Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Car Crash

[from June 24, 2017] 

I have some crazy news about something that happened at about 12 o'clock yesterday... I got in my first car accident. It was with a van/bus (here they call them rapiditos) they ran a red light and t-boned us on the driver´s side. Don´t be worried though we are all ok. Just pretty nuts huh? 

The bus driver didn´t have a license either... I was talking to him after and he was pretty cool... he´s actually been investigating the church with his sister. I feel a little bad for him to be honest. Yeah in a couple days I have to go to honduran traffic court and say what happened.  

They hit us pretty hard. I wasn´t driving the truck either, I was driving a rav 4, so a little smaller of a car. Pretty crazy but I am glad that nobody got hurt. I honestly know that somebody was watching out for me. My door caved in a bunch. We couldn´t get it open after. We did drive it to the shop though so it wasn´t totaled or anything. 

I didn´t have a camera with me, but right after I made a bunch of phone calls to the insurance company who sent a lawyer, the guy who´s in charge of cars for the area of central america, and the national police. The insurance guy took some pictures, and I think within the next couple of days he´ll send them to me. That will make a good souvenir. I´ll be sure to send the pictures as soon as I get them. 

Oh yeah and today I think we´re gonna have some baptisms in the night so that´ll be really cool. First one in the office in a long time. It´s gonna be a 15 year old girl named Ana and a 75 year old man named Cipriano. Cipriano is the first older guy I´ve been a part of baptizing. It´ll be really cool, his son is an active member who lives in San Pedro (so about a half hour away) and he´s gonna do the baptism. 

Cipriano´s been invstingating the church for a long time... well they both have. We´ve been trying to leave the office early lately and I think that´s helped lots 

When I got here there were a bunch of investigadores eternas in this area that I think if this was a regular area they would have been baptized long ago. Literally the only thing I did was put a baptism date and taught the few lessons that they were missing. But there are lots of people who were already going to church and everything. 

I feel really good when I preach the gospel. I like the feeling of helping people to live in a better way. 

I talked to Jesus and Nelda a couple days ago on the telephone. Jesus just got the Melchizedek Priesthood. Pretty cool, he can do everything with the priesthood that I can now! I feel really happy when people get to experience the blessings that I have. 

It´s been a good week. It´s been pretty busy though. Yeah I´m getting to be the jack of all trades here in the mission. One of the smaller jobs I have is that I´m in charge of the cars. So this accident is gonna be a little bit of a pain. 

I´ve learned to use Excel and Word here in the office pretty well I can go get an office job when I get home. Maybe I can be a data entry specialist. 

Yeah Dad's mission secretaries sound pretty close to what we have here. I am the executive secretary but I´m in charge of the 3 cars as well which isn´t too much work... until there´s an accident hahaha. 

In this next change 8 areas are gonna close. It´s a big office secret which ones though. Yeah Mom's mission helped prepare her for her life of moving all over! That´s kinda cool. Heavenly Father gives us the assignments we need. 

I´ve been driving around quite a bit dropping things off to other missionaries. It´s a bigger job than I thought it was but I´m getting the hang of it. One of the things the Sisters like to do a lot is send stuff to other Sisters (like little surprise presents) in the Ruta which is cool, but its a pain sometimes. Like one time this week one of the sisters gave me a gift for a sister in an area I had just been to so she´s gonna have to wait until net week to get it and the sister who sent it is a little upset about that...haha. 

I think we´ll be getting a new supply guy at the end of this change though so that´ll be good. I am SO grateful I´m not the Financial Secretary. I think I would die; he´s basically an accountant. My mission president worked in Deseret Book for a long time and he´s also very good about not spending lots of money, which is why I think the Financial Secretary has a hard job. A lot of people ask me for new mattresses but President wants to have me wait to buy them until we close 8 areas in the next change and have a bunch of extras. 

You know that guy who gets up at the beginning of general conference and says how many members and a whole bunch of other church statistics? That´s my boss. You know that guy who gets up at the beginning of general conference from the church auditing department? That´s Elder Draper´s boss. 

I am getting to know the mission pretty well, mostly from driving through pretty much everywhere. It´s also pretty cool to get to know pretty much every missionary in the mission. I just bought some new clothes for a missionary who got his suitcase robbed. 

My first area I was there for 4 1/2 and my second only 2 1/2 months. In my mission it´s kind of a mix. In the two San Pedro zones they don´t have any sisters, but I remember when I was in the Ceiba the sisters were pretty much in the exact center of the city. Kinda weird, but it´s cool that they have an area like that. I still haven´t been in a branch yet. Here this ward (La Paz) is one of the strongest in the mission and it´s where all the meetings happen (every new missionary has there first orientation-type meeting in that gym). 

Last week when I went to pick up the new computers at the bus station I saw a gringo struggling to get his bus ticket bought. I went and helped him translate cause he only spoke English. After, I talked to him and he said he was on his way to an island called Utila to go to a freediving school and he´s from Boston. When I asked him if I could leave him with a picture of Jesus he said "no that´s too weird, I´m against religion" I thought it was kinda weird. I´d never seen that kinda anti-religion stuff on my whole mission. Makes me kinda grateful I´m serving here in Honduras where everyone believes in Christ. 

Well I don´t knock on doors but I do still yell buenas at people. 

I for sure don´t have an iPad. I think that would be taken from me very quickly if I did. I don´t have a Facebook either, even though a lot of Hondurans do have Facebook accounts, I think the best way to teach them is the normal way. The one thing I do in the office that´s kind of like that is I get the referrals from salt lake and send them to missionaries here in Honduras. 

I speak English a TON now in the office, at least compared to when I was outside. I have to call the US quite a bit. 

We usually eat with a whole family but there are times when we eat just my companion(s) and I. 

I spend a lot of money on food to be honest. The Reeses Puffs were soo good. I don´t carry that much water because you can buy bags of water at the corner stores for less than 10 cents. 

I haven´t gotten a penut butter shot I think... I got one in the MTC and I got another one in my first area but nothing super thick like you guys got. I did take some anti-malaria medication which made my arm hair fall out, but it´s mostly grown back now haha. No big huge shots though. 

This is the first area I brush my teeth with the regular water. It´s supposed to be filtered but I still don´t trust it enough to drink it. 

I saw a commercial for the big bike thing that happens in france but I can´t remember what it´s called. If that´s going on while your there you guys should go. 

So it's boiling hot outside there too? It is really warm here in San Pedro Sula. I´m getting whiter from being in the office during the middle of the day. When I leave I´m gonna get sunburned for sure. 

Yeah you guys can´t feel bad about missing a couple things, but it´s cool you guys have made the most of your time there. Next stop Ukraine! It will be nice to do American stuff again. Although finding Reeses Puffs was a game changer. 

I love you guys! 

-Elder Stoddard

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