July 28, 2014

The Report From the Fork in the Road, Ed 28 Julio 2014

This week's episode...poverty.

So as with all of our adventures this week I was with Elder Sessions. And in this week it was time to go get a new housemate at the changes. So we went and picked up a new gringo, Elder Moes (pronounced Moose) who is from Salt Lake City. Well then we got back from the big city it was time to get back at the work. Well it is really weird to have another gringo in the house. That brings the total up to three and one Latin. Crazy but hey fun times!

Well as for the adventures there haven't been any really great but only some really small daily ones. So we first have been fighting the local cat population that somehow keeps getting into the house and makes me end up throwing a shoe at these evil feline vermin! They are trying to eat our trash. But we are taking care of them with shoes and or machetes. (No animals have been hurt in the making of this email* yet!) Then we go and teach all day. It has been hot and then rains then is hotter than before.

Also so this week has been a week just filled with Sessions and Lorenzana having a bunch of meaningless arguments about the dumbest things. What type of puppy is the cutest, whether or not America is only the states or all of the continent. About anything that you can think of as a crappy argument boom, they have it. Mostly it ends up Moose and I watching them and laughing. On another note, found out the other day that I am one of the old guys in the mission. In this mission there are more than three-fourths of the missionaries have less than ten months in the mission. Crazy.

So as with investigators we are finally getting some new ones. Our long weeks of drought have come to an end with the finding of some really great new families to teach. It has been rough but the long weeks of hard work are paying off. Don't get frustrated if you seem to be going no where. Just refocus and attack from a new angle folks. It will work in the end. It always does.

So now on to the subject of this letter. So Elder Sessions always uses this phrase "Oh that's poverty!" Yeah with everything. As in we saw Elder Moes drinking from a jug that had a hole in it and that is when Sessions says "Oh that's poverty." Finally after weeks of hearing this I had to confront it and say "Elder we are in Honduras, that is the definition of POVERTY!" But until further notice please refrain from using the work poverty around me. I get it enough. Man mo-mos are crazy peoples. Well it was good to hear from you all and I hope you are all doing well. I love you all except for the ones, you know who. Well see yas,


July 21, 2014

The Report From the Fork in the Road, Ed 21 Julio

So this week was really crazy folks. To start with we had a normal Monday and Tuesday and then we were off on Wednesday to have interviews with the mission president. To be honest it seemed all normal until it was my time to talk with Pappy Dester. So we got in and Pappy D just started in with the big guns. Want to know the crazy part? It wasn't to attack me. It was about an elder who was living in our house. He had been fighting with his comp and this had been his last chance. Well turns out he got the pink slip and got sent home. Only bad news for me and Elder Sessions, due to the crappiness of Honduran law anyone under the age of 21 can't get on a plane without written consent from your parents. To add to the problem the elder is Mexican and his parents were on vacation and they couldn't get a hold of them. So he was with us for an undetermined amount of time.

Pres. Dester's reason for this was..."Elder Duff, I feel I can trust you with anything. And if he gets out of hand just hit him." To which I said, "President, are you giving me permission to hit an elder?" "Just do what you must." yeah so this was a whole bunch of new developments in my life. First and foremost it means that I might end up with a whole bunch of crappy companions due to the act that he trusts me to help straighten them out...crap... Number two is that for an unknown amount of time I am stuck in a trio with a zombie Mexican elder. Number Three...did I mention that it was for an undetermined amount of time? Well let's just say challenge accepted.

Then after we left that meeting it was time to be a babysitter. We really didn't get to do a whole lot of teaching this week since he was just a spirituality sucker in every lesson we tried so we just ended up having to guard him so he didn't do anything stupid. Wasn't that bad since he was a spiraling wave of chaos and emotions wrapped in a tortilla with some chilies for spice. So we only had him for four days until he went home on Saturday. But the emotional drain was just a killer. As in the house was this spirit of just pity and sadness not to mention that a whole bunch of planes pass over our house every single day leaving this dark foreshadowing with every flyby. But in the end he headed to his house with a spirit to better and see if he can come back and finish his mission. And I only have to say that good for him and I hope the best. In the meantime Sessions and I are trying to emotionally recover from this week. A hard job but it would be easier with a shipment of Swedish Fish (hint, hint, cough...hint) Sorry for that coughing fit there. But we should be fine.

Also in other news, this week has been a week of miracles. Yes there is more than one miracle with Madison emailing me three weeks in a row. So it is no small secret that I hate dogs here in Honduras. And the other well known fact is that they hate me too. Not my companions, only me. Well as usual these nasty rat-mutts that I encounter always try to take a bite out of a missionary and they are driven off with rocks, kicks to the face and at times other more drastic measures. So this Saturday we had a baptism, planned for two but only one showed. So we went after to see what had happened to the other guy. On the way this dog we always pass and always tries to test me came out to have another go at the white guy. But this time I had help from on high.

So as soon as this dog started barking I prepared myself. Taking my shoulder bag off and swinging it with a force near nuclear in power, I spun around on my heels to confront my noble foe. There he was, running towards me with that big ugly mutt face that he has, mouth open and a spittle of drool dripping off his one good fang, the other was lost in other conflicts with the missionaries. He got close when suddenly the swinging centrifugal force from the Bible and Book of Mormon in my bag delivered a God sent power slam that even Thor's mighty hammer could not have delivered.

The effects were both immediate and dramatic. My furry foe took the blow to the bottom of his chin and flew into the air, spittle flying from his mouth along with the one remaining canine tooth. He hit the ground hard all air flushing from his lungs in a satisfying sound. But my foe was quick to react and rose to his feet and quickly retreated back towards his safe haven of a home. But he was foolish on one part. He kept his head on me to make sure I didn't attack again. While running blind he ran out into the road and quickly was hit by a semi truck loaded with Chocoleyde (the local brand of chocolate milk). And thus this week justice was served. We had a ceremonial moment of silence for the fallen foe which lasted all of two seconds and then we were laughing and yelling for joy at the fact that the dog had met his well deserved fate. Our celebration can be summed up with the song and number from "The Wicked Witch is Dead" from The Wizard of Oz. And thus we saw a mighty miracle here for the boys of Milagro.

Well that is enough crazy tales for this week. Just want you to know that I love you and can't wait to hear from you all.



July 14, 2014


The Report From the Fork in the Road, Ed 14 Julio 2014

So here is the thing...this week was crazy. So let's talk about it.

So for all you, my adoring fans, this week was one for the books for many reasons. Well first on the last P-day we had an America Day bbq that was just a huge epic fail. Turns out that Latins' idea for a bbq and those of an American are totally different. So after having my hopes crushed we moved on to Tuesday. That was a chance to go and meet this really cool super inactive member lady who has a son on the mission. Well we came back Wednesday and she gave us lunch and she just wanted to talk about how the mission is and her son and stuff but hey I got really good chicken out of the deal so it is all good by me.

Then we got into the long work of realizing that our current investigators are all not progressing so it was time for Spring Cleaning. So this week we have been trying to get new gators to teach. It has been slow with no real results. We did have some really great lessons including with this hermana named Dora. We also have a couple new families that are looking really good right now but we will see if they go anywhere.

We found this new colony that happens to be literally on top of a mountain. It was a good fifteen minutes of hiking to get to and then all of the day contacting. We literally stopped at every single house in the colony and nothing. Not a single thing. The people were just super closed and wouldn't even give us the time of day. So now we know that we can just move on to a new area to find the sheep.

I also got to teach a whole lot to my child Elder Sessions about how to contact people. Well so now that we are all practiced up we are going to get back at it this week. In other news there was a big even that happened...

I got to see the end of the World Cup. Germany and Argentina went after it. But at the end the German discipline came through. Now the world will get back to normal hopefully. Also, I finished one year into the mission. Crazy! It seems like just yesterday I was hanging out with the guys in high school and now I am a year into my mission. Gosh. But hey the only thing left to do is go and get back at it for another year, right?

Well there isn't a whole lot more that has happened this week. I will keep you updated on it next week. Loves you all,


July 7, 2014

The Report From the Fork in the Road, Ed 7 Julio

So this week was fast and sad...just sad. Well let's talk about that, shall we?

So as you all are figuring out this week was America Day. It was sad...just sad. So in honor of that day we went in to the Latin missionaries' rooms and topped their beds. Then running out singing America the Beautiful while cooking Mickey Mouse pancakes and then running around attacking our Latin housemates and saying "America!" every time they tried to question our motives. Then we just went and taught like the missionaries we are. Yeah just a sad day. Not really different at all. Then all of a sudden it was yet another day after.

So this week we got back into the bridge building business. So this time we were only making a small bridge to go over the small canal of aguas negras that run all of this country. Yup, that is a sewage canal. Well everything was going good until my comp Elder Sessions misplaced his footing and fell into the canal. Yes it was totally the best thing ever. And the long walk back home with his shoes having that awkward squeaking and squishing was just making it totally that much better. So he was then trying for the rest of the week to clean his shoes. And then he told me that if he dies from a nasty infection or something that he would haunt me for the rest of my life for laughing at his misfortunate.

Then let's see what else happened...oh so we had to help our neighbor-lady chase down a cow who had used her hammock as a way to scratch its head and then the hammock got hooked on its horns and it took off blind and scared as two gringos and a fat Latin lady starting chasing it around the neighborhood. But good news is the neighbor has her hammock back. Bad news is that Honduras is so dangerous even livestock are starting to rob for a living. But hey I have my buddy Pancho who is a very high level thief in the raccoon cartel to help me. So don't worry about me.

In other news we are still plugging along and working with our investigators and trying to get them to come to church and progress towards baptism. Other than that we really don't have anything to report. Other than I expect all of you to be having adventures of your own and reporting on them.

As of yet no one has reported any adventures with pictures. I am ashamed of you all. Work on that for next week.

Other than that all birthday wishes are to send America in a box down to a kid in Honduras. I love you and can't wait to hear from you soon.