FELIZ NAVIDAD Y AÑO NUEVO! Espero que todos tuvieran una semana maravillosa! Aquí en Choloma pasamos muy bien la Navidad! On Christmas Eve we ate 4 dinners...yep count them. It was too much food which was crazy. During the last one Elder Mendez and I were struggling a bit but we finished our plates haha. The best part was that during our last dinner with the Elder's quorum president (Marvin Chinchilla) he had gone to San Pedro and bought root beer because he had heard me mention that it was my favorite soda. While his wife gave us dinner he whipped out two cans of A&W root beer and gave it to us. It was sooooo good I forgot how much I love root beer haha! It had been so long since I drank any root beer. The best part was that he gave us a second can to take back to the house. It was super cool to spend Christmas here in Honduras I really enjoyed it. It was my first and last Christmas here in the field so it was awesome to have the experience. We ate lots of tamales. They're a little bit different down here than the ones you sometimes see in the states. The quality of the meat is not quite there...but they're still pretty good.
Here is a fun fact from Honduras this week that came to my mind. Here when you say the word Pepsi, the people down here put a "k" in there. They say Peksi it's awesome. And it kind of just grows on you to say Peksi haha.
It's been a pretty good week here in Choloma with the work. We've got tons and tons of work to do so we're keeping busy. We're working hard with the ward council to help the people here in our area to come unto Christ. We have a lot of new people that we are teaching and they are super cool. I'd like to talk about a few of them:
Moises y Alejandra: So in the colony where we live, there was a guy who would always say "What's up bro" in English when we passed by on the street. So one day, when he said it, we stopped in our tracks and went back and talked with him. He seemed nice and told us he wanted to learn English and also wanted to hear more about our message. He and his girlfriend, Alejandra, are super nice and we have the opportunity to teach them. They're super receptive and we're excited to see how everything goes with them.
Gabriel Ríos: He is a referral from a member family. He is 18 years old and a little bit shy but he's really cool. He loves to play soccer and he likes talking about God. We're teaching him about the Restoration and the other day we met his mom Silvia and she is super nice and was excited for us to come back this Friday. We're hoping that they'll find the faith to act on our message.
Danilo y Estrella: They're an older couple that were investigating the church a long time ago and they believe that the church is true and want to get baptized. We're working together with them to help them meet their amazing goal.
Salvador Cruz: His wife is a member and he is a super cool guy. We are helping him read the Book of Mormon so that he can know for himself it is true. Right now he can't come to church because of his work schedule. But we're working on helping him and he's a really great guy.
This week we had an amazing experience with Moisés and Alejandra. We came in for our first appointment planning to teach the plan of salvation because Moisés had had some questions about our purpose here. But then we got to the appointment this last Thursday and we met Alejandra and got to know her. She's actually from a town not too far away from San Marcos (my last area) so that was cool. But when we asked if they had any questions before we started, she asked us, "So where does your church come from?" We then started teaching them about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The spirit was powerful in the lesson especially as we both testified of the love that God has for us that he has restored his gospel again. They had lots of questions which we answered and at the end of the lesson they were really interested about the Book of Mormon and wanted to read it. They were preparing to go on a trip to Santa Barbara to visit family until this next Thursday and they were leaving on Saturday. We decided to leave them a reading assignment of 3 Nephi 11 which talks about the coming of Jesus Christ to the American continent. They asked us to pass by quickly the next day to say goodbye to them before their weeklong trip. We passed by on Friday night and started to read with them in the chapter we had left in 3 Nephi 11. As we discussed the chapter and gave our testimonies that Christ for his love for all of the children of God also manifested himself to the Americas, we asked him and Alejandra what they felt as we read about Jesus' appearance in the Americas. Moises said, "I feel that it is so true. You guys just blew my mind." The spirit filled the room and we once again shared our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and invited them to read it while on their trip. We're hoping to meet with them again on Thursday but it was a beautiful experience and it reminded me of the power of the Book of Mormon. I'm so grateful for this sacred record that we have the opportunity to search and study in our days.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be out here serving. Sorry for the long letter but I do want to share one last insight that I had in my personal study yesterday. I was reading in Preach my Gospel about the Plan of Salvation and I found it interesting that it talks about how the purpose of this life is to have joy but that with the Fall of Adam we all experience physical and spiritual death. It goes on to talk about how we would all be lost and have no hope if it weren't for the Atonement of Christ. Christ came to our rescue to save us and lift us up from the fall. I wanted to find a scripture that could help us to explain this principle to the people we are teaching and I started to read in 2 Nephi 2:25-26. I read verse 25, "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy." There's the purpose of this life: to have joy. But with Adam's fall we were all in a lost and fallen state. We couldn't come back to live with God, we couldn't progress and everything would just be miserable and sad. But then I read in verse 26 which gives us hope, "And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall." It was perfect. We are supposed to have joy and redemption through Jesus Christ which is what can make us happy if we choose to repent. Pretty cool huh?
Finally, the best news is that my investigator Lionel from San Marcos just got baptized!!!
Anyways love you all so much and I hope you all have an amazing new year!