Author: erika

5 months??????

Hey everybody,

It has been a long, but fast moving week once again, just like every week out here, and this week was actually a lot better than the last. Me and my companion are working super hard every day, and have been seeing a lot of success for it too. We are finding a ton of new people every week, and still managing to find time to make it to all of our appointments too. We have seen many blessings out here, and I am super glad to be doing well every day. We also had a baptism this last week in the river!! It was cool to watch, but I did not have the pleasure to enter the water and do it. I was glad though because the water was bitter cold that morning haha.


These 5 months have gone by so fast, and they are just going by faster! How can it be that I am almost 25% of the way done with my mission?? I have a ton of work left to do and I can’t even think about going home yet haha.
We have had a ton of rain recently, and even though it was supposed to be the hottest week in the whole year, we went to bed cold and could barely even shower because we were dying. You all would die of heat stroke at the same time I was shivering if you were here haha!!


Happy birthday to my pops today, hope you all go take him out and do something fun together, or stay in the house and have family fight night haha. Love you dad!


We had a possum climbing a tree in our yard last night, and we tried to peg it down with a bunch of rock hard oranges, but that guy doesn’t feel anything. We have a brother in the branch that knows how to cook them, and I think this guy lives somewhere in our house, so it is only a matter of time before the machete will fall swiftly and surely… Hahaha ( I will let you all decide if I am joking or not ) 😉


Pictures: Weird bug we tried to burn but it flew away, baptism, contacting the monkey that lives next door, a bag full of green mangoes, my new addiction.
Hope you all have an awesome week! Love you all tons and I can’t wait to be able to call you all this week again! Love you!!
Elder Searle
Sneezes: 385 Baleadas: 172

New Companion Week

Hey everyone, 
This week has been a little hard with changing companions, not going to lie. It is hard to leave the first companion you have in the field, as he is the one you look to for everything and then he leaves and you are just a normal missionary. I am adapting myself quickly to my new companion though, and I have seen some interesting things this week. He is quite bold, and very direct. He speaks little to no English, just as much as Elder C. did, and he has the same amount of time out as a missionary as Elder C. does.

The first day we met, he unpacked, and we went to the closest member’s house. He barely had introduced himself when he picked up an ax and started cutting wood for them, as he likes to serve a lot. I have a lot to learn from him, and I want to spend a good chunk of time with him to learn as much as possible. I have felt quite insufficient in this week, as he has been correcting my Spanish a lot, even though I thought I was doing good, and for my lack of being able to teach as well as he does. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to him, but it is hard to have such a huge change in companions. I hope to be able to be this efficient when I have the same amount of time as he does. 


We went to San Pedro Sula for my first time ever, and had to stand on the bus for 3.5 hours as there was no seats. We got on the bus at 3 AM, and I managed to sleep and stand at the same time for the first time in my life. I got sick while sleeping like this and almost died. We have been working hard, putting up lots of dates out here, and seeing prepared people all the time. He is helping me a lot in the things that I definitely missed out on in my training. I can see the difference between a companion who works and a companion who works hard and knows what a good days worth of work is. I am grateful for him. It is hard, but I want to to good and know that hard things help us grow.


The language is finally coming a little bit better, I was sounding pretty gringo before, and now I am working on becoming fluent. I don’t want to spend the two years here and not be able to speak fluently and clearly by the end of my mission. I am glad to have someone help me, and it is a good test of my patience as it is hard to see that he is just correcting me for my better good, even though it is hard to hear it sometimes.


I tried ocean snail in a soup the other day, and the only thing I didn’t like was that we were eating soup for lunch. The middle of the day in a hot country and everyone is eating soup for lunch?? They are all trying to kill me. 


Photos: 3 iguanas that they killed again in this horrifying way, and a picture of the pet monkey next door to the house that wouldn’t hold still

Please don’t forget to keep me in your prayers still.
Love you!!
Elder Nathan Searle
Sneezes: 336 Baleadas: 156

We went to the mountain, finally…..

Hey everybody, We finally got to go over to Pico Bonito this p day, and that is why I am so late writing you today, but I am going to try to be quick with my emails so that I can be able to call you later too. It was super fun and I have a TON of pictures from it, so I won’t say too much, but will let you look at all the pictures instead. 


We had splits the other day, and we are going to have splits again tomorrow all day long. It was weird being with another missionary, and I am not going to lie, I wasn’t a big fan of it. I got put with a fresh greenie right out of the MTC, who didn’t communicate well with me, and made everything his way. I was awakened to the fact that I am not always going to have awesome companions, and that despite the faults we have had, up until now, I have had some truly awesome companions out here. 


We lost the baptism we had set for this week, because the mom is not ready to let the daughter be baptized yet. She does not believe she is old enough or ready to make decisions like that yet, so we will not be seeing this baptism anytime soon. But, we have been receiving a ton of new people who are prepared to receive us, and all of them are progressing. It is amazing to see the Lord’s hand work in our lives when we are willing to look for it, and when we are humble enough to ask for it.


I am going to get the box you all sent from home to me this week, as we have a companionship that has to go to the mission office this week. They are going to bring it back to their area, and when we finish splits I will have it in my hands. I think it all worked out for the better, and I truly have learned a lot about how important patience is and that it pays off when we are truly patient to the core.


Okay new foods that I tried this week (careful reading these, not a fan myself):A cow’s udder (tastes and smells like milk)chicken Feet (tastes and basically is super glue with oil and fat in it)
Photos this week:The mouse that was in our house that I killed with my bare hands (broke the broom doing it, I am quite proud to say that I have a little bit of mom in me for this haha), a hen with her 21 babies (what a mom), the cow udder, the mother and baby healthy and in their home from my story last week, chicken feet, the most pathetically small tacos I have seen in my life, and pictures from Pico Bonito


I love you all. Have a great week and remember to stay diligent in being both patient and humble!


Baptism 3

Hey yall,
We had a baptism yesterday that went super well! We also have dates for at least four more people this month, all of which seem pretty solid. I am wicked excited to see the work of the lord progressing and moving forward so quickly! It was a stressful day yesterday as the missionaries in this branch are always more than just missionaries, and we had to plan and execute everything without having any notice at all. It was a stressful day and I fell into a dead sleep. 


I had a crazy experience the other day in which a four wheeler just stopped in the middle of the street without any reason, my companion pointed it out, and the driver seemed to be struggling with something. We ran over there and he was having a seizure! We had no choice but to pull his little daughter out of his arms so that he didn’t crush her or hurt her. All was good, and with some water and about 3 minutes of waiting, he just up and left. It was a good reminder that we need to be prepared to do anything at any moment, and always be worthy to receive the call of action when it comes. I have also seen 2 mute people for the first time in my life. One was a little boy who was trying to tell us something and we couldn’t figure out what it was, but he followed us for a few streets being our little buddy and it was pretty cute. I love the people here.


I was reading the story of Enos this week, and marked certain parts in it to make the story shorter and more simple, and I think that the story of Enos truly is amazing. We can see how powerful the atonement is in a matter of about 6-7 versus of scripture. This proves just how simple it is, even though it seems to be quite complicated. I know that the Atonement is powerful, and it does not matter where we are at in our lives, there is no point of no return, and we can always come back into the fold of God.


We had to say goodbye to hermana T. a little bit early as she is moving houses. She is the first person I met, and it is really hard to say goodbye to her. She is my mama de la mision and I don’t want to see her go. I love her and her family, and I didn’t realize how hard it would be to say goodbye already. She will visit every once in a while, but it just won’t be the same without her. 🙁


New foods I’ve tried this week:tamarind (fruit)The inside parts of a chicken (wish I wouldn’t have asked what kind of meat it was after eating it)
Pictures: Big huge baleadas, how to truly use the toothpaste to the end, baptism day, guess what type of meat it is (armadillo tail), Saying goodbye to Hermana T. (my mom of the mission):
I am doing great out here and wicked excited to talk to you all this week! hope you are all doing good at home! Love you tons!!
Elder Searle

Sneezes: 270 Baleadas: 103


I feel older….

Hey y’all,
It has been an average week here, hot and humid as normal. We have a baptism interview this Saturday, and if all goes well we should have at the least 1 baptism this coming Sunday. We are way excited to have this work, and we are going to put up more dates as we keep finding prepared people out here. We have ran into a million prepared people out here and I am glad to be feeling so well and working so hard.


I tried Iguana for the first time last night, after watching them kill it. I have a video and this was a little harder to eat then the armadillo, but it was really good haha.


Yesterday afternoon we got a little bored and didn’t know what to do, so we walked all over our area in places my companion had never been, and we ran into a few people who had questions about us and we talked to for a little while. We also walked almost into the jungle basically, where there were no cars and few houses/sounds. It was very peaceful and recharging to my soul and I realized how much I miss climbing mountains and being in the peace up there. 


The zone Conf. got moved to this coming week in march, so it will be a little longer before I can video call you all, but I think I will buy some headphones or something out here so I can at least voice call you at some point. It also makes it more sure that the package will be here in time for the zone conf if all goes well. 


Pictures this week:My birthday party with the other missionaries and Felix (they caked my face!), the gifts I got, the machete that we have in our house, shaka laka, birthday for a 4 year old in San Juan, my first baptism “playing  guitar” on a rock wall, the iguana before and after and video, our walk last night, the iguana in plate form.
Love you all and hope you are all doing super awesome at home!!
Elder Searle

Sneezes: 254

Baleadas: 93

Hey Y’all

Hey yall,


This week I had some pretty amazing experiences, even though the week itself seemed kind of meh. I gave my first talk in Spanish in front of our whole branch, which was pretty awesome, and I was called on to do it only the night before, which is better than 5 minutes before, so at least I was ready haha. I also gave my first blessings in Spanish this week too. I had participated in the circle in spanish and done the first part of consecrated oil before in spanish, but this time I gave the blessing, and it was super amazing. I have always seen myself speak through the spirit in blessings, but doing it in spanish too is even more amazing and a wonderful experience to have.


I have been witnessing more blessings out here as I am now paying for it myself out here. I am grateful for all the hard work I did to get myself out here, and I think a lot about all I had to do to get myself out here. It is motivating to think of, and motivates me to move faster. I worked a lot to get myself here, and I am not trying to waste a single second of it. I take breaks and have my faults all the same, but I find that I am working more vigorously, and that I find a greater purpose in every moment of my day. I have also seen the difference in myself versus other missionaries whose parents are paying for their whole mission. They are good missionaries and have purpose and are great, but it seems to me like they almost lack a certain fire that is necessary to take it to the next level of hard work. I am glad I worked my guts out to get here.


We also had our first service project in the house of an hermano here, in which we removed banana trees from his back yard. They barely have any roots and we basically just pushed them over, and you can cut through their weak trunks in just one slice of a machete which is pretty cool as well. It was reviving to my soul to go out and serve and I felt better this day for that. 


I also witnessed for the first time fireflies, which are super cool and kind of breathtaking your first time. It is like watching the stars blink from the ground. I don’t know how else to explain it other then that, but it is super amazing and I am glad to have seen them because now I am spotting them everywhere haha. Also they are impossible to catch and super fast (I already tried)


Okay now for a list of foods I have eaten or tried here that I haven’t had before. Some of them are only the Honduranian name, so I don’t know if you will be able to find them all, but some of them you might already know:Meats: ArmadilloFruits: Licha, guanawana, sapote, paterna, cacao verde, guineo, platano, papayavegetables: pakaya, yukoDrinks: horchada, jugo de pinol, judo de avena, topollios (frozen)


Pictures:Me ready for our service project, us burning more mice (I’ve killed 5 now), my scripture case in spanish, our next baptisms the “pandas”, homemade pizza at a members house, and me being “puro Catracho” or pure honduranio


I love you all and am way excited to be able to call you sometime this next couple weeks. Hope you are all doing good and I am excited to talk to you all this week in a little while! 


Tons of love, and your favorite elder, 

Elder Searle

Week 8

Hey everybody!I am doing awesome out here, been crazy busy and just all sorts of crazy stuff that happens every day out here. First, some more things about Honduras:We are in the poorest mission of the world, but its also the best mission (that’s what my mission president said so it must be true;) 24 Lempiras are worth 1 american dollar here. We buy bags of water (5oo ml) for 3 lempiras, and everything is real cheap except for travel is a bit more expensive and we have to travel a lot. We are quite poor, but eat lunch and dinner with members just about every day. We were going to go hiking today, but we had a change of plans and are now going to the beach this afternoon, so next week you will get some pictures of the beach, and the week after, some pictures of the mountains while I am out hiking. 

There is a staple food here called baleadas, which is beans and eggs in a tortilla shell, and then you just add things as you feel rich. The first one was alright, and now they are all great. I am going to get fat if I don’t starve to death. My stomach took about 9 days to adjust and be okay with this climate and food, and now I am never not hungry so that’s great… It rains all day when it rains, and it rains mercilessly. We got caught off guard one day and got soaked… That won’t happen to me again haha

Other things: There is a song called “one by one” written by Elder Bednar that is pretty good that we heard in the MTC. Elder Bednar is my favorite apostle now aside from the prophet because he always seems to talk about the things I need to hear.

Alright, spiritual experiences:We baptized two people yesterday after church, and confirmed them right there too. We have a font that is a laundry tub thing without the laundry part. (you will get a picture of my laundry stuff after this) it was great and we have at least 2 more baptisms this month that we know of so far. I can’t wait for them!

Going to send some pictures of the baptism, the laundry bin thingy we use, a member named “F” who lives in our district but not our area, my new district of 5, and a meal that “F” cooked for us after our district meeting last week.


I love you all very much and I am grateful for all of your support while I am out here. It has been a good week, and we are coming up on two months here soon… I can’t believe how fast it has gone, and it only seems to be speeding up!


I love you all tons and tons!

Elder Nathan Searle

Note from dad : We got some pictures today. Looks to be a small frog, spiders that need to be baptized by fire, awesome wood missionary tag. Then the great ‘laundry’ system, Felix and Felix’s lunch ( fish ) & the kids they baptized this week.

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Amedeus

Amedeus was an epic film, as it was epically long and painful. While I’m sure that there was many historically significant events, I am not a history buff and don’t know what it based on truth or not. I’m sure some music majors and historians would like to view the film, perhaps just once in their lives, however the potential audience for really enjoying the content of this film must be extremely narrow. I do find classical music very enjoyable, and the time period is interesting, however the making of a 3 hour movie for his life is a bit of a stretch.

One element that I found very interesting was the way that the story was presented. The use of Antonio Salieri’s retelling of his life was a great way to present the storyline. This allowed us to view his emotion, in the way he told the story on screen, as well as the perspective of the other actors playing out the scenes. This dual perspective gave added voice to the presentation, and gave us a type of stereo vision, allowing us to understand it much better. The switching from Salieri’s first hand dialog, to the long scenes of the events allowed for better attention span, as well as broke up the story into logical pieces, making it a bit easier to comprehend what was going on though the story.

The basic storyline of the film is the telling of the lifespan of Mozart through Salieri’s point of view. We start with Antonio, in a mental hospital of some kind, telling of Mozart’s early childhood. We learn of his music skills as a prodigy, as his father drags him all over showing off his talent. As he matures, he ends up working for many folks, composing music and full operas. His relationship with his father sours, and eventually becomes a problem for his wife as well. His appetite for women, poor financial planning and spending, and not following social norms causes friction between his employers and wife for most of his life. His father passes away, which is clearly a tough time for Mozart. Salieri secretly hires Mozart to write his (Mozart’s) own funeral march, and plans to knock off Mozart at some point.

As I watched this film, I’m unsure why Mozart’s laugh, which was peppered throughout the entire dialogue, was so obnoxious and painful. His emotional and witty laugh was unusual at first, and even playful in parts of the show, however after 3 hours of hearing the laugh, it was clear that he was insane. It was unclear what point this was making, if Mozart really did have this crazy laugh, and it was trying to be historically accurate, or if this was a tool to show Mozarts playfulness, immaturity, unpredictability or instability. This film was dialogue driven and as it was broken up with scenes from opera’s you could still feel the animosity between Salieri and Mozart even when they weren’t communicating directly. I did find the music enjoyable and really had no idea how many pieces Mozart had composed that I have heard before.

At the end of the film you see the priest who is supposed to be there to absolve Salieri of his sins is overcome with the story he has just heard. Salieri points out that it was in fact God who took Mozart away and let him continue living for 32 years full of mediocrity. Salieri claims he is the Saint of Mediocrity and can absolve all the mediocre souls out there. His obsession with Mozart has ended up taking away what joy he could have had in life. This was a unique film that I will probably never watch again.

Nastalghia

Nostalghia is a foreign film written in Italian by a Russian director. I had a hard time deciding what was actually going on in the film, between reading the subtitles fast enough to understanding the plot of the film. This is not a dialogue based film, it relies greatly on other background sounds in the film and lack of sound. In fact to me, I felt that the actors were constantly “breaking the fourth wall” while talking. You couldn’t always see they were talking to someone because they were the only one in the shot and sometimes I thought they may actually be talking to themselves while looking at the camera. That made the editing for me seem really disjointed. I understood that Andrei was from Russia and was visiting Italy to research a Russian composer who lived in Italy for a while. I didn’t understand why it was so intriguing to the other characters to know he was from Russia doing research.

The lighting in the film changed from feeling stark black and white to having some color come through in certain scenes, like when Eugenia is in the hall and Andrei tells her she is beautiful, you can really tell that she has red hair. There were plenty of instances where the camera would be a medium close up and then it would pull focus and move farther away helping you to see just how far away someone was or making it seem they were really lost in thought. When Andrei is talking to Domenico the scene changes multiple times making you wonder if you are still in him dilapidated home or outside. The images were not always clear when you would move to a different scene and it would take a deliberate amount of time to come into focus and really let you know what you were looking at.

The sounds and music in the film were not comforting to me in any way. They seemed harsh and at some times I thought it sounded like a circular saw going off in the background which was grating on my nerves. It was hard for me to follow and completely know when the characters were reminiscing about their lives and what was currently happening. The film seemed to jump back and forth from the past to the present. I think Andrei was homesick for his wife and children, but wasn’t very proactive in getting back home soon. I want to know where the dog fits in. The dog seemed to be in past and present scenes and in both Domenico’s and Andre’s dreams. I don’t know what his specific importance was though.

In the final scenes where Domenico was preaching and shouting the ramblings of a madman, most of the other people in the scene were stationary and I felt that they were statues. It was as if he was invisible to them, but it also felt like time was standing still for everyone else. It was a very dramatic ending with him pouring fuel on himself and lighting himself on fire. The one man on the ground that mimicked his actions made me wonder if he was part of Domenicos imaginings of what he was to do next. Why do we not see what exactly happens to Andrei as he finally makes it across the bath with the lighted candle? We just hear a thud making me assume that he dies too, not returning home to his family. Then you end the film with Andrei sitting on the ground with his home in Russia behind him as the focus is pulled through again and makes it look farther away and his home is left in between the streets of Italy.

Guardians of the Galaxy

There are many Marvel movies that I really like to watch, but Guardians of the Galaxy was not one of them. Maybe it’s because I didn’t understand where this movie was supposed to go. Maybe it was because you have to read the comic books so that you have a better knowledge about what the movie should be about. I was not a big fan of this movie. Let’s start with the beginning. This movie starts with Peter Quill, a young boy with a dying mother. His mother dies and he runs from the hospital crying with a present she told him to open when she is gone. He collapses on the hill and is promptly abducted by a space ship. What??? Where did that come from? Fast forward 25 years and you have a man who likes to steal objects and sell them on the black market in the galaxy to anyone who will offer the best price. He also has no qualms about turning on those he should be working with.

I usually enjoy the genre of science fiction, but this one left me wondering what the plot really was and feelings of confusion thinking that the general theme seem to change. I took my teenage sons to this movie and they asked me what the point of the movie was supposed to be. I thought they just liked going to movies for the action, who knew my picking apart and analysis of movies was going to rub off on the whole family. Peter Quill, who wants to be known as Star Lord, has not instilled in me a sense of the protagonist in the movie that I want to root for. He seems more like the loner kid who just hasn’t grown up and wanted to know why he was kidnapped and what he is doing in the galaxy. The only memento that he holds onto is the tape walkman (that yes, I had as a kid) with the tape that his mom made him of 80’s music. Keeping the movie real to when you see Peter first as a kid in the late 1980’s. I had a feeling that the movie was stuck in a cycle of continuing to be in the “all is lost” phase of the movie beats.

I did however, enjoy the special effects in this movie. You have the computer generated walking, talking, raccoon named Rocket, and Groot the humanoid tree creature with the limited vocabulary of “I am Groot”. Groot kept being left out in decisions and the discussion of splitting the money that could be made, but I found myself wanting him to go farther and succeed. He was the creature I wanted to win and root for. I enjoyed the part towards the end where Groot saves them all by growing around them with the sparkling little lights around him. You knew he was going to sacrifice himself for the group. This movie did stay true to the thought that there are many different kinds of races out in the galaxy waiting for us to know and have relationships with. I was frustrated hearing at the end that the group that kidnapped him knows who his father is and was supposed to bring him to his father. I’m sure there will be a sequel that I won’t care if I go see.

The Cove

The Cove is a cinema verite documentary about saving the dolphins. It starts with the characters saying they tried to gain this footage and information legally, but you get the feeling there will be some covert action to gain this information. Especially with the effects in the beginning showing places in black and white with music that sounds like it comes from a spy movie. Then you have Ric O’Barry talking to Louie Psihoyos in a car in Taijii, Japan. As they enter this town you have the sense that they love dolphins in all of the advertising and ships they have in this town. Ric quickly sets you straight that this is the front of what he is determined to find out for sure what goes on in this little cove off the ocean. He is followed and questioned by the police because they don’t like him digging around. In the first few scenes I got the impression that he was a little crazy and fanatical talking about how if the Japanese fisherman could catch him they would kill him.

You then find out that Ric O’Barry is the one who made the television show Flipper a reality. He caught the dolphins for this show and became a renowned dolphin trainer. You hear the music from the 1964 television show of Flipper. Flipper was a tv show about a dolphin who would help the people of the town, kind of like Lassie. This gave people the idea that dolphins were smart and trainable and this could be turned into big money. After the show ends one of the dolphins that played Flipper dies in his arms and this turns his view of capturing dolphins for captivity upside down. He is arrested the next day for trying to free dolphins in captivity.

This documentary filmmaker plays many roles in this one film. They are the explorer, the reporter, an advocate and they even employ the use of guerrilla tactics to get the footage needed to tell their side of the story. They do an excellent job of keeping the audience asking the burning question of what happens to the dolphins in the cove they bring in on a daily basis? Every time you think you might get that question answered, they are chased away by the fishermen or official authorities. No one want to talk about what happens in the cove, which leads the viewer to be even more curious as to what is really happening. Deep down though I knew what was happening, but I continued to watch hoping my fears would not be true. They are being killed and they have to disguise the meat to be sold as something else to cover up the fact that dolphins contain too much mercury to be eaten. Their meat has a toxic level of mercury in it, but no one wants to acknowledge this or be held accountable.

You could tell that this film held a personal interest to all who were involved in it. They really loved what they were doing and were willing to go to jail for it. The dramatic potential for the film was there as you watched them try to go in and covertly set up cameras and sound equipment. With the gear and technology they were using it made you feel you were watching a special ops mission. There may be critics as to how they received their information, but you could tell that going through the “proper channels” was getting them nowhere. You don’t see too much of the other side of the story, but I didn’t feel it was so much a lack of them trying to ask questions and get answers. They just really didn’t want what they were doing to get out to the rest of the world. The visuals at the end where the water turns red with all of the blood was a little overwhelming to me. I was emotionally invested by this point and it was not a humane way to kill these dolphins. You don’t have to agree with me, but I don’t see how killing these dolphins is helping anyone. They are needed in the marine ecosystem and we as humans do much more damage to our world than these marine mammals could do.