A visit from some investigators from Samaya (my last area)
Familiares, amigos, conocidos y quienquiera que este leyendo...
This week flew by leaving some rewarding memories and lessons learned. My first Christmas in Guatemala wasn't too crazy exciting but I got to see a lot of fireworks eat a bunch of tomales and hear all the evangelicals rant about how Santa Claus and the Christmas tree are idols...
To celebrate the navidad as a a zone we picked up trash in the central park of San Felipe. We had a great time and packed out a ton of garbage... and not one person said thanks, but it was very satisfying, whereas the parks are beautiful, just abused. Afterwords we had a gift exchange in which I received a box of cookies,,,, yeah!!! By chance, I had to buy for a sister from Honduras; I bought her a pair of earings that I am pretty sure she didn't like, but I tried. I couldn't find a place to buy wrapping paper in our area so I put the gift in a tortilla chips bag just for good show. Afterwords, as you can imagine, I had the opportunity to skype the family and get a little homesick. Other than a few hang ups with the interent I had a great time seing the family again.The night before my comp and I ate tomales with a family of members and watched their kids play with fireworks... almost all of which are illegal in the states and extremely dangerous.
As for our investigators, Ester and her 2 daughters (Luz and Maritza) are getting baptized the 9th of January, my birthday! Ester took a little convincing whereas she has already been baptized, yet with a thorough review of the restortation she accepted the date. I absolutely love this family, they are incredibly loving and humble. The children as well are very well behaved, mature, and a lot of fun. I am highly impressed with this young mother and that she is able to do in spite of her conditions, as well with her very responsible children. Very excited to baptize them. Working with this this family has been a spiritual experience, because through them we have met various other people, family or friends, that are ready to accept the gospel as well... so stay tuned, because I have faith that good things are going to happen with those aformentioned persons in the near future.
Another man named Elmer has been responding very positively to the discussions, but we found him incredibly drunk the other night... yet I don't give up on the cases like this whereas I have met many faithful members that had previously been curb-side drunks.
This last week was difficult because everyone was busy or out of town, so the majority of our new investigators we were unable to contact. Yet we really threw-down with less actives. Once we are in the new year the will begin to really pick up, and hopefully my comp will get out of his motivational gutter... he admitted to me today that he is having the hardest time he has had in the mission right now due to the lack of success in his district and the fact that president has taken a personal notice.
I almost wish peole would stop telling me about all of the archeological stuff going on around me, I guess that they have been finding some stuff around San Felipe... I am really learning how to control my passions out here.
Well, I love you all to death and wish you all a happy new year! -Elder Davis
I am going to be completely honest... I thought a lot about Star Wars this week... wow, I am really excited to see that movie when I get home! I even had a nightmare that the movie was horrible, starring a morbidly obese Mark Hamill... Yet now that I hear that it was really good I am at peace, more or less.
Now that that's out of the way... Alrighty, this week was a bit frustrating. My new area, Pueblo Nuevo, is also called the land of faith because it is infamous for yeilding little success... but also the occassional miracle. It is difficult bercause it is loaded with different churches and pastores bent on wrecking any progress we make. Although, I am still very excited to work here and see if I can't make some miracles happen. The hard part is my comp has been here one transfer already and a little burnt out because he hasn't had a baptism here. When I arrived he only had 3 investigators. It is difficult whereas he is DL, so his comp has to really take charge of the area and his last comp from what I understand just spent time with members when he did divisions. I am going to start having my first divisions here this week, we are going to throw down!!!
This last week we found a very positive family. The family comprises of a single mother named Ester and her 7 children. Ester is 31 and her husband recently died in a motor accident, thus she is left to care for all of those kids and can't work much because she has two brand new twins. As you can probably imagine they are incredibly poor and live with her parents in a house made of corrugated metal smaller than the music room back home... about 15 people in total live in the house. The major bread-winners of the family are the father and several of his grandkids. Those kids work 12 hour days harvesting coffee the oldest of them just turned 14, and the youngest is 7. Yet in spite of all of this they came to church on their own accord the Sunday before last and really liked it all. This Sunday they weren't able to attend unfortunately, but I believe that they are going to get baptized. I am just a bit nervous to teach the Law of Tithing...
We have other investigators as well ,but they are not progressing much, there is one that I really feel like we can baptize but we keep finding him drunk... it's rough
This Sunday was fun because I had to give a 15 minute talk, teach a class, and sing in the branch choir... yet I wasn't very nervous and the members said that my Spanish was perfect other than 4 words that were poorly pronounced! I feel that I am finally getting really good with my Spanish, more than anything I need vocabulary. Sometimes its hard to know if words are slang or not when I learn them, whereas most of my learning is done speaking and listening. I have accidentally said some rather offensive words without realizing, luckily the people are sympathetic... usually.
Here in the field I have learned a TON about gratitude, I would challenge you all to reevaluate your conditions when thinking to complain, lament, or cry out "why me." I testify to all of you that have access to my emails that you are in reality extremely blessed and privileged. I am not saying that your lives are incredibly easy. I understand that you are all facing challenges of a different nature, yet I also know that every trial faced with faith and gratitude is conquered on the shoulders of angels. I love you all and I wish you all a merry Christmas! While you are celebrating, opening presents, and spending time with love ones... I will be eating a tamale, Be very, VERY jealous... Elder Davis
Yup you heard correct, I had transfers again. Leaving Samayac was pretty rough, really rough... I love the investigators and members that we were working with there, it seems like president pulls me out of my areas just as we start having lots of success. I may not speak perfect Spanish or be the smartest missionary out here but I really think I've got the love part down. I genuinely love this country and its inhabitants. It was very hard to leave the people of Samayac, and several of them broke into tears when I left... I was glad that I wasn't the only one.
I am now in a small town in the foothills of the mountains called Pueblo Nuevo, Suchitepequez. The area is beautiful with some great sights and a giant smoking volcanoe not to far off in the distance. The climate is also extremely agreeable, I sleep like a baby at night... I am here with an elder named Elder Godinez, from Honduras. So far we get along really well, and are working hard. I am very excited, because he is district leader, meaning that I will pretty much be managing the area whereas he will be doing lots of divisions outside of the area. He says that if I do well this change he will recomend that I train. I really like the idea of working with a new elder that has a completely mold-able mind and that has yet to develop bad habits.
I don't have a lot to say about investigators because I am still new, but there weren't a ton when I arrived. I guess the work has been realatively slow here and the branch of 30 active members is passing over a rough patch. The president is really blunt and machetes the members openly, thus some have left the church and obviously everybody wants him out, but there isn't anybody qualified to replace him. Yet the members that have remained faithful are really hard-working and are helping us out a lot. The members here are also really good about feeding us. Since I have arrived we have found 12 positive people, 3 of which have already accepted that they need to be baptized, so we will be working with them a lot. I love contacting in the mission, and it is interesting how the spirit guides you without realizing.
Well a rather dull letter. I love you guys and I love this gospel, I am working hard and improving all of the time. The church is true! -Elder Davis
We have transfers coming up again Wednesday! I have mixed feelings because things in my area are really starting to gain momentum and I love the people here, but a new area is always interesting. When I say that the area is gaining momentum I am referring to the members. We have two really hardworking families that are finally starting to help us out. On Friday they just loaded us with references, and really positive ones too! Then, on Sunday a family brought a family of 5 to church with them that wants to investigate the truth. Thanks to that same family, we are baptizing a 23 year old girl named Irma in two weeks. Not to mention that one of the family of references really likes us and makes us absolutely delicious food... even seafood! After everything it will be really hard to leave the members and investigators I love just as things are getting good.
My comp hopes that I have transfers, things started out really good between us but now I think he kind of hates me. I got on him pretty hard the other day for making extremely inappropriate jokes with some nonmember youths the other day. He got so mad that he started chucking food all over the kitchen. He hasn't wanted speak to me much since it happened three days ago. Yet, after all, our reputation is extremely important. For that reason Samayac is a bit of a difficult area, it has suffered a lot at the hands of disobedient and stupid boys wearing name tags.
Every week I find out about more ruins and historical sites in our zone, yet nobody wants to visit them on p-days. There is a little free museum in our area with a bunch of stuff that has been found in the archeological site near Choculah (within my area). We really could go to the site and the museum but my comp doesn't want to, its kind of torturing me... as you can imagine if you really know me. Yet I went nuts contacting the other day because I found an arrowhead while walking a dirt path outside of town... I think the Lord knew I needed a pick me up, and did it in the coolest way!
Well, that's the news, not too much happened, but it was a good week. My health is starting to look pretty good and my testimony is feeling stronger than ever. I'm learning new things all of the time and improving all around. The church is true and all the truly good things in life are possible because a Savior has been born. Feliz Navidad! -Elder Davis