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Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 52 La Jutosa

Who made the tamales and what was inside?  We helped this lady make tamales. Inside there’s potato, rice and pork. What was the snakeskin in the fire from?  It wasn’t a snakeskin it was an armadillo shell. This was at the same house we made the tamales you never know what you are going to find. Sometimes we end up playing with turkeys or even one time this week, I was siting there just finished eating and they just handed me a rooster because they wanted it in the tree but they couldn’t lift it up high enough so I put the rooster in a tree to sleep. So was that the meat in the tamales.  No it wasn’t armadillo in the tamales, we made the tamales a couple days earlier on that same fire place.   How long did you steam the tamales?  They did it for like 3 hours on a couple cinderblocks.   You look good as a tamale helper and happy smile.  We ended up crying a lot because the fire was super smoky and we had to stand over it to cook the banana leaves its a miracle that we didn’t light one of our ties on fire.  Is the family that you cooked the tamales with, members of the church? None of them are members, but there about the coolest people we have found here. They live off the land pretty much. The old guy lighting the fire is Tio G. in English, Uncle G. and he is really funny. I think I am going to pay him to make me a small ax because that’s what he does. 

Why did you wear a long sleeve shirt to zone conference?  It was the only clean shirt I had.  I thought you wash your shirts every couple of days, are you running out of good short sleeve shirts.  No i haven t ruined one yet. I sent all of my clothes to get fixed this week so all of the hems are good now and all my pockets on the shirts are on now.  Who did you send them to and how much did that cost to have it all fixed?  50 Limps, one of the members did it for me. 

Did you receive the hymnbooks yet? No I have not received the hymnbooks yet but possibly they will come tomorrow in the RUTA. 

What was the spiritual experience of the week? It was definitely on Tuesday one of the AP’s went with us, it was a very fun experience. We were with Elder J. and we ended up teaching a pastor and it was a very neat lesson. He didn’t want to contend with us, he was very receptive and the spirit was super strong we finished d about half of lesson 1 and wow he had some weird questions but Elder J. answered them perfectly and the man understood everything. He was very educated. We have to go back there soon so it will be interesting to see what we do. The spirit will have to guide us or we will get lost in the lesson with him. He just has a group that he leads and he belongs to a bigger church in Choloma.   How was the pastor’s house?  His house was fairly nice, he gave us tamales and a drink and I liked him. He repairs bakery equipment in a factory.

Where did you go for p day is week? Today we went to Fesitran a place in another zone by ours and we played basketball inside with air conditioning. It was really fun but the Latin’s don’t know how to play so they fouled a lot. Then we went to Pizza hut and I got the Cesar Panini, fruit punch and all you can eat salad, I ate a lot of fruit, which cost a little more but it was worth it. 

How was your week for food? Are you cooking anything at the apartment? We made tamales with one family, and yesterday we made a cake with another family, the cake turned out good. We ate sopa de MONDONGO this week again it’s not even bad I could eat it whenever but I still don’t think I would buy it or make it if I had the chance.  Who cooked the mondongo for you?  Our lunch cook made it.  What other things does she cook for lunch?  She makes rice, beans and meat.  Is there any fresh fruit in season now?  Yes there’s nances, avocadoes and mangos and always bananas.  Do they have pineapples down there?  There’s a lot of pineapples they grow them here. 

Did you bake the birthday cake for Stephanie? Yes my comp wanted to do it because it was his girlfriend’s birthday.   He said he wanted to gain “brownie points”.   He’s crazy, before we could take the picture he had to wash and style his hair. But in the picture there is C. one of the converts, she was super happy and it helped her have some more friends in the church. 

Are any of the investigators progressing? Yes this week we had 2 in church; they are an aunt and niece. If they have a desire to change that will be good for them. They were investigators of some elders earlier on.  Did you have to do anything at church this week?  No I didn’t, but my companion passed the sacrament and the branch president wasn’t there so his son directed the meeting. Is his son a councilor in the bishopric?  No there’s no counselors or presidents for any other priesthood organization in our branch.  Is his son an elder in the priesthood?   How old is he?   He’s a return missionary.

Do you have any baptisms? No there are no baptisms and nobody with a date either but this week that will change. 

How was your health this week? Well I have had a cold all week, it’s not changing much but it shouldn’t last too much longer, it is just super hot humid and dusty outside.  You are looking pretty thin, how is your amoeba?  I can live with an amoeba, my stomach doesn’t hurt any more so its fine.

Is the weather changing to the rainy season soon? It has rained a few times, normally in the nights but when it rains it drops the temperature then after if feels twice as hot because the humidity rises. 

Who's the guy in the picture that's holding the Book of Mormon each of you take a picture with him?  The guy in the picture was a drunk he was in the street and we asked him if we could take a picture and he said yes and then took his small bible out of his pocket. He is funny in the street and he always says Bendiciones to us. 

Is the picture of a Sunday school lesson at your branch?  No we had to show family photo albums it was a branch activity.  So was that a picture of you at your baptism on the table. Exactly that was a picture of me at my baptism. 

Love you all and hope that you will have a good week. Tell Joan that I hope things go good during her surgery and just so you know I finish 1 year next week. Love you all and be safe and send me some more pictures its fun to see what’s going on.

From Elder Olsen

Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 51 La Jutosa

How was your week? It was long because there were a lot of conferences and my companion’s birthday. First on Tuesday we have district meeting. Wednesday Zone conference, Friday we ate with a family from San Pedro El Carmen and it was really fun. They bought him a cake, we had tried to plan it behind his back but at the last moment he found out.  You look thrilled in the picture, is that at Pizza Hut?  Yes it’s at Pizza Hut, the nicest sit down restaurant in Choloma. I’m sure that Madi wants a sombrero like this one.

Did you have any baptisms? No we didn’t have any baptisms it is hard because the one family is just confused because of their own traditions and they haven’t received an answer from God. After some more time they will be ready. 

Tell is something funny that happened this week. Well we have been dealing with many members this week, were loosing more and more leadership every week. We talked with our relief society president and she wants to be taken out, also the young men’s president got a job and is working on Sundays sometimes. We have had members this week, when we were talking about them going to the temple, tell us they haven’t gone because they don’t think that drinking coffee is a sin, even if they don’t drink it. And she will admit it causes harm but it’s not a sin. It’s hard because many of the member’s here don’t understand simple logic and they are just not smart with many things. It was frustrating to see that her stubbornness is keeping her from the temple.

What did you do for p-day? Today we hiked to the waterfalls again and we went with some other elders we got there and back in good time and well its something cheap that we could do because we are almost all out of money.   My companion found that crab in a small pool of water.  

How are you feeling? I feel good for the most part. I have some big rashes on my legs and thighs and they burn a lot, they are just getting worse. I am putting some ointment on them that the mission gives us in our first aid kits, we will see if it helps, its not meant for it but it seems to help a little. It’s called NEOBOL.  I think it is a fungus and some from heat.  It has been a very hot week at one time it got to 104 with 100 percent humidity this day we didn’t do to much we spent a lot of time in the little stores buying water and we were wondering what had happened but it was just so hot. In September the weather should start to cool right?   I think and hope so. 

What is your favorite food? My favorite food right now is French fries because that’s what I like to eat. I get a to-go box full of them for 30 limps and it comes with a ton of sauces.  What do you usually eat for breakfast? I almost always eat cereal for breakfast; sometimes I have semitas (These small, sweet loaves have a texture similar to that of Kaiser rolls) and juice it all depends on the day. 

Do you have a favorite scripture right now? I like this scripture 1 Corinthian’s 13:11 which says When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." I found this when I was looking for a scripture for my talk that I gave this Sunday. I gave a good 15-minute talk, and I had less than 1 page of notes.   I’m getting pretty good at talking, but I still don’t like it because I have to dedicate some time to look for some good scriptures.

How is your companionship going?  Our companionship is good.   We went to SPS for the mission conference, where we heard from Russell M Nelson, who was in Tegucigalpa.

Do you know of any elders going to BYU next fall so you could have a roommate that you know?  Or you could go to USU and stay at home.  No BYU sounds better but which dorms are the best? 

Well I am out if time but it has been good to talk with you all and tell Joan hi. Love you all and have a good week. Next week send me a picture of the curbing and the yard I would love to see it.

Love you all. From Elder Olsen

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 50 La Jutosa

What was the spiritual experience of the week? Well it was definitely the baptisms. This week we had 2 baptisms Hna C. who is 27 years old and J. who is14 years old, they are cousins. After C. got baptized she had the opportunity to share her testimony in front of a lot of people, she did a really good job and the spirit was present and all she could do was cry it was a very neat and spiritual experience.

What did you do for p-day and when do you wash your clothes is it only on Monday? Today for p day we came to Omoa and we went to the San Fernando Fortress, and then we went and ate on the beach, I ate fried shrimp and they were good. How long did it take to get to the castle?  Like 2 hours in bus.  Did you take public bus or hire a bus?  We took a public bus; the fare was like 2 dollars.

We wash our clothes whenever there is time. I usually wash garments 3 times a week at night.  How does the water work for your pilla? Well there’s water sometimes and sometimes not. We get water 5 times a week or so. So it just fills up the pilla when it comes and we just carry it in buckets into the house to use in the bathroom. I always shower outside so I don’t have to carry the water.

How are you feeling? I feel good, sometimes I am really tired because things happen in the house and I don’t get time to sleep. Get this, at 4 in the morning an evangelic church has meetings sometimes and they turn up the music all the way.  Are you having any more symptoms from the amoeba?  Not that I know of but who knows.

Have you heard any word about closing the branch? They won’t close the branch for at least another year, but if things turn around they will never close the branch.

Tell us something about you investigators? Well they are almost all family. The baptisms we have scheduled next are 3 sisters and one cousin, they are still waiting for an answer, but when they get it they will definitely be baptized. They came to the baptism of C. and J. and there was also a lady that got baptized that was missing a leg so that was really cool to witness. Are there any boys in this family? There is one brother that is like 10 or 11 but the rest are from 16 to 24 years old.

Tell us something that was funny that happened to you this week? We went fishing and we caught some little fish that we have put in the pila as our pets. They are super small but they should get bigger. We went with poles but our hooks were too big to catch goldfish sized fish, they would bite but we couldn’t get them all the way back to shore. The kid we took with us caught more with just his hands than we did with the poles. Did you go fishing in the river?  Yes we went to the river.
Our Fishing Poles

What do you usually do for family home evening?  We usually go and teach our investigators and if there is extra time we visit some members and get them to do something with us.

When the men go to the mountains to work, what do they do? They plant bananas and they clean up the area in between them, they grow pineapples, beans and all sorts of other things they just spray chemicals and clean up the property with machete.

Do you have any more questions? If not I am going to end because my finger hurts from typing.  These computers keyboards and the environment here in the Internet suck there’s not AC

Love you all and thanks for everything that you do for me.

From Elder Olsen

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week 49 La Jutsoa

Did you have any baptisms No we didn’t have any baptisms hopefully next week. 

What was a spiritual experience for this week? I will just tell one of them
Well one day this week we taught a lesson to one of our investigators and well we taught chastity we taught it very directly then we left. We got a text message the next day from our investigator saying that she didn’t know if she should keep receiving us or coming to church.   We tried to respond by a text message but it wouldn’t go through, we tried like 10 times so we decided that we would have to go and visit her. She welcomed us in and she just said what you guys taught caught me by surprise and she said when you left the other day, all that she could do was cry. She just cried for a long time and was just afflicted with all of the things that she had done. She just showed us one of the pages in the pamphlets and she just showed us it. We read it and we taught that she could be forgiven and that she could still get baptized. She was really happy and she had read almost everything that we had left. The spirit was so strong because she has actually changed her life a lot and she wants to change and get baptized. She came to church another time so things are looking good. 

How was your week?  My week was good but stressful.  What was so stressful?  Just church, the branch has many problems, the members fight against members and it is hard because we have no leaders now we lost our elders quorum president, so we just have the branch president and the young men’s leader and that is all of the priesthood.  You are seeing the difficulty of a new member area with little leadership, as elders I'm sure you hear it from everyone and try and stay diplomatic.  Its really hard but it could change, they have been throwing around the option of closing the branch.   Was your area opened since the mission was made 2 years ago or has that been there a while?   It has been open for 8 years.  Have they closed the area before?  Not for more than a few weeks, but the stake president wants to close down the branch completely.   Would you leave the area or stay and try and build the area?  That’s just an idea that the stake president had and I don’t know what would happen, the branch president is asking for another year to see if he can get things turned around.  Well go and recruit some men because that is the only way to grow.  We have like 4 for the relief society and 3 for the young women’s program and we need to find the same for the young men’s and priesthood.  Where is the elders quorum president go?   He was just released so who knows what happened.  Did he keep coming to church?  He didn’t come this Sunday. But the men here all work in the mountains and they all work every day of the week so it is hard to find ones that are here in the city and that want to hear the message. 

What were your p-day activities? Today my companion and I went to the waterfalls in La Jutosa and then we went to pizza hut to eat with some other elders. While we were there, I saw one of my past companions, Elder M. he is now a Zone leader that was weird to see.  He was in Santa Ana with me 

How have you been feeling? I felt good for most of the time. There was one day that I like hit a wall and began to sweat really bad so I got some water and ate some bread but I recovered fairly quickly. 

Did you do any service this week? No we didn’t do any service this week it is really hard to find. But lets hope for next week because I like to do some hard work once and a while. 

Has there been a lot of rain? It hasn’t rained that much. 

Why are the 2 chickens tied together with the string?  So they couldn’t run because they were going to kill them. We were with this family on another day and the mom saw that we were playing with them and just walked over and said don’t be to gentle you have to do it like this and she broke the neck killing it and then she was going to do it to another and my comp ran away.   Did you help pluck the chickens?   No.

Well my time is up it has been really fun to talk with you this week sorry because I haven’t sent many good emails its just hard to think of what to say and make all of the stories sound as good as they were, but I hope that you will all have a good week.

Love ELDER OLSEN or as J. D. D. says OSTER