Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Latest Adventure - December 1, 2014

Yes I did have transfers this time.  You all guessed right.  I am here at the Copan ruins.  It is absolutely gorgeous!  It is a massive tourist place like you wouldn't believe.  We actually run into people all the time from all over the world.  We meet visitors from the US, France, Great Britain... every day is a new adventure.  Google it!  It looks like you're in Italy almost because it has cobblestone roads and everything is on a massive hill.  I am going to have fiercer leg muscles than ever.  I will take some pics for next week.  Besides the ruins, people come to see a bird park... full of parrots and all types of exotic birds from Central America.  There are lots of castles too.  Where our apartment is, right below is a giant old castle.  That is just the norm here.  It is pretty safe here too.  I would totally take the family to visit here some day, it is so cool.  But no I do not want you to pick me up still.  The ruins are just like a ten minute walk from my house.  The food is amazing as well.  Tons of little pastry places.  I swear I'm in Europe.  And get this, for the first time in my entire mission I am cold.  I am so shocked. There are actually cold areas that exist in Honduras.  I have to sleep with like three blankets and walk around with a jacket most days.  A JACKET people!

Lookin' good for an early morning service project. Digging up all the pipes that bring and drain water from the kitchen sink and the shower... the whole water system of the house of a member. The system was taken apart and cleaned because it got clogged... they have to do that like every 2 or 3 years here.   Then put it together and buried it up again. It was like 3 or 4 feet underground so that's why everyone got so filthy digging it up and taking it apart.  Wow, look at all these new skills Hermana Johnson is learning!!

A fun and yummy surprise arrived from sweet Janet Hays
Uncle Dave having missionaries in his house really is blessing me.  My apartments get better and better and better.  In my current apartment there is hot water in the shower.  What?  And behind our house there is a washer and drier.  Sure we have to pay the apartment owner to use it, but a WASHER and DRIER!  That is so foreign.  I haven't used those in over a year.  I am so spoiled right now.  I think there are only two houses in the entire mission that have that.  How lucky am I?  

The Church is just starting here in Copan.  We have a little tiny branch and about 40 people come each Sunday.  So I received some new callings.  I am the new Primary president, and first counselor in the Relief Society.  My companion is the Young Women's president.  So I teach Primary every Sunday, while she teaches the youth and more than half the time I will be teaching Relief Society the third hour.  While she heads off to do singing time with the kids.  This branch does not exist without the help of the missionaries.  It is a lot of new responsibility, but I am excited.  I've actually always wanted to be in an area where the Church is just starting to grow as it is here.  We hold church meetings in a little brick house with a sign on front that has the name of the Church.  It has four rooms that we move around to have all the classes in.  There's a cute garden out back with a cement baptismal font.  The majority of members here don't actually even know how to read, so that is the biggest challenge.  They feel inadequate to have callings, so we are working with them to have more confidence so this branch can grow.  We are all kind of just learning together here.  I feel like perhaps more than half of the people here in Copan cannot read, so we are learning how to work around that.  

I am very excited to teach Primary though.  There are a lot of cute little kids.  I'm glad I helped mom out with Primary before coming to the mission because now I have lots of good ideas and a bit of experience to get me on top of things.  I do feel a bit inadequate teaching Relief Society though because I don't have kids or a job or much real life experience really, but Heavenly Father will help me out I know.  The ties and things will be of great use here because it is rare people come in Sunday dress.  Most people come in jeans and a t-shirt.  I think only our branch president and one other man has a white shirt and tie that they wear with jeans to their church meetings.
The kids loved the pirate patches Uncle Darren sent!

This Friday we will have an activity with the youth to make Christmas decorations for the church, so hopefully some things arrive in the package tomorrow to help with that.  My companion says usually things get to us like once every two weeks.  On December 9, we will have a Christmas conference with President Dester along with one other zone.  We are going to teach the kids to make wreaths and paper snowflakes and simple things like that.

I am with my first ever US companion.  She speaks Spanish perfectly because her parents immigrated to the US from Peru, but she was born in New York, and then moved to West Jordan, Utah when her parents got divorced when she was 13.  She has just one sister who is also serving a mission right now in California.    

My very first day that I got here, as we were eating dinner, I found a mouse in the house.  My companion, Hermana Moron, says she's never seen one in the house before.  The house was super clean when I arrived, so I don't know why it was in there.  Maybe it just got cold outside.  There are different creatures in each one of my areas.  In Campana, spiders; in Potrerillos, ants; in Puerto Cortes, cockroaches, scorpions and snakes; and here in Copan it looks like it'll be mice.  Hermana Moron was so scared she jumped up on a chair, and I had to get it out with a broom.  I have become an expert I feel now in pest control.  I have so many new talents thanks to the mission.  

Well I love you lots.  I wish I could be there for Hunter's mission call!  Please let me know all the details!  I wish next Monday could come already.  I love you lots.  Thanks so much for all your love and support!  I'm just so happy to be here.  I'll send lots of pics next Monday.  Hermana  Gardner is in my district!  Whooooooooooooooo.  Although all the areas are very far apart here.  Hermana Gardner is in Florida two hours away.  We have to go two hours for district meeting.  I think I am the very farthest area a sister can go to in the mission.  On Wednesday/Transfer Day, we just traveled all day long.  I left Puerto Cortes at 6 in the morning, and I didn't get to Copan until 7 at night.  SUPER off the map from everything else.  Some missionaries say that Copan is cursed because baptisms are extremely rare.  Maybe one every six months for the entire zone.  I feel like I'm in Europe more and more every day.  They say it's the Mayan curse for having the ruins so close by.   We'll see what happens.  

Love you lots!

Hermana Johnson       


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