Travis' Mission

Travis' Mission

Monday, January 23, 2012

Power of the Priesthood

This week was another amazing week.  Some many wonderful things happen every week, and i would be impossible to try to explain everything.  But overall being a missionary is so much fun, and i am trying to love and enjoy every moment.  Every day i teach and serve the people here in Honduras the more and more i love them.  I am just full of them towards this amazing people, culture, and country.  Because i love them so much i try to do everything that i can to share the gospel and my testimony with as many people as possible so that they can feel the wonderful blessings of the gospel.  This gospel is so amazing and his has changed my life forever, and i want to to everything i can to change the lives of others through Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice. 
Monday night my back was really hurting and i was also very sick.  During the night i couldn't sleep because of my back and i got up 4 times to throw up all the liquids in my body, and then when i thought there was no more liquids in me i destroyed the toilet twice.  Long story short it wasn't pretty, my body was in a lot of pain, and i felt like i had 2 squirrels boxing in my stomach.  We had district meeting at the stake center, and the rapidito ride there was not good because they go so fast and ignore all the holes in the dirt roads.  During the bus ride i felt like i had to hold both ends with my hands so that i didn't explode.  Anyways, my body wasn't very nice to me, and i asked for a blessing from my companion and my Zone Leader.  The blessing helped my back and stomach feel much better.  The mission nurse made me stay home during the day because i also had a fever of 101.  After the blessing and after sleeping the rest of the day i felt so much better and i was able to work with full force the next day.  The power of faith and the priesthood is so amazing.  I am so grateful for the priesthood and also for the opportunity i have to use and hold the priesthood.  This week i was able to use my priesthood many times in giving blessings to members and investigators.  One of our investigators was so sick on Saturday night that she couldn't stand.  But with the power of the priesthood and her faith in Jesus Christ she was able to feel much better and she went to church.  her name is Margarita, and she is now preparing to get baptized this coming Saturday.  
There are many different Churches here in Honduras, and some of them have many different ways to worship God.  We contacted into a guy that let us right in because he loves the word of God.  But then he just went on and on about the Bible and started quoting it like crazy.  We tried to talk to him about the importance of authority and the restoration, but he really didn't let us talk.  To end the lesson we offered to close with a pray.  he insisted that we pray on our knees, which was fine, but when i was praying they had their arms above their heads.  And then when i was praying they started Screaming and yelling something about Jesus.  It was a very weird experience, and we pretty much planted the seed and got out of there.  I am so grateful that i belong to the true Church of Jesus Christ that has been restored.  There are many other crazy moments like that that happen every day, and the only i can do is laugh it off.  There are many little moments on the mission that are just so amazing, and i try to enjoy every second and make every moment count.  
I found out that i am going to have changes this Wednesday and that my comp is going to be training.  I love my area and the people in it so much, and it is going to be really hard to say goodbye.  I have grown very close to many of the members, converts, and the people that i have taught.  I am also excited to go to a new part of Honduras and go to a new area.  I have attached pictures of me and some of the families that i have helped teach or member families that have really impacted me.  There should be more pictures to come.  I will be going to the change meeting on Wednesday and from there i will find out where i am going and who my new comp is.  I will update you about the changes next week. 
"Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others if a more serious nature.  There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all.  Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required."  --  President Thomas S. Monson
Here is a quote that i really like that has helped me a lot, and i hope that it can help you too.  Life is very difficult, and there are many trials and difficulties that we face every day.  The most important thing that we can do is to have patience with these trials and learn from them.  I have had many opportunities to increase my patience on my mission.  It is never easy during the trial when you need to excersize the patience, but it is so worth it in the end.  I challenge you to slow down, take one step at a time, and be patient with your trials.  The only way you can do this is if you pray, pray, pray.  I know that if you put your faith in the Lord and pray he will help you with your trials and give you the patience you need to overcome them.
Overall, i am doing fantastic, and i love everything about the mission.  I am trying to enjoy every moment and soak in everything.  I am doing my best to improve daily so that i can be the best missionary that i can. 
Elder Travis Jay Ward

Monday, January 16, 2012

Basketball with Garifunas

This week was another fantastic week.  I really am so grateful for the opportunity to be here on my mission.  I feel like i am learning and growing every day.  I love spending all of my efforts in the service of others.  So many wonderful things happen each day, and there would be no way to be able to explain everything.  Just know that i am trying to enjoy every single moment and making every moment count.  I have so much love for the people here, and i am doing everything that i can to bring the light of Christ into their lives so that their lives can be changed forever.  It is amazing to see how much this wonderful gospel can change the lives of others, and i am so grateful for the opportunity to be a servant of God and bring His children closer to Him. 
Me and my companion have been working really hard this week to talk to as many people as we can.  By talking to everyone we can and also by following the spirit, we have been able to find many knew people and families to teach.  we are really focusing on finding and teaching families because the gospel truly blesses families a lot, and through this gospel and Jesus Christ families can live together forever.  Also the motto for our mission is "Bautizar y Retener Familias" (baptize and retain families).  But we have found some really cool families that i am really excited to teach them.  One family we found yesterday is like a golden family, and they are really ready to hear to gospel of Jesus Christ.  Another Family named Hector, Mixa, and Hector Jr, who we have been teaching for 2 weeks is really cool and asked many questions.  We had a wonderful spiritual experience while we taught and testified about Joseph Smith and the Restoration.  I really love this family so much, and i was really hoping that they could get baptized.  Just yesterday we went over their and the dad told us that he looked up the word "Mormon" on internet (which isnt good because Satan has a lot of control over the Internet).  He said that he found some really bad stuff about the church and wants nothing to do with us and the church.  We did everything we could to change his mind by testifying with power, but he was very closed and doesnt ever want to see us again.  I have so much love for them and i had great hopes for this family.  When he told us that my heart was crushed, and i cried because of my overwhelming love i have for them.  I love the people here so much, and i want so bad for all of them to feel the wonderful blessings of this gospel.  But some people are more ready than others, and we just have to plant the seed and hope for the best.  All i can do is do my best and share my testimony with everyone, and they have their agency to chose to follow the spirit.  All i can do is love them with all of my heart and let the spirit and Jesus Christ do the rest.  I am so grateful i can love and serve the people here, and i have learned so much from them. 
Like i have said before, there are many black people here (whom i love very much, especially because they have soul power, speak Spanish, and speak their own language).  These people are called Garifunas, and they are awesome.  The other day many appointments fell so we didnt have anything to do.  There is a Garifuna field were there were many people playing soccer and basketball.  I wanted to try something new and have fun, so we decided to go to the field and contact as many people as we could.  We were talking to a few black guys watching basketball, and i straight up challenged them to basketball and told them if we won that they have to go to church.  They got really excited because they think they are really good because they are black, and because they have never played white kids before.  So they got ready and they cleared everyone off of the court so we could play 2 on 2 half court.  everyone on the field stopped what they were doing and came to watch.  We were there only light people there (not even Latins were there, all black power).  So me and my comp in our white shirts, ties, pants, and dress shoes played 2 black tall men that play ball every day all day.  Long story short we played them and pretty much showed them how to play ball.  They were good, but we were fast and knew how to work together (maybe because we are always together and know each other very well).  After 2 games of showing them whats up, the crowd went crazy and were very surprised at how good we were.  But us white crackers in our church clothes beat them in basketball.  we then got the whole crowd together and told them who we were, told them about the restoration, and invited them all to church.  None of them came to church, but we were able to talk to a lot of people and have fun at the same time doing missionary work. 
Overall, i am doing amazing, i love being a missionary, there is no other place i would rather be, and i have never been happier in my life.  This work is so amazing, and i love it so much.  I love preaching the gospel and seeing how this gospel changes the lives of the people that i love so much.  Thanks for the prayers and support.  Here is a quote that i found this week that really helped me, and i hope it helps you too. 
"Do you want to be happy?  Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause.  Lend your efforts to helping people... Stand higher, lift those with feeble knees, hold up the arms of those that hang down.  Live the gospel of Christ."
-- President Gordon B. Hinckley
I Challenge you to do whatever you can each day to love the people around you and to serve them as much as you can.  When you serve others, you are really serving your Heavenly Father.  As you serve others you will find more joy in life, be happier, and you will notice the so many blessings the God gives you each and every day. 
Elder Travis Jay Ward

Monday, January 9, 2012

Learning to Dance in the Rain

This week has been a crazy week, but I love it so much.  This week i have had many opportunities to learn, grow, and become more patient.  Being a missionary is such a wonderful experience, and I love it so much.  Not only have i seen the gospel change the lives of the people around me, but this preaching this amazing gospel to the people in Honduras has really changed my life.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary and to bring the people that I love so much closer to Christ.  There are many wonderful and spiritual experiences that have really helped me learn and grow.  But what goes up most come down, and there is opposition in all things.  This week it rained 3 days straight, and when I say it rained i mean poured.  Even with my rain jacket and umbrella, I was soaked to the bone and I was actually cold for the first time in Honduras.  There was literally rivers in the streets because they were more than a feet deep and there were currents.  There came a certain point where we were just so wet that we just walked right through the rivers and lakes in the streets, and because it was the only way to get places.  Because of the rain, nobody wanted to come out and talk to us, and a lot of our appointments fell.  It is times like these where it is easy to give up or lose hope.  It is times like these where the rivers and waters or Satan come into our lives to try to discourage us.  It is times like these where the roads and streets are covered with water and it is easy to be lead astray from the straight and narrow path.  
Every single one of us have these times in our lives where we feel like everything is going against us.  As a missionary it can be very hard.  But it is times like these where we need to drop to our knees and pray to our Father in Heaven.  He always has his arms wide open, but he is always waiting for us to call on him.  I promise you that when you feel down that if you get on your knees and pray that you will be comforted and that your Heavenly Father with help you get through this storm in your life.  
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain."  
There will always be storms in our lives, but it is how we handle these storms that can really make the difference.  When all is said and done, it is about learning to dance in the rain.  We cant change what happens to us in life, but we can change how we act to the situation.  This week was really hard, but when i was trying to overcome my trials by putting my faith in the Lord and praying for strength.  Then i realized why i am here and what an amazing work i am a part of.  I then tried to be as positive as i could, even when the winds and the rains were all around me. 
"The present moment is too precious to waste on negative thoughts"  
Life is too amazing to waste time with negative thoughts.  It was then when i realized that I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here in Honduras to preach this wonderful gospel.  It was then when i learned how to dance in the rain.  When it was pouring rain and i was walking in the rivers in the streets, i danced in the rain.  I realized how blessed i am to be here, and it was amazing.  I was smiling and laughing the rest of the day. 
"Always be happy; always wear a smile; not because life is full of reasons to smile necessarily, but because your smile itself is a reason for many others to smile."
Every has storms in their lives.  But i promise that your will be so much happier when you learn to dance in the rain.  Put your faith in your savior, pray always, read your scriptures, serve others, and be positive.  Smile always and laugh often, and you will feel so much better.  Your happy and positive attitude will help you, but it will also help those around you. 
Overall, i am doing fantastic.  I love being on my mission, and i have never been happier in my life.  This week was hard, but i was able to learn and grown, and i was able to learn how to dance in the rain.  I challenge you to find the good things in life and enjoy every moment.  When the rains, winds and storms come in, pray first, and then learn to dance in the rain. 
Elder Travis Jay Ward

Monday, January 2, 2012

¡Feliz Nuevo Año!

This week was a fantastic week, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here in Honduras on my mission.  A lot of crazy things happen every day, and I wish I had enough time to share all of my crazy and funny experiences.  I enjoy teaching the people that I love with the best language in the world.  I also try to have as much fun as I possibly can while bringing people to Christ at the same time.  
In Honduras, especially in my area, there are black people called Garifunas.  They have the black soul power that i love, speak Spanish, and also speak their own language.  I have recently been trying to learn a few words in this language, mainly just the greetings such as hello, good morning, good afternoon, goodnight, and goodbye.  When ever i see a Garifuna I greet them in their own language.  They usually always reply back, and then do a double take because they are surprised that a white kid like me is talking to them in their own language.  They always laugh, I always laugh, and we just have a great time.  Through this i have been able to contact and find many new people and have been able to share the gospel with them.   
There was this crazy black guy that we contacted that knew a little bit of English, mainly just bad words, but he was really nice.  He was really interested in the gospel, and he had a lot of great questions.  By the end he introduced us to his 4 daughters and wants us to marry them and take them back to the states with us.  Needless to say we stopped the lesson, said a prayer to end it, and got out of there.  After we were gone my comp and I couldn't stop laughing about it the rest of the day.  I love preaching the gospel to everyone, but there are some really weird people out there.  
During one of the lessons, we were teaching a family about the Importance of the Book of Mormon.  The Moms sister was also in the lesson (we never taught her before), and she had heard many false things about the Book of Mormon.  During the lesson she started arguing with a member that came with us, she stood up and started yelling at us about how this book was of the devil and many other false things.  After things cooled down with her my comp and I asked her to hear us through while we taught and testified about the Book of Mormon.  The spirit was very strong, and during my testimony she got up and left into the other room.  While we were giving out a book to the parents and committing them to read it, that lady came back out, apologized, and asked if she could have and read a Book of Mormon.  I shared my favorite scripture, testified again, and gave her the Book of Mormon.  This lesson was one of the craziest but must spiritual lessons i have ever been in.  I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon, and it is so amazing to see how much it can change the hearts and lives of others.    
New Years was great, and it is so fun and great to celebrate the holidays in Honduras.  we ate lots and lots of food because everyone wants to feed us.  We were able to find a lot of people to teach because a lot of people and families are home together celebrating.  Te way people here celebrate New Years is blow up lots and lots of fireworks, firecrackers, bombs, and anything that makes a lot of noise.  I think my hearing might come back just in time for next Christmas and New Years.  The people also like to make life size human figures out of news paper and then dress it up with cloths, shoes, hat, and make it look all realistic.  And then what they do is hang the person on a wire or pole and either burn it or stuff it full of explosives.  Lets just say that i am glad that it wasn't a real person, because after it blows up there isn't anything left. 
Because it is a new year, i challenge you to do everything that you can every day to serve people.  Service has helped and changed my life so much, and i know that if you serve others that you will be blessed.  Here is a story that i really like that i hope you apply to your life:
"After the devastation of World War 2 the people in a small village in France were trying to rebuild their little community.  At last they began working on the Church that was built in the center of town.  The statue of Christ that has once stood majestic on its pedestal in front of the Church had been knocked down by the bombing and the hands broken off.  A town meeting was held to decide what should be done with the statue.  Should they get a new statue, make new hands, or leave it the way it was?  To this day if you go to that village you will see that statue exactly as it was after the war, with the following inscription, decided upon the townspeople and engraved on the base: ´JESUS CHRIST HAS NO OTHER HANDS BUT YOURS´. "
I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Honduras and to be an example of Jesus Christ.  I promise that as you seek every day to do service for others that you and those you serve will be blessed.  Just remember that when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God.
Overall, I am doing fantastic, and I am loving being on my mission.  I love it here so much, and i have never been happier in my life.  I am having fun preaching the gospel, and i am trying to enjoy every moment.  Thanks for the prayers and support.
Elder Travis Jay Ward

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Honduras

Christmas in Honduras is so amazing, and i loved it so much.  It is definately nothing like the states, but i had so much fun.  Being a missionary in such a wonderful time of year is great, and i have so many opportunities to bare my testimony of Christ. 
On Tuesday after our weekly district meeting our whole zone watched "Forever Strong", which has a really good messege.  Our Zone did a gift exchange, which was a lot of fun, and i definately wore my Santa hat that my Mom got me.  Christmas with missionaries is a lot of fun because we use everything that we can to make it like the Christmas at home.  We definately decorated a palm tree and put our Christmas presents under them, it was awesome. 
The whole week leading up to Christmas Elder Webb and I worked hard to talk to as many people as we could about Christ.  Christmas is such a great opportunity to teach and testify of Christ.  We used The Living Christ in a lot of our lessons and passed them out to as many people as we could.  I also have a lot of pictures of Christ that i tried to give to many people.  One lady we found and taught accused us of not believing in Christ, and when i heard her say that i immidiately got our my pictures of Christ and bore my Testimony of Christ.  In reality i wouldnt be the person i am if it wasnt for Christ and his atoneing sacrifice for me.  I am so grateful for everything that he has done a suffered for me.  I am also so grateful to represent Him and preach His gospel. 
Saturday the 24th was Navidad for the people here, and Honduras goes crazy about Christmas.  The way the people here celebrate Christmas is by blowing up stuff, firecrackers, fireworks, and anything that shots fire or makes a lot of noise.  All day Saturday my ears were ringing because.  Sometimes i felt like i was in the middle of World War 2.  Everytime something blow up i just smiled and lauged.  Another thing that the people love here for Christmas is making lots and lots of Tamales.  I am pretty sure that every person we taught and visited gave us Tamales.  I at 8-10 throughout the day and i felt like i was going to explode.  The tamales here are really good, so when i was full i just asked the people to put it into a bag so that i could save it for later.  My fridge is now full of Tamales.  The people here are realy nice, and they made my Christmas so great.  A lot of the members treat us missionaries like family, and it is really great.  I love the people here so much. 
Another thing the the people here love doing is drinking beer, and a lot of it.  Most times when people are drunk they are funny and always try to use english when they see us, but the only words they know are 4 letter words.  On Sunday when we went to go pick up our investigators to Church, a few of our investigators were so wasted from the night before that they couldnt come outside because either they couldnt walk or the sun was too bright.  Needless to say, they didnt come to Church.  Church was great, and we were able to bring some of our investigators to Church, and they loved it.  the biggest problem is that people dont go to Church.  I love going to Church, feeling the spirit, and sitting with and teaching our investigators. 
I made Cookies with the stuff that my Mom sent me, and I gave cookies to all of our investigators and members that make us dinner.  They loved the cookies a lot, and some of them want me to show them how to make them.  A long with handing out cookies we handed out pictures of Christ and bore our testimonies of Christ often. 
Christmas for me was amazing.  We even had a little Christmas Tree with lights and ornaments that our neighbor let us use.  We put all of our presents under the tree, and when i woke uf the next morning Santa came and we opened our presents.  My comp and I get alone very well, and we had a grand Christmas Party. 
Overall, this was the best Christmas in Honduras that i have ever had.  It was a lot of fun, and it was amazing to see how the people here celebrate Christmas.  The Cultures are very different.  I try to do everything i can to enjoy and be apart of the Culture.  I love the people so much, and i love serving them and preaching them the gospel.  I am so grateful for this Christmas and the opportunity i have to share my testimony all the time about Christ and his wonderful gospel.  I want you nto know that i know that my Redeemer Lives.  I know that Jesus Christ died for me and for you.  I am so grateful for his atoneing sacrifice for me and for everyone.  I love being a missionary and being an example of Jesus Christ.  I am doing fantastic, and i have never been happier in my life.  I had an amazing Christmas, and i hope that you had a great Christmas too.  Thanks for your support and your prayers.
Elder Travis Jay Ward

Monday, December 19, 2011


Being a missionary is so amazing, and i love being a servant of the Lord.  We had Changes this week which was exciting because it was my first change since my very first day.  All the members and investigators are really sad that Elder Neher is leaving right before Christmas, but they are excited that i am staying for Christmas.  I am so excited to spend my first Christmas in Honduras with the people that I love.  We had changes on Wednesday, and all the missionaries that have changes all meet at the big stake center in San Pedro Sula.  The meeting is really cool because we get to meet all the new missionaries straight from the MTC or CCM, and we also get to hear all the testimonies of all the missionaries that are leaving.  there were about 19 new missionaries (And its crazy to think that i was one of those newbies a few months ago), and 25 missionaries that were leaving home.  It is really exciting to have all those missionaries together, and there is a lot of excitement because of all the changes.  Elder Neher was a great trainer and i was able to learn so much from him, but i was really excited to get a new companion.  I was really hoping to get a Latin comp so that he could help me better my Spanish.  At the end i got my new comp Elder Webb, and he is from Salt Lake City.  He is a really great Elder, and I am so excited to be with him and learn from him.  This week has been really great because i have been able to get to know my new comp, and we are already really great friends.  I know my area very well, so i was able to show him where everything is and introduce him to all the investigators and members.  Because my comp doesn't know anyone or where to go I had to take the lead on everything.  I am really surprised at how much my Spanish has grown, and i feel a lot more comfortable with it.  It is a great feeling to really be able to talk to people and express myself, especially during the lessons, teaching, and when i share my testimony.   
It has been raining a lot this week, and because of all the rain there is a lot of mud.  However hard i try to keep my shoes and pants clean, they get covered in mud.  I also really enjoy when the buses and cars drive by on the dirty muddy roads and spray mud everywhere.  Also, there have been many times when i am walking and i think the ground is solid or its a rock, and its not, and my whole foots sinks into the mud.  Its awesome.  I actually think its really fun because when i walk on the street people always tell me that i have mud up to my shins.  I just use that opportunity to talk to them and invite them to come closer to Christ.  Overall, i love Honduras, and there is no place on Earth that i would rather be than here in Honduras on my mission. 
Because it is almost Christmas we have been able to use Christmas and Christ to find and teach a lot of people.  A lot of people don't realize the true meaning of Christmas and just focus on the colors, presents, gifts, candy, and everything else that comes with it.  I have been able to share my testimony many times this week about the true meaning of Christmas which is Christ.  Since i have been on my mission i have strengthened my testimony in Jesus Christ because there have been many times were i needed to turn to Christ for help or put all of my faith in him.  Teaching about Christ is a powerful and wonderful way to preach the Gospel.  Most people here already know a lot about Jesus and love him very much, so they always want to know more about him.  We teach about Christ, share our testimonies on Christ, and then go into the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and everything that he has done for me.  I know that he lives.  I know that he died and suffered for each and every one of us and all of our sins.  I wouldn't be here on my mission if it wasn't for Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a representative of Jesus Christ, to be his hands, and the preach his gospel. 
"We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. - 2 Nephi 25:26
"And Now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him!  That he lives!  For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father -- That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God." -- D&C 76:22-24
Overall, I am doing fantastic, i love being a missionary, and i have never been happier in my life.  I am so excited to spend my first Christmas in Honduras with the people that i love.  part of the culture of Honduras during Christmas is lots a lots of fireworks, and lots of tamales.  I am so excited, and i cant wait to tell you more about it next week.  I hope that you enjoy the pictures that i sent.  I love you very much, and thank you very much for all the prayers, letters, and support.
Elder Travis Jay Ward

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Multi-Zona

This week was a fantastic week.  Being a missionary is such a wonderful experience, and I have already learned and grown so much.  I love preaching the gospel and see this gospel change the lives of others.  Through the guidance of the spirit we have found many new people to teach, and i feel like there is never enough time to teach everyone.  It does help a lot the the ward is really supportive with the missionary work, and members go out with us almost every day.  Also the ward is doing something called "Noche de Hogar", which is Family Night.  Every Sunday and Tuesday night many of the ward members meet together at an inactive family´s house and sometimes even investigator´s house.  Not only is it uniting the ward, but it is bringing the inactives back to church and helping our investigators to know more people.  We also bring other investigators to these things, and so overall it is just a giant missionary opportunity. 
This Tuesday I went on divisions with Elder Abplanalp from Utah, and I stayed in my area.  he is a great missionary, and i was able to learn a lot from him.  We took two hermanas from the ward across the wonderful bridge that i love so much.  We taught two families together in one house because they are related but live in different houses.  Because of the sudden change of plans i had no idea what we were going to teach them.  After the hymn and prayer i still had no idea, until I had the strongest feeling (no doubt the Holy Ghost) to teach on the importance of families using The Proclamation to The Family.  I just happened to have a few copies that we used.  The Proclamation to the Family is really powerful, and the spirit was so very strong.  When ever I bare my testimony about the importance of families and how much the gospel blesses them, i always like to show them pictures of my family.  Being out here on my mission had made me realize more how much i love my family and how much this gospel has blessed my family.  I love my family so much, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here on my mission so that i can bring other families into this amazing gospel. 
"Missionaries leave their family for two years so that other families can be with theirs for eternity". 
On Thursday the whole mission except two zones (becasue they are too far away) got together in San Pedro Sula for the Christmas Multi-Zona.  Our whole zone left really early so that we could all eat at Denny´s together.  Its been a while since i had a breakfast like that, and i ate so much i thought that i was going to explode.  I had pancakes, bacon, sausage, toast, hash browns, and orange juice.  It was a lot of fun, and i love my zone so much.  The multi-zona was so wonderful.  There were so many missionaries there.  Having so many missionaries together is such an amazing experience and feeling.  President and Heremana Veirs gave powerful talks, and i love them so very much.  We played jeopardy with everyone about gospel facts, missionary stuff, and it was a lot of fun.  We then had a giant talent show where people sang, did skits, magic, and dances.  My Zone leaders found out that my comp won a thing at his high school for dancing the Single Ladies dance, so they got permission for him to dance and forced him to do it.  He practiced a bunch the night before even though he did not want to do it.  When he did it everyone was dying with laughter, and it was a lot of fun.  Afterwards we had a great lunch together, and i met a lot of great missionaries.  I had a lot of fun, and it was a wonderful experience. 
Because there are changes this week, our whole zone on Friday had a zone breakfast and watched a church movie.  I made my famous egg McMuffins for everyone with cheese, egg, and bacon, and everyone loved them.  We also had pancakes, fruit, and Orange juice.  It was so much fun, and my zone is really great.  I am going to miss the elders that are leaving, but i am excited to meet new people.  My companion Elder Neher is leaving my area which i am really sad about because i love him very much and he has taught me a lot.  I am losing my mission dad and mom this change.  My mission mom is Hermana Juarez, and she is from El Savador.  Because Elder Neher is leaving we visited a lot of people in the past few days to say goodbye.  A lot of the members and investigators are really sad that he is leaving because he is a great Elder, and he has helped change many lives through the gospel.  We have definitely had a lot of fun together, but i am excited to learn more from a new companion. 
As a missionary i have the opportunity to meet a lot of great people.  The people here in Honduras are wonderful, and I love them so much.  they are so receptive and they will always listen to us.  Sometimes people just come up to us and talk to us because we are white crackers.  We also have a lot of fun with the black people.  Because I love the people so much i am trying to do everything i can to bring the gospel into their lives so that they can receive the blessings of the gospel.  After a lot of hard work and many trials, we were able to baptize a wonderful lady named Rosa this past weekend.  She has had a lot of trials and hardships in her life, but she is one tough woman.  She currently has cancer in her knee and can barely walk.  She also has a lot of problem with money.  But she has a strong testimony and puts all her faith in the Lord, and she has seen the wonderful blessings that come with believing and putting your faith in the Lord.  I have a testimony of Jesus Christ, and i know that if we believe and put our trust in him that we will be blessed in so many ways.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a representative of Jesus Christ and to help people come closer to Christ. 
As it comes closer to Christmas, I try to teach and bare testimony on Jesus Christ to the people of Honduras.  During the Christmas time we should center our attention more on Christ and less on presents, santa, and everything else that comes with it.  I know that Christ lives.  I know that Christ suffered for our sins, pains and sufferings, and i know that he died for each and every one of us.  I am so grateful for him and everything that he has done for me, and i wouldn't be here on my mission if it wasn't for him. 
Overall, know that I am doing fantastic.  There is no place i would rather be, and i have never been happier in my life.  I am so excited to spend my first Christmas in Honduras.  I heard that this place goes crazy around Christmas time.  They make a lot of food and go all out.  I have a feeling that i will be eating a lot of food because all the people want to have the missionaries over for food.  Also one way the people here celebrate is firecrackers and fireworks.  They shot them off more an more every day.  One day we were walking at night and a big one went off 20 feet from us.  It sounded like i was in the middle of World War 2, and i jumped pretty high.  The people that started it saw me and started laughing.  The I laughed with them.  Through that experience we were able to contact them, get to know them, and we have a cita with them in a few days.  anyways, i am so excited to spend Christmas here.  I love being a missionary.  Thanks for all the prayers and support.
Elder Travis Jay Ward