Monday, October 13, 2014

Wet Days on the Road and in the Water of Baptism

Hello, my dearest friends and family.  I just want to begin by reminding you all how much I love you. Nanny, Kailey (Ohhh that poem.), Lizzie, Blythe, Lara, (Caroline and Gracie - I love you), Terry, Jessi, Emily, Steph, Jeri, Mom and Dad and Jakob, I LOVE YOU ALL.  I really don't know how we don't say it all the time to EVERYONE. So.... Now that I have reminded you all, here is this week.

This week was a little bit different.  Not different in a bad way, but... a week of learning. This week I experienced some of the best moments I have ever experienced as well as some of the most eye opening experiences of my life.
To begin, OH MY GOSH IT HAS RAINED EVERY DAY.  WHICH IS AWESOME BUT ALSO KIND OF HARD WHEN THERE ARE ONLY DIRT ROADS.  Here are the rules of walking through Honduras as it rains.

1. If you can see footprints or tire marks, AVOID.
2. If it is a puddle, judge how deep it is first, (ohhh how good I have gotten at this. Trial and Error), and then if you think it won't swallow your leg, PUDDLES ARE SAFE AND ACTUALLY CLEANs OFF YOUR SHOES.
4. If it looks damp-ish, it is almost always safe.
5. If it is like, a stream, make sure your footing is stable.
7. The bottom of your pants will get dirty. Just stop worrying.
8. Also so will your hands.
9. And your face.
10. And really anywhere that isn't completely soaked will be dirty.  
11. And finally, avoid the edges of roofs.  The rains come out of nowhere WAY fast and if you are at that edge... You will be completely soaked within milliseconds. 
12. Actually, the edges of roofs are your friends if you are dirty. Free shower.

So.... I LOVE THE RAIN.  It is seriously like living in a dream. I can't BELIEVE how much it rains.  I like... CANNOT DESCRIBE HOW MUCH I LOVE IT.  The rules are simply for remaining presentable as a missionary in said rains. :)

Next part, I can't really go into a ton of description, but we have this baby in our ward that I am pretty sure is everyone's baby Cuz someone else is taking care of it every few minutes.  I honestly do not know who the actual parents are.  Just think about that.  Cuz I think it's freaking awesome. But a little worrying too. Oh, Honduras.

Also, my bishop feeds me really weird things. And then laughs when I am hesitant when the food looks kind of scary - But it is usually pretty good! And his spanish is super loose sounding, so I can't always understand him.  So.... he just laughs and howls at me like a dog.  Yes.... My bishop and I actually communicate (strangely well also...) through dog sounds.  Oh, Spanish.

Next, break down of the Pentateuch (which I just finished):
You need to read Genesis. Just.... To understand like everything a million times more.

Exodus... Moses is freaking AWESOME and the Children of Israel are kind of stupid.
Leviticus. Oh, Leviticus. I read you and I only felt weird and tired cuz you repeat yourself a lot and get really weirdly specific about rituals.  Mostly just rituals. Actually, Just Rituals. 
Numbers is the close of the wanderings of the Children of Israel and a lot of numbers. Go figure.
Deuteronomy was actually pretty interesting, as it is Moses talking to the Children of Israel in like... Sermon/History-Story-Telling format.  Also I cried when Moses left. AND HE NEVER EVEN GOT TO GO INTO THE PROMISED LAND. GOSH DANGIT CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WHY DON'T YOU LEARN.
So... Yeah. There you go. :)

And... Now to the things that were a little bit harder.  The learning moments.

First, we were driving with our bishop to visit this family that is a bit menos activo... So, on the drive (I love cars.) we come to this HUGE freaking hill. I get all excited cuz I was thinking to myself (HA any other day I'd have to walk that. NOT TODAY CUZ WE GOT A CAR).
As I thought this.. Our bishop's car gave out and rolled backwards all the way back down the slightly-less-steep hill that we had been traveling in car for about 5 minutes.  
We had to walk. .....why was I even surprised?
And when my comp and I arrived at the house (the bishop had to stay behind and wait for someone to help him fix his car) we stopped in the middle of the clearing. And.... I didn't see any house. Just a lot of trees on one side and nothing on the other.
We walked around the small group of trees to find this wooden... house?, literally held together by cardboard boxes and some wood around the outside.  And inside this tiny room, lived a family of five. This was their house. 
I have seen some small houses while I have been here, but nothing this lowly and humble.  
And that isn't even the sad part.
We go in to find the father in a serious sweat on the bed, the whole family just, sitting around doing mundane chores, like pulling corn kernals and sweeping the tiny room. None of the family had shoes, and the father, we found, had been out of work for about a week, because of a Dog attack. 
He laid on the bed half conscious, when he said in a weak voice 'hey, it's the missionaries'.  He reached out his hand, to my horror, to see a huge gash through his whole hand and bandages (which were probably the remains of an old shirt) over several fingers.  He obviously had no medication, and he was in severe pain. While there, we sang him a few of his favorite hymns and then gave him a blessing (I have learned to never leave my apartment without my oil.).  For the first time, I anointed the oil in spanish with no book and no help from the companion (I have given three blessings this far).  After, we left. And I have never been more humbled and heartbroken.
I was told one that as a missionary, you can only help people in two ways.

1. Give the people a million dollars.
2. Bring the people the gospel and your love.
Well... Right now, I only have one of these to give.

And the other humbling moment was a moment of the most happiness I have ever felt.  A kind of unreal, unearthly happiness.

I had the priviledge this week to baptize my first convert - Marcia Ardon.

The moment was surreal, the words came out of my mouth in complete clarity and I don't remember thinking about them. I just said them.  I immersed her in the water, and... coming out again, I just remember thinking that this 11 year old girl has just made the covenant of salvation. And... I was able to take part in that beautiful moment.  Uncle Terry, I want to thank you for baptizing me. I haven't remembered anything about my baptism until I walked out the font.  Then I remembered it all - And what joy. What utter, pure joy is it, when someone allows the spirit to touch their heart and become converted to the restored gospel. And the opportunity to baptize Marcia was one I will never forget. I thank her for letting me, and I thank God for the opportunity to take part in this incredible work.

I love you all, and may the Lord bless you all. When things are hard, remember that that is how it is SUPPOSED TO BE. Salvation Is Not Cheap.  And, also... always remember, as contained in the Gospel of Luke concerning the atonement of our Saviour:

'...and Christ, being in an agony, prayed more earnestly...'
May we all pray more earnestly as we try to become more like our Saviour and Redeemer.

With Love,
Elder Kristian Huff

Song of the Week - A Call I Hear by Peter Breinholt (the music starts after about 13 seconds)

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