Monday, November 30, 2015
Its the time of the the year in which it should actually be feeling like a burg... That's not the case here in the Guat, its still really hot. The people have been complaining lately that the nights are getting cold, but they are just starting to get comfortable to me. The only thing that really feels like Christmas is the lights and the random crackle or boom of fireworks. They sell cheap explosives on just about every corner... The kids here are just going nuts! I am also enjoying all of the festivities in the parks, naturally I can't participate much but it's fun to see all of the decorations and games. Also, the locals are repairing the central cathedral. It may not be very comfortable or clean but I am loving western Guatemala.
I glanced over a newspaper the other day that happened to be spotlighting El Mirador and the work of Richard Hansen, confirming that the pyramid La Danta as the largest in the world. I can't wait to dig over there after the mission! (see video above).
We had 3 baptisms this week! We baptized three kids, a 10 year old, and two 11 year olds. They are the children of a less active woman that we hope to reactivate. The older brother is showing a lot of interest in the church as well! We are also working with a young 25 year old woman that is very interested and has accepted a baptismal date! She is named Irma. The work has been hard recently because the members of our branch are really lazy. There is one RM that really wants to help us but.... he got his rights suspended... Also, this week I had to go to the hospital because I got amoebas and they wanted to check out my lungs. Needless to say I barfed a lot. Yet I am starting to feel a lot better, I just have to take lots of pills that leave my mouth tasting like it's full of quarters.
Other than that I am doing good, I just have lots to improve and people I really want to baptize! The church is true and God gives you your dreams for a reason... just go out an get them and trust in the support of your loving Heavenly Father.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Family and Friends,
The mission is chuggin along here in Champinlandia (Guatemala). It is finally looking like I am going to get over this dang cough that I have had for almost a month... So I am feeling pretty good. We have got some really positive investigators progressing, and others that were really positive and suddenly just stopped, well, progressing! Its also really frustrating when you have a family reading the Book of Mormon, attending church, and asking lots of questions and invite you into the house, just to find a horde of evangelicals dancing and shouting hallelujah... awkward right. It saddens me that the other Christian denominations don't like us, but it doesn't look like it is going to change any time soon. Also a visit from an animated pastor a lot of times is game over for the common investigator. It's not that they can prove us wrong, they are just great at guilt-tripping people and spreading lies. Another hard thing is that my area is loaded with coffee orchards, and these orchards are by far the biggest employers here. Thus, as you can imagine, everyone drinks coffee and doesn't like the idea that it is contrary to the commandments.
We had a baptism! We baptized a 20 year old girl named Celeste, she is still learning a lot, but it looks like she will be a great member! She was a referral and had already received most of the discussions.
So... My camera officially died last week, so i will not be sending any pictures until I get a new one!
Well, I am out of time again... but... The Church is true.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Family and friends,
Another week passed in a flash here in Samayac, this week has been a great one of bonding for my companion and I. We are having good success and we are seeing miracles! I am recuperating from my sickness and enthusiastic. Due to a really stupid p-day schedule I don't have time to write more...Love you all.
Monday, November 9, 2015
Samayac Suchitepequez is finally starting to show some good progress. I am convinced that missionary work requires a lot of patience, it's something I am working on personally, but it's paying off. We had five people in the church yesterday and several less actives. We have had some pleasant suprises recently from some relatively reluctant investigators. Also, many very positive new investigators have been placed in our path as well. Yet it is proving difficult to know if people are really receptive to the gospel or if they are just being hospitable. Sticky traditions are difficult to dispel as well. For example, the majority of the people here are Charismatic Evangelicals or Catholics and their practices are much different than ours. We can show a mountain of scriptural evidence that we have the truth, but its very difficult to ask people to leave generations of tradition. In the end, you just have to trust in the spirit and hope they pray... If they pray, genuinely pray, they usually convert. Yet its incredibly hard to get them to take you and the commitments you extend seriously, because they have a lot of faith... they just don't understand the action part. They slap Jesus stickers and bible scriptures on everything, literally everything. For this, I think a kind of lazy Christian culture has been created. Many tell you that God accepts all and that it doesn't matter what church you attend, or if you even go to church, as long as you have faith in Him you are saved. Its hard sometimes to tell them that that is not the case. This is also the root of a ton of inactivity, it is overwhelming how many inactives we have to work with.
The work here is testing me in so many ways, but I know there is a reason for all of it. I am learning all of the time of the importance God genuinely loving the people here. It sickens me the lack of love in many missionaries. I admit that it is difficult sometimes, but as true disciples of Jesus Christ we have to come to have it. My testimony of the scriptures is growing a lot as well, I am not going to lie, for much of my life the Book of Mormon has been something difficult to accept. Given my interests and the things I have studied, it has been a bit of a trial of my faith. Yet now that I have left my self naked to the spirit and truly immersed my self in the words of that book, I know that it is the word of God, and the fullness of the gospel of our Savior. The church is true!
Monday, November 2, 2015
Where does the time go...
The weeks are starting to fly by... A little too quicky I feel sometimes. Yet, I admit that I am glad that this week is over. Yesterday was dia de los santos, they day in which everyone remembers their deceased relations. Because of this we didn't get anyone to church...AGAIN! So frustrating. Church attendance is a requisite to baptism, in other words, our investigators cannot progress if they do not attend church. Also it rained like crazy this week and Samayac lost power several times after sunset. For that we couldn't get into many houses because nobody wanted 2 drenched guys in their homes or to accept visitors in the pitch black. The rain made me really sick as well, so it is a little hard on the spirit when I am hacking my head off in all of the lessons. Yet, after everything we did have a bit of a miracle. After sacramant meeting we were bummed that none of our investigators came, until a member told us that there was a non-member in the congregation. We met this 20 year old girl named Celeste who has a good friend in the branch, later she spoke with the branch president and told him she wants to get baptized... We also had some really cool investigator contacts.
My Spanish is really coming along, I still have lots of fine tuning to do, but it is sufficient to complete all of my responsibilities and then have a bit of fun. Something that is kind of funny is that when the locals here see a gringo, they automatically think that he can't speak their language... so its fun so give the people a surprise. I am concentrating specifically to think in Spanish right now. My biggest thing right now is to build my vocabulary! So send me that book dad... But it is really satisfying to speak comfortably in another language. I really want to learn some more after the mish.
Poco a poco Everything else is improving, its really hard sometimes, but I know that in the end I will be grateful. There are just so many things to improve sometimes!
The church is true and because of the sacrifice and life or our savior Jesus Christ we can realize our potential. The lord himself said that the worth of souls is great in His sight, and we know that the worth of a soul is its potential to become as God. Are we not the souls of which he spoke? Show some faith, come to Christ, and realize your potential. I love you all!