Monday, July 25, 2016

The Best Days of my Life - Part 7 of 8 (La Honduras)

Well guys...

Here we go.  This week was pretty amazing, and I'll be tying it in to my last area's blog.  Enjoy.  I know I did.

La Honduras - Guaymuras

My last days in La Reforma went by way too fast - but I was anxious to see where I was going to finish my mission.  Well, you are all aware that I stayed in the city, and went to an area called La Honduras with one of my closest friends in the mission, Elder Hirschi. 

The area is amazing.  It comprises an area called Residencial Honduras, as well as a section of two of the most dangerous areas in the Tegucigalpa mission, namely Los Pinos and Villanueva.  BUT - we have not had any problems.  I've worked in both of those areas well after dark, and nothing has ever happened to us.  In fact, not ONLY has nothing bad happened to us, but many GOOD things have happened to us.  We have made incredible friendships with almost all of the member families in the area in a very short amount of time, and we have seen many miracles.  

The members are all strong in their testimonies and willing to work.  We've been working hard together - and we've seen many fruits.  

And most of those fruits were seen this week. 

What I think I need to say first is what learned in this area.  I've spent my whole mission trying to make miracles happen.  Quite literally, that has been my goal.   So... Oddly enough, I've managed to pass my whole mission seeming to forget one detail.  

It's not MY work.  Nor was it ever.

I've worked and sweat and cried and just about killed myself trying to find God's chosen - but the truth is, when they're chosen, they'll find you.  You just have to be in the right place at the right time.  

Speaking of which....

This week just happened to be the week of my last interview with the President.  It was amazing, and also just happened to be the week of 5 baptisms that we had planned in our area.  And it ALSO just so happened to be the week of the baptism of 3 of my investigators from La Reforma.  And so.... In a nutshell.... 

I was able to attend all of those baptisms.  This week, because God wanted it and because I was in the right place at the right time, I was able to attend the baptism of 8 of my investigators.  And not only that.... President and Hermana Bowler were present in the baptisms of the family Cruz. 

So... To say the least, this week was beautiful.  Beyond words, this week was beautiful.

And what is most odd, and what is most heartbreaking and yet the most amazing part of all of this week, is that I feel as if I've done NOTHING.  It ALL just came together on its own.  Obviously I had to work, but I've done nothing different.  It was just.... Right.  HOW can I come to understand that?  HOW can it be that after MONTHS of working without any visible success, it all just comes together in the last weeks of my mission?

Well.... Only the Lord knows.  I think I have an idea too - but I couldn't begin to describe it all.  Overall.... We can just say that I really did learn.  It was never my work.  And.... I felt, even if it was for a second, a portion of the Lord's love for us as I watched a family walk into the waters of baptism after YEARS of fighting.... And, for a split second, I felt as if I was watching them as if they were children.  MY children.  

I don't know if that's weird.... But I know that the love I felt for God and for those people was stronger than it has ever been before in that moment.  

What else can I say?  I suppose that I have one more week in Honduras - I don't think all of the Lord's surprises are done yet.  So... I guess we'll just see what happens.  I love you all, and I want to thank all of you for your support in this journey.  One more week.  One week more.... Talk to you all soon.

Elder Kristian Huff

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Best Days of my Life - Part 6 of 8 (La Reforma)

Hey everybody!!!

First of, for question of time, I don't know if I'll be able to respond to all of the messages you sent me this week - know that I DO love you a TON, and if I didn't respond, it's just because we were a little short on time this week, and next week you can expect a response!  

Next, Elder Hirschi and I are working harder than ever, and we're seeing the blessings.  Hopefully I'll have some good stories to tell in the weeks to come, but until then, just keep praying for us, and above all for our investigators, especially these next couple of weeks.  You all know.... I'm just about out.  So... The area needs that last little push!!!  

But, without further adieu.... 

La Reforma - Tegucigalpa

When I got that last call on the island letting me know that I would be leaving, I found out that I was fulfilling my trainer's prophecy and returning to the city after having disappeared into the south several months.  I was going to be in the center of the action of the city - Zone Tegucigalpa, in an area called La Reforma.  It is one of the older areas of the mission, and I was welcomed in by Elder Rodriguez, who would later come to be one of the best companions I had during the mission.  My time in this area flew  - and I think I can describe all of my best stories there in three words:


...... Haha just kidding!  

......  More or less!

The truth is, those are probably the words that describe my time there.  My companions were amazing, and the members are all AMAZING, but... Dang.  The work there was, pretty tough.  That's where I had to learn patience.... Because we worked our butts off, but the fruits all came very slowly - many of the which still haven't come to an end.  But we're getting there, even now!  And the truth is, it was in La Reforma that I learned how trust in God's timing - which is sometimes a hard lesson learned.  But seriously!  It was pretty hard!  Once again, these will be stories for after the mission, because I just cannot write them all, but some of them you may have already heard a little about in past letters.  Here is the list to ask me about after the mission:

-Family Cruz
-Family Cerrato
-Family Robleto
-Family Calix
-Family Castillo
-Family Gonzales
-Family Coello
-Miriam and Family Ortiz

NOW.... I hope you all know, these are all people that I ADORE.  I LOVE them deeply.  It will just blow your mind how many obstacles they've all had to face.  They are all wonderful people, and each story holds thousands of lessons to learn.  I promise you'll enjoy them.  They are those kinds of lessons that make you realize what is most important - and it's amazing to see how all the lessons came down to one solid truth.  

And we really already know what it is.

I love you guys... Once again, I'm sorry if the messages are cryptic or too vague - but it's impossiable to write about these people just through a little blog.  But, if you really want to know - I'll tell you everything within the next couple of weeks.  I love you all, and I'll talk to you all next week, as we make our way to the last area of my mission.  

Elder Kristian Huff

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Best Days of my Life - Part 5 of 8 (Amapala)

Hey guys!

Wow.... Time is going fast.  WAY fast.  I don't have too much to report from the area.... 

However, ONE great note of announcement is that one of my investigators from the Reforma got baptized on Saturday!  Cinthia was a tough investigator - and she will be one tough member!  Super proud that she got in the water!  

BUT.... without further delay, let's talk about the Island.

Amapala - San Lorenzo

The truth is... I left San Marcos very sad.  We had worked hard and we had come close to huge success - but, everyone has their agency.  And.... My time in San Marcos came to an end.  My last week and a half in San Marcos, I was sick as a dog.  I was, what I thought, close to the brink of death (I'll tell you the story when I get home if you'd like!), and when I got the call that I had changes, I cried.  I didn't want to leave.  BUT.... I got my bags ready, got on the famous Blanquita bus, and made my way to Cholu.  The next morning, we got on the bus to Teguc at like, 3 in the morning, and I was dying the whole way.  I thought I wasn't going to handle it - the emotional crap, the physical crap, I felt AWFUL.  

Then.... I found out where I was going to be heading.  

When I began my mission, like, literally at my first change meeting, I remember when the WHOLE room freaked out as two ex AP's opened an area that had been shut for years.  I asked my trainer during that meeting why everyone was so excited - and he mentioned that it was a 'legendary area'... One of those areas that was crazy interesting and, in this case - was an island that was only reached over water.

And, as I came to the change meeting from leaving San Marcos, I saw the name of that island show up on the screen, followed by my name and picture....

I was sent to Amapala.

The story of my first time coming to Amapala was nothing short of an adventure either.  We got on the bus, and made our way once again to the south.  I was still sick - but with a lot of prayer, I kept myself together.  Or... the Lord kept me together.  We got off in San Lorenzo by the exit to 'Coyolito', and then got on other bus that took about an hour and a half to arrive.  But DURING this bus ride began one of the biggest rain storms I had seen in my mission.  It was POURING.   And, as we neared Coyolito, I could smell the ocean and could hear the waves - but there was no light.  We were in total darkness, save a few little streetlamps that neared the shore.  

We got off the bus, and as I looked toward the ocean, I strained to make out the shape of the island... And then, in that moment, hit a huge bolt of lightning, and I could clearly see the island of the Tiger, as it is rightly called, for a split second.  And thus, as we got into the little boat onto the roaring waves, every blast of lightning lit up the island that would come to be home.  Yeah - I did truly think we were going to overturn.  BUT - the Amapalan people know what they're doing.  And.... We got to the shore of Playa Burro, into the little Mototaxi towards Centro, and entered into the Chapel of Amapala - which also just happens to be our home.  

Well, overall, I can't give a fair description of anyone on that island.  I will only give the names of the people, and after the mission, if you ask, I will tell you the stories of each of them - I promise, each one is great.

-Family Silva
-Family Santos
-Family Lopez
-Family Guerrero Mejia
-Suyapa and Vanessa
-Lolita and Nicol
-Family Ramirez
-Moises and Maria
-The Pulps
-The Kids
-The Garrobos

And.... those are the best stories and my dearest friends on that island.  Anyway.... It sucks trying to write about these places.  It's like trying to write about what home is like.... What do you say?.... Well.... I loved those people.  I love all these people.  I love MY people!  But anyway.... My time in Amapala also came to an end... And, when it did, I felt much more ready than before.  And, after having disappeared off the face of the earth for several months.... I was sent into the middle of the mission.  Center of the world, middle of the city.... But, that story is yet to be told.  I love you all, and I'll be continuing next week!  Have a good one!

Elder Kristian Huff  

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Best Days of my Life - Part 4 of 8 (San Marcos de Colon)

Hey Everybody!

Well... Updates with the area, my poor companion was still pretty sick for the week, so the work was a little halted.  But he was a trooper, and we managed to do a lot of divisions with members so that he could get that rest he needed - we think that the worst has past!  BUT PRAY FOR HIM JUST IN CASE!


We baptized a young man named Luis this week.  He is a great kid, and he has a lot of future ahead of him.  With Elder Hirschi and I, we managed to get everything taught and put together, even though Elder Hirschi was sick.  But we did it - and we thank all of you for your prayers.  

Y.... A TODOS MIS QUERIDOS HONDUREÑOS.  Si estan leyendo mi blog, ESCRIBANME!!!  Quiero saber como estan y poder decirles cuanto que les amo!!!  Entonces, HAGANLO.  Gracias por su apoyo, y espero que me escriban!!!  Y hagan que este mensaje llegue a todas las personas que quisieran estar en contacto conmigo.  :)  Tambien, pronto voy a poner mi correo normal en uno de mis mensajes semanales, asi que... Vamos a poder seguir en contacto.  LES AMO!

 San Marcos de Colon - Ciudad Nueva

I came very late at night to Limon de la Cerca - or the ZL's area - and I came to find my awesome companion, Elder Espinoza, waiting for me in the ZL's house.  We sat down and talked and about the area and our hopes and plans and our lives and from the beginning we came to be great friends, even though I was a little high strung at first.  He was always VERY patient with me, and we came to be best friends.  To this day, it's very possible that he was the companion that I grew closest to.

After the district meeting on Thursday, we got on the big bus and made the 2 hour long journey, that I came to know SO well, for the first time.  When we came, it was pouring rain, and it was actually really cold.  Totally not normal for the south.  We went and made our way to our little apartment, always having to pass by a VERY inappropraite billboard getting off the bus, and we prepared to go out and tear San Marcos up.  The honest truth.... I knew WAY too many people in San Marcos to be able to talk about all of them (I actually realize that THAT statement applies to just about every one of my areas...).  So.... I will talk about San Marcos by the members.  Because in the end - that was probably the most memorable part of San Marcos.  My beloved Sanmarqueños.  

1.   Familia Calderon

What can I say about that family?  Literally one of the most dysfunctional but most WONDERFUL and SELFLESS families you will ever know.  They are one of those families that will just.... Well, never stop being your family.  They came to be my family, completely.  I'm their little daughter's Godfather (possibly one of a couple - if that doesn't hint at how much they get to you), and I literally considered their house MY house when I was there.  We talked together practically daily, we cried together, we laughed together, we yelled and beat things and sold things and made things together, and we MADE San Marcos together.  There just aren't words.  If you want to understand - ask me after the mission.

2.  Familia de Reina

They did SO much to help us.  Especially the two daughters, whom I ADORE.  They always gave us lunch, and they always went with us to lessons when we asked.  That one time when we had an attendance of 4 people?  Yeah.... That included Elder Espinoza and I, and the two Canaca girls.  They supported all of the activities in the church, when NO one else did, and they truly had to fight a lot of challenges.  But.... We came to rely on each other a lot.  Estafani and Wendy, you are awesome.

3.  Alba and Annie

I didn't believe in angels until I met these two women.  A mother and her daughter, they have faced more trials and have stayed more firm than anyone else on this earth.  I don't think I can say very much, because words simply won't say it right.  There are some people on this earth who came to guide the rest of us - to teach us what it really means to love and serve and be happy - these two women prove it.  I'll never be able to express my love enough for them.

4.  Carlos, Judith and Genesis

The answer to my 6 million prayers in San Marcos.  They were the family God prepared to make a change in that little city.  We had to work harder with them than with anyone I've had to work with - and I would say that my relationship with them isn't anything that began in Honduras.  They are.... undescribable.  We passed so many experiences with them - we had to fight SO many fight for them - and we came to know each other better than most people do during this life.  I love them.  There is little more I can say - I also often feel that my work with them hasn't just finished yet.

5.  Fernando, Carlos, Osman and Angel

Ohhh these guys.  They struggled a little bit with the church attendance thing.... But they helped us so much with visits.  They have a lot of potential.... They are all very special people.  They all have SO many freaking mandados to do ALWAYS.... Someday they'll catch a break.  And when they do, they'll do great things for that area.

6.  Victor and Mariela

This family.... Freak.  I HATE trying to EXPLAIN how special these people are for me.  Mariela was baptized a few months after I left - this was the family who celebrated my birthday with me - and they are one of the most loving and generous families in Honduras.  their two little chldren are wonderful, Mariela's sister Victoria is awesome, freak, even her MOM is the bomb.  Gah.  They'll be hearing from me for years to come.

7.  Carlos Portillo

I still owe him tacos.  This guy.... Freak.  Just deserves better.  Once again, if you wanna know the story.... I'll tell you after the mission.  Or a personal email.  

Well.... I would like to write about others as well, but I don't have enough time to write it.  And... Get this.  That is EXACTLY how it was when I left San Marcos.  I was sick as a dog, and I got the call that I had changes, and I was SO sick that I couldn't say goodbye to many people.  It was awful.  And, as I made my way again to the city, I would have never guessed what was waiting for me.  BUT.... What I DID know, is that a promise was made that day to those people of San Marcos - That I would be back.  And we'll see what the Lord has in store - just like I waited for my second area in the South.

Have a great week guys.  I love you all.

Elder Kristian Huff