Monday, October 26, 2015
Well, I survived cambios de emergencia. My new comp is Elder Jaco, a 24 year old de El Salvador. He works hard, is a really good teacher, and is pretty obedient when compared to a lot of the missionaries. It feels so good to be working hard. This week we found 20 new investigators with 3 families! Many of them are really positive. The conversion story of my comp is pretty cool, he has come a long way... his past is nuts. Sometimes he tells me a little more than he should... Also, not only does he work very well, he also knows how to have fun in an appropriate manner. We get along very well. Oh, and not to mention he cooked professionally before his mission and dreams to one day be a chef. So we have made a deal that he cooks and I wash the dishes. Obviously we don't have time to cook anything fancy here, but we eat better than most missionaries. The house is the cleanest it has ever been as well... in other words, emergency changes were a success! Now we just need to get baptizing.
This Sunday, however, was a big let down. We had 13 investigators that had told us YES, to the invitation to attend church... not one showed up... but it was election day. Its almost impossible to trust your investigators here with their commitments.
Shout out to Isaac, congrats with football! Sounds like you had a stellar first season.... You're amazing I bet, just dont get cocky ;), and keep loving everyone in spite of there differences.
Show your moves Emrie!!!!
I met Jonathan Deleon's dad, he is pretty cool and it was cool to make that connection.
Well, other than that nothing huge happened this week... but it was really good. The church is true. Love you all!
P.S. I tried to get a normal photo with my comp...
Monday, October 19, 2015
Emergency Changes! WHAT!
So the three Latinos with which I was living all had emergency changes... obviously this includes my companion so I will be getting a new one of those tonight. This will make 3 trainers and 2 areas for my training. The others in the zone tell me that thats pretty weird. Yet I have heard that the comp that I am getting is really good! I was getting more and more bossy with Elder Herrera and by the end, I don't think that he was liking me very much... well I know that was the case because he was very obvious about it... that guy had attitude. He even made sure to erase the photos that he had of me, and consequently he didnt want me to take any photos with him. Well I wished him luck and he is on his way to another area.
My area absorbed the one neighboring it. So now my area is twice as big and I am essentially comp A... Needless to say I am a little stressed. My Spanish is getting pretty good (I think) but I still miss little details every now and then. And often times those little details make a big difference. I have not met my new comp, but I know that he is from El Salvador and doesn't speak any English. Really this is a good thing, but this next week is going to be a bit rough. The area that I will be absorbing was being worked by the other 2 Latinos in our house, when they learned their area was closing they had to give there investigators to me... They only had 2 to give. So frustrating!
Elder Herrera y I didn't get along and consequently we didn't make the gains that we should have, but nonetheless I still have some really positive investigators progressing. One named Auriliano is a dad of 5 who loves God and is faithful to his church, but willing to hear our message. He attended church with us this Sunday and participated vocally in all of the meetings. He is reading the Book of Mormon. Also we have lucked out because one of his good friends is a member! Something that is really hard with the mission is that you come to love your investigators... and when they fall through It is like losing a good friend. It is absolutely horrible.
Something really awesome for me that has been revealing itself more and more in the mission is the history. A lot of people have little things that they have found, and a "hill" that we have passed several times I have learned is an ancient buried structure... As you can imagine that all just tickles me silly. Yet I am making sure that it doesn't become a distraction.
Para terminar, I am doing well, it's kicking my butt, but the work of salvation has never been easy. I feel the pure love of Christ every day out here, and the power of prayer is testified to me all of the time. I love you all...The chafe is real, Guatemala is amazing, and the church is true!
P.S. Daniel and Helen, A couple that accepted Baptism when I was with Cancino in San Pablo, but were waiting to be married when I left. Well now they are married and members of the church!
Monday, October 12, 2015
Jenna, There is a Mexican version of you in my zone...
I am really liking my new area. My companion is incredibly frustrating but I am working on it... The other latinos living in my house make fun of me a lot because I want to be obedient. They call me "flechon" meaning arrow, its offensive to most, for reasons that I don't understand. I am committed to stay obedient with all diligence. Many potentially good missionaries give up on their tough companions and fall into the bad habits their companions. Yet I am really hitting it off with the "catracho" (Honduranio) in our house. He isn't very obedient, but at least he works. The mission is teaching me new things all the time, often times in difficult ways. I am really not good at being direct with people, especially people that I have to spend 24 hours a day with. Yet I am improving. I have to if I don't want to waste my precious time as the Lords servant.
This Sunday we ate at the President of the Rama's house. The food was good and the company was even better. I love Guatemala, I am making a lot of friends here. A large number of the people here in my new area speak quiche, I love to hear the native languages. Part of me wants to pick some of it up, but I am still struggling with Spanish. I have fantasized about teaching some of the lessons in quiche, because some here don't speak Spanish... but it is just a fantasy.
I am not sure why exactly, maybe its from all the time on the farm, but almost all of the really people here are absolutely nuts...almost daily I am grabbed by old men that moan at me, tell me strange stories, or disrobe and ask for money. The same goes for drunks... they are everywhere, and find the strangest places to sleep. Luckily the majority of them aren't violent, the just say/do strange things really close to your face... I hate the smell of beer. At least I get lots of free hugs. It is rough to see the ones who really are hating life, their blank stares and quick swigs are some of the most depressing things I have seen thus far in the mission. Conclusion: Alcohol is for people who want to become like small children again rather than grow up and face real life.
Their is some really beautiful countryside around my area, I especially love to see the Ceiba trees (Maya Tree of life...) they are breathtaking. Something weird about my new area... It is called the land of witches... Witchcraft is common here and practiced by a good chunk of people. My companion told me about a temple that was on a contacts property. He told me he showed up as they were performing some ritual, complete with burning stuff, shaking people, and a barfing woman... I am a little scared of that part of the area now as you can imagine.
Well I am doing good, eating good fruit, meeting great people, and learning a lot. I am still healthy and the Spanish is better all of the time. It has been a lot of fun learning Spanish and it is and interesting feeling to speak another language. I am studying my butt off, and learning a lot. My testimony is stronger than ever an the spirit is strong. The church is true, its as simple as that. I loved the talk by President Uchtdorf that to be a disciple doesn't need to be complicated... The gospel is the most simple wonder there is, and it is for everyone. It is for the scholars and the peddlers, the poor and the rich, the sinners and the saints, the old and the young, the weak and the strong, and you. Because of the infinite love of Christ and the power of his atonement there is literally no-one that lies out of reach of its blessing, whether it be in this life or in eternity. If there is one thing I have learned thus far in Guatemala is that anyone can change... I love you all, thanks for all of the support. -Elder Davis
P.S. Shout out to my lovely hermanita Emrie Grace, Feliz Compeaños! I am excited to see pictures of your baptism and hear about your success with dance. I love you!
Monday, October 5, 2015
So I have changed areas already...I am the only missionary in my group to have changed. My trainer was convinced that he would leave San Pablo, and had packed his bags and everything in prep for the change meeting... Then I, having done none of the things he did, had to leave. Already I miss the members and my investigators there. Even worse I only had 2 hours to say goodbye to everyone, the majority of which were not home. Thus, I don't have photos of most of them. I didn't think it would be that hard... I really dont look forward to changes now. Not to mention, I am missing out on their baptisms the 10th! ROSHE!
My area is called Samayac, a town outside of Mazatenango. I don't know much about it but I think that it will be really really good. I have met some really great members and the people seem to be really kind here. I already like my zone, the majority of them seem really great. Also, One of my best friends from the CCM is in my zone, Elder Salazar de Peru. You can see a lot of huge volcanoes around my area, there are even some Spanish ruins in my area! I Can see a ruined cathedral from my bedroom window... As you can imagine, when I first saw it, I went nuts. However, naturally, nobody else cares. I still love seeing all of the women dressed in the traditional maya corte, whenever I am struggling I just look around and remind myself that I am in Guatemala... and then I am better. Also, whenever I am frustrated with someone, particularly men, I simply imagine them in traditional ancient mayan regalia and I like them a lot more. Call my methods weird if you would like, but they work for me, so... I do what I want. Also in my new area I live in a house with three other latinos, so no more English. I live with Elder Peralta from Peru, Elder Cano from Honduras, and Elder Herrera from Bolivia. Elder Herrera is my new comp, he teaches really well, but is really lazy... yup, just what I was afraid of... he always wants to rest, and when we got home from conference this Sunday I suggested that we visit members for references and and less actives to help them, but he insisted on sleeping... so I am going to have to be really forward and pushy with him, something I am terrible at. yet, the lord knows best, and I feel that I will grow a lot this change.
Other than that is the usual... My Spanish is better all of the time, I am getting so much better at understanding, I can understand almost everything as long as there isn't to much noise around me and if the other person has most of their remaining teeth at the front of the mouth. My teaching is improving and I am really coming to love the scriptures. One of the hardest things about the mission is that it exposes so many of your weaknesses and you have to organize a way to improve them... but there are just so many! Ether 12:27 is my theme right now! Keep it real in the Burg for me. -Elder Davis