Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 7 (February 24, 2014) FIRST WEEK IN HONDURAS

(Honduras Week 1)

I am in Honduras!  I didn’t get to email last week because everything was so crazy with planning and traveling. We arrived here the day after pday; which is on Mondays here.

I can hardly remember the last week at the CCM but I know it was full of excitement and bonding with my companions and my district. We left the CCM at 5:30am on Tuesday 2/18 and traveled for 12 hours to Tegucigalpa. Our first night in Honduras was nice and it was just us three at the Mission home. The next day a bunch of other new missionaries arrived from the Guatemala CCM. We were the only Americans ha-ha. The day after that, Wednesday, we got our new companions! It was really hard to leave Hermana Young and Hermana Bleak because we became so close and best friends during our stay at the CCM.

My new companion, and my trainer, is Hermana Saldate she is from California. I am so grateful that she speaks English. She is so patient with me and my Spanish. She is always trying to help me out whenever she can.

My first week here in our area, a small town called Yusguare, has been amazing. I've experienced and seen so many things that I never thought I would. Our area is in the south of Honduras and it is SO HOT. I am convinced that it is the single hottest place on the entire planet. But somehow it also isn’t so bad when I focus on our purpose and on the people. The people here are so nice and welcoming. They are always trying to help me with my Spanish when they can. Teaching people about the gospel is amazing and nothing like I imagined. It is so much different than in practice. And feeling the spirit and seeing the members understand their relationship with god is really beautiful. Speaking during the lessons is not so bad because I am getting better at remembering and using those words. It is much easier that just casual conversation.

This week we have gone around and met most of the people from the church and gotten to know them. On Saturday we did a service project with the young women and the young men to clean up the park. We picked up trash and painted and it was really fun. When we were finished everyone played soccer and they were so good. Haha.

One of the most amazing sights I have seen here is the night sky. There aren’t any big city lights at night in my area and when I look up the sky is just FILLED with stars. It is amazing. I could look at them all night.

Our house currently does not have any electricity and the entire of the town doers not have running water. As you can probably imagine, this makes everything so much different. One of the biggest things I am getting used to is bucket showers. This is basically just dumping a bucket of water on yourself several times as you clean yourself. Also today I washed my clothes by hand and it is very time consuming ha-ha. I know that living this humbly is going to bring great blessings and I know that one of them is to become closer with the people who live here.
I am still getting used to this area, and to Honduras but I know that this is where I am meant to be and I know that if I am patient with the language, have faith, and remember my purpose we can do amazing things.

I miss you guys so much and I hope all the pets are doing well. I think about you guys all the time. Earlier today I was thinking about how we always go to the movies together. And that nice air-conditioning. that sounds super nice. Haha. I love you guys!

Hermana Jaquez

And now...A TON of pictures. Prepare yourselves.

Traveling to Honduras:

the last of our district (the morning we left the ccm) 
i can't believe i got to talk to you guys 
plane buddies

landed safely in tegucigalpa 
at the mission home on our last night together as companions
on the bus to changes


First Week in Honduras:
a completely normal reaction to this heat in southern Honduras 

our bedroom 
our kitchen

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Week 6-ish (February 16th, 2014)- Leaving the CCM Mexico

Hey mom and dad i am emailing really quick to let you know that i am leaving the ccm for honduras tomorrow morning. i leave the ccm at 530 am. our flight leaves at 10:35 am and we get to san pedro sula, honduras at 1:05 pm. we then have a layover and leave from there at 4:45 pm and get to tegucigalpa at 5:35 pm. we are allowed to email you just to let you know. i love you guys and miss you guys so much. 

i love you guys so much. i am excited to be going to honduras tomorrow. we haven't even started packing yet. i am glad my companions will be with me the whole way there. i love you guys!

Final week pictures: 
us and hno. garcia
us and hno. hernandez
our district and hno. castellanos
leaving info
house sleepover

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Week 5 pictures!

taken last pday while walking outside

my companions and i with some hermanas that left last weeek. the hermana on the left, hermana pentelute was one of our sister trainers. she is so nice.

we stayed up way too late and made a fort in our room, i think on wednesday

me in the fort. we slept in it for two days!

fort again

hanging out in the fort.

we got our hair cut!

pictures on the way to email!

that is the building we email from

and me at my computer!

Week 5 in CCM Mexico (February 11, 2014)

I have one more week here at the CCM and I feel both excited and scared. I feel like I am more confident in my ability to teach and my ability to understand (a little) but I also feel like six weeks in the CCM is not nearly enough time to prep. But I know everything will work out and I know that I will be okay once I get to Honduras.

This week was long but short at the same time. The days were long and felt never-ending but the week as a whole felt like a day. I guess that is how the past few weeks have been here. I am so much more confident in talking to investigators and explaining everything in Spanish, even though my grammar is HORRIBLE. But my teacher, Hermano Garcia says that it is okay because I get my point across and he can understand what I’m trying to say and he can definitely feel the spirit. I am so glad ha-ha. Sometimes I am amazed at my ability to speak during meetings with investigators. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m saying or how I’m saying it. Words just come out and after the lesson I wonder when, where, and how I learned and remembered some of the words and grammar I used in the lesson. The gift of tongues truly is a blessing; and one that I am extremely grateful for.

I forgot to say last week in my email that I sang in the devotional that evening. My district got chosen to sing. I forgot what song we sang but it was really short and really beautiful. Apparently I am an alto singer. Whatever that is, but it was really fun to sing in front of all the missionaries here. The president of the MTC, Hermano Kates, is an amazing speaker. He is an animated speaker and we were all awake for once ha-ha. He told us a story about himself as a kid learning martial arts and his instructor would always say “YOURE A DISEASE" and he thought it was funny and then one day he realized it was because he never quit and he was always clinging on and enduring through all the hardships. I thought that was cool and it was amusing; trust me. This week was his son Emerson's birthday. Everyone in the cafeteria sang him “Happy Birthday” and we ALL got birthday cake for dinner! He’s a little kid and he is so adorable he is always riding his bike around the CCM.

Fun things are always happening but I always forget them by the time I email. So that isn’t fun. I will start taking notes throughout the week ha-ha.

On Sunday the CCM was dedicated as a Missionary Training Center. The whole week they had a ton of people out gardening and painting and making everything look beautiful. The campus looks amazing. During the week they took videos of all the missionaries walking around, to show during the dedication my companions and I were walking and Hermana Young walked right into the camera because she wasn’t paying attention. It was hilarious.

Elder Oaks was here to dedicate the CCM and it was a really amazing time. On Sunday on our way to dinner, early because we had to be seated for the dedication two hours early, my companions and I were running late and we saw all the presidents here at the CCM and Elder oaks taking pictures by the main sign. There were a lot of men in black type security people everywhere and it was kind of neat. We watched them take pictures and then went to dinner. Everyone was eating dinner at the same time and it was PACKED they had all of the cafeteria open and they usually only have one of the three sides open. It was crazy. And then we went to the main auditorium to get seated but we had to wait because they were letting the choir people in first. All the elders in our district are in the choir so they got to sit in the front rows. Hermana Bleak and I know how to work crowds so we found our way to the front of the line and then we got decent seats, 8th row!

The actual meeting was wonderful. We sang hymns before it started and it was so peaceful. Then we continued to sing until elder oaks arrived and took his seat. They showed the CCM video at the beginning and the last clip they used....the clip of Hermana Young and us walking into the camera!
You can probably find the video if you Google search CCM dedication. It has some cool historical info about the campus too! The meeting was wonderful.

All the speakers had beautiful remarks and I even understood almost all of it, in Spanish of course. Elder Oaks’s talk was in English but he had a translator right next to him translating in real time because half the missionaries here are Spanish speaking and they were broadcasting live to the Spanish speaking missions. The spirit was so strong and everyone was so attentive. I am so glad I was here for the dedication of this CCM. It truly is going to have a great future. After the dedication we all stood until Elder Oaks left the building and we listened to the piano playing hymns. After he was gone everyone still stood and we just hummed along because the music was so beautiful and we didn’t want to leave the strong feelings of the spirit that was at the dedication.

On Monday morning we were interviewed by a nice professor from BYU who is writing a book about the history of the school and its conversion to the CCM and on the dedication. I don’t think my clip will be used but that is okay, my companions had wonderful words to say. Ha-ha. This week was eventful and fun and I have learned so much and I am so grateful to be here at the CCM. I miss you all so much and I think of you all the time!

Love, Sam

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Week 4 in CCM Mexico (continued)- Mexico City Temple

bus ride to the temple
i got money out of the atm

bus ride back to the ccm
matching liahona necklaces!