Monday, February 29, 2016
This week has been a bit of a trial thanks to the falling through of the two very anticipated baptisms scheduled for this past Saturday. I really don't understand why the baptisms fell through; we have worked hard with these two young men, we've taught the doctrine, and we have taught it all with love... We had a few unsavory lessons with members that don't understand the doctrine, but I try not to think about all of that because I honestly think that God is trying to humble me. I caught myself complaining a lot after the fact and had to repent. My comp and I are still banking on the hope that Kevin and Gustavo will get baptized in the month of May. As for the rest of our investigators, we have found several positive people but we are having a difficult time getting them to church. Sunday is seen as the day of rest here but typically not from a religious standpoint. It is the day in which everyone sleeps in and has fun. One huge challenge that I face here in the mission is the lack of importance the people here put with their commitments... I love them but they lie to me... a lot.
During Divisions I had another little morsel of archeological goodness last Wednesday. We were visiting a recent convert who told us about a buried city right around the corner. After the visit he we made a 30 minute excursion to the site. It was all buried, but I got to see some beautifully carved stones that are really well preserved. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera but one of these p-days my comp and I are going to go see them. What a treat.
Well that's the bit for this week. Thanks to all who love and support me. I would also like to invite all of you to embrace all of the challenges that you may face in life. I can testify that many of them come from your Heavenly Father with nothing more than our benefit in mind. Be thou humble! -Elder Davis
Monday, February 22, 2016
Here in Guatemala time is passing a little quicker than I would like... the weeks feel like days. It stresses me a bit when I realize just how much time I already have in the country. I often find my self criticizing my past efforts and thinking that I haven't given it my all... Yet I am doing what I can to take some of these negative feelings and converting them into positive motivation. Right now I am really motivated and working hard with some of the investigators that we have. We have those two young men scheduled to be baptized this Saturday. We are also working diligently with the family from El Salvador. The youths of the family are all very positive, the parents and grandmother are a little more difficult because they are deeply rooted in Catholic traditions. Although, I am confident in the converting power of the spirit that is with us. This has been a rough week in terms of news. The people here are really stubborn and don't put much importance in our message or invitations. I can't help but sympathize their perspective but it is frustrating none-the-less.
Recently I have developed the controversial habit of asking the people I visit if they have found ancient objects... Its great for gaining the confidence of the people and satisfying my highly starved history crave. I love it for obvious reasons (everyone has stuff!) but also it serves well in showing the people that I am not just some prideful gringo that doesn't care about their culture and only wanting them to be baptized.
Thanks to all that support me through your prayers and letters. The church is true and it is governed by Christ himself. Also, we are all children of God, so... be loving instead of prejudiced. Bendiciones. -Elder Davis
Monday, February 15, 2016
This week has been a week of blessings while my comp and I have been working hard. I am starting to feel a bit more lively as I get back the energy my parasites have been robbing from me. In other words we are getting back to the grind and seeing the fruits of our labors. As of right now we have 2 young men scheduled to be baptized on the 27th and a family that wants to get baptized as well. The family will take a bit of time because they are immigrants and unmarried... its going to be complicated. The two baptismal dates that we have are Kevin(16) and Gustavo(19); both of these young men are very spiritually prepared and ready to make big changes in their lives. Kevin, for example has been attending seminary every weekday at 5 in the morning... good stuff! The aforementioned family is a family of an incredibly dedicated member of the branch here in Pueblo Nuevo, so we are making no delays in getting them married and baptized. Although it will take more than a month, I am confident that they will get baptized.
Elder Retana and I are getting along really well talking with all the people we can. This week with some investigators I took a look at on of the children's textbooks. The pages of the book were numbered in both arabic and Mayan numerals... so I took a few minutes, went through the pages and found out how to use Mayan numerals! Later I taught my comp and we have been having some fun with it. I loved being enveloped in the Mayan culture the way I am.
Thanks for the letters and all of the loving support! The Church is the one and only led by Christ Himself! Keep on. -Elder Davis
Monday, February 8, 2016
Yup You heard right... I went to Takalik Abaj (Insert Indiana Jones theme song)
This week Elder Godinez had transfers and I have received a new companion. My new comp is Elder Retana from Durango, Mexico. I have learned a lot about the grace of God in my life. I have seen that my Heavenly Father keeps blessing me even when I am ungrateful or undeserved. I was not expecting change since I had only been with Elder Godinez one transfer. I was having a bit of a rough time with him because he wasn't wanting to work much due to having little time left in the mission. Needless to say I was being a little ungrateful and wishing for a comp that would be my bro but a dedicated missionary as well. Well... my ingratitude has been answered once again (just like with my mission call) with a blessing. Elder Retana and I get along incredibly well and have a lot of fun while we are sweating our buts off and getting called liars. Even though he has not given any real attention to it, he and i have had a good time talking lots about archeology and history. The only downside is that we are so similar that sometimes we get a little out of hand... yet we do well maintaining the spirit with us and learning all that we can. Good stuff.
We have left several of the investigators that I had with my last comp because they haven't been keeping commitments or they have frankly told us that they aren't interested...#areabook. Yet we have found some very positive new ones and resumed the progression of some old investigators. One of them being a young women named Jackelyn who is 16 years old and knows a ton about the church. As of right now we have cleared up some past doubts and challenged her to read and pray. I have all confidence that she will get dunked here quick. She has even talked with us a lot about serving a mission is she finds that the church is true. So be looking forward to some baptisms in the future and lots of new investigators.
Finally I had the chance to get to some ruins, thanks to some incessant begging on my part... we didn't get to see all of the site or the on-site museum because the entire zone was more interested in the gift shop than the ruins... but I am not complaining because the trip was a great experience and a revitalizing experience for my passion. While I was admiring the ruins and annoying the tour guide I noticed an older-looking gringo walking in the distance. I felt the need to talk to him and it turned out he was an atheist... but an anthropologist as well. I ended walking through the ruins with him and discussing what we were seeing. Naturally I explained to him my aspirations and asked his advise. He gave me some great council and assured me that I am well on my way. God wants desperately that we have true happiness and that we find it pursuing our dreams that were given us before this life. God is our loving Heavenly Father and knows us personally. He sees and realizes everything that we do in every circumstance. The church is True! -Elder Davis
P.S. I was literally running to take all of the photos that I could of the ruins so they didn't turn out that great.
Monday, February 1, 2016
This week was a bit slow due to the parasites that I have... I will tell you right now that sudden bathroom necesities make for a rough time in a place in which nobody has a bathroom to offer. Yet, being the nature loving person I am, I made some good memories in the mosquito infested woods of Guatemala (not). I spent some time in Reu this week having exams done and getting the parasites figured out. The mission nurses will be getting me the meds tomorrow, Supposedly they are getting me some pretty strong stuff. The nurse tells me that I will have tremendous stomach pain... yay. At least I will be getting through with it.
A bit of a bummer this week is that our baptismal date fell through because he moved away... but we are working on sending the referral to the missionaries that cover the area in which he now lives.
The family of Balis is starting to show some promise. The other night we were casually talking when the topic of the temple came up in conversation, we ended up teaching him the Plan of Salvation and wrecking some of his biblical understanding. He was caught off guard by scriptures concerning the spirit world and vicarious ordinances... he was a little embarrassed since he is proud of his biblical knowledge, but he is now interested again and has committed to read the Book of Mormon.
This week we are still going to be looking for lots of new contacts and getting baptismal dates. Thanks for all of the loving support and prayers. The church is true. -Elder Davis