(AN EDITORIAL NOTE FROM ALYSSA'S MOM: You know what missionaries love? Mail! E-mail and snail mail -- any kind works! Even just a short line or two is enough to brighten their day. Alyssa has a couple of hours of e-mail time on Monday and would love, love, love to hear from you -- her e-mail address and mailing address are located on the right side of the blog. So hurry up and write, would ya? LOL)
Hola! First off... GUESS WHO IS IN COPAN?!!!! Yeah, so I got transferred to Santa Rosa Copan. So we got a text in the afternoon that said Hna B and another Hna were the only ones with cambios (transfers). So figured I was staying with Hna P. She and I had a really good talk about how we can work better for the next two months. We figured out that I need teach the doctrinal points since that's what they teach you to do in the CCM and she can be there to support me and to add on to what I say. So I felt a lot better about things and we hugged for the first time since she picked me up in my first cambios meeting. So then I go to make my dinner and we get a text from the Zone Leaders... Sorpresa! Gisseman tiene cambios! (Surprise! Gisseman has changes!) So yeah...I got a strange text in the weird hours of the night saying I was being transferred, too... The next day we had district and zone meetings and the zone leaders said that one of the assistants to the president called them to say there was another change and I was being transferred which meant that it wasn't part of the original changes... it was super weird. So then Tuesday when we taught a lesson together, Hna P and I taught exactly how we had planned and I taught the doctrinal points and she was there to support me and it was perfect. It was how I pictured being a missionary to be. Then I got transferred...
But now I am in Santa Rosa, Copan! It was a 3 hour bus ride from San Pedro. My new companion is Hna A. She is from Panama. She is super funny and fits me really well. I feel super comfortable around her. We laugh all the time together. She holds my hand or takes my arm when we walk down and up the streets together. She has been here the same amount of time as Hna P. Hna H who was in the CCM and came in with me is now with Hna P and I am with Hna A so we just switched trainers. But Hna G was put into a trio with Hna P and Hna H which is really interesting since none of them are Latina. They have so many people to see. Hna P and I taught 50 somehting lessons last week and I'm sure Hna B and Hna G taught at least 35 and now that area of Campana is up to one companionship instead of 2...
Our area is super far away from our house. Hna A likes to talk to people. I don't know...it's a lot different that Hna P. We dont have investigators and didnt know who we were going to go teach. She got sick 2 days and so I have only taught 2 real lessons with her and the rest have been visits with members. I got to go out in a trio with the other hermanas in our casa on the second day she was sick though. Hna C is from Guatemala and Hna M just got here from the CCM and is from Idaho and I feel like I can be to her what Hna B was to me. Anyway... I hope Hna A and I can get investigators. They have been here for four months with no baptisms and no one is even close and it worries me.
ANYWAY Santa Rosa is gorgeous! But it's really cold. I bought a blanket. We have hot showers, though, which is fantastic! Our house is actually really big. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Life here is a lot different than Campana. This is a city. There are stores, people actually have floors instead of dirt! Most people have cars or motorcycles. The streets are paved. People don't have yards. I kind of prefer Campana right now because Santa Rosa is so huge! Its VERY hilly, though, and not just small hills like straight up inclines. Its just very different. But yeah...I'm in Copan!
Dad really should make toe socks for Opa. We don't have any more info on skyping for Christmas... I think I will be using my skype account if you want to create an account and friend me. I should hopefully have more info for you next P-Day but we have no idea right now.
Hna B got transferred, too, and she is now with Hna W, my CCM companion!
1. What do the Honduran people in Campana think of Americans? Do the people seem friendly toward Americans?
People here think that people in America don't have problems and that everyone is rich. They think that our lives are just perfect, which totally isn't true. People in America have problems, and there is poverty.
2. Have you noticed any changes or anything different as a result of the elections?
Nope. Not a single thing.
3. What was the best part of your week?
I don't know... I really liked teaching Tuesday with Hna P but I also really enjoy getting to see Copan. We will go to the ruins in January and I can't wait! I am just really grateful for the opportunity to learn Spanish now.
4. What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?
I really don't know. We went to real restaurants here becasue its a city (LOL) and Hna A just talked the whole time. Really, she is super funny and really sweet. She's really sassy so she has an opinion about everything which always keeps things interesting.
5. What was the spiritual highlight of your week?
I finished the Book of Mormon this morning. But also there was a baptism for the other hermanas that I went to with them as a part of a trio and I just felt so happy the whole time. I don't know...it was weird, but in a good way. I couldn't stop smiling and I didnt even know the kid. I just realized that it doesn't have to be my investigator or anything, any time somebody is taking a step in their lives to come closer to our Heavenly Father is something that we should all rejoice in and take joy from. Oh, and yesterday we were in a lesson and a scripture popped in my head, for me -- not for the people we were teaching. I was frustrated about not being able to speak the language as well as I want again and Hna A was saying how my Spanish really is good. but I got home and read the scripture and it was Alma 32:27 and Its the scripture about exercizing a particle of faith ("But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.") But I read it in a new light -- the Lord will always be there saying that we can do it. I am sitting here saying that I can't. But if I exercize my faith, even to just have the desire to believe the Lord and everyone else that my Spanish is enough, then I will be able to accept my Spanish the way it is and believe in myself. I think I sit in self pity sometimes about the language but I need to just have confidence in the Lord and believe Him because He obviously thinks that I can do this or I wouldn't have been sent here.
6. How are things going with your investigators?
I don't know because I got transferred. LOL
7. How did you like the Christmas Devotional? Did you watch in Spanish or English?
Spanish but they put on the English subtitles for us. It was really weird to not be able to hear their voices. What a blessing it is to really be able to hear the prophet's voice and hear his words from his own mouth.
8. How is your personal study going? What are you studying, and what stuck out to you?
I just finished the Book of Mormon so now I will start reading the Doctrine and Covenants. But I started reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish during my language study and I was suprised that I notcied different things as I was reading in Spanish. Right now I am just focusing on building my knowledge of the scriptures so that I can have a well to draw from. And since we don't have investigators I don't really know what to study specifically for them.
9. Take a picture of your district and your zone at your next meetings so I can put them in your scrapbook. How big, geographically, is your zone?
We took a zone picture and the zone leaders are supposed to send it to us... but I still don't have it. Copan is the biggest zone and Campana was pretty big. It extends all the way northward in the country. I don't know where the boudaries are.
10. What has been the strangest food you’ve eaten this week?
Nothing strange, actually. I had a giant calzone and banana juice. Ok, that was weird. Banana Juice...
11. What has been the most unusual thing you’ve seen this week?
There was a drunk man laying in the street yesterday... but yeah, that's all.
12. What have you learned about yourself this week?
I really can't interrupt people. Hna A talks a lot during our lessons and I just cant inerrupt her even though she tells me to if I have something to say. I am just really timid. And I really do know more Spanish than I think. I have a Latina companion and I have survived almost a week now speaking only Spanish to her!
13. In what area do you think you’ve improved this week?
My Spanish and just speaking it. I find myself a few times slipping into English and then I have to remember that Hna A doesn't speak a word of English... so yeah, I can't default to English anymore.
14. Do you know that I love you SO much? J And we are proud of you?
15. Do you have any new investigators this week? How many lessons did you teach this week?
Yeah.... like 2. Not really. I taught like 8-10 with Hna P on Tuesday and 4 with the trio and about 4 with Hna A this week which is still like nothing compared to Campana. Here citas (appointments) are every hour and in Campana they are every half hour because people live so close and because we teach a lot. But here, I guess because people live so far away, there are a lot less slots to fill in our planners.
16. What is your favorite thing about Honduras? About being a missionary?
I wake up everyday in HONDURAS! Really though, who gets to say that? ITt feels real now that I don't live in America anymore, probably because I am in a house with Latinas now. But its just so beautiful and I love that I get to experience a way of life that is so different from anything I have ever done or will probably do again. I really like having a schedule all the time, which probably shouldn't be my favorite part of being a missionary but right now thats what I cling to is that we always have a plan.
17. What did you do for P-Day this week? How much money do you want me to put in your account for Christmas so you can buy Nutella or little gifts for Hna P and the other hermanas?
Well, since I'm not in Campana with them anymore I don't know what I will buy them for gifts so don't worry about it. For P-Day I cleaned the bathroom because it's gross. Here they don't flush the toilet, they pour water from the street like tap water water down the toilet because it saves the water in our heated tank. The problem is that there often isn't tap water. So the bathroom and the house smell disgusting! So today I cleaned the shower and the bathroom. We did grocery shopping and a little laundry. Hna A and I went to a Honduran restaurant and it was super good! It reminded me of Ohana. I had BBQ chicken and chorizo. It was WAY good!
18. Do you think you’ll have tamales for Christmas?
I don't know what we will be doing for Christmas... In Campana I would have gotten tamales, but here we don't have plans for Christmas or anything so I have no idea.
19. What has been the most beautiful thing you’ve seen this week?
The view from the mountain of Santa Rosa
20. What can we do to help support and encourage you?
Keep writing me!!!!
In other things, my striped Ann Taylor shirt bled, too... UGH! If you could send a CTR ring, the cursive ones in a size 5 and a size 7, Hna C and Hna A want them and they want the English one and they don't know where else to get one so they asked if I would ask you. So if you could pick those up for them and, oh yeah, that could be their Christmas present...even though it will get here super late.
HAPPY (early) BIRTHDAY to Papa!
Oh and I had to give a talk. It was on missionary work and Hna C corrected it and it actually had a lot less errors than I thought it would!
Love you all!
The clouds in Campana between the mountains. Isn't it beautiful?
Eating topos. Its a Honduran popsicle..put whatever into a bag and freeze it and then eat it
Hna A and I made the ornaments and gingerbread houses Mom sent! She loves things like that so we just made them.
Food at one restaurant. Chocolate cake and a huge strawberry smoothie!
Me with the HUGE strawberry smoothie
This was my meal -- a calzone -- the biggest thing I've ever seen come out on a plate. The picture doesn't do it justice!
Santa Rosa. It's very hilly here.
Our house. My desk is the one on the right
We even have sofas!!!
My desk. I love getting things in the mail to hang on my wall (hint, hint)
Our kitchen. There are no cabinets and no counter space so we have to store things on the floor.
A cat came in our house and got on my bed. We have to leave the back door open whenever we are outside or else we get locked out and I was doing laundry outside and the cat came in while I was out....
Our Christmas tree. (Thank you, Donna Ashwood!) It was good that I couldn't find it before because I would have puit it up in Campana and then had to leave it!
O Christmas Tree.....
The pink bag that I bought here to go around my waist to carry the weight better. SUPER glad I got it right before I came to Santa Rosa because with all the hills I would die with just a shoulder bag.
Hna A and me
Our closet -- it's so big!
Our bathroom. The tub is filled with the water we use to flush the toilet because if we didn't do that it would use water from our heated tank so we use street water and flush with the water from the tub
Who needs a shower curtain? SOOOOO weird! Obviously only one person can be in the bathroom at a time since there's no privacy at all!
My lunch today. The flat round things are either fried bananas or fried plantains.
Hna A bought me a lollipop today