Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekly Letter (week 62)

Love getting your letters every week they give me animo to work hard the following week. I love how you guys always go into San Francisco that is just the best. I know I say it every week but if you just take a look at the pictures you sent me last week of the golden gate on crissy fields you just realize how spoiled we are for where we live. That’s just unheard of.  I love it.

Well this week was really tiring. (I have no idea how to spell that)  I can’t remember why but my comp and I were on the phone the entire week at all hours of the day.  I hardly slept. The work in our area is going ok. The family that we were teaching by our house now wants just about nothing to do with it. They just changed all of a sudden when they got back from the capital. They are Catholics and so I think that some members of their family said something. I’m super sad because I know that they know the church is true but they don’t want to change. It’s sad but we will move on. Now for Gilberto ya like I said he is gone as well but we are teaching one of his kids. His daughter’s really good friend is a member of the church so that could be a good possibility for the future.  Cindy the little girl that we had a fecha with is going ok. The people that she works with are not a good influence on her at all. Her dad supports us teaching her but the people where she works say only bad things about the Mormon church so that is a big problem that she is going through right now. We are praying super hard for her and that she can recognize the veracidad of our message. Now for the good… we are teaching a reference that a member gave to us her name is Marlin. She is living with the members right now because she is working down here in Salama. She is super super receptive and is great. We have a fecha with her right now and she is assisting church as well. Right now she is doing great but like all investigators there is always always a problem so we are just praying that we will find that out now sooner then later so we can figure out what we can do to help her. We are also teaching an investigator named Amisaday. He is sooooooo pilas but he cannot get baptized right now because he is living with another girl and that girl is married so they cannot get married.  The good news is that my comp knows a lawyer who lives in Coban that always helps the missionaries in these types of situations so we called her and she is going to start to help us get them divorced faster. That’s the majority of our good investigators right now. We have others but just are not progressing as fast. We need to find lots of new investigators though this next week so we have some good investigators for April.  That’s the work in our area and the things that we are doing and focusing on right now. Now for the funnies that happened this week.  On Thursday  all the elders of our zone had to sleep at our house because we had to leave to go to Coban early Friday morning. It was fun and it is always a party when the missionaries sleep at our house. It was getting late and we were going to go to bed when I had the idea that we should sleep on the roof haha. Our house is like in a 5 story building so everyone got there mattresses (I don’t know how to spell that either) or culchones in Spanish and brought them up to the roof. We slept up there well went up there and laid under the stars. We didn’t really sleep because it was freezing and we basically talked all night. It was fun as heck though and a great memory. Friday we had zone conference with the Pres in Coban. We played jeopardy at the end of the zone conference but his categories were like church based. Just an example of why I have the best pres in the world. Like zone conference with pres watts was great but it was always like 8 hours sitting in a chair listening to him talk. With Curtiss he gave us a super powerful message of like 2 hours then we played jeopardy. It was dope. oh and long story short we played it with like 2 other zones and it came down to the wire to see who would win. Let me just tell you all that I represented the family name well and answered the 2000 point correctly to win the game for my zone. I felt like a champion… I felt like Ken Jennings the ultimate jeopardy winner. All that jeopardy with you dad didn’t go to waste haha. It was a blast. Ya so the mission is the best just the best. Something that I love doing as well is taking the sacrament each week and just remembering for 15 mins all that my savior did for me. I love taking the sacrament and I love the peace it brings to my life. Just to start another week fresh trying to do what’s right. Don’t miss the opportunity during the sacrament to think about Christ. It’s the best and helps me make good decisions for the entire week. The church is perfect and Christ is our savior that’s why I’m in this flippin country teaching people about that. I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Love you all family and have a good week!
Elder Call

Oh and by the way sister braithwaite that was in your ward well her best friend is in my zone so i thought that was cool because she said that the family call is the best...

my 2 best lat friends in the mission besides elder bonilla. this is elder trujillo the ap and elder brito. remember elder brito he is my friend that was with me in rabinal when i was in cubulco. He is the man and is zl now in coban so i get to see him all the time in conferences when i got to coban it's dope
oh elder brito is from boliva and elder trujillo is from ecuador they are dope

sunday we went to the branch in san jeranimo to talk to the branch pres for pres curtiss about some problems they are having and when i was there i saw i member that is from san cristobal that i knew when i was there. cesar caal he is the man and we almost have the same last name. it was the beeesssst to see him. i didn't even realize how much i love this guy until i saw him again. that was a highlight of the week. freakin love that guy

some monkey that we saw today hah

Salama, Salama (week 61)

Well I loved getting your letters this week. Dad, I loved that article about living in another country. It’s the best! haha It’s weird as heck though speaking and thinking all day in another language. Teaching and giving conferences and presentations as well all in a language I didn’t know 16 months ago. Oh and those pictures from the city are soooo cool. I love love love love San Fran. It’s the best and there is nobody more fun than our family as well. The best way to spend the weekend.  Love the fam and love san francisco. Oh and grandpa is living it up as well and I want to do that sooo bad haha. 

Well as far as my week it started good. I love so much those concilios that we have every month with president and the other leaders in the mission. I can just feel the spirit so strong and its soo cool to see the direct revelation that the president receives to progress the work here in this part of the lords vina.  I love it so much and my testimony grows soo much when I’m in those conferencias and it just gives me soo much animo to work harder and to be a better missionary. I also love teaching all the things I learn in that conference to the rest of my zone the next day. It’s so fun having that meeting and I just love being in front of them and hearing what they have to say about the work and what things we can do better. In our meeting we did a practice where we had to teach a friend. Let’s say that I am the missionary. The other missionary I was teaching would be a family or friend that wasn’t a member of the church. The objective of the practice was to help the missionaries feel the same love for friends and family as they should feel when they teach all their investigators. It was great and I couldn’t help but cry as I was teaching and imagining teaching some of my friends. It was a great practice and we could see that it really impacted all the missionaries in our zone to feel more love for the people. This week in our area it was good and bad. It was bad because Gilberto now is not going to be able to get baptized with us because he is leaving to go back to the states. The good news about that though is we helped his faith in Christ increase and we planted the seeds for future missionaries when they find and teach him again. We started teaching his daughter though this week and she even came to church so she is a good possibility for the future. The other bad is that family that lives by our house well all there fechas fell because they didn’t go to church. It isn’t the end though we are still going to try to work with them to help their testimonies grow. That’s the bad.  Now the good is that we found a couple great investigators this week and we are super excited to start teaching them again this week. Pray for my companion and I and all of our investigators… they need your prayers. Now for the funny story of the week... last week on Monday we were headed up to Coban at like 6 in the morning. Well we were about like 1 hour into the journey when my stomach decided to self-destruct. In a matter of minutes I was sweating from every pore of my body trying not to have an accident in my pants.  That’s not a joke… I was actually sweating like crazy. Finally I sucked up my pride and told my comp I wasn’t going to make it to Coban. He was like alright well we will get off the bus in Tactic and go to the gas station to use the bathroom and I was like alright. We were about 15 minutes outside of Tactic. I started thinking about the options and could I make it or not. Well believe it or not I decided I couldn’t and we had to get off the bus right then. I can’t believe I actually thought this but I was trying to think of the consequences if I went right there in my pants. My stomach hurt soooo bad and I was going to explode. I yelled stop and we got off the bus right in front of a gas station. We lost money because we already paid for the bus but got off way sooner than Coban. I ran to the bathroom and ya everything was good. Let me tell you I have never felt sicker ever. I mean if you guys could have listened to the thoughts that were coming into my head. I mean seriuols vale la pena hacerlo en mis pantalones. I must be nuts but ya that would only happen in Guat. Like that has never ever happened to me in the states. Classic… just stuff you don’t forget. I love Guat. I love the people. I love life. I love Christ. The mission is the best the very very best. Love you all and have a good week!
Elder Call

all these pictures were taken in coban while we were there

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Another week in Salama (week 60)

Loved getting your letters this week as always and let me tell you that I have to eat at that ben and nicks restaurant when I get home.  I loved seeing the pictures of grandpa on his motorcycle and let me tell you that I would kill to have that bike here in guat. I don’t think that they even know that bmw motorcycles even exists.  Just about nothing sounds more fun than taking that puppy up and down the coast of california.

This last week was kind of a crazy week.   Change week is always nuts because we have to make sure that everyone is in their houses and comfortable. We always have a lot of running around to do. This week though was a good work week.  We have a lot of people now to potentially put fechas with.  Right now in our area we have a total of 6 fechas. This week we want to put another 2 or 3 fechas with the people we’re teaching.  We finally have the investigators now so next we just need to put the fechas with them and teach them with the spirit. As far as the fechas we have right now things are going ok. We have Gilberto who is pilas. His only problem is that he is going back to the states soon to work. I think I told you about him the last week. We also have those hermanas that live by our house. They are still progressing but as always there are problems. They are having a tough time deciding whether they want to change their religion. Yep they are having a tough time leaving the Catholic Church even though they know this is the true church. So we have planned this next week to visit them with a super pilas member called Mario. He is going to visit them with us. He was also catholic and had a hard time leaving the Catholic Church.  But he received an answer to his prayers too and decided to follow the savior.  That is the plan this next week with him and I will let you guys know what happens with them. We are still teaching Cindy as well and we are going to start teaching her little sister who also wants to go to church as well as her dad.  Those are the biggest potential fechas we have as well as another guy named Jorge. Ya but the work is going well and we are working super hard for these people and I hope they decide to follow the answers they receive to their prayers.  Sunday my comp and I decided to go to the branch of Rabinal to support the new president of the branch who is a missionary.  Going to that branch was the best…I loved it…I loved, loved, loved it. Let me tell you family that there just is not a crazier place on this planet then Rabinal.  It was awesome.  I love the people so much there and I can’t believe that it has been 3 months since I was there opening that area.  Let me tell you that the best part though was seeing all the people I found, taught and put fechas with attending church all dressed up with their white shirts. Remember that guy Basilio Alverez I would always tell you guys about him being a future leader in the church?  Well, he was just set apart as president of the quorum of elders.  I also saw Christian and his wife Louis and Adan and his wife.  Cubuclo is the best and I love those people sooo soo much.  I loved going to visit that branch.  Ya so that was definitely the highlight of the week… visiting that branch.  As for me I am in Coban again right now because we have concilio tomorrow.  I love concilio and it always gives me so much animo.  I love you all so much and hope everybody has a great week!
Elder Call

some catholic parade outside my house

some drunk guy who would just not leave us alone

Juan Reyes or as i call him john kings. this guys a legend

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Changes (week 59)

I loved your letters this week and I look forward to reading them every week. The family sounds great. You guys are so right about peter and how I have no idea how he feels not having support from his family. I can’t imagine what that would feel like.  He is so strong and I pray every night for him and that he will feel motivated to go on the mission and serve with honor.  It’s something I do every night in my prayers. I always give thanks for all the freakin family I have that loves me. Like I just can’t even believe it because I have sooooooooooo many people that love me. I say that in a humble way not to be cocky haha. But really like I have so much support back home and I can feel it every day when I work. I know sooo many people here who just have a mom and that’s it because their brothers and sisters moved out of the house and the dad is in the states working. Never never ever take for granted how great our family is because it’s the best and I am well aware of that now haha. Thanks for everything you all do for me love you all.

Now as far as my week it was a good one. As far as work in our area goes it was also  a good one.  The super pilas family that came to church this last week was in the guate like I told you. They didn’t come to church because they were in the cap.  We received this week a reference from a member of the church.  The reference is super pilas and we put a baptism with her this past week. She also came to church this week which is awesome. I don’t know why but this area is sooooo hard to get people to come to church so having investigators in church the past 2 weeks was awesome.  We also had another one of our investigators come to church this last week. His name is Gilberto. He is super pilas and just wants to have Gods guidance in his life. He is really humble even though he is one of the richest guys here in Salama. He works in the states and lives here because he likes the schooling better. We found this guy a month back just because I saw the house he lives in and I thought wow that would be a lot of deizmos haha. Ya his house is super nice for Guat haha. Ya well he turns out to be a great investigator of ours. His only problem is that he always has to go to the states to work and doesn’t come back for a while. He might not get baptized now because of his work but he definitely has felt the spirit and he told us he liked church a lot. We have another investigator that wants to go get baptized but can’t because she is living with another dude that is the father of her son. They don’t share the same room or anything but she lives there because she wants her son to see that he has a family even though it’s a fake family. Anyway that blows and she is planning on moving out but we don’t know when. Those are the best investigators we have right now. That pilas family is also back from the cap and we are going to teach them tomorrow. This last Wednesday like told you I went all over our zone with the president in his car with my comp helping president to get a better feel for our zone. Let me say that it was the best. It was great to be in Cubulco again even though it was for an hour. I love it there so much. I love that place and let me tell you that president is the best. No but seriously he is the very very best.  He can just laugh and laugh and laugh but he is very serious as well when he needs to be. It’s the perfect balance and something so important for me is laughter. You need to be able to laugh and find the balance between laughing and being serious. Well he has got it down. Pres Curtiss just carries such a strong spirit with him as well. He is the best. I can’t wait to tell you the stories I have with him when I get back. Oh and for the title as you can see it was changes and I didn’t have one. I’m staying with my comp. I’m super happy about it. I love Salama and I’m excited to stay here and work more with my companion. I don’t know if I have said much about my comp but ya he is the freakin man. Just awesome... I love him sooooo much. Great balance of fun and work and humble. Love the guy and I couldn’t be happier.  I have been so lucky with comps. I’m positive that I have had the best comps in the mission. I think I have only not got along with my comps for a total of a week in my entire mission and that was with Ortega and you guys know why haha. The mission is the best and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Love you all family and have a good week!

Elder Call
for my comps year we burned a pinata haha that was dressed like a missionary

his pic is great because i was like waiting there patiently for my comp to take the pic but my camera wouldn't take it so i had to like flail around trying to dodge all the ash that was landing on me haha.

on the Saturday of changes we always go to this members house and we eat churrascos with the other missionaries here in salama

p day today we played billiards

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hey Family (week 58)

Hey sorry it took so long to write you but I have had a super crazy week and really couldn’t focus on Monday enough to write you. I loved your letters as always.  I know I say this just about every week but there is nothing better than going into the city and exploring one of the best cities of the world. Everyone I talk to here says that they want to go to San Francisco so bad. Now I don’t know if that’s because they want to sneak into the states and that’s the excuse or if they really want to get to know San Fran ha-ha. Well it really is just the best city haha.  It scares the heck out of me that ben is driving…seriously I just don’t trust that kid… haha…love you ben.

This last week was another good one. One of the highlights of the week was when president Curtis brought down the mission call of Peter Lopez.  If you don’t remember who peter is he is the guy whose house we’d go to just about every single night for dinner. He lives in the house that is just a house for jovenes orphans.  Ya he is the man.  He was baptized last April and all he wants to do is serve a mission. He sent in his papers once and they got rejected because of his age so he had to write a letter and have other people write recommendation letters on why he should serve a mission even though he is out of the missionary age range. Well long story short that was stressful as heck because he wants to serve a mission soooo bad and his papers got rejected the first time. Basically my comp and I helped him so much to do everything so we were sad as heck too when it got rejected.  So he wrote the letters and sent the papers in again and it got accepted. Serving a mission for this guy is seriously such a sacrifice. There isn’t anybody in his family that is a member. His dad is living in Chicago to make money for him and his family.  He really doesn’t even know his dad because he left for the states when he was young. Basically Peter has the best job in the world.  He is making more money than 60 percent of other guats and it’s the best job ever. Not to mention that he is going to have to leave that job and all the kids he helped raise in the orphanage. His dad is threatening to disown him if he goes on a mission because his dad says the reason he is living and working in the states is so he can study at the universidad.  Oh, and his mom just does not get the mission at all and why he would want to leave his country for 2 years and go somewhere else. Ya so he has pretty much everyone against him except the members of the church and us. So when that mission call came it was the freakin best.  The following day we opened it with him, some friends, and family. He got his call to serve in El Salvador mission San Salvador.  That is the best. I was soooooooooooooooooo happy about his call and the look on his face was priceless. I was wayyyyy more nervous for his mission call then my own call at home. Remember how I just left it on the counter for a week when you guys were up at the cabin haha. That was just a moment I will never forget in the mission. On Saturday my comp and I went to Cubulco to do a proselyting activity. I love love love Cubulco. It was so fun to go back and to give out a bunch of pamphlets and just talk to the people there. They are a lot different then the people here in Salama.  They are just a lot more humble. Oh and every single women’s name is Maria… it’s hilarious…like seriously 90 percent are named Maria. Outside of a house we just yell Maria because there is just bound to be a Maria that lives in that house. Ya so that was a total blast. I’m also going to Cubulco with president today to show him the area as well as Rabinal. I’m looking forward to going to Cubuclo and Rabinal again and to spend time with the pres.  As far as the work in our area goes it’s getting better. This last week we had that family of girls come to church. They were scared as heck to go because the other churches they have gone to there is a ton of yelling, screaming, loud music and people like on the ground shaking haha. Ya but we got 5 of them to come to church. We had been praying so hard all week so they would go to church and receive revelation while at church that this is the true church. Well we went with them to church and the spirit was sooooooo strong. I could just feel it so strong. Probably the strongest I have felt it while attending church here in Salama. It was great because I know that our investigators could feel it as well.  They are now in the cap visiting some family and I can’t wait for them to get back so we can teach them some more. They are great and I love them so much.  That was the highlight of the week as far as the work in our area goes. I love the mission. It’s the best thing ever for the young men in the ward and for you ben it should be your number one goal. It’s the best, trust me, it’s the very best. I love it and wouldn’t trade this time for anything. Love you all family and have a good week. 

elder call

peter and i

me with the calling for peter

family guarra one of my favorite families aqui in salama

peter and I

my comp and i in Cubulco

going to zone activity. we went to some caves Monday like 3 hours away it was great haha