Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Salama, Salama (week 54)

Family, it so great to hear that you are all doing well.  I love to hear about the family and to know that all is well. I literally cannot tell you guys how happy I am for you all to be able to do what you do. Just go walk around and explore. I love Berkeley Oakland San Fran and Alamo sooooooooooooooo much.  You guys do what I like to do most and that’s just the best.  I loved hearing about Ella’s talk and I’m so happy to hear how well it went. Ella is just the best and I’m not surprised that she killed it up there in front of everyone.

Well as for me this was a good week.  Like I told you guys last week, my comp and I were going to go to all the aldeas to work. The people here in the centro don´t really listen to us or go to church. This is a super old area and there have been missionaries here for years so we decided to change it up and work outside. We went to an aldea called San Juan that is just about 30 minutes from our house and another aldea que se llama tunel.  We had a lot of success in these 2 aldeas.  I’m sorry I don’t know what an aldea is in English or I would use that word. I think the best way to describe it is an outside town or like a town outside the city or something haha…freak just use google translate. Ya so working in these 2 aldeas was great. We had a ton of success and most of the people have never even seen Mormons or talked with them before. It was great. It was like Cubulco all over again. Ya so my comp and I could just feel being guided by the spirit and just talking with everyone. It was a lot of fun. People were actually interested in our message and expressed a desire to hear more so we will definitely be going out there in the future.  This last Thursday we went to the wedding at the municipio of salama for Christian and Oneyda to get married. That was just awesome watching them get married. I have been waiting for that moment for a long time. Saturday they got baptized along with Liuos and Reina here in Salama. They also asked me to baptize them so that was just the best. I love those families so much and it just made me so happy to see them get baptized.  Just such testimony builder and what gives me drive on the mission. These families just have no idea the decision they just made and all the blessing they are going to obtain segun their decision to follow the savior.  I just couldn’t be happier for them because I know how happy they are and going to be.  I mean thinking about all the blessings I have had in my life thanks to a Christ centered home and I just can’t wait for these people to experience the same. I don’t know what I would do without my family and I love you all soooooo much.  Those were definitely the highlights of this last week.  Well really some of the highlights in my mission.  Now my new companions name is Elder Garcia and he is from Peru.  He is super fun and is a stud missionary. I look forward to working with him. Something that I just think is absolutely fantastic are the buses down here. I know I probably tell you every week but it’s just soo funny. This week we had to go to Santa Barbara an area like 45 minutes from Salama to check out a house to see if they could move in there. Well the bus ride there was fine I guess if you don’t think having a 400 pound kechi women sitting on your lap. Ya that happened and trust me I was even more shocked when she sat down then the amount of shocked you are right now hahaha. Weird as heck and only in Guat. On the way back I had to stand up in a little bus because there was nowhere to sit and I wasn’t about to sit on another person’s lap so I stood up like a hunch back and just about blew out my back on that 45 minute ride. So fun… well fun afterwards to think about it haha. Guat is just the best and I love the people here so much I just love it. Like I miss you all fam and friends but I’m not liking how fast the time is going. I mean I almost have 15 months… how could that be? I want the time to go by slower and I’m serious. Church is true. Read the scriptures and pray always. Love you all and have a good week. 

Oh and the marriages here are just the absolute funniest hahaha. When they are doing like the “I do” thing I was just dying laughing.  I mean you would think when the guy is saying like the vows and stuff they would look into each other’s eyes and stuff and just be like in love but here it’s like they just don’t even want to look at each other. They are like embarrassed and then when they say you can kiss the bride they hug hahahahha. It’s sooooooooooo funny!!!! I’m just dying laughing thinking about it hahahahhahah. Sooo funny I can’t wait to describe it to you all in person haha. That’s how it has been at every wedding in my mission thus far as well… not just them haha

Christian and Onyda getting married

a bunch of cock fighting roosters... hahaha

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Changes (week 53)

I loved your letters as always fam.  Good to hear everyone is safe and didn’t commit suicide after the hard loss yesterday and dad I did sleep in my jersey Saturday. 

Well this week was nuts. My comp and I had to run around crazy all over Baja Verapaz for all sorts of things. We had to check houses, buy new beds, give out cell phones and do a million baptism interviews. Man it was nuts haha. It’s always a lot of fun though and I enjoy every second of it and especially when I ride on the buses. It’s just the best riding on them. Well not really that great but it is funny because I have never been on buses in my life outside of San Fran and it’s just hilarious I think. You guys should see how many people they put in some of these buses. It’s soo funny!!! As for my area well it’s coming along. We are having a really hard time finding the people who want to come to church. Although the church is in our area it’s still hard to get them to come. We are going to start focusing on the areas outside of the city because the people are a little more humble and receptive to our message.  I went on division this last week with an elder called Elder Colten. He is great and that day we worked like chuchos. We didn’t have any distractions from the zone and we just focused 100 percent on the work. It was great and we had a couple really powerful lessons. We found a couple good investigators that are good potentials for the future.  I love this area though… it’s great but it’s just a lot different than Cubulco. As for the families in Cubulco well the family that was going to get married this last week and baptized on Saturday couldn’t get married because they were missing a couple of papers. They are going to get married this week and baptized this week as well as the other family this week. So they will have 2 more families in that branch and pres is going to open another branch soon in Cubulco because they are just having so much success out there. Ya so I’m excited for this Saturday because those 2 families that I taught are going to get baptized and they want me to baptize them. Super exciting and I’m just so thankful the elders in that area are working and are not bad elders’ haha.  Well like the title of my letter says we had changes this week. My comp has a change and he is going to Peten. I am staying in Salama and I’m going to be training a new zl. Not a new missionary but just a person who hasn’t been zl before.  It’s going to be exciting but a lot of pressure because I only have 1 change here in Salama. Super exciting stuff. I also had my interviews with the pres that went great. The interview with Hermana Curtiss was great as well. We talked about the spirit and its role in our lives.  Like how if we don’t have the spirit then another spirit can enter… aka he who must not be named.  So we as members of the church who have been baptized need to have the spirit at all times so we don’t have the other one. Really interesting way to look at it. Also we talked about Abinidi and how when he was giving sincho to the king and the priests that he said he was full of the spirit so they couldn’t touch him. Interesting when you think about it and the same thing with Nephi and his hermanos.  Focus on having the spirit in your lives and strive to have its constant companionship. 

Love all of you and have a good week!

me with a ton of money to buy new beds and crap for the zone haha

a dope member in my ward his name is bryan

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I'm not sick...(week 52)

 I loved getting your letters again this week family. I'm glad to hear that
the family is doing great that always makes me sooo happy. That little story
about Charlie is so funny. He is just the best.  That's super exciting about
Rachel going to Spain and I hope she learns Spanish so that we can talk when
I get back. That would be so fun.

Ya so I'm not sick anymore thank goodness.  I was soo done with that. Well
I'm still a little sick haha but not nearly as bad and I can go out and work
thank goodness.  I don't think I talked about it in my last letter but last
Monday we went to Coban for a conference of leaders. It's when all the zone
leaders of the mission go to a conference in Coban with the pres and we
receive instructions and stuff about how we can better our zones. Well the
conference was fantastic. just really great.  I felt the spirit super strong
like the entire time. The spirit just testified to me about everything we
were talking about and how it is true.  It just gave me so much animo to
work harder in our area and as a zone. It was fantastic really. We have that
like one time every month.  I'm really looking forward to the next one as
well. So as far as our area goes here in Salama we are having a lot of
trouble bringing people to church.  Nobody wants to go. It's horrible haha.
That seems to be the trend and has been the trend with this area for like
the last year. My comp and I are going to try something different this next
week though. We want to go work out of Salama in the Aldeas to see if the
people in those areas are more willing to make sacrifices to come to church.
We have got a couple potential investigators but they just need to go to
church. I did divisions with Cubulco this last week as well. It was great to
go back to that area and to see it again. I loooooovvvveee that area sooo
much. I got to see Adan, Maribell, and Joseline as well. They were just sooo
happy to see me and I was equally happy to see them.  I just received the
best news about Cubulco this last week as well. The first family that I
found in that area is Christian and Oneda.  Elder Fitzgerald and I found
them walking on the street our very first week in Cubulco.  I was walking
when we passed some man on the street. When we passed him I felt a really
strong impression to talk to him so we went back to talk to him. That guy
was Christian and we asked if we could visit him and we did.  We started to
visit him and his wife. He is 20 and his wife is 22. We taught them and they
were great and everything. They went to church 2 times with us. In fact they
prayed and received answers to their prayers. God answered their prayers.
how incredible is that? We also invited Christian to leave and make visits
with us and he did. He has such a strong testimony and shared it with our
other investigators. They have testimonies about the church and BoM. That
was just the best so of course we tried to put a baptism fecha with them.
That's when we learned that they are not married. We had to explain to them
that they need to get married before they can get baptized. They didn't want
to get married at first. We visited them like the next week and they
received an answer to their prayers that they needed to get married. So they
said they would but not until  March when the dad of Oneda gets back from
the states. That was good but also a bummer because at this time it was
November.  So in March would be a long time out. Well ever since I left that
area I have been calling them every week and giving them animo to get
married now so they can get baptized. Well  I called them this last week and
they said that they feel like they should get married now so they can get
baptized. Sooooo incredible!!!!!!! So they are going to get married this
week and get baptized on Saturday. I'm soooooooooooooooooooooo happy like so
happy. I love those guys soo much. They also want me to baptize them and I'm
pumped for this Saturday. It's incredible how much success Cubulco is
having. Also another one of the families that I taught and found are going
to get married in 2 weeks. Incredible because I'm the one who put the fecha
with them and they are super motivated to lograrlo and get baptized in 2
weeks. I couldn't be happier. I love this work and those families right
there are why this work is true. People are changing their lives to get
baptized. Love you all fam and have a good week!!! If you didn't do the
self-check last week then do it this week. Really you should be doing it
every week.  I love you all and thanks for everything!!!

elder call

Pics of a waterfall we went to today and a monkey

bbqing at the aps house last Monday before concilio with all the other zls

only on the mission...


Josylin and her parents adan y maribell and me when I visited them on division 

this is my zone here in baja verapaz

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy New Year 2014 (week 51)

Loved your letters this week and I couldn’t agree with you more that we have the best family in the world both immediate and extended. Man, what you guys did for New Years is my dream. Going to sf to chill and just enjoy life. I mean it just doesn’t get any better than that. I’m glad you had a great day.

Well first off this past week I didn’t work a ton because I just about died haha. Monday I got sick as heck with a 102 fever and horrible stomach problems. Tuesday I did some tests and it turned out I have some freakin like parasite thing or something. The doctor of the mission said that I couldn’t do anything about it and that it would just pass with time. If I didn’t get better in 8 days then he would do something haha. So basically lunes, martes, wednesday, and jueves I didn’t even move. Luckily we have a lot of members and we were able to do divisions a lot. My comp would leave with a member and work and I would stay home and rest. It was the worst! I hate being sick. I mean so degrading to me because you guys know that I take pride in my killer immune system. The problem is that the freakin worm thing took me down this last week. The good news is that my stomach still hurts but that’s it. I don’t have to go to the bathroom every 2 seconds and I don’t have a killer fever. I was able to work fine on friday sabado and domingo. Well the highlight of this last week was definitely the baptism that Cubulco had. The last person to complete that entire family being baptized was awesome. It was the dad of the family and for him to get ready to be baptized was not easy. He had to stop several habits in his life completely and some of the habits go back to when he was 11. He has been doing these things for more than half of his life. Thanks to prayer the priesthood and faith he was able to conquer these addictions. It was the best because I got to do his interview. That was one of the most powerful moments of my entire life. The spirit was sooo strong. He really has such a strong testimony of the church and prayer. He can’t read but I could just feel his testimony even though he can’t read the ldm or any other church material.  Just a real blessing for me. Ya but really this interview was nuts and I was all teary eyed and he was just bawling. That’s just something I will never forget. I’m just sad I can’t go visit him all the time in Cubulco. I love that family so much and now they are all members of the church and really just a miracle. Not to mention they are dirt poor and have to travel to Rabinal every week to go to church which is not cheap. Oh also at the baptism service their daughter Joseline gave a talk. She is only 9 years old and she killed it up there. Scriptures, testimony, and everything… she is so incredible. I just love that family sooooo much. That was the best part of the week and I’m looking forward to finding new people to teach this next week. Love you all and have a good week. Never forget to pray and read the scriptures. Oh that’s another thing I learned this last week. I was talking to a member in church and he was talking to me about some people and how they have fallen into the path of wickedness before they could even realize it. What I mean by that is it was members that were great in the church and then fell away and now live a life of evil. He was explaining to me that when we forget or don’t do the little things in our life we invite the devil into our life. When we stop praying reading the scriptures and repenting we slowly go off of the straight and narrow path. That’s how the devil works and he is sneaky as heck. When we don’t do those little things the devil slowly comes into our life and takes it over. I want everyone who reads this letter to do a self-survey this week. Read chapter 5 of Alma and see if you are living your life the way Christ taught us. If not well that’s alright if we change. Get on your knees and repent, pray, read the scriptures, and if you need to talk to church leaders. This life is no joke and the little things count. Don’t ever forget to pray and read the scriptures. Those small things have power and will propel you towards eternal life with your families. I love you all again so much and have a good week. And do the self check!!!!!!

elder call

Adan and his beautiful family

Friday, January 3, 2014

Merry Christmas Family and Happy New Year (week 50)

Wow I can’t believe that this is my second Christmas I have had in the mission.  I can’t believe how time has flown. Loved talking with you family and I’m glad that you all had a good Christmas. I’m glad to hear about Elliot’s wedding and I’m glad it all went well. Not going to lie though I’m really sad that I missed 2 weddings of my closest cousins Elliot and Madeline. Glad to hear everything is going great back home.

Now as for me the highlight of this week was the baptism that I had this Saturday with an investigator that I have here in Salama. That was awesome and just makes me feel like I am fulfilling my purpose as a missionary. Also one of my investigators got baptized as well. It was supposed to be a family of investigators from Cubulco but the dad last second had a little problema with drugs and alchola but the good news is he really wants to change and just cried when he found out he couldn’t get baptized. I think that he is really repenting of what he did and he is planned to get baptized this Saturday. If he can get baptized this weekend then that would be the last person of the family in Cubulco to get baptized. That would just make me sooooo happy. Ya so that was a happy day and it made me happier that I was able to see the investigator from Cubulco get baptized. That is just the best.  Now Christmas was super fun for me also. I spent the night at the joven orphan house. Everybody there is members and it was a complete riot. Those joevenes are just crazy haha. I absolutely love all those guys.  At 12 midnight we went on top of our house and watched all the fireworks. Our house is like 5 stories tall probably the tallest building here in Salama and when you are on top you can see all of Salama.  So at 12 midnight everyone in all of Salama lights off all of their fireworks and it’s nuts. Like the huge ones in our country that you see on the 4th of July and ya those or legal. Literally one of the coolest things I have seen in my life. Every direction I looked there was just like a million fireworks going off. Seriously like 100 at the same time and I wish so bad you guys could have seen it.  It was absolutely nuts. Ya family so that’s all the time I have this week to write you guys. I love you all and have a happy new year.

Elder call

 My Comp and I going nuts  at 12 midnight on Christmas eve

dinner Christmas Eve

the guy in the stripe shirt is peter the boss guy of the this joven house. he is the man and i just love that guy sooo much. the other guys are just other jóvenes of the house

Edward the boss of the other joven house here in salama he is the man also

colocho or kevin maybe the funniest kid i have ever met



keki jugando jenga

Bonilla and i taking a tuk tuk for like 30 mins haha

Bonilla peter and i at dominos

dominos with Byron Geraldo and also known as canche and also peter

my comp Elder Tellez and I. We all baptized Saturday and there were 4 baptisms that day

keki and i

my misión president took my comp and i out to lunch today just us 4. it was soo fun and my misión president is just the best.

Merry Christmas (week 49)

Loved your letter as always family you guys are the best. Man I’m so happy that g pa is out in cali finally. I love that man more than anything he is just the most selfless person I know. I’m so happy that I get to have him as my grandpa. HAPPY BIRTHDAY dad!! I hope you had a great birthday. I love you and I am very confident that I have the best dad in the entire world. I’m not just saying that… I’m dead serious I wouldn’t trade you for anyone dad. I love you and have a good week.

Well I’m going to be honest I’m not going to write you the best letter because I’m going to talk to all you in like 2 days. Ya so the best part about this week was the baptism that Cubulco had. One of my old investigators is josue and he chose to get baptized this past Sunday.  Elder Aybar and I put the fecha with him to get baptized on the 21st a month ago. I can’t believe that it was that long ago. Man I just couldn’t be happier that he chose to get baptized.  That makes 2 baptisms in Cubulco thus far. Both of which were my investigators that I found and helped teach. There are another 2 this weekend planned for this weekend. Man I just couldn’t feel any better about that.  The people that are going to get baptized this weekend are a family as well.  I am just soo happy that my investigators are making the decision to get baptized. Ya so that’s the good news for this week and everything else that happened I will tell you on the phone haha. Again dad thanks for everything and happy birthday.
elder call