Monday, December 29, 2014

Tick...Tick...BOOM!

Well Hi!


There is a LOT of stuff I wanna say. So.... Wish me luck. I'll try to focus it in... I just don't know where to start. T_T

I guess one of the first things, is Christmas was freaking awesome here in Honduras. I think I'll explain why little by little.... You know.... Tick... Tick....

This week was a crazy week and it went really fast.  So, with that, I think I would like to tell you a bit about some of my investigators. So... Name by Name.

D: She is in her thirties, without husband and with two girls (K and C) and a boy with a man that has another family... Yeah, that was hard.  Since we have started teaching her, she has turned her life around.  She has dropped the man, changed her own morals and LITERALLY found her testimony while we were teaching her kids.  When we started, she was in a bad situation... And for that, we couldn't really help her progress, so our focus was on her girls. But, in a nutshell... We would leave a reading, and her kids wouldn't have read it. But she would have.  And another 5 chapters.  And taken notes.  And had questions.  And she had prayed and knew it was true.  Then finally, when she changed her life of her own will, she started moving forward.  We actually had her baptism ready for last week.... But the day before, she called her mom to invite her.  Her mother said if she was baptized, she would disown her and that she would NEVER talk to her again.  Talk about adversary.... For that, D is at a standstill as she fights that battle.  We can only support her, continue to teach to strengthen her testimony, and then.... Wait.  

Family B:  O, (wife whose name I cannot spell), E, K and J.  They are all wonderful.  So kind, so funny, so willing to listen.  However, they have trouble getting to church.  They pretty much ALL work every day of the week.  For that.... They don't come.  And for that... They can't progress.  It is truly hard, but they said that with the new year, changes in the schedule might come.  So... We can only pray and hope that God will prepare the way.  

M: A wonderful woman who knows the church is true, but her husband, V, refuses to marry and only wants to fight with us about the Bible.  He contends with us every visit, no matter how kind we try to be.  He is very set in his ways, and he claims he knows what we believe, but he has never done any of the things we have invited him to.  They have three kids, N (who is like my best little friend here.  He always wants to hold my bag while I'm teaching), A and E. Seriously, I WILL come back to Honduras just to see those kids again.  Guys... They are adorable.  As of right now, we are only hoping for the best and hoping that V will try to read a bit in the Book of Mormon to answer some of his questions.

A and G:  Youth investigators.  They are just.... Great.  A has a bit of a problem with modesty, but she has come to church twice now and she is slowly changing it without us having said anything.  When we come around, she just kind of fixes the problem herself.  HOW cool is that.  G is 9, and she is just adorable.  She loves church, she loves stories of the BOM, and she is WAY pilas (word for super hard worker and awesome).  Also, they have a 3 year old little brother that always has to come with us, cuz we are still trying to get their mom to listen.  His name is F - and he is a very angry little kid.  Seriously, he always looks angry, he always acts angry, and he does not warm up to ANYONE. Until.... when we walked them home from church this Sunday, HE TOTALLY HELD OUR HANDS (Elder Tuft and I, and he held mine first, and then another 7ish minutes later, he wanted to hold Elder Tuft's too.)  A FLIPPED.  She was like 'MILAGRO MILAGRO.  como... COMO?' (Miracle, Miracle, like, HOW?')  Yeah.  That was way awesome.

P:  One of the first investigators I had in Honduras, and I taught her pretty much alone cuz we did divisions with members every time we taught her.  With time, we lost contact with her.  UNTIL this week.  She is 19, and also has a kid.  We just teach little by little, and she is EATING it up.  Our last lessons, about 7 other teenagers all made their way in cuz of how interested she was in our lesson.  Also, she really trusts us.  She made a comment that throughout her life she has been looked at as an object, but from the moment we came in, regardless of how she looked or what she was wearing or what she did or didn't know, we always treated her with the utmost respect and genuine love, and that's a big reason why she wants to know more.  She is gonna go freaking far if we can help it.

L:  This girl has been our investigator for a while.  We found her by knocking on doors, and if I could describe the change that has come in her from day 1 to now.... Gah.  There aren't words.  BUT, I would say the difference is the light that is in her eyes.  She started out in a really bad place.... But she has never accepted anything blindly.  For that, her progression was slow.  But ALSO for that, everything she has a testimony of, she REALLY has a testimony of.  She is 17 years old, and she is actually pregnant... She is now literally days away from delivering.  And.... Although I don't know if she was serious... She told me she thinks she wants to name her baby... (in her words) 'well... I'm kind of thinking... I like the name.... Christian.'  ....!!!!!!!!!!! (and yes, she DOES know my name.  That's kind of why I am telling you guys. ;D)



So... There are a few of our more pilas investigators.  They are all wonderful, and I have learned SO much from all of them.  Maybe this helps give a bit of insight into my every day life, although it is still IMPOSSIBLE to tell you all of the people we are teaching.  There are also a lot of members that I can probably tell you about soon.  Maybe the next email!

Now, the reason for the 'tick, tick' at the beginning.... well.... This week was nuts.  I already told you that the last week was rough... That didn't necessarily stop after the email.  But.... The 'boom' came in many different ways.  

Boom Number 1....
I talked with my family face to face.  For the first time in 5 months.  .... That was a HUGE boom that was honestly VERY needed in this week.  And once the call ended.... I just felt... Ready.  Like I needed it, and now I am good to go again.  Yeah, I miss them.... But we're good.  I'm good.  THIS is good. That was the boom, and it was probably the best boom I could've asked for.

Boom Number 2....
Yesterday was HARD.  We got up really early cuz we had to go to the R.... Which is REALLY far away, so that we could bring investigators to church.  When we got there, it was 8, and church starts at 9.  It would take at LEAST another hour and a half to get to the chapel.  But.... The hardest part.... Not a single investigator came with us.  They all stright up said 'no, I'm just too busy. I can't. Sorry.' .... Whew that was rough and discouraging.  Like... really hard.  We were frustrated, but knew we were doing what we were supposed to.  So....
On the way back.... We passed this young girl.  And... well, we asked this random girl if she wanted to come.  I've had the feeling to talk to her before, but I always missed the chance.  And she said YES.  OUT OF NOWHERE.  Then, also unexpected, A AND G got themselves ready without us saying anything.  They were ready to go when we happened to pass by.  And they brought about 3 other kids, cuz the parents didn't wanna come, and they figured we would kind of babysit them.  Now.... Coming late into church here is a SIN.  They are MEAN about it.  We haven't been late yet, but other members have... and they hear about later.  So.... half an hour late, here walk in THE MISSIONARIES.  It started with glares.  Then... In walked all these kids and investigators behind us.  Within seconds, the glares turned into awe, realizing that we had been walking for about 3 hours straight, bringing people to the church from the furthest area in the ward.  They filled a full row, and afterwards.... THE WARD FLOODED THE KIDS WITH ALL THE LOVE IN THE WORLD.  Showing them around, giving them little snacks, giving them pictures of Jesus, just.... TOTALLY taking them in.  Elder Tuft and I were like.... 'sigh.... Mission Accomplished.'
Boom.

Number 3....
BOOM.  ALL NIGHT LONG.  ALL DAY LONG.  LITERALLY.  Christmas in Honduras sounds like a WARZONE.  These FIREWORKS people.  They pretty much put gunpowder in a little role of newspaper then LIGHT IT UP.  Freak.  We didn't sleep.  So much fireworks.  So much boom.  So FREAKING AWESOME.  I LOVE MY MISSION.


So... anyway.  What can we learn from this?

Life is a constant clock.  Always leading up to the next BOOM.  So.... we obviously can't control everything.  But we can control many things, including how we prepare ourselves for the boom..... This next week is the end of a year.  A new year.  A new opportunity.  A new chance.  One More Boom. So with that... Tick.... Tick.... Tick.....

Hope Christmas was as wonderful for all of you as it was for me.  I love you guys.  I'll talk to you soon.  Do the stuff you need to.  You know what I'm talking about.

Elder Kristian 

Song of the Week - You Are My Sunshine (Version by Johnny Cash is good!!!)
Elder Tuft and Elder Huf
Ukulele received from Hermana Bleak

Elder Huff with President and Sister Bowler


Zone



**Names have been removed from this email to protect the privacy of the investigators***

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Feliz Navidad Mis Amigos

HOLA Y BUENAS TARDES MIS QUERIDOS AMIGOS Y AMIGAS.

Freak I miss you guys. 

Now, I could write a big long message.... But really, I think you guys know everything I could tell you.  Christmas is indeed a very special time of year.... A very special celebration.  One that is truly sacred, despite the commercialism.  Yeah, we all know that people make it about presents here and there, and there's a huge hype, butI recently read from someone very dear to me that the reason for this is because Christmas puts a special kind of feeling of giving into someone.  It is impossible to fake that feeling, but giving and receiving gifts is a close way to mimic it.  And, however, in my experience....  The true feeling of overwhelming love for the greatest gifts we have always makes its way in. Family, life, the world and the millions of people in it, and of course, the one man who's birth we celebrate, our Beloved Saviour.  I promise you, if you let yourself just.... FEEL it, you won't even notice the commercialism or the crap that tries to hurt this special time of the year.  Just let it ALL in.  Cuz being here.... Well.... I'll just tell you my story of this week.

To start, a little Honduran lingo to give background info.

Baggy: pronounced as it is spelled with a spanish accent.  This is the word for longing for home, being caught up in thoughts of things and people back home, and also letting the hard things of the mish get to you til you want to freaking break down crying.  In a nutshell. 

Guiper: pronounced gee-per. Pretty much means a boy or girl who is particularly flirtatious with missionaries - or sometimes, amissionary that is the same way. Possibly derived from the mixing breeds of sheeps and goats. ...... Um..... Well... Just google search geep.  I don't get it.

Ofrendas de Fuego: Well.... Pretty much fire offerings.  Yeah.  This is gonna be an exciting email, huh?


Okay... So.... To tell a whole lot really fast, me and Elder Tuft got shenghaied into a Christmas concert.  We just sang in the choir... It was fun and long and we had to stand for an hour and a half without moving and OW.  That wasn't toally fun.  But... It felt good to sing.  So no big!
During this said concert, Elder Tuft and I were flooded with a number of guipers of ages 13 to 17.... Kind of awkward, but they kept their space.  Other Sister missionaries (like Hermana Bleak and Hermana Martinez) later told us that they were SUPER guipping behind our backs, telling the Hermanas that we were perfect and we can cook (and how do they know we can cook? well.... We didn't know we could either. O.o) and the last day of performing, they requested a good amount of pictures with us.  Well.... Perk of being a missionary.  'Sure, we can take a picture, but you have to stand WAAAYYYY over there for it to be appropriate.  Mission rules, you know...'  Yeah.  Fun stuff. Not a ton to report on that.  Just thought I would let you all know that having two gringos in an area bringa really interesting results.....

So... I started with that, because for me, that was one of the better moments of the week, seeing as it was pretty funny.  But this week was also one of the most frustrating of my mission.  I hit baggy after a string of particularly frustrating lessons with people who claim they know the doctrine but really don't know anything, and who apply what they know even less.  Very frustrating, and after a good number of days with lessons like this over and over, I just hit my breaking point.  Elder Tuft and I came home after a day of work (yesterday) and I just sat down and started blowing up about everything (which I have not done yet on the mish).  Well... In a nutshell..... I really wish to express my thanks for a couple people right here.

My Little Brother, My Mother, My Father, My Mexican, My Gringo Comp, Elder Donovan Webb and Hermana Mariah Bleak.

FREAK guys.  These people are some of the best you will ever find in this world.  I gave up on trying to feel Christmas cuz Honduras is just frustrating and the people even more so.  Well... That only lasted about that long....

After my blow up, Elder Tuft made me perform a ritual.  I won't go into super detail, cuz... Well.... Mission stuff.  But, if you want to know... We followed the example of Elijah and burnt some offerings as a sweet savour to the Lord.  Or.... More clearly.... He helped me give my frustrations to Him by way of fire, as to let them go and show my dependance on Him even more so.  So... Thanks Elder Tuft.  You rock bro. 

Next, My little bro, mom and dad.  Jakob, your note to me in the photo album made me bawl like a baby for about 45 minutes this morning.  I love you babe, and I'll see you tomorrow morning.  Mom, Your message in the album is on my wall, and I use it to remind myself that 'I need to take care of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father' for Jakob. And Dad?  Thank you for your letters every week.  They inspire me to look a bit deeper every week and I learn so much.  I feel closer to you now than ever.  You are the best Dad I could have ever asked for, and I will be eternally grateful for you.  And Mama?  I didn't tell you last week, but I am telling you here for everyone to see. I know you get self conscious... But I know for a FACT that you KICKED freaking butt on the piano this week and the last.  You always do.  No one can play with the Spirit like you can, and anyone who has heard you play will agree.  You play your testimony, Mama.  I love you, and don't you ever doubt yourself.  I know I couldn't hear you, but I could feel it.  And you blew it out of the water.  And the song you sent for me.... Yeah... you killed it.  Never doubt it.  But I will ALWAYS remind you. Play those songs for me.


Mexi, I can only say that your words stay in my heart.  Thank you for being my best friend.  And even if random dudes in the mall don't like your candy canes, I will always want your candy canes.  So... You'll need to give it to me when I get back. Also... Thanks for keeping the traditions with Lizzie and Jessi.  That was pretty freaking amazing of you.  And yeah, I did it here too.

Donovan.... Well.... Let me put it this way.... Do you THINK I'm RETARDED. (Forgive the use of this word, there is literally no other way to put it.  And... Well... That's Elder Webb for you. ;D Love you Apple Jack.  The V-King will live on.)

Mariah... (And I am referring to you in your first name format cuz you won't read this til after you finish your mission).  Well.... I don't even know where to start.  Mostly, I think you saw me rock out for about 4 minutes on the guitar at the Christmas concert and then you decided to pull out the most unreal Christmas gift ever. She got me a FREAKING UKELELE.  With pretty colors and myname and mymission time and BAH.  Freak this girl went all out.  Thanks Hermana Bleak.  I'll remember that for forever. How you found time to do that, I will NEVER know.



And of all these things Iwrote about, I think it is easy to infer that I didn't freak out totally because of the gift or the events themselves.  But... More because of the memory it created or the friendship that was strengthened.  If I could tell each of you Merry Christmas, I would.  I love you all. My deppest gratitude to all that Imentioned, as well as to everyone who has written me or taken part in my life this far.  Merry Christmas.  I love you.  Jazmin, Assael, Will, all the missionaries from Merit and their families, everyone back at Merit, Kailey, Megan, Mariano, Lizzie, Mikaella, Jessi, Steph, Mom #2, Blythe, everyone else.... Merry Christmas.  God Bless Us, Everyone.

Elder Kristian Huff

Songs of the week: Little Drummer Boy, La Primera Navidad and Y tambien El Burrito de Belen

Monday, December 15, 2014

Talk About A Change

WELL HI.

Wow where to begin.

Thank you all for the emails, as always!  Steph, Joy, Jessi, Lizzie, Blythe, Kaya, Megan, Allison,  and Lara and the Fam (I AM SO PROUD OF ALL YOU ARE DOING!!!). I love you all, and I hope you are all doing great!  Stay strong, keep working hard, and FREAKING ENJOY CHRISTMAS TIME.

Quick shout out to a few of my beloved friends...  We have seen the worst of each other, both mentally, emotionally and physically, as well as the best.... of the same three.  This group of friends has blessed my life in so many ways, and I share things I learned there and from you all frequently during my time here in Honduras.  Dance Co.... Girls? And Gabe and Austin and Kimie?  I LOVE YOU ALL SO FREAKING MUCH.  I hope everything is going fantastic.  I can't wait to show you some of the dance stuff they do here.... It's hardcore latin and FREAKING intense.  But anyway.... I love you guys.  Dance your hearts out, every day - and don't lose a moment on the floor.  I know that for many of you, dance is a way of life..... SO KEEP DOING TO THE FULLEST.  Okay?? I love you all - keep it up.  And yes.... I have done our snail/catepillar move a couple times while here. Cuz why not?

And now.... Onto some crazy stuff.
Saying goodbye to Elder Roldan

Well.... Elder Roldan is currently in his home in Guatemala.  And I am still here in Laconse with a new comp.... But not just any new comp.  I am not senior companion... but we both have less than 6 months in the mission.  And we both have fairly new spanish....

Yep.  Guys, for my first change after training, I got another gringo for a comp.  Elder Tuft, my new white companion, comes from a familiar city.... of Springville Utah.  He knows a number of my friends, and I know a number of his.  He started his mission a change before me.... So.... We are both VERY new, and both VERY North American.  

Pretty great right?  

AND.... He looks like Kirby Heyborne.  LIKE.... BRO.  EXACTLY.

Say Hello to Elder Tuft!
But really, it is awesome. I am serious... IT IS FREAKING GREAT. We work WAY hard and we are doing some good things for the area I think.... He is an incredible guy and we get along really well.  We have had some incredible experiences already.... One of which I want to share with you.  

We had a day CHALK full of citas (appointments).  We were finishing up before heading to dinner, and we decided to start walking toward the area.  Then we passed this door.... I remembered it vaguely, sure that we had been there before.  I actually was pretty sure it was a member, but I hadn't seen her for a while and I didn't remember the house well (out area is freaking huge).  In fact, the member I was thinking of was one of the first blessings I ever gave in Spanish.  So... We kept walking, for only a few steps.  But those steps felt like a lifetime.... I knew we needed to visit that house.  So I told my comp that I was sorry, but we need to go back to that door.  He was willing, albeit confused by the abruptness of my change in direction.  He asked who it was, and as I knocked on the door, I started to say that I thought it was a member.  Within a second, the door opened, and there was the elderly member, in a really nice dress, staring at us as if she was quite sad seconds before our entering.  She invited us in, and then told us a story about that morning.
This woman, for background, has had some problems with her kids.... Several were members that then left the church after missions, or who just went off the deep end before she could help them.  She is a very lonely woman, as far as I remembered.  We were planning on visiting.... But we just never found the time.
Back to the story now.  She invited us in, and began to talk with us, but really just small talk.  We knew that something was a bit off.... So we asked, and she then revealed to us that the ward temple trip was that same morning.  We were aware, and asked if she went.    
She told us that someone from the ward had passed the previous day to ask if she wanted to come.  She had had a hard week, so it meant a lot that they would ask her to take part in something with the ward, as if they hadn't forgotten her.  He said he would be by in the morning then to bring her.  Well... The bus leaves at 4:30 for ward temple trips, because of the distance to Teguc.  So.... She got up at 3:00, got into her favorite dress, and began to wait, SO excited for the opportunity to go to the temple again with her ward family.  So... She waited.  Then passed 4:305:306:30... At about 8:00 of waiting by the door, she realized that they weren't coming. 

Now, as a note.... I do not write this to criticize the member by ANY means.  Life happens.  I only tell this because she was heartbroken the whole rest of the day. And... We stopped by.  And we gave a lesson that ended in tears.  And we are about to start teaching her (fallen away) daughter and son in law the gospel this week.  We talked about the atonement and love of Christ, the power of healing, the blessings and problems of agency, and we expressed the importance of forgiveness through the example of our Saviour.  In a nutshell.... She was at church and things were reconciled, she will be given a calling soon, and she has had two other visits with members as far as I understand since our first visit.  

Well.... I think I love being a missionary.  And I love Elder Tuft.  (Elder Tuft and Huff.... Or, Oof and Toof.  Fun stuff, huh?)  And honestly.... I love you guys.   I will keep you posted on big happenings.... as always.  But for now, I only wish to share my testimony of the whisperings of the spirit.



Frankly, this has been one of the big quesitons of my mission. You all hear the crazy stories of the times they listened to a prompting and how it changed their whole lives and such, right?  And I have always asked.... How will I know??  How do I recognize it when it comes?...

Well.... The scriptures explain it this way, in Moroni 7 if I remember right.  All things that are good come from God, and when following the 'good' feelings, you will inevitably being doing the right thing.  Emerson called it the Oversoul, and CS Lewis called it the Law of Human Nature.  And finally I have started to understand.  Literally.... God works through those 'gut' feelings, and the more you follow them... the more you will get.  And the more you get, the more you recognize the 'good', the 'better' and the 'best'.  And that is what I am currently trying to cultivate and connect to my heart and mind.... But it is REAL.  I can testify of that.  

JUST DO IT.  Whatever 'it' is, YOU KNOW.  JUST DO IT.  

I love you all.  May you all be safe and happy... And in this time.... Remember what the greatest gift of all really was - whose birth we celebrate this time of year.  

Til We Meet.

Elder Huff


Song of the week Nice Dream by Radiohead

Monday, December 8, 2014

To Everybody

Hello, my beloved friends and family.  It is a beautiful cloudy day in Danli Honduras and the days are just flying by.

So.... Shoutouts, obviously.  Nanny, Steph, Jessi, Lizzie, Katelyn, Kaylie, Will, Allison, Victoria, Kaya, Kailey, Assael....  I love each of you deeply.  I will try to respond personally today for the more personal responses, but as a whole, I was humbled by all of your writing me.  I appreciated your sentiments and I want you all to know that I am deeply grateful for all of you.  You remind me why I'm here whenever I feel like faltering.... And I honestly, deeply love you.  

A couple quick catch-ups:  

1.  These are my final days with my first comp in the field.  This Wednesday is changes.  Most likely, I will be staying in the same area, but with a new comp.  

2.  FOUR MONTHS LAST SATURDAY BABY.  

3.  Was the Christmas Devotional awesome or what?  

4.  I am now adequate with a machete for more than just the pillaging of spiders.  And my hands are kind of messed up for that reason.... But hey.  Blisters build character.  Or something like that.


So.... Although I always have a millions stories.... This week I feel I need to spend focusing on my family.  So... With that said, I love you all.  Stay strong.  Remember who you are and remember that you are loved more than you can imagine.  This week will be a week of personal letters, but primarily to family, and next week, I'll be writing awesome experiences again.  

And so... Until then,  I am sending all my love to you.  

......

Song of the Week, actually:  Last Night On Earth, Green Day.  Because obviously. Talk to you all soon.

Elder Kristian Huff

His apartment
His apartment - clothes hanging to dry
His apartment - where he washes clothes and dishes
Inside his apartment - His shower

Inside his apartment 
His fridge on top of the counter
His felt Christmas Tree
Christmas Stockings

Danli








Danli


Danli at night

Danli at night



"My Danli" at night

Elder Huff
Elder Huff
Back of his plaque
Family in Danli
Doing Great

Monday, December 1, 2014

Just a Little Bit

Hey everybody!  

As always, I want to send all my love to you all, and remind you all how much it means to me to get your emails here and there.  Mikaella, Nanny, Joy, Emma-Lee, Lizzie, Steph, Jessi, Blythe, Natalie, Alisse, Crys, Kailey, Camille.... I love you all, and thank you very much for all the different things you sent me this week.  It means the world.... Honestly.

Sigh.... Where to begin?

I guess I need to preface everything with a question. Or a couple, actually.  As you read these questions, I ask that you try to calm the thoughts in your head beforehand, and that you also read this with the best impersonation of my 'deep question/even if you aren't super involved, I am SUPER deep in this idea' voice in your head.  I am sure that you all know this said voice. I have used it many times with many of you.... And so, this is a moment where I am relaying this idea to each of you personally.

Do you realize what you are?

Do you realize WHO you are?

Do you realize WHY you are?

Yes, I acknowledge that these are rather vague questions.  But, as a missionary, I have learned a couple of things, both in regards to the questions themselves as well as the purpose of asking these questions.  I have learned more and more that yes and no questions do little for spiritual growth.... Unless, of course, they are the right questions.  And these are just a few that I believe are right questions.

So.... Here goes.

Do you realize what you are?  I don't think so.  Because if you did, you would be doing some things a little differently.  I am sure that automatically sounds like a call for repentance.... This is not entirely the case.  Because yes, if you realized what you were, you would probably change some bad habits and fix some things that need fixing, but the same goes in your benefit and defense.  If you realized what you are, you would understand how important it is to give yourself the benefit of the doubt, to trust yourself, and to LOVE yourself.  
As I was talking to a fellow missionary, we stumbled onto a little piece of philosophy, in my opinion. TOTALLY relatable to Screwtape Letters and an abundance of other literary works.  A statement that I think will answer this question for you.  The quote goes as follows: 
'How do you kill a god? The answer:  Before he becomes one.'  
My dear brothers and sisters (because that is truly what you are), You are a God in Embryo.  THAT is what you are.  You are currently in a testing period.  But quite literally, you have the attributes and qualities necessary to become like Him.

Do you realize who you are?  As I said before.... I don't think so.  Elder David A. Bednar said during a missionary conference once, 'if you have a string going from eternity in one direction to eternity in the other, and tie another single string in the middle... The area of the second tiny string on the infinity line measures the length of your existence on the earth compared to all that you have been and all that will be.'  
Take this literally.... There has been an eternity of PREPARING  for THIS life.  How can that be?  Because we fought a WAR where we lost a THIRD of our brothers and sisters.  We have fought valiently and learned and FINALLY reached this point to choose what really means the most.  And after this life, we have more eternities to live than we can comprehend.  That is the WORK and the GLORY of the Eternal, PERFECTED Father.  To bring to pass the (first) immortality and (second) eternal life of man.  Of US.  THAT IS HIS PURPOSE WITH US.  So Who are You?  
You are a Child of GOD.  Of someone who LIVES to BRING YOU BACK.  And yet somehow people still doubt that He cares or listens.... Guys, He WANTS you.  Not your time, or your talents.  HE WANTS YOU.  ALL of You.  Because He LOVES you and He KNOWS what you have set out to do, against ALL the Hell that rages on the earth as we speak.  Which brings me to the next, most important part.

Do you realize WHY You are?  I will tell you why.  Because as a missionary, I have already seen people change who they are because of the truth I am about to speak.  You Are That You Might Have Joy.  Because THAT is what God wants for you.  
But guess what?
We are all sinners.  And wickedness never was happiness.  So frankly... None of us have achieved the fullness of joy that we are capable of finding.  And how can we? Nothing unclean can live with God.  So.... We are all out of luck.  The love God has for us is not lessened by this truth.... But God works within laws - the Highest laws, granted - but laws nonetheless.  And this is part of it.  We can't go back as long as we are imperfect.  

Now imagine.... This great dilemma, that you realized long before this life.  When you were living with God, and he revealed this great plan.  You have aready suffered great loss of loved ones following that cunning plan of the adversary, but you have stayed strong.  YOU WERE THERE, with so many others, and God Himself reveals the great plan.  That we will be able to come here, live, learn and return someone better.  Imagine the JOY that you felt! You WERE there!  In that infinity before your string, you were there.  But then, the eternal dilemma.  
Life is a chance to learn.  And thus.... We will make mistakes.  And so, in that moment, you realized... You can't come back.  You are going to fight a battle you WILL NOT win.  It is totally hopeless.... There's a block with no resolve. We are damned to never return to the arms of Him that lives to love us.

And then a man steps forward.  No ordinary man.... This man is God.  Preordained as such, this man will live a perfect life.  The only one who can.  The only one who would.  The only one who could return to the Father.  

And He turns to the Father and reveals that He has something to offer. Something, that through mercy, the demands of the laws of God's justice could be satisfied.  

Jesus offered Himself.  Not His time, or His talents.  Jesus gave all of Himself.  So much so, that even in His perfected body, the prints of His love for us even now remain in his hands and feet.

And That is Why You Are.



I do not have a lot of time to re-read and edit my letters, So I am not entirely sure if I managed to convey the message I feel I need to.  This is a first draft. Nothing but the words of my soul as I felt them.  What I need you all to realize, is that You are so much more than you realize.  You don't know your divine purpose. But maybe you understand a little bit better now....  And what I want to share, more than anything, is my wordless gratitude for my Lord and Saviour.  Because ONLY through Him can we fulfill this divine purpose.  I Love my Saviour. I know He loves me.  I am here in Honduras because of that gift that he so willingly gave to someone as undeserving as me.  I know that He knows each of you.  The next time you doubt the love of God, Remember that the signs of the love He has is still with him.  Yes, He loves You.  Stop questioning it and start doing something about it.

I do not think I can adequately describe my testimony of Him through an email... But I needed to try.  I thank all of you for your support and love.  Remember who you are.  And more importantly, remember why you are.  I love you.

Elder Huff

Song of the week - Brace Me Up from Saturday's Warrior

Monday, November 24, 2014

Where to Begin.......

HOLY DEATH THIS WEEK WAS CRAZY PEOPLE.  
Lara and the fam, Steph, Lizzie, Blythe, Jessi, Ellie, Joy, Assael, Crys, Kailey, Rebecca, Love you All.  Thank you for the emails... As always.  Seriously.  THANK YOU.

Okay.  Where to begin. Okay..... Let's do a day by day.  Here we go.

TUESDAY

Started out as a normal day.  We planned, we started to work, and then.... The call that would change my life for the next 48 hours.

'Hey, Elder Huff?  This is Hermana Bleak (she is a missionary in our zone after changes).  Would you maybe want to help us sing a songtomorrow for the conference? And maybe play piano if you can?'

.... Conference?  Sing? Piano? TOMORROW?

'Hey yeah sure why not?' .... 'But probably not the piano. I can't play that well.'

AND THEN divisions spur of the moment that lasted all day with Elder Webb (cuz he was one to sing in the performance as well).  Now.... Here is how it went down.  To start, something to know about singing in Honduras.... No one really knows the songs or hymns. EVER.  So.... it usually goes down with someone giving a rough tune and then everybody just going for it.  The result is never pretty.  EVER.  And this song we were out to perform was no different... Elder Webb has never really sung before, and in addition to us 2, there were 2 other companionships of Hermanas.  No one could hold a tune but me, in all honesty... Next question from Hna Bleak. 'Can anyone play piano?  I have music here for Come Thou Fount, so.... We should sing that.'  I looked at the music.... It was barely a score.  So.... I sat down and did what I have done with a million songs the past few years.  

I made a five verse arrangement off the top of my head. I MISSED DOING THAT. Days of Glee flashbacks.....

Long story short, after several mini voice lessons, several hours of working to get everyone on the same key and tune, as well as CHANGING the key about a hundred times to fit these girls (and Elder Webb's) voices, we had something decent.  Typically though, if I wasn't belting it out behind the piano whilst playing, the group still couldn't stay on key.  

So... What is the most obvious action for God to pull on us?  

Yep... Thanks Mom.... 'Hey, have you gotten sick? You can be honest, okay???'

WEDNESDAY

.... Yeah, sickness. Nothing in the stomach.... All Central... in my throat.  Try Seven Brides all over again. Literally NO voice at all. I sounded like death.  And thus we performed.... 

ANNNNND THEY ROCKED IT.  TOTALLY ON KEY, ALL TOGETHER, ALL PERFECT.  I was SO astounded.  Speechless (literally and figuratively).  It was beautiful.  And the conference, as I found out, was a multi-zone meeting for all missionaries for notes from the president.  Nothing too big happened.  Although, I did get a few comments for looking like a rockstar pounding out the piano during the song (because obviously there were emotional parts and then super intense belty parts.  Obviously.  Come on. Is that even a question?).

THURSDAY

'....BAHHH I'M DYING ELDER ROLDAN HELLLLPPPPPP MMMMEEEEEEEEE......'

'.....Wanna proselyte?'

'..... Yeah okay.'

FRIDAY

'Hey Elder Huff, do you want to go to Tegucigalpa and to the temple tomorrow for old converts of mine from a year ago?'

'YES when do we go?'

'Hmmm.... 20 minutes?'

'....Wait what?'

...Later That Night.... In Teguc....

RING RING RING

'Hello?'

'Hola Elder Huff.  Quiere dar un discourso en Domingo sobre el Idioma del Espiritu? Lo Siento, es cierto es un poquito tarde.... Pero como un misionero, usted esta.... Siempre listo, verdad?'
(Translation: Hey, Elder Huff.  You wanna give a talk on Sunday?  Sorry it's short notice, but as a missionary, you are.... Always ready, right?  (Those are lyrics in spanish from Called to Serve. 'Liistooo, siempre liistooo.....'))

SATURDAY

TEMPLE OF HONDURAS.  INCREDIBLE.  All in Spanish, of course.... And the last time I did Temple in spanish was my first week in my mission.  So.... This time was a bit better. Like a LOT better.  Like I actually understood what was happening.  It was beautiful, of course, and I cannot WAIT to go back.  I could say a lot.... But I don't think I could find words.  It was amazing.  That's all I can say.

Also, I had a cheeseburger.  From McDonalds. Yes, of course I did. 'These make me... Very happy.'

Also, I bought a camera that works. Love you Mama. Pictures Every week from now on.

And Teguc is freaking awesome.  It's like a big city.  Probably cuz it is a big city.

.....Later That Night.... In Danli....

BAPTISM NUMBER 5!!!  Senia Maria Flores Peralta (17).  Elder Roldan baptized her, and I actually had to give a talk at her baptism spur of the moment also (this kind of became a pattern for this week).  Incredible as always.  

.... Oh wait I have a talk tomorrow.  In spanish.

SUNDAY

Well... I gave my first talk in Spanish.  The subject.... What language does the Spirit speak?  

In a nutshell, I think I spoke the best spanish I have spoken while on my mission, as well as had moments in English to teach ideas.  The idea, exactly? -  It doesn't matter what language you are speaking, if it's spoken with the spirit, you somehow understand.  And... During those moments in English.... Well......  I can only hope that the congregation felt it.

Later that Day?

9:00 -CRASH GOODNIGHT WORLD.

MONDAY

Well, here we are!  


Overall... This was a wonderful week.  Super unexpected, but... Incredible.  I am no longer sick (for the record) and I have never been so grateful for a P-Day.  I love you all.  I am grateful for you all.  Teguc is awesome, the work is awesome, I am FREAKING tired, but I feel GREAT.  If any of you ever need anything.... Send me an email.  I read all of them, even if my time is limited, and if it is urgent... I will find a way to respond.  ALSO.... ALWAYS SEND PICTURES!!! JUST OVER COMPUTER! I LOVE them.  But... Anyway.... I love you guys.  Have a good one. That's the news from a gringo in Honduras.

Elder Kristian Huff

P.S. Apparently my dad kicks butt on the dance floor. Just so you all know.

Song of the week - dedicated to my Dad - Don't Stop Believing - Journey

PICTURES!!!




Monday, November 17, 2014

Another Awkward Moment

Well hi!

So.. I just wanna dive right into this one. Cuz this week was SUPER awesome and SUPER awkward.  So.. Shoutouts, Steph, Jessi, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Blythe (THANK YOU FOR PICTURES TELL EVERYONE I LOVE THEM SOOOO MUCH.), Emma-Lee, Alisse, Mexi, JOY, And..... I think that's all.... But yeah.  Thank you all, as always.... I cannot put into words my gratitude every time I see an email from each of you. You are all such blessings in my life and BAHHHH thank you.

Okay.  Story time.

Francely Denia Peralta and Elder Huff
First, BAPTISM!  Francely Denia Peralta (11) and I baptized her (I LOVE THAT FEELING GUYS.).  Pretty awesome. We have a few more lined up for this month... SO PRAY FOR SUCCESS. But anyway, she is freaking awesome and I love my job.

Next, a little bit of what Honduras is like. I feel like I haven't given a lot of specifics.... So... Here's a little of the day to day stuff.

1. Honduras is a different world. Completely. Like.... One Elder describes this place as Africa but a little cooler (unless you're in the south, in which case you are currently dying of heat stroke. DEFINTELY look forward to that area.)  This place is seriously third world, and I am not even living in the poorest parts.  The general forecast for Honduras goes as follows:

Holy freaking cold at night. Or maybe holy hot too.
Holy freaking hot during the day.
Randomly rains for like... 30 minutes to an hour. Spontaneously. No real warning.  And it's vicious. 
Then holy freaking hot 5 mintues later.

Then, you can look at my area and the colonies included. We live in a central Colonia Vista Hermosa.  The areas (mine is Laconse) are divided up by these said colonies.  My area ranges from Piedra Ancha (which is literally hiking a mountain to reach. We go at least twice a day, because why not.) to Los Robles (which is like traveling through a jungle and THEN hiking a mountain.  We maintain that colonia at least once a week because WHY DOES THAT COLONIA EXIST.) to Laconse (where our chapel is located. Yeah, we have a chapel. And it's actually pretty nice too!) to about 7 others. We proselyte all of them during the week, and we currently have at least 2 in every given area.  Not all progress, granted... But we teach still. And, this place is kind of a jungle. In some places. Well, a lot of places.  
That's the general layout of my area, but now on to the GOOD stuff.

2. Food.  We eat beans eggs and tortillas.  That IS our diet. And we eat these little pieces of heaven called Baleadas regularly too, and those are like... Burritos, but better.  Super burritos.  Also, burrito literaly translates to little donkey.  We buy at a supermarket once a week on P-Day, and the rest of the week, you can buy little snacks and bags of water (which aren't so interesting anymore) and other drinks and really just about everything you need at these places called Pulperias.  
Which, side note... All houses are squares or rectangles, rarely more than 1 level, and they have bars for all entrances.  Windows, bars.  Outer doors, SCARY looking bars.  Inner doors, huge thick rectangles of pure metal and muscle. (Yes, there are two sets of doors to get into the houses. There are some pretty sketchy people here.)  And, as a side note, there are no door handles. You CANNOT enter a house without a key.  Only locks.  Interesting, huh?  
Reason I bring that up, is cuz you buy everything through these little doors in said scary metal barred doors.  And, you learn how to pronounce all trademarks in Spanish accents... Or they LITERALLY do not understand you. 
'Hola, solamente quiero un Mountain Dew.'  
'.... Que?'
'.... Sigh... Quiero un mohn tehhhn jyew.'
'OHHHH Okay! Bueno!'

Like.... Really? Really?

Other than that.... Most stuff just tastes different. Like Mountain Dews, and Doritos (which are spicy and FREAKING AMAZING) and yeah.... Coke and gatorade taste the same... And... Yeah. Also, you only drink water out of bags.  Seriously was weird to get accustomed to.

3. People.  People here fall into three categories.... 

1 People you don't talk to.
2 People you try to talk to. 
3 Members.

1 People you don't talk to include the people who lack 2 or more limbs sitting on the side of the street begging for money, people who are clearly drunk, people coming out of another church, people who are smoking something that isn't a cigarette, people who see you and start toward you with clear purpose of asking for your money, or any combination of the above.  That's the general.  Also, groups of young kids are surprisingly frustrating.  There are areas where literally you will hear 'Ey Mormones, quieren cafe?' about 66 times in 15 minutes. I'm not kidding. That's like ALL people know about us. The coffee thing. Or they ask how many wives we have.  The usual.

2 People you try to talk to include everybody else.  Usually they don't wanna talk to you.  This introduces awkward moments... Like this week.
We have had doors slammed in our faces. Many times.  We have had people straight up say 'I hate mormons. Go away.' and even cuss outs where people bring out bats (Nothing ever happens though... Thank heaven.).  And... Then there was Friday....
On Wednesday I decided to ask a woman at a pulperia to hear our message. She was SUNNY as could be. 'Oh defintely! I am free EVERY DAY ALL DAY! How about Friday at 10:30? Okay! Thanks Mormons!'  
.... DREAM COME TRUE.
.... Until Friday came.  Her house doesn't exist.... Typical, no surprise, honestly.  Happens a lot.  UNTIL, we saw her at the SAME PULPERIA AGAIN!  I didn't want to be all awkward... I just wanted to ask her if she would rather not meet with us.  No big deal if no, right?
.... Oh if ONLY she had said no.
I go up.... She is facing away from me, leaning on a counter.  I ask, Hermana Lisek?  .... No response.  
.... a bit louder, Hermana Lisek? ... No response. 
Hermana Banegas?  As clear as I can be, Hermana BANEGAS? People are now looking at me, choking back laughter, including my wonderfully helpful companion.  The HERMANA is choking back laughter without ever looking at me.  I TAP HER ON THE SHOULDER FOUR TIMES. HERMANA BANEGAS.  ..... AND NOTHING.  
SHE SERIOUSLY PRETENDED TO NOT HEAR ME.  
PEOPLE WERE LIKE, HEY, THIS GRINGO IS TALKING TO YOU.  AND SHE PRETENDED TO HEAR NO ONE.  

...like.... What?  Who DOES that?  Hondurans do that.  Roldan, after having walked away awkwardly with no real resolution, says to me... 'okay.  I have seem some investigators that don't wanna hear it.  But that's tops the bill of all awkward.'  

Now, I don't know if the story seemed awkward to you all reading... But guys... Imagine living this moment.  Just... Try.  Oh, Honduras.... Other moments include using words that mean things they don't in English (thus calling a random dude marvelous and beautiful and my gift from heaven whilst trying to make fun of a gooey lovey dovey couple, amongst others.), getting asked if we believe Joseph Smith is Jesus and why Mormon doesn't appear in the Bible and if he doesn't, he never existed cuz no one existed outside of Jerusalem in that time and that Jehovah is DEFINTELY God the Father and Jesus is the Son and the Holy Ghost is a bird that only existed with Noah to tell him about the flood ending.  ....Um......

3 Members. Well... That's about it. They are just there. They wave to you and smile at you and invite you to come over once in a while. And.... Yep.

4.  General living.  

We live a pretty normal life other than that, comparatively.  We wash our clothes in our pila or use a laundry machine of our bishop if the situation permits here and there.  We eat cereal with milk that comes in boxes and doesn't need to be refrigerated and tastes like... not milk, at first. Not bad, just different.  We have fans which we use speratically during the night depending on the Antartica to Mordor scale that regularly makes up our nights.  We walk a freaking lot.  We work out and I actually think I am in better shape now than when I left.... And I DEFINITELY have built muscle. Even though I don't think anyone notices cuz my companion is the Guatemalan Hulk.  
We teach a lot. I sing when occasion permits and dance in the little things.... I tell stories and show pictures of shows I've done and friends I have and we have fun. All in Spanish, of course.  Which is kind of cool.... I totally got my first super compliment this week.  Friend of another pair of missionaries was talking to us and he stops and goes, 'hey you, gringo.  Your spanish is pretty good, bro. How long you got in your mission?'  'Um, a little more than three months.'  'Wait WHAT.'  ..... YES.  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.  That was an amazing moment, but seriously though, my spanish probably isn't that great.  It doesn't FEEL that way at least, but all in all... Learning a new language is a TRIP.  I dream in Spanish, I translate songs into Spanish, and I usually fall into a spanish accent whilst talking in English.  


Well... I just wanted to lay out the ground work of the mish!  I love it here. I love the work.  I am living in Heaven.... Just, Heaven in Spanish.  I probably sounded a bit sarcastic in this one.... That is ONLY for the sake of the funny stories.  I rarely get frustrated or angry.  I just laugh a lot at some of the stuff that happens here!

But anyway.... I love you guys.  Be safe.  I miss you, AND PRAY ALWAYS. 

Cheque!

Elder Huff

Song of the week: Where No One Goes by Jonsi from How to Train Your Dragon 2