Polish, Don’t Demolish

Dearest Family,

No Time, Let’s Do a Q&A

Visiting the ruins at El Puente 08 Jan 2017

So, if you haven’t noticed from the randomness of this letter, honestly I’m feeling really scatterbrained right now. In the morning we went to El Puente, some nearby Mayan ruins that were super fun, and we got here a tad late. We went hiking, sang songs, and honestly it’s been a really fun, obedient day, even if it’s left me a little dazed 🙂 But trust that all is well, and that Elder Elmer and I are happy, healthy, and working hard :).

Last week we got home every night at 9:30PM, and after planning, I died and slept. Combine that with divisions with the APs and I just realized that I didn’t write in my journal at all last week (first time ever 🙁 ). So I’m going to answer quick questions today:

Q: Eating with Members?

We eat with members probably about half of the dinners here, and it’s almost always this:

  • Fried scrambled eggs
  • Red beans
  • Little corn or Tortillas
  • Pop: Coca Cola or Pepsi

Honestly, the weirdest thing I’ve eaten here in La Entrada would be oven-baked pig liver. That was gross. I won’t describe it.

A likeness, no? Visiting the ruins at El Puente on Preparation Day, 08 January 2017.

Q: Did Temple Prep class at BYU help at all?

Honestly, the temple prep class at BYU didn’t really do anything for me; what helped me most was that I took Pearl of Great Price. That and reviewing commandments and what a covenant means.

Q: Garments in a tropical climate?

In really hot areas, dry lux is solid because you sweat but you don’t get sticky, even if you are dripping sweat like crazy. Here in La Entrada, it’s not very hot, so te mesh garment feels amazing because it feels super light cool. However, mesh in super heat is really gross because when you sweat it sticks right to you.

Q: How can you help me?

Just keep praying and living the Gospel 🙂

Q: Any miracles this week?

  • Jeison Fuentes is down to 2 cups of coffee a week, and they came to church again! Denia Deras, his cousin, has quit coffee 100% and told us that while she’s not 100% sure on baptism, she will fast for it. We are going to too. Jeison wants to be (he just lacks beating coffee and not disappearing to te mountain again), and if all goes well, he’ll be baptized on the 21st!
  • All of the Familia Sagastume except for sick mom and one girl (10; two MARRIED parents and 8 kids) came to church yesterday. Progressing towards that 5 February Baptismal date!

From last week’s Call family Family Home Evening activity: learning to polish silver.

Polish, Don’t Demolish Scripture

[Editor: Our 2017 Call Family Theme is “Polish, Don’t Demolish”, and our slogan is “OBEYAY” (meaning “obey with joy”)].
But, fam, I love the new themes for 2017. OBEYAY has been on my mind particularly because it’s the theme of mission life (obey not just because you should, but because you love the Lord) and because it’s cool 🙂
One scripture that has been on my mind for a while has been Alma 41:14:
14 Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.

I love this because it helps me with the people, my companion, other missionaries, and perhaps best myself. As I strive to be merciful, be just, be righteous, and do good always , then no matter how bad or unfair or weird things seem in the moment, I feel calm, totally calm, because it always works out just fine. Moreover, I especially need mercy from the Savior, from my Father in Heaven, from my companions, the people. So, as the song says, “Give said the little stream!”

These invites from Alma to Corianton, to me, describe our Heavenly Father – I see more and more how He is perfectly merciful, equally just, scrupulous in His judgements, and 100% committed to our good. Likewise, the Savior, too, lifts us in every moment and gives me the perfect example in how to be a better missionary.

Recap: The Week

No le diga a nadie pero un perro me mordió [Don’t tell anyone, but a dog bit me]

Honestly, last week was crazy fast but certainly one of learning and happy little moments; one example is that Elder Elmer learned the phrase ‘me vale chancleta,’ which literally translates to ‘it values flip flop to me’ but really means ‘I really don’t care.’ It’s been a funny little thing to say between us.

But in terms of the work, despite ‘losing’ two days to divisions with the Assistants in San Pedro Sula, it was another great week of finding new people as well as serving some other investigators. I particularly liked divisions with the Assistants because it reminded me how grateful I am for my current area, La Entrada, Copán. Here are some reasons why:

  • It’s cold here (yesterday it bottomed out at 55 degrees Fahrenheit – I nearly died last night, whereas in SPS at 4PM it was 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The people are humble and receptive here. Plus last week I met a guy who lived in Nebraska for 6 months; he drives a mototaxi and whenever we see him, he says, “Mi Nebraskeño!” Many in SPS are quick to close the door.
  • My current companion, Elder Elmer, really seeks to be help me grow.

The mission is honestly a dream…last week I had dreams basically every night that I was going home early, and I felt SO sad during the dreams and so happy when I awoke. Every day in my prayers, I find myself saying, “I get to be a missionary again! Yes!” Thank you for your prayers and love and support to me; I cannot express how much of a blessing it is to be here.

Holy smokes the time is running away have a stellar week friends! I love you. Sorry for an awful letter. I’ll do better next week with spiritual stuff and all that.

Love, Elder Call
Thad

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