Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Definitely A New Experience This Week!

Alright so now starts the letter, so wow what a week, literally it was crazy. Usually I always tell you guys about the things that happen like the cultural or random things that happen and I usually don't mention what happens on the spiritual side, so last week I made the goal to explain more on the spiritual side, but so much happened this week, that I don’t know where to start or what to say, so I will try to explain both the temporal things and also the spiritual things that happened this week, and I'm typing this to give you guys a break cause you’re in Hawaii! Bueno well I have been everywhere this week! In Taxisco, Moyuta, Jalpatagua, Oratorio, and Cuilapa. Now I know that means nothing to you guys but we did a lot of traveling this week!! You can look it up on the map! We did divisions this week with an area called Jalpatagua, and I Went with elder Delgado from Arizona. He is a cool guy he now has 7 months, and I remember when he entered! Time has sure flown by, but about Jalpatagua.... it is a small little pueblito, it is hot and the actual town isn't that big. There is a branch there of about 20 people. now on a side note I wish I could express how things really are here and how they are different in Guatemala but I can't it's impossible and something one just has to experience, but it is even more different in Los pueblitos, (small villages) the houses are different, the Atmosphere, the food, just everything!! Also in the small villages you feel isolated and alone, and as missionaries a lot more responsibility falls upon us because there is hardly any priesthood in the small branches. And everyone looks to the missionaries for everything. These were probably the craziest divisions I have been in, let me explain.... A sister here tried to commit suicide about 13 days ago, she had a couple problems with her husband and so she ate rat poison. She was in the hospital the doctors had operated on her and now it was a waiting game, to see how her body reacted to the treatments. She was doing well, but she passed away late Wednesday night, so Thursday we were with the family offering support and helping out however we could, they held a small service for her (only her husband was a member) that night, we sang a couple hymns and shared a couple thoughts, later on during the evening we had to prepare her to be dressed in her temple clothes, the sisters were going to dress her but we had to prepare her, I knew what that meant but I didn't want to believe it. We took the coffin into her bedroom (us 4, me and my comp, and the 2 elders from Jalpatagua, our comps came back because the lady was a good friend of my comp cause he was in that area over a year ago) so us 4 and also the branch president had to take the body out of the coffin and put it onto the bed. Now this was our first time around a dead body like this (for all 4 of us missionaries) it was quite an interesting experience, I honestly don't know how to describe how I was feeling. I knew it was something that had to be done and there was no one else to do it, so we were all trying to be strong but the smell was so overwhelmingly horrible, it was a mix of the chemicals they put on, but I don’t know if they didn't put enough on or maybe they didn't put it everywhere cause there was a other smell very strong. I had never touched a dead body before and I still don't know how to feel cause it was something almost sacred that we were doing, but it was still super weird for me being around a dead body especially in a small village, in a small little clay house in the middle of nowhere it is super-hot in Guatemala. The sister members dressed her then we put her back into her coffin and took the coffin back into the viewing room. The next day was the actual funeral, and here they do things a little differently, we had a small program (prayer hymn and talk) then we went to the cemetery. We carried the coffin about 2 kilometers to the cemetery, the coffin goes in front then everyone else follows behind on foot, the branch president dedicated the grave then they sealed the grave site. (here the graves are above the ground in little boxes) it was definitely a crazy 2 days, we basically ran the funeral and services, like I said in the villages they depend on the missionaries a lot more than in the capital.
So after talking with my comp he was a little shaken up after moving the body, as for me the only thing that still gets me is the smell, if I smell anything bad it reminds me of the body. I don't know if that is normal but it shook us up a little. That was the crazy experience of the week. So like I mentioned at the beginning I'll share a couple spiritual things that happened this week. While contacting with Elder Delgado we ran into some Baptists it seems from Florida visiting. And they were nice but totally ripped into us about how we aren’t Christians and do not believe in Christ. That is where I stopped him and asked him if he knew anything about us cause that is the first thing we believe in! We invited him to restudy Mormonism from the missionaries in Florida because he must have studied it from a bad source, and he seemed willing and curious. We wanted to enter and resolve his doubts but he was packing to return back to the states. There are so many false rumors out there about us, I wish everyone would just stop believing what they hear and come to us to find out about the church! It would make everyone one happier! We are trying to work with members more as a mission, and it is working!! This last week we taught in 2 different houses of members with their friends, and it truly helps so much more to have their friends who are members there present and to also teach in there house cause you can feel the spirit stronger there!!! I love teaching the restoration, it is the lesson that. We teach most often because it is our message to the world!! I love teaching about Joseph Smith and the first vision, it is the 2nd most important event to take place in the history of mankind next to the atonement of Jesus Christ. The whole restoration makes so much sense, it was needed because the authority wasn't upon the earth but through Joseph Smith God restored his priesthood!!! And that's what we have today!! We should probably use it huh? PREISTOOD!! That would be a great idea. USE IT!!!! I love this work I know what I'm doing is correct, I couldn't be doing a better thing, and I am learning so much. I love it out here!! I love this gospel I know it is true with all my heart, it was restored through Joseph Smith and we have a living prophet today to guide us!! We should probably listen to him. Huh? I'm going to, cause he will never lead us astray. Family, just know that I love you!!! I am so grateful I have parents that love me and that love each other!!! Enjoy your time in Hawaii!! You guys deserve this break!! Love you! Elder Call

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