Monday, November 29, 2010

"You can only get so American in Guatemala"

Well, this last week we had a nice Thanksgiving because our zone all chipped in and bought stuff and made a nice turkey, well, two, and a lot of other things. We also played some football as in American football. But I do miss the days that I could play pick up games and never be sore, now it hits me pretty hard.

On Wednesday we had interviews. I had a nice chat with President Baldwin and Sister Baldwin brought us pumpkin pie - which was amazing. But the amazing part was that we, as in the four missionaries in the ward, bought a turkey and our cook made us a massive lunch with potatoes and pie and rice and salad; but the pie wasn't all that great because it was a squash pie. You can only get so American in Guatemala.

On Friday, as a district, we went to a school to help paint which was pretty fun but I will say that I will slap any child that treats American schools as a naught because here in Guatemala it is something truly sad. They don't have many things nor are the buildings nice; it really is sad how they look, but I can't tell you how they are as far as the teaching, but I can say it is different.

Here is a pretty bad story: we were on our way back and we saw some of the Sister's investigators that happen to be about our age. I was behind them all while the rest were in front of me. They said good-bye to the sisters with a Guatemalan hand shake and then a kiss; they also thought it appropriate to show the same to me. And before I knew what happen I got two kisses on my cheek and I was pretty embarrassed. Everyone else thought it was so funny, but I did not at all. Then the following day we helped move Jessica and her family (the one I baptized in August) but she just moved to the other area but are still in the ward.

And like every good Bishop (similar to dad) he forgot to assign someone and so right before the meeting he asked me to speak in Sacrament meeting and I spoke on families. And then right after I taught the temple prep class to a couple who will get married this month.

As far as investigators, we had a fairly good number, but the thing is, it is hard to keep it consistent - as in the people. Because one week it is one person and the following week it is another. So we are working to try and keep it consistent.

So I talked to some of my friends in the office and it looks like I will be staying here another change and that Elder Allen is leaving and that Hermana Wetzel will stay and train and Hermana Rubio will be leaving and going up. So we will see how changes really come out tonight.

I hope all is well with Uncle Dan and I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and hope all is well with you.

Love, Elder Musick.

Monday, November 22, 2010

All is well...

Well, this last week we had “Family Week” in the stake and had activities every night during the week. As missionaries in the stake, we had an open house Tuesday and gave a tour of the plan of salvation - which everyone loved. We had several people there and all of them really enjoyed it. We have one investigator that is really progressing; her name is Hilda and she is the one who went on the church tours in the states and is now reading the Book of Mormon like crazy. We have other families that we are working with, but sadly none of them are married. So it will be another process. We had a young man of has been inactive for four years and he came back to church yesterday and we are teaching his family. He is a scout and loves the fact that all four of us elders in the ward are all scouts too.

Elder Allen and Johnson had a wedding and we were trying to get people there and the Roldan family(my converts) was there. I think they are the most faithful members in the ward; they are just so willing to help in whatever way they can. I really love them a lot. We had changed the ward mission plan and we are working on getting it into effect and we have seen some progress which is amazing.

As for my boy, he seems to be growing a lot and doing really well. His Spanish is improving a lot and teaches very well. And he understands how things should be. We are in the last week of the change even though next week I will write you here I will find out what will happen to us the following Monday in the night. So who knows?

Well, I hope you guys all have a great Thanksgiving day because tomorrow we are having an activity as a zone to celebrate as well. I love you all and thank you for your love and support.

Love, Elder Musick.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Good and Busy Week

~~~~~ Goofy or squirrelly? I can't decide! ~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~ Definitely goofy!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~

So this last week we contacted a reference from the Gaytan Family. She lives alone and just had an operation about two weeks ago. But the thing is, she went to the states to visit her cousin and happened to go on the church tour and went to the grove and to Joseph Smith's house and everything. She says she loved every second of it. She has such a desire to listen and go to church but can't because she is still getting better.

We also went to visit an inactive member and he is a very active scout and loves the fact that my comp. and I were Eagle Scouts. We are starting to teach his mom and we hope to have success with them. We also had some inactive members attending regularly so we have been excited about that.

With my comp. things are going well - his Spanish is getting better and a lot of the members give him a lot of credit for it. Time is really flying right now because this change has gone by really, really fast. I think I will be here another change with my "boy". We have seen some changes: we have a ward mission plan and at least some of the members are starting to help us. There is still a lot to do. Yesterday we were blessed because we had three families come to church and we need your prayers for them so they can progress.

We also went to the zoo and that was okay because I have been there three times now, but the best part was riding the little kids train. That was probably my highlight. I am also sending some of the wedding pictures and another of the piƱata that I bought for the district. That was pretty fun.

That was pretty cool that you guys had a [stake] conference and everything. How are those new manuals and what changed? I don't see any of them but the super, super old temple prep manual for the class I am teaching.

I love you all and hope Katie is excited because she should be. But I love you all and will write you next week.
Elder Musick.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Striped Ties Abound - Looking Good!

Elders and their striped ties - as posted on the Guatemala City Central Mission Website. Elder Musick and his previous companion, Elder Calto, are on the back row, second and third from right.

November 2010

Okay, well about the whole Idaho thing. I think it would be odd to live there but then again I have never known another home except for the one you are in right now. But let's face it - I wouldn't care, but I would always say I am from California. I am glad you got to spend time with the boys, but it is very strange to hear that Parker turned one because I really don't even know the boy yet. Okay, so I just read over the horse and barn and pond and I could go for that.

So for the Dia de los Muertos, they didn't like us because they had their parades and we were just walking in the opposite direction so we got a lot of odd looks.

This week was a great week because we had a conference with Elder Martino. It was truly amazing; I learned so much and felt very impacted. There was a point when he asked what we had learned from President and Sister Baldwin. I stood up and said that President Baldwin will sometimes chastise us and then he asked me why, I said because he loves us. He then stopped and said, “Do you know what the first thing you did before you spoke up?” and I said, “No”. He then said, “You had a big smile on your face when you looked at him. You must really love your President”; and then talked about how President Baldwin can tell the difference between the sinner and the sin. I was really amazed by the conference.

Another thing - I was able to talk the Bishop into changing the ward mission plan so that it would actually work. It is the plan sent from Salt Lake and I think we have changed it so that we can really put it into effect. That was truly a big change for us and hope that it works and helps this ward to grow.

This week there is a temple trip and the Roldan Family is going through. I thought it would be better if we didn't go so that the ward would have the chance to help them and they can build some better bonds in the church. I also had the opportunity to give the Priesthood to Luis Roldan, which was very cool.

About my companion, it is interesting. He can speak well for his time and reads really well, but doesn't understand a lot. So I have been working on ways of helping him be able to teach more.

As for Christmas gifts, maybe insoles, two shirts, socks - but thin socks, and candy. Also some foot powder to help with the smell just a little bit because it is sometimes smelly for the humidity.

But I love you all and hope all is well with you guys. I love you and thank you all for your love and support.

Elder Musick.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Keeping the work moving

Well, Saturday and Sunday we had a district fast so that we can have families for the 27 to be baptized. My district is a lot smaller now, but I really enjoy them. As far as the ward is - we are trying hard to work with them, but it truly is a struggle because there really aren't too many active people that are willing or want to work with us. So we have decided to have an activity this month with the leaders to help them work together because that is probably the biggest problem. As a district we had some success with 7 baptisms, but we now are struggling with new investigators. We are trying to set goals and doing a few things differently so that we can have better success.

In my companionship we did well in finding new investigators but some of the others in the district are having a real struggle to meet their commitments. We did find a new investigator that knows English really well because he taught himself; he lives next to the church and is 18 and is a giant sports guy so I think tomorrow we are going to play with him and a few less actives to help them all out.

Things here are going great but it was really funny because today is Dia de los Muertos and so last night the Catholic church had a giant parade and it went straight through my area and I don't think that I have ever seen some many people hate me (?) in my life - it was silly. They would block off the roads and stop traffic and it was just silly.

Yesterday we - the four missionaries and the ward mission leader - also went around and visited some of the leaders to invite them to the activity we are going to have. The bishop does love us because we brought the attendance up but we still don't get much help. But I have heard promises from the stake presidency that things are going to change. I hope that is true because we are trying to push a mission plan that is from Salt Lake and use it in the whole mission, but we aren't having too much luck. So if you could just keep the ward in your prayers so that we can truly make the difference with this ward.

But as far as Elder Knight, he is in Chimaltenango by Antigua and I don't know what he would like. But with my comp. right now, I think he will get stuff and I think I will be with him another change. Hermana Chavez loves her present (apron) and uses it always. I love you all and hope all is well for you and thanks dad for the letter.
Love, Elder Musick

[If he didn't add that last paragraph I would have had to wonder if her even read my letter. We can tell he is so focused on the mission and his work. It does our heart good.]