Monday, December 16, 2013

Pig skin is not a good snack

My first week in Honduras has certainly been an interesting exerience.

I'm pretty sure I ate pig skin for lunch today. It was just okay. Wierdly crunchy.

I had another ¨welcome to the mission¨moment yesterday. I woke up and didn't feel well. Then some unmentionable things happened in the bathroom for about an hour and a half. It was rough.

On Saturday we helped la familia Duarte put up their Christmas tree. It was nice to do something that kind of felt like home. Ha ha When we pulled the tree out of storage there was a gecko in the box!!

On Saturday I thought about going home about twenty times. I felt like I wasnt doing the work that i came here to do. I can't get to know any of the members or do any contacting or anything because I don't speak the language. I know that things will get easier with time. I just need to keep working at it. It has made me feel etter to talk to some of the other american missionaries and find out that I'm not the only one who has come out of a lesson and asked their companion ¨were those people members or investigator?¨

Yesterday was a lot beter. We taught la familia Castellon a lesson on faith and I bore my testimony at the end. As we sat there wth that family I was reminded that I am here for them. That I can work through these first difficult months if I means I get to see this family grow closer with the help of the gospel.

We also taught Dennis Soto and his wife. He is a member and she isn't. I didn't understand everything but I think she is going to be baptized and he has a goal to be ready to baptize her. They hace a two year old son and he is super cute. It was amazing to see how happy they were. I didnt know what was going on during every part of the lesson but I felt the Spirit and that's the important part.

Ha ha At one point Dennis asked his son where his shoes were and I had to stop myself from laughing. I just thought it was funny that it all cultures parents are asking their children where their shoes are.

Also, shoutout to Elder Judkins who inspired me to learn to beatbox. Hermana Calpa and I can't chat about much, so I practice while we walk. I'll beatbox while humming Called to Serve or something like that and I think it sounds super cool. Hermana Calpa thinks it's funny. I dont know if she knows what beatboxing is...

All I eat here is rice beans and meat. and Baleadas. I also get served lots of Pepsi.

Yo se que Jesucristo vive. Se que el evangelio es verdadero. Se que mi llamamiento es de Dios. 

Love you all. Have a great week. Find something to smile about today.

Hermana Odekirk

Baleadas eaten: 14

3 days in Honduras

I´ve been in Honduras three days already!! It is great. I don´t understand most of what my companion says pero it´s still awesome.

I got to Honduras on tuesday afternoon and just had meetings all day. On wednesday morning we had transfer meeting and I got meet my trainer. Her name is Hermana Calpa and she rocks. I´m not sure I understood everything said but I think she told me that she wants me to tell her if I want to change the way we do things, that we are both entitled to receive in inspiration for our area. She is also big on following all the rules and being obedient missionaries, which I am super greatful for. She is 23 and from Columbia. I think she is a convert but I´m not entirely sure. I haven´t been entirely sure of anyting in three days. Pues, that´s a lie, I´m sure I´m supposed to be here. 

After transfer meeting we took a seven hour bus ride to our area. I know you`re all super jealous. Our area is Bella Vista 3 in a little town called Olanchito. They tell me this is as country as you get in our mission. I love it here. I haven´t seen a lot of it, pero so far I think it is great. Most of the roads are dirt so my feet are dirty, siempre. haha Me feet smell worse than they ever have in the entirety of their existence. 

I have only meet a few of the members. They are so sweet. We had lunch at a family`s house this afternoon and was delicioso, pero they gave me this drink that is made out of corn. It tasted like they put dirt in some water and gave it to me. I tried to be nice and just drink it anyway but I couldn´t and I then I got worred that the water wasn´t filtered. Let`s all pray the filter in my water bottle works because when I put some water in it this morning was water was ever so slightly brown.

i haven´t taught any lessons yet, but we have some set up for this afternoon. Our first one is with a man named Ariel and we are going to teach him the law of Chastity. Awesome, right? Also, it took forever to find the question mark on this spanish key board. We have seven people scheduled to baptized on Diciembre 21. Ariel and the familia Gutierez. even though I`ve nothing to get them to that point I am super excited about it.

People here use the word "super" all the time. When something is awesome or they like your shirt they say super masiso!!

I CAN DO THE LATIN FINGER SNAPPY THING!!!!!! I`ve been trying to do it for a year and then one of the sister training leaders taught me to do it in five minutes. I don`t know what was different, pero I`m pretty good at it now. I have offcially accomplished my number one goal of my mission. I can go home now, right? JK Chistoso. People do it todos los dias around here. Apparently a member did it from the pulpet when he was baring his tesitmony. I love it! Me encanta!

My trainer doesn`t speak a lick of English.  Everyone else`s trainers speak a little because the church encourages them to learn english, pero Hermana Calpa has only been out her three months! I´m her second companion. It´s hard... but... Challange Accepted!!

I wish I could describe to you what Olanchito is like. There are a few horse drawn carts, all the buildings are cement and stucco, most of the roads are dirt. The buildings are pretty colorful. Ya`ll should google maps it. Will you google maps it? I`ll be  following up next week. My apertment has running water which is great because Hermana Holdaway is also in Olanchito and she is taking bucket showers. I don´t really have any pictures yet, but I promise I´ll get some. 

I wish I had some awesome spiritual experience to share but all I`ve done is go to a bunch of meetings. I haven`t eaten a baleada yet. I`ll be super excited when I do. 

There was a woman I met on the plane. She found out that we were all missionaries and I chatted with her a bit. At the end of the plane she thanked me for coming to serve the people of Honduras. She said that even though she isn`t a member of my church she appreciated what I am going and that she knows people need it. I almost cried. 

I haven´t cried yet, In my whole seven weeks of missionary work I haven`t cried because I miss home or I`m frustrated or it`s hard. Only when feeling the Spirit.  I`m pretty proud, pero it will probably come soon enough.

I`m not dying from heat yet. It really isn`t that hot, pero everyone keeps saying we`re in the middle of a cold front and that it will heat back up in few days. 

I hope you all have a good week. Merry Christmas. Love you.

Hermana Odekirk

P.S, DyC 6:36

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Adios Mexico!!!!!

I LEAVE IN FIVE DAYS!!!!!!!! On Tuesday morning I will wake up early, drive an hour to the airport, and be  in the wonderful land of Honduras at about one oçlock!! On Sunday all I could think about was that in two sundays I will be in my area meeting the Bishop, the Ward Mission Leader and getting to know the members. I am getting major senioritis. (I don't know what else to call it... antsy!! I'm getting super Antsy!!)

Ocasionally we try to pop popcorn in the drier but we never have enough time. I refuse to give up though.

Alma 5 is awesome, so is Alma 36.

I've found out that I am not the most pleasant person to wake up. We napped through dinner on Saturday becasue of fast sunday and when my compañeras tried to wake me up by reminding that I had to teach a lesson soon I told them to send someone else. I then proceeded to give them a lesson on how the missionary program designed so that if I get transferred and can't teach a lesson the next missionaries can do it, so I should be able to stay in bed and have Hermana Clark teach my lesson. Even though I made some excellent points I still went and taught a great lesson. My compañeras try to take anything that I say the mornings seriously because I say really mean things.

I want "For the Beauty of the Earth" sung at my funeral. Just so everyone knows.

I have always loved Alma 36, but I have an even stronger appreciation for it now. I love Alma's honesty and how passionate he is about repentance. I love that he is willing to share such a personal experience with his son. If we aren't utilizing repentance then the gospel of Jesucristo has no purpose. I know that repentance can be hard but I know that it's worth it. I know that in the end it brings peace and joy. So much Joy!!! I'm not the same person I was a year ago and that is what repentance is agout: change of heart, change of actions.

In Relief Society we read Ether 2 and 3. In Ether 2: 23 & 25 God asks the Brother Jared, "What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in you vessels?" God doesn't just ask people what they want very often. I realized that God asked him that becuase he wanted the Brother of Jared to recognize his weaknesses and then figure out the solution himself. It never says that God told him to get 16 stones. The Brother of Jared made them himself and then asked the Lord to touch them. We need to take action.

A few days ago my Distrito had to move classrooms... for the third time!! And our new classroom is half the size of everyone else's. As we moved all our books and things we sang God be With you Till We Meet Again and Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked because we felt like the pioneers being moved from state to state.

Also, on Sunday I scraped my fingers on the corner of my closet and it took out chuncks of skin so large that you could still them sitting there on the corner. It was nasty... awesome... but nasty.

Last night I taught a few Latino missionaries. Latino missionaries!!! As in, they're fluent in Spanish and don't know English and it was super scary! I handled it like a champ though. They weren't pretending to be investigators which makes it easier. The Spirit was there. They usually understood what I said, which felt good. Although, I didn't always understand them when they were teaching me so they would just to move on to the next topic. ALSO, I almost forgot! One of the Latino elders claims he was one of the werewolves in Twilight!! I'm sure which movie or anything but there is a small chance that I met someone from Twilight. Feel free to be jealous... or don't, Twilight is not that good. ;)

Can't wait to email you guys from Honduras!! You can feel free to be jealous about that part too. ;) The struggle is real, but the Atonement is too.

Hermana Odekirk

P.S. Alma 36: 17-21
Bugs Killed to Date: 45

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Semana 4

Title: There are way too many birds in the comedor

 A few days ago I was sitting in the comedor by my self starting to eat my meal (Hermana Turner was on the other side of the room getting Nutella, don´t worry) when I heard a loud noise. I didn{t look up because I was really focused on trying to figure out what was in the mashed potatoes ( it was cinnamon). All of a sudden people are surrounding me. I look behind me and there is a bird laying on the ground a foot away from me!! It had flown through the comedor and and right into the window two feet away from my head and I didn{t even notice!! I´m still getting made of for the it. The bird survived.

Last firday Hermana Turner and I taught Sergio for the third time. Our plan was to teach him about the book Mormon and get him to pray about it in the lesson. We were going to each share one of our favorite scriptures from the Book of Mormon. I was going share soemthing in Moroni but after he prayed and he said he knew that L de M was true and I knew I needed to share mosiah 18:17 (one of my absoute favorites) and talk to him about baptism. When I was done talking Hermana Turner challenged him to be baptized even though we hadn´t even discussed challenging him that night. and he said yes. It was one of those moments where Hermana Turner just knew exactly what I was thinking because we were listening to the Spirit. I really felt like a missionary, it was great.

Hermana Turner and I had matching outfits on Saturday. She says, A companionship that matches together stays together. We also like to say, a companionship that hardcore parkours together stays together. Needless to say we are really good at parkour. ;)

Sundays in the CCM are amazing!! In Relief Society we talked about how even though we are learning spanish it is more important that we learn the language of love. For the devotional we watched a recording of a talk by BEdnar. He talked about how when he studies general conference he looks for the doctrine being taught, what we are invited to do and the blessings that will come from keeping the invitation. I realized that I need to make sure I am applying that to my lessons. Doctrine, invitation, blessings.

Monday night our teacher made us read from the L de M as fast as we could without worrying about pronunciation. it was hilarious! Then we made our teacher do it in english and it was even better. I know my spanish is improving. On Tuesday our other teacher challenged us to go the whole day without english. We were allowed to speak 50 word of english and for every word over 50 we had to do 15 sit ups. Luckily I only spoke 33 words in english the whole day! It wasn{t as hard as I thought it would be. I need to make more of an effort to speak spanish through out my day.

Also, on Tuesday after the devotional Elder Funk told us that Elder Nelson, out District leader, was going home that night. It has been weird to be without him, but I know that if he went home it was for a good reason. He was such a great example to each of us. Hopefully, this brings us closer as a District.

We went to the temple again this morning. It was great. I did the entire thing in spanish. When I got to the end I hadn´t been worried at all because there is always someone there to help you, but she wasn´t really enunciating, so I don´t think I said it all right, but she thought it was close it enough so it´s all good. 

I am getting used to hearing Spanish a lot. Outside the temple today I said Hola to a lady and she said Hello. Weird!! I can´t even remember the last itme I heard the word hello.

Yesterday was our Hump Day. I love it here but I cant wait to ´get to Honduras! On monday district B left which means we are now the oldest missionaries in out zone. Honduras is getting closer and closer.

I love you all, and I am happy to hear from you all. Find something to smile about today.

Hermana Odekirk

P.S. Bugs killed: 32
1 Nefi 9:18

Happy Thanksgiving

Hola everyone! Things are great here in the CCM.

Last friday our teacher made us sit in a circle and we had to say nice things about everyone in our district. It really bought us closer together. It shows that our teachers are inspired becasue we hadn't really been getting along very well.

Last Saturday Hermana Saylin tore her ACL playing soccer at gym. We thought she was going to have to go home on Monday. She went and got an MRI at a tiny hospital in Mexico (we didn't get to go with her no matter how hard I tried) and her doctor back home decided that she is going to stay here until the six weeks are up then she going to go back to utah and have surgery. She'll join us in Honduras about 12 weeks after that. We are all so excited that she is able to stay for the rest of our time at the CCM, it wouldn't have been the same without her. Things were pretty chaotic for a few days while figured out what was going to happen to her.

Hermana Turner and I are still teaching Segio and Enrique. Sergio is "getting baptized" this saturday. It has been good practice to teach him enough lessons so we actually get to teach the commandments. Enrique is a bit more difficult to teach, he doesn't seem as interested. We are really trying to get to know him and find out his needs. For me, that is the hardest part of missionary work: getting someone to tell you what the problems in their life are when they don't know you very well. I never know what questions to ask. It makes it hard to teach people, not lessons. I'll figure it out some day. I like to hope it will  be easier when I'm working with real people.

Last night Hermano Hernandez had us teach each other the Gospel of Christ... except he had us do it in ENGLISH!! You would think that would be easy, but it was way harder than we thought it would be. Hermana Saylin and I were teacher Elder Baird. I kept instinctively wanting to say things like Yo sé que, or Bien, or Qué piensa sobre esta escritura? It felt so weird, but I know that the Spirit was there and that's all that matters. Plus, Elder Baird said we taught a really good lesson, so that felt good.

Also, last night Hermana Turner and i were in TRC. We started off teaching with some of our usual get to know you questions: Tell us about your family, do you believe in Christ, how do you feel about your relationship with God. The two girls we were teaching were giving us golden answers. We asked them if they had a specific religion in their lives and gave us a weird look and said, Sí, somos miembros." We were totally caught off guard. Normally members pretend to be investigadors when they come to TRC. We shared some thoughts on arrepentimiento and servicio. It was an interesting lesson.

Today has been a great day. Having pday on Thanksgiving has made it actually feel like a holiday. Lunch was really nice. They set out nice table clothes and everything. There was turkey, mashed potatoes, and some amazing pumpkin pie. It wasn't the most amazing meal but it tasted 'murican and that is all that matters. We cherish things that taste like America around here. 

A little while ago our district, one of our teachers, and some elders who got here the same day all played a game of soccer. We played on the outdoor basketball court. Ha ha only in Mexico does the basketball court have soccer goals under the hoops them. I realized that I actually kind like soccer when there isn't so much useless running. :)

Pues, I should get going. Hope you all have great Thanksgiving and another great week. Do something nice for someone this week. Love you.

Hermana Odekirk