Thursday, December 26, 2013

No Immigration Office Story

Our three month visa has expired, and yet, no story about the immigration office. No, we aren't in the country illegally. So what happened?

Well, Monday we found out if we get the extension in Honduras, we will not be allowed to leave the country via El Salvador, Nicaragua, or Guatemala. Considering those are the only ways to drive out of Honduras come March, that posed a slight problem. Combine that with the need to take care of some paperwork back in the States, and Thursday, instead of sleeping in and going to the immigration office after service, we got up at 4 am and caught a bus to the airport. So.... Hello California!

Didn't expect that, did you? Us neither.

So...the whole story. Thursday we had a taxi set up to come get us at 430, so we got up at 4. Literally 3 minutes after the alarm went off, the power went out to the city. Thank goodness it wasn't any earlier, we wouldn't have gotten up! Driving around La Ceiba at that time of the morning was really creepy. So we get to the bus station and take the three hour bus ride to San Pedro, from there we have a layover at the bus station, then take another bus to the airport. Once at the airport we have to go through the confusing process of leaving. This requires checking in for our flight, then going to the bank kiosk and paying an exit fee, realizing the yellow paper that we have to keep in our passport to leave the country has mysteriously disappeared since we checked in, walking around the airport to find it, going back to the check in desk only to find out they took it because Immigration comes by at the end of the day to collect all of them, then going through "Migration" which consisted of one desk to verify....IDK, he only looked at the passport for a minute, then another desk to verify we paid the exit fee, then Security, and finally...the Duty Free Shop! Seriously, that place is like Disneyland. Not just because of the Disney products either.

One nice long flight at the very back of the plane later, we land in Houston. In Houston, we have to go through Customs. Then we pick up our bag, walk a little ways, drop off the bag to be checked into out connecting flight, and then- although we have not walked past a single store in Houston or gone out of the airport at any time since we went through Migration in Honduras- we have to go through Security again. Seriously folks? When exactly was I going to pick up that illicit bottle of water?

Next stop, LAX! Then a car ride home, and our 19 hour trip is finished. We got home shortly before the family and they didn't know we were coming. So we hid in the bedroom and had the kids come in with their eyes closed, Surprise! Of course, they might be a little confused now, since we told them we wouldn't see them for a very long time, and it was only 3 months.

We got to make a surprise visit to Norco to see the RBC friends. That was really nice, plus we were able to see the progress on the construction. Omigoodness, it looks amazing! Pictures!

We got there just in time for lunch, which means we got to hear the afternoon worship program. The brother who was interviewed had such an amazing story. He worked on assembly halls, went to the DR, Bethel, and then ended up in Mozambique. He lives in a tent and builds Halls. Such a great example!

Anyway, time to go home. Genius us, we booked our flight back into Honduras for the 25th. We all know what day that was, right? What does that mean? Apparently, the buses don't run to Ceiba that day. Oops, how will we get home? Short answer, we won't. Yay spending the night in San Pedro Sula! The important thing is we found an amazing mall, had what was possibly the best tacos of our lives, and made it out of the city alive. I'll let you decide what was the bigger accomplishment.

As we were riding the bus home today, it was beautiful out and the sun was shining, there was no rain- just for us, I'm sure- and I was so glad we live here. That said, I think I hear my bed calling my name.

So maybe you'll get an immigration story another time.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mazapan, Not Marzipan

I know you were promised a story about the immigration office, but here we are anyway...

It's not raining anymore. It's actually a bit of a bummer. Everyone we know is having freezing cold, snowy weather, and our winter lasted a week, That said, if you are sick of your winter, now would be a lovely time to come visit.

We have started working on a territory that hasn't been canvassed yet. We weren't sure if there would be many English-speaking people, so we were pleasantly surprised to find a good number of ones to speak to. We haven't even come close to finishing that territory either, so I'm sure we will find more.

We had a really cute experience too. There were a few young boys that were eager to help us. They didn't speak English, but they knew people who did, so they took us to their houses and stayed there with us. They kept asking us "How are you?" which is likely the only phrase they knew in English, and when we would reply they would laugh and laugh. Then they started playing a game, telling us people spoke English even though they didn't.

We decided to be brave and pull out a camera for a picture, and they posed willingly. It was so adorable!

Saturday we had the maintenance at the Kingdom Hall, both inside and out. There was a lot of work to do, and in the muggy heat that day, it was very tiring. Once again, we got complimented on how well we sweat. At least, I think it's a compliment, not really sure anymore. But we had such a wonderful reward. While the congregation was working, a literature delivery came in. And guess what was in it? Our new Bibles! Now every publisher in our congregation has one. It was very touching, a new publisher in our hall has never had his own copy of the Bible, because they ran out long ago. So he got the very first one of out the box. He was really happy. Today at meeting we all got to use them for the first time. We didn't take a picture though, because y'all already know what they look like. 

Here's a random picture that you might get a kick out of.

Just a reminder, calls, emails, and texts are always welcome. So are visits. Remember, flights are not as expensive as you would think, and we live on the beach. Also, we will feed you breadfruit.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Winter is finally here. I was starting to wonder if it would ever come. But it is here, and it is cold. Very cold. And wet. Don't believe me?

So yeah, that's a flood.

In other news, the election was incredibly unclimactic. I might have just made up a word. Friday night while we were at meeting, there was a lot of noise that we hope was fireworks right down the street, but by the time we got out, it was quiet. We decided to take a taxi all 550m home anyway.
Sunday was the actual election, it was very quiet, which is a good thing. There were a couple of demonstrations in the bigger cities during the week, but nothing here.

In other, totally awesome, amazing, prayer-answering news, we finally sold the car! The paperwork is supposed to be done today and then it will be gone, gone, gone! This is such a relief. We had just been discussing what to do with it Saturday morning, and then Saturday afternoon we got an offer on it.

We have the Circuit Assembly in 5 weeks. It will be exciting to see all the friends again.

Next week we have to go for our visa extension. Hard to believe we have been here three months already. If we don't get the extension we will have to make an emergency trip to...somewhere. So the next post will probably be about that.