Saturday, March 22, 2014

Surviving the Heat - March 10, 2014
I am so happy to hear that everything is going so well at home and that everyone is doing okay. Mom has plans to send an Easter package and there´s no stopping her, so I´d like to request a new mascara, allergy medicine because I´m almost out, and it is so dusty here I will probably die without it.

In other news.... everyone asks about the weather here... it is really, really, really HOT and humid so you are just really moist all day long.  I am in the hottest zone of all of Honduras and just in time for the week of Easter, which is known as the hottest week of the entire year!   I feel so very blessed to be here though.  We are holding up fine. The President had a surprise visit to our district meeting on Tuesday  just to come watch us.  That always gives one a bit of anxiety. He told us he is praying for us all that we won´t pass out in this heat!  And it is just the beginning!!  Easter week is the hottest of all but from April to August it is pretty much just hot, hot, hot.  Half the year is summertime here, but I have figured out a few good things to do to beat the heat.

TOP 10 Ways to Survive Semana Santa (AKA Easter Week)

1.Drink lots of water obviously
2. Walk around with an umbrella, you look ridiculous but you shall be saved from skin cancer
3. Consume lots of topogigios... they sell these everywhere, little plastic baggy filled with your choice of frozen fruit juice or fruit smoothie.  The Honduran popsicle if you will, and they are so delicious and they only cost 1 to 3 limpiras, aka 5 to 15 cents in US currency.  I eat one or 2 every single day when it gets this hot.  I recommend those made from tamarindo, coconut or banana
4. Eat lots of green mangos with chile of course
5. Have your companion wash your hair out on the back porch in the pila to feel nice and refreshed
6. Have a water fight before going to bed
7. We pretty much just always walk around in our underwear in the house because when it is this hot you want to avoid clothing until it is absolutely necessary
8. Sandals are a must 
9. Practice your updo skills, because hair up is a must.  Fun fact, Hondurans have great appreciation for braids because the majority of them can´t do one
10. Always carry extra pamphlets to use as a fan as you are sitting in a lesson.  ha ha ha
Cleaning out tamarindos which is used to make juice and "popsicles"
And if you follow these 10 tips you shall live.  Because let me tell you sunscreen just doesn´t work here... I put it on twice every single day and I was shocked the other day by how many freckles I have on my back these days.  I have definitely decided to stick with my umbrella every day as the sun is even stronger now.  I still wear sunscreen don´t worry, but you wouldn´t believe how strong the sun is here.  But the Lord is watching over me, because I know if I were just my regular self at home I would´ve passed out by now, but I haven´t had a single problem from the heat thus far.... just lots and lots of freckles.  
As for the people we are teaching, we have two investigators with whom we always have the most ridiculous visits with but they are really fun.  They are BFFs who have been next door neighbors their entire lives and are 30 and single... never have been married or had kids or anything.  So deep down inside they are seeking a bit of direction and purpose.  One is just so darn flirty with everyone, he is harmless but wow life would be so much easier if these latinos were not so flirty.  They are both so smart and really know about the Bible and everything, so teaching them is easy.  They actually think a little too deep sometimes, but they really believe the church is true in their hearts but we are struggling to get them to commit to baptism.  They come to church every week, and love when we visit, but it is sometimes a struggle for people to leave the worldly things behind.  They are such good people.  We are just trying to help them understand why there can only be one true church. So this week we taught the word of wisdom, the law of chastity and left them Joseph Smith History to read, and we shall see how it all goes.  These two bachelors are pretty darn popular here in Potrerillos too. Every single week everyone asks us if they are coming to church or how´s the teaching going, like no other investigator I´ve ever had.  Hopefully we can finally baptize these bachelors very soon because they are just about ready.  

I am loving, loving, loving missionary life!  It is not easy of course.  Last week was like Plague week. It started the day after my birthday.  I got bit by something that I am apparently allergic to and my whole foot blew up like a balloon. I couldn´t wear my sandals because the strap wouldn´t close.  I could hardly walk it hurt so bad.  Later I got some weird rash or something on my face which I think came from the heat so I was ugly for an entire week.  A swarm of ants attacked my arm and that was pretty nasty, because if lots of them bite you it oozes really gross, and it hurts worse than anything. I´d rather be bit by 20 mosquitos than an ant in Honduras.  And two days after my foot got better this mystery creature that I am allergic to bit me again.  It is already over, so that´s why I´m telling you now, because I didn´t want you to worry.  Idk why it all happened at the same time, but somehow we prayed every day that I could work and magically I would be fine all day long, and then I´d be hurting again in the nighttime and the next day we´d pray and when the time came to leave all was well. But our afflictions are but a moment and then all is well.  I guess I share this with you now not so that you get concerned, but so that you know that life´s challenges always come to an end.  And as we are going through them if we pray and have faith, it isn´t that they will magically disappear, but that God will give us the strength to support them well.  If we have patience and don´t panic, He will take care of us.  It was not a fun week healthwise, but we´ve got work to do and people to visit and the Lord will make His work happen.  We had some really wonderful visits too.
I love my mission experience in Potrerillos, Honduras!!
Here we have the responsibility to teach the mission prep class every Wednesday, so our dear students as homework get to come accompany us on our visits.  The sweetest boy came with us on Tuesday. His name is Aldair, and he has been a member of the church for one year.  He really wants to be a missionary so he comes every week to our class and is always willing to help us, but because he doesn´t have much time as a member he feels really inadequate and like he doesn´t know enough, but that´s not the case because he´s really smart and knows plenty!  He was so cute the other day.  He had skipped a few days of seminary, and we asked him what happened, and he says," It is so early to have to get up for, seminary should be longer.  I really like it but where it is only an hour I don´t feel like it´s worth it to get up sometimes.  I wish seminary were like 3 hours."   I have never in my whole entire life heard a teenage boy wish that seminary would last longer!!  Aldair is the sweetest and will be an excellent missionary because he is so humble.  We are just making sure he comes on lots of visits with us to build up his confidence because he is so sweet.  By the way, they found Naldo´s missing baptismal record so he started his mission papers!  whooooooooooo  Lots and lots of good news.  

Just want you all to know that I love you very, very much, and I am just so, so grateful to be a missionary here in Honduras.  It is such a privilege to serve the people here.  They are so good and ready to hear this gospel.  They give so much of themselves.

Take care of each other because family is the greatest treasure we have and I´m not there to do it right now.  Tell Hunter to have a very, very happy birthday!  And shout out to Gabe and Parker that they  have a happy birthday too because I know they´ll be celebrating this month as well.  Hunter, I love you very much and hope things go well in your college investigations.  Can´t believe we are getting so ridiculously old.  Love you all very much! 

Love, Hermana Johnson

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