Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Week 16 (April 28, 2014)

Week 10 in Honduras

This past week we have been in Tegucigalpa, my companion had to get her wisdom teeth removed. She had them removed on Tuesday and then for the rest of the week we stayed with a family from her former area. Their house is in the mountains near Tegucigalpa.

Hermana Saldate needed a lot of rest so while she rested, I studied. Lots and lots of studying, it was really nice. Especially having the opportunity to read the scriptures; which is hard to do on a mission, because we hardly ever get free time. In the mornings we usually study specific things so we can be prepared for the day, so just getting to read the scriptures was really nice.

On Friday we went to a chapel here in Tegucigalpa, there was a fleet of American dentists doing dental work for future missionaries. Wards from around this area of the country are coming and getting work done. It was really really cool. We went for a check-up since my companion was having a lot of trouble and pain. It turns out she had dry sockets and they helped her out. It was good because here in Honduras they don’t have a solution for dry sockets. Just wait it out ha-ha. It was really lucky that the American dentists where here when she needed them, she had a much easier time and could talk and eat. We had to stay over the weekend because she has another check up with them today, later this afternoon. Our ward from our area is visiting the dentists today, so we have a ride home! Really convenient!

One of the more interesting and things I enjoyed this week was that we got to use the computer to watch this past conference....in English! I was so grateful for this opportunity! We only got to watch a few talks, but hearing them in English was really great. I just hope I have another opportunity to either listen to the rest or even read the rest.

We also got to watch a little bit of other conferences and talks from the past and one talk I really enjoyed was "safety for the soul" by Jeffery R. Holland. I really enjoyed this and if you have any time, you should go to the lds.org site and watch it.

So instead of giving a day by day update like usual, I’ve decided to just talk about mission life and what I think overall so far of being on a mission:

Before I came on my mission I had no idea what to expect, and I don’t even think I had any expectations. I was just really nervous because I was going to be leaving home and leaving my family and living in a country that I hadn’t heard of before I got my call. And on top of all that I would be learning a different language, not even a language I had studied in school before. Six years of French classes would be useless.

But then I got on a plane on January 8th and flew to Mexico all by myself. And I met some other missionaries in the airport and we all stumbled our way through customs together and stumbled all the way to the CCM together. And then we all stumbled our way through six months of training together. Some of us became best friends. And we learned so much about how to be a missionary and how to speak Spanish.

We felt ready to go out into the real world. So we did. And I flew to Honduras but this time not by myself. I had two companions and we all leaned on each other for help all the way to Honduras. and when we got here we were introduced to a new culture and a new completely different world from the one we had grew up in. and we all realized what we had learned in the CCM was nothing. Then I got a new companion. Who knew so much more Spanish that I did. She seemed comfortable and flawless in life as a missionary.

My first six weeks in Honduras were rough. I didn’t know any Spanish and I couldn’t say much. But I stumbled through our lessons with the people of our area over and over. Slowly, I started to understand conversations. And every day my Spanish has gotten better and better as I just listen intently and try my hardest to understand the culture here. And I was homesick beyond belief and I thought a lot every day about how much I wanted a real shower.
I am just starting my 11th week in Honduras and things are already a lot easier. I can understand almost everything people say to me and I can figure out how to say what I want to say with a limited vocabulary. And most of the time people can understand me. During the days it can be hard to see all the progress I have made, but I know I have made a lot. And I am so much stronger in my knowledge and testimony of the gospel as well.

One thing that teaching others requires, is that you really know what you are teaching, and also that you understand the importance of what you are teaching. Every day I learn more and more and my understanding grows and is tested. But I don’t think nearly as much about how to say things I want to say or about how much I wish I could take a real shower. And somehow, well through el espiritu santo, I am given the strength to teach and to bear testimony of what I know to be true. So overall, I love being a missionary. It is challenging and sometimes complicated, but I love it in a way that it is something that I have never experienced before. And helping others in this way is something I’ve never felt before. And even though I think about home all the time even though I have over a year left, I am excited to experience more and more each day and help other people grow closer to the gospel.

Thanks for being a great example for me in my life and for always encouraging me in everything that I do.

Love, Sam

teguc mountains on fire

the doctors we translated for
translating at all hours of the night (waiting for our ward to leave...they were the last ward done)


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