Saturday, February 22, 2014

15 Months in the Mission (Week 57)

Let me just tell you family that I just cannot even understand how I have 15 months here in the mission and 13 months here in Guatemala.  I just do not know where the time has gone.  I feel like literally I have maybe 6 months in the mission. How has the time gone by so fast? I just don’t understand it at all… like at all.

This last week has been a great one but a busy one. I have had sooooooooooo much stuff to do that I don’t even have time to think.  Just about every day this week we have gone to San Miguel to find a new house for the new missionaries that are going to be there. San Miguel is like outside of Salama going towards Rabinal and Cubulco. Pres. called us and let us know that we are going to be opening that area next change. So we immediately had to start going to San Miguel to look for a house. So what does that require? Well walking up and down every street and asking in every teinda to see if anyone has a house to rent.  Ya I like walking and doing that but I mean we have to do that in the morning and then go home and do it all day in our area… more walking. haha. Let me just say that it’s tiring as heck and I don’t even have that much time to study. On top of that I have to get a presupesto for what all the stuff we need for the house. I say that in Spanish because I literally just spent the last 5 minutes of internet time trying to think what that means and I got nothing. Ya so we had to go find out how much all the furniture costs for the house and like the fridge, stove, beds, and everything else they need.  That also requires a lot of walking to go to all the stores to find out how much everything costs so the office elders can give us a check.  Then we have to go buy it all and order all the tables and dressers to be made in a carpenter store. Also we have to get a map of Salama and of San miguel and completely reorganize the areas for the missionaries here so that everyone has equal space to work with members.  We also need to go find a house in Santa Barbera where we can put the church because pres. is going to open a group over there for members who live in that area. Then we need to get a presupuesto of what everything is going to cost for that house. Speakers, chairs, microphone, pulpit and like all the stuff for the primary and stuff haha. Then I have other stuff to do like plan for the zone, plan an activity for the zone that helps everyone’s well-being and do all the other little stuff that pres. asks me to do and the aps… oh and work in my area. Let me tell you I’m not complaining at all. It’s the best. I love being so busy and it’s like I am all over the place all day every day. Its soooo fun!! Ya so that’s my life right now. It’s the best. In our area we have found a couple real great investigators. We were contacting one day down by our house and found a family. They are super pĂ­las. They actually want to learn more about the gospel and keep commitments. They are reading the BOM and doing everything we say. The only bad thing is they went down to Guatemala and are going to be there for like 1 week. I hope they do not forget the spirit they have felt with us during the lessons.  They seem to be just a great possibility for us right now. We just need to get them to come to church and they are as good as gold.  That’s probably the best thing that has happened this last week was this great little family. I love finding people like them and it’s what gives me the desire to work even harder the next week. The mission is the best. The thing that I am working on the most right now is to have Christ like love for all the people I come in contact with. If I truly love the people I will have all the animo in the world to try to find the people that are willing to make convenios with god through baptism. The mission is the best and I love every second of it and I don’t like one bit how much time I have. It’s going by soo fast. Love you all and have a good week!!

elder call

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Family and Friends (week 56)

BTW, there’s a back story as to why we can’t stop laughing about Nick’s letter this week. Nick was obsessed with the British automobile show "Top Gear" and he made us watch the Reliant Robin episode several times   Nick would just belly roll with laughter when he watched this because he thought the Reliant Robin was a totally ridiculous car.      

Loved your letter this week and I love hearing about all the rain.  I just love that story and seeing the faith of you all in participating in the fast that’s…what a great story.  I have told that story in a few lessons it’s great.

I’m going to start off this letter with a story that I forgot to tell you all last week. So last week we had to go to a town called Santa Barbera because long story short I had to send Elder Ortega home and his comp stayed the night with us afterwards. President was planning on coming down here to divisions in Baja Verpapaz with some missionary’s and the plan was to meet president in Santa Barbera.  The president brought down the new comp of the Elder Guiterezz the old comp of Ortega that stayed with us.  Well that was the plan. That day the teachers of all of Baja Verapaz decided to have a riot and block the road up at the cumbre. The cumbre is the fork in the road to go either to Salama the capital, or up to Coban. So I had to call president and tell him that the road was blocked and everything. Well we made it up to Santa Barbera which is yendo towards Coban and we were able to pass through. We just had to get off the bus and walk like a mile to find another bus to take us to Santa Barbera. Well we made it there and pres met us there. We went to the elders’ house in Santa Barbera and unloaded everything out of president’s car. When we got back to the president’s car it had a flat. Haha… it was great. We had to take it to the nearest pinchazo or like a tire shop. Well there was only one in Santa Barbera and it was closed haha. So my comp, pres and I all got down and started to try to change the tire. Luckily I had experience. Haha that’s funny because I don’t.  I mean I got a flat tire just that one time but I had to call dad to fix it haha. Ya so luckily it was like the same type of system as the yukon so I kinda knew how to do it…right.  So after a while we finally got it changed on our own haha and it was sooo funny. My mission president has the best sense of humor and was just dying laughing. So like I was saying the plan was for pres to give us a jalon (lift) back to Salama but the road was blocked off and we were in his car so we couldn’t just walk through it. So we found like a sketchy back road through the mountains to get back into the valley. It was a straight adventure there were huge rocks, holes, logs and a bunch of other stuff… it was like straight 4 wheeling.  Well this is the best part because when we were making our way down the mountain we had to slam on our brakes because we were hauling and there was another car in the way. What’s so funny about that is the car was a Robin. Remember that car on top gear that has the one tire in front and the 2 in the back and tips over every second.  Ya we had to stop for that it was soooo funny!!!! It was making its way down that mountain with the rocks, logs, deep holes and everything. Pres. my comp and I were just dying. It almost tipped over like 100 times. It was literally sliding down this mountain because it doesn’t weigh anything.  It was completely out of control. It never tipped but it was soooo close and it was by far the funniest thing in the world. When the guy finally pulled over to let us pass he honked at us and it was a train horn that left that little car. We were just dying!!!!!  That was the end and we could not stop laughing. Pres. was just like I have never seen or heard anything like it. That train horn really came out of that little car haha… it was great. Ya so we finally made it to Salama valley thanks to those back roads down the mountain.  It was the absolute best. Ya so hilarious! As far as this last week it’s about the same for us. We are finding a ton of new investigators but we are having trouble helping them to progress.  It’s a trial of my faith and I can recognize it. We have a few people that could get baptized. They have been to church and everything. We are working super hard to help them and explain to them why they should get baptized.  Thanks for everything family and pray always. I love you all and have a good week!

Elder Call

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I'm in Coban (week 55)

Hey family, I loved getting your letters this last week. Glad to hear that the family is doing well.  I know that I say this every week but you guys just have so much fun running into Berkeley and SF every weekend and that is just the best. I love that cupcake story… classic dad haha. Man I just wish it was the niners in the super bowl but ya I had a feeling the Seahawks were going to win because all I hear is this elder telling me about the Seahawks and how they have the best defense ever.  As far as my Spanish goes, I feel about 99 percent confident with it and no I am not studying Spanish like before to be completely honest.  The only time I study Spanish is in the bathroom. Other than that I barely have time to read the scriptures between traveling all around Baja Verapaz for the other elders doing interviews or just sooooooo much random stuff.  Oh, and the work in my own area haha. I study though when I have time and I am always learning new vocab.  If I don´t know a word I write it down in my planner to remember it.  Let me just tell you, it’s the best being able to talk with everyone.  In the beginning of my mission it was kinda torture. I just nodded my head laughed and said si even though I had no idea what they were talking about. Now I can joke back with them and keep a conversation going like nothing. It’s great haha…so weird when I think about it though because I can speak another language that just flows naturally out of my mouth. haha

This last week was an ok week.  We just thought for sure that we were going to have like 5 people in church. We called everyone before church to remind them to go there and they said they couldn´t and the other 2 said that they were going to go but didn´t. Man that just happens every week. That’s ok though because this next week is a new week and I have faith that god is going to help.  The good news is that my comp and I found like 22 new investigators this week. We are working so hard right now trying to find the people that the lord has prepared for us. So that’s awesome and hopefully this next week we will be able to help them get to church.  We are still working in the aldeas of San Juan and Tunel but this week we actually worked a lot with members. We got a lot of references and that is the most effective thing more than anything.  We always have one member that leaves with us. His name is Chevelo and he is hilarious. He is preparing to serve a mission and is going to put in his papers in just a week. He has only been a member for a year and is just great. He doesn´t work or study because he is going to leave so soon so he just leaves with us haha. Ya so that’s Chevelo and I don’t have a pic right now of him but I will take a couple this week and send them to you this next week.  So the funniest thing that happened this week happened Friday. We ate at this hamburger place for lunch and right after lunch I just felt sooo sick. So ya you guys know where this is going. It was great. We were in a lesson… just a great lesson and our investigator just kept on talking and talking. Basically I had to end it by interrupting him and leave the house. We were walking for no more than 30 seconds when I just yaked all over the ground in front of a bunch of kids playing futbal in the street. Let me just say it was soooooo funny and all these kids were telling me to go to the hospital because I was going to die. They were calling me gringo debil which means white person weak. I mean weak white person. So funny… ya so basically we just kept on working after that because we just can’t afford to lose a day. I kept on throwing up like every hour on the street haha. That night I asked for a blessing by my comp and peter. I yaked all night but then when I woke up in the morning I felt fine. I felt weak as heck. But ya I didn´t yak and haven’t since so that is a testimony builder. I was dying then the next day just fine like it was nothing and it was great. I know that it’s not a big deal but it really makes a difference out here for me seeing the small blessings in my life. It just gives me that extra jump of animo to work that much harder. It’s so cool to just see how the lord knows me and what I need. It’s great. Well family pay special attention this week to the small blessings the lord gives you and don’t forget to thank him for them. Love you all and have a good week!
Elder Call

peter and rogelio at church with my comp and i

elder bonilla and i in coban with another elder 

my comp and i