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