Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2014-12-15: A hectic 3 weeks


12/03/14
Well I’m sorry that I am only writing you today.  Our P-day was moved because we went to the temple.

Guess where I am at now?  You cannot believe it!  I came back to Alameda, Zone Alameda Paraiso 2.  It is the same area I was in 8 months ago (was only there for 2 weeks though), the same house, the same ward, the same members.  What?  Is this for real?... haha.  When I heard that, my heart just dropped and I was kinda salty.  I was thinking before changes, "I am okay going anywhere, except for Alameda", and the Lord saw fit to send me back.  There must be a reason why I have to come back here.

I am training again.  My companion is named Elder R from Honduras.  The elders that were here before us were both going home so they did not find or leave much for us to work with.  So this past week was just finding investigators to teach.  It was hard to change areas, and especially to come back to Alameda, but we found a few promising people.  The second time back here was a little better, I can feel that I have matured and am able to change since the first time I was here.  After leaving Palencia I was basically in depression.  But the members are great!  The first few days they all said "Have I met you before?"  Haha yeah I was here a while back but only for 2 weeks.  

All in all, it’s a good week.  I can see the difference how the days go by, and how the work moves forward if we are working hard.  I am also the District Leader.  The missionaries are great and I really like being a DL.  I get to help other missionaries with their areas, and difficulties. 

Well, have a good week.  Nothing much to say.
I love you guys... back to the concrete jungle!  Have fun, and talk to you next week!

Elder R.

12/08/14
Hey there!  This past week was kind of hectic and full of stuff. On Monday and Tuesday we worked the usual routine.  Then on Wednesday we went to Zone 15 to assist in the Temple.  It was good and we had a lot of fun as a zone.  When we were there, the lights went out halfway through and so we were sitting there until they got it up running again. 

It feels weird being one of the older missionary in the zone.  Not in age but time in the mission.  I see all these new missionaries coming in and it reminded me that I was like them a few months ago, new and learning how things work in the mission.  I feel privileged to be able to help other missionaries on their journey in the mission. 

My district is doing good.  We put a goal to find 18 new investigators this week for each area, and we all found 18 and more.  It is very good.

I am adjusting well and loving the area.  The members are super cool and loving.  I’m very happy how things are turning out here.  Everything is just going well.

We had interviews with president, his wife, and the assistants this past Friday.  It is always refreshing to see them.  I feel like each of my presidents have different attributes and ways of running things, and I am just loving the mission right now.


Right now we are finding and trying to get the cycle rolling.  It is like an electric elevator and escalator.  We find people to teach, focus on them, and then they either get baptized or some just seem to be not interested to listen so we go back to the cycle of finding new people to teach.  But we have been trying to work on an escalator approach where we are constantly finding, and helping those that we find to reach the top. 

This past week it has been really foggy.  Sometimes you can’t even see 25 yards in front of you especially in the morning.

This week, I was reading Lehi’s dream in 1 Nephi chapter 8.  It talks about the mists of darkness, temptation, etc.  And so I was thinking about the mists of darkness that Lehi saw.  If we think about it, a mist can enter everywhere.  It can enter under the doors, in the windows, and can even enter in through the smallest cracks.  It can enter in our lungs and body when we breathe it in.  Well, Satan is like the mists, that if we are not careful, we can easily let him in our houses, and our being.  Satan is always ready to temp us or lure us into bad things.  Then if we let Satan in, the room to fall is everywhere.  But it is up to us to be strong and not follow or let the mist (Satan) get to us.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is our spiritual Gas masks.  The gas mask filters the mist to help us remain strong and healthy.  The gas mask help us to not give in to Satan’s temptations.

I reread the talk by Ballard about the boat, life vest, and holding on, and I know that that is true.  I am grateful for the gospel and the opportunity to be on a mission.  I am so happy.

Have a good week, I love you guys!  Stay strong, and use your Gas mask! :)

12/15/14
Wow, sounds like you had a really great week. 

This past week was great and we got a lot of work done. We are working our hardest here trying to get things up and running.  Our hard work paid off!  We reported numbers that I have not reported in a long time.  We had 24 lessons with members, 18 new investigators, and a baptism!  (I forgot to bring the memory from the camera, so you will have to wait until next week for the pictures)

The baptism was this past Saturday for a guy named JP.  He is 15 years old and we found him the first week I was here in the area.  He has a really broken family, and grew up all his life without a father.  His mom and the rest of the family are alcoholics, but he has a cousin that is a member.  He really have great desire to change and he wants to be the example for his family.  The baptismal service was really great and spiritual.  The family assisted and they told us they wanted us to stop by this week, so we will see how that goes.

I feel really satisfied.  I don't know why, but I am at peace right now.  The mission is so amazing and I love every bit of it.  I continue to grow and learn everyday.  I get satisfaction knowing that we get to help a lot of people all the time.

Yesterday we were working and not really having success.  We put the goal of 5 new baptismal dates with the investigators for the week, and we had only 4.  It was already getting dark, and so we were scrambling to make the goal.  We sat and thought, and we decided to go visit an investigator that was not progressing, smokes and has a whole bunch of problems.  We got to his house, and when he opened the door, he had a huge scab on the side of his face.  Come to find out he was beaten up, and robbed.  So we start teaching, and had a really spiritual lesson.  We told him if he wants change and to come closer to God he needed to be baptized.  And he accepted.  I love this work and I know that there are people, brothers and sisters of ours waiting and ready for this message.

Christmas is coming and everyone is busy preparing.  There are lights outs and I can hardly believe that about a year ago, I was fresh out of the box as a missionary.

Haha Elijah is using my jersey, sleeve, bat... haha just kidding, you look good Elijah.  (I can't believe that helmet still fits you...) and First chair! You must be pretty good :)   I have a photo in a Santa suit too... I just forgot the camera today.  I will send it next week.

Well I love you guys, have a great week!

Monday, November 24, 2014

2014-11-24 Blessed to Work in la Leyenda


Hey guys another week down and I am getting transferred from La Leyenda!

This past week has been kind of slow and sad because I felt it coming from the start.  But we visited and helped those that needed the visits.  Yesterday I started saying goodbye and today we are going to go back to the area and finish up.  I loved this area.  I loved every moment and day that I spent here.  I may have a transfer, but I will never forget the memories and moments that I have had here.  I feel so privileged to be able to work here in this part of the Lord's vineyard.  I feel satisfied to have been able to help others on their path back to our Heavenly Father.

The father of the familia O gave me a gift, a book.  He knows and understands how to read English, and so he collects books in English.  He gave me the book "The five people you meet in heaven"  I remember reading the book a few years back and one of the messages that I remember that stuck out to me in this book, is the message that all of us are connected.  There are no mistakes, and that a small touch or ripple in someone's life can extend into the eternities.  I have enjoyed my time here, and I hope I have been able to make at least a small ripple in the people that I have met here.

Les quiero mucho, y espero que tengan una buena semana!  Muchas veces pienso en el tiempo, y cuan rapido es.  Hace un año, yo solo tenia 3 meses aqui en Guatemala, ahora tengo 15.  Pues, sean feliz, hagan sus oraciones, y les quiero!

Translation: I love them, and hope you have a good week ! I often think the time, and how fast it is. A year ago, I was only three months here in Guatemala , now I have 15. So, be happy, do your prayers and I love them!

Monday, November 17, 2014

2014-11-10 & 17: The gospel of Jesus Christ does change lives



11/17/14
Another week down here in the mission and it is week six of the change... I feel like I am getting changed next week.  I am 99% certain that I will get changed.

I have been working this past week like a dog trying not to leave any regrets, but I have this sadness starting to build up thinking about leaving.  Nevertheless we had a good week.  We are trying to work more with the members and trying to get them excited and more involved in the work.  I realized that I am going.  It’s going to be hard to leave this area.  The elders will only be here for a short amount of time, and in order for the change and progress you made with someone in the area to continue, the ward and members need to pick it up and there should be a smooth handoff.

One of the things that was a highlight of my week was doing divisions with our Elder P.  We worked together and got a lot of work done and I learned a lot.

We were walking to a visit and I felt like we should change plans and go visit N.  We had not visited her for a week because we just wanted to give her a break to think about things because she was not progressing.  We started and we taught about the Book of Mormon.  I asked her if she really felt like she was doing her part in reading the book to get an answer and she said no, but we challenged her to read.  We asked her in what way did she expect to receive her answer and she said a dream.  So we said okay and left.  The next day we passed to see if she was going to be able to go to church with us.  She said no, but she said that she had a dream.  Haha we got all excited. She said, she didn't understand what it meant.

She said she dreamed about me.  That I was walking alone, dressed all in white from head to toe, down an endless highway, with darkness on both sides of the highway, and that I was carrying the Bible and Book of Mormon in my hands.   She said in the dream she was calling out to me but I did not turn to look where the voice was coming from or did not respond to her at all. 

I am still thinking about her dream.  What do you think is the meaning of her dream?  I was thinking about Lehi's dream.  Maybe we need to share that with her on the next visit.

I had a good week!  I love you guys and until next Monday, have fun!



11/10/14
Hi guys, I am really enjoying my time here in the mission.  Sometimes I just wake up and I can't even remember all the people that we talk to or all the lessons we teach.

We are teaching a whole bunch of people and some of the highlights of my week was teaching family members of the Familia O.  Before the baptism of E, other people in the family did not have any interest in what we do or didn't really want to get involve.  But now we have a baptismal goal for the 22nd with 2 of her cousins and her sister. Even the sister's boyfriend now wants to get married and baptized soon.

Every Wednesday we have an activity in the church called "Mormon night" and the members invite and bring family members, investigators etc. and we share a message, play games, and have a snack.  These people are really enjoying it and they said that they are ready to change.  The messages that we share are inspiring them to make the right choices.  They want more commitment than just living together.  I’m just so excited for them.  The best thing about missionary work is that I get to see people change.  The gospel of Jesus Christ does change lives.

Another highlight of my week was a bonfire we had Sunday night with the Familia O.  We made s'mores and just talked story and just had a good time.  I introduced them to making s'mores. I showed them how to make them.  I couldn't find graham crackers and Hershey’s chocolate is expensive so we bought cookies with chocolate on them.  It went great.  All in all a great week.

Love you guys and have fun!  I am so happy that coach got sealed!
 Love those s'mores

My buddy!

Oh shots!
Sister Medina giving me Shots!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2014-11-3 Hey guys! Another week down here in Guatemala.


Hey guys! Another week down here in Guatemala. 

This past week was hectic and packed with stuff so I am just going to summarize it.  Wednesday we had a zone meeting and worked like normal preparing for the zone conference with Presidente and the assistents.  On Friday we had the zone conference.  We started at 9 in the morning and finished at about 4.  It was really good, and we learn a ton of stuff in zone conferences. 

One of the things that we talked about in the zone conference is having more meaningful prayers.  How are you all on your prayers?  Hna. Crapo has been focusing on having more meaningful prayer and she said that a lot of times we fall into the habit of waking up in the morning, rolling off our beds, and sprawl out and say the prayer half awake.  Or in the night go to bed and say our prayers lying down. 

She said we need to show more interest and action in what we are doing when we are praying. When we pray, we are talking to our Father in heaven!   She wanted us to have more meaningful prayers.  So right there in the meeting, she wanted us to say our personal prayers out loud and to focus on what we are thinking.  Giving thanks to our Heavenly Father rather than always asking for things.

These past few days I have been trying to put that into practice and I feel like I get more out of my prayers.  I get up, jump rope and wake myself up for a minute or 2 then say the prayer.  

This past Saturday and Sunday were the celebrations of the dead here and Guatemala’s Giant kite festival.  On Saturday we woke up studied, etc.  Then we went down to the cemetery to visit and see their celebrations.  There were a whole bunch of people, and the cemetery in my area has one street that leads to it, and it was just packed full of vendors selling food, toys, kites, etc. 

Family O was selling papas fritas so we hung out with them for a while and just took in the sites.  Everyone that lives in our area came down and decorated the graves, flied kites and just spent the day there.  The streets were empty except for the street of the cemetery. 

All in all good day, I love this area, the people, and the culture. Haha I am enjoying myself so much here!

Well, have a good week, and have fun! Say your prayers!

Monday, October 27, 2014

2014-10-27 Just Like Home.


I am glad that C was able to enter the temple.  This is a great start and he is going great.  Yeah I got the pictures for the one year mark, and thank you.  Well this week went great and it was a good week.  We worked hard like normal and found some new people to teach.

We are going great and I see growth in my companion as well as myself.  Everyday I am glad and thankful for the opportunity that I have to be here in the mission, and training Elder A.

Haha everyone is so used to me being here they all tell me to just buy a house and a piece of land and just live here.  I love the ward.  All in all, it’s a normal, good week.

Sorry I don’t have much to share with you this week but just know that I love you guys and take care!

My companion and me.
We went swimming.  Just joking… it was raining and an old abandoned house fills up with water so we jumped in and the water is like a waterfall when we unplug a spout.

Everyone says Hawaii here "Hawaaay.”  I can move the flower to the right side when I get home.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

2014-10-13 & 20 Working Hard in La Leyenda


10/13/14

Well, the DL called us last night and he told us that none of us had changes.   So I will be staying here in the area to finish training Elder Armijo.  That makes 7 1/2 months in this area at the end of this change that is coming up.  I feel good and happy to be staying, but we need to work even harder and to find the people that want to be taught.  I feel like I have sifted the sand to find, but I have to go back and sift even more.  

This past week went well, and we worked hard and taught lessons.  So we are teaching this woman named N.  She belongs to Evangelical church and we were teaching her and was progressing.  Unfortunately, this past Saturday while visiting her, she just told us no thank you and that she did not want us to come by anymore.  We were surprised and we asked her why and she told us that her pastor told her something that only she and God knew.  So that was her answer.  We tried to explain and listened to her problem, but she did not want to accept, so I just said, "tonight we are going to go to your church".  My comp bugs out on me and is just staring at me with huge eyes.
So we find out what time it starts and leave.  My companion turns to me and says are you crazy!  Haha!  

So at 7 that night we got ready to go to her church, and as we are walking up to the church all you hear is loud noise and screaming and yelling.   We entered the church and the pastor is yelling in a microphone and everyone is screaming, etc.  Then after the yelling, they sing for a while, he passes the microphone to his wife a "woman prophet" and she starts screaming.  And so we sat there for 20 minutes of screaming and then we leave.

This week we are going back to visit N and see how we can help her hopefully she will still listen to us.

All in all it was a good week.  We will not give up, we are going to keep working hard! I love you guys!

10/20/14

Hey guys well another week down in the mission and it was normal.  Nothing big happened this week.  Today we had a soccer tournament in the church with the ward, and so that was good.  We played under the sun for 6 plus hours so I am dead beat tired.  The work is going great and we are getting things done here in La Leyenda.  My comp and I are doing great and some of the investigators that we are teaching are progressing really well.

I was reading this past week in the Book of Mormon and the New Testament, and I came across a cool verse in 2nd Corinthians 6:12-14.  It talks about the only thing that limits us is our own hearts.  I was really pondering about that and it is true.  Many times in the mission or in life, you get caught up in things and what happens that your heart changes, and sometimes for the bad.  But if we can control the mind and the heart we all can be unstoppable.  We will accomplish things that we want and be better every day.

Well all in all great week.  I love you guys.  Have fun!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014-09-29 All is Well Here in Zion




Hey guys, well all is well here in zion... haha everything is going great and we are getting work done.  This past week was kinda bad because we had so much activities and stuff to do.  On Tuesday we went to the temple as a zone and did a session, and on Thursday we had interviews with president Crapo.  Everything went well and I really like President and Hermana Crapo.  It is always different from President and Hermana Watts, but It is good nonetheless.  I am really enjoying my time with my comp. because I can see growth in him as well as myself.  We test and help each other learn and in the lessons we do well together.  For example last night we entered the house at 9, gave the weekly information to the District leader and planned until 930.  From 930 we were just talking about deep doctrine in our room, looking up scriptures together and explaining things that he had questions about.  Haha we were so wrapped up in the books and the conversation, that we looked at the time and it was 1130 at night by the time we finished talking.  It is good though.

This coming week we plan on having a baptism on Sunday before General Conference starts.  I am pretty excited to be able to listen to General Conference again... seems like just yesterday that I was in Alameda 6 months ago listening to it. Time just flies.  When I think about it, the mission is so short, and we have to enjoy and work every minute that we can.  We only get out as much as we put in.  I finished the Book of Mormon for the 4th time in the mission yesterday, and as I sat there thinking about it, I thought about the word Legacy.  What we do now, how we act, will all leave an imprint on our legacy.  We need to live each moment chasing our legacy so that our children, and our grandchildren, and all the people that we meet in life will have only good things to say about me when I am dead and gone.  

Well, have a good week! have fun and be safe, I love you guys!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

2014-09-23 Email: Continuing to Work Hard



09/15/14

Another week down here in the mission and time just keeps going so fast... but this past week was great.  We worked really hard and have been finding people to teach.  This coming week we are preparing for 2 baptisms of G and D.  So hopefully those do not fall through.

I love my time with my companion.  He is learning still and it was funny because on Tuesday he tried to teach the whole lesson by himself instead of both of us taking turns.  He said "my comp and I in the CCM had so much success" so after the visit I told him, "okay I will follow your lead for the day and show me what you learned in the CCM".  So we walked around for 2 hours doing nothing.  And so I finally said "are you ready to learn?”, and then we started to work as a team.  It is all good.  Sometimes instead of contending you just have to swallow your pride and let the other person learn on their own.  

These last two weeks I have really been trying to be the role model that I need to be.  I know that example is the key and that I have to set the standard for the companionship.

Funny story though... we were contacting, and we went down this street and there was a kid sweeping in the front of his house.  I contacted him and asked if we could talk to his parents.  So his dad lets us in and starts talking sooo much.  Come to find out that he is a witch doctor.  He told us that 30 years ago, he apparently died and was dead for 11 days.  He said he went to hell and was tortured by a lobster with 4 feet and he made a contract with Satan.  He said that he knows how to do black magic, white magic, red magic, etc.  He also said that he knows how to cast out demons.  So we just sat there and just listened.  When he was talking about how he was tortured by a four legged lobster I was just laughing inside.  He told us we need to work together because the forces of the Mormons and his black magic can repel the forces of evil... haha oh well.  Crazy stuff happens every day.

I am enjoying my time here and I will continue to work hard.  I love you guys and have a good week!


09/23/14

Hey guys another week down here in La Leyenda.  This past week was hectic but really good.  We got a lot of work done.  We had 2 baptisms this past week for D and G.  D is the daughter of D.  After J’s baptism, she started coming to church more often and soon after told us that she wanted to be baptized.  G is the daughter of R.  R is trying to bring her daughters to come live with her because she is separated from her husband for some problems.  So G was the first of the daughters to come live with her.  We started teaching her a few weeks ago and she decided to get baptized.  They are both really great and it is really satisfying to me to see the progress and the way the gospel changes and blesses families and their lives.

This past week one of the problems that we have been facing is finding more people to teach.  Haha this area is pretty small and it seems like I have talked to all the people here, and everyone knows me.  As I walk in the street with my companion, all the little kids call out "Chino!" because supposedly I look Chinese or Asian because of my eyes.  But it is all good.  Finding new people to teach is like the lifeblood of the work.  If we stop or cannot find, the success gets cut because without people to teach, or without that blood flow, we cannot progress. 
I guess you could apply that in life too, for example, if we do not study or we stop studying, our knowledge and growth stops.  And in life, we need to know the basics before we can progress to a higher level.  We cannot expect to know 4 plus 4 if we do not know 1 plus 1 first.

All in all great week! I am enjoying it here and I hope you all have a good week! Love you guys!
 
 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2014-09-08 Email: I Love Being a Missionary!


Hey guys, how is everything?  This week went super and I am having a lot of fun!  My new companion and my son is Elder A from Honduras.  On Tuesday, we went to changes to receive my companion.  He entered the field on Tuesday and he is really good.   He is kind of timid and I am trying to change that, and was a little unsure about me the first day, we went out to work like normal.  He is really great, knows the doctrine, and is obedient.  He likes to work and we are able to get good things done here in the area.  Just small course adjustments in his teaching and habits and he will be a great missionary.  Haha one of the first things he said when he walked into the house for the first time was "this house is dirty!"  Haha and I thought it was clean enough.  We spent 3 hours cleaning the house a day before he came and that was not enough and we need to clean more.  We just don’t have time to clean the house. So this whole week he was complaining about the house, and about how much walking we did.

This past week we taught a lot people.  I am enjoying my work and training my son.  I am getting better and growing immensely.  I have been trying to work harder, trying to feel and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost even more.  We have had powerful lessons this past week and we are hoping to have some baptisms this month.  One of the lessons that we had was with a guy that didn't believe in God.  We found him 2 weeks ago and he did not have a belief in God or anything.  We are seeing a lot of progress with him and he is starting to accept and practice the things we are teaching him.  We shared with him the story of King Lamoni and how he wanted to know God and how he seek out to know the truth.  Our investigator is listening to our lessons and is experimenting on our words and he is doing well and is progressing.

I love being a missionary.  Sorry, I don’t have much to say.  This week went by really fast and I can’t remember much but just working our best here.  Have fun and I love you all!
Ice Cream Anyone?

2014-09-01 Email: Great Responsibility Coming With a New Missionary.


Hey guys another week down here in beautiful Guatemala!  We just received the changes last night.  Seems like my companion is leaving the area and going somewhere else.
I am going to be giving birth to my first son tomorrow!  That means, I am going to be training a greenie and I will receive him tomorrow at changes.  I feel kind of overwhelmed.   I am going to be able to shape and help another missionary for the rest of his mission.  But it is all good.  I know that the changes are inspired from God.  And that who ever my companion will be, and where I am serving, is the will of the Lord.  I hope and pray that I will be able to do well, and do some good with my kid.  I was surprised because I thought that I would be going.   Most of the members thought that I was leaving the area... but I guess not.  I have to work hard and throw fire here!
Yesterday, we had another baptism for R, a 43 years old lady.  Elder Moss and I found her near the end of the last change, and she is another person that was just prepared to change and hear the gospel.  When we contacted her she had just moved from the coast to our area, and she just split up with her husband because he abused her and her daughters, and cheated on her.  We were able to see a great change of heart.  At the beginning, she doubted God and Jesus Christ because she felt like they let her down.  She said that she could not change and would not change because of what was going on in her life and did want to accept the gospel.
But we struggled and worked with her this whole month, we encouraged her to pray for help and answer.   Then one day she did.  She told us that she received her answer and that one night when she was laying in her bed praying she had an overwhelming feeling that she knew our message and the church was true and that to be baptized was the right thing to do.  So she has been coming to church.  This past Sunday she came to stake conference, and after we had a little meeting, we just helped her to know that she was ready, and we testified that today was the day of her salvation, and a time to change.  She accepted at 2pm and was baptized at 7pm.  It was so great to see the change of heart and I am super happy.
I thank God everyday for the opportunity to be here in the mission, to help others change, and see change in myself and in my testimony.  I love the gospel and I love it here.
Have a great week!  I love you guys and I will talk to you next week!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2014-08-25: Determined to Work Harder



Well this week went by great.  I hit a year so that sucked, but we are continuing to work hard here.  The week went by so fast.  It seems to me that I wake up and next thing I know, I am getting ready to go back to bed.  This Thursday we had a meeting with a 70 and counselor in the area presidency named Elder Jose Alonso.  It was a really good conference and there were 4 zones there to listen and learn.  He taught a lot of things and a lot of the conference was about obedience.    

The other half of the conference was techniques and things that could help the work move faster. We have been applying the teachings that we learned.  So far, people are more willing to listen and we have stepped up our game on catching their interest.

One of the things I learned this week is diligence.  That even though we are working hard and getting things done, there are always other things we can do to be better and more diligent in the work. 

This past Saturday we had a baptism for M.  He is a great guy and I am glad that I was able to meet and teach him.  He is one of those people that were prepared to hear the gospel.  He said that the elders were trying to teach him 5 or 6 years ago but his wife was not interested at all.  But now he was ready to take the step.  The baptism went great and a member of the bishopric baptized him.

I am really enjoying the work here.  People are progressing and the work is going really well but sometimes Satan has a way to stop the work and spoil the things that are going well.  But I am determined to work harder and be better each day.

Have a good week and I love you guys!

Monday, August 18, 2014

2014-08-18 Time Just Goes So Fast!


Another week down in the mission and time just goes so fast.  I make a year this week... I can't believe that.  Haha it seems just like yesterday that I walked off the plane in the airport.  Now that I have a year, I look back and this has been the best one-year of my life.  I have never felt better than I do now, and I have never felt more satisfied than ever.  But I never thought I would be at this point.  Sometimes I sit in lessons and think "how am I doing this, sitting here teaching people that I don't even know, in a different language, and telling them to change their lives?"  haha The mission helps you grow so much! It helps you mature and learn how to live in the right way.  I hope the second year goes even better.

This past Saturday we had the baptism for G.  She was baptized by her husband J that was baptized 2 weeks ago.  It was a great experience.  It was a fight to get them baptized, and they as well as I never thought that this moment would come.  She went from a person completely opposed to the thought of us, to someone that is now looking for a calling in church and participates in all the activities.  They are such a great family.  They have goals to enter the temple one year from now, and I hope that they will be able to accomplish it.  Haha I can't stop saying how happy I am.

The rest of the week went well, and we are scrambling and just working our brains out.  I am grateful to be here in the mission because I get to see lives change and the gospel help others.  We meet so many people here that are having so much problems and troubles in their life, and it is cool because they trust a 19 year old with their problems and look for council in us.  We have another baptism lined up for a man of 64 years old named M.  His wife died 4 years ago and he is super ready and excited to take the step.  The plan of salvation caught his attention, and he has been listening for about 3 weeks now.  It is funny because last week we gave him a BOM and he sat there reading.  We went to his house for a visit on Saturday and he is already in 2nd Nephi 21 haha.  he reads more than the members... but all in all a good week. 

I love you guys, and take care!


 THE BEST fried chicken and french fries in Guatemala!!!



 

Monday, August 11, 2014

2014-08-11: Working Hard and Enjoying the Work.


Hey guys, another week down here in Guatemala.  This past week was a little slower than the last two, but we are still throwing fire.  Update on J is that this past Sunday he got the priesthood and we set everything up so that this coming Saturday, the 16th J will get to baptize his wife.  At first she was super negative about the church and stuff, and she would go to church with J but only for the first hour and storm off back to their house... but we asked her why did you change your mind.  And she said that in the sacrament meeting when J got the Gift of the Holy Ghost, she just felt peace, joy and a warmth.  And she says that she heard a voice that said "be baptized." and so on Tuesday when we went to their house she just said "when can I be baptized?" and so she is set up for this coming week.  It is interesting to see what the gospel does to you... J is a completely changed person, the family says that life in the house is 100% better, and that he acts more like the husband and brother that he should be.  He left with us 2 times this past week for visits THE WHOLE DAY! haha I love that guy.  

We also have another baptism lined up for the 23th for a guy named M that is 64 years old and is going really well.  I was laughing so hard and both our jaws dropped.  Because we gave him the Book of Mormon this past Tuesday, and when we returned for another visit on Thursday he was halfway through first Nefi.  It is so hard to get people to read a book other than the bible here, but he is going strong.  Gave up coffee, and once we explained the sabbath, he doesn't buy or break it in any way... everything is going well here.  

My comp. is kind of like a wildfire, and I have to contain it.  The fire is like a virus that if you give an inch of room he will consume that inch and fight for more.  I am working him like a mule.  He has a blister on his right foot that is about 3 inches in diameter on the ball of the foot. haha he was whining and complaining about walking so much and so fast, and he screamed when he got in the shower this morning because it burned.

All in all, All is well.  I love you guys, keep up the good work, take care and I love all of you!

Yeah I heard about the hurricane.  all the people here heard about it too because it was in their newspapers, and they were all asking how things would be, or if Hawaii was gonna be destroyed.  

Love you guys.  Take care.

Found a friend.
I still can't convince them to let us get around on one of these.

Monday, August 4, 2014

2014-08-04: By the Grace of God He Takes Care of Us


Hey guys, I hope everything went well this past week for all of you!  Well J got baptized the 2nd of August.  He did not go to church the week before the baptism so we decided to do a do or die lesson with him.  We went to his house on Wednesday, and just talked.  We asked him how he felt and if he felt like he was ready or willing to take the step.  He said No right off the bat and it seemed like it would be a no for sure.  My comp. bore his testimony, then I bore my testimony, and as I was sitting there talking, I was feeling SUPER sad.  Haha I care for that guy so much.  But he looked up after a few seconds of silence and said "I don't feel ready for baptism because I have hate in my heart." There is a family in the ward, and they had a son that hung out with J all his life.  They were the best of buds, and he and J would just do everything together, including decisions. He was gunned down in front of his house 6 months ago 2 houses up the street from J's house.  Since then J would go out and look for the guys that did it and everything changed, because he lost his best friend.

We all sat there in silence for a while, and D, J's brother spoke up and bore his testimony.  He said he too had to overcome hate.  He told a story about how someone beat up and almost killed his older brother.  D carried his brother home and pulled out the shotgun he kept under his bed.  He set out and searched the whole night for the guy.  He found him at about 11 at night in his house.  The guy turned out to be an old friend of D.  D said, "I put the shotgun to his forehead, and said today you die".  But just as he was about to pull the trigger, he felt a hand on his hand and a voice tell him "No".  D bore his testimony of the church and how the Holy Ghost has helped him and been the best decision he has ever made in his life.  That he had been saved from so many situations because of the love God has for him.  

J sat there and turned to us and said, "I want to be baptized".  We had the service Saturday and the confirmation Sunday.  I baptized him, and I swear and I testify that there is no sweeter or better feeling in the world than helping others.  I testify and I know that this is what it really means to live!  To see lives changed and hearts touched.  I love the mission so much.  We are working with his wife and hopefully she will enter the church with him the 16th of this month.

We are working hard here and just tearing it up.  We found 31 new people to teach and we expect to change even more here in the ward.  My comp and I are doing good, and everything is going great!

I love you guys and hope that you all have a good week!
-Elder Vincent


Monday, July 28, 2014

2014-07-28: Working Hard


Well, we have been recalcitrant in sending out Hunter’s emails.  Below are the last that couple that came in:

2014-07-21 Email

This past week was kind of slow, not because of other things, but because we made it slow.  Elder M dies in 2 days, and so this past week was just doing things that he won't get to do back home like eat food from here, and visit all the members and people that we have been teaching.  It was a slow week, but one of the fastest now that I look back.  I swear my comp spent over 400Q only on food this past week... but it was fun. 

A lot of the members have been more open now, and hopefully we will be able to keep the lines of connections open with the missionaries.

Last week a hermana that returned from the mission had a quote that is pretty cool, and she said that it was her motto in the mission:

     LOVE is the MOTIVE
     OBEDIENCE is the PRICE
     FAITH is the POWER
     THE SPIRIT is the KEY
     CHRIST is the REASON

That is pretty cool.  She said when we develop a love for the person next to us, especially the people that we meet and teach, the people in the mission, that is when you are reflecting and walking the same path that Jesus walked.  He was spit upon and rejected, but he had a perfect love for everyone. 

The silver lining in the cloud this week is that we had a ton of investigators come to church, including J.  So we will see how things go.  Well I love you guys, and have a good week!  We will continue to spread the word and push the work here in beautiful Guatemala! Until next week!
2014-07-28 Email

Well this week was the fastest week of my mission so far... we worked our butts off.  Changes were on Tuesday so we went to changes to receive my new comp and to kill my old comp.  My new companion is Elder L.  He has 13 months in the mission, but I go into the room to get changes from the assistants and they say " Your new comp has more time than you, but you are senior comp!" I laughed and asked why, and they said "just work him hard."  So I go and I finally find the guy, and I gotta say that this past week has been really different.  We finished the change conference and then we go back to the area to work.  This guy is a good worker.  Knows how to teach and how to talk with the people, so all in all was a good week.  

We found 22 new people to teach this week, and taught 30 lessons in total this week, which was good.  It is kind of hard because like the scripture says there are many called but few are chosen.  And this past week we found and met a lot of people, but I feel sometimes that the area is dried out.  Like all the people that are chosen are members already. But we will continue to look for the chosen and prepared people.  This might be a long change, but I know that as long as I work hard and do everything we can we are fulfilling the promise that everyone will have the opportunity and chance to hear the gospel.

Well, I love you guys, have a good week and talk to you next week!

Monday, July 7, 2014

2014-07-07 Mountain Tops Are Always Spiritual Places


I am glad that everything is going good back home with you guys, and it sounds like everything is in line for the house.  I just got the letter with the pictures of the house, and the other with Elijah’s graduation.  The house looks really nice! Haha it comes with a hot tub! Elijah looks so big.  I think he is going to be bigger than both of us dad... oh well we can double team to take him down! 

Well this past week was good, and we have been making sacrifices and working harder to find the success we want.  My comp. goes home in 2 weeks, but I still have him working.  It is like a car battery or when you do service. You can't stop or rest, because if you rest or stop, you will not be able to get up and go again.  Wednesday, we had interviews with President and Hermana Crapo.  They seem like really good people.  The interviews went well, and it was basically just to get to know us I guess... but he kind of reminds me of dad's personality.  He is really calculated, calm, and serious too.  A lot of the missionaries were saying the difference between the Watts and Crapo is that Hermana Watts had an in your face love for the missionaries. But they are good people.

4th of July went well and I wore this American flag button up shirt to weekly planning. Haha all the Latinos were giving me crap for it, but oh well.  

The highlight of my week was Sunday and this morning.  Our investigator JV on Wednesday told us that he was reading about Moses and how he went up to the mountains to communicate with God, so he asked us if we could fast on Sunday until Monday, today in the morning, and that we would go up to the mountain and pray for an answer if what we are teaching is true. So we fasted from 6 am yesterday morning until 5 this morning.  We woke up at 4 am this morning and we went to his house, and then climbed up the mountain to pray for his answer.  That was one of the most spiritual experiences I had in the mission I think... He didn't want to tell us how he felt, but he was crying and so on Wednesday we will find out what the answer was.  We went up, knelt down to pray and just sat there thinking and pondering. I have never felt more calm and peaceful in my life other than being inside of the temple.  It was a very spiritual experience.  But pray for him!

Well I hope you guys have a good week! Take care!

Monday, June 30, 2014

2014-06-30: Those Who Are Given Much, the Lord Requires More


Hey guys!  Well, June is now over and we are going into July... I can't believe how time just flies.

Well this past week went well and we are working hard in the area.  I feel so happy working here, and I know what they mean when they say the mission is an emotional roller coaster.  The first half of the week was just trash... we did not get anything done, and we were feeling so hopeless.  We had very little lessons taught and not many things were going our way.  So on Tuesday, we get a call from the ZL’s that we were going to do a mission wide fast and we all had to fast for 24 hours.  We finished the fast the next day, and all of a sudden blessings just came.  The last half of the week we found 16 new people to teach, and the members were willing to leave with us more frequently.

We had planning on Friday, and one of the ZL’s said "Those that are given much, the Lord requires more.”  And that is true.  The lazy missionaries find success and we wonder why not us.  And the Lord knows our potential and what each one of us can do.  He will not lower his standards for us, just because we are having difficulty.  In D&C, the prophet Joseph Smith was told that if he endured and persevered he would be blessed.  And that is the way it is.  If we want things we are going to have to sacrifice to achieve.  To progress the level of effort required rises.  The bar is never set, it keeps rising.

Well, have a good week guys, I love you all!

Monday, June 23, 2014

2014-06-23: Good Advice From a Great Mission President-Aloha


Hey guys, Elder Vincent checking in another week.  

Well, this week went swell, and we had so many meetings because a lot of things are happening.  Tuesday we had a zone meeting with 2 other zones for a last meeting before president leaves.  He talked a lot about the missionary work and summed up his mission and it was basically a goodbye.  It was hard saying goodbye... Haha the mission presidents are kind of like second parents to the missionaries.  He said some interesting things, and one of the things is about unlocking and finding your true potential.  And it got me thinking about the parable of the talents, and how we all are given talents.  As we develop and grow we receive more and more, and it is up to us to determine how far and how much our potential grows.

The work is going good here in La Leyenda, and we are finding people.  One of the things that is a challenge is finding people that want change in their lives... many people are really complacent, and it seems like with all of the challenges and problems in the world people lose hope.  But we found this family this past Wednesday and we were teaching them, the Hermana says " why are there so many churches, it seems like there is one of every block.  There should be unity in the world and in the faith right?" and we were so happy because she was hitting the nail on the head.  There are different churches here on every corner, but there is no unity in the world.  We are going to continue working with her and let you guys know how it goes!

Sunday we had a meeting with the stake president and all the bishops in the stake, and all the missionaries just sat there while the leadership in the stake just tore up the bishops because they pushed the missionary work on the side... it was kind of funny.  But all is going well here.

I hope you guys are all doing well.  I love you guys and have a good week!