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