Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cubulco (week 36)

Hey guys loved your letters as always and good to hear that everyone is safe. Happy birthday Ella!!!! I can´t believe that you are 12. That freaks me out. I think of you as like a 7 year old like Charlie haha man crazy. Love you and have a good week Ella. Mom you are so lucky about the beach that is the best. I love it there. I would love to swim right now but can’t haha. It’s freakin hot as heck where I’m at now. Not as hot as Peten but still really hot.
Ok so this past week was nuts. Tuesday night we left Coban in a bus to go to Salama the capital de baja verapaz. My hijo is elder Fitzgerald de Nicaragua. He’s great and we get along great and we work super hard. We didn´t get to our area of Cubulco until Thursday night because we didn´t have a house or anything to put in the house. Ya so we moved in Thursday night. The area that we are opening has been closed to missionaries for 10 years. So there is nothing literally nothing in the area. We have no active members and have to travel by bus to get to church in Rabinal like 45 mins away over a freakin mountain. Oh Ya to get to Rabinal from Salama is over the very top of a mountain el viaje es tan feo. Dad if you could translate that thanks because I don´t know how to say that in English. Ya but I luckily don´t get car sick. Ya so Thursday night after we moved in our beds, fridge, stove, and microwave, we left to hit the streets to get to know our area. Our area is a really old city I think. There is a huge church in the park and it’s big and abominable. The area is tucked up next to the mountains and is soooo beautiful. Like the town is just tucked up against the mountains and I mean mountains like taller than mount diablo creo. They are hugggee. Ya so the area is really pretty but it’s also really hot. Ya so like I told you we don’t have active members. The nearest members are like 45 mins away by bus. We have a lot of less active members that we need to reactivate. That’s going to be our biggest job reactivating members so we can open a branch here in Cubulco. Ya so as far as good investigators we don´t know if we have any because the only thing we can do is contact and visit less actives because the less actives don’t give us references. We are going to start working with the less actives a ton. Oh and when I say less actives it’s 2 families so we are really literally just starting from scratch. I need your prayers more than ever right now because we have nothing to work with. Ya so that’s the situation with our area. We still don´t have desks, tables, or dressers in our house or a phone so I can´t even call my district. I have to use a phone at a teinda and I have used like all the money I have haha. I’m trying my best though and that’s what matters and my comp and I are working and studying hard. I love this challenge the lord has given me because I’m only going to grow from it even though I have no doubt these will be the hardest changes in my mission. What’s harder than opening an area with nothing in it, training, and dl. Not much in the mission. So ya pray for me because I’m only going to be able to do it with the help of the lord. Oh and mom I’m happy so don’t worry. I love it here even though it’s tough as heck. So don´t worry everything is fine. Love you all and hope you have a good week!!
Oh I forgot to tell you about church. We had 26 members in church yesterday. Nobody in the presidency showed up so I presided and directed the meeting. We planned sacrament meeting in 5 mins. My comp and the other 2 elders in the branch gave the talks. I had to announce that the kids couldn´t take the sacrament because there were only 21 cups for the sacrament which is a miracle because that’s how many we needed. We couldn´t get the other cups because the pres didn´t come to church. I also gave the class in priesthood so ya the missionaries did everything in the branch. This branch needs our help and needs your prayers. I just thought that was funny my experience yesterday haha. Thanks for everything love you all!
elder call

my favorite family in my last area. i love this family sooo much i was so sad i only got 1 change with them

hermanita in my last area. she loves the missionaries and we lived in her house she is the best in the entire world i love her soooo much.

the last photo i took of me and my comp elder bonilla and 2 other elders in the area right next to us. we just sat at a table this day and played cards this p day it was awesome.

my last day hermanita decorated the house for me and made a bunch of signs for my goodbye dinner.

30 seconds after i met my kid

my kid and i on top of the elders house in salama

the mountains we have to go over to get to rabinal which is where we go to get the bus to go to cubulco

we climbed up a giant mountain to see our area after lunch at a menus activos house. this mountain is tiny compared to the mountain behind me in this pic

my comp and I walking

taking one of the members home from after church haha with this elder in my district. haha this elder has 1 week in the mission. how can i have almost a year in the mission. i feel like i am in my first week also. 

my comp and i crossing a giant hammock bridge

the church in our area

I have a change (week 35)

Hey guys, I loved getting your letters as always. Thai food is the freakin best! I’m not going to lie, i love it soooo much haha. It’s so great that the fam is having fun. The beach, wow, that’s awesome. Newport Beach is good but seriously it’s really, really, really, hard to beat Alamo. As far as what I eat everyday that just depends. For breakfast I usually eat oatmeal and an apple or 2 eggs, yogurt, and an apple depending if I ran or went to the gym. For lunch I eat rice, beans, eggs, pasta with mayo, salad without dressing, bread, and tortillas and that about sums it up. Let me just say I hate the person that invented mayo because the people here put it on everything haha…it’s nasty unless it’s with ketchup because then its like fry sauce and that’s delicious haha. The food is good, not great, but good. My favorite thing to eat is black beans, not refried or anything, just black beans, tortillas and eggs. Let me tell you, it just doesn’t get any better then that haha. Like I said, the food here is just kinda good but I’m used to it now. Gringo food is just sooo expensive here. Oh, and I really don’t eat dinner because there just isn’t time when we get back to the house. It’s like…I can eat or just go to bed in an hour and be hungry so I just don’t eat dinner.
As far as changes go I’m getting a change. Man, I was not expecting it because I’ve only been in this area for 1 change. They called us Saturday and told us about the changes and where I am going, who my comp is going to be, and stuff like that. It’s way better when we don’t have to wait until conference to hear about changes and everything. So I got a change to a place called Cobulco in Baja Verapaz. I’m opening up the area, training a Latino from Nicaragua and will be the DL. Man, I’m nervous as heck about so much work haha. I’m really excited though to be a leader. I feel like being the District leader will be a blast and I’m so happy for the opportunity to lead other missionaries. As far as opening up an area I’m a little nervous. There have never been missionaries there so I am truly opening up the area. There was a branch in the area at one time but it got closed so the members had to travel to Rabinal to go to church. It’s like 40 minutes away so everyone just stopped going to church. The AP’s said that my goal is to reactivate the less activos and open up the branch there again so we can expand the church. I’m super excited to do that even though I know its going to be a ttttooooon of work but I’m so ready for it. I’m also going to have a kid in the mission so I need to be a good father so my kid doesn’t turn out to be a terrible missionary. I’m pumped to train and to show this kid how it is to be a missionary. So that’s my change and I leave tomorrow for my new area. Now about San Cristobal...I am so sad to be leaving after only 1 change. It’s going to be sad leaving the members and stuff in this area but they can’t even remember my name so I probably won’t be missed much haha. I’ve been her for just 6 weeks. I’ll tell you what though; I am going to really miss hermanita. She’s our landlord and we basically live in her house. She loves the missionaries and I love her soooooo much. She won’t get baptized and nobody knows exactly why even though she knows the church is true and everything. I think it’s because she is freakin Catholic and can’t let go of the tradition of being Catholic. She’s the classic I was born Catholic and am going to die Catholic. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that and it bugs the heck out of me. Let go of the wicked traditions of your fathers just like the prophets preached in the Book of Mormon…haha Who knows if that’s why but that’s the conclusion I have come to on why she won’t get baptized even though she knows the church is true. I love that woman though she is the best. Hermanita is like famous in the mission because she is soooo nice to the missionaries. I love her and can’t wait to visit her after my mission when I come back. As far as our investigators go, there isn’t really anyone progressing right now so I’m not too sad about leaving our investigators. But there are a couple of members that I am going to miss. The members are just so nice to the missionaries. I love the people here in this area and I am grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to be here. Yup, that’s the weekly update. Pray for me, my area, my comp, and my district. Love you all and have a good week!
elder call

Hey team (week 34)

It’s just the best reading your letters as always guys loved hearing from you. Ben what a drag! Man that’s the worst. Ankle injuries are just the worst and I mean that. Man I’m right with you mom and dad. I love just randomly driving into san fran and doing something fun. It is just the best. I’m serious when I say that because there are very few things I would rather do then go into sf and explore and eat at a little hole in the wall place. Where we live is the absolute best.
Man this week was another tough week as far as the work goes. Again we were just working our butts off walking from place to place trying to teach our investigators. We tried to teach that pilas family that has a fecha but every time we went they had an excuse and had to leave. Including this Sunday they didn’t go to church. So they no longer have a fecha for the 28 of this month but hopefully we can put another one in the future. As far as that family we have a noche de hogar tonight with them and another family in the branch. We had the member invite the investigators and everything. We are going to watch a video called together forever and hopefully they will be more interested. I just hope that they can go and don’t bail at the last minute. We have planned the heck out of this family night and if all leaves well our investigators will have a family they can always talk to in the branch. We also put another fecha this week with a kid named Louis. He is 18 and he is pilas but again he has a long way to go to baptism and we are just praying so hard that he will do his homework. Pray attend church and read the ldm. When people told me that it is hard to be a missionary it’s true. Like elliot told me it’s not hard to be a missionary but to be a faithful obedient disciple of Christ is. Man it’s so sad I just want everyone to have the same blessing that I have. It is the worst and I want to cry when people don’t do their part to know if what we are saying is true. It’s like I said last week they just kinda do everything half butt here. It’s just the culture. Just freakin read 1 chapter in the bom and pray. What is that like 15 mins of your time so that you know that you can be together with your family forever know your purpose in life what you need to do and how to be happy. You can have the power of god in your house. Use the atonement of Christ to receive forgiveness for your sins. Like is so funny sometimes when I think about this to myself. I get so upset when people don’t do their part in investigating our message. Like when in life would I ever be upset about that haha. It’s the truth though I just want my investigators to have my same blessings. I just want them to be happy and when they don’t do their part then that’s why it’s hard to be a missionary and to see that happen. Yup haha but there is my little rant. I love the people here so much and they are just the best. Being a missionary really is just the best and I wouldn’t trade this time for anything. oh quick story I was chopping weeds for service Thursday. Friday I noticed a rash and it has grown every day since then. It’s taking over my body. Little blisters of pus that itch soooo freakin bad haha. It’s terrible. Ya but other than that I am doing awesome. The church is true ldm is true and I love all you guys. I give thanks every day that you are my family and friends. Love you all and have a good week.
elder call

my zone at zone conference and my pres and his wife on the far left

some beautiful trail we walk everyday. its sooooo freakin beautiful here just lush green mountains

my rash just a little bit on my arm

Thursday, September 5, 2013

this keyboard is the worst haha (week 33)

Hey family I can’t believe that the kids are starting school again. That’s really starting to freak me out. I cannot believe how fast this year has gone by and it is literally freaking me out. That whole pet crab dilemma is soo funny! I’m dying laughing right now haha. Good to hear that all is well except for the senior kid that died…man that’s sad. I have an idea; maybe you should send the missionaries over to help his family.
As for my week it was tough again. We tried to teach this pilas family every day this week but we couldn’t ever find them. We put citas with them every day of the week because they weren’t ever home. After they were not home we walked to another pilas family on the other side of our area that is like 30 mins away walking as fast as we can. Ya we did that 5 times this week and didn’t teach either of them. It was a waste of time and frustrating until last night when the family was freaking home. We taught a killer lesson and put a baptism date with them for the 28 this month. Man I’m sooooooooo excited all of that work this week paid off. The lord blessed us and freak we really needed his help! The lesson was incredible and soooo spiritual. We talked about the lord’s sacrifice for us. How he died for us and made it possible to be saved but now we need to do our part. We read some scriptures in Alma 7 and the spirit was so strong as we taught them that Jesus did his part and now is waiting for you. They accepted our invitation and it was dope. They still haven’t come to church but we really believe they will make it soon. Another one of our investigators name is Luis. He is 18 and has been to church 3 times. He could get baptized but we have barely taught him because he is sooo busy. We are trying really hard to teach him but he only has a little bit of time each day and we have to teach him in the internet cafĂ© which doesn’t really work…wayyy too many distractions. So we are going to teach him in the church so he can actually listen and feel the spirit. He is another one of our really good possibilities. We will see what happens. Just always keep my investigators in your prayers. Oh this week we did service also. We had to pull trees. Like they would chop down these huge trees and we had to pull them to the side with a rope so they didn’t land on houses. Well that was fun. One landed on a house. I almost died also... it was dope. I was filming a tree falling down and it almost fell on me. I can’t send the video but I can’t wait to show you when I get back. It’s so funny. I literally almost got smashed by a tree. Everyone was dying laughing. Guat is sooo funny…when the tree landed on the house the people weren’t even concerned…it was like nothing happened. They do everything half butt here for lack of a better term. They build a big nice house then just put aluminum on top. They are like, oh well the house is good so let’s just do the roof as easy as we can. Classic Guat and I wish you guys could see the stuff I get to see every day. Dad probably understands a little bit about what I am talking about haha. Dad, a kid in my district is from the San Blas islands by the way… kinda cool. Yup but all is well and thanks sooo much for everything!
Love, Elder Call

some kid tying a rope to the tree so we can pull it

tree that fell on the house

my district after our service project