Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Yo (week 32)

Hey loved getting your letters this week and happy birthday mom. Weird to think you turned 30…man time flies. haha glad to hear you had a good b day. No, there is no rule in our mission about backpacks. We can still wear them and I have never heard of that sort of rule. I can’t believe Winston is home that’s so crazy to me…I feel like he just left but then again I feel like I just left and I have been out almost a year haha. Man, Berkeley and San Fran that’s the life. I mean I get so baggy when I think about those cities. A member has a pic of the golden gate overlooking the city and I looked at that pic for like 25 minutes without moving or blinking. I love that city haha
This week we did a lot of work with our investigators and a lot of work with members as well. We don’t have a lot of active members in our area so we tried to visit them and activate them. We figure that if the branch has a strong core then the investigators will feel better at church. So we are really trying to activate all of the less actives in our area. One thing that we are doing is reading the alma amulek story in the book of mormon. How alma tried to teach the people in the city but they wouldn’t listen. Then he found amulek and they left together to teach the word of god. That’s what we are trying to do right now is find an amulek or a menus activo and visit his friends and his people with him. The story starts I think in alma 8 if you want to read it…it’s a great story. So that’s the main thing we are doing. We are teaching investigators as well but they are having trouble coming to church. Only 1 came to church yesterday. We have some really really, really, good potentials and several of them have gotten answers about the book of mormon. All they need to do is go to church man. If they don’t want to keep their commitments there really isn’t that much we can do other than just pray and fast. We also taught like 10 kids again way up in the mountains. Those lessons are so cool. It was like the one we had last Sunday. I can just feel the power of god through my voice as I’m teaching them and it’s really a cool feeling. Those kids are all reading the book of mormon and want to learn more so we will see where that goes. Again, the most important thing, well not the most important, but one of the most important is coming to church and it just so happens that our investigators are having trouble. They all say they are going to church and then Sunday comes along and they are not there. We even stop by their houses Sunday morning haha…yup but that’s the life of a missionary. Teaching people about Jesus and inviting people to come to church. Well I wish I had a good story to tell you but I can’t remember any right now haha. The week just went by soooo freakin fast. Oh, another thing about the first vision of joseph smith. I thought a lot about that this week and how god answers prayers. The first vision of joseph smith is proof of that. Always remember to pray because god answers prayers. Maybe not how we want him to answer but he will answer. Remember what the book of mormon says and that satan teaches us not to pray. So when you don’t feel like praying just remember satan has beat you. So ya say your prayers. Well that’s all I got this week. I can’t believe school started that’s crazy to me. Well, love you all and have a good week!
love, elder call

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

San Cristobal (week 31)

Hey guys, hebgen sounded like a total blast. I’m so glad that you had so much fun and man I wish I was there. Luckily the only time I thought about you guys being up there was today and last Monday. The rest of the week I just forgot haha. Man, can you believe that it was 1 year ago that I was in Thailand? What the freak? Like how fast did that year go…that’s crazy to me? Thailand was the best and I think about it just about every night before I go to bed haha.
Man I really love my area and my comp. My comp was sooo strict my first change with him because he told me that he wanted to make sure I was a good missionary. Now he is still strict but isn’t giving me sincho over every little thing. He was like you are my kid and now you’re grown up and you have to make your own choices haha. It’s the best though because he is so fun and we just work so hard every day. Not that I wasn’t working before but with Rojas it’s just different. Rojas is sooo slow and takes forever to do anything and now with Bonilla he is like me. We work fast, walk fast, teach fast, and are effective so it’s the best. It’s seriously the best. I have fallen asleep in my missionary clothes several times…we just get to the house and boom I’m asleep in like 2 minutes haha it’s so satisfying. The area is tough though but we don’t think about that. The lord knows what we have to work with and how to bless us. We have a great amount of investigators that want to know more about the church and are reading the book of Mormon but none came to church yesterday which is the worst. You feel like you failed god…seriously it’s the worst feeling in the world. Other than that the week was good and we had some incredible lessons. For one lesson we went to the house of one of our menus activos. He has been less active his entire life. He makes shoes in his house and his boss was there. We taught them both and it was incredible. The spirit was soo strong and the boss was so humble. He said that our message just makes sense. It’s like the teachers in the mtc told us. They would always say the church and the plan for us isn’t new to investigators they just need to be reminded. This man is unbelievably prepared for the gospel. He had such good questions and when we talked about the restoration it was the best. He wants to come to church and we didn’t even invite him. He was just like ya when I am in town again I am going to go to church. He lives in Isaball, which is like 14 hours from here, but in the near future he said he is going to move to our town. There is no doubt that this man will join the church with his family. This man is going to be a leader in the church. Not a general authority but a leader in the local building. it was very cool even though I probably won’t see him get baptized but that isn’t what matters. What matters is that he does get baptized. We had a soccer activity at the church Saturday where they just kept the gates opened all day and the local kids could come play soccer. We got some good references from that and taught a really good lesson with a couple of the kids that wanted to learn more. We visited them yesterday wayyyy up in the Mountains after church. It was soooooo cool. We were in this little shack teaching all these kids about the gospel and they all listened and were asking good questions. When I bore my testimony at the end about the gospel the spirit was sooo strong. I had teary eyes and I know the kids felt it. The kids are leaving to go work all this week and don’t know when they are going to return but hopefully we can teach them again in the future. By the way, the kids were like 15 to 22 years old. It was one of the coolest lessons I have had. Saturday we did service at the hospital and chopped weeds for 4 hours. We also climbed a giant water tower and it was soo scary…like 120 feet in the air and you know how much I hate heights. We made it to the top and took some cool pics of the area. Ya so that was the week. love you all and have a good week.
elder call

oh freak i forgot we fasted this week and wrote reminders on our hands. we were at investigators house and she was picking leaves from a tree at her house and i asked if i could eat the leaves just joking i ate the leaf and was about so swallow it when my comp reminded me i almost broke my fast for a little tiny leaf just trying to be funny hahahaha. we laughed for a hour about that haha

digging a poop hole like 4 meters deep haha it was hot and tough but i knew that every shovelful of dirt was another successful bowel movement for the family. we did this Tuesday

 look who i found reading general conferance talks

 on top of giant water tower

 the people we did service with

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

loved your letters this week haha..(week 30)

Hey thanks for the letters hahah. I'm kidding...just trying to make you guys feel bad haha. I bet the cabin was an absolute blast haha. You guys are so lucky. Ya team so I have had a change and I’m in Coban up in the mountains and its completely different then where I was. Peten is flat and hot. Here it’s cold and it rains like every day. It is mountains and pine trees and its sooo weird haha. It’s completely different then where I was. My comp is elder Bonillo which is my dad in the mission. Weird I know haha. Ya so we are together again and lovin it. We were only together for one change in Peten. It’s fun thougha and I’m glad I’m with him again. My area is good but it’s just going to be tough like San Jose. We have like 2 members in our area that can leave with us in the nights and the rest of the members work or have something else going on. So it’s going to be hard again working with the members. It’s not like that’s new though haha. The branch is a lot smaller too then my last one. My last branch had 125 in sacrament usually and this one has like 45 usually attending. My area is huge also like sooo big haha. It’s cold though so I love walking all day haha. Oh something funny the pride of Guat is like a world winning speed walker. That speed walker grew up in San Cristobel which is my area. Everyone loves him and he is the pride of the country. I’m just like you are kidding me? He is a speed walker… who cares about that? haha. It’s so funny though and the people just love him. In the main square of our area there is a big statue of him winning silver in the Olympics haha. I think that is really funny. The people in my area are great and they are more educated people here then where I was last which is great. The people understand what we are saying. There are like 80 percent indigenes people here and they speak Pokimchee or something like that. It’s a weird crazy dialect. We don’t have to learn it though because everyone speaks Spanish and this language too. It’s a lot different though then Peten. It’s like a different culture here. All the women use corte, its like their native clothing. Google corte so you can see what it looks like. It’s really cool. My area has a lake in it again too haha. It’s cool though because I’m way up in the mountains. We live in the house of a lady the missionaries call Hermanita. She is the best and I heard about her when I was in Peten. She just loves the missionaries. She cooks for us every day and her food is sooo good. She is such a sweet lady. She isn’t a member because well I don’t know why but she loves the elders and she is the best. This area also is like a town so there are stores and stuff so we don’t have to travel like an hour away to do anything but missionary work. Today we came down to Coban to play soccer with the other zone so that’s where I am right now. Coban is the biggest city in our mission. Coban is sooo awesome. I love it here so much. As far as our investigators well there is not that many because the pres white washed the area so it’s like we are opening it. It’s tough but fun. We have a few investigators. We helped a family move houses that we have been teaching yesterday. That took like all day around 6 hours haha. They are great and I love this family. The wife received an answer about the book of Mormon which is so great. We just have to work more with the husband and then we will baptize them. There have been three baptisms in our area in the last year so this would be a miracle. Pray for them and the people in my area. In my area as well there are a bunch of little towns outside the city way up in the mountains that we visited this week. They are like 8 miles to get there and 8 miles back. Its sooo far but it’s the best because these people live so humbly and I swear they have never seen a cell phone. It’s such a crazy life up in these villages like little 12 year olds with babies and stuff haha. Such a different world…speaking of a different world, today I saw a woman walking on the street just stop, squat, and go number 2. Can you imagine if that happened in the states? haha. Any pole there is on the street is fair game for number 1 for both women and men haha. I also saw a drunk guy walk into a busy street and get hit by a bike and then a car. Ya so I’m living quite a different life here in Guat haha. It’s the best though. Can’t wait to hear from you all and love you soo much.
elder call

Oh I almost forgot haha yesterday in church I walked around the entire 3 hours before somebody finally had the guts to tell me I had a huge hole in my pants on my butt haha. Are you kidding me…pretty good first impression I think don’t you? hahaha

I got a change...(week 29)

Hey family loved getting your letters as always. Man I’m so happy you guys are at the cabin. That’s the best. We really are just so blessed to have a place like that. Its heaven! So as for me I found out yesterday after church that I have a change. I found out like 12 hours earlier then everyone else because I had to go to Coban with my comp in the morning which was this morning. So yesterday was the worst day of my life. I thought I was going to stay so the entire week my comp was saying bye to all the people and I was just like see you next week. Then boom I have a change. I had to spend the entire afternoon running around to all the people’s houses saying goodbye. I was really happy to have a change at first but then I didn’t even want one. I was so sad. I love all the people in san jose sooo much. I can’t believe it. I didn’t even realize it until I had to say goodbye. I know like everyone in the entire town so I was just saying bye to everyone that I walked by haha. The hardest people to say goodbye to were Delfina my convert she cried which was terrible. Also Wilmer and Catorina I love them both so much. The other hard family to say bye to was Chino and his family. They are less actives but I really got close to them and they were always sooooo nice to me when I was first starting out with Spanish. They would sit and listen to me fumble my word. Believe it or not but most people just would say wow you need to work on your Spanish or just interrupt me and start a new conversation haha. The people were not that nice about my Spanish haaha. Anyway I said bye to Chino really quick and it was sad. He seemed really sad as well. That night I got to the house to pack and the phone rang. It was chino. He called me crying thanking me for my service and the love I have for his family and kids. He felt sick to his stomach because he couldn’t cook me food before I left because I didn’t have time. So he said he had something to bring to my house and like 5 minutes later he came to my house and brought a sweet Mayan carving thing. It was sooo nice of him and I will remember that forever. Also a little saying how much I have done for their family even though they still hadn’t gone back to church yet. Anyway it was soooo sad. I love the people there soo much. The branch and everything about it down to the tuk tuk drivers or the construction workers in front of my house that whistle at every girl that walks by hahah. Wow it really was hard leaving the area. Packing was also terrible because I had no idea I was going to have a change so I had everything to pack. I got it all in there thank goodness. Took me like 3 hours but I did it. We left this morning for a bus at 5 to go to Santa Elena. At 6 got a bus to go to Coban. It was a 5 hour bus ride throughout the most beautiful areas I have ever seen. I didn’t know that mountains existed here. They are huge and covered in trees like a forest on the mountain. Its nuts and this freaking country is soooo beautiful its crazy. So ya right now I am in the office of the mission in Coban and it’s freezing. Well not really at all but it’s a lot colder then where I was at. But I mean it is actually cold. Like mom you would need a winter coat. Coban from what I can tell seems really cool. It’s cool in temperature and the vibe is really cool. It’s up in the mountains and sooooo green. Thailand was incredibly green too but like a light green. This is a dark foresty green. Ya so I have to wait until tomorrow to get my change. Where I am going to go I don’t know but I am out of Peten. I’m also a day earlier here because I had to come with my comp to take his English test. That’s why I found out my change early also because I had to come today in the morning instead of tomorrow in the morning. Man I wish so bad you guys were here to see what I saw today. It’s ridiculously pretty. Also the people down here are more indigenous. There are a bunch of people who speak different dialects and wear native clothing. It’s really cool. It’s a lot different here than in Peten. Ya so not until next week will you know where I am at. Love you all and have a good week at the cabin. Also I was laughing so hard at Charlie’s little gaming thing. Such a funny kid.

this is an old picture of chino and his family

church on the isla de flores

wilmer and catorina

wimer and his wife

marvin pretty much the only person that left with us in the nights

rojas and i again

me and that crazy guy again.

delfina and her husbands family

oscar and his family. he drove us to church every sunday

we had to cross a river at one point to get to the other side on our adventure here today

 rojas and i on the bus down here

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hey Team (week 28)

Hey guys I’m ok trust me. The answer is no I never knew elder burton. He was a zl in coban and I have only heard good things about him. A lot of people are really really sad in the mission which makes me sad. Ya he was in a jalon and flew of a cliff I guess. He went flying into a rock is what I heard but I’m not really sure. He broke his back and ruined his head. It’s really sad. His brother entered the mtc the day he died also. What a trooper. Pray for that fam holy cow. Elder Ortega my old comp was also involved in the incident but I don´t think anything too bad happened to him.
As for me well this past week and the week I’m entering will be interesting. My comp leaves in a week so he has just about checked out. I’m trying so hard to keep him motivated but he is stressed more than anything. He is dirt poor from the domican and is stressed and the reason is well because he doesn´t think his mom has food to feed him when he gets back. How crazy. Man I have never been grateful for food before. I mean to the point to where I don´t have it if that makes sense. He has like no idea what to do for work either when he gets back and there are no jobs where he lives. Poor guy pray for him too. So ya naturally he is really baggy as we say in the mission. Doesn´t have very much motivation to work as hard as we should. We are still working though so don´t worry. As far as our investigators we received another reference. Her name is daisy and her husband is a less active. We have met with her like 3 times now and she is pilas. Its seems like she really wants to progress and find out if the church is true. That’s the most important part. If the people really want to find out if it is true they will do what’s necessary to get an answer. So ya pray for her to receive an answer and for her husband because he needs a strong testimony too. Something that’s interesting is the main reason the guy wants to go back to church again is because he wants to raise his kids with good values. He and his wife know how nuts the world is and how important the values we learn in the church are. Interesting thought I think so ya we still have those other families who are progressing which is always great. They just have some little challenges they need to work on. As for me I’m perfect and loving life. Spittin Spanish. Haha and the only gringo in san jose. By the way I think I am going to be in san hoe another change. I can´t imagine them whitewashing the area so I will have like 7 and a half months in the area if that’s true haha crazy. I love the area but 6 months is a long time hahaha. Anyway loved your letters and your stories. Dad good luck with the marathon and mom freakin take the model offer hahaha.
   Dad there is a secret I have been keeping from you and oh gosh I’m nervous. Ok well I think I want to run a marathon when I get back to the states. Well I don´t think I’m going to. So ya there it is I was going to tell you when I talked with you on the phone like on mother’s day but I panicked and didn´t haha. So ya marathon haha and also have like 8 other friends in the miss committed to doing it too haha. Love you all and have a good week. Ella and Charlie love you both too
elder call