First day in new area ( Second Area )

First day in new area ( Second Area )

It has been a hard and a good time. I cried for like 4 days straight from when I learned I had to leave my first area until I got to my next one. I was the only one going out to where I am at now, so I had to travel 4 hours in a bus alone, and was kind of sad the whole time. I am all good now, trying to get adjusted to my new area, which is a huge ward where there is no work. I feel like a missionary in Utah…

It is going to be a little hard getting work going here again, but It is a new challenge that I needed. I have also been trained to be a District leader, and learned that the president’s wife is actually the most scariest person that there is on the planet. She cut deep into obedience, and president just said, “you all are going to remember her words more than mine, so just listen to her” and sat back to watch her finish us off. They are super awesome, and going to transform this mission into a whole new level. We are going to have more success and a lot more obedience here too. I am excited for all of this. 

Getting to know a new area is a little difficult, but I am already going well. It is a LOT hotter here than it was in my last area, and the sun hurts my brain. I am drinking like a gallon and a half of water every day no matter what, and it is still tough. My apartment doesn’t have running water, not just like running water to drink or whatever you have out there, but like NOTHING comes out. So it is cool to go take water out of the pila and bucket shower for the first time ever. 

I am going well. Ready for a new challenge, and even though I have received a lot of challenges, I know they can’t stop. I have to learn a lot, and I need to be tested for it. I hope to learn all that I can. I have met some real difficult people here, and the work is going to be a lot more interesting. We have to start from scratch here, and it will be a good experience. I love you all and hope you all have had a good week.

Love you all

Elder Searle

I have to leave the Masica :'(

This week was the first week that I have cried in for quite a long minute. They told me that I am leaving my first area here, and I think I denied thinking about it for too long and it hit me all at once. I was definitely not ready to leave here, but I know that it is all for a purpose. I am going to an area that is called Olanchito, which is known to be one of the hardest areas to be in. It is even more humble than it is here, and everyone always complains about going there, even the people who have never been there. I know I am going to love it for reals. I am leaving as District leader over 6 missionaries, 2 of which are sisters. It will be a new experience for me and it will be good to face new challenges and get a fresh start at everything again. I feel good and bad and it feels like leaving home again honestly.

Aside from that, we had three baptisms this week in my area, and we baptized all three in a river. It went really well and will be a great way to leave my area. I hope to have left it well, and I know that I will have.
I have learned a lot here, and I am glad to have been here for so much time truthfully. I love the people and the culture and everything that there is down here, and it is going to be hard to leave it all one day. It is important to learn everything you can, and to try to be as Christlike as possible. Just getting 1 percent better every day is sufficient.

I have been saying my goodbyes throughout the week, and I am going to be spending the rest of the day today finishing up with that, but most of my pictures are of families and people that I have been with, and the baptisms that we had. I hope you all had a good week and that everything went well for you, I am doing well and the next time I write you I will be in my new area.

I love you all and hope you have all had a good week!
Elder Searle

8 Months in this thing

Hey everybody,

It has been quite the long week for me out here, but really good. I have been working really hard with the people here, in doing service, teaching and visiting. We have found success for it, as we are going to be having 3 baptisms (with faith). I love my area and the people here so much, and it has been good for me to get out and just work my guts out as hard as I can lately. I am super grateful to be out here, and I know that I regret nothing and never will. I have learned and grown a lot, and I am glad to have done everything I have been able to to do so. 

I have also grown spiritually this week, as I have been getting up a few minutes early to be able to read my scriptures first thing out of bed, and then continue reading when I have study time. I have seen my spiritual level increase, and also have seen that I can teach a little bit better.
I have learned how to cook a ton of stuff too, so when I get home I will teach you all what a real tortilla tastes like, and a few new foods that you didn’t even know existed.

I hope you all have had a good week, and that you all will continue to keep strengthening your testimony in the gospel and in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

I love you all, Take care of yourselves,

Elder Searle

We builded a house

Hey everybody,

It has been a pretty good week out here in my area. We are going to have some amazing times out here in my potentially last few weeks here. We have been making sure to do plenty of service projects, and been retaining the people that we already have here. We have also been finding a lot of other success out here, and we are looking at a maximum of 6 baptisms my last Sunday here. I still don’t want to leave this stinking place, and I love it too much down here. I just can’t imagine myself walking into my next area and just leaving it all behind. It is going to be difficult.  I have grown so much in Patience, Humility and Charity out here, and it has done me a lot of good. I hope to keep moving forward in those things in my life too. 

We built a house this week, which was super awesome. On Wednesday at 7 AM we left the house, got way up high in the mountains, and arrived at the place we were going to be building. We got there and there was just wood and a bunch of dirt. We had a circular saw, a tape measure, one pencil, a machete, and like 2 hammers. In about 5 or 6 hours with 5 or 6 hardworking men, we had put everything up except for the last wall (we ran out of wood) and the roof (Had to buy the material). We did it all for an old man whose house had actually fallen over, and I felt really well afterwards. We went with the inactive man that is my bud, and is from my favorite family. Just because we don’t go to church doesn’t mean that we aren’t awesome people haha. 

We went paint-balling again today, I am sore and tired. It wasn’t as fun as the first time. I am learning a ton of stuff here, mostly how to make new foods. I can almost make tamales now, and I can make wheat tortillas from the bag until the plate. It is super awesome.

Photos:Turtle, Wood, Empty space, house, tan lines

Love you all, 

Elder Searle

I lost my CTR ring this last week :(

Hey everybody,

It has been a long and a bit of a weird week for some reason, but I don’t know why. The country has seemed to calm down quite a bit, as this last week there was soldiers in the streets, and now there is nothing, not even rumors of protests. I think everything has finally calmed down, and I hope so too. I hope it stays that way and that everything gets resolved well. 

The new mission president is already here, and we have the zone conference this week. We also all have interviews with him like normal, and he is going to be doing a tour of the whole mission so that he can know what this place needs. I bet he is going to be an awesome dude and do awesome stuff here for us.

I have been taking good care of the family that I had to visit with the HC this last week, and they are actually doing a little better. They have been inactive for a few years is all, and the head of the household has actually asked that in this week he wants us to bless his home as it has never been blessed before. I know that it will be good, and that a change is somewhere in his heart, as he is asking to re-invite the spirit into his home.

The same man was a soldier here in Honduras for about 8 years, and has been teaching me some weird and cool stuff that he learned out there. He taught me how to open someone’s closed fist with just 2 fingers, and also how to make someone cry just by barely touching them. He made me cry like a little girl and it was pretty cool honestly. He is a really good dude and I am so glad I got the chance to be close with him and his family. They will be remembered always. His wife actually talked with me yesterday too, and told me something interesting. She said that after so many missionaries had been in their house over so much time, she has learned that there are only two types of missionaries that people remember, the ones that leave holes in peoples lives, and the ones that leave footprints. She then reminded me of that thing mom has hanging up in the kitchen, and made me think about how I should be leaving every person here that I meet.

My studies have been going really well lately, and it is amazing how much a few small changes can make in your life. I have noticed that just by having a companion who puts in 50% more effort it makes a world of difference, and I am able to feel a ton better. I am doing well, and although not perfect, I am getting better every day and that is what is most important.

Other that that it has been a normal week, and I am glad to be out here still. I haven’t had any major challenges or problems, and I feel really good about everything still. I love you all and know you have all had a good week, hope you all have a good time this next week in your adventures too!

Photos:We played risk this last p day… it took all of p day…, the photos of me sucking the pineapple would have turned out a lot better if my companion wouldn’t have touched the lens on the camera with his sticky finger, but you get the point., and my good ol buddy Elder Cartagena with a butterfly on his nose.

Love you all tons!

Elder Searle

One Long Week

Hola de mi paiz,

It has been a long week for me out here, with having to go get my companion in transfers and getting a new house set up. We spent our entire day Tuesday trapped in traffic with the protests that are going on, and then we spent all day Wednesday cleaning and getting the house all set up. We had the rest of the week was work as usual, with my companion getting to know the area and all of that work. He is a good guy, likes to work hard, and will be good for my area. We get along well and it will be good for us to get some good work done here. 

The situation here in my new country is getting worse and worse, and even here where it is just a little town that no one cares about, they are getting pretty heated. There are protests, robbings, and they have even started to burn tires in the streets too. The Zone leaders have been calling us to tell us to get 72 hour kits ready and to make sure to always have enough food and water on hand for the chance that we have to stay in house and have a little “lock down” thing. They have also told us that if it continues to get worse, they are going to be taking us out of here pretty quickly. I hope it gets better, but it is not sounding like it is going to happen. 

I have seen some hard stuff this week. I have seen a lot of hard stuff out here in my time here, but this week there seemed to be a lot more than usual. It has been a little hard, and even been one of the few things that actually makes me think deep about the life at home being so different than it is here, and I know it will affect how I live after the mission. You have no idea how blessed you are in your country right now. We all have problems, but once we get to know that someone has it worse, it seems like our problems were pretty small before.

I got pulled out of priesthood lesson yesterday by a high counselor. He didn’t tell me what we were going for, and told me to leave my scriptures and everything behind. Being willing, I had stood up to go with him without knowing what he was going to be doing. We got in his car and he told me we were going to visit my favorite family here (who are inactive), and I just knew it wasn’t going to end well. He walked into their house while they were making lunch, demanded that they all gave him 7 minutes of his time, and then got after them for about 40 minutes about how he always goes there to help him and they never pay him back by going to church. He showed no love and I felt ashamed to even sit in the same room. I have never felt so embarrassed for the actions of another person, and when he gave me a minute to talk, I just said “I just want you guys to know I love and care about you, and just like always, anything you need, just call me and I will come to help you out” I honestly felt hurt having progressed so much with this family over the last 6 months and feeling like he has lost it all for me in about 40 minutes, but I guess we will see what happens. Everyone here that I talked to (branch president, other missionaries, etc.) about it told me that we should only get after people (machete them) with love, and that he was only in the wrong for not expressing his love, but I don’t think that there is anything we have received that says that we should get after someone in the first place. We only have to love.

My studies have been going well lately, and I have been reading the general conference talks in spanish and marking them with a highlighter like crazy. This last general conference clearly has marked some things that we are not doing so great in, and it is a clear reason that we were not ready for any changes this last round. All the talks I have read have touched me deeply, and I have been able to apply them in my own life. It is good to do, and I feel better for being able to charge myself spiritually with the words of a modern prophet.

I love you all, know you have all had an average summer week, and hope you get to go on enough adventures this week to be able to enjoy it!

Elder Searle

Normal week of normalness

Hey everybody,

This week has been good to get me moving and get me out of the little groove I was in, and it has been super awesome to see the results of hard work and of serving the people out here. We had two service projects that were hard work, and it payed off for me the same way it did for them. I got the exercise I needed and I am not so gordo anymore. I am going to try and make the goal to not do exercise so much, but to actually do a lot more service projects to keep myself in shape. I have actually found that it helped with my stress and helped me to get feeling a lot better. I worked my guts out and it payed off for me and helped show the love that I have for the people out here too.

The trio life hasn’t been too bad, the teaching is a little weird, but it actually wasn’t too long of a week. I am glad to finally be out of it tomorrow, as they are sending me a new companion that is from the same group that I am. He has the same amount of time in the field as I do, and I have known him since the MTC time we had together. He is a good missionary, we get along well, and he will work hard and be the support and everything that we need out here for now.

I am excited and doing really well, and feeling back up to the 110% that I want to be at. I am glad to have endured so well and I know that there are harder times down the road, but now at least I will be a little better prepared.

I have actually been thinking a bit about something that mom wrote me this last week (two weeks ago actually, because I forgot that I hadn’t read it) which says the following : “Remember that day you were hiking on Antelope Island and knew that serving a mission was what you needed to do.” It actually hit me and I thought and pondered it for quite a while this morning during breakfast. I thought about how that trip could have gone in so many different ways, but because of the way that it did go it has now changed the lives of so many people. It could have been that I stayed with friends and put making choices on the back burner, that I just spent my time alone goofing off and fighting the desires to make choices about life (stuck in analysis paralysis), or that I didn’t even go on the trip at all. But it ended up in me deciding to come here, changing the lives of many who I left at home, my family, my own life, the lives of my companions, and the lives of many people out here. We have infinite potential, and we are all just a few steps and a few moments away from making remarkable changes in the lives of ourselves and others. We might not change our life 100% for the good in three hours, but you might make the decision to get on the path to completely change your life in that amount of time.

I have also learned something good out here lately, which is that every day we have the potential to change such a small portion of our life, maybe just a fraction of a percent every single day. The difference between a lost person and someone who is doing well is what they do with that one percent every day. A lost person who walks away from the path for a week or two has not gone too far away, and can always come back. Those who walk away longer will have to take more time to come back, but they can always make it. Those who stay in the same place are not losing themselves, but they should be moving forward. And those who strive to keep moving forward every day are those who will reach perfection in the end. All it is is a matter of looking at where you are at, where you are going and where you want to be. If you really analyze yourself once a week, in whatever moment that you want to (it should be more than 5 minutes before taking the sacrament), you have the potential to analyze those three things (where you are at, where you are going and where you want to be). Analyzing these three things as well as including the basic gospel inputs every day (prophets words, scriptures, prayer, etc.), we have the ability to become who we want to be. The moment we are not diligent in these things, we will look up one day and wish we would have been a little more diligent because of where we are at, or maybe just because of where we are not at even though we had potential to get there. Just remember to do your best, strive to change for the better that fraction of a percent, and keep the basic things in your life. Notice that never once you had to analyze your speed or distance, just your direction and your current location.

I know you will all be blessed as you stay on the covenant path and keep striving to be the best that you can. I hope you all try to learn something from my half messed up English haha, and that I could help you with something in this week of your trails too. I love you all, miss you all, and hope you all do well. I am doing great, and feel ready for the next challenge here soon.

I love you all, have a good week!!

Elder Searle

Photos: B day party, fake table (ghetto), monkey made out of a coconut, mug with my picture on it, my jacked up hands from the 2 service projects, and a tiny pineapple

I killed a chicken, and my companion went home

Hey everybody,

The two events in the subject line have nothing to do with each other, but they were basically the only two outstanding events that happened to me out here in this week. I actually really enjoyed killing the chicken, although I didn’t do so great of a job of actually doing the killing part… They told me it was dead, so I stopped, and then like 30 seconds later they told me it was still alive so we just jabbed a knife in there. There is a good video for you all in there on the drive haha. I then feathered it and gutted it, cleaned it, cooked it in a soup and ate the thing within like 2 hours haha. It was super awesome and I am actually strong stomached after having been out here for so long. I didn’t even get a little sick, and only hesitated a few seconds before killing that thing. I don’t know what it is about here, but I am now a man. (and a murderer)

My companion went home on Sunday, as he did not want to be here anymore. I am now in a trio until next Tuesday (the one after tomorrow) and then I will move onto my next companion here in this same area. I found a nice house to finally get into, that will be very suitable for our needs, and I am actually excited to live there once I get out of here.

Photos: Happy birthday (we sang real good there), murderer of chickens, pictures of the new house.

I will make sure to make this week a lot better than the last one was, and I am sure I will bounce back here quick.

I love you all and hope you have all had a super awesome week!!

Elder Searle

Prior to the killing :
Killing the chicken :
Removing the feathers :
Washing the chicken :

Hope you enjoy the videos.

It has been another week

Hey everybody, 

The subject line basically sums it up this week. I had to go to San Pedro Tuesday to take out my Visa, which was pretty cool, but didn’t get to sleep for almost two whole days, then my companion was sick on and off this week. We worked about a good 2 days. 

The rain has been super strong and coming randomly here, and it has actually been cool but a pain at the same time. I have a couple videos but they don’t do justice to lightning cracking literally right over your head. It was pretty cool not gonna lie. 

The bus driver this week that brings all the people to church from my area decided to go out drinking instead of bringing the people to church, so even with the members I had about 8 people here on Sunday instead of almost 60, and also had to call every family from my area letting them know that they weren’t able to go to church in this week. It was quite a stressful and disappointing day. I am learning a lot of patience out here, and it is pretty tough on me. 

photos:La Masica, #SPS, baleadas, catholic church, some drunk dude who wanted to take a selfie with me and I already had my camera in my hand so I just did it…, san juan, me making baleadas for the first time (sorry the video is so long, I didn’t know my companion was still going), Rain video, and a bird that someone put in my hand even though I was unwilling to touch it (what an amazing time)

I also have the two types of Van huesen shirts that I have out here, the one that says slim fit is the one that you DO NOT BUY no matter what, and the one that says regular fit is the one that IS good.

That is about all I have got for you, sorry that my week was real lame. Hope that the next one is better and that you all had a good week at least.

Love you all!!

Elder Searle

Hi Everyone…

Note from Mom & Dad : We purposely didn’t share last week’s email from Nathan, as he had some big topics to cover. They have split his area in 1/2, he has a new comp, new apartment, and some new challenges. Here is his update this week. Sounds like he has things settling down a bit, and getting back to normal.

We had a baptism this last week and are working hard to get another this coming week. I am also going to be putting up dates with other people, and I am going to be working on baptizing entire families at a time. I am good with the few individuals that we have, but I am trying to get like 8 people in white on the same day here haha. It would be super cool, and I am going to do what it takes to get it done.

The week has been super rough, but good. I have grown a lot and I feel like I am starting to become the missionary that I need to be. I have been praying to become better everyday, no matter what it takes, and I know that the challenges that I actually get are to help me out here. They are answers to my prayers, as one day I am sure I will look back and be glad for what they made me learn.

This actually just made me think of something that I now want to share with you all, it is probably something that you have already seen, but it will be good to watch it again. I hope you all give it the 3 minutes it is worth and take something out of it:

That is about all I have for yall this week, I am doing well, and will continue to improve.

Photos: Scriptures that are good, an hermana that went to San Pedro and actually said goodbye haha, piggy head, piggy head minus some parts, zone conf, baptism, the 4 missionaries and one who just got home 2 months ago from his mission

Love you all,Elder Searle

My First Son

Hey everybody,

It has been quite the long week this week, in which I have had to deal with weird problems that don’t normally occur here. I feel like I have actually grown quite a bit in this last week, for that same reason. Since I called everyone yesterday, I am going to take a little bit more time here and spend less time on the personal emails today.

First of all, this last week I wrote very upset about the position I was placed in in my housing situation. I was so frustrated thinking about my own self and getting so upset with my other companion, and now that I look back on it it wasn’t something that should have been so big. I feel like I am looking back on that week now and it is like 5 years behind me already. 

Something that has been going on with me lately is that my companion is struggling to stay here in the mission. He has told me that on a scale of 1-10 he feels like a three or a four almost always, has once or twice in all of his time here felt like an 8 at the highest, and various times he has felt like a 1. The second that I realized that he was having a hard time, every single little problem that I had that had been so profound in my mind just left me. I put myself in the last position in my mind, and that is when I started to learn.

I have to have a ton of patience with my companion. It is his first time ever out of his home town, and he has almost never left the presence of his family in his whole life. All of the food here is soooo different that he can barely eat without getting sick, and the humidity and heat are killing the poor guy too. He has thrown just about every excuse he could think of at me, and I have been a listening ear, acting and relying only on the spirit to be able to help me have words to say to him. We have had to talk a lot, and very openly about everything going on, and I have also learned to be able to communicate well with other people.

I realized that half the stuff my other companion always told me that got me upset is the stuff I had to say to my companion right now to be able to get him to talk to me. Things like “If you never tell me things like this that are going on, I am never going to be able to help you because I don’t know it is happening” When those words left my mouth I realized how much I had grown. I went from getting angry at hearing them, to having to say them. And they were true in both instances. 

The thing that I have really learned a lot about is something that Ben wrote me in his past email to me, and I hope he forgives me for sharing if he didn’t want me to, but here it is:”I had been through it, and I didn’t want her to suffer as much as I did.  While I was pondering these things, I had an eye-opening experience.  I was able to see that the feeling I was having is similar to what Jesus feels for us.  He has been though every pain and sorrow, and he does not want us to have to go through those things alone.  He wants to be there for us, and he wants to deliver us from our sufferings and burdens”He made me think deeply about how much we are like Jesus Christ in moments like these.

I was also thinking about some of the covenants that we have made that also help us to be more like Christ, and I thought of a few scriptures that I want to share. The first is found in Mosiah 18:8-10. It speaks about how when we enter the baptismal waters, we are making a covenant to take the pains of others from them. The next is the sacrament prayers, which are found in Moroni 4-5. We are promised to have the spirit of Christ with us if we keep our part, and in this we become like him. We don’t want to see other people suffer, just like he doesn’t want to see us suffer. We wish we were able to take their pains upon us sometimes, and he did take all of our pains upon him.

I know that if we live worthily and are willing to take upon us the name of Christ, and ACT on it, then we will be able to become like him one day. Perfect and whole, loving and full of patience and long suffering for everyone. I hope you all got something out of that, sorry for the length of it, but Ben sure did hit me deep with that little quote this week. I love you all, and I hope that you all get to be a little bit more like Christ every single day. We will all do it together 🙂

I love you all tons!! Go have a great week and I will see you next week!!

Elder Searle