Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Holy Crazy Week!!!

Ok holy crazy week!!! It was even faster this week, it flew by!! I’m scared at how fast the time is going. So last Monday we had dinner with the nephew of the area president, (well ex in august he got changed to go to Utah) here we have dinner every night with the members, so we are in excellent hands! I love it! We also did divisions this week!! But with ELDER ARCE!!
Bahaha it was so chill. It was truly so fun to do divisions with my trainer again. We both have changed so much but good changes. It was just like old times only better. It was a good break to get away from training to relax and just work. We were laughing like the whole time. So while in divisions we were cleaning the house, and I was sweeping out back, look in the video I don’t remember but you can see how dirty out back was with all the leaves and stuff, also can you see a broom that was against the back wall? so I was using that broom, which was actually a metal pole with a broom head jimmy rigged onto the end, well I was sweeping and the pole snapped right on my finger! Cut it pretty bad! Look at the photo it was crazy,
because something like that hasn’t really ever happened to me, but I am so glad to have been brought up in the emergency setting and with the knowledge you gave me mom! And that you sent me off with that first aid kit, I have used that sucker so many times thank you! So I cleaned it and bandaged it right up. So while in divisions we went into a lesson with a recent convert didn’t really have a plan, and we started with one scripture got talking, then went to a different scripture then connected like 6 scriptures it was such a cool, fun lesson I love doing that just being able to connect the dots and maneuver the lesson where we want it to go. So last week I didn’t tell you about our family of oro (gold) the husband contacted the other missionary’s in the city and we then went and contacted them, they are so ready for changes they want to put their lives into order and just do the things that God wants them to do. but have a problem with the Sabbath day and also they aren’t married, but we are going to get them married and then help them get their life in order! Mom did you buy missionary’s lunch again? because we were in the poorer part of our area contacting and a guy comes up to us and asks if he can buy us a coke, so we agree he buys us a coke and a little pastry each and them walks off, it totally made my day! So I thought that you must have just bought lunch for missionaries there or something! Alright totally out of time! Sorry but I love you guys, this week was a little baggy, I don’t know why but I miss you guys! I love you so much but I’m loving it way too much out here! I am reading Jesus the Christ right now, and it is such a great book! I love it, I love learning so much more about our Savior but in more details, this church is amazing, it is Gods church, he is at the helm, he is leading us and guiding us through a prophet today, I am honesty so grateful that I was brought up in the church, there are a lot of lost people, here that need the church they need God in their lives and that is what we are doing we are saving people, I wish I could tell you all about them all! But there just is no time! I love you so much please know that if not anything else!!! I wish I could just sit here all day and tell you all about our days and the miracles we see every day and just how great serving a mission is, but we got things to do! We are going to the temple this Wednesday!! And then a zone conference this Friday, a busy week but it is going to be GREAT! The photo is a flour tortilla that I made!
hey mom, ok what do you think about this, you can be honest, we are allowed to have itouch’s here, Arce has one and I really want you to send me mine it is amazing to use to study, because it has basically all the books and manuals. Could you possibly copy all my music and videos off my itouch and put it on my hard drive and then send me mine with some church things? I would tell you what I want and also there is Wi-Fi here in the church so I could also download some church apps. What do you think? We will talk more next week. Is anyone using my itouch? Take care I love you!! Elder Call

Monday, July 23, 2012

Longest Shortest Week Ever!

HI FAMILY! Holy cow longest/shortest week ever! so my hands are frozen right now so it is super hard to write, but this week FLEW by, but longest because every day was jammed pack with enough things to be a week long, so basically I just lived through 7 weeks in one! This last week was just full of contacting and setting appointments only to have them fall, and turn out to not be interested in the least bit, all day every day, we were pretty down and discouraged, my comp more than me, but the Lord has given us so many miracles this week and we have a lot of investigators progressing which is so great! We just saw the bad but when we took a step back we saw really how much work and how much the lord has blessed us! So ya it is super hard opening an area and training at the same time! having to do everything, get to know the area the busses where we eat the house, get to know the ward and the members gain their confidence and try to get the missionary program rolling again here, every night I have been wiped out, literally going to bed as soon as we can, but it is such a good feeling when you are tired, it is a feeling of satisfaction. I’ve never slept this well before! So this week we gave service, BUT so different then the service in Zacapa, in Zacapa we were building houses out of scraps of wood and anything we could find, here we enter the security gate, walk down the street where the houses look like where Alex and Ryan are living (see photo)
enter the house and he wants us to cut his grass, the member we came with had a machine but he only brought a machete, so we cut his back lawn, (see photos before and after) that was done with a machete and hand so I am still in Guatemala but I feel like I am in Utah sometimes!
So where we live is up in the mountains and the clouds are so low we are like in the clouds, this last week was a little warmer and didn’t rain at all until yesterday, so it was like perfect weather! Clear blue skies a slight breeze, it was crazy I felt like I was up in Brain Head or Park City on a clear summer day, it is truly amazing here. I sent the letter with all my memories in it this last Tuesday so look for that and let me know once you get it! Also you asked about nana if something should happen call the mission and tell them and then they will tell me, or have you call me; I think that would be the best thing. So Elder Arce is my zone leader, it is AWESOME! It is such a party, and we will probably do divisions tomorrow with them super stoked to be with him again. So training is good, it requires a lot of patience but a different kind then with past comps, I am literally teaching him everything, but he is starting to get it figured out and adjusting to the mission life, I forgot how big of a change it is, and how crazy Guatemala is even where we are, I am grown so used to Guatemalan life that having a greenie reminds me that these things aren’t supposed to be normal but are! 4 people on a motor cycle with the mom breastfeeding while texting or talking on a phone, or jumping off the busses, we were on the bus and it started leaving before we had gotten off completely well I got off but my comp no, and he panicked and froze, I told him to jump (because the sooner you jump the slower the bus is going!) but he didn’t like my philosophy so we had them stop the bus so he could safely get off. (Rereading that makes me sound horrible and cruel, but I promise I’m not) So our bishop looks exactly like Ryan, EXACTLY, it is crazy. Ok so one of the miracles we had was yesterday, after church we were going to go on splits with 2 elders preparing to leave for the mission, and they came but one brought his friend to talk to us, so my comp left with the other guy, and I stayed to talk and teach this guy a little. Never have I seen the spirit work on someone as strong as it did with him. We got talking then started and he had some great questions and I explained the Restoration to him and answered all the questions that he had with that lesson and the scriptures. I have never felt the spirit so strong before an see it work, he was just beaming so stoked and felt so good, then the best part is when I explained how he can know also for himself, and he was so eager to pray and ask and receive his answer. I explained that really fast but it was probably one of the neatest lessons I’ve been in, and it really humbled me and reminded me of the joy of missionary work, that we really are hero’s to these people and that what we bring them will change their lives. He said the closing prayer kneeling and asked right then and there if it is true, it was awesome. It was just me, and the other kid, but he is not a missionary yet so he just bore his testimony but ah"! The whole thing was truly amazing! We also have another family that is of Gold, he contacted us and said he wants to be baptized, super golden so we are teaching them, but first we have to get them married and also find him another job because he only works Saturdays and Sundays. So it will be a little work with them but they are both willing and really want to change their lives around. This week was hard work but we have seen so many miracles and I love being here as a missionary doing missionary work! It is so amazing to see how many people are truly prepared for this gospel. I have never felt this much joy from my services and seen so many results, I love being out here, and I love what I am doing, this church is so amazing and really blesses families and is AMAZING. I love you all and truly miss you but I also love it here! Elder Call

Monday, July 16, 2012

New Home!!!

FAMILY!!!! Holy Cow this last week feels like so long ago and FLEW by. So to start off I am in San José Pinula 2 is the name of the area, the town is San José Pinula. It is in two parts a normal city then a butt load of gated communities! Ya, I am in one of the riches areas of Guatemala! My area is the gated communities which sucks because we can’t enter in to them to work! So we can only work through the members which is great but also bad.... I am behind the temple about 30 minutes into the mountains! And it is a BARRIO!!! That means a ward!! We have a full established ward! It is awesome!!! IT is freezing here, literally I think like 60{s so going from Zacapa to here has been crazy! that’s like 100´s to 60´s it is a huge difference at least for me!! I am dying!!! I am going to so search for a jacket in a Paca (thrift store) today, and if I can’t find one I will probably buy one at WAL MART!!! Ya that’s right! We have everything here!! This zone is the richest one in Guatemala so we have basically everything here. IT rains a ton also! The house direction is casa 14 O (that is oh, not zero) residenciales Girasoles 1, residenciales de San José, San José Pinula. We live in a gated community a red house that says 14 0 hahaha don’t know what more info I can give. So about my comp... His name is Elder Ayala from Mexico, and I am training him!! Super crazy, we opened or white washed an area and training! Basically what happened to me when I entered with Elder Arce. It has been really difficult this last week because the other elders didn’t leave us with anything! But we are working hard! I am doing basically everything, but now we are getting him caught up and into the missionary jig....here to use internet there are 22 missionaries and only 4 computers so I don’t have a lot of time, so my letters will not be as long. What you can do to help me is to send me two emails, 1 with the things urgent that you need me to respond that same week, or info that I need to know right now. And then the 2nd one will be the normal that I will print off and read later, because here really there is like no time! So I don’t know what else to say, we have a commodore for lunch but for dinner we eat with the members a different one every night, so that is fun and good to get to know the families! This ward is very young a ton of young couples with TONS of kids the primary is huge!! The attendance is like 120 around there, we don’t have to do anything here Sundays, we just help with gospel principals and then with mission prep, but it is amazing I love here! Elder Arce is my zone leader, hahaha things are so fun with him, and we are going to be great friends for the rest of our lives. We are going to try to do divisions next week.... probably breaking the rules but... it will be fun! They have APPLEBEE’s here!!! how crazy is that? There is like a mall here that has everything, then Wal-Mart then Applebee’s outside by Wal-Mart it is going to be amazing! But I promise I won’t spend any money unless I really need it.... We saw a bus wreck this week! it was super crazy! Everything here is just SO DIFFERENT from outside the capital, but I love it, it is a very fast paced life style. Our house is good has 3 rooms, and a huge living room, and a small kitchen, I’ll probably take a video then send it with the memory cards that I still need to send hahaha. So as far as teaching the other missionaries didn’t leave us with anything, so we are doing a lot of contacting and trying to find new people to teach! this next week will be a great solid week of work, which will be good. I love you all! And will try to write better letters because now we don’t have as much time as before. Only 1 hour to do everything. But it is possible :) I love you all and thank for your support! Elder Call

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Where To Start?

Oh wow... so where do I even start? ... FROM THE BEGINING... OK Well I have been having problems with allergies lately it is super weird, so I busted out the Benadryl…that thing works wonders…but if you remember back to Canada ´03, Benadryl makes me super loopy, I took it and it just knocked me out all morning, I just laid in bed not sleeping but not awake either it was super weird. So I headed off to Guastatoya for divisions this week. That area is so amazing! The members are amazing and very supportive and really want to help out, and the area is advanced and I felt like I was on vacation it was amazing. The best part was Elder Benitez, he is from Paraguay and he is such a stud, honestly one of the best missionaries in the mission hands down, if every missionary was like him Satan would be out of business. He is 22, he spent the first 3 years working to save up money for all the material things and also for his mission, it was always his goal, he says he never felt tired during his work because of what he was working for. He is such a spiritual stud and has made such a sacrifice to be here. He reminds me so much of Preston, I honestly felt like I was with Preston for 3 days, it was such a blast, probably one of my favorite missionaries in the mission. I would love to be his comp one day, it would be an honor. So in divisions we worked and we worked hard, and I loved it! It was like waking up from a dream to come back to Teculutan...(I still love it here though)…We had to give service one day, help a young widow move but I didn’t have service clothes. So what did we do? We went to a paca! It’s like a thrift store but so much better! Everything comes from the US from the thrift stores and it is SUPER CHEAP! I bought me a full outfit (see photo) for 5 Q´s, ya that’s like 60 cents, I love it here! When in doubt BUY!!
That was until Thursday. Friday don’t remember what happened Saturday we gave more service but here in Tecu, we had to remove a huge cement block but HUGE! You will see photos one day, we needed help and none of the missionaries in the district were answering the phone so we decided to go to Estansuela to bring the missionaries to help us. So we did, they weren’t doing anything so brought them back with us to help. (you will probably read in elder pierce´s blog about him being mad at us for dragging him into it, because it turned out to be hard service) we spent like 5 hours there and didn’t even make a dent in the thing! It is full of rocks and we had a pick ax and a sledge hammer that was heavier than me. Jk, we took out about 10 % but still it was so hard, so much harder than what I thought it would be! So yesterday we went to go visit a member that just joined the army in Zacapa it was so crazy to go into the base and see how it is like there, it was interesting...definitely isn’t the US army that is all I will say, but it was awesome to see him, we brought him a whole bunch of treats and snacks, he really liked it, I figured I received so much support in the mission and MTC and it is a similar feeling being there (away from family, friends and the world) so we wanted to give back so we did through him. Also while there I ran into Estaurdo from San Jorge, I don’t think I ever talked about him or Familia Rodas, but he was our main investigator in San Jorge and it was like seeing a best friend after a long time, he ran up to us and we talked for a little, (because while in San Jorge I couldn't really speak that well) but it was awesome!

Today we went to the water falls again, but this time with a different crowd because everyone in the district is new and has never been, so that is the photo just messing around hahaha and also that is a tuc!

Those things are all over our area they will take you wherever you need to go! 

I am almost done in the Book of Mormon, this week I was reading in Ether 12:12 and 27 two of my favorite scriptures, we need faith, and in 27 if we are humble the Lord will help us make our weaknesses our strengths! Talk about change and improvement; I am really focusing on that in the mission trying to improve myself and make some changes to become more like our savior Jesus Christ. Because that is how we will ultimately end up like, or that is our goal to become perfect. What things can you change? More patience? Being kinder? Being able to handle situations better? This is all one big school and we are all learning, so let’s apply what we are learning! I love you! Well I am going to end now, change calls come tonight, and changes are Wednesday, we will see what happens. There is a slight possibility that Lagos and I stay because he doesn’t go home until the 18th for school! Who knows what will happen but I am stoked to see what this next little bit will bring me! I love you and thank you so much for the love and support!
Love You
-Elder Call

Monday, July 2, 2012

I Want To Read Emails All Day, They Are So Great!

Oh man! I wish I could just read emails all day they are great! But the bad thing is that I have to write back, HA! jk I love writing.... That is super crazy about the wild fires, I honestly was just reading about wild fires this morning in Mormon 8:29 ha-ha in foreign lands, welp the US is pretty foreign to me right now. But that is so crazy that so many are going on, what’s the update are they controlled? And how did they start? If I had to leave in a heartbeat I would grab money and I think that’s all that I need here, cause I always carry a copy of my passport with me, and Book of Mormon (obviously) but ya we also have a 72 hour kit under our beds so I guess I would grab that also. But here we don’t have too much to worry about as far as things to grab. Mom, send me photos of the inside of the trailer! I want to see it up and working. Also ya the baptisms were over a long process of time cause they have to attend church at least 3 times to get to know the branch and to also to receive a confirmation about the church, but they kinda just happened I don’t know, a lot happened in the last week, we were finished preparing them, sorry I forgot to mention but it was like a subtle thing until the last week then they EXPLODED and were baptized. Boots NO, I am good with my shoes, and as far as clothes, don’t send me anything I am great and will end my mission with the clothes I brought. And honestly a towel is a towel, I don’t think it is worth it to send a microfiber towel when my 100% cotton towels work just great! HOWEVER, I would love some new Q-tips, the kind that we use. The ones here are horrible and cheap plastic that bend before they even get inside your ear. Elder Pierce had some and they were amazing! Yes, I did go back and do divisions again but to help them find a new commodore and we found one that was perfect! But then 2 days later they said they did the math wrong and that it would be double than what they told us. So they are still looking. We are also on the prowl, things ended kinda nasty with our old commodore this last week, so we are looking for a new one, then we will go back and try to make things better with our old one, (my comp has quite the mouth, but also she was CRAZY! So it is good that we are out of there…I just didn’t like how it ended). That is crazy about Nate Myers and Wyatt Shepherd getting their calls, congrats to them! That is so awesome!!! I am blown away at how many people are getting married! I can’t believe it. Oh those missionary moms emails…Mom… I hope Lance Armstrong comes out clean; it would be a shame if he got stripped of all his titles. What is this annual girl’s trip? That sounds like bogus! And just an excuse to go on vacation, wow me, Dad, Cam and Ryan will start our own tradition then to just counter you girls. Some pocket size photos would be awesome, the people here are real visual learners it helps a bunch, so that would be awesome. I don’t need anything, just your love and support, you guys are great! So this week was pretty normal, I feel like things have gone a little slower with Elder Lagos wrapping up his mission things have definitely slowed down since the baptisms. So right now I am just focusing on getting him home worthy and great. Saturday we gave service to this one guy, he is moving and also moving the store house of his company, it is a pool supplies store, so they have these huge bottles of chlorine that weigh 110 pounds so we moved those like all day, 6 different trips! From here to Rio Hondo which is just a little down the road towards Zacapa, it was very tiring! We are starting to visit a new village that we have never gone to, so that is giving us something new to do and helping us continue working hard which is great. I can notice a huge difference on the days that we actually work, vs. the days that we are kinda moping around looking for things to do, one more week! Changes are July 11th, so things are starting to wind down here. We got talking the other night, about how hard this area is, and of the things that we have learned, we both agree that we have learned a ton and that this area has been a hard one, (well I’ve only had 2 but still) so here is my list of things that I have learned. Some of the things off the top of my head is communication, without we can’t have any relationships, when things start going south we can’t expect changes unless we communicate. It’s so easy but yet so hard at the same time. Patience, with ourselves and others, we are all learning. Humility (these are all related) we need humility to acknowledge that we are probably wrong and how we can help solve problems. Service, I LOVE IT! Love for everyone, that has been a huge thing, we never know what people are going through. I have learned that here, so the best thing we can do for them is just love, and forgiveness. That is the center of the Atonement. We CAN receive forgiveness, and if we can receive it, we should also be able to give it. It is such a waste of this life to be caught up in the drama of being mad at others. We have helped a couple of people forgive others over some SERIOUS stuff and it is honestly so beautiful and awesome. I don’t expect anyone to understand, these last 6 months, but they have been some of the hardest, with this area and comp, but I have learned so much. I am so grateful for everything that I have learned. I hope that I can keep it and also apply it into my own life. Also, I have learned life sometimes is hard, but there is nothing we can do about it, SO JUST LIVE! and make the best of things. "Don’t sweat the petty, pet the sweaty!" Also, when all else fails, we can always turn to this Gospel and to our Savior Jesus Christ. I love it out here, I love teaching people about bringing souls unto repentance and seeing a change in their lives. There is honestly not a greater feeling than that, and I mean that, it’s tough out here, but when you can see the changes that people have made and knowing that you helped them, and they are now closer to God than they have ever been before, and are doing it correctly, there is not a greater feeling than that. IT’s tough out here, but it is also very rewarding. I love you all, thank you so much for your love and support…that is the best you could give (or maybe a Reese’s Fastbreak candy bar). I love you all, and I miss you guys! But sorry, I love it out here!!! Much Love, Elder Call