Monday, October 21, 2013

First Letter from Honduras - October 7, 2013
Hola Familia! 
Not gonna lie, this week has been a bit rough.  The food here is going to kill me off.  All the US kids I've talked to serving here say they eat everything they are given and never get sick, but me and my companion both got sick already from something we ate this week, I'm not sure what.  It was one day where we had 3 dinners! I worry a lot about cleanliness of food so I have great anxiety over this as we pretty much eat with members like almost every day. 
My companion is very nice though and funny.  Her name is Hermana Cifuentes and she is 24 from Guatemala.  She'll actually be going home in December, so I may be her last ever companion.  Apparently there is great pride among missionaries if you are someone's last companion.  If you are their last companion you are the one who "killed them off" so I guess that's cool.  ha ha ha... missionaries are so desperate for entertainment.  She's had lots of American companions so she knows I can't drink the water and looks out for me a lot, so this I am grateful for.  She loves going to eat with members as much as possible though, and I'm quite the opposite so.... we are working on that.  She speaks very little in English, but we understand each other for the most part. 
To verify the address for mail...
For letters it is...
Hermana Brie Ann Johnson
Misíon Honduras San Pedro Sula Oeste
12 Calle, Ave. Circunvalación
S.O. Edificio Yudé Canahuati,
3er. Nivel Oficina #4
San Pedro Sula, Cortés, Honduras
For Packages it is...
Hermana Brie Ann Johnson
Mision Honduras San Pedro Sula Oeste
Apartado Postal 1956
San Pedro Sula, Cortés Honduras
I'll keep you posted if the mail you sent gets here.  I think it should be alright.  They only bring by the mail to us once a week on Tuesdays...  And yes my Pday is Mondays now.  
Getting to Honduras was bad because once again I barfed at the airport.  They do not take good care of missionaries on their travel days.... and something about being in a hot enclosed space makes me really ill really fast.... The temperature here is ridiculously hot.  My first area is called Campana 2, in the zone of Fesitranh.  It is a very, very poor part of the country.  It is very beautiful though, a tropical jungle.  There are little monkeys sometimes that will jump on you if you aren't paying attention... this hasn't happened to me yet thankfully, and I am living in fear of it.  Also there are lots of scary dogs everywhere.  Almost every missionary gets bitten by a dog at some point apparently, so I dread this also.  The animals here that people have as pets are wicked ugly.  Like the mangiest, most starved creatures I have ever seen.  Like a dead dog that was brought back to life 2 weeks after it had been rotting in the ground.  mmmmmm ha ha ha
During the night when it is so called "cool" it is typically around 90 when I go to bed. ha ha ha I am wet, wet, wet with sweat all day long.  I have to shower every night because I am just so sweaty and dirty, and lots of people know that white people get eaten by mosquitos like crazy so they light fires to makes the bugs go away but that just makes me sweat harder and smell like smoke.... ha ha ha. Sometimes it is so ridiculous all I can do is laugh.  One day I was sweating so bad, you know how people usually get sweat marks where their armpits are?  I had them ON MY THIGHS.  Like two bigs stripes right down the front of my pink skirt.  It was so nasty.  ha ha ha  I have no idea how hot it is during the day but it is pretty darn hot and humid all the time.  Oh and the mosquitos love me.  Even though I put OFF on like 4 times a day, my legs and feet literally swell with mosquito bites.  My heels look like big red golfballs.  Poor Hermana Gardner, who is actually serving in my ward so I see her all the time, didn't wear OFF one day and she looks so diseased.  Her heels looked like big red apples on the back.  So bad.  Our ward has 6 sister missionaries and no elders.  ha ha.  idk what that's all about.
My house is pretty sketchy.... and Hermana Cifuentes showed me a video of when her and her last companion had a TARANTULA come in.  Ackkkkk.  I dread this also, though I haven't seen one yet myself. All my shoes are wonderful.  They are perfect for here. Very comfy, while everyone else brought like flats, and their feet are dying.  
I am so sorry to hear about Aunt Tara's dad.  That is awful.  I hope their family is doing better this week.  That is so hard.
The members here, besides the food concerns... are wonderful.  They are so kind and generous even though they don't have much and always so willing to help the missionaries.  They always are giving references for us.  We don't have any progressing investigators at the moment actually, so we just spent all week visiting members to get references and so I could get to know the ward.  One lady took us to her friend's house who had literally just had her baby like in the last day or two.  And I was like thinking, what? this lady just had her baby, can we really just go visit her?  But yep, we all just walked right up there and the lady and her baby were just chillin on the bed resting, and right then and there we starting teaching the first lesson and asked the lady if she wanted to be baptized and she said yes.... like what?  I was so shocked.  People are so willing to just accept the gospel here.  Getting them to keep commitments is another story... but they love the message.  The spirit was so strong though.  Her name is Hermana Iris and we will go visit her and her family again later this week.  My area is up on the mountain, so it is a pretty sketchy hike at some parts, like 2 feet of path between you and a thirty foot drop, and sometimes I feel like I'm rock climbing instead of contacting, but whatever.  For this reason we do not exercise in the morning because we work out so much during the very hot day... how do you feel about this?  Should I still try to exercise so I'm keeping all the rules? probably yes.... 
The family Lizardo is a particularly strong family in the ward and we go take one of their daughters to all of our visits so there's a member present.  They are all darling.  Carol, Aleda, Lilian... ages 16, 14, and 28.  They've already taught me to make tortillas from scratch and I was pretty good at it.  ha ha they were so shocked.  Actually most people don't think that I am from the US.  Most people ask me if I am from Canada or France because they tell me I speak spanish with a french accent.  ha ha ha.  I've even been asked if I'm Russian, but yep, most people think I'm a Frenchie and not an American.  ha ha ha.  Everyone loves my blue eyes though.  They just stare at me for like minutes and they'll be like, whoa they change color when you move or whatever. are they purple? and I'm like nope, they are blue.  And then they ask me what color the eyes of my family members are and I'm like blue, and my mom is green, and they are just like wow, that is so amazing.  how beautiful!  ha ha ha
I wish I could be in San Francisco with Grandma, or someplace with snow.  I hate being hot as you know.  This is going to take some getting used to.  I drink like 3 gallons of water a day to prevent myself from dying.  
Tell Molly good luck at school and Hunter with the ACT.  Thanks so much for sending packages to my friends!  You guys are so great.  Maybe send Katy a pic of Tim Gunn and Mindy one of Gloria from Modern Family, and tell her that's what I'm going to look and sound like when I get home.  ha ha.  This country really is beautiful, and some parts of it really are like America.  Like we drive to the richer part by bus to do grocery shopping and it is like an American grocery store.  You can buy pretty much anything you want or need to eat, like peanut butter even! and Pasta sides!  (that thing that is similar to pasta roni).  I would love to serve in that area for reals... maybe on my next change.  They generally switch up companions pretty often, like every 2 or 3 months.  I do not have a cell phone, just a phone in our house.  The water in the shower is always cold, but it actually feels really great here where it is so deathly hot.  
I do really miss my district from the MTC.  I loved them so much, we all cried the night we had to all leave.  I think getting close to people and then having to leave them will be really hard for me here as so often I feel really lonely, so when I become friends with someone I cling to them like crazy, so leaving people is hard.  I'm very grateful Hermana Gardner is with me.  Thou I live in a different house, just me and Her Cifuentes live in our house.  The other lucky 4 get to share a much nicer home.  Not fair.  I think we are going to change houses soon though.  Every Saturday night we have a dinner all together the 6 hermanas to be close and have a fun activity to look forward to.  Sorry this week has been hard so I shall be more positive next time I write.  I just am working on finding my way around still I suppose.  Thanks so much for your loving words and all your support!  I am so lucky to have such a wonderful family!  Can't wait to get your mail!  and that camera cord. ; )  Adios!  
Love, Hermana Johnson                

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