Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Phone Call

Dad do I still need to send emails to both your emails? Is that just so you receive more emails? Just a question and will keep doing so until you say so. So before I forget the three photos I sent today, one is of the coolest Christmas tree, that they have here, I have plenty of videos of it so you guys can see it when you get the memory card. The other one is of our little Christmas in the apartment. Thanks Mom I loved it! And the next one is for you Mom. Alex said you didn’t match yesterday at church so I sent you a picture of me today, in army green shorts and neon blue shirt that’s too big for me and crocs and yes you better believe I went out in public like that!

So I want to apologize for my call yesterday, I don’t remember a thing, and it went by so fast! The stupid lag sure made things interesting and funny at times. I’m sorry if I seemed negative about anything, cause I absolutely feel a love for Guatemala, I just meant to say that our apartment is dirty, but I love it here!!! Cam has a dog? What else is new? Do you guys really want a package? What kind of stuff do you want in it? And family vacation in a year and a half? Let’s start saving right now so it will be really fun!!  So Wednesday was our Christmas activity and we played soccer with 2 Zones and also there was a football so we started to play catch and then President Stay came and we played a game with President Stay, it was really fun. He is such a man! Then we had a devotional and watched a mission slide show, and also we watched a movie 17 miracles! So yes I’ve seen it now and it was so good! I am so grateful for the pioneers and the sacrifices that they did for us.

So the question about college has got me seriously worried now, I laid in bed today and just thought for a hour about it, (while Elder Velez was talking with his family) why did you have to ask that question! and also what I want to do in life, I kept thinking and trying to pick a job that will go in line with the church also, I’m thinking librarian, zookeeper (with Cameron, we made a promise) a national park ranger, (maybe when I’m older) something with business but I don’t know what! Or how to even begin thinking about what to do because I love everything!!! So after stressin about school and jobs I decided I DONT WANNA GROW UP!!! I’m extending my mission and never coming home. hahaha just kidding I’m stoked to come home (but I’m not baggy)!

I loved the mini master mind game, it was so random but it is so fun! We played it for like 2 hours on Christmas day. So I read your email and I didn’t say the mission is in shambles! Just the culture of the mission is very different than what Pres. Stay wants. There is a problem with obedience I’m not pointing the finger to the Latino culture but their culture is just very different then our culture and how they were raised concerning rules and things like that. So President Stay is trying to change the culture of the mission and make it better. He teaches with love and cares for us. About the question about after the mission NO! I’m not homesick; I don’t even want to come home. (ok a little) but I asked because a common question is if I am going to come back or not to visit, and so I don’t want to lie and say yes if I not going to.

In the NBA the thunder is from Oklahoma, the Oklahoma thunder. And what is the power of attorney with school? I know we don’t need to make any immediate decisions about school, we still have about a year but I will think and pray, but I have no problem going to UVU until I get things figured out. But we can discuss it more. Well I don’t know what else, I think that covers about everything. Cam didn’t send an email to help me with my virus´s on my memories but if I send a package I might just ship all my memories home and you can disinfect them and also organize them.

I want to share my testimony, I’m still working on it, and trying to make it stronger and fine tune it, but this gospel is so amazing, I truly can’t express how great it is. Every single aspect about it is amazing; I just want to learn everything right now! But it’s hard and I need to focus on the basics in Spanish for my investigators. But when I get back I am going to just study and soak it all in. I love it here, we are going to work hard this week, Elder Velez made me a promise and we are going to reach our goals, things are going great here, that pocket book is amazing! And I’ve already used it when someone challenged us if Mary had other children, we showed her the scriptures and it was great. This gospel is great, I don’t think we understand how great it is, and the sacrifice that Joseph Smith made for us and Hyrum when they were martyred or the Pioneers when they gave up everything they owned to come out west and establish Zion. I hope you are reading the Book of Mormon for the Stake, start now and read a little every day, yes, even you Dad, read it! You will feel the spirit more in your life it’s a promise from the Prophet. I love you guys!!
Elder Call

Friday, December 23, 2011


You guys are so funny! I was dying last night because Elder Arce called and was like umm I think your parents tried to call. I couldn’t believe it, and then he described what happened. HAHAH I was dying laughing. Dad I am in TECULUTAN. He said for the life of you, you couldn’t say it. So ya I am here. This area is in the same stake (but it is a district) as san Jorge, I am kinda close and have been here before for stake conference in November. My comp is Elder Velez, I ate lunch with him during general conference in October so we kinda knew each other before. He is from Honduras and I am killing him (don’t worry that only means this is his last change here.) So he goes home in January. He is a little baggy but we are going to work hard.

So let me center my thoughts. The story that Elder Arce told me was so funny! I don’t know if he stretched it a little but it was hilarious. Oh and ya you woke him missionaries are lame and go to bed early, I went to bed and 930 the last 2 nights here because I have been so tired! Alright so I will start with Monday, for p day we went to Jutiapa and just played futbol and ping pong super chill. That night for transfer calls we got them and they said we didn’t have changes! So we were pretty stoked to be spending Christmas together and to have another change together. Tuesday was another normal day, and we ordered pizza that night, I invited him, so I paid for it. While we were waiting for it I fell asleep then it came I ate like 3 pieces and then I fell asleep again. Well Elder Chaves the assistant calls and then says that I have changes and we need to be in the capital at 10 the next day. So Arce wakes me up tells me I have changes, and it’s like 10 so have to start packing (packing sucks). This time I didn’t even care, I just threw everything in unorganized. Then finally went to bed, then back up at 4 AM to shower and finish packing, then we left by 5 am, the fastest, longest 8 hours of my life. In transfers I was kinda nervous thinking all the different possibilities. But then I relaxed (it was my first change meeting, give me a break) and ya when it was all over I got moved here to Teculutan, 40 km down the road from san Jorge! And boy it is hot!!! I have forgotten how thick and heavy the air is here! My comp is from Honduras and has been out 22 months. The first couple days were awkward just the usual getting to know and stuff. But now it’s all good! He is the district leader and can’t speak a lick of English, Arce could but nope he can’t.

Call me at like 2 my time. And I will say this, president put at 40 minute cap on the calls. But you guys can decide.. :) I WANT TO TALK TO YOU!! I am so stoked for our call. Be prepared for questions so it’s not awkward but I know mom that you have a butt load! I am going to die for Christmas here. Tamales but TONS!!! That is all the people eat for this time of year and everyone loves to share them with the missionaries! So I will probably die the 24th and 25th from eating so much. And I haven’t gotten my packages yet, because I got transferred so our Christmas activity where we receive the packages is this Wednesday! So this Wednesday!! Super stoked for that. And I wholly miss The Forgotten Carols that is my memory for this week, and yes I have that CD and I always listen to it. My mp3 is great! I listen to it whenever we are in the house so every morning and every night! And I love it! I downloaded the conference talks for November so I am stoked for those!

Alright well so I had my Guatemalan experience for this week. A member invited us to eat at her restaurant and it was smack dab in the middle of the market, and it was so good. I hope it was clean because technically it was street food, but it looked clean. But ya so we are eating that in the middle of the market, literally in the middle, she put the tables in the middle of the walk way, it was awesome. And there were flies and bugs and all that jazz.  So sorry this is so short but we are going to talk this Sunday!! And don’t even worry if you can’t get through the next day I will email and we can figure it out and we can talk that night if things don’t work out. So don’t worry. I’m sorry I didn’t write much, but I’m like you guys and just struggled this week to think of things to write. Dad study your Spanish and we will talk about mom and it will be great! Mom practice hitting dad while we are talking about how much we love you, but you won’t have a clue. Have dad teach you Spanish! Anyway love you guys and look forward to your call!!!!!

I gave a talk this Sunday and my Spanish has improved so much. This change was good, got me out of my comfort zone and I feel so much more confident I can do this, I can do everything. And this first week has shown me that. Because I basically do do everything. Elder Velez is not a take action guy but we work well together. I love this gospel its crazy how amazing it is. I hope everything is going great back home. Read the Book of Mormon, study the gospel, ya your busy but are you really too busy for the Lord? Always look for missionary opportunities, dad good job with your missionary experience by telling him to remove his records from the church, keep it up! And I love you guys and look forward to your call this Sunday at 2ish!!!!!  LOVE YOU

Monday, December 12, 2011

He is such a kidder sometimes!!!

How is it going?!?
1. Holy cow what a fast week.
2. Your son is a slave.
3. Temple dedication was AWESOME!
4. Call me.
5. It’s hot and it’s the holidays.
6. K bye.
This was a dry run to see if I could write in 2 minutes or less. And I succeeded. Love you!
(That was all he sent in his email...then about 10 minutes later he sent the expanded version below!!!)

Hahaha ok for real! I bet I got you good with that one. Just kidding. OK I will expand.
1. This week was such a fast week! It flew bye!
2. I am a slave! All day Saturday I worked in the cotton fields…I mean the coffee plants! How weird is that? a Mormon missionary picking coffee! (We had permission so don’t worry) but ya I also thought it was weird. So our next door neighbors own a fink, or a field you could call it, but it is straight up a mountain, and they have a butt load of coffee trees so we helped them pick coffee, it is weird it wasn’t what I thought it would be like, they are very sweet and nothing like the coffee we are used to, they go through a grand process. But we worked from 7 to 5 all day! We didn’t get paid but IF we were to get paid we would have each made 20 Q´s or about 2.50, it is ridiculous we worked so hard! They pay by weight, we picked 82 pounds of coffee and for 100 pounds you get 50 Q´s. It made me sad and think about how grateful I am to live in the US.

Who said I wanted to do this for a living after my mission!
3. So the temple dedication was yesterday, I don’t think you guys could see it, I think only Guatemala. But Pres. Uchtdorf gave the dedicatory prayer and it was awesome the whole thing. I definitely want to visit that temple it looks so beautiful!

4-A. Call me! so we just heard the rules, and you guys have to call me here, so you guys pay for it. Usually in times past we could call 2 days before for 2 minutes so you guys have the number, but we can’t anymore. So rumor is for you guys to call me its 00502 then my house number. Oh PS today we receive transfer calls, I don’t think we have transfers cause Arce asked president when we had emergency changes. So probably 6 months together. (We should get married after 6 months! That is ridiculous!) That is if I don’t have changes, you will find out next week if we have changes or not.  If I do I will give you the number next week. You can decide what time, and we can coordinate it next week more. But ya... if you want to test and see if it works I won’t oppose it ;) probably a rule or something against it but I don’t mind, we are in the house after 9, and by 930 for sure. We might have changes though Wednesday.

4-B. Also we have a Christmas activity in the mission, if we don’t have changes this zone is with another zone and the activity is this Saturday. But if we have changes it will be a different day but sometime this week, and that is when I will receive my packages!

5. It is now hot, so don’t worry, I think there was just a massive cold spell through Guatemala that first week, I still sleep with my blanket but it isn’t cold so don’t worry! So this week we went caroling as a district, in a different area, so we are singing silent night outside the door, and it honestly felt like St. George on a summer day, we are sweating and dying! Carols and heat don’t mix! This will be such a weird Christmas with the heat and Guatemala!

6. We kind of have an address that maybe you can Google Earth it, it is Barrio Los Laureles (barrio means neighborhood) 3-35 Zona 4 El Progreso Jutiapa. (El Progreso is the city, and Jutiapa is the Departamento or like State I guess?) So try that out and see, well that’s the address of our neighbors but we live next door, our house is green. Look for it!

So they have a way cool holiday here December 7th , they burn the devil! They make devil figures usually like piñatas and then they blow them up or burn it! Haha it was awesome! And happy months to me! This last Thursday I completed 6 months in the mission! How crazy is that, it honestly flew by and I have no idea where it went. I still feel like I am in my first change here. Guess it’s time to learn Spanish right?!

So we have an investigator that is so ready to be baptized! He has made such a turnaround in his life, and it was so crazy how ready he was. When we found him he had problems but we didn’t know it, he liked to cut himself, IDK WHY he doesn’t know why either, also problems with chastity and word of wisdom, when we teach word of wisdom there are 5 things we can’t consume, he had a problem with 4 of the 5, the 5th he just didn’t know what that was or else he probably would have had a problem, with that too. But he had made so much progress stopped it all, and is changing his life completely! He just needs to come to church 2 more time and we can baptize him!

I love you guys! And am so looking forward to the phone call, not really though cause then I will be baggy. But this church is so amazing! I am studying it and WE HAVE EVERYTHING! it is ridiculous how complete this Gospel is, But obviously this is Gods church! We have met some crazy people with some crazy believes here! But we are trying to get them straightened out without hurting their feelings, you have to take a delicate approach to it, you can’t straight up say you’re wrong and this is how it is, because then they would never accept it, this is what they have known all their lives. IDK why I just told you all that but ya. Oh I think I got all the virus off my memory so I can send the pictures! One is with me and Chasey, one is me pickin cotton…I mean coffee, the other is my gatherings of coffee, and the other is sometimes investigators have swings and sometimes I like to swing, Guatemalan style.

Elder CALL
Who would have ever thought they would see each other in Guatemala!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Haha what a week and where to start?!? I’ll admit I always have so much to say but I hate typing and getting everything organized so I usually just don’t get everything out or across like I would like.  This has been a great week. I AM FREEZING!  Holy canoli! Last Monday I pulled out every single warm article of clothing I had, and my blanket, I slept with a sweat shirt and the blanket. There is an unforgiving wind here that never lets up! During the day it’s ok but at night we are dying! Haha it’s only like 60´s or 50´s but still going from an inferno (hell) to an ice box is a night and day shift.

So we opened this area meaning neither of us know the area, the other missionaries had nothing so we basically started from scratch... again, it’s San Jorge all over again BUT better because I can actually understand and speak! So it is 10 x´s better! We have just done a lot of contacting and getting to know the area. THIS AREA IS HUGE!!! We have so many aldea´s, is what they call neighborhoods maybe or little towns or villages away from the main city…We have like 13 of them so we have a huge area. This area has money! They have so many beautiful houses and they actually have roads! I will admit I do miss the pigs in the streets.

The branch here is awesome, about 60 attended this last Sunday so a completely different shift! And the best part is we didn’t have to do anything! Except we taught a lesson together but that’s not hard when you are together! Also we did our first divisions which is going out with a priest, I was nervous at first but it went great, we went out to a town about 30 minutes to visit some less active and everything went great!

I’ve been kinda sick this week, I woke up one morning and just had straight boo. I think that is a missionary term, but it’s when it just sneaks up on you and then BOO you have about 20 seconds before you explode, I will save you the details, but ya straight liquid...ewe...haha.

Alright well you all have questions so I will just get on with it I SAW ELDER JENSEN TODAY!!! hahaha so awesome!! so we woke up the usual and got on a bus to Jutiapa, then got on one to the capital. 2 and a half hours later we are walking to the CCM! I was nervous I didn’t know why. but we got there and they wouldn’t let us in (they are very strict there) we had called president Stemile about 2 weeks ago and he said it was fine, but turns out he is in the US for a week. So about 20 minutes later the guard lets us in, they sit us in the office and look for Arce’s brother. Then Hmo. Dubon walks in, he is the guy in charge and we are friends so I ask for elder Jensen and he says that he is at the park contacting, but he would return soon, so we met Arce’s brother and we ate lunch there which was awesome. I MISS THE CCM, but I was like a celebrity there with all the gringos…they are asking all these questions and way impressed with my Spanish it was awesome I remember being in their shoes and not being able to speak a lick of Spanish and now I can understand and speak pretty well. (The lord has helped me so much!) But then he came back, well the group came back and I was looking and looking and couldn’t find him turns out he’s right next to me with his back to me. So I tap him and totally catch him off guard! It was great. We only got to talk for about 10 minutes but it was awesome, I gave him some Guatemalan food and some junk food and he gave me some things from the MTC nothing to much but it was great. Then we were off! It all happened so fast. I wish we could have stayed longer but they said only 30 minutes and we were there for like an hour and a half! Haha it was good to see my old teachers and Hmo. Dubon, he is a man! Well I don’t have much time, we are running really late and have to go teach soon, sorry.

Tell the Wilcox’s thank you for the letter! And for the love and support, they are awesome. And tell Dee don’t worry I love BYU ;)… say hi to nana for me, and that I am always thinking about her and that I love her. To answer a question, I didn’t see too many but I just skimmed your letter Arce receives emails from his family every week and through his brother today he received 2 packages and 40 dollars for Christmas. But usually just emails.

I don’t know if you can but tell Ben, Jessie and Chuck hi and that they look so cute! HAHAHAH DAD LOOKS like a goober!! You little cutie in your costume. Alright well I love you guys always know that! Seriously I love you guys so much! I have gained so much more of a love for you guys and its stupid that I had to go to Guatemala to attain it.

Hey I have photos I want to send but there is a virus on my card so the photos don’t show up. how can I remove the virus so I can send the pictures? These photo’s I removed from the folder a couple weeks ago, well I guess just last week cause these are of the missionaries in our zone with president stay, the branch of san Jorge, and me in a melon field that they shipped to Costco, or for Costco.

LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! a lot..... but really!!!

Elder Call

Monday, November 28, 2011

First Transfer

Oh my goodness! This week has been such a crazy roller coaster and has felt like a year not even joking. Like I don’t even want to write about it because I don’t even know where to start! Sorry if this is everywhere and all over the place, I got 4 hours of sleep last night and am super tired. (I’ll explain more later).

It was fun to read your guys letters about Thanksgiving. Haha dad you crack me up, mom why did you not get a video of dad dancing? That would have been the ultimate video!!! Alright so since writing last Monday, I found out that we are being transferred. I am now in El Progreso, Jutiapa which is still outside the Capital, but it is more west and south, I think? You can look it up on a map. It is like going from Enterprise, Utah and then to the Big Apple! This place is huge!! Well we only have like 2 hours of being here, but it is huge!! And civilized, mas o menos (somewhat).

So we had Zone Conference Friday it was amazing! I have learned so much and got super stoked or restoked to just do work! And half way through lunch is when we found out our new area.  We were super stoked we are still going to be together. I am here to testify that President Stay is a man! He is such a stud, and he receives revelation for us and for the mission. Saturday we just said good bye to the members and took some pictures, the same with Sunday. We both gave a talk which was good; I talked about the relationship of obedience and receiving blessings. And said goodbye to the rest of the members and then packed.  We packed and cleaned the house until late! And then we had to get up at 4 AM to take busses to where we are now!

So Saturday and Sunday was a complete night and day difference, I have seen the bottom of the barrel, and then journeyed back up to the top. I have seen the mercy and forgiveness of the Lord through other people. The atonement and repentance is real, and is available to all of us, all we need to do is USE it! It’s there waiting for us, free of charge.

So we have set some goals and are super ready to just destroy this area with missionary work and just blow it up! They haven’t had a baptism for a long time but we are about to change that. The branch here has about 25 people here supposedly. That’s about what we had in San Jorge, we had 28 people there yesterday.

Well I didn’t write that as well as I wanted to but I hope you understood everything. Oh goodbyes suck! I didn’t realize how much of an impact we had in San Jorge; you were right mom just love the people and everything else will just work from there. My mind is now blank I don’t know what else to write because so much has happened but I think I explained it all. This week was just a really hard one emotionally, but don’t worry because everything is BUEÑO and we are super stoked to just go to work here.

So Thanksgiving was nonexistent for here, it was just another day here. I ate a hot dog sandwich which is a hot dog sliced up, and mixed with avocado and cabbage with bread; and beans and eggs for breakfast. Nothing special, I like the food here though.

So when we arrived here today the house was a DISASTER! So we went to town on that thing, it was so disgusting, there was trash and just junk and dirt everywhere, I don’t think the missionaries there before ever cleaned it, but now it is pretty clean, we rearranged everything. It is 2 stories, it is literally a house, for the two of us, it’s huge! But we basically just put everything up stairs, so we don’t have to go very far to do anything.

Next week I will go to visit Chase and I am so stoked to see him! That’s the best part of me and Arce being together still is we can go together!  Dad in response to your comment of our pila (water well) being dirty, I found a dead lizard in it. And in our new house, we don’t have any sinks only one pila (water well) downstairs, so that will take some getting used to, to brush our teeth and do everything else with just one well, not too stoked about that, but whatever. The drive here was so beautiful, Guatemala is so beautiful! I love it here; we went up to Ipala which is in the mountains so I felt like I was driving through Cedar or Bryce Canyon it was awesome! And 4 buses later we are here!

So a couple memories is Mom and your candy drawer either at Dixie State or in your locker you always had some sort of goodies, I thought of that because members say that about me, I always have candy or a cough drop (which is candy here) or things of that sort, and Dad don’t really remember why I thought this but the night of homecoming that black or dark blue shirt you had, I liked it. You looked good in it.

I have attached a slide show that a Hermana here made for us it was really cool, probably doesn’t have any meaning to you but thought you might like it.

I don’t really know what else to say, let me know if you have any questions. Sorry I am super tired while writing this. But I will end with I know that God is in this work. The spirit is teaching the people we are just the means of which it enters into others. One of our investigators that we had thanked us for everything (as everyone else did) and then said we have changed his life, if we never knocked on his door he would have never found this church, he would probably be off drinking or doing something worse than attending church. That struck me, because I had written this area off, I didn’t really think we had results, but sometimes the results are silent, because it is not us that is converting it is the sprit, I now have a stronger testimony of that, of the holy ghost, sometime we may think we aren’t doing anything or succeeding, but we are we are the instruments in God’s hands, and it is the sprit that does everything. I am stoked to be out here in the mission, it is changing my life, helping me see things I didn’t see before. I love you guys and am so grateful for everything. Do not worry about us, we are great, we are loving life and ready to do work here!

Elder Call

Monday, November 21, 2011

Crazy Week!

Haha boy was this a crazy week, I feel like the week went by so fast, but yet at the same time so much happened. So Tuesday I lost my mission plaque, which sucked I felt so naked, s owe decided to go look for it the next day, but that night it DOWN POURED! I think that was the hardest I have ever seen it rain. So we were teaching a lesson in this one room house with tin sheets for the roof, and it starts raining and it’s hard to hear, then just exploded in rain, and we couldn’t hear a thing! like literally, I couldn’t hear myself talk or my comp or them, so we just waited, for the rain to stop cause we didn’t want to go out walking, but after 40 minutes it was time to go home and it hadn’t stopped yet, so with sign language (which I know) we signaled that we will return another day, so the street didn’t exist no more, it was a river, there was no way around it, so we waded through a foot of water to our house the whole way back. Once we got onto the main road it was only like 8 inches of water, it was crazy we were soaked literally, my shoes took 3 days to dry from that, but it was awesome, seeing that much water.

Haha funny story this week is we started this new goal to sing all the hymns, so in every lesson we sing a hymn started with number 1 and just the next one...unless we don’t know it, but while we are singing I will randomly stop so Arce sings a solo, and I will act like I’m lost, so he has to continue singing, I’m such a mean comp, Haha but it’s so fun!!

Has Chase mentioned anything about me seeing him? so I took out the Christmas money, and then I figured you guys would like to contribute to a little something for chase, so I took out some money for him also, plus the fee that they charge so that’s while it was a little more than normal.

This last week was our district conference, which is like stake conference but we aren´t a stake yet, but it was via satellite which was so sweet! Elder Holland and Pres. Uchtdorf spoke, Holland can speak Spanish! Who knew! He opened in Spanish then switched to a translator then bore his testimony in Spanish, the spirit was so strong, I loved it, well least for me. We were in charge of our Branch (the conference was 2 hours away) which was a little stressful, because we had 25 people confirm ya I’ll be there, but the bus was only for 16 so we were stressing out, well throughout Saturday night and Sunday morning everyone but 9 people cancelled, so we took 9 to the conference from our ward, and 0 investigators which is frustrating, ugh but oh well it was really good!

So to answer your questions in the email, yes that is the book! I’m not sure about getting the packages, because there is order in everything so even though we are in the capital the packages have to go through our leaders, but I will check. This Thursday we have divisions with the assistances! Which I was kinda nervous for, but they are missionaries just like us, so there is nothing to be nervous for, but they are staying with us because Friday we have zone conference in Chiquimula, which I am stoked for! Oh and happy thanksgiving! They don’t celebrate it here! But I’ll be thinking of you guys! But anyways maybe the assistance will bring the package this Thursday if they have them! The videos you can up load them if you want, I thought it was a rule, or it is a rule that missionaries can’t take videos but whatever I’m not sure. You can do whatever you want!

This week I studied a talk by Bednar called "The Tender Mercies of the Lord" and I want to share a little of what I learned. the lords tender mercies are the very personal blessings, strength assurance guidance support that he gives us, it is not limited to that, there are a lot more things that it is. But an example is as we face the challenges of this life the gift of faith and the ability to face challenges with cheerfulness and self confidence are examples of the tender mercies. And we receive them by faithfulness, obedience and humility. We think that they are real but not for us, that they happen to others but not us, but this isn’t true, God is ready to give them to us, he doesn’t pick and choose who gets them, in D and C 121 34-35 it talks about this, that we determine who is chosen to receive it. I know that the Lord gives tender mercies to those who need them and when we need them especially. I have seen it and experienced it personally in the mission. I know this church is true. Jose Smith (Haha I forgot how to spell Joseph?) but I know he was called of God to restore this gospel, I know this because of the Holy Ghost. This church is amazing, God is amazing and so ready to help us, He has blessed me with such a wonderful family! I love you guys. Hey look in my sent for the email sent Nov 17 those are photos we sent to the office for the slide show, but included is the baptism we had! I hope you enjoyed the other photos! Much love
Elder Call

Monday, November 14, 2011

Our First Baptism!

whoooooo!!!! so I am happy really happy right now, I don’t know why, maybe this week was a good week, maybe because we found a place in Zacapa that has nicer computers then we have in the states, maybe because I have a crazy mom that loves to send me packages!!!! (Super stoked for those!!!!) or maybe because we just got permission to go and visit chase in the CCM!!! Well kinda.... we asked president well elder Arce asked in his email, and he said that there is nothing against it in the manual, but there are the costs of travel, distractions, and the dangers of traveling, he said its better not to go, but he won’t prohibit it! So elder Arce wants to go, so we are going to go! We have to go a Monday, which is our p day, which isn’t the best but hey I will take anything! So will you dear elder chase with this message for me.....
Chase the CCM is 10x´s better then the MTC, I promise and the field is even better. I remember my time in the MTC it was jam packed and was super slow, and I wanted to not be there, but hang in there, and you can’t go home because I just got permission to visit you in the CCM!!!!!!!!! so you have to make it to the CCM so I can visit you silly! Alright well let me explain, my companion elder Arce...well he has a brother named elder Arce, and he enters the cam the same day as you Nov 23, so he will be in your group, well elder Arce SR. wants to visit elder Arce JR. so we asked and against all odds we got permission! I don’t really know the details I know it will be a Monday, probably the 30th, I have your email and will keep you updated with short emails because I know you have 0 time to email. But ya just a heads up I am coming for you!!!!!!

I AM SO STOKED I don’t think you realize how stoked I am to see you. Can I ask a favor? In the MTC will you buy me some sour watermelons and gummy bears, they are in the front by the bulk candy, but keep them separate, and Swedish fish if they have them, and I promise I will pay you back but in QUETZALES!! Because were in GUATEMALA SILLY ;) ah I am so stoked to see you!!!!! And will keep you posted. About everything! PS your mom emails my mom who emails me so if you have any questions or concerns I will get you email through my mom, or you can email

Oh also sunflower seeds if they have them, ranch but I will take what they have but I doubt they have them in the MTC I can’t remember, because those do not exist here in Guatemala, only for pet food, also pretzels, I love you chase, and just get what you can I will be grateful for whatever :)

(Poor Chase, he will have to get an extra suitcase just to bring down everything Chad wants!!! You Go Chase!!!)

Thanks mom for dear eldering that, I am so stoked to go it is still forever away and ya but just getting over that first hurtle of getting permission is crazy!!! Alright, well about this week not too much happened.... (before I forget YES I can open your pictures, well usually, if we use internet in san Jorge then no, but in Zacapa yes) oh I almost forgot WE HAD TWO BAPTISMSS!!!!!!! hahahahaha how crazy is that, but yes everything came together and we had two baptisms, I got the privilege to perform one and elder Arce the other. So real quick during the service or after we had a testimony meeting, and all the sudden this lady barges in yelling, she had like 5 teeth and wanted to talk to all the gringos, she asked us for a blessing (not a Mormon blessing but just with our words? and prayers?) and then she waited for each of us to forgive her for I don’t know what, then she went to the bathroom and wouldn’t leave, it took forever to get her out, but ya never a dull day in Guatemala.

So dad asked the person at your work if she knew about the narco, or drug lord that got caught, I guess a real big time drug lord got caught in Zacapa just down the road from where I am now, and he has family in san Jorge, it was a big deal.

So mom I have another favor to ask, search for the book called missionary pocket book, it is pocket size, but elder Arce says he has searched everywhere for it and can’t find it, but if you can find it I want it, it is supposedly amazing!!

I heard there is a new footloose movie out? Have you seen it mom? Alright well I don’t really have anything else or much to say, other then I love you guys so much! This is where I am supposed to be, and this gospel is the one and only true church upon the face of the earth, and the scriptures are amazing just like I said before you can find a answer to every question or concern you have. Go and read D & C 6: 34, 36, we need to build ourselves upon the rock, which is the gospel, are we doing everything we can to do that, are we doing everything we can to become more like Christ? or are there things we can be changing or improving? There is always something to improve or work on, reading the scriptures or praying more, or there is ALWAYS a Christ like attribute we can be working on, we need to constantly be improving ourselves. I love you so much and I had so many memories to tell you thing week but I didn’t write them down!! grr but I will write them down next time, but I love all the memories we have had together, and I am so stoked to have so much more! I am sorry I wasn’t always the easiest to get along, and wouldn’t want to do things with you guys, last Sunday in fast and testimony meeting I said if I could I would go back and spend more time with you guys, I have regret that I didn’t do more things together, but I am so grateful for the times that we did have together and all the memories we had I love you guys and remember to always be improving and working towards our end goal...eternal life with our each other with Heavenly Father. LOVE YOU. OUT.

Elder Call

Monday, November 7, 2011

You Don't Know Where I Am!!!... Bahahahahaha

Oh ya I read your email and you don’t know where I am!!!!! bahahahahaha changes feel like they were so long ago I honestly wouldn’t have said anything if I didn’t read that hahahaha. I’m tempted to not say anything about my new area or my new comp just to keep you guys guessing!! OH REAL QUICK!! I got your package!! it was amazing!! I love the watch, the drink mixes and the candy. I have forgotten how long phase 10 is, it’s a long game! and you have to be half smart to play it.... AND that picture book. Mom THANK YOU so much, that was honestly so amazing, words can’t describe how I feel about that, you put so much work into that and I am so thankful for it! There aren’t many things that catch me by surprise but that was definitely one of them! I am so thankful for it. the package was amazing and everything I could ever need!!!
alright so I sent you guys a letter with my memory and a couple videos of things in the mission, and I sent it certified or something which means you guys have to sign for it, so ya and if it doesn’t arrive tell me and I can go have them track it. so no worries, oh and I was pretty smart with sending it.  :) You’ll see what I mean.

ok I will tell you... I’m still in SAN JORGE!! AND:::::: my new comp is elder .... ARCE haha we are still together for one change more, the only difference is I’m no longer a greenie and he’s no longer my trainer. its kinda weird being a normal missionaries but whatever.

so a lot has happened this week, we didn’t have the baptisms because one of them was sick, so we will be having the baptisms this Saturday!!! Woot woot, but our district each companionship had a baptism this last Saturday which is rare! good things are happening here.

so last email I think I mentioned that it was a holiday or something, well boy was I under prepared for what was about to happen. so Nov 1st and 2nd are BIG holidays here, I thought it was just a small little only a couple people respect but no it was so much more! I tried sending the memory card last week but it was closed because of it. So basically on these two days the people just eat a lot and then buy flowers and make fake flowers and put them in the cemetery. it’s a lot like memorial day, but everyone does it here. also there is this special dish here which is a meat salad, just meat so much meat MEAT!! and our comedor made it for us, but the thing is the meat here is a lot different, it’s a lot like balonge (spelling?) and spam and hot dog meat, and sausage it was very ...interesting, I am glad they only make it once a year, ....until next year.....

so we went to the cemetery with a member here and it was crazy basically the whole town was there, and the cemeteries are different here they are all above the ground in these like mini houses its really cool they are all painted different colors and such.

tell Kate I got the letter and the labels and thank her for them!!!! they are so much easier to use. so no one in our district had changes, well one elder finished his 2 years but they were a trio so everyone is still here, we had divisions Friday so our people could get interviewed for baptism, so I was with Elder Roberts for the day, and we worked so hard!! they had so many appointments it was a long day, but very fun that’s when I got my package! also I have noticed there are days when it is easier to speak Spanish and understand, the lord is blessing me, because it is starting to get a little easier.

oh mom I don’t know if you knew but you sent me the movie gladiator? so we were grateful for that and watched it that night with a bag of popcorn... NOT!! I panicked I didn’t know what to do! so I deleted it haha oh mom you never cease to make me laugh and give me memories.

so for your talk with the power of the scriptures they are amazing! with a investigator that is on the brink of baptism we had a serious lesson with her, and we used probably 14 scriptures, one for every question she had, 13 from the Book of Mormon and 1 from the New Testament, the scriptures have the answers to  everything. literally if you have a problem you can find a answer in the scriptures. Also this last month Liahona was a special issue about the book of Mormon which was very good, read that also for more information. I forgot my note book so I don’t have my notes about it, or else I would say a little more, but they are honestly so great I never understood the importance before my mission (that seems to be the continuing pattern right?) but really we need to read them every day, there was a promise that if we read them every day we will have the spirit with us more, a straight up promise from a apostle in the Liahona, so why aren’t we reading them every day?!?!

so today for p day we went to Chiquimula (spelling) but it is a big city and they had a mall with McDonalds, I loved my big Mac. also I was super baggy (thinking of home) because the mall and CIVILIZATION I have been sway from civilization for too long, we went into a Paiz which is owned by Wal-Mart and I about died, they have everything I love in it! from cereals to cookies and cream. It was very hard to return to San Jorge but then I fell asleep on the bus and it was all better again:) but walking out I was depressed! it’s like coming out of a good movie into the real world again., (well ok not really I love it here! but I do miss some things from the states)

so a Christmas list? I thought I already gave you one, but honestly I don’t need anything! rain boots I can get here same with garments, I can get basically everything here, well not here but in Zacapa or Chiquimula, so no worries, what I want is for when I get back teeth whitening laser thing and or laser hair removal, so save money for that! but knowing you mom that won’t do, and you want to give me something for this Christmas so I was thinking it would be way cheaper if you just gave me a little money like 20 or 30 dollars and I just splurged here at Paiz on like apple jacks and pop tarts and the American candy, because they have a whole imported isle. what do you think? and if there is something I can’t find here I will ask for it;) Reese’s Fastbreak they don’t exist here... but besides that I can get everything here.

haha something funny from my last letter from dad... ´I’m starting my diet again... I went to the new bakery with Steve and Jan day boy was it good!... I went back Saturday night for seconds, because it was so good, while mom was at work¨ haha dad how is your diet going? mom how is yours going? I am so proud of you guys!

alright will I’m emailed out right now, just know you have a memory coming with 300 pictures on it!! haha love you guys. remember that I truly do love you guys and am so grateful to have parents an family that I have, that picture book was so fun to look through at all the memories we have had, and will have, I love you guys so much and will always cherish the memories we have had. tell cam hi for me and how is he doing. I know this church is true, there is power in the book of Mormon it is real it is true. I have been working on having more faith this week, and relying on the spirit, and I can already notice a huge difference in me and how I am receptive to the sprit it is real and amazing. I love this gospel and I love you!

Love You…

Elder Call

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! America has the best holiday; kids get to dress up and go get free candy! What could be better? And you America are getting even smarter with the trunk or treat where you all meet in the parking lot and trick or treat out of the car! Everyone in the same area! We can be lazier and get more candy! Guatemala got cheated all they do are decorate the graves here haha! I love Merrika!!! (America with a redneck accent) but here the holiday is Nov. 1st and 2nd. The 1st is for the graves of the kids, and the 2nd is for everyone else.

So to answer some of your questions Christmas list?!!? Mom I gave that to you last time you asked for it!! You better have not sent those things in this package that was for Christmas!! And I will be straight up honest right now; there isn’t really anything I need! Or want! I am perfectly content here. I can find whatever I need here! I bought like 7 pairs of garment at the temple so I don’t need garments or white shirts or’s only been 5 months! So everything is holding up pretty good still. However socks if you want, not the wool ones I’m allergic to those they give my legs a rash or heat irritation or something, but the other thicker ones from Christensen’s I think we got them, just like 3 or 6 more.

About the Christmas call.... haha mom you’re so funny!!! Such a worrier that’s like forever away!! but what will happen I think is 2 or 3 days before I will call you guys and you will need to call that number on Christmas at a time I will tell you when I call you. The rule is we can only call for 45 or 1 hour but its Christmas so I will talk for as long as is needed!!! Haha just kidding, but really... but what number should I call the house or cell? Tell chase I can’t attend the temple because it’s in a different mission. And that was awesome Paco wrote!! I will def send him a quick email. And I will send the memory card probably this next week all depends on changes!!! Which the call comes tonight!!  I could be leaving receive a new comp and a new area or stay in my area and receive a new comp or stay here with Arce for another change anything is possible!!!

So about this week... this week was national service week I swear!! I think I spent more time in my service clothes then in my missionary clothes!!! haha just kidding but really. So dad that news article about the new stoves that save wood here in Guatemala hasn’t hit San Jorge yet! Because Wednesday we helped some kids in the rama bring wood for their stove or to cook with. And holy crap that was hard!!! Basically we hiked for 30 minutes in the straight up jungle and then we chopped down some trees with these machetes and then we had to carry it back. obv. I’m leaving out a whole lot of details we don’t have much time, but imagine this, me white boy in straight up jungle with a bunch of sticks on my back and get this the best part.... we carried it with our heads!! So the wood is on our back but the rope is around your forehead, it was hard I won’t lie, the people here work so hard! I was dying after.

Thursday the day after we cut down trees I was painting trees!! So I guess it’s a tradition to paint trees here, and our commodore where we eat food, she is had a party Saturday so we helped her just prepare for all that, one we painted the trees!! it was fun for the first two but after the 19th we were done, 19 trees!!!!!! Then that night we had a talent show in the branch, I played the piano (ya imagine that!!!) I played there is a green hill far away and Elder Arce and a girl in the branch sang in English Spanish and Portuguese. It was pretty good!

I learned a good lesson about patience, Sunday we had a fireside but hence we are in Guatemala so we did it Guatemalan style, WITH FIRE!!! Haha I love fire! but we have been planning this for like a month and really wanted it to go well and affect the kids here, so we decided to talk about David an Goliath, and how we need to have the armor of god and resist temptation but just everything didn’t go as planned they were not into it and it was just hard, but after we had marshmallows with the fire it was super chill, I loved it!!

Haha well this letter is lame sorry! But we are going to go to the fair right now for Halloween!!! Haha well just know that I love you guys!! Really I do....but really I love you!!!!

Elder Call

Monday, October 24, 2011

Having A Blast Out Here!

First off I want you guys to know I’m having a blast out here! it’s crazy, 5 months have already gone time has seriously flew by! tell chase he looks cute in his picture. Thank you for showing me the gospel which I am so grateful for. You have been such wonderful parents. Love that is THE BEST thing you have ever done for me. I love you so much and am so grateful for everything you have done for me, I may have not always been the best child but I love you so much. and I know that you love me too.

So this week we saw some progress finally our work is starting to pay off! we had 5 scheduled baptisms for this Saturday! which is like unheard here in San Jorge, but in order for the them to happen they needed to attend church yesterday, and 2 didn’t! so those 2 fell for that date, and the other one is a 17 year old kid, he is super smart and God has truly prepared him for the Gospel, the first meeting he says I want to attend church every Sunday. First off that is rare if not unheard of especially here!! but he pulled me aside Sunday and said that he wants more time before his baptism, which is totally understandable because we have only taught him like twice. But the other 2 are members but they don’t appear as being baptized, so unless we can find their records we will baptize them again, so hey not really a baptism, but still baptisms are always fun.

I was thinking of sending a memory card home with 250 pictures on it, what do you think? I have 2 copies of them so if it got lost NBD, also I can track it and then you have to sign for it for 14Q's which is like 2 dollars, let me know.  so this week as been such a chill fun fast week! Tuesday the missionaries here in Zacapa were doing a food drive I guess you can call it, and there was huge speakers techno and a microphone, so we each got to take turns shouting into the mic I felt like Samuel the Lamanite preaching repentance on the city wall, except I was asking for food in a very bad gringo accent, the church in Zacapa is right in front of the market so it is very busy out front, it was fun techno and microphones....

oh goodness so this week we started helping this lady with exercise she had surgery 10 months ago and finally got the pins removed, they must do surgery different here because I could literally see the pins entering into her leg, it was kinda gross when she handed me the bag of the pins after her surgery, but with a huge smile on her face, she was happy to have them out, so I took the bag and then realized what I was touching and gave it back. So funny story...probably funny for me but oh well, so with the lady one morning (I was very hyper this morning) and just being stupid ol Chad, but I had a banana and I said Hermana que soy? which is Sister, what am I? then I started making monkey noises and eating the banana (I told you I was hyper) well she’s like 80 and there isn’t much going on up there in her brain anymore so she just ignored me, and my comp said in English in his thick accent... "an idiot" he thinks he is so smart.

so I didn’t really write much down to tell you guys so I don’t really have much to say, changes are next Wednesday, we will find out Monday night if we have changes or not so you guys won’t find out until the next week hahah!!!

Ok there is a talk called seek learning by faith. it is by Elder Bednar. GO READ IT!!! I printed it in the MTC but never read it, I read it today and it is so amazing!! some few points from it (but still go read it)  basically its talking about learning by faith, and how that opens up the pathway into the heart so that he spirit can bear testimony to us. Also faith has 3 principles. 1. assurance 2. evidence and 3. action. He gives the example of assurance of things hoped for looks for the future. Assurance makes it possible so we can walk up to the edge of light and take a few steps into the darkness. The combination of assurance and hope initiates action. The action to take the steps. this is in the present. Then evidence is looking back in the past and seeing the evidence of the faith that the light followed us in the darkness.  that’s not all, it talks about so much but I am out of time so go read it! I love you guys... truly I love you there is no way around it. thank you for the prays and emails letters and support. love you all!
Elder Call

Friday, October 21, 2011

Such A Fast Week...So Much Has Happened!!!

October 17, 2011

So not a lot happened this week, but then looking back SO MUCH HAPPENED!!! This was such a fast week, where did all the time go? So every day this week I have been on a bus either going or coming from Zacapa. After last p day we had district meeting where we decided we want to do a FHE in every area here (four different, 3 in Zacapa and then San Jorge), and also that we wanted to do divisions. So Wednesday I was in Zacapa with Elder Urmstom, he is a new missionary has 3 weeks in the field. NERVOUS? Surprisingly I wasn’t nervous, probably cause it wasn't my area so I could relax for a little. Well one thing I have realized is that the Lord has blessed me with a sense of direction, because bless his heart he doesn’t have a slightest inkling of dir3ection, we had to take his close to a members house to be washed and we spent a hour looking for it and we are lost and Zacapa is huge, and all he has is a neighborhood name and the last name of the family which was Hernandez, well everyone and their dog have that apellido, so we didn’t have success so after a hour we were lost and a good 30 minutes from the house so we decided to go back, but he had no idea how to get back, (remember this isn’t my area) so I got us back, I had a general sense of where we were. Just another adventure in Guatemala, being lost with a huge bag of clothes, we looked like Santa Claus!

The next day I returned to San Jorge the divisions went really well, he is a workhorse! Just work, work, work, I was so tired after that day we walked so much! The next day we were all in Zacapa again for a FHE, but Elder Roberts was sick so I went back to the house with him so he could rest, and I’m glad I did because the other 7 missionaries went and had the FHE but the house is like 30 minutes away, and after around 830 they couldn’t find a bus back so they had to walk the whole way in the rain!! We all spent the night in the house of one of the missionaries; imagine 9 missionaries in the same room! I got like 0 sleep that night but esta bien!  So this week we set a baptismal goal with one of our investigators for the 29th of October but in order for her to do this she had to come to church this Sunday so everything was riding on that, and she seemed so stoked and pumped! So were we! So Sunday came and we went to go get her and NADA! It was hard she was asleep or wasn’t home so that date fell through, but we will continue working with her she is ready she just doesn’t know it yet. We dropped a lot of our investigators this week which is always hard but they just don’t want to have the change in their lives yet, maybe in the future. But for the last 2 changes (3 months) we have had the goal to have the attendance of sacrament meeting 30 people, and last week we hit 29…AND this week we hit 28 so we are super close!! Ah man that is truly the Lords hand, believe me when we got here we had 16 people so almost!!!

Oh random thought tell Chase delta doesn’t make you pay if your bags are overweight so don’t stress about being 50 pounds, there was a kid who had 77 and 65 pound bags and didn’t have to pay the fee.

So a story this week there is this family (the golden family) ah! I want to baptize them they are so ready but he needs to divorce and then marry his wife right now but they have 3 girls and they are the cutest little girls! They are 8 and 4 and a 1 month baby. The 4 year old calls me gringo because she doesn’t know my name the parents get way embarrassed because they think its racist or something but I think it’s hilarious! Her accent and just everything idk I guess you have to be here.

So changes are November 2nd and I am super stoked because I will receive my package!! so I’m looking forward to that, I think my comp thinks I hate him because I am looking forward to changes (because probably one of us will change) but it’s for the package I promise.

Question... do I need to like save a white shirt for when I get off my mission? Cause I just realized that I am going to have nothing when I get back, so should I save one shirt and pants for when I’m off my mission? and the same with ties?

Alright I’m getting bored of writing and I’m sure your bored of reading (I told you nothing really happened this week) but I was reading the talk titled beware of pride by Pres. Benson. READ IT!! It is so good, it talks about how pride is the downfall of the people in the Book of Mormon and it is the down fall of many people in today’s day. Pride is the universal sin, but the antidote for it is humility, meekness and submissiveness. He talks about how God will have a humble people. Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble. Alma taught this in Alma 32:16. So we can choose to be humble and just love people and realize that it doesn’t matter if we have money or things of the world, we are all human beings we are all brothers and sisters from the same Heavenly Father who loves us, so why can’t we love everyone also. That means EVERYONE even the people that have done wrong to us. Let us choose to be humble. Read the talk it’s amazing.

Well I love you guys and love the letters and emails! Thank you so much for the thoughts letters and prayers. Oh also share my gratitude to Sister Jewkes for her lovely email, she truly is such an amazing person and example to all of us. Thank Julie for the email i love it she is so funny! Glad to hear everything is going great.

Peace OUT-

-Elder Call
Who is more SAD?...

I think Chad is going to be a Pig Farmer when he returns...what is his fascination with PIGS???


Monday, October 10, 2011

I Spy With My Little Eyes...

i spy with my little eyes... A PIG!!! they are everywhere. hopefully the picture sent and worked. The other picture was of me learning how to make a tortilla! i was stoked to say the least becuase i got it somewhat down. Its hard work though!!! well i love you!!! and probaly wont get the book or package until nov. 2 or 3!! but i am looking forward to it!!!! love you so much and i remembered that one time when we bought "the last action hero" randomly to watch, but we could only watch like 20 minutes of it at a time because of work or other things, cant rember what, but what a fun memory!! love you!

Starting To Settle In!

Ha-ha shoot! well where to start?  I feel like not too much happened this week and things are finally starting to settle in. Well obviously there are always random crazy stuff happening but more the most part I think I have the mission life down. Today is once again a lazy p day! ha-ha we are sure lazy not wanting to play soccer. But ya. we had interviews with President this week in Zacapa Friday. He is a man! really he is so amazing I love him and Hermana Stay. This week a less active offered me her cell phone because she had 30 minutes free to the USA, but only that day, and she had no one to call there so offered it to me to call you guys. ha-ha it was tempting for about 2 seconds but then we explained nope we can only call twice a year (btw I am stoked for!!!). I haven’t gotten your package yet, I’m sure it’s in the office, but mail only gets brought out here once or twice every 6 weeks, and I got some letters and dear elders on Sept 27th so I think I will have to wait for next transfers which are Nov 2nd but that makes mail all the better!!! oh btw letters are amazing! and I will even write back!! I get them every 6 weeks so it might be a little but still :)
so I tried uploading with Picasa and you can only use one Google account at a time, so I can’t email and upload, and I tried uploading but couldn’t get it to work. I think it is the computer. (I promise I’m not an idiot) I hit the upload button and nothing happened. I think I will send my memory card home with all my pictures. I can get it tracked also so it won’t get lost. Mom, should I use those flea collars or throw them away? I don’t have fleas here but in my next area maybe. Because a couple emails ago you said they are harmful or something?

So I was a little off with my scripture form last week about adversity, it was D & C 122: 7 about Joseph in Jail and complaining and what the Lord said. He said that all our trials and bad experiences are for our benefit.

Well this week was probably the hardest one of my mission yet, but there wasn’t just one thing that made it hard, fasting for 24 hours I tried without water (here because of the heat we can drink water) I cracked, I only drank about 250 ml. But fasting always gets me. I was in a bad mood, and the infection added to it, it’s hot, I’m tired, there are bugs everywhere and our investigators aren’t really progressing so I was really down this week.  But then I thought it’s pointless to be discouraged and down. I want to share a quote from Elder Holland about when times are tough. This is him teaching what a great swimmer said when asked his secret of success. ¨I kick when I don’t want to kick, and I stroke when I don’t want to stroke.¨ Life is tough sometimes but pushing through the tough times make us into a better person. "You change immediately with each good thought, each good act, each good word changes you for the better."  I was studying these things and just had a change of heart and I’m stoked again to be out here! and now I’m even laughing about my infection! how funny is that (I think its hilarious!) another quote I like is “circumstances don’t make you a man they just tell you what kind of one you are.” So take your circumstances and remember things will be hard but eventually things will get better!  and if that doesn’t help look at this from a eternal prospective and the promise of eternal life if we are faithful and keep our covenants.  Well this was a way random email I didn’t really plan it before just kinda went for it! Oh and I sent you a letter last Tuesday so you should hopefully be getting it soon, I sent 6 letters! so hopefully people get them!!

well I love you guys and am always thinking of you guys!!! Hope everything is going great back home. Tell the new bishop he should send all the missionaries (or just me) a welcome package or "we are thinking of you package" just some food for thought.
Much Love Elder Call

Monday, October 3, 2011


Haha oh man I was half tempted not to send a letter this week, I was just so absorbed in reading! I love it!! But well it is a mission rule that we write home every week, so here I am once again ANOTHER week as gone by! How crazy is that?  I’m just kidding I LOVE writing home. But I love reading the emails and letters more. Well to answer your questions mom, our branch just uses CDs for the hymns or acapella when the disc is scratched. Which isn´t always the prettiest but we can still feel the spirit all the same. And no, I don’t want a piano book cause that would require that I actually play the piano! But we do have a small electric keyboard. I hope you understood everything from last week I’m sorry I was pretty rushed. And you’re so smart that you figured it all out! I was worried about that and kicking myself for not explaining better but you did it!

Haha mom you have not changed one bit. Yelling at the other moms to get a life and stop worrying! And nope I wasn’t hurt (earthquake) I actually laughed at that!  So if you haven’t sent the package yet I need a watch. My Guatemalan one broke, haha story for another day. And I don’t want to buy another Guatemalan one so send just a cheap waterproof digital (or whatever;) and if not no worries I can get one here. Also don’t move the email from wainer lahdfkajhdkfjh (some long Spanish name) out of my email, that is the link to writing president. And also tell Kate I sent Preston a letter. So not to expect an email with his email.

Well today was another lazy p day. There are 4 different types of p days, lazy where you do absolutely nothing. I slept and read and wrote 5 letters! And then a Fatty p day, which is where you (usually with other gringos) go and drop 100 Q´s at McDonalds or Dominos and you don’t regret it. Another is an active one where you play futbol all day long. And a traveling one, usually when you go to the capital for a conference or temple. So I have done nothing today and loved every second of it!

So a little about this week Tuesday we helped a member with some yard work. Only thing is yard work is different here than in the states. Here we use machetes which are literally swords of the modern day. They are awesome! So we took out the wall of green in her backyard, then she said she has 3 beehives she wants to get rid of. My first thought was “haha ya right I remember what happens when you try to get rid of bee´s… and there is no way you can get me to make the bees mad"… then the Missionary side of me said “ya sure thing.” So she gave us gas and fire and then she went inside. Holy cow how fun! I love burning beehives they are so flammable! And the bee´s here are stupid they don’t attack you! So that wasn’t a problem at all.

So learning Spanish has destroyed my English, I realized this in my letter I wrote to Nana today. I spelled prophet "profet" so tell her sorry for that when she gets it. Also I realized I don’t know Spanish, when some boys came to our door and said we are collecting things for the victims of the earthquake. (By the way was a lie) but my comp told me to go answer the door. And he spoke very fast I might add. And so I only caught a couple words. (my Zone leader the first day said when you don’t understand what is being said, gather the words you did understand and then make an educated guess from there) so I did just that, I heard “help and want.” So I gathered they said “do you want help?”  or something of that manner. But in reality they said “we need help we are collecting things for victims of the earthquake that need help.” So I said “no it’s all good we don’t need help.” haha they didn’t know what to do so they just walked away and my comp was laughing. So I can’t claim to know Spanish, and I can’t claim to know English anymore therefore I don’t know any language right now!

Also this week I learned how to use child safety scissors! I honestly never knew how to use them. I thought they were cheap because they wouldn’t cut, so I always used the big ones. But I picked some up this week and figured out if you press the two handles together they actually cut!! I was stoked to say the least.

OK one more story then on to spiritual matters. While eating my peach rings Elder Arce through a choking voice says translated… these aren’t for niños are they? I said why? He said because they will choke to death, apparently he didn’t know to bite them in half before you eat them or else you will choke... We learn something new every day.

Oh actually while we were teaching a lesson outside with a less active, lightning struck literally within 100 feet, it was so loud and scared the crap out of me!  That was the closest I have ever seen lightning strike in my life, reminded me of you hiking a couple weeks ago (see I do read the emails).. :D

Well during conference we got to watch it live, and the same time as you guys, AND in English!! I was stoked to say the least. This has definitely been the best conference by far as far as understanding and listening, idk if it is because I have a new appreciation of things or a new understanding but it was amazing! I learned so much and am so stoked for the print edition in a month so I can study them some more.

Elder Oaks looks so much like Uncle Alan and Uncle Jay. And my cousin spoke, NBD, although I have never met him I was proud to have the Curtis name at the pulpit, and he gave a way good talk!

I kept thinking about you guys during it, thinking it’s weird we are watching the same thing but are so far away. And during priesthood with the hymn, I thought Dad is standing and singing the same hymn as me and that made me super stoked to think about!!

One of the Latinos who is about to go home joined us for the English sessions and after the first talk we asked him if he understood Elder Scott´s talk about the scriptures. And in his accented English he said “Yes it was about scriptures” then I said what are you talking about it was about temples?!?! That got him a little frazzled but he´s awesome, I go on divisions with him tomorrow to help him with his English because he is taking an English test for BYU at the end of this month.

So I was reading in true to the faith about adversity, and how we face it. And I loved what it said. It is basically attitude! And I thought of dad trying to change how he reacts to things. They gave the story of Lehi with his family in the wilderness and their bows broke. So they could have no food. And (I’m paraphrasing to the max) how they reacted differently...We can react to adversity 2 different ways. The first is like Laman and Lemuel and even Lehi. They  began to murmur a little, when people are like them they ask such questions as why does this have to happen to me now? What have I done to deserve this? Why do I have to suffer this? They view life as unfair and are constantly negative and complaining. But then Nephi instantly went to work to build another bow. (I’m assuming it’s not easy) But the other type react like Nephi they first review the circumstances and then ask what am I to do? How can I learn from this? And how can I remember all the other blessing God has given me? They are positive as they face challenge head on. There is a scripture I love and it is when Joseph Smith is in Jail and he asks why does this have to happen and the lord gave to him in a revelation in D&C 121 the last scripture in that section I think. So for this week think about which type of person you will be when you are faced with adversity and to face it with a good happy attitude. Well I love you guys! Elder Call

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hola! Como Esta?

My Friend the Pig
Family!!! Hola, Como esta? Dad, keep working on your Spanish so we can talk to each other at Christmas! By the way I am super stoked for that phone call! I think about it a lot! Super stoked! So today was a lazy p day, we have done absolutely nothing, literally nothing, and I am ok with that. We finally went to Zacapa just for fun and internet, I am in a oddly way good mood, probably cause I’m emailing, I love emailing! It’s great. So this last week we went on a spirit quest, but you have no idea what that is because I never told you about them before my mission. Remember that one day at Costco when they took your card away because I tried buying all that food. Well that food was for a spirit quest. Basically we just go out in the wild and go hike with the bare minimum then we return and feast! Well we did that but Guatemalan style and missionary style. So in the morning for studies we just randomly decided to go hike the mountain and have our studies up there, so we have an investigator that lives right below the mountain so we visited her then after hiked the mountain and studied. It was fun I have forgotten how much I love hiking and the outdoors I LOVE it!
Chad 1, Snake 0 = He hates Snakes!!!
Also this last week, well last Monday I don’t know what got into me but I went on a spending rampage and spent 98 Quetzals at the market on junk food and FROSTED FLAKES!! But in Spanish and I can’t remember what they are called in Spanish but they are with Toño el tigre! (Tony the tiger) so good!! 98 Q´s is only like 12.50 but still that is so much here!

Friday night the power went out at like 1 in the morning and hence our fans stopped working, so I woke up at like 130 just drenched in sweat! And neither of us could sleep for the rest of the night, so I was super tired that day. But at like 3am I checked the temperature and it was 88 degrees! Now that probably doesn’t seem hot but to sleep in oh man it was hot!! I am so thankful for my fan.

Alright so our golden investigator isn’t so golden, so we will label him as now yellow or orange, because he needs to divorce a other women and marry the women he is living with, and he leaves in December for the states and a divorce at the very least takes 4 months which is frustrating. But with this other family I think we finally got it across the importance of reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, we have been trying for a month now to get them to read and pray, and they just didn’t get it, but we were patient (as our heavenly father is with us) and I think last night they finally understood., we just bared testimony of it and how great of a blessing it is. (I’ll be honest I didn’t realize how great it is for us and our lives, like REALLY understood until my mission, ITS AMAZING) I will have to upload the pictures another day, but I want to! And I’ve been thinking a lot of Christmas so I made a list you don’t have to send all just pick and choose and surprise me. But some ideas ... vitamins, and I need vitamin E, pictures, Reese’s Stix and Fastbreaks, motivational quotes I would love those! Memories you have, Uno, Phase ten, those I want! Hot chocolate with marshmallows, tropical starburst, crazy core skittles, a small calendar, a new digital watch, with a light, nothing fancy just the 10 dollar ones at Wal-Mart.  Troli peach rings, the DVDS of the New Testament and D and C, I don’t know if they exists but in Spanish they do but I want them in English. Nerd ropes, Scooby Doo fruit snacks, and crystal light powder, peach and raspberry. Don’t send peanuts I can get those here, or lifesavers those turn everything fruity.
Such a random picture???
So sorry this is so short but I have letter for Hicken, I’ve been thinking about that a lot, and I’m too lazy to go search for his email so I will just type it here.

So of course I’d write you just a week later! Thanks for the email, the sprit is the fire of the mission but emails are the fuel, they are so great to get, so thank you. so you guys were right all along, service is great, I’m sorry we were so difficult, it was like pulling teeth to get us to serve. Now I give service everyday weather planned or unplanned. Also, setting up the chairs every Sunday. Well now me and my comp do that every Sunday, and if we don’t do it there aren’t leaders there to pick up the slack. And Every Saturday we clean the church by ourselves, usually the branch president helps but most of the time nope. So keep on planning and doing service in the quorum, because it really is so great, and one day the priests will hopefully see this, probably years later like I did.

Tell the new Bishop that you have to stay in Young Men’s because there isn’t any other calling you could do, Melchizedek priesthood they are boring, and primary…HAHAHA... no, so you have to stay in Young Men’s.

So some advice for the priests...well obviously the usual read the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel, but I remember when I was in priests and hearing that and I thought ya whatever. But it really is so important. On my mission just in the 4 months I have gained such a new view of everything in the gospel, I feel like I didn’t understand anything before my mission. I think this comes with serving a mission, so because they won’t read let me give chapters that we use every day. 2 Nephi 31, use this everyday. And 3 Nephi 11 when Christ comes to the Americas, also the introduction to the B of M especially the last 2 paragraphs. We use those every day with people. Also preach my gospel. Ch. 3 the usual. But instead of focusing on lesson 1, that gets pounded so much in the MTC focus on lesson 2 and 4, those usually tend to get over looked. As far as preparing for a mission there is nothing really like it so preparing for ¨the mission¨ is impossible, but everything you taught in YM´s is preparing for a mission, weather you can see it or not.

The biggest or best thing they could do to prepare is to develop a good attitude and being positive. That alone affects the mission so much, a mission isn’t easy, and at times I won’t lie it sucks, maybe a different culture, language or a situation you are in, but having a good attitude makes all the difference ad being grateful for all the many blessings we have. Attitude affects everything so start developing a good one now.

Another thing is to decide right now before you serve what kind of missionary you want to become, mainly with obedience, on a mission it is literally you and your comp in the world. and you can do whatever you wanted but that is not why we are out here, and sometimes missionaries forget this or lose sight of this, so think about what missionary you want to become.

Lastly learn from everything, the year before my mission I was being prepared for a mission and I didn’t even know it, but looking back now I can see how every experience prepared me, also change on a mission is not all at once, people think missionaries are perfect, but we are far from it, and change comes slowly, bit by bit and we need to always be striving to become better. I’m not perfect far from it, but I am learning something every day.

Missions are awesome, they are hard but the few good moments far outweigh the bad. Start preparing mentally to be positive and love everyone. I have already seen a change in my from these 4 months, and especially in my testimony, it is so much stronger and I am understanding so much more of this gospel and how truly great it is. Well I feel like I am rambling sorry hopefully you can get something from this. This was a lot longer then what I planned on, so you can tell my parents why they got such a short letter this week. Hopefully thus helps and let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for all you did in priest quorum. Elder Call
God's Country!