Monday, August 31, 2009

Rain, Rain Go away

I am sorry to hear Katie is sick; she has to get better or they won't let her into the MTC. I think Trevor is going in around the same time.

The mini-mission we had is showing a few fruits, even though we had to read terrible handwriting and the kids would write addresses like: two trees, white house, and black door. But we found a family of 12 that have been inactive for two years and the kids aren't baptized so we have been working with them.

We had ward conference this past Sunday and my comp and I were in the choir so that was interesting. But it was really good. We are also planning to go to Antigua some p-day in a few weeks so that should be cool. My Spanish is getting better; I can understand a ton more and speak better, but not great. So thanks for the prayers, they have been helping.

Mom, really, you have no reason to worry. I really am in like the safest places in the mission; it is so different than other places. I have heard some stories, so don't even worry, I am pretty safe.

The fleas are gone I think so don't worry about sending more flea collars and my face is all better which is a huge blessing.

I sent you guys a letter, but don't know when it will get to you. I am waiting to send a package so pictures will be coming. I will try and write a letter if we don't do anything as a district. But I love you all. And tell Lance thanks for the letter. My comp. said I was pretty lucky to have someone write me like that. And tell the boys thanks for the pictures.

Okay, so in the package you are sending - could you send me my blue calm back [wish I knew what he was talking about :) Thank you, dear readers; he wants his blue CAMELBAK] because the one I have write now rides terrible on my back and when it gets wet, it stays wet. And the way it is shaped, it catches the rain. I can wait for the rain jacket ‘til Christmas. But you could send me some food treats or instant stuff to make. That would be amazing because I eat oatmeal in the morning, lunch is whatever and dinner at 10 is a sandwich. (I know I am turning into dad.) But really I would like that backpack as soon as possible if you could, that is what I really want. It has been raining more and more lately. My comp and I got stuck in a storm and had nothing so we got soaked. Luckily the scriptures are okay and I plan on getting some covers here. I hope you can send me that backpack so I can get it at zone conference towards the end of the change.

I love you all. And tell Katie to start studying Preach My Gospel - it will help a ton.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thought for the Week

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the best you've got anyway.
-- Mother Teresa

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No transfers this time

Okay … so my face is a lot better. It got bit my second week and the bites itched badly, so then my face broke out really bad, but I got some stuff that is really helping. We got rid of most of the fleas and yes, I was using the flea collars.

I did not have changes [read: get transferred] this week and am still with my trainer and in the same area.

We went to the President’s house last Thursday which was fun. We had good food and played games and things like that. Monday were changes, so we didn't have a district meeting so we didn't email and they switched our pday this week to today with the district meeting so we could go to an activity with the zone and meet the new kids that just came in to our zone. In my district, we got two new trainees and one other one, so our companionship was the only one that didn't change.

As for the work, we set a date with someone for September 12 and are very excited and have an older couple that will take some work. The husband is so busy - he is the one who speaks English and his wife really badly wants to be baptized, so it is kind of sad.

On the mini-mission we had, we were able to find a family that has been inactive for two years and there are thirteen people just in one house and they have a son and daughter in a different house in our area. They are not all baptized. I also had divisions with our district leader who is from Honduras and it was different trying to speak Spanish the whole time. But I felt really bad because when we taught the older couple, the man would not speak in Spanish, only English. So I taught the whole lesson and the district leader just sat there; I felt bad.

I got Lance and Kelsey and the boys’ letters today at our district meeting, but I haven't been able to read them because we came here right after, but I did see the drawings.

About the rain jacket - I would like it sooner and also could you send my camelbak with it. My backpack is good but I think that the camelbak would be better because it is more breathable and my back won't get soaked with sweat. And if I recall it will do better at keeping the rain water out.

It is kind of weird - I am just under 4 months into my mission; it is crazy. Luckily my Spanish has gotten a lot better, but still needs a lot of work. The other night we were talking to a lady in our ward we had just met and she asked me how long I have been out and I said three months and she was blown away and asked if I knew some in Cali or if it was just the gift of tongues. That made me feel good. But then the other night I had a bit of a headache and we were talking about life before this and when my comp. turned to me I started to talk about the Spirit world so I still need a lot of work. [I think they were talking about two different subjects and that he is trying to say his communication needs some more work.]
But I love you all and hope you are all okay.

P.S. Mom, if you could send the black wind breaker from Missionary Mall and my back pack. I would really appreciate it. My umbrella is almost broken - the wind is going to finish it soon.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Thought for the Week

“God will measure our progress toward Him not by what we have suffered, but by how much we have desired to diminish the sufferings of others.” – Giuseppe Mazzini

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Baptism with Picture!

So zone conference was really good. I feel like I understand a lot more. Thank you for your prayers. I got dad's letter which was really good - so thanks mom.

This past week we have been super busy with the mini-mission we had and all the referrals we got. But this week will be super busy too. We had a training conference yesterday with all the new kids and trainers. Then today is a district meeting and tomorrow is a full work day. Thursday will be our pday because our zone got closest to our goals and we will go eat at the mission home after a visit to the doctors (for my companion - nothing serious, so don't worry). Friday will be division most likely and this weekend we find out about changes [transfers]. There could be a good chance I go because we have 20 new missionaries coming in. But no one ever really knows; you can never guess what the president is thinking.

The baptism was amazing. The power was out at the church right before the baptism. My comp. was in the water about to raise his hand to the square to perform the baptism as the lights came on. And a minute after the lights turned off again. But the coolest thing is to see the change in Ernesto Barrios [the gentleman in the picture below] as he reads the Book of Mormon and seeing him stop drinking and smoking. On Sunday he should get the priesthood.

It is so good to hear from you all and it is crazy: after this week it will almost be four months.

P.S. I got a letter from Trevor Dunlap, my old roommate, and he is going to Honduras. Also mom, for Christmas, if you send a package, can you look at missionary mall and get me a black raincoat and maybe look for a good backpack that can support my back a little better. I might buy an electric razor because we had fleas and they got my face pretty good and I scratched so I am trying to be a little more careful about my face. I might buy one if I can find it. Just to let you know.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thought for the week

"Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Come What May, and Love It, Ensign", Nov. 2008, 27

Monday, August 10, 2009

First of August happenings

Last week I wrote you an e-mail and the computer in the cafe messed up and it didn't send. So I am sorry.

But this week we were really blessed. We found a few families, but one of them is doing amazing. He will only speak to us in English because he wants the practice, which is super funny. He and his wife are older and after two visits we committed them to go to church and they went. He spoke some English in the classes, for me, he said. We also have a baptism this weekend in conjunction with a mini-mission. All the kids will go out and contact. Then on Saturday they are having a ward activity and then, after that, the baptism. So it should be really good.

We have zone conference this week on [August] 12. I have two weeks left in this change. [They call transfers “changes” in Guatemala City Central Mission]. My Spanish is getting better little by little and I am understanding more and more.

Also we have a recent convert who teaches English and is 23 and found my blog on blogspot. She said she googled me. She asked if I cared and I said (like always) “No, I don't see it and I am busy”.

It is odd because we are in probably the second richest area in the mission; the one next to us is the richest. But we still teach in tin houses and some other interesting places. It rained pretty badly the other day but this time I was prepared.

Yesterday before church we went by to see those we had invited to church so we could go with them and none of them came with us. We were pretty destroyed. But right after the Sacrament was passed, all the late people came in - which was a lot. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was a boy my age we went to get but he had just woke up. He told us he was sorry so we left. He is less active, but just a great kid. He and his sister sat in front of us. Then later on the bishop let us know that the one guy who spoke English and his wife were there. We were really excited.

The other day my comp. cooked up some fried platnos which they tasted like fries and also we bought pupusas which are made in El Salvador and are like a tortilla dough that has cheese and beans. Ask Jordan or Jared if they have had those.

But things are good and next p-day we might go to Antigua or to the mission home because we were closest to our goals. So either way it should be good.

Love you all and I am sorry I can't write you all so I hope this will do.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Thought for the Week

"Prayer is a matter of the heart.
I have had prayers answered. Those answers were most clear when what I wanted was silenced by an overpowering need to know what God wanted. It is then that the answer from a loving Heavenly Father can be spoken to the mind by the still, small voice and can be written on the heart." - Henry B. Eyring, "That He May Write upon Our Hearts," Ensign, Aug 2009, 6-7