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 niƱos 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