Monday, June 28, 2010

"... the weeks are flying which is good, but sad."

Okay, so reading that story of Daniel [a member of Sam's NHS football team who was baptized last week] made me think that I would like to write a letter for him and send it to you guys, so if you could pass it along, that would be amazing. [As a district leader] I have not given a baptismal interview yet, but I am very nervous for when I have to.

The great thing of this past week is we found 16 new investigators; but in our district of four companionships we found 56! I was truly blown away. But sadly our attendance of investigators went down because it has been raining for the past two days or so. And it was similar to the tropical storm and so everyone was scared. To be honest, I was on divisions on Saturday night and it was raining all night. My companion was in our area, but it is right next to a river that had flooded. I couldn't sleep that night because I was so worried for them and if anything would happen to them.

So the ward is really weak. We had 57 people at church and the bishop is sick and his wife was hit by a car, so they weren't there. But a member spoke on how we should support him and help him - which I thought was so needed. (It was funny because the assistants just came in because they are going on divisions with the zone leaders so they surprised me and it was pretty funny.) But I am pretty excited for how things are going and I hope and pray that they will improve.

We also had interviews with President Baldwin and it was funny because he walked in and said it is funny seeing me here and then said to everyone that I had escaped from the office. I will try and write a letter this next week or so about my comp. because he is truly amazing.

Our investigator, Suzy went to church and is very active and always has really good questions. Elder Knight (my Comp.) went to the lesson with them and shared Alma 32 and how if it is a good fruit that we should give it room to grow and she was very touched by that chapter. But the real work is with her mom. This next week will be really busy because I have a meeting in the office on Thursday and I will go on divisions and do our weekly planning. But the weeks are flying which is good, but sad. I know I am working and so the time flies, but it goes by too fast at times.

That’s fun that you get to have the boys this week. Give them hugs and kisses for me.

But can you do me a favor - write a letter to my comp. and have Jordan or Jared translate it. He has only received one letter in his mission so far. I think he would really enjoy it and you could write a little in English because his English is really good. But I love you guys and pray all is well and hope Katie is enjoying her time at home.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Keep on keeping on ... "

Well, so this last week took some time - it was kind of a dream.

As far as the work here - it seems to be slower because the ward is not a lot of help; the Bishop is about 28 or so and doesn't seem to be a real motivator, but he is there and that is it. I feel like I am going to have to be pretty forward with those we work with. I will have to assign them things to do and make sure they are assigning others. I have found that this ward is the weak spot in the stake. The district seems to be good, but they all have problems to deal with. Many of their investigators are not married so that will be a process to fix. We had pretty good numbers this last week and I pray and hope the elders continue to work hard.

It is nicer because someone does our washing for us and we have a cook. This is nice but the bad thing is my stomach gets a little sick now because I am eating real Guatemalan food now. [Oops, no more Taco Bell and Wendys, eh?] But I keep learning new things about my companion and he really has an amazing story.

I went on divisions this last week to get to know an elder who had some behavior problems before and wanted to see if he was getting better. I still don't feel like I know the area very well but I will with time. As far as investigators, we had one at church and she, Suzy, is really progressing, always reading and very active in the lessons. One of the other Elders in the ward thought she was a member because she knew all the answers she was asked. The problem is with her mother who doesn't want to change churches because she has been a member for nearly 30 years. It is sad because some time ago her dad cheated on her mom and left and now it is just the two of them and her brother who doesn't really care to listen.

I think I have hit a personal stumbling block. At night when I am finished with all the missionary calls and planning it is about 10:30 and I don't have time to study more (if I wanted to) or to write in my journal - it is really sad. But I will try to manage my time so that I can do some of the things I would really like to do.

I love you guys all so much and hope that all is well. I will keep on keeping on and hope to find success. Thank you for all of your love and words of kindness. And please ask me some more questions so I can write and tell you guys more.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gotcha!

Okay, so I was just messing with you guys. (See previous post :)

I am finally out and scared out of my mind. Now I am teaching and leading district meetings which makes me feel very odd and I also take calls every night. I feel very awkward and lost. But the great thing is I am very excited to work and at times I don't know what to do, but I will do something and it will be good. I find myself in a ward that is weak, from what I hear the weakest in the stake. The bishop is very, very young and we don't have a full bishopric. The ward mission plan is inactive and we don't have a lot of positive investigators. But some in the district are having great success with five baptismal dates. We are weak in new investigators and we are doing a lot of service to help out with what happened with the volcano and the storm. A lot of the roads are destroyed and there are sand bags everywhere to stop the water from entering the houses.

In my district I have two gringos and five Latinos and they all seem to be pretty good missionaries. I also know that some had problems before but seem to be doing a lot better from what I can see and I am looking forward to going on divisions with them. But what is really amazing is my comp. - he is so humble and wants to be a good missionary. He told me that he was so nervous to be my comp. because he thought I was something great because I was in the office. Which in reality, I find it to be sweet but far from the truth because I have so much to improve on. I found out that my comp's first language was a dialect and that he learned Spanish five years ago. He knows four languages perfectly and is really, really good at English. Every morning he makes my bed for me and is trying all he can do to support me. I find myself praying all the time for help because I find it difficult to be a district leader. Don't ask me why - I knew how to be a secretary and all that it entails but for some odd reason I find it very difficult to be a leader as such in the mission. However, I am excited to learn how to be better and how it be a force for good in this area, ward, and district.

There are four missionaries in this ward and four in the other ward and that is my district. One of the zone leaders is Elder Montoya who is from Utah and knows Elder Jacobs and Ashlee so that is funny.

I am excited to hear things are going well for all at home. I am glad Jared found a better option for school and that Katie is adjusting. I love you guys all so much and ask for your prayers so that our district can have success and that I will know how better to help them progress and be greater than they are now.

Mom, so you know I took out some money to buy a cake because it was someone’s birthday in my district and I will probably take some more out so I can fix my shoes for maybe 10 or 12 dollars, so it won't be that much. Also my watch broke so I am thinking of buying another. Man, it is like I am getting old or something. Well, as far as the money for the watch and shoes I will wait to see what you say before I do that. But I already bought the cake.

Man, I noticed I have some very bad English grammar but it is odd because my Spanish isn't good enough for my English to be that bad. But I love you guys dearly and hope that all is well with you. But please keep me in your prayers. I love you all. And will write next Monday, but if we have interviews it might be on another day.
With Love,
Elder Musick

Aaawwwwww!

Okay, so there was an emergency this past week and the fact is a missionary got very sick - the one who was going to replace me - so they had to keep me in the office and they're waiting for some of the tests to come back to see if he is going home or not. So I will keep you updated when I have more time.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Transfer out of the Office and Into the Field

Well, this week has been very crazy. We have had to prepare for changes all before Friday because we have the transfer conference for all the missionaries who are going to the new mission. We have had to arrange transportation which is a full size bus, a small bus, and also a small moving van. But as far as I am concerned I am thinking of my next area and responsibility. So anyways, we went to Presidents’ house on Tuesday to see changes like always. But President always talks about what some of the changes are that they made and he said that they had brought in two missionaries into the office. One to be trained by Elder Ceseña and the other to replace me. He then proceeded to say where I am to go.

I will be serving as district leader in an area called Amatitlan. It was the closest area to the volcano. (Thanks for that little tidbit, Samuel!) It is right by the lake Amatitlan. I will have eight people in my district, including my companion and me. But being in the office I have already made a district leader folder. I have the baptism data since November 2009 and also their personal data. I have their pictures that are on the Presidents wall so I can study how best to help my district.

I am pretty dang excited to be a normal missionary. My companion is Elder Knight and he will be going into his fourth change. He is from Nicaragua and I was in the office when he came into the mission. I am very excited because that stake is a baptizing machine. The zone’s goal for baptisms for this month is 50. I am very excited - I have only heard great things about the zone and the ward I will be in. President actually told me that they will be putting me right in the middle of the baptizing heart land.

I love you all and may write a little bit another day before the week ends because we don’t have a lot of time. The lake under Pacaya volcano (in background right)

The Lake Amatitlan is the fourth largest lake in Guatemala, located about 10 miles the south of the capital Guatemala City at an altitude of 3,900 ft. The fresh water lake covers a surface of 9 sq. miles. The maximum depth of the lake reaches 108 feet, the average depth is 59 feet.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

We finally hear from Sam

Dear Family

Okay, so I really don’t know where to be start. Thursday night it was raining pretty hard and we went into a lesson where they had the TV on showing the display of volcano. As we were there we heard the volcano rumbling. Then I sent a text message to the assistants and then a minute later I received a call saying we should get back to the house. So we thought it was still raining because the sand that was falling was similar to the rain in sound. The rain had completely stopped and it was just dark black rock. We had to cover ourselves with our jackets because the sand would kind of hurt a little bit when falling. We got home to see the other missionaries we live with making sand angels. The next day we were told by the area presidency not to leave our house for a while. So when I woke up, we had to clean the black sand off of the van and prepare to go to the office. We then went to the office like normal and the day continued like normal but it just looked like black snow was everywhere. The government has sent out notices that we are to make piles of the debris and they will pick it up.

But it really got silly on Saturday when the storm passed by. We had been out all day getting soaked - even with our jackets on. We went to one appointment and sat down and taught while the wind was howling, and when we went to leave, we left puddles of water under us. We went around to the members’ and investigators’ houses to see if they were okay. We were traveling through the streets of rivers and we were helping cross the roads and I had to jog to keep warm because I was soaked. We found out that some of the members’ roofs had fallen in because they were tin and with heavy sand plus the heavy rains, the roofs gave in. We spoke with the bishop and President Baldwin and they were kind enough to let two families stay at the bunk house. The bunk house is an extra house we have in our colony for storage and we have extra beds because at times missionaries need to come to the capital and stay the night. So the families stayed there and we had to cook for them and take care of them. We then had church services canceled so we went out with a member of the bishopric to inspect the damages on the houses. I feel so bad for these families the beds are soaked; they have like an inch of water in the house and their clothes are pretty much gone. But after checking all the houses the bishop got tin and beams so that we can put new roofs on. The only problem we are facing right now is that the leaders are not really finishing their part. We have everything we need and a lot of missionaries that are willing to work but they haven’t really started to work and the families are back in their soaked and destroyed houses. But as far as working as a normal missionary it is a little hindered because we are trying to help those who lost almost everything in this storm.

Last night instead of executive committee we cleaned the church of all the black sand. It took about 10 of us to clean off all the sidewalks and basketball court/parking lot. But with all of this rain that we received in the storm there are mudslides and so we have had to change zone conferences around because there is only one road that is open to get to the coast and it is the same for the mountains. There are two areas that are completely shut off and they are on Lake Atitlan and the mudslides have closed them off and the only way to cross is by barge but they need permission from the area presidency. But what makes that scary is that they are right by another volcano that was dormant but now is rumbling, so we will see how that will play out. But in reality - every missionary is safe and no one was hurt and things have been running normal for the most part.

But on a different topic I will be leaving the office in like a week and a half (and I’m not going to lie) I am pretty happy about that but scared because I am afraid I won’t know how to be a normal missionary. But I will find out next week where I am going and who I will be with. But I love you all and hope all is well with you guys and that no storms are working their way towards you.
I love you all, Elder Musick.





Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Check this out!!

Check out this SINK HOLE in Guatemala! It swallowed up a three story apartment building. Also we got a phone call this morning - Sam's debit card isn't working, but the missionaries are all fine according to the office Elder who called. Now if I could only hear from Sam on his adventures!