Travis' Mission

Travis' Mission

Monday, September 26, 2011

First week in Honduras

This first week in Honduras has been amazing.  I love it so much here.  The flight was great, and i had no problems there.  when we got into Honduras, it was pouring rain.  after passing through customs, the mission president his wife, and the APs were there waiting for us.  The first thing we did was ate food, and we had Baleadas, which are really good.  It was really late when we left the airport, so we stayed the night at the secretaries house.  It is really humid here, and and I was sweating just sitting around.  We had breakfast at the presidents house, went to the mission office, they trained us and told us about the rules, and then we went contacting in a park.  It was really fun, and we were able to talk to a lot of people.  We had dinner at the presidents house which was really good Honduran style chicken.  On Wednesday all the missionaries that were changing met at the stake center in San Pedro Sula, and after our meeting I found out who my new comp was.  His name is Elder Neher, and he is from Arizona.  Our area is called Seis de Mayo, and it is 30 minutes outside of the main city of San Pedro Sula. 
Honduras is so amazing and so beautiful.  we started working as soon as we got to our humble house.  The house is kind of small, and really dirty (mainly because the previous elders weren't very clean).  The shower is a bucket and cold water, which is awesome.  Our very first day were got right to work, and we contacted and taught many lessons.  The people here are so amazing, and they are very receptive of the gospel.  and even if they are not interested, they will never slam the door in your face (mainly because there are no doors, and most people are outside in the shade).  The Spanish here really isn't as bad as I thought, but I still can't understand everything.  I still have a lot of work to do with my Spanish, but I can teach in Spanish, which is important.  we met this amazing guy named Darwin, and after a few lessons he is willing to give up smoking and sleeping with his girlfriend because of his strong faith.  We challenged him to baptism, and he accepted.  there have already been many great experiences like that. 
Me and my companion get along very well, and he is such a great example to me.  He helps me with my Spanish, and he is great.  he is actually a really big ban geek just like me, he plays the trombone, and he did marching band.  he loves to talk about band, and of course so do I.  We work well together, and I am so excited to continue to work with him. 
Our neighbor is from the ward, and her name is Elsy.  She is really great and funny, and she irons our shirts, and buys us juice all the time.  We have lunch every day at another ward members house, and they always make amazing Honduran food.  They have a bunch of kids, and they are a lot of fun to talk to.  They tried to get me to say a Spanish tongue twister, but i cant even say an English tongue twister.  The people here are great, and everyone loves and respects the missionaries.  we have dinner every day at members homes, and it is always sooo good.  I love showing them pictures of my family, and the snow, and I always show them my twin, and they never believe me. 
We have many investigators, and it seams like we find a few more every day.  We found a really nice lady named Carmen yesterday, and she let us right in and we taught her the first lesson.  she had a baby, and during the lesson she whipped it out and started feeding her baby.  I actually wasn't shocked at all, and it felt normal.  I just kept teaching, and i am glad that when I teach I always look them in the eye. 
Melvin is a great guy who was living in Cali for a while, but he got deported back here.  He was having a hard time because his family is still in the states.  He is a member, but he had many trials, and we are getting him back on the road.  His English is very good, and he only lets us talk to him in English because it reminds him of being in the states.  He is one funny guy.
The area that I am in is huge.  It takes 45 min to walk from one end to the other.  but I love it so much.  the houses are all made of cement, and they all have tin roofs.  I was surprised to see that everyone has a TV, even though they are so pour.  There is a really nice house nears where we live, and they is because the are the Drug lords of the area.  They actually keep the area safe because they have people go around at night with guns to make sure everyone is safe, and in return the people pay them for the safety.  We don't have to pay because they know who we are and what we do.  Because of them our area is safe.  At night the area is like a scary dark ally in a bad dream.  I feel like I should be scaried, but I am not.  I know that while I am a missionary and I am serving, I will be blessed. 
Being in Honduras on my mission is a dream come true, but better.  I have never been happier in my life.  The people are wonderful, the food is fantastic, and the country is beautiful. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pouch Address - Send those letters!

Here is my pouch mail address to write me.  Dad, can you post it on the blog?
Elder Travis Jay Ward
Honduras San Pedro Sula
POB 30150
Salt Lake City, Utah 84130
Also, you can use
I love you
Elder Travis Ward

Last week in the MTC until Honduras!

This week is my last week in the MTC.  I will be going to Honduras in 4 days.  I love the MTC so much, but I am so excited to leave to Honduras and actually do what I was called to do.  I will be going from Salt Lake City to Dallas, from Dallas to Miami, and from Miami to San Pedro Sula.  When I got my flight plans last Friday, my district and I were very excited.  2 of the Elders in my district were called to Spain, but they haven't got their visas yet.  They have been reassigned to Salt Lake City until they get their visas.  We are all very excited to leave and preach the gospel. 
On Tuesday for our MTC devotional Elder Ballard spoke to us.  It is such an amazing spirit when an apostle walks into the room.  It's really cool when all the missionaries stand up for an apostle.  His message was really great and very powerful.  One thing that I really like a lot was when he told us missionaries to be ourselves no matter what, and always smile.  I have been called to Honduras by inspiration, and I have a special purpose there.  The only person that can fulfill my purpose is me, so therefore it is important that I am always myself.  But at the same time I need to be a representative of Jesus Christ because everything that I do represents our Savior.  I sang in the Choir for the devotional like always, and I always feel the spirit during song. 
Speaking of singing and Music, for our sacrament meeting for our branch, 3 other Elders and I sang together and sang Be Still My Soul.  IT was very powerful, and I love singing.  Also when I teach I try to sing a hymn every lesson that has to do with what we taught.  My companion will never join me, so I sing a solo anyways.  Let me tell you... singing hymns during the lesson brings the spirit so strongly, and I cant wait to sing more to my investigators in Honduras. 
Yesterday I had the opportunity to teach "investigators" in front of 250 of the new missionaries (about half).  Every Wednesday the new missionaries come in the MTC, and one of the workshops is missionaries start the beginning part of the lesson, and the the missionaries together teach the investigator (all 250 of them).  My very first day was very cool for me, and I was grateful for the opportunity to help make the difference for the new missionaries.  My companion and I were recommended to teach from our teachers and Branch Presidency.  It was really scary at first because we did the door approach and everything (all in English, which was really weird because I haven't prayed or taught in English since the very first few days).  It was such a great learning experience.  
Overall, I love the MTC, and I am so excited to go to Honduras in 4 days.  I love what I am doing, I love being a missionary, and there is no place on earth that I would rather be than on my mission.  I have never been happier in my life. 
Thanks for the prayers and support.
Elder Ward
"Know what you want, and know how to get it"
"If you are willing to pay the price, nothing is impossible"
-Elder Ballard

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 more days until I am in Honduras!

This week has been fantastic.  I have learned and grown so much this week.  On Thursday i found out that I had Bronchitis, and i have been coughing for the past 2 previous weeks.  I went to the BYU health center, and they gave me some drugs.  I stayed in my room all day Friday because i didn't feel to good and i didn't want to get any of my district sick (i already got 2 of them sick).  I asked for a priesthood blessing, and ever since then I have been feeling much better, and the cough is at a low.  Its amazing how powerful the priesthood is.  It was really cool because my whole district stood in on the circle, and my companion and district leader spoke. 
I teach 1-4 lessons each day to my teachers and to others in my district and zone.  every time i teach I feel that my teaching ability and my Spanish is improving so much.  I feel more comfortable and confident with my Spanish every day.  I cant wait to go to Honduras in 10 days when i will be completely surrounded by Spanish, which should help so much.  One of my "investigators" (my teacher acting out one of her old investigators from her mission in Spain), has committed to baptism, and we are holding a mock baptism on Saturday.  My other teacher Hermano Jimenez is from Mexico and served in Mexico.  He speaks really fast, but he has helped me a lot with my Spanish, and i can understand most things he says.  He is such a great teacher, and i learn a lot from him every day.  He is such a great example to me, and i hope that i can be like him. 
This past Sunday I have been called to be District leader.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to lead, especially because my district is so amazing, and I love them so very much.  We are now the oldest district in our zone because last we the older district all left to Argentina.  It was hard to say goodbye because I was very close to them. 
Overall, I love being a missionary so much.  I am grateful for the opportunity i have to be a representative of Jesus Christ and to bear his name on my chest.  I love what I am doing, I love the MTC, I love serving, I love my companion, I love my district, I love being a missionary, and I cant wait to go to Honduras in 10 days.  There is no other place that i would rather be than on my mission, and i have never been happier in my life.
Thanks for all the support, and I love you all very much.
Elder Travus Jay Ward

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Greetings from the High Desert of California

I had the opprotunity to serve in San Pedro Sula during the years
1974-1975, it included serivng in the outlying area known as La Ceiba. The
adventures that await him will be terrific. When I served the mission also
took in the countries of Nicaragua, Costa Rica (Mission Home) and Panama.
You can see alot has changed and the Gospel has grown sufficiently to
create three missions in Honduras alone! Love the people despite their
struggles, love your companion and immerse yourself in the work and the
Good Lord will bless you, that I promise.
Yes, I am one of the older ones to serve there, yet a week does not go by
that I remember fondly the blessing that the Lord poured out on us, even
until today I am still realizing blessing from that simple service so long
ago. May the Lord bless you and your family as they support you in el
"Campo Missional".

I remain faithful in the service of our Lord and true to my testimony,

Elder Raymond Race, Nov 1973- Nov 1975

Elder Holland spoke at Tuesdays devotional, and it was amazing

This week was amazing, maybe the best week i have had so far in the MTC.  I love being a missionary so much, and I have never been happier in my life.  My Spanish is doing a lot better.  I learn the most when I teach my lessons my lessons every day.  it also does help to have a teacher that is from Mexico.  He helps with the pronunciation, and he speaks fast on purpose which actually really helps a lot.  At first i couldn't understand him, but know i can understand most of it at his crazy fast speed.  I am teaching my teachers right now, and they are acting like one of their investigators they had on their mission.  I am teaching Marco and Monica.  Both of them have baptismal dates, but Marco has a problem with Word of Wisdom and Chastity.  The district ahead of us had a mock baptism with their investigators on Saturday.  Even though it wasn't real, i felt the spirit so strong.  I love practicing teaching, but I cant wait to go to Honduras and do the real stuff. 
On Sunday at the end of our fireside we learned a cool version of Called to serve.  On the last verse all the missionaries stood up, and when we all did that it was like a brick wall hitting you in the face.  the spirit is so strong, especially when all the missionaries are together.  the spirit of missionary work is amazing
This Tuesday was by far the best day i have ever had.  That morning was normal and uneventful.  after dinner i went to Choir like always. which is always a lot of fun.  For the Devotional never know who is speaking until they walk in.  Well, Elder Jeffery R Holland walked into the MTC, and we all stood up.  there was a large amount of excitement in the air.  This was the first time we have ever had an apostle at the MTC while i have been here.  It also happens that Elder Holland is my favorite speaker.  His talk was absolutely amazing.  He talks with so much power.  He talked about the importance of missionary work and how much a missionary represents the church in everything that they do.  The thing that hit me the most was for us as missionaries "to give our heart to Christ, and to give him everything".  I am now motivated even more to try to do everything that i can to become the best missionary that i can.  His talk is definitely now my most favorite talk because of how much it means to me, and how much it has already impacted my life. 
There is not other place on the earth that i would rather be than on my mission.  i have never been happier in my life.  I love the MTC very much, but i cant wait to leave in 2.5 weeks to go to Honduras.  I have a strong testimony of this Gospel, and i am so grateful for the opportunity i have to share my testimony to the people in Honduras.  Thanks for all of the support.
Elder Ward
A scripture that has really impacted my week is Mosiah 26:18.  I am grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ and to bear his name on my chest.