"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, September 15, 2014

Living the dream...

Here we are, another Monday and I really don’t know where the time has gone! It’s crazy how fast the time is going by! Each week seems faster and faster and full of just experiences to say the least...every single day is so different. We are making some changes here in the Villeda for the better! It’s not an easy área but we are going to make it turn around like we want it to. Well lets get down to it shall we! 
This past week we had the opportunity to listen to President Beck, President of the Young Men’s Organization for the entire church, around the world. He brought such a strong spirit and it was a great opportunity to learn from him and the stories that he told. It was a good time. It was great though because I got to see the BOYS ha-ha Elder W, Elder H AKA Hafenater, Elder M, and Elder M AKA MacDaddy P! It was a good time to catch up with all the guys! So that was a good one. 

This week we had the opportunity to go to the temple in Tegucigalpa. It was another uplifting time as well. Always a highlight when we get to go to The House of the Lord and learn from the spirit. After the temple we went to PriceMart. Price Mart here is Costco. Costco is the owner of it. They are somewhat new here and all but it was amazing to go there and eat some real pizza. It was the best pizza I have had here. It was super good. I ate like a champ!  

So the highlight of the week… Sit back and enjoy the ride….So this week I had the chance to go to the inner city… and when I say the inner city I mean the inner city. It was the first and hopefully the last time that I go there because it was quite the experience. So I was on changes with the zone leaders. This is their area and I can’t imagine the things that they see day in and day out serving there. So I will just share a Little with you guys to give you an idea. 

So we were in one of the most dangerous áreas of Tegucigalpa.. it’s famous. It’s called Pedrigal and one of the colonias there is called Barcelona. The Barcelona is one of the áreas by Pedrigal. Its hot to say the least... when I say hot I mean dangerous… but there are souls to sabe there… so we worked there until about 5 o’clock. We must leave there around 5 because anytime later…who knows. So when we went into this area around 1:30 there waiting at the entrance were gang members… some had bats just hanging over their shoulders and others casually had pistols in their hands… imagine that. Kids, familias and the whole world were passing right by them. They were guarding the area. So we just walked by and said hello and that was that. 

Later in the night we were in a different area. This area is not as bad supposedly. So we were walking in this area where there are tons of houses and apartments… tons... and when we were walking there like every block there were gang members on the corners just talking and all. Casually with pistols and all like it was just another day at work. 
So around 7 we were eating at this little restaurant in the middle of this area and all of a sudden, boom boom boom… and everyone rushes into their houses. The owner of the restaurant comes out and says come in come in. So we moved our seats. Next thing you know boom boom boom again. My companion was not fazed at all… it was just another day in their area. I was in shock. 

So we were walking after we were done eating and we took a turn to go a little higher up in the colonia and there was a man there with two other dudes. He goes, “Give me a dollar”… and in his hand was a pistol… I was like “ I don’t have one I am sorry.” He goes okay... vaya vaya vaya which means like, go go go. So we walked away like nothing even happened… 

I can’t even describe to you guys how fast my heart was bumping… holy crap ha-ha. I don’t think that I have ever said so my prayers in my head in my life. It was like the entire day was a constant prayer. So that is the exciting news that I have for this week. That’s about all, just another week baby! Good memories… I think that I loss hair from such high stress levels, but all is good! 

So this week I spent a lot of time studying the life of Jesus Christ. It was such an amazing week studying and edifying my testimony of my loving Savior. Mientras estudiando cerca de la vida de Jesucristo, preste mucha atención a una cosa. This was the importancia of the Sacrament. Jesus Christ put a lot of emphasis on the sacrament because it really is one of the most important things that we can partake of in this life. It is so important to have an understanding of the sacrament. Our Savior wants us to remember his great atoning sacrifice and to keep his commandments. To help us do so, he has commanded us to meet often, assist at church, and partake of the sacrament. The sacrament is a holy priesthood ordinance that helps remind us of the atonement of the Savior. 

Shortly before his crucifixión, Jesus gathered his apostles around him in an upstairs room. He knew he could soon die on the cross. This was the last time he could meet with these beloved men before his death. He wanted them to always remember him so that they could be strong and faithful to his teachings. 

To help them remember, he introduced the sacrament. He broke bread into pieces and blessed it. We learn from the Bible in Matthew about this. Mathew 26: 26 -28. It reads:

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27 And he took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 
Partaking of the sacrament is such a blessing that we have in our lives. I invite each of you to read these verses and do what you need to do in order to receive the blessings in which the Lord has in store for each and every one of us. I love the verses in St John chapter 6 verses 53 to 58. It reads:

53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.     
Sorry I know the punctuation is not correct (mother to the rescue to correct it!!!) but I am working with a ghetto computer that all the options don’t work. So that’s why it’s not formally correct, my apologies. But I love how the Lord has put so mucho émphasis on the sacrament. It is such a blessing for our lives. There is a promise. If we partake of the sacrament we will have the spirit to be with us always. It is a way to renew or covenants each week and receive the spirit and blessings that our Heavenly Father has in store for each and every one of us. 

I want each and every one of you guys to have this promise. It will change your life. I promise you all, if you make a sacrifice to partake of the sacrament every week and go to church, your lives will change. I promise you all, I see it here with people that are wiling to put the Lord first. It makes a great difference. Make the change and do it and the Lord will bless you. 

Well family and friends, thanks so mucho for all your amor y support. You guys mean a lot to me and have carried me through times of good and times that were rougher. You guys are all very important to me and I hope that you are learning a little bit from the experience that I am having here in Honduras. My misión has changed me for the better. I am so thankful for your love and support! Make it a great week! Aim high in all that you do and put your best foot forward! I love you all! Gi, make it a special week man. I love and miss you. Keep working hard in all my man, It will pay off.  Love you stud! 

Con Mucho Amor,
Elder Long!!!

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