Sunday, July 16, 2017

Garifuna and Chuse

[from March 13, 2017] 

My first week when I legit have an hour to write!!! 

We go on giant walk sometimes, there´s this huge mountain we have to hike up to get to a colony called San Martin.  When people there want to come down the almost always take a bus.  When we get to the top were always really tired.  

I´m glad I got my pants back. Mission calsonetas perdidas was a success! This week we caught a scorpion and burned him alive hahahah fuego purificador!  

I think we´re gonna be having more baptisms soon but really nothing is too sure, and I don´t really want to say anything til its all said and done.  But I think we´ll be seeing some more in the near future.

We were teaching a family of three primary/yw aged girls who were supposed to be baptized this last Saturday and we would always teach them in their Grandma´s house (their Grandma is a less active member) but when it got to be time for them to be baptized their mom said no. A little sad huh?  But I think if we continue visiting them and begin visiting the mom I think we´ll see some success with them (I hope).  The only problem is their mom speaks a dialect called Garifuna that isn´t Spanish, and speaks a little bit of Spanish but her Spanish is about how mine was leaving the MTC. Honduras is a crazy place, we´re gonna bring a member who speaks that dialect with is when we visit next time.

We always get to be pretty good friends with our investigators.  The one thing that always happens when we eat with Jesus and Nelda is he´ll give us GIANT portions because he eats a ton and I guess he just assumes everybody eats like that.  We went there and ate fish for lunch yesterday.  I always feel like I´m about to burst after I eat with them, cause it´s always super delicious. They make Spaghetti here, but it´s usually pretty gross and crunchy.  His was really good though.  I did tell him that Italian was my favorite.  I think future missionaries are going to be very grateful that Jesus and Nelda were baptized, because they really feed us super well. Baleadas are delicious but I will always have a special place in my heart for stuffed shells. 

Here sometimes the nickname for Jesus is said like "chuse" it´s weird the different ways we show respect in English versus Spanish.  Not just prayers being informal, but in naming their kids after Jesus because they want their kids to grow to be like him while in English we show respect by not naming anyone Jesus.  But anyways I´m always trying to make friends with all of the Jesus´s.   

I think I´m pretty much used to everything, or maybe it´s that I´m used to seeing weird stuff.  One of the two. 

Motorcycles are a big thing here too.  I think that just about everywhere else in the world motorcycles are a big deal, it´s just in the US that we like our hummers and our minivans and stuff.  One thing that´s (cool?) here is that there´s no traffic cops.  Just don´t get in an accident and you´re good to go.  The only traffic law that is really strictly enforced is that two men can´t ride on the same motorcycle, because if two guys are on the same motorcycle it makes robberies and drive by shootings a lot easier.  

I really want to take more pictures but the truth is I feel like if I´m always carrying around my camera it will be taken from me.  But I think I´m gonna start bringing it with me more so I can send you more pictures of the area.  It is very beautiful here, that´s for sure.  

Man I´d love to try a chocolate croissant.  I´m trying to stay away from the pan semita, but it´s so convenient and delicious, like a pop tart.  OHH.  I completely forgot to send a thank you for the package, but yeah I got it on Tuesday, and the 4 missionaries have been pigging out for this last week on reese´s and pop tarts.  The only thing I´ve really been hording and sharing very sparingly are the clif bars, and the reeses pieces (cause clif bars are so good and the reeses pieces didn´t melt.  

Also the gloves were very appreciated.  We did lots of service this week and I was able to work very hard and do everything I usually do but with out my hands being covered in blisters after.  THANK YOU SO MUCH  

Honestly I said it in the MTC but the stories Dad told about his mission make a lot more sense now that I´m in that same area of the world doing the same things.  And I don´t know every member of the ward, that´s for sure, but what I try to do is if I don´t recognize someone I always make a point to try and talk to them a little bit to see whats up with them.  But I think I have talked with pretty much everyone in the ward at least once to try and make sure they´re not people who entered the church building but aren´t members.  

Another thing I do in sacrament meeting is I´ll sometimes ask the members who are sitting in the front row to let the investigators sit there, so they can understand a little better.  They move seats really quick.  

You guys are in my prayers too, and I´m really glad everything going well and you guys are adjusting good to France.    

Love you guys, 
Elder Stoddard 

Calsonetas Perdidas

[from March 6, 2017] 

I`m glad you guys enjoyed watching Mission Impossible: Calsonetas Perdidas.  I did descend into the abyss, just not all the way.  And I`m glad I didn`t. I just realized, man this is an awkard situation, the family would get a kick out of this.

It`s so cool you guys have finally arrived in Paris. There`s definately a learning curve in learning to flush toilets in other countries huh?  I remember bucket flushing atoilet for the first time... super weird.  I bet when you guys go back home things will seem super weird.

It is very cool you guys have the opportunity to go to church in a place so different.  I`d bet there`s a ton of Americans in that ward though. One thing that starts happening when youve been in a ward for a while as amissionary is you start recognizing when somebody new comes (I don`t know if that happened to you)

Jesus and Nelda are doing very very well.  I don`t know if I`ve told you this but Jesus is a very gifted chef (I honestly don`t know what he`s doing working on a delivery truck) but they`ve started inviting us over for dinner and Jesus always gives us giant Jesus sized portions.  Last night he made spaghetti and it was way good.  

Today I made some videos about them and I`ll send that soon. Yeah I can solve a rubiks cube in under two minutes now.   

Anyways love you all, get some sleep, and enjoy France, 
Elder Stoddard 

Great to Get Letters

[from February 27, 2017]

The baptisms were awesome... a little bit crazy getting everything ready for them but it was an awesome experience.  They are pretty young but theyve got a two year old daughter, so... they´re ready. 

Anyways its always awesome to be able to write.  I get so excited to see you guys wrote me too.  I know youve been super busy, but always find time to write.  Thats pretty cool and it means a lot.

I´ve already learned more than 100 things in the mission... and not just the spiritual stuff you´d expect, I can solve a rubiks cube and taxi whistle.  I can wash clothes with a bumpy rock...

I am a horrible journal keeper though, I always forgot and then I just ended up giving up. 

Love you all and have an excellent week.
Elder Stoddard

A Wedding

[from February 21, 2017]  

Well this time I`ve got less time... 

There is a huge story behind those pictures.  Jesus is 21 and Nelda 18. Nelda`s actually a month younger than me... caray huh?  Yeah they got baptised.  Long story too... And I`ll try to get the pictures to you as soon as I can... 

Tying the knot


Weddings are a lot more casual here, which I think is a good thing.  But it really representa the end of a lot of work and money spending.

I burned the tie with Alcohol that I took from Jesus to help him quit drinking.

It`ll be so cool to tell you guys all the weird stories that went down here.   

Love you guys, Elder Stoddard 

Valentines Day 2017

[from February 14, 2017]

I´m having a bunch of fun here.  My companions pretty sweet.  Changes are in two weeks, I really hope we stay together another change.

I am super excited to hear how France is from you guys!

That´s super cool you got to swim!  To tell you the truth I´m a little jealous I want to swim too!

Missionaries love questions, because when people are asking questions they´re interested and paying attention.  I had a teacher in school once who like to take a long time answering questions so what me and my friends did was ask a bunch of questions until the class was over and we could leave without doing any schoolwork!

The baptisms didn´t work out this week because of this crazy government but everything should be good for them to get married this Friday...I hope!  And then the baptisms will be this Saturday pretty much for sure.

I´ll make a video about Jesus and Nelda when they finally get baptized!

Also I´ve got almost a month here isn´t that crazy?

Love you all and happy Valentines day!
Elder E- E- Esudar??

6 Months Down

[from February 6, 2017]

Man I am excited for you guys to go to France!  Foreign travel is super cool. 

Here, cowboys (and cowgirls) are Little kids maybe about Emma's age with sticks whacking their cows to get them to move haha.

I was thinking this week about al the second hand stuff I´m gonna make Michael take on his misión like my Predicad, or my Honduran rainboots that cost less than 2 bucks.  That´s assuming he goes somewhere like this though.

Six months is a long time, but it´s gone by way fast. It is really really cool to have this opportunity to help people in this way, and I wouldn´t trade it for anything.  I´m in the fun part of the misión, where I can pretty much speak, I know how to teach the lessons fairly well, and it pretty smooth sailing.

Sacrifical Necktie
Well, the tradition (at least in my misión is that at 6 months you burn a tie, a year you burn a shirt and 18 months you burn pants.  So I burnt a tie.  It´s pretty good to have six months. 

It burns

I remeber a Brother James quote that made me laugh when I was at home but makes me laugh more now that I´m here in the misión.  It goes something like this,¨The misión was the best 18 months of my life...because the first 6 months sucked.¨ I can identify with that a Little bit now.  The first 6 months didn´t suck, but it´s definitely good now that I feel like I´m a Little more of an experienced missionary. 

I´ll try to make a video every time we baptize someone so you guys can know them a Little better. 

Right now we have a pareja that´s gonna get married friday and baptised saturday if all goes according to plan.  So that is super exciting, and it´s gonna be the end of a very long journey of Honduran Bureaucracy.

LOVE YOU GUYS, Elder Stoddard