Monday, April 29, 2013

San Pedro (week 15)

family, i loved getting your letters. you guys are the absolute best and i can´t believe those pictures you sent me. how am i so blessed that monterey is only an hour and a half from our house? i’m not baggy at all but when i think about pebble beach and the family staying down there in a house overlooking the ocean and running big sur, yea, i’m going to get a little baggy ha, ha. baggy is a term we use out here that means you are ready to go home. but obviously, my head is in the work and i know why i am here. i’m just so happy that you guys had such an unbelievable weekend. and about ben’s hair, wow, it really does look good so he can be kinda cocky about it ha, ha.
ok, so the highlight of this week was going to san pedro. san pedro is another town that is in our area. its like 10 miles from where we live so we have to jalon to get there. oh, jalon means hitchhike. so one morning this week we decided to leave at like 8 in the morning for san pedro. we really wanted to go because the church doesn´t exist there and we have a dream of getting some members over there and making the church known over there. its super cool to think about this area because there is no church members there and missionaries haven’t been there in years because it is kinda a ways from our area. so we left really early in the morning for san pedro because we wanted to be back in the afternoon to teach all of our other investigators we have here in san jose. so we headed off for san pedro. you all know how much i like adventures and this was a total adventure. we either had to get a jalon or walk all the way there on this little road that runs through jungle. so we started walking to san pedro when after about 20 minutes of walking a school bus came our way. we desperately stuck out our thumbs and begged with our eyes for a jalon. luckily the bus stopped, but we were going up a little hill, so it had to stop on the hill. we hopped on the school bus and it was jam packed full of a bunch of petojos. i don´t know how to describe that word but its like little kids up to no good basically ha, ha. as soon as we hopped on the bus i knew we had made a mistake because all of a sudden the kids started chanting mormones, mormones, mormones. ha, ha, it was so funny i was dying. they were throwing stuff at us and the bus hadn’t even moved yet. the reason it hadn´t moved was because the bus couldn´t get up the hill because it didn´t have enough power once it stopped for us. so we had all of the kids mad at us and making fun of us and the driver swearing at us because he couldn’t make it up the hill. the next thing i know the driver starts yelling at all the kids and we all get out of the bus and start walking up the hill to drop some weight off the bus. ha, ha, we made it to the top of the hill and luckily the bus driver let us back on the bus and we headed on our way to san pedro with the all the kids still yelling and swearing at us. seriously, it was so funny but i had heard enough so we started talking to their teacher and we gave her a book of mormon. it was so funny because i turned around and yelled arrepientase to the kids and then I yelled gente iniquo arrepientase y lea el libro de mormon! i was dying ha, ha, it was so funny but i was kinda serious but they all were dying laughing ha, ha, it really was soooo funny. ha, ha, so we got to san pedro about 9:30 in the morning and we start contacting houses and talking to people. We gave out bom’s and pamphlets about our lessons. its a super cool little town and the people are really nice. we were there for about 3 hours and then we decided to leave to get back to our area. we joloned back to our house and got a ride with a teinda supply truck. they just put us in the back of their truck and closed the doors. kinda sketch but we made it back to our area safe and then they let us out. it was such an adventure and we want to go back 1 or 2 times a week to try to get some investigatores. so that was really fun and the highlight of the week. that is about all i have time for family. i can´t wait to hear from you all next week. remember to read the scriptures and to pray. love you all so much and enjoy the weather in cali ha, ha because it is hot as hell over here. i don´t think that is bad to say because in the scriptures it says “lake of fire and brimstone” so i can assume that hell is pretty hot ha, ha. love you all and miss you. oh freak, i forgot to tell you, i have a tarantula living in our house that i’m so freaking scared about. the other day we also found a scorpion in our house. there is a rumor that if you put a circle of fire around the scorpion it will sting itself in the head until it dies. so of course, i had to try it to see if the rumor is true. so i flicked the scorpion on the ground, got some hand sanitizer, made a circle with it around the scorpion, and then i lit it on fire. when i lit the hand sanitizer on fire the scorpion stung itself in the head and ran into the fire and died. so the mission rumor is true and i have a video to prove it. yes, as i’m sure you’re imagining, i was running around screaming like a girl because i was so scared to light the circle on fire because to light it my hand had to be about 3 inches from the scorpion…but it was worth it ha, ha. love you all
elder call

This is me in my area 

This is me in san pedro on the beach…its such a temptation to swim ha, ha 

This is me in san pedro

the scorpian way up high on our wall up there a torantula lives also

hitchhiking in the back of the truck from san pedro to san joe

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I have a new comp (Week 14)

hey family, i loved getting your letters as always but the thing that struck me the most this week from the letters is how freakin sick ben’s hair is. i cannot believe that freakin hair. you should make ben cut his hair because of all the girls he’s going to get with that hair…i cannot get over that hair. well done ben, well done…maybe you should be a model ha, ha…wow, the hair is great. yea, so the big thing that happened this last week is i got a new comp. my comps name is elder rojas and he is from the dominican repuplic. he is gordo and a really big guy with really dark skin. i was going to say he’s african american but he isn´t american or african so like i dont know how to describe him. from what i can tell from this past week he is going to be a great comp. he is always smiling and in a good mood and he wants to work. i mean that’s all i need with my comps. he also has a positive attitude which is a must with me ha, ha. he has 20 months in the mission so he is probably going to die here in san jose. he is a reallly good teacher and loves teaching. he is a perfect example of how i thought somebody from the dominican would be. he is super happy all of the time and super lax. i don´t think he has a care in the world and he talks super, super, slow always. ha, ha, he is exactly what i think the people from the dominican are. yea, so i am really excited for this next change. as far as our area goes right now it needs work. not really any of our investigators are progressing so pray for them. we are asking everyone for references of people that we can teach. hermano wilmer is the dad of the family that we baptized and he is the best. he goes out with us at night all of the time to teach. he is so concerned about our work its the greatest. he asks why would we teach inactive members when there are families here in san jose that are dying to be baptized. i remember thinking wow, what a change in his life and we brought him that happiness. whenever i think about hermano wilmer and his family it just gets me motivated. if i can find people half as good as wilmer i will be a very happy missionary. you always hear missionary’s talking about how much they love the people they serve but its true. i love the people here so much and when i think about wilmer and his family i want to cry ha, ha…i love that guy. so earlier this week we were at wilmer’s house and a storm was coming in. all of a sudden it was like katrina hit here. there was wind like incredibly strong and it was pouring rain like i have never seen or been in my entire life. we ran into wilmer’s little house, which is sticks coverd in plastic with a tin roof, then all of a sudden the freakin storm blew the top of the house. we were getting drenched so we ran over to his mom’s house. so we were there with his family in this hurricane. we had to leave their house though because it was getting late and our district leader was going to call us for our stats. so we had to run home from wilmer’s mom’s house back to our house. it really was nuts because it was pouring really hard and there was a river in the street…it was like a flash flood. so we get back to our house and open the door and there is a lake in our house ha, ha and all of my comp’s things were soaked. my clothes were like 2 feet away from his on a dresser and it was like somebody took a hose and drenched his clothes. all of my clothes were dry and all of his clothes were soaked. we still have no idea how it happened but it was super funny to me but it was not so funny to my comp. but with his great attitude he just shook it off like nothing had happened. it was super funny and i will remember that wet run home for the rest of my life. i was super mad, for like 3 steps, when we started running home, but then after i was soaked i was like wow this is kind of fun ha, ha. so on our run home we played in the street river and in all of the huge lakes in the street as we ran ha, ha. that is what happened this week ha, ha, another crazy week. love all you guys and can´t wait to hear from you next week
elder call

elder rojas and i 

 us in the house of wilmer’s mom with his son who was baptized last saturday

us on the way home from wilmer’s running home in the rain…it’s a good thing i have a waterproof camera ha, ha

5 months (week 13)

hey family, i loved getting your letters as always. i’m always a little self conscious about reading them because i always laugh out loud and all the people look at me like i am crazy. mom, its great to hear that you are having a good time down in vegas with your sisters. its crazy, i talk to the people down here all of the time about the importance of family and how god blessed us with a family to learn and to have incredibly fun times. your being in vegas with your sisters is a perfect example of that and i feel the same way about my family that i have been blessed with. the masters finish sounded awesome and i can’t believe it was a year ago i was watching it at alex helegans house. its always great to hear from you guys and i love you all so much.
ok, so this past week was crazy. i finally finished my training as a missionary which is 12 weeks. so i am done with training which also means i have 3 hours of study a day instead of 4….4 is just too long ha, ha. i just finished my second change and also hit 5 months on sunday. man is time flying. yea, so this week was a little crazy. the reason i am writing you today and not monday is because i had to go down to the cap and sign some papers for my visa as well as have an interview with the president. my comp had done some things that were against the rules so i had to talk to the pres about that monday as well. i can promise you i didn’t break the rules and i am doing just fine. i left to go down to the cap on sunday night and we hitchhiked down to santa eleana to catch a bus to the cap. the bus left at 9 and we didn’t get to the cap until 6 the next morning. the bus ride was good going down though because i sat next to another gringo and a friend, elder hill, so i just talked to him and slept for like 6 hours. so the bus ride down there was pretty easy. when i got to the cap the assistants sent a couple of taxis for us and we headed to the area office. the area office is the headquarters for the church for all of central america. from there we got on another bus and went to the immigration office to sign the paper for my visa. such a pain to go all the way to the cap to just sign one paper that takes like 5 mins. but its all good because i also got to talk with the pres and his wife a lot too. so yea, after signing the visa paper i headed to the mission office to talk with the pres. the interview went well and i absolutely love president watts he really is the greatest and i could talk all day with him. i also talked with hermana watts for like an hour. i took my family pictures down to the cap and was showing them to some other missionaries when hermana watts said she wanted to look at them too and she asked me to tell her about every picture. that was fine by me because i can talk about you guys forever and tambein i could talk with hermana watts forever. hermana watts is like my 2nd mother. this is no joke that woman is a saint. i have never felt such warmth around somebody other than my own family. she makes me feel so special and she has such a kind heart. yea, so that’s why i didn’t email you yesterday because i wasn’t here in peten. oh, i almost forgot, elder lloyd, who is one of the assistants to the pres gave me a suit. he found a ralph lauren suit at a paca and thought i would look good in it so he just gave it to me. it fits just about perfect too. that’s perfect because my other suit is falling apart. im really sad about that but it just can’t handle guat ha, ha. i was really happy about that and i have a couple pictures of me trying it on that i’ll send too. so after waiting around forever the assistants sent us by taxi back to the fronte norte bus station to wait for another bus to take us back to peten. the bus ride back was ruff and i mean really ruff. we got on the bus at 5 and i just had 1 other person with me. the bus they put us on was terrible too and the air conditioning wasn’t working for like 6 hours of the ride. after about 3 hours of being on the bus i felt sick…sick to my stomach. i didn’t know what sickness it was but i needed to use a bathroom but the next stop was not for 7 hours, the bus stop in santa elena. the bus was hot, i was sick, and the seats didn’t recline so i was in heck. it was really hard and i even let my attitude get a little negative. that doesn’t happen very often ha, ha. yea, so i didn’t sleep at all, i was hot, and i was sick to my stomach. i won’t go into details about my stomach but lets just say it wasn’t pretty when i finally got to a bathroom. the one good part about the bus ride is that i was sitting next to a little guat man and so i talked with him for probably 4 hours. yea, all in spanish. i could understand everything he was saying too and miraculously it seemed like he could understand me. that was a real confidence builder because i was actually not feeling that good about my spanish before leaving to the cap. i just figure i can understand just about everything now as long as i really listen and i can talk pretty well. it was really fun talking to that man. of course, i told him why i was there and about my mission. i told him about jose smith and gave him a restoration pamplet. he says he wants to talk to the missionaries more so i would say that it was a success. it really is just the best being a missionary and telling people about the lords church. oh freak, i forgot we had a baptism on saturday with the son of the family we baptized a couple of weeks back. the dad didn’t end up baptizing him because he wanted my comp to do it. i was a little disappointing his dad couldn’t baptize him but its all good because he still got baptized. i forgot my camera this week so i will send you the pics next week. another fun week here in guat. oh yea, i’m getting a new comp but i don’t know who but i am staying in my same area and my old comp is going somewhere else. i loved hearing from you guys and love and miss you. remember to always pray as a family and your personal prayers.
love elder call

this is my new suit looks good huh

love you guys

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Guat (week 12)

i loved getting your letters this week, they were so great. i loved hearing about the healthy cookies mom made...that was so funny. i loved hearing that you all liked general conference as well. i love getting your letters and i always laugh so hard when reading them that the people here think i’m mental. i can’t help myself, you guys are just so funny. so this week as far as teaching goes it was good. nothing i can remember this week that was really out of the ordinary. general conference was really good though but a little frustrating at times. we watched the first saturday session on an iphone 5 so we could watch it in english. we watched the second session in english also. the priesthood session was the part that was frustrating because the sacerdocio session isn’t on so you have to have a link to get to it. so we starting asking the presidency to help us get the link and they would not help us. they had like 1 hour to have somebody send it to them and they just wouldn’t try. so that was what was frustrating. i watched it in spanish which was good. i could understand it or at least understand what they were talking about but because i was so focused on what they were saying i couldn’t listen to the spirit. so i feel like i kind of got jipped and only got half out of conference…at least the priesthood session. from what i listened to though it was really great. saturday night we slept at the zl’s house so we didn’t have to take a bus back to our house and then get up early sunday morning and take a bus right back to san bonito where the rest of our zone is. holy cow, that was a ruff night. i slept on a little cot and probably got like 3 hours of sleep all night. i woke up the next morning feeling a little sick. i felt sick but nothing i couldn’t handle. we watched the sunday sessions in english too but it took a ton of effort to do it. we needed a computer and speakers to watch it and once again the presidency did nothing to help us so we were forced to run around for like 45 minutes trying to find someone who had a laptop so we could watch it. i’m in guat though so it’s like nobody has computers. that was super stressful though because listening to it in spanish is just not the same. we got it all figured out and ended up borrowing somebody’s phone for internet for the laptop and then somebody else’s speakers from their house. ha, ha crazy but overall it was funny and conference was really great. the 10 hours of conference didn´t even seem that long and i really enjoyed all of it. after the second session of sunday conference though i hit a wall. i had no energy and i felt like a zombie. my skin was aching and i had a blistering headache. we took the bus home and when i got out of the bus at my house i just about collapsed on the ground. i could barely walk. i have never been so sick. i went inside and went to my bed immediately. this was at like 6. i laid in my bed until ten with the worst cold sweats and headache ever. i thought i was dying really. i thought i had a crazy guat disease from like a chicken or a mosquito or something ha, ha. i’m serious though, i can’t ever remember being that sick my entire life. we called the mission nurse and she told me what to do to help the pain which was basically to take tylenol. my comp said he thought i was going to die and that he had never felt somebody’s face be so hot. at ten and without hope i asked my comp for a blessing. he gave me a great blessing. after the blessing i said a personal prayer begging god to heal me so i could carry out his work. i remember saying i don’t care if i am dying ha, ha or if i can’t think because my head hurts so bad just please give me the energy to walk from one investigators house to the next. i have never prayed with so much faith in my life. i don´t know why my faith was so strong in that moment but it was and i remember thinking if god wants me to feel better he will cure me. there was no doubt in my mind. i had spent 4 hours trying to sleep but couldn’t and after the blessing and prayer i fell asleep probably 10 mins later. i woke up this morning healthy….just my normal healthy self ha, ha. that was a serious faith builder because being as sick as i was last night there is no way i should have felt better when i woke up this morning. it was a complete answer to my prayers. the reason it was so cool to me is because i know god answers prayers but i can’t remember ever praying just once with that amount of faith and getting such a plain answer the next day. so mom, no need to worry i am fine and healthy. the lord and his angels are watching over me as i KNOW they are watching over you and especially ben going through high school. i know there is a band of angeles watching over ben in high school just as there was watching over me when i was in high school. make sure ben knows that he is never alone. he has a family that loves him and an extended family that loves him as well. i have met people here who have never felt loved. not only does ben have our family but he also has all of our cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents cheering him on and they have his back…that right there is like 60 people, and tell ben to not forget about god the father and his son, jesus christ and all of the angels in heaven that are behind him as well. i know they are all behind ben like they are behind me here in guat. family, never ever forget to pray personally and as family. it’s just like we heard in conference, if satan gets a hold of the family he has won the battle. pray always and make sure christ stays in the center of your lives and the center of the home always. i love you all and i know god always wants to hear from us and he will answer our prayers in his own time.
love you all!
elder call

 me with a little chick

 me with mud all over my face. i had some new investigator of mine convince me that it was a good idea to put mud on my face because it is good for my skin…crazy how i would never do this but in guat.

my investigator that convinced me to put mud on my face. this is him like 50 feet in the air trying to get us some coconuts

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Time is Flying (week 11)

i’ll start off as always by saying i loved your letters. dad, its always good to hear about the sports world…thanks for sending me that stuff because now i have something enertaining to talk about with the other gringos. 6 flags this week 3 times are you kidding me that sounds like a total blast. i seriously feel like crying thinking about ben and ella running off and onto all the roller coasters. families are the best and my family means everything to me. nothing else matters to me but the church and my family. ha, ha, but i was also dying laughing thinking about charlie and what a wuss that kid is…oh, that’s mean…ha, ha. but yea and charlie going on all the rides at the theme park. how does that kid not slide out of all of the things that hold you in on the rides? ha, ha that is really funny but i actually kind of have a hard time believing it ha, ha. thanks for the pictures mom. if you have time try to send some every week. i love seeing the pics of the fam and loved seeing my city by the bay. i know i have said it a bunch of times but i absolutely love that city. as for as my week…well it was hot as nam over here in peten! i didn’t even know that it was easter yesterday. the gente here do something called semana santa which is a catholic holiday for the death and resurrection of christ…its holy week. so for this semana santa everybody went to the playa in san jose. san jose was cracking. there were parades, fireworks, dances, and it was crazy. there was like a million people in the lake. we did a lot of good contacting but everybody we talked to wasn’t from san jose so we didn’t have that much success. the best thing that happened this week though is we got 2 more fechas. a guy named juan carlos…this guy is flawless. he has probably 30 years and wants us to teach his wife as well so they can get baptized together. we are also going to give the aaronic priesthood to wilmer...he’s the last baptism that we had. so after he gets the priesthood he can baptize his son the next week since this saturday is general conference. what the freak? is that not the most beautiful thing you have ever heard. 2 months ago these guys were not married and didn’t have the gospel and now they are married and baptized and now the dad is going to baptize his son…i feel like crying thinking about it. the gospel really does bless families. they are now preparing to go to the temple. they have to wait a year but still 1 year strong and they can be together for all of eternity. i can’t think of anything better. our other fecha that we have right now is with a girl that is 23 years old. she has 4 younger siblings that she takes care of because her mother died and the father lives in the states and abandoned them. this girl is incredible. she is struggling with her faith a little bit but i have faith god will answer her prayers and she will pull through with her baptism. if she gets baptized the rest of her family will hopefully follow her example. i love that family and they are all so close because the only thing they have in this world is their family. she has some doubts but nothing a little instruction, reading, and prayer can’t fix. overall all it was a good week. i also did divisions this week with the zone leader, elder vestel, who is like my best friend here. it was dope having such a good friend as my comp for the day. that was really good and i learned a lot because he has a lot of experience. he only has 2 months left in the mission. that was really fun though and we had a really good first lesson with some dude we contacted on the street. we taught him about the book of mormon and he said he would read it and pray about jose smith. that was super cool and the spirit was incredibly strong. i think i have said it before but its super great having the spirit and feeling the spirit all day. i went all of high school feeling the spirit like 1 time ha, ha, but its such a blessing and we should strive to have it with us and be worthy to have it with us at all times. something else i would like to suggest to you guys that i have started doing 1 time a week is on Sunday when you say your prayers at night simply name off everything that you are thankful for…i mean everything. i pray for like 30 mins when i do this on sunday and my comp always thinks i have fallen asleep ha, ha but i’m not asleep i’m praying and thanking. i just think about everything i could possibly be thankful for and thank my father in heaven and that’s all. i don’t ask for anything i just say what i am grateful for and that’s it. from my experience of doing this i’ve felt more grateful the whole week for the blessings i have. god knows what we want and what we need so even though for one day we’re not asking for things we need i’m sure god will still bless us for what we need and/or want. i really recommend trying this because it is great and it really humbles me to think about all of the thing god has blessed me with. well, that’s about all i have for you this week. i hope all is well and i love you all. elder call

 i got these sweet scripture cases made. one is leather and the other is sweet ha, ha i am really excited about them. it took the guy like 6 weeks to make the croc one because when i ordered it he had just gotten the skin and he had to dry and stain it. but i think it turned out dope and was well worth the wait.

me sitting on the ledge of a members house at the top overlooking the beach and all the people down on the playa for semana santa. one night when i was lying in bed i heard all these booms and i looked out the window and i could see all of the fireworks they were setting of on the beach…it was super dope ha, ha.

 vestel and i today. we had a zone activity and went up into the jungle and crossed these huge swinging bridges that are like 200 feet above the ground…it was super fun. 
that’s all i have for this week…love you all and miss you and remember to always say your prayers.