"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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My life is wonderful...

Hey my loving followers! I hope that this email finds you all doing great. Well, lets get down to it shall we!

Well, it’s starting to heat up more and more, so that’s good and bad. One, were getting the tan on, but on the bad side, it’s a horrible farmers tan. HAHA Second, we are sweating bullets because its SO humid. But all good. Weather report done! What else...

So we are working hard with a man named G. right now. He’s a stud. 45 years old and amazing. He is so nice and down to earth, we love him lots. He had a really bad accident a few years back and it caused a lot of problems with his hearing. He is pretty much deaf but he can still hear, you just need to pretty much yell, it’s like talking to Grandpa Neff all over again. He’s so great. He used to have a lot of problems before his accident and ever since then has wanted to change his life. He is so happy to be on the straight and narrow path and following Christ’s example. He is a stud to say the least! He is preparing to get baptized either this week or the next week. We really have seen his testimony grow through his scripture studies and obedience to what we tell him will really help. He is golden! Elder T. and I are really glad to be able to help him find the right path and receive all the blessings that are waiting for him. Super pumped for G!!! Wohooooo!

We had a killer activity this week that my companion and I put together. We literally ran the show in all aspects of this activity. We organized everything and we were running with our heads cut off all week putting things together, making sure people were doing what they needed to do y todo. Pero en el fin, todo bien! We put together a killer Barbacoa! It was awesome. We played a lot of sports and stuff at the church. Organized all... jump rope, baseball, football, soccer and a lot of other games. We also organized the food: who was bringing tortillas, beans, rice, meat, drinks, everything hahaha. But in the end, about 120 people showed up and it was a success! So no bid deal, boom, getter done! :) 

My companion is doing great! He is making a lot of strides in who he is as a man. I am really proud of him. We have really worked hard together and the hard work is paying off. I am so thankful for him and the growth that we have been able to see together. He has taught me a lot. I love him. I am so happy for him and am glad that I can spend another transfer with him.

I am so thankful to have the scriptures in my life. This week I spent a lot of time studying about the sacrament and when Jesus Christ was here and implemented the sacrament. What an opportunity that we have each week to partake of the sacrament and the sacred opportunity we have each week to renew our covenants with our Heavenly Father. I am so happy to have a loving Heavenly Father and his son that died for each one of us. The power of the atonement is real. The Lord wants the best for each one of us. His arms are always extended towards us. He is always ready to bless us. The Lord wants to always bless us, but do we always want to do his voluntad? I encourage each of you to follow Christ’s example and be the BEST person that you can be. Mold yourself into who Christ wants YOU to become. Read your scriptures daily, say your prayers daily and I PROMISE that you will see miracles in your life. I have seen it DAILY for over a year.
I promise you my brothers and sisters that our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to be obedient. It is not always easy, but it is where we will find the greatest happiness and the most blessings. I am so thankful to have this gospel in my life. I know it is true. I love serving the Lord. I love the people of Honduras so much. I love everything about this experience and letting the Lord teach me who he wants me to be through my journey here. I know that the Lord lives. I know that he blesses us SO much even when we don’t always do what we should. I encourage you all to do something to grow closer to our Savior this week. I love you guys. 


Con mucho amor, 
elder long!

Monday, July 21, 2014

I love this country!

Hey my loving friends and family. I hope that this week finds you all doing great. I really don’t know where the time is going, every week is faster and faster! I am LOVING the experiences that I am having here! Both spiritually and with the cultural y todo! Aqui is quite the experience, every day is interesante and diferente! I never know what’s going to happen. So lets get down to it shall we! 

This week we taught a good amount, we got after it, hitting the streets hard. We have some people that are really progressing and then others that just want our company and that we come and share the good word. But, really deep down they don’t want to change, so we will see what happens. We put them all on blast and told them what they need to do, so time will tell.

With that being said, let me tell you a little story from this week! :) So we are teaching a man that is in his 30s and has had a lot of problems quitting smoking and drinking. He really wants to stop so that he can get baptized but he just doesn’t get the importance of it, I don’t think. He has a strong addiction but won’t trust in the Lord. Well, we put him on blast this week in a very loving manner :). His attitude was a lot different. Well, my companion and I saw that there was some alcohol on his shelf.... so I asked him what that was? He was tripping in his pants. So I took it off the shelf, walked straight to the front door and starting dumping it out in front of his whole familia… he was very sad to say the least. But it gets better. So when I finished I asked him if he had any other cigarettes or drinks or anything and he said no... so then I asked him why he was lying? Then I walked to the shelf again because I had seen the cigarettes and took them and starting ripping them apart. I told him we are willing to do what it takes to help him. He doesn’t have the money to go and buy a new pack right now so that should help for a day or two. It was a new pack to boot. We told him we love him and that he needs to know that. We finished with a prayer and told him to put the big boy pants on and quit all the bad habits. So we will see what happens with him :)))) All good here!

This week it started heating up again... you know what that means. The sweat report is going to start up again. It’s starting to get real hot again… oh great…but it’s all good!

This week here in T. there was a dirt biking event up in the mountains so there were TONS of four wheelers and dirt bikes from all over the country. It was a cool event for T. because it brought a lot of activity here.  So that was good! 

Also, this week I had the opportunity to do two interviews for people that were getting baptized from the sisters and the elders that are in my district. One was a very straight arrow person and was amazing and very ready to be baptized. The other one was quite the interview! He was very very very diferente before y en un different life to say the least. He spoke English becuase he had lived in the states and said that he wanted to talk in English. It was SO hard to say the least. I don’t know why talking is so hard in English yet not so much to type pero to talk is nearly impossible for me. I don’t really need English right now! I am so glad that this young man wants to change his life around like a 360 literally. I am so happy to be able to do the interviews of people and to make the call if they are ready or not to be baptized. It’s really an uplifting and spiritual experience always. It is one of the highlights for sure. There are so many humble people doing their best.

You can really see how the gospel changes lives for the better. When we grow closer to our Savior we are always blessed and I promise you that my brothers and sisters. I am so glad to have this gospel in my life. I am so thankful to be serving a mission in such a cool and unique country! I am so blessed to be changing for the better and growing closer to my Heavenly Father. I know that our Heavenly Father can change lives always; we just need to be able to do what he wants us to do. It takes a lot of trust and faith. I am so thankful to feel the atonement in my life. I know that Jesus Christ died for us and our sins, and por medio de jesucristo we have the opporunidad to live with our Heavenly Father again. I am so thankful for the scriptures in my life, they have changed my life for the better. I want you guys to have the same testimony of the sacred scriptures, if you are not reading, read!

I hope that you guys are doing amazing. I miss and love you guys tons. Make it a special week and aim high in all that you do and put your best foot forward! 

Con mucho amor!
Elder Long!!! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

A tougher week!

Hey familia and friends I hope that you are all doing great. I am always thinking about you guys and wishing you guys the best! I hope that it’s calmed down there like it has here now that the World Cup is over... what a crazy time here with the World Cup. Hopefully now they can move on, sleep and work and hopefully get back onto abnormal schedule. But I sure did enjoy my time with the culture and all during it. Good times!! So lets get down to it shall we!

This week wasn’t the best. I am not going to lie, HAHA I felt like crap most of the week. I was sick but I am now feeling a ton better, so we are back on track. I literally felt in the dumps most of the week so today we decided we would come to Tegucigalpa and treat myself to TGI Fridays. I literally was in heaven HAHA it was so good!!!!! I went with a good friend that I have here and it was a great day. My companion and I were both drooling HAHA so that was good!

Getting here in the morning was quite the trip to say the least. The bus driver was driving like crazy and got into it with one of the passengers because he wouldn’t stop and let him off where he wanted to get off and then when he was about to get off the bus about 3 blocks later he slammed on the brakes and the dude went flying. Well my companion and I were sitting in the first row and saw and heard it all. When the guy got off the bus he lifted up his shirt and there was his pistol... and told the dude to watch out... just another good experience to say the least! Just counting my blessing that the lord protects us every day. The dude didn’t shoot or anything so all was good! So that was this morning.

TGI Fridays was amazing! We ate like champs. SOOOO GOOOD! So other than that it was a good week just trying to teach lessons between running to the bathroom and all! All a part of the experience, right? Loving every minute of it (not being sick) but all the good other stuff. 

So my companion is doing good. He has changed a lot on the mission as we all have. He speaks Tongan so I am learning that language a long with Spanish right now, so that’s pretty cool! He has come a long way here.... had I am so proud of him. He is a great companion. I have not had any problems with him and President is super happy with what we are doing here in this area. This life is not at all like it was back home... all I am going to say is that is VERY important… the crowd of people that we hang out with. They will always have a strong influence on our lives. I am so thankful for great friends and family who have helped and continue to help me grow as a person. So shout out to all that have played a great role in my life. THANKS!

The weather is starting to little by little heat up again. We’ll see what that brings...oh great. Talanga where I am at is good, the area is kind of interesting to say the least. A little sketchy but the people are super loving. We have a lot of good people progressing y nosotros tenemos mucho amor for them. So thankful for loving people that are willing to listen and do what we ask them to do and then they see the blessings in their lives. It’s amazing!

Well, I don’t have much to say besides it was another successful week, spent a little more time than I wanted in the bathroom but it’s all good.

I love each of you guys so much. Continue to try and choose the right in all that you do and make the most of every day. I love you guys so much. Make it a special week. Aim high in all that you do and put your best foot forward every day!

con much amor,
Elder Long!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

ONE YEAR OUT & a great week it was!

HOLA MI FAMILIA Y MIS AMIGOS!!! I hope that this letter finds you all doing great. I loved all the emails that I got about the fourth of July and all. Don’t you worry, we made everyone here know that it was the fourth of July back in the promise land! HAHA They all thought that we were crazy HAHA but my companion and I had a great time to say the least! This week was one of the best weeks of my mission. We had a ton of work and absolutely got after it. We were running with our heads cut off every day. So lets get down to it shall we!

Monday we went to the local park and played some basketball against their ¨team¨ that they have here in Talanga. It was a blast! Other than being out of shape we balled them up. We found some new people out of it too, so that was good. My companion and I really enjoyed it and it was a good time to say the least!

Thursday we had interviews with president! All I can say is that he is a stud. He is a man full of such insight and all and I love it. I want to be more like him. So that was a privilege to be able to ask him some questions and give him my insight on some things. We had a good talk to say the least. He’s a great man! Gotta love Papi Fortuna. 

So this week we were preparing for three baptims that we had this weekend! One was of a familia, familia L, and the other was a man named K. K. is a familia friend of the L. familia! It was a great weekend to say the least. We were very focused on them this week but still had time to have about 20 other lessons, we are literally killing it right now.

So Friday we had the wedding of the familia L. They got married Friday morning and then about two hours later we had their baptisms. It was the BEST way that I could have spent my fourth of July here in Honduras. Marrying a couple and baptizing them all in one day was so great. The husband gave up some strong habits in order to be baptized. He went weeks preparing and it was amazing. We are so proud of him.

One could feel the spirit so strong and can see the Lords hand once again in our work. Once again the spirit testified that this is the Lords work. I am so happy to be a part of the Lords army helping my brothers and sisters come unto Christ.

So Friday morning was the wedding and the baptism and then on Friday night there was a party for them. All the family came and it was amazing! There were about 50 people there. It was sweet! It gets better! One of the familia members asked us if we could share a message with everyone that was there, I was like, HECK YES, I can!

So the first thing I was thinking was that the spirit is going to blow them away so I said a quick prayer and asked the spirit to be with me and got after it. I was in front of about 50 people, doesn’t get much better than that! Many of them we didn’t know but what a great opportunity to share such a great message. So fun to say the least and I was grateful for the opportunity to do it.

I talked about families and the importance of having Jesus Christ in our lives. I shared my favorite scripture - helaman5:12. It went so well. After I shared my message we ate some amazing food! Then we busted out the cakes that my companion and I bought for them! We bought three huge cakes just for 25 bucks... good deal huh, and they were amazing! Overall it was SUCH a great night! I loved every minute of it! So that was Friday! 

Saturday we had another baptism, his name is K. He is a family friend of familia L. It was wonderful. He’s a stud! He wants to leave and serve a mission with O! His familia came to the baptism which was really cool for him too. I just love all these people.

I also had the privilege to do a baptism of a person from the other ward here in T. I had the opportunity to do his baptism interview and then he asked me to perform the baptism so that was really special. His name is J. I am so thankful to be doing the Lords work and there is nothing better. I know that this is the Lords work, the Lord has testified to me time and time again. When we put everything into things spiritually the Lord will bless us more than we know. 

Thanks so much for all of your love and support while I am here on the mission! It means a lot to me familia and friends. I want you all to know that I love each of you very much and am so thankful to have you each in my life. I am learning more than I ever thought that I would learn here on my mission and would not want to be anywhere else in the world than here right now at this time.

As a representative of Jesus Christ I know that the Lords lives, and that he loves each of us so much, and that he has a PLAN for each of us. I know this to be true. I know that The Bible and The Book of Mormon are sacred scriptures that we must read and edify our testimonies to withstand the windstorms that are trying to blow us over. I love each of you so much and want the best for each of you. If there is anything that I can do for you , let me know. LOVESLOVESLOVES

Make it a special week, do something different for the better. Aim high in all that you do and put your best foot forward in all that you do as well. 

Com mucho amor,
Elder Long! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happy 4th of July

Hello my loving friends and family, here we are another week down! It’s so crazy how time is just flying. I am loving life down here in T. So lets get down to it shall we! 

So right now my companion and I are helping and teaching people how to get things organized that need to be. So we are moving the work a long here with the members. I had a meeting with the stake president (this is a man that has a calling to serve over multiple wards/areas) this week to tell him what my plan is... or in other words what’s the plan here for Talanga. He is pumped. We are motivating the members and everyone to take over Talanga for the better! :) So this week we killed it. There were a few different activities and they had turnouts that they have not had here in a while, so they were super happy about that. We are cracking the whip and making sure the people do their home teaching and all. It’s all about verifying. When there is no verification, there is no motivation. So we are helping President out with that. Their Priesthood Conference is this Sunday so this week we spent a lot of time passing by members and less actives to make sure they would go Sunday to campamento for the activity. We had the most out of any ward there... we killed it to say the least :) no big deal :) It’s fun to see the fruits of our labors. I know that this is the Lords work and we are only servants in His hands. When people feel the spirit, it brings action. It is our job to help people feel the spirit and in the end they will change. So we had a very good turnout for the activity yesterday. 

So last week there was someone that passed away. Our good friend O. who we work a lot with, it was his relative. So most of the familia has been kinda down this past week. There doing good considering, but you know how it is when someone passes away…hard stuff. BUT, this week we taught them all about how our Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us. It brightened up the situation a lot. I want you all to know that we have a LOVING Heavenly Father that really does have a plan for each one of us. It’s great! When we really understand this plan and our purpose of why we are here on this earth, our lives are so much better. We will have a different mindset on things and we will grow closer to our Heavenly Father. This family is great and they are doing better. So we will continue to help them all out, and there is a ton of them!

So that brings me to another story. So this week we planned a night to bring all the family together and to have a Family Night. My companion and I along with the Stake President had plans to bring all the familia together and share a very powerful message with them. So it was all planned and all and we still had the activity. We planned for about 25-30 people to come (all familia) and the night that we had planned to do the activity the pastor of their church was going around and talking HORRIBLE about us and the church. He was going to everyone and telling them all these lies so that they wouldn’t go to our activity that we had planned for them with food and all. I was disappointed that a pastor would say unkind and untrue things about Christ’s church.  He was standing near the street by where we were meeting so all the familia and people that were trying to go had to pass him and he was just planting stupid ideas in their heads. In the end we had about 15 people for the noche de hogar and all and it was amazing. The people that were there could feel the love that our Savior has for them and the spirit was way strong. I am so happy that the people that came could really feel our message and love for them. For the ones that didn’t come, they missed out and had to hear from the other family members how well it went. The next day I told them how it was... and that maybe you should have come and not listened to lies about Christ’s church. If you have questions about something  listen to us who actually know what we believe in and know the doctrine of the gospel. I am still a little fired up about it. But we will leave it at that.

I know that this family will be good and that the Lord will comfort them. I know with all my heart. I am so happy to know and feel that my loving Savior has such a specific plan for me. Aveces no understand this plan que Dios tiene para us but I know that he really does have a specific plan. Follow the spirit in all that you do, it will guide you during times of good and during times of turmoil. I promise you that brothers and sisters. 

So this week is going to be a busy one! This Friday we are going to have a boda (wedding) and then they are going to be baptized. I am so happy for them. It’s O’s parents. Also a friend of O’s is going to be baptized as well. O. got ordained this week so he is going to baptize his parents and his good good friend! I am so happy for them! Brother L. has made changes in his life for a while now so that he can feel the influence of the spirit stronger in his life. His whole family has seen a difference. We are so happy for each of them. Nothing better then growing closer to our Savior and seeing the blessings in our life. I wouldn’t want to spend the 4th of July doing something else besides helping a family get married and then having them make such an important covenant with our Heavenly Father. It doesn’t get much better than that! I’ll imagine the fireworks in my head at this point hahah but I am so glad that I can do this on my dad’s birthday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!! I am so thankful for such a great father. I wouldn’t want a better example then you. I have learned so much from you and continue to learn from you. I am thankful to have a loving father who is a great example to his two boys. I can’t express my gratitude enough to have such a wonderful dad. I wish you a Happy Brthday Dad! Make it a great day Friday. THANKS FOR EVERYTHING DAD!!! LOVESSSSSSS! 

Well, loving hermanos y hermanas, mucho gracias por todo! Estoy gracias por cada uno de ustedes en mi vida! cada uno de ustedes son un luz en mi vida. sin ustedes, yo no estoy aqui ahorita en mi mision ayudando nuestro hermanos crecer mas cerca de nuestro padre celestial. GRACIAS POR TODO! Tenga un buen dia viernes! Celebrar nuestro dia de independencia en la manera correcto! Ustedes saben! Gracias mis amigos y familia! 

con mucho amor, Elder Long!!!