Travis' Mission

Travis' Mission

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

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Devotional

This week was another fantastic week.  I love being a missionary so much.  The area that I am in is wonderful, and the ward is really supportive.  Being a missionary is such a wonderful experience, and i have learned and grown so much.  Many things have happened this week, and I have no idea where to start. 
The black people in Honduras are amazing, and they definitely have a lot of soul power.  It is so much fun to talk to them and teach them the gospel.  There are many black people here, and there is a whole colony full of them.  In Honduras they are called Garifunas, and they have their own language.  They share the Spanish and Latino culture, but they also have their own culture and swagger.  When i am with them i stick out so much, and they love talking to us white kids.  We have had some pretty interesting people come up to us.  Some drunk, some crazy, and some really funny people.  Overall, the people here are wonderful, and i love them so much.  I had no idea that i could love the people so much.  I try to do everything i can to soak in the culture and everything that comes with it.  I love asking the people about their culture, and they love teaching me about it.  it is so great.  I seriously couldn't ask for anything better on top of being a missionary. 
One interesting thing that i have had to deal with this week is a guy named Elvin.  he was baptized a few months ago but recently fell away from the church after seeing general conference.  We now believe that he has gone mentally crazy.  he came to our house in the morning 3 days in a row (how he found our house, i have no idea).  Long story short, he believes that he is the Reincarnated Christ.  He gave us his revelations a long with his "Third Testament" that he wrote talking about the end of the world.  He also has a list of things that he wants us to do, and he wants us to be his apostles.  We also believe that he is following us during the day.  Long story short we talked to the bishop and things have cooled down.  Overall, this experience has only made my testimony stronger about the truthfulness of this gospel.  I know the Jesus Christ lives, i know this Church is true, i know the Book of Mormon is the words of God, and i know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith.  I love the crazy interesting things that i see every day as a missionary.  I am so grateful for the opportunity i have to be a missionary and be an instrument in the hands of God. 
Sundays are always the best day of the week.  We fasted for our investigators, and our faith was able to help many investigators.  We had many of our investigators and recent converts at church, along with a new family that we have never talked to before just showed up because they were interested.  Having our investigators come to church has been a really big problem, and it was so grate to see our investigators received the promised blessings of going to church.  I pray daily for each and every one of our investigators, and i love them all so very much.  One big problem we have is that not a lot of our families and investigators are married.  Marriage is a big problem here.  We have two marriages planned for this weekend along with their baptisms, and we are doing everything we can do to get the paper work and money ready.  Anyways, our investigators loved church, and the ward is really supportive and helps us a lot because we cant help all of our investigators at the same time.  Also this Sunday was the Christmas Devotional.  Our whole ward took a bus to the stake center to go see it.  Many of our investigators also cam too.  The devotional was amazing, and i love hearing from the Prophet and his counselors.  The spirit was very strong, i learned a lot, and i loved how they talked about the importance of Christ during Christmas.  I am so grateful for Christ and everything that he has done for me.  I know that he lives and that he suffered for each and every one of us.  Our investigators and recent converts love it so much, and it really helped their testimonies.  they loved hearing the prophet and how it was all about Jesus Christ.  It also strengthened my testimony because i have the wonderful opportunity to bear my testimony every day about Jesus Christ and how we have a living prophet on the earth today named Thomas S Monson. 
Here are some things that I loved from Conference...
"Christmas is really about Christ"
"Christmas should point your heart to the savior"
"Choose the right and walk in the light"
"God knows our every need"
"Remember the gifts God has given you, and share them with others"
President Monson
"Christmas is what we make of it"
"let us not spend Christmas, let us keep the spirit of Christmas in our Heart"
"May Christ be the center of our celebrations and the center of our lives"
I want you to know that i have a strong testimony, and that i am so grateful for the opportunity i have to share my testimony with others every day.  Overall, i am doing fantastic, and i have never been happier in my life. 
Also, today for Pday our Zone played another Zone at soccer at a legit field with turf.  Their zone was full latinos, and we were half and half white and latin.  We won, and i scored 4 goals.  all the Latins are really surprised at how i can play for a white kid.  we had a lot of fun, and i love playing soccer so much. 
With much love,
Elder Travis Jay Ward