Monday, May 27, 2013

His Last Interview With President Stay

You didn’t think that I would work up until my last day!? But I’m still going strong... bahaha ¡¡¡ les cuento!!!! I will make up from last week with this letter :)

So first off sorry I didn’t write a lot last week... 1. I didn’t feel like writing and 2. We didn’t have a lot of time because of my LAST INTERVIEW!!! Crazy I have reached this point of my mission but I have to accept it whether I like it or not! It went very well, we talked a lot about after the mission... bahaha go figure. No but about staying active, getting good grades, getting married and a whole bunch of other things that I will face after the mission. Basically President Stay is inspired and such a great guy, I love him!

Tuesday we did divisions with an area called Nueva Florida 2. (The areas here are super close!!!) It would be like neighborhoods in Utah like The Boulders and St. James (only that there are 10 times the amount of houses!!) it’s nothing like outside the capital, 2 and a half hours in bus to get to an area... but any who divisions... I went with an elder from Peru, he is fairly new, only has 4 months in the mission, I love his attitude, and he is a great missionary. The Lord blessed us this day; everything literally turned out amazing and went our way. I was able to show him how to go out and contact with the members cause sometimes they don’t want too, we did three which is something we have never done here! And all 3 were successful! Also all our lessons were with members, basically the Lord blessed us that day and they were great divisions, he was able to learn and set goals for his area, and I also learned a ton from him.

The next day we gave service helping out a family plant some corn... in three weeks when I am back in the states I can say a month ago I was a farmer planting corn!! It was hard not gonna lie, we had to dig some super deep holes and the family was really poor and didn’t have the tools to do it! They had a pick, so we opened up the holes with the pock, then to scoop out the dirt we used a sausage can, it worked but was tiring and took forever!

Thursday I had my first and last correlation with President Stay, our Stake President and Sister Stay. It is something we do every month as Zone Leaders here. It was fun, at first I was nervous but after I relaxed and enjoyed seeing how two adults interacted and we also participated giving ideas and trying to change the things here for next month... always improving :) … Basically it is to put the stake and the mission on the same page with missionary work.

So we officially entered the rainy season... it rained Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday... and I think the mission is trying to get its revenge on me for dodging the rainy season both years cause I got wet, soaked, drenched those days!!! One day I forgot my umbrella and that day it rained the hardest, longest and all our appointments fell that night... a good three hours walking around under the rain.

So with the rainy season something marvelous happens... zompopos come out... they are giant flying ants, they have their nests in the coast by the beach and the 3rd day after the first big rain storm they come out and start flying all over the country.

Well as they are flying their wings fall off and they fall to the ground and start walking. (Have you heard the phrase it’s raining cats and dogs?... well it’s similar only that it’s raining ants.) Well long story short the people eat them... they eat them raw, they eat them deep fried with lime and salt, or boiled with porkrines. And you better believe I tried one... I didn’t like it because it was under cooked and super gooey! And I ate it whole and supposedly you need to take the head off, but it was crazy! It tastes like popcorn!!

Saturday we went to the temple!! Cause the converts from Barberena came to do baptisms for the dead for the first time... so we went to go see them! The plan was to enter and help out but the temple was super behind schedule so we just chilled with them out front and then came back to our area. We are in the complete opposite side of the capital from the temple. It was good to see Diego he is doing super good and still wants to go on a mission!! One of my best converts, he is so smart and super receptive to the spirit, he is great!!!

So Saturday in the afternoon was another miracle day (we are seeing so many lately!!). The first lesson was a contact with a member (where we go out with them to contact their neighbors). Basically long story short she said God sent us cause she had been praying to switch Church's and she didn't know which one she should switch too. Also the Church has crossed her life several times before, and every time it has crossed she has loved it, almost her whole family are members in Zacapa and Boston. So we talked about how God works and how it is time to come home to where she belongs. It was super powerful! Then after we went with the same member to a different neighbor, one that we had talked too before and they told us to come back Saturday. Another powerful lesson, lots of great questions of the soul, and they also attended the church before in Nicaragua years ago, but they want to come back and be baptized this time. Just two super powerful lessons. That night everything went our way, it was one of those times when you just feel so in tune to God and his plan, and he just pours out his blessings. I didn't want the night to end, just blessing after blessing.

Sunday we helped a sister move with the bishop... (That sounds WAY too normal and calm for Guatemala right?) so here is the curve ball.... it was down pouring the whole time and we were all in suits... ya we got SOAKED and dirty but it was fun, I love giving service!! That is something I want to always do!! I don't want to let that go once I get back home, I love it!!

So I can’t believe it is all coming to an end! But I’m still going strong! We have divisions planned for this week, I'm going to see how much more damage I can do to Satan's plan!!! I know this Church is true! If not I wouldn't be out here!! GOD IS GOOD. I love life right now, I couldn't be happier! I love you all!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hate Sunday's and Monday's Cause I'm Starting To Think Of Home Way Too Much!!!

Oh man.....
Well this week was a great one!! To be honest I didn’t plan what I was going to write today so it probably won’t be too long... but Tuesday we had our annual interview with president stay... it was so chill! We just talked, he didn’t say anything he had planned we just talked.... shared some great experiences with me and some great stories, he is such a great man!!!

Something I have mentioned before that we are really focusing on is going out and contacting with the members, we share a small message and then go out and contact their neighbors, some say no but most are down for it and we go out and contact their neighbors and invite them to a family home evening. I’ve asked before but would you do that? I truly admire the members here for the work that they are doing and helping us out build the kingdom of God here on the earth... however the thing that does get me is when they say no they are catholic.... well if they were Mormons then we wouldn’t have to baptize them! WE ARE HERE TO BAPTIZE THE CATHOLICS!! I got a hoot out of it...

Besides that nothing is coming to my mind...I am so sorry but today just isn’t my day for writing, we are working hard finishing strong...something I have started again is trying to notice the hand of God in my life... every night I reflect on the day and try to see how his hand blessed my life that day... it really makes me see how much he continues to bless me, and it is something I want to continue doing after my mission, it really changes my perspective of that day and I notice things that I didn’t notice or see in the moment.

As a missionary I feel I have taken something’s for granted, things that only missionaries do or can experience so I have been trying to notice the significance of those events and record them and cherish them.

I love this gospel I love being a missionary, I feel torn between two worlds being at the end of my mission....but that’s life it happens and I am going to make the most of it and live it up! These last 3 weeks. I’m so sorry we don’t have a lot of time because today I have my last interview with president stay!!! I’ll let you know how that goes!!!

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Great, Long Mother's Day Phone Call

Happy mother’s day mom, I received a rose yesterday in church for you!!

Well yesterday calling was fun...however not going to lie it did put me very trunky! It is weird to think I will be home in 4 weeks!! I can’t believe it and it is a flood of emotions! Happy and sad... but it is just another step in life....

OK so this week was spent in divisions...something that President Stay is focusing on is rescuing the missionaries, it isn’t very effective to call them and see what is going on and how can we help he is now interested that we GO and rescue them. So this week we started that, I went to an area called Primero de Julio, with Elder Pineda from Honduras. Now he is a big guy...literally HUGE...their area is struggling a little. The divisions went well, what we focused on is getting the members out to go contact their neighbors, we went to 5 different families and got them to all go out with us, and with some they presented us to 3 or 4 of their neighbors!! It was a good division.

Then Thursday, an area needed an interview, so....divisions again...we just went home to shower change and then on the road again, this time I went to an area called Tierra Nueva, the person that is going to get baptized her brother got emergency surgery so she won’t be baptized until next week. While there we took 2 families out to contact their neighbors.

Friday in the morning we went out running! And I almost died... I am still sore... me and my comp (mainly my comp) are starting diets, and we are going to exercise more. Today we started, we talked to our commodore and she gave us fruit and cereal instead of eggs and beans with TONS of oil... so we shall see what happens.

Sunday we had a baptism!! Before church, at 7 in the morning... but in the stake center so we had to wake up super early to get there on time, it went well there is the photo. Those are the 4 missionaries here in this ward, and the bishop and elders president.

Well I’m sorry this letter is kinda short...but have a great week! Take some photos of Preston’s wedding and send them to me next week... it was so nice to talk to you guys yesterday, and I am so excited to be back with you guys! I will work hard these last 4 weeks, and be a good example to the zone. I love it out here but am happy to be with you guys again!!! I know this Gospel is true, it is for everyone!! And will help out anyone in any circumstance that is the unfailing thing that I have seen throughout my mission time and time again that God will always bless us when we obey his commandments, and the Gospel is the solution to everything. Put our trust in him, have faith and then move forward!! I love you all have a great week!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

And I Will Die In This Area...!!!

Hi family.... well last week when I left you all I had changes... this has probably been the longest week ever of my mission!! Not because I didn’t enjoy it but because it has been an emotional roller coaster! Monday was a super hard day... I was not expecting changes... I was hoping to die in that area with Elder Garmendia but the Lord has other plans... so the whole day was spent saying goodbye to my converts, and members and some awesome investigators!! They threw us a going away party and they aren’t even members yet!! They are super awesome!!

That night there was a farewell for a missionary that was going to Panama, some members had a dinner and invited us, it was a good atmosphere one that I will never forget, I truly felt at home as everyone was saying goodbye to the missionary and me, I said my last words and for the first time I cried in all my mission... it was weird but felt good... I’m still not a good crier! But it was good; I will miss Barberena and the people! But am stoked for the adventure that is ahead of me! The only thing that I was dreading was packing! That has always been my enemy! I had my 2 huge suitcases stuffed full, plus my laundry bag full of clothes and such!

So the question you wanna know is where I am... it is like I said... I am in an area called Lo de Fuentes, in the Zone Bosques of the mission, but it is actually in a city apart from the city, like St. George and Washington... but this town is called Mixco! And it is huge!! Where I am is just residencials..... Again.... the ward had 186 people attend Sunday!! Bahaha talk about culture shock all over again! I didn’t know what to do with myself!!

But back to Tuesday.... I am with Elder Bracamonte from Lima Peru! He is a great guy... he honestly reminds me of Logan Terry, in everything he does! It is like being with Logan so we get along great!! I feel good about the changes and at peace, this is a great area to die in, however I am not going to try to get to know all the members! Our ward is split into 2 areas, so there are actually 4 missionaries here. Elder Ardon from Honduras, and Elder Cox from.....La Verkin!! Ha small world ey?

Wednesday we gave service, because that day is a national holiday so everyone goes to the beach again... so we built a house! The lady had a small little room for her and her 6 kids, so we built 2 more rooms for her, and reestablished the walls and roof and basically made it great! It was fun but HOT! I got fried.

That night Sister Stay called us and asked if they could join us for our companion study Thursday.

So Thursday they came and studied with us! Talk about intimidation! But after a while I wasn’t nervous anymore and it was a really great study session! We practiced for a couple of our investigators and I learned a ton! He is such smart man!! The biggest thing that I was reminded of was to teach people and not lessons! Many times we get caught up in teaching doctrine and not focusing on the personal needs of the investigators. I learned how to be more personal with them and how to apply the gospel personally to them; I am excited to apply this into my teaching for this last change.

Friday we had a mission counsel! It is no longer a zone leader counsel because there are sisters that are leaders now! It is a new thing that we are trying here, they are Hermana’s lider entrenadoras something like that, but they are just to help out with the sisters. We are making history here! Also Friday we found a killer awesome investigator called Nestor, he and his wife are listening to us! Pray for them!! He is just so chill, almost too chill but it is awesome!

Alright well to finish with my thoughts about the difference between the capital and outside cause I spent almost 23 months out and now my last change inside.... I am glad I spent my whole mission outside the capital... it’s not that I don’t like it but it is SO different from outside. The people here are so closed off, and in their own world and don’t like to let people into their world, and get mad when we try to enter their world. Also the houses are also very closed off, here is residencials and then once inside the residencial they have an intercom to call them... super hard to get in! Outside the capital we were teaching 20 lessons with members every week and 10 others, inside the capital we are averaging like 7 with member and 10 others, so it is a totally different way of working.

The weather here is crazier than St. George weather! It is hot in the morning cold in the afternoon and then rains or super hot and rains then super cold and cloudy it is weird and changes in a matter of hours.

As far as the zone there are only Latinos! Usually it is 50% gringos and 50% Latinos but here there are only 3 gringos, which is awesome to see the church progressing here!

Well I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary! I love this gospel there is nothing better, I love helping people out with the Gospel, and there is nothing better than the gospel to help people with their problems in life. I love Jesus Christ and what he did for us, thanks to him we can return with our Padre Celestial. Thanks to the atonement we can find comfort with anything that we are going through, whatever problem, sickness, trial he has passed below all of that to help us out in our time of need. I am so grateful and in debt to him for his sacrifice. Something that I have been thinking about lately is the sacrament, and how if we take it worthily it is as if we are baptizing ourselves again, think about that! After our baptism we were clean, spotless! And we can be clean again every week if we do our part and take the sacrament worthily. Idk why but I really like that and have been explaining it to people lately. If we only put the same importance in the sacrament that we put in our baptism!

Alright family way out of time! Think of questions to ask me Sunday!! Love you!!! See you tomorrow!!