rest, but its staff is super nice and caring. Usually they are impatient and just want to get it over with. They fed me as well as Elder Wilson, there was a couch for me, and best of all there was air conditioning! Don't worry Elder Wilson is doing great now.

Well, Cheque pues
-Elder Keller

Fried Chicken Foot - YUM!
Bridge Rain Level 5

10/20 - My first Baptism

Another week gone by and nothing really interesting happened. ¡Mentira! I just had my first baptism! We have been teaching this family for a while and Hermana Delarca is just the best and the sweetest. Every time we pop over for a visit, at the end she always feeds us. One time she made chicken fried rice, it tasted very similar to my mom´s cooking. So that tells you right there how well her cooking is. The spirit with her is great and when she says a prayer, it is really powerful.

A couple days before her baptism I came down with a bug or something. I had a fever, nasty headache, and I had to use the bathroom many, many times. No me gusta. I didn't eat for a day or two. The day before her baptism I received a priesthood blessing. And let me tell you, those work. The priesthood works and this church has the authority of it. My fever broke and I started to eat again. I was well enough to go out and preach and perform the baptism of Hermana Delarca. That truly was a blessing; I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to do it.

Alright so, the Delarcas are an interesting bunch. The brother of who I baptized is very much so against the Church. So much that he invited pastors over to "talk" to the grandson Olga. We are trying to get her grandson and his novia married and baptized. But now it has been a heck a lot harder.  The brother of Olga seemed like a sweet old guy, now he doesn't seem so.

The two biggest religions down here are Catholics and evangelists.
Overall, faith is most important and key to have. Because through faith in Jesus Christ and our Loving Father in Heaven we can achieve anything that God wants us to do. But faith consists of two parts [belief, not having a perfect knowledge (Alma 32:24)] and [action (James 1: 22& 2:17-18)]. And as we exercise our faith it will grow and blessing will come, always (Ether 12:6).

-Elder Keller

10/13 - New schedule

Well for me about eating and going to bed earlier has totally flipped flopped. I now go to bed earlier and wake up a lot earlier: 10:30 to 6:30. And eating well varies. Generally I have a light breakfast and then I eat pretty filling Lunch. But dinner is a whole other story. Some days it is something we find around our apartment. Others we eat with a family. And sometimes we eat like 3 dinners in one night. I am so stuffed and feel like I am going to be sick. But I cannot, and I need to eat everything on my plate. Because when we go to our citas, our investigators/members surprise us at the end with cena. And we cannot say no. So if anything that I have learned is that I how to always finish everything on your plate.. No matter what.

Moroni 10:32 is a good verse and is very true. Another verse that I really like of Moroni as well is in Chapter 9 verse 6. He talks about diligence and always working. But what I personally take out of it is service. We need to always work and serve others. And when we are not, we tend to think of ourselves and become selfish.
Forget yourself- Olvídate de ti mismo

Sentir el Espíritu
Con mucho amor,

-Elder Keller