Saturday, September 16, 2017

Surgeries, Shakes, and Superman

Yeah last week was kinda crazy. Ok so this week... 

 1.) We went to the hospital, because my companion had an ingrown toenail and they had to take it out. That´s actually a super common thing in this mission. You see a missionary in tennis shoes and you know exactly what happened. So yeah so we were there and I was super duper bored in the room with my companion. I didn´t want to watch- they had to take the whole toenail out. It was actually one of the grosser things I think I´ve ever seen. They basically gave him a bunch of shots in the toe and then ripped it out with some pliers. My companion wasn´t feeling too good, he had to leave with crutches.

So we left and as we were walking through the hospital a lady stopped us and wanted a blessing for her husband who was about to go into surgery. He was an older guy- he explained to us that he had been baptised but had a bunch of time not going to church, more than twenty years, and that his wife and none of his kids were members. So we gave the blessing and left the wife with a pamphlet (i think thats how you spell pamphlet?) that had our phone number on the back. So we left the hospital and went to go do something- I can´t remember what. I think that was the day we went out to progreso to leave some new phones. I can´t remember, but it´s not relevant to the story. 

So like 2 days later the wife calls and tells us her husband died in the operation, but she had felt good about what we had said in the blessing. She wanted us to visit her. So we did and she turned out to be super cool. She was sad about her husband dying, but she moved on super well. She made us some dinner and we taught her and two of her adult kids. Pretty good, we´ll see of they show up to church tomorrow. 
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Nicole and her mom are doing really well. Her mom accepted a baptismal date for next month, she still needs some time, but I think she will be ready. She was already really prepared a long time ago by other missionaries. She knows all of it is true. 

One of the best things to have is members who go above and beyond to help. I never really thought to greet the people the missionaries bring to church, but I think I always will now. It makes them feel really good, and they are a lot more likely to keep coming if people seem welcoming. 

I´m pretty excited to see what Ukraine is like. But for now I´m pretty happy here. The time´s going really fast. When I leave the office I´ll only have 7 1/2 months left! Boy I gotta make the most of it huh? 

I don´t know what Ukraine´s like, but here you can actually find some pretty good ice cream. I´m a big fan of the Costa Rican brand "dos pinos." 

My costa rican companion (also named Elder Reyes) really like to brag about how good it was. It is pretty good, but it´s not a blue bell or an eddys. The thing is here, I can´t find a good milkshake. There´s lots of Wendy´s and Burger King´s. Not a lot of McDonalds here, but they can´t make a good one either! Pretty crazy. 

They don´t have a whole ton of variety in their fruits and vegtables here. I think it´s pretty rare when we eat something thats not beans, eggs, and tortillas. Recently, they´ve started giving us lots of avocados. I´m not a huge fan... I thought they were fine, but they´re served to us a little too ripe, and so they´re kinda mushy. Hondurans eat things kinda weird. In no other country do they eat the green bananas. Just here. Not even the closeby countrys like Guatemala or El Salvador. 

I don´t think I´ve gotten any taller, I think everybody´s short here. And my companions a pretty short guy though, so it´s even more drastic the difference. 

Did you like Superman? I really like that movie.
And now for a brief synopsis of Superman (I may be mixing the movies up they all blur together) 

Superman: I¨m an naked baby who can lift cars! 

Superman´s parents: .... 

Lex Luthor: Kryptonite hahaha 

Superman: Dangit 

Lois Lane: Oh no... the most dangerous villian of all... Dirt! Bleh I´m dead now 

Superman: I know- I´ll just go back in time and fix everything. nbd 

And... Scene 

I love you guys! 
-Elder Stoddard

Ambulance Driver

[from September 9, 2017]

1.) This week was kinda crazy. A couple nights ago (I think it was Tuesday night). It was the middle of the night and I was asleep. I wok eup cause my phone was buzzing. I couldn´t imagine who would be calling me. So I picked up the phone and it was the sister missionaries in El Carmen. One of the sisters told me that she had had an asthma attack and couldn´t breathe even though she was puffing on her inhaler. So I woke up my companion and we drove super quickly over there. 

When we got there the missionary was in bad shape. She was coughing and wheezing and it was kinda bad. So we´re driving top speed to the hospital, and she passes out. Her companion starts crying, and my companion´s sitting in the passenger seat trying to call people and asking me who he should call. I´m speeding around corners and running red lights. There´s nobody on the road so it´s all good. It was actually a pretty long drive. We brought her to the hospital and stuff. 

They brought her in. My companion and I were there until the early morning. She regained consciousness and she was there in the hospital until this morning. It all turned out fine, but when she passed out in the back I started to get pretty nervous. 

...So that´s not actually the end of this story. 

They called us and asked us to take them home today in the morning. It´s our p-day, but it´s fine. It´s not like I want to stick her in a rapidito bus or a taxi (most are super old toyoa corrolas). 

So we went to go pick them up and we were on the way back to their house when I got a phone call from the mission nurse who said a missionaries appendix just burst. 

So I went to pick him up. He´s in an area way out there where taxis don´t really go, so he was just as stranded as the sisters in the middle of the night. So we drove to the hospital and left him there and then we went to drop the sister off. 

Pretty crazy two times in one week. I´ve never had to drive somebody to the hospital ever before. There´s usually been taxis and stuff to get them there. This week we´ve pretty much been an ambulance huh? 

2.) I didn´t write anything else down this week... oops. Just that crazyness above ^ 
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Nicole´s mom is doing really well actually. We visited her twice this week. She´s reading the scriptures and praying, so she´s doing really well.  She went to church last week and she did really well. In sacrament meeting Nicole shared her testimony about how he had never thought her mom would come to church, but that she was really grateful to us (elder reyes and i) for visiting and helping her to come back to church. That was pretty cool. If she keeps going down this route I think she might be able to be baptized! But we´ll she how quickly she feels ready. She was already taught by the missionaries and she actually remembers a lot. 

I didn´t feel the earthquake, I had no idea until I saw it in the newspapers yesterday. The light did go out around that time. I wonder if it was related or it´s just Honduras. 

I always almost won at settlers of Catan. It´s kinda like when you lose monopoly. You put so much time and effort and then lose. So sad. Here in the mission the most popular game is a card game called "phase ten". It´s a game gringos brought with them from the US, but it´s pretty fun and universally played in this mission. Maybe you guys can try it. 

You know I always love packages, but I don´t really need anything in particular. I don´t have a big wishlist or anything. 

One thing I haven´t been able to find here, is a good USA milk shake. I have looked and looked. You´d think somewhre like Jonny Rockets they´d have some good ones, but no luck. :( 

Love You guys! 
-Elder Stoddard

Easing a Burden

[from September 2, 2017]

I have a little more time today. 

Ok so there´s a youth in the church who turned 18 last month, her name is Nicole. She lives alone with her mom, who is not a member. Nicole was baptised ~1 year ago. So we visited her last Sunday because she said she had a reference for us. (Sidenote: One of the cool things about honduras is that everybody´s got a front gate and a patio. Just about everyone. So visiting people outside is not a problem and usually it´s cooler outside than inside) So we went there to her house and her friend turned out to not be super interested in the church, which was a bummer. BUT we got the opportunity to talk a little bit to her mom. 

We were able to get the full story out of her mom... So basically what had happened was about 2 years ago her son was investigating the church. He was apparently super cool. Showed up to church on his own for the first time... woke up early to read the scriptures. Shared the gospel with his family and friends. Golden investigator. So he, his mom, and his best friend all had baptism dates. What´s kinda interesting though, is that Nicole at this point wanted nothing to do with the church. 

But three days before his baptism he had an asthma attack while playing soccer and died. Very sad. So his mom didn´t get baptised, but his friend did. His mom reacted super bad to his death. She didn´t want anything to do with the church after that. Her daughter Nicole looked for the church and began to recieve the missionaries. She was baptized about a year after her brother died. 

Fastforward to a week ago. She shares all of this with us. I decided to borrow her phone and looked up a video on Youtube. Thank goodness for the internet. I know... missionaries aren´t supposed to use technology, but I use a computer everyday so... 

But anyways I looked up a video called ´el perdón aligeró mi carga´ in english it´s something like ´forgiveness lightened my burden´ it´s about a bald man who got in a car accident with a drunk driver and lost lots of family members in the accident. Basically it talks about how because he forgave the guy, he didn´t feel quite as sad. He found peace because of the gospel. So that was a little bit of disobedience on my part (oops). But it really hit the spot. 

After the video ended, she began to cry and went inside. We gave it a couple minutes. We weren´t really sure what to do. In the end I asked Nicole if she could go inside and ask her mom if she´d like a blessing. She came out and we offered a blessing. In it I felt like I should say that she would be able to find the same kind of peace in her life that Nicole had found. I also told her that her son didn´t want her to be unhappy. That he had set an example for her. I finished the blessing. We invited her to church (Nicole is gonna get he yw award tomorrow). She said she would attend. So that was a pretty cool lesson. 

There´s 2 more but I thought that was a highlight reel lesson, so I thought I´d share it instead of the other ones. That´s all you get for this week, maybe if nothing happens next week I´ll share one of these ones.

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Two weeks in a row I´ve had something to do directly after writing something super small. This weeks a little bit better. 

Honduras is awesome. 

I´ve had some really good wards, I think maybe my favorite was Montecristo though. Maybe just my favorite area in general up to this point.

I am ready for summer to end. It´s kind of a neverending summer here though. Remember that rainjacket I came with? I cannot use it anymore. I just get too hot and sweaty. My new rain strategy I´ve been using recently is that I have a plastic garbage bag with me always. When it begins to rain I just throw everything in there and just get wet. I used to get really bugged when I got wet. I thought "oh people won´t let us in if we´re all wet" but now I´m starting to believe that people feel kind bad for us so they let us in. The only thing is now I look like a little bit of a homeless guy carrying around my garbage bag. 

My routine is kinda boring. I wake up and then I run a little bit or play soccer with the other missionaries I live with. Then I take a shower and get ready to go to the office. Then I drive to the office and eat a bagel or cereal or oatmeal or whatever else I bought. Then I do things in the office or in the car (depends on the day) I eat lunch in some restaurant nearby and then we go home and visit some people in the area. Then we eat dinner and go home and sleep. I watch some church movies. 

You watched October sky? That´s a good movie. And now, a brief october sky storyline... Old man who always plays an angry general: "Homer you don´t wanna dig coal?" jake gyllenhal: "No" Old man who always plays an angry general: "But you live in COALwood" Driveby shooter: "I hate rockets!" Andddd... Scene. 

Another missionary took my camara charger home to El Salvador so I now basically have no camara. The good thing is one of my old friends (Elder Mera) gave me his camara as he was going home (to Ecuador). So now I have a camara. 



I´m sure it´s always cool to see people who speak spanish in the US. I think it´s cool seeing Hondurans who can speak really good english. Lots of them speak "english" but it doesn´t really extend too much farther than "how are you."

I love you guys!!! 
-Elder Stoddard