"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou
dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."
-Joshua 1:9

Monday, June 23, 2014

A birthday bash I'll never forget

Hey my loving friends and family. Hope that your all doing great and enjoying life where ever this email finds you. I am doing great, I really don’t know where the time is going here on the mission! I am enjoying every minute here in Honduras and right now in Talanga. It’s great and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else right now in my life, or wouldn't want to be any place else at this time. Soaking it all up before it ends! So this week absolutely flew bye... we killed it this week to say the least! 
So this past Monday we went to a birthday party. It's not like the states where families wait to have big family parties on the weekends for someone that is having a party. They do it on the day they have their birthday. So we got a call from a family that we are teaching, the O Family and that it was his moms birthday y que ella queria que we go to the party... so when we got there, there was all the familia. So then they asked us if we could give a message to all the family that they had invited. She said that the only thing that she wanted for her birthday was that her family listens to us because this message has changed her sons life and now her husband and her life. We shared a message about families and the importance of families in our lives and how everything in the Lords plan is based on the family. They loved our message that we gave them. So many of the extended family members and all invited us to come to their own homes and to teach them... it was like jumping into a jackpot. So we got about 11 new investigators out of this birthday party. HAHA… couldn't get any better, right! So many of them are so interested and are preparing for O’s parents to get married on July 4th and to get baptized on that same day! What a great way that we are going to spend the fourth of July here in Honduras baby!!! woohhooooo! Couldn't be more excited for it! The husband is preparing to be baptized as well! Can’t wait for this day. Their family is great and the extended family and all is so happy to see the change in familia L. as well. Now we are in the process of changing the rest of the familia for the better. They are such good people. So all good, time to work and work and work. 

This week we got after it and found a lot of new people. We had about 25 lessons and I can honestly say every single one went great. It was a great week! Here, there are a lot of people waiting for the gospel and the message that we have. There are people that need it, everyone needs it. We must grow closer to our Savior now, it’s not tomorrow, it’s today. We are teaching a ton...everyday flies by because we are running with our heads cut off. We also had to put the big boy pants on again today with some leaders here. We gave them the plan that Papi Long brought here to Talanga and we are going to complete it that's for sure. We have goals to make things even better and we are going to do them fast. We have 6 people right now with baptism dates and that includes two familias. So we are going to work hard and have tons of success this Julio to say the least. Everything is possible with the help of the Lord. This is the Lords work. I feel it and see it everyday. We are only instruments in the Lords hands. The Lord prepares people that need the Savior in their lives. It's their job and your job to do the little things to be able to feel the influence of the spirit in your lives. I promise each of you that if you align your life closer to the teachings of the Savior, you will reap the benefits and see the blessings in your life. If you don't know what you can do to align your life closer to the teachings of the Savior, email me, I'll tell you what is good. I promise you that you will see a change in your lives. YOU MUST NOT WAIT. Today is the day. We are children of God. We must act like it. I know that the work that I am doing is the work of the Lord. I know that with all my heart. We must do the little things right. It makes all the difference.

In 1 John 4:18-21 it reads:
18  “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21  And this commandment have we from hi, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

The love for others is huge. It’s the first step in serving others. Christ served others and was a great example to others, we must be too. 

This week we had the opportunidad to hear from Elder Ochoa. He was a stud. He talked about agency and how there is opposition in all things. We must do the little things so that when we are faced with opposition we will make smart choices. When we make choices guided by the spirit I promise you brothers and sisters that the spirit will never lead us astray. We will feel and know that we are making smart and correct decisions in our lives. We are here to prepare to live with our heavenly father once again. Now is the time to prepare to live with our heavenly father once again. We must not take this lightly for any means. Today is the day to DO THE LITTLE THINGS RIGHT. Read your scriptures, go to church and apply what you learn, say your prayers in the morning and at night. The communication that we have with our Heavenly Father is crucial. We must say our prayers. I promise that this is one way to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and one way to help avoid opposition because it will always be tempting us. Through prayer we can help avoid temptations that we all have. I promise you friends and family that you will see change in your lives. Do it. Love it. And see the blessings. 

Thanks so much for all your love and support! I couldn't be more happy then I am right now serving my Heavenly Father. I know that we have a loving Havenly Father and that we are all brothers and sisters. Thanks so much family and friends for your love and support. Make it a special week, aim high in all that you do, put your best foot forward and do something this week to grow closer to your Savior. I love you guys and think and pray for you daily. Now... go find the one that needs you to make a difference in their life. LOVES!

con mucho amor, 
Elder Long!!! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Goodbyes can be hard...hello new area!

Hey my loving friends and family! I hope that you guys are doing great this past week. I miss you guys. This week I had changes so I am in a new area! I had a good time in Sabana Grande, full of ups and downs, but we left the area a lot better than we found it and that is always my goal. This change will be hard for me. It is one of the difficult aspects of being a missionary. You truly learn to love the people and they become your family away from family. I am now in an area that is called Talanga! It’s like a city/pueblo feel. So you have the mix of both.  It’s not the prettiest area that you can find here but that’s okay. We are going to do a lot of work here. So lets get down to the Talanga report shall we! 

Well, I had changes on Wednesday and when I arrived I immediately saw and felt why I am here. I know my Heavenly Father needs me here and that I know for sure. I am in an area that needs some help in many different ways. There is SO much more that we can do to help as missionaries. I am really excited for the challenge. We need to get things straightened out baby! So I am in charge of three different companionships here and that’s where the work will begin. The first day I brought the companionships together and laid out a plan and once again we needed to put on the big boy pants and have a talk. Hermana W. is also here with me and she came from Sabana Grande also which it will be so nice to have her here in my area to help out. She is a stud of a missionary and I learn many good things from her. She will definetly help out here in Talanga. My meeting with all the missionaries went well, and I addressed issues that are going on, how we can reunite and come together as missionaries and servants of the Lord in carrying out the work. It all starts with us missionaries and how we want to be, how we want to be perceived in the village with members and non members. There are some great challenges but I truly believe we can make great strides with some plans and goals. I spoke a lot about obedience and the importance of it in all that we do. It starts with us and then we can teach others about it. I know that I am needed here to make some changes and make them quick. I am glad grateful that I have this opportunity to help my fellow missionaries out, and also the people of Talanga.

My companion is from Los Angeles, California, and he is Tongan. I haven’t had anyone from the states since my original companion whom was my trainer. I am anxious to share my strengths with him and I know he will teach me a lot too. He is sports minded and so we have that in common. So we will have a good time together, we are going to work hard that I do know.

This area will be a great challenge for me in many ways, but I am excited to change some things around and see the outcome. We had about 75 in church this week, the church building is very big, usually they have about 100 in church but Honduras was playing Sunday in the mundial so everyone was watching that. Right now everyone is watching the Mundial. It’s pretty crazy to say the least, imagine super bowl parties and everything all day every day... that’s what it is like. So we are working around that and all. Doing what we can.

Lets talk about our house, HAHA! It’s… I don’t even know how to describe it. Tons of mosquitos... and in the roof there are like raccoons, so at night we can barely sleep HAHA…there is so much noise from them. But I am going to get used to it. Everything that we need is close to the house. We don’t walk like we did in Sabana Grande. My companion told me we walk far... he has no idea what a lot of walking is. So that’s nice and I’m giving my shoes a break!

There is a super nice gym close to our house so my companion and I go every morning to get a good pump in. HAHA! So that’s fun and convenient. It close to the house so we get up at 5:30 to go there. I am teaching discipline to my companion.... that attribute helps a lot in life.

We are teaching a guy right now that is from the special forces here... we were exchanging stories about boot camp and all... he was loving it. He is a stud! He will be getting baptized soon. There are many people here that are ready but when missionaries don’t do their part... its a problem. So we will see how things move a long here. Excited to see it! Its been a few packed days to say the least... and many days ahead that are going to be jammed packed.... lovin it though! Working a lot and giving it my all. 

Info for you mom that I know you will wanna know! 
- no running water, so no hot water hahah good joke in house
- we don’t walk as much as before in S.G.
- its a barrio , its not a rama, a lot bigger 80-100 each week in church
- area can be MUCH better
- we have to buy out a lot because members don’t feed us much
- clothes and shoes are holding up :)

I think that’s about all that I have for you guys. I love you guys and miss you all.
I will attach some pictures of an activity that we had at the temple this week for our investigators. Thanks for everything mom and dad and Gi, you guys are great! Make it a great week! Gi, work hard this summer and I promise that it will pay off. When others are playing and you are working you will see the benefits, I promise you that. Use your time wisely and it will pay off down the road. Work hard now, and play harder later. Get after it, love ya stud. Thanks for your hard work dad! Love ya! 

Con Mucho Amor!
Elder Long

Monday, June 9, 2014

Where is time going?

Hey there my loving friends and familia! I hope that this weeks letter finds you all doing great as usual! I really don’t know where time is going... each week seems faster and faster. Well lets get down to it shall we. 

So this week we had a baptism! And it included one of the craziest trips/excursions that I have ever taken in my life. Well the place that we wanted to go to do the baptism, we missed the bus. So a few people that we were with said that we could go to another place that’s super cool and not too far away. First, we needed to take a mototaxi. So we did, then we walked about two hours to get to this place that was so far away. And since its been raining a ton the trees and bushes had all overgrown the path so pretty much we were walking down this river to get to this really cool area where there is a huge waterfall where we would do the baptism. It was crazy! We literally were walking on like the edge of a cliff to say the least and below was the water. It was INSANE. But, we did get there in one piece and did the baptism. Then... we had to get back... well we pretty much got lost and couldn’t find the path that we came on.. so we headed back through the mountains making our own paths. I literally felt like a monkey to say the least. It was one of the craziest things that I have ever done in my life. Literally monkeys going through the trees! But don’t worry, we all made it out of there 3 hours later and all in one piece. ALL GOOD! :) This took up all Saturday morning and afternoon. But the young man we baptized is a STUD. He is 17 and amazing. His name is E. Has a strong desire to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and make stronger and better choices, so my companion and I are all very happy for him. So he and his family were all super happy.

This week no se porque but many people have been kinda down here in the area. I don’t know what hit them this week. So I thought that I would help them out and read them a poem. I know that you all are probably laughing right now thinking that I am a poet now. HAHA! But I would really like to share it with you. I had to translate it so here it is. But I want you guys to think about your lives and how we could, can apply it. So here we go! It’s called “Don’t You Quit.”

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will
When the road your trudging seems all uphill
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh
When pressure is weighing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t you quite
Life is a queer with its twists and turns.

As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than it seems
To a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victors cup
And he learned too late when the night came down
How close he was to the golden crown
Success is failure turn inside out

The silver tint in the clouds of doubt
And you never tell how close you are
It might be near when it seems afar
So stick to the fight when your hardest hit
Its when things seem worst that you must not quite. 

I really liked this poem for some reason. I don’t want you guys to think that I am having a hard time, because right now I am living the life. Spreading the gospel, helping people come unto Christ, does life get any better? No! All is good here baby! Some days are much harder than others, but overall everything is good! I am really loving my time here and the opportunities that I am having and the personal growth spiritually that I know will carry me through hard times later in life. I encourage all of you to do something this week to draw closer to your Savior. Do something that will bring action. Don’t only think about it, but do something DIFFERENT. I know that you will be blessed from your action. I am so thankful to all of you for your love and support. It means the world to me! 

Make it a great week aim high in all that you do and put your best foot forward. Do something different for the better!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Long! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Finding the ONE

Alright my loving friends and family! I hope that you are all doing great and enjoying life and all. As far as me, all is good baby. I am alive and kicking. We absolutely had a great week this week. I was a little sick to say the least. I got hit with some kind of food poisoning virus or something but that didn’t stop us for anything, we had work to do... in the meantime haha I lost about 6 pounds this week... but it’s all good. It was humid as ever but we didn’t have too much time to think about that. So lets get down to it shall we! 

So a few weeks ago we had a baptism farther south from Sabana Grande in an area called Nueva Armenia. It’s a small little town about an hour south from Sabana Grande. So when we were there, we just felt that we needed to return that following week. So we followed the prompting of the spirit and this week we went back there. Let me tell you… it’s amazing there! NEVER before had the people heard missionaries in their lives. They were SO intrigued and interested in our message and all. So we got into a lot of homes. So we talked to our leaders and now they are going to open up a church there! It’s so cool to know that we are a part of opening up a new area and church! And it all started with my companion and I! It’s been a crazy week. We had over 30 lessons with people, more than ever with missionaries here in our area and we went to two places where missionaries had never gone before. We found 45 new people and 5 new families and more are on the way! It has been an incredible week to say the least. We really got after it this week. Nueva Armenia was about 92 when we were there this week and all the people were saying that it was cooler out. HAHA But yes, very hot. But all good! We were walking down the street there and there was a lady that had her backs to us and she couldn’t see us. For some reason I had a strong impression to talk to her. So I did. When she turned her head around and saw my companion and I she started like running towards us! Come to find out the entire family are members. Due to financial problems they moved from the city to Nueva Armenia and can’t go to church because there is no transportation there on the weekends (it’s a VERY remote but cool area) so she was SO happy to see two hot young boys in shirts and ties to say the least. HAHA! So we met with the family, had a good talk and all and then callled up the leaders and said that we needed to get the show on the road here. So the process is starting. The stake had a meeting yesterday with Papi Fortuna and they are going to open up the area! Elder M. and I are so pumped.

This week absolutely flew bye… I don’t know where the time is going. There are so many good cosas pasando right now in our area. We are seeing the blessings come through in a lot of different ways. I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father that looks over us all the time and wants the best for us. He is ready to bless us always, we just need to do our part. I am convinced that the Lord doesn’t make our paths siempre facil because he wants us to learn and grow through our experiences. I am so realizing that more and more through my time at The Academy and through my time on my mission. We are faced with adversity for so many differente razones. We need to stay firm to the iron rod (the gospel) and follow the teachings of our Savior and always try to choose the right and follow Christ’s example. When we do this, we will be blessed and see good things come our way always. I am so thankful for the time that I have to serve right now. Yes, it’s not always easy, but its the best thing for me and for my life at this time. I am so thankful for each of you and the blessings that you all are for me in my life. I hope that you are all doing the little things right... because the little things bring the blessing and help us assure that we are doing the big things right.. everything starts out small. I continue to challenge each of you to say your prayers daily, read your scriptures, and GO to church. Just don’t think about going and say yea.. I know I need to and its something good, but ACTUALLY go and make an action. Actions bring blessings. Take action my friends and family! 

I want to send a shout out to my bro who is a stud muffin! I am proud of you Gi. You are working hard in school and in sports! Always remember that everything starts in the classroom and you will see the benefits on the field! I am proud of you! Hard work always pays off! Always out work your competitor in all that you do! I am SO proud of you man, keep it up! Enjoy your summer and work hard in sports, use this time to get better and when the rest are playing, work- Long style. Love ya stud! Have a good one! 

Thanks for all your love and support, make it a great week! Aim high in all that you do and put your best foot forward in all that you do too! 

Con mucho amor,
Eder Long!