Monday, August 4, 2014

Al Terminar...


I can’t believe I am finishing the mission this week. I feel super weird. To be honest there are a lot of emotions going through me right now and I won’t be able to fully explain everything well. I don’t really know what to write haha.

Well, first off, the big news is that Susana got baptized on Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was really just a week of miracles. I have seen as many miracles in this past week as I have seen in my whole mission I feel like. I am incredibly happy to say that my last week here in the mission was one of the best ive had in the mission. It was just so amazing!

So after writing you all last week, Elder Morataya and I got back to our house and we just sat down, and I just felt this really strong impression that we should just study and talk about what we needed to do for Susana to get her baptized. So we sat down and had an amazingly spiritual study for her and what questions we could ask her and what things we could teach to help her understand better why she needed to be baptized and how she could have that desire. So we went over to their house and we found out that Susana wasn’t even there, but her husband Bryan was, which at first was a giant letdown but actually turned out to be the plan of the lord because we started talking with Bryan and we just animated him to talk to Susana about being baptized and we also found out that she had been asking him more about baptism in the church. It was just an awesome conversation, and we also set up a trip to the temple with them right there with our ward. Our ward went to the temple on Tuesday, so we paid for them to be able to go up and experience the temple on Tuesday with the members.

So as that all happened on Tuesday, Elder Morataya had emergency changes so that they could give me a zone leader companion so that I could show him the area before I leave. So I Got Elder Jolley who’s from Salt Lake City as my new companion. He is super cool, one of the coolest companions I’ve had on the mission to be honest. It’s kind of funny because he has 15 months in the mission, but I was in the office when he came into the mission as a greenie and I actually talked to him a bit when he was starting, and now he’s my companion haha. But anyway, so I got my new companion and everything on Tuesday, and that night we got a phone call from Susana at the temple, and she said that she wanted to be baptized Saturday! It was such a miracle! We didn’t even have to put the fecha with her, she chose to get baptized herself, and it just goes to show the miracles of the temple, and she didn’t even go inside!

So then the rest of the week was just super crazy and awesome. We were just running around trying to get the wedding papers figured out before Saturday as well as setting up the baptism, teaching Susana everything else she needed to know before getting baptized and well… it was just crazy. In addition to that, on Thursday me and Elder Jolley got to go to the temple because everyone that baptized a family last month got to go, and so we were in the temple and in addition of doing a session we were able to work in the temple, and they actually let us do confirmations which was really awesome because I’ve never been able to confirm people before, let alone in Spanish and everything. So it was all really cool. Also on Friday, all of us that are going home had our final interviews with President Ruiz and we went out to lunch at Xetulul, the amusement park place that I’ve told you about, and we got to ride the rides and everything, it was pretty awesome. President Ruiz really likes our group or something because he has never done that with other missionaries before haha.

Then on Saturday, we had the wedding and baptism, and with the help of the sister missionaries in the zone it turned out amazing! There were a lot of challenges we had with the papers and getting them signed, to getting the permission of Bryans parents for him to get married because he is only 17; it was just insane, but like I said there were just so many small miracles that happened just make everything work out fine. I could definitely see and feel the help of the lord to help us get everything done so that the baptism was a success. It was truly amazing, and maybe next week I can explain the whole story in detail to you all in person! So with that baptism, I completed the goal that I had for my last change to baptize 2 families! I literally don’t have the right words to describe the feelings that I’ve had. I know without a doubt that god loves us and is aware of us in every situation. Since breaking my toe in May and wondering how everything was going to work out with the ending of my mission to feeling like I should extend and then doing it, to being sent to San Felipe and now to Los Brillantes and working with the people I have been with and having the baptisms that I’ve had, I have seen so many miracles and I have come to the knowledge that my heavenly father loves me and is aware of my situation and is always trying to help me and guide me to do what is right and to become who I need to become. I love him, I really do. I know he exists; he is my father, and I know that this work is his work. I know that the Church is true, and that through his servant Jose Smith, Jesucristo restored his church to help us do the saving ordinances that save us and put us on the path to return with our heavenly father with our families. I have so many things in my head, from things that I’ve learned to the testimony I now have, I can’t possibly write it all down. I can just simply say that after 2 years of preaching this gospel and serving these people here in Guatemala. I know that these things are true. Without a doubt. I love the Lord, I love the gospel and I love this church. I love my family, and I love these people here in Guatemala. It has been a privilege to serve them, learn from them and grow as a person and as a man. (I still feel young though haha)  I know that everything I have learned will be for my benefit in the years to come and I am so so so grateful to my heavenly father that he has been so merciful with me and all of my weaknesses to become a better person and a better brother, son, and future husband and father. I am sad to be leaving these people, this country, my friends that I have here and everything that I have come to know; but I am also super excited to see you all and start a new chapter in my life! So with all these mixed emotions, I will leave it at that. The next time I will be speaking to you all, it will be in person! I love you all so much, and I thank you for all your support during these two years! I can’t believe that the time has come and is now ending. But like always, we will keep strong and carry on!

Con todo el amor y gozo de mi Corazón,

-Elder Henderson 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Con mucho amor

My dear family and friends,

I am so so so sorry to hear about Daniel. Having always been a friend of Daniel and always doing things with him and the gang it’s something sorrowful to hear that right now he is no longer with us. I feel sad that I won’t be able to talk to him when I get back, and its sad to hear that he was at such a down point in his life to make that decision, but my heart and my prayers go out to the Lyons family as well as to Collin, Scott, Christian and his other close friends. He will be missed until we see each other again. This past week we were out visiting some inactive members and we me a lady named Cristina. She was baptized like 20 years ago but has been inactive for several years. Her husband died almost 9 years ago, and as we began talking she broke out in tears saying how much she misses her husband and that she feels so much pain in her heart that she cant see him anymore. When I heard that I felt very perturbed. We asked her if she had ever gone to the temple to be sealed as a family with her husband and she said no. We then began to explain to her the Plan of Salvation but we told her very clearly that she shouldn’t feel anguished because because of this plan that god has for us we can be with our families forever but on the condition that we look forward enduring to the end and doing the necessary things to go to the temple and be sealed. I just felt very peaceful, and a little sad that so many people don’t understand that plan even us as members at times. I feel like if we look forward with the eye single to the glory of god and that one day, whatever happens here in life, we will all be together with our families if we take advantage of the temple. Our father in heaven is so merciful and loving and I am personally so grateful to have the knowledge of this plan and of the temple in my life to know that one day all the suffering will end and if we endure it well we will be exalted on high with our families eternally. I know that Daniel is missed, but I know we will be able to see him again.

Thanks for the other emails and updates as well, its super weird to think that I have such little time left here in the mission. It feels like everything is just normal, and I think I will feel that way until I see dad and Collin and I will be like, Umm why are they here in Guatemala??!! I hope I recognize you and that you recognize me hahahaha. No but I feel good and happy to be a missionary today. As I was getting in the bus this morning some crazy old guy started yelling at me about being gringo and how I cant handle the heat here or something and I started talking to him and even though he was yelling all this dumb stuff at me, I just felt completely at peace. I felt good to testify of gospel truths to the point where he quit talking and just listened to me for like 5 minutes before getting off the bus and headed on his way. Being a missionary brings a special feeling. To be able to testify of truths that can bring so much light and happiness into the lives of people if they only just put attention and listen. There are so many distraught and troubled people in this world that would feel so much happier if they just took a minute to listen to their hearts as they hear true words of the gospel. I have been feeling like that a lot as I have been working these last few days. I really feel like the lord has been shaping me in these past few weeks to be able to truly understand how to be a good missionary and testify of truth without fear or anxiety. I find myself wishing that I could just transfer the knowledge and the happiness I have to other people’s brains so that they could truly understand what we offer. But of course where would the faith be if we could do that, so I guess we will continue with just words and actions right know.

This past week has been really good just working hard with Elder Morataya and the missionaries in the zone. We did competitions this week of which district in the zone could find more new investigators and I promised to buy a pizza for the companionship that had the most people in church, so we just had a fun motivated week of work. I feel good that I am finishing my mission the way I am. I have a good animated companion, we are working hard, we have a partial family that we are helping to get baptized this week and leaving and working with Wilder has helped me learn a ton of how to be a better missionary and how to testify to people. We are still continuing to work with Susan and her husband Brian. We tried to put the baptismal date with her last week but in the end she didn’t feel like she has received an answer yet, but the ward is doing a temple trip tomorrow and they are going to go see the temple. So we have faith that after seeing the temple and continuing to pray she will have a desire to be baptized this week!

Well, I just want to say that I love you all. I know there are challenges in life, but the lord is in control and is aware of everything that is happening. He wants the best for us and is helping us daily to overcome our challenges and to become who we need to be. I have seen it so clearly here in my mission, and I know that I have had all these things happen to me for a reason with breaking my toe to having changes to being where I’m at right now. I love you all and I love this gospel. It’s simply and undeniably true. I love you all and next week will be my last letter home… how crazy!

Con mucho amor,
-Elder Henderson 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Luchando con Evangelilocos y otras cosas :)

¡A la Grande!

My family and friends,

It’s good to write you all again as another fast week has come and gone. It has been a pretty crazy week as well if I do say so myself. (Even though I’m pretty sure I say that every week haha)

No but it’s been pretty crazy, and thanks for the updates on your lives and everything, that’s awesome curt that you guys are getting close on that deal and brining in some pisto, that’s awesome for you guys.

As for me, Elder Morataya and I have been working hard in our area together, but this last week was actually pretty difficult for a couple reasons. So as I have come to get to know my area of brillantes a little better. I have realized that literally almost every other house is a family of members. Inactive apostate members. So Los Brillantes is a really small area actually, and like 10-15 years ago the missionaries came in and baptized the whole town, and now there are still quite a few active members, but now a TON of less active and inactive members. We were contacting and talking with people this week only to come to find out that they are members that were baptized several years ago and that now go to a different church. Yeah it’s pretty rough because a lot of these members really don’t want anything to do with us now, and they make it difficult for us to talk with the people that aren’t members because they talk bad about the church and the fact that they don’t put good examples for the non-members by just being baptized and then leaving to go to another church. So that’s been one of the reasons it’s been kind of rough. The other reason is that I got sick on Friday and now I’ve just kind of been sick since. Yeah I’m pretty sure I have something eating me inside because my intestines are real messed up right now, but at least it won’t be for too much longer haha. It was actually one of my spiritual experiences that I had this past week because on Friday I had a fever and I just felt like crap, so the original plan was that I was going to stay with a member so that my companion could go out and work. The only problem was that we couldn’t find a male member for me to stay with so I just went out and worked with my comp, and I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but once we got into a lesson and we started teaching I felt fine, and then when we finished, I had to struggle over to the other appointment, but then once again, when we started teaching I was fine. It was a real testimony to me that if we are doing what the lord wants us to do he blesses us physically as well as spiritually, and as a result we were able to find a new family to teach and a couple other people which was really cool.  

Another cool thing that we have been able to do this week is leave with this young adult member named Wilder. So wilder´s story is super cool. So like 2 years ago wilder was actually training to become an evangelical preacher in this big church here in brillantes. He used to get up and preach to the congregations and everything and is very, very well known here in the area. But then the missionaries started to teach him and through a very long process he ended up being converted and baptized. Now he goes out and works with us, and he has a lot of enemies and people that don’t like him because he is such a well-known guy from the evangelical church, but he has such a powerful testimony now, and it’s really awesome to be able to go out and work with him because he helps out a lot of people understand the restoration of the gospel. That’s mainly what we have been teaching to everyone. The restoration of the gospel is really the key to everything and if these people can come to understand that there was an apostasy and a need for the restoration of the truth, they can gain a testimony of the church and the gospel! Sorry, there was more that I wanted to write concerning that subject, but my time ran away from me. We are still working with Susana and bryan, and they came to church yesterday, and today we are having a family home evening in the house of some members that are friends, and we are planning to challenge Susana to baptism for this week or next week! It’s going to be awesome!

I love you all and will be praying for you in your challenges and everything that is going on, but have an awesome week, and I will talk to you soon.

-Elder Henderson 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Brillando en Brillantes


What’s up my good ole family and friends?

I hope everything is going well, and Curt, I hope everything continues to go well with your lesson so that you can start making bank because you deserve it. Thanks for the updates mom on the ward and everything. Yesterday when I was in church I was sitting there and I just realized how weird it’s going to be to have church in English. I don’t even know if I will be able to give a good talk in English because I will just feel so weird haha, but we´ll see what happens. I’m glad everyone enjoyed the duck killing story, because like 2 days later we ate tamales with the duck meat, they were pretty good even though I’m not a huge fan of duck meat.

So, this past week for me was crazy and all over the place. So pretty much the first half of the week I was on divisions in the zone doing baptismal interviews. Now I had some really cool experiences that I won’t be able to share all right now, but the thing was with almost all of the interviews, when I got to the interview the people didn’t want to get baptized… yeah not exactly according to plan, so basically I had to pull some psychology moves and help people understand why yes, they did want to get baptized. More than anything they were just problems with dumb Guatemalan family relationships or I should say a lack of family relationship that sometimes exists here. In the end everyone I interviewed ended up getting baptized in the zone this past week which was pretty awesome. It’s always cool to do baptismal interviews because that’s when people really open up and you can really see them for who they are and what they want to achieve. I had some cool spiritual experiences that I will have to share another day.

The other big news is that President Ruiz decided to split my zone this past week. So basically, the thought was that because san felipe was such a big zone it was hard for us as zone leaders to really focus in on the missionaries and their challenges to be able to help them have success. So they split the zone in two and created another smaller zone and yes I got changed out to a different area. I am now in an area called Los Brillantes. It’s kind of hard to describe my area, but it’s actually pretty small and it’s near a sugar processing plant, but apart from that it’s just a little normal Guatemalan community/town. In my zone there are now only 12 missionaries, and I’m the only zone leader for right now and my companion is a new missionary with 3 months named Elder Morataya that is here from the capital. So yes changes have been really weird from going to having a giant zone to being in a large district basically, being a lone zone leader to being in a completely new area only for 3 more weeks. It’s a lot of change, and I’m sad because I had to leave all the people we were working with in San Felipe, but on the other hand I am a lot more stress free because my new companion is really awesome and has a ton of desire to work hard these last few weeks with me and he’s a really good missionary that already knows how to teach and do a lot very well with only having 3 months in the mission. So I feel like the lord has blessed me with a good companion to be able to finish the mission. The only difficult thing is that upon arriving to the area and getting to know all the people that the missionaries had been teaching I found out quick that none of them were positive and we ended up dropping almost all of them this past week. But, on my first day on Friday we contacted a reference from a member of an inactive member and his wife who isn’t a member and we got to the house and the wife, Susana, invited us in and was super positive and excited to listen to us, so the next day we went back with her and her inactive husband Brian (who are both super young like 19 and 20 years old) and we taught them the restoration and invited them to church. They ended up coming and really enjoyed church, so I am hoping that we can work with them so that Susana can get baptized in these next 3 weeks to be my last family baptism in my mission. That’s my goal for right now is to be able to baptize one more family before finishing the mission, and so this week we are going to be focusing on working with the members to work with all the inactive and partial families that are here in this area because there are a TON of inactive members with husbands/wives that aren’t members (a reoccurring theme here in Guatemala). It’s going to be tough because I don’t have very much time to work with to be able to baptize before going home but I’m confident I will be able to as part of the many miracles I’ve seen since deciding to extend my mission.

So yeah, that’s what’s up in my world right now, and mom will be happy to know that my new house has a ton of rats and mosquitoes, and last night I gotten eaten alive by the mosquitoes, so that’s fun hahaha. No, but I’m happy to have these last few weeks to be able to work with my good companion and have less stress to be able to really help out my zone and the missionaries to know how to do effective missionary work. It’s really cool to be able to pass on the knowledge that I’ve gained over the past two years working as a missionary. Oh and I can say that I officially have been a missionary for 2 years because on Friday I hit my two year mark! Crazy stuff!!! When I can I will send a picture of my new companion and everything.

Love you all a ton, and espero que tengan una buenisima semana! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dos pájaros con un... ¿Cuchillo?

Dear family and wonderful friends,

Wow sounds like this week was pretty awesome at least from the awesome exploding watermelon picture you sent me ;). Awesome by the way. Plus Collin you are looking pretty SWOLL, and you have a lot of work to do with me to get me back into shape. We have been going to the gym every morning and it’s a somewhat nice gym so I’ve been able to get some good workouts in so that I’m not a complete wimpy, fat kid when I get home haha. And Holly and Curt, sounds like it was an awesome weekend, and just thinking about it today, being back in Utah with you all and Collin is going to be pretty awesome. Oh and I also love the fact that you used Nacho Libre to teach gospel principles Curt, I think that would be something that the people down here might understand haha. Mom thanks for the email. I have been really thinking a lot about all the experiences and trials that I have had on the mission, and really I am truly grateful that ive had them even though at times they have been incredibly difficult. Because frankly, without all that, I wouldn’t be who I am today, and I would not have all the experience I’ve gained at this point, so I know that life will continue to be filled with challenges, but they are there to help me become a better person and really the man that the lord needs me to be which is most important. It’s also crazy that Clair Woodward gets back from her mission because I’m pretty sure she left quite some time after I left on the mission and she is getting home before me… a little bit weird haha.

Well, here in my crazy, jungly, Guatemalan part of the woods, things keep moving along. It was a good and tough week for me just with everything going on and trying to work hard and get people baptized. So with the familia galiscia that came to church last Sunday, we had a big family home evening with a member family where we brought them over to their house. It was really awesome because the member family is a bunch of recent converts that were baptized like 6 months ago, so they all have awesome testimonies. It was a really good Family home evening night where we taught the restoration, and it was all very spiritual and awesome. The only bad thing was that the husband once again refused to come, and later on in the week we found out that he was saying some really terrible things about us behind our backs, and in the end his wife and kids didn’t come to church again this Sunday, but there is still hope that we are going to be able to work with them! We also did a lot of divisions this past week including our own area where we did divisions with members to double the amount of people working in our area to make up for lost time. So I went out with a returned missionary in our ward who served in Peru, and it was so awesome just because he was soooo pilas! Everything just went right that day and we were able to teach a ton of lessons to people that were really prepared to hear us. We even found the family of this girl who was baptized a few weeks ago in another ward here nearby, and they are really interested in learning more.

Oh and to celebrate the 4th of July, we killed two ducks. Yes we literally killed two ducks haha. So every day for lunch we eat with members from our ward, so on Friday after lunch we asked them if we could do something for them and they told us that we could chop some firewood for them and help them kill ducks for their food the next day. So we helped them cut some firewood with machetes and then we helped them kill two ducks by slitting their throats and letting them bleed out, which actually made me a bit nauseated, but it was cool nonetheless. It was partly gross because even after cutting their throats and having them bleed out for like 20 minutes they still were flapping their wings and whatnot and they took forever to die. Then we helped peel their feathers off and everything, it was pretty awesome and I’m going to attach pictures.

Other than that, it was just a good week of work, and even though all the people that we were working with last week couldn’t go to church, we helped this lady and her kids go to church yesterday, and she is really awesome because she understands what we teach, and has lots of questions. Her name is Magaly, and she is facing a lot of opposition from satan as well because she used to go to another church, and know that she is listening to us, other people from this church have been coming over and saying that she is going to hell and everything. So we had a really good lesson yesterday, where we helped her out and really animated her, and she committed to getting baptized this month once we can get her married to her husband when he gets back from his work in the capital!

There are still a lot of challenges between me and my comp, but we are slowly improving, and really what I’ve realized once again, is that I can’t control other people. The lord just expects me to do my best and maybe I won’t have the right words to help my companion change, but I can just be the best example and love him and really enjoy these last few weeks of my mission instead of stressing so much about the situation. So I am just determined to work the best that I can and really enjoy this time I have in this beautiful country with these crazy but wonderful people.

I love you all so much, and I send my best wishes and it will be good to see you all in a few weeks!

Con mucho amor,
-Elder Henderson 

Aqui estan las fotos de los patos!

1. Rajando Lena :)
2. My area, amongst LA MILPA!

1. Magaly and her kids with me and Elder Amador

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Una Buena Semana

Buenas tardes mi querida familia!

Thanks for all the emails this past week as it has been good to keep up with how everyone is doing! Holly and Curt, thanks for the encouragement and advice, and it is sooo true that I have been learning a lot of things that are going to help me for the rest of my life, just like my patriarchal blessing says.

Well this past week for me was a really incredible week. There were still a lot of challenges and things, but this week I feel like we were able to see fruits of our labors. So this past week was changes, and all the elders I came into the mission with went home. It was super weird to say goodbye to all of them considering as well that they have been some of my best friends for the past 2 years, but I actually got to meet Elder Russell´s parents who came down to get him so that was cool, but overall a very strange and baggy day. But the rest of the week was very good so it made up for the bagginess of changes.

So on Thursday in our zone meeting, what I did with all the new missionaries and well everyone in the zone was that we read in Alma 24 where the anti nefi lehis bury their weapons as a testimony to serve god, be better and not sin. So we related that to this change that we have and that over the next 6 weeks everyone in the zone is going to do something better and achieve something that they want to achieve. Everyone put goals down of things they want to achieve or change in this change, then we put all the papers in an envelope and sealed it until the last week of this change when we are going to open it up and see how we each did personally. There are quite a few things that I want to be able to change and achieve before I finish the mission, and I am confident that I will be able to do it because I cannot fail. So later on that same day we had a ward activity based on the iron rod. It was really awesome because what we did was set up a rope in the church like an iron rod with twists and turns and going through classrooms and stuff and what we did was blindfold everybody, and they had to hold fast to the iron rod to get through the “course” and arrive in the sacrament room where we had a tree of life. It was a pretty cool activity that probably could have been planned out better because we were running around at the last minute trying to get everything ready, but it turned out well. It was super funny as well to see all the members blindfolded trying to hold onto the rope and almost falling when encountering obstacles and such, but it was good.

The rest of the week we spent on divisions working with a few missionaries to help them out and train them in new responsibilities. So first I went with a new District leader we have in the zone to help him out in his area which is definitely an area of faith as we say here in the mission for areas that are a little more difficult. It was a good day, but I realized that there is a lot of work to be done in this area, and the new district leader has a lot of work to do to be able to help out his district and be a strong leader. But I feel like the divisions were really good because I was able to help out this elder get a new vision and have some animo about his area and his district, and we went over some ideas and things that I think will really help him. I feel like I’m realizing as a leader my main responsibility is helping missionaries be animated and have a vision of what they want to achieve and how they can do it. It’s been really cool because I can definitely see how I am going to use these skills for the rest of my life.

Also, on Saturday, Jacinto got baptized! It was awesome because we went to go get him for his baptism, and he had already left on his bicycle, and actually beat us to his own baptism! He was super happy, and it was so cool to see him with his wife and his family, now that only 1 daughter has yet to be baptized in his family. It was really cool to be a part of that and see him be confirmed yesterday as well, they are such a humble family and really feel and know that this gospel is true which is the joy and hope of every missionary.

Yesterday on top of all that, we were able to have 6 investigators in church! It was awesome because this super humble family was able to come to church even though the dad didn’t because he has some challenges that he has to overcome. The night before when we showed up at the house of this family to teach them, the dad was smoking, so we just sat down and got straight to the point which was to teach the Word of Wisdom. It was a super powerful lesson where afterwards the mom said that she felt a burning inside and it was so cool to be able to explain that it was the holy Ghost testifying of the truth of our message. It was super cool, and then they showed up to church as well. Another 15 year old kid who is a recent convert and super animated brought a cousin and one of his friends to church as well, and then the daughter of Jacinto who up to this point has refused to listen to us came to church! It was just a Sunday of miracles and we are just stoked to be able to work with these people!

It was just a great week and I think the divisions helped me and my companion out a little bit to be able to get a break from each other and focus on helping others. I think this last change, even though I am focused a lot of what I want to achieve personally in my area and everything to finish the mission, I really just want to be able to leave my legacy through being able to be a positive influence on the other missionaries in the zone.

Im doing great, and im really excited to able to work a few extra weeks! Say hi to Orrin for me now that hes home, that’s super weird to think about, but tell him hi and that ill see him in a few more weeks!
Love you all a ton, Se cuiden mucho! (And happy 4th of July!!!!)

-Elder Henderson 

So these are fotos from yesterday when a member invited us over to eat seafood and she gave us entire crabs to eat! 

the pictures of the baptism of Jacinto 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bailando abajo de la lluvia

Well my family and friends,

Another week has come and gone again. It was a very hard and good week because I really learned a lot, and I have a lot of desire to change some things and make these next few weeks even better.

As I think I have already mentioned. Right now I feel like I am struggling a little bit with my unity with my companion. To not go into details, basically what it comes down to is that he does things different than I do.  Talking about the way he works, talks and such, and obviously the fact that he is Latino means he does things just slightly different. It’s something obviously that I have had to learn to deal with my whole mission because well… for two years you are with somebody different from you constantly. The only thing is that at times he can be disobedient and not want to work quite as hard as I do. Now he is a great guy, and I have learned things from him, but in these last weeks of my mission I am really trying to do the best that I can to finish strong and finish with that fire burning inside me. But in this world, and especially being with another person constantly in this work means that the decisions he makes affects my work, my plans etc. President Ruiz wrote me an email today where he was talking about how in the mission we are supposed to learn how to dance under strong rain, and not just hide under cover and wait till the storm passes. For awhile, I was thinking that I wanted to not be a leader and just train for my last few weeks here in the mission so that I could do what I want to do, and have a companion that has an equal desire to work and be obedient so that I could really finish my mission satisfied and happy. As I was thinking that the other day, a few thoughts came into my head that said the yes, I could train and do things exactly how I want to maybe and finish my mission honorably and comfortably, but I wouldn’t learn the valuable lesson of being able to be with another person that is very different than I am, but be able to communicate and find a way to work together with unity and power to accomplish a common goal. I was thinking about that in respect to my possible future career or leadership positions that I might have and the absolute importance to be able to brave challenges successfully and know how to manage or work cohesively with others. I feel like in my mission I have been put with difficulty companions at times so that I can learn just that. So I can learn how to communicate well and be able to accomplish common goals with others without problems and stressing and failing. I feel like I have learned a lot but I think what the lord is telling me is that I have just a little bit more to learn. I have a vision of how I want to finish my mission, and now I have to help Elder Amador have the same vision and be able to work with him successfully in order to see the vision come true. If I can accomplish that, not only will I be able to meet my goals and see my vision fulfilled of how I want to finish the mission, but I will also have gained a life long valuable skill and ability. So that’s my plan and I would appreciate all your prayers and support; just a little bit more for these last few weeks to be able to work well with my companion, keep up a positive, happy attitude and to finish of my mission strong!

Those have been my thoughts as of late especially because this week my group that I came into the mission with is leaving and I am starting my last change in the mission. On Tuesday last week I actually went on divisions with Elder Russell, my first companion in the MTC who is now an AP and is leaving to go home this week, and we had a good time because all the way back in the MTC we had joked around about how cool it would be to be companions when we could actually speak Spanish, and well, we were comps for a day to see that joke be fulfilled haha. It was a really good day actually and I learned a lot from him because he is just so animated all the time and just able to connect with these people just by being his crazy self. We were actually able to find quite a few new people to teach including two very strange guys with machetes that we just started talking to on the side of the road haha (a story for another day).

The rest of the week was very good and very busy with going out with members to visit their references and doing divisions with elders in the zone! We also had a strange/funny expericnce with some people this week. So a member introduced us to her friend and her family to teach them about the gospel, and to invite them to church. It also just so happened that a daughter had her 15th birthday on Saturday, and here in Guatemala 15th birthdays are like 16th birthdays in the states, so they had this huge party thing planned. So we went over in the morning to help blow up balloons and basically just offer some service to gain their confidence and they ended up inviting us over to share in some cake. So we show up to the house later to find a pastor and his congregation having what is called a “Culto” or basically a worship service. Its just funny because the pastor was just screaming a bunch of stuff from the bible at the congregation which is like every church down here (I wish I could take you guys to one because it’s absolutely insane). So we get there and we sit down in the back while this crazy pastor dude is just yelling and screaming of Jesus Christ while people in the congregation have veils and stuff covering their heads doing some praying which is really just chanting a bunch of crazy nonsense all creepily. It was honestly just a testimony builder that the church is true because at least down here, every other church is just straight, pure apostasy haha. It was just funny because the people were acting ridiculously, and just to think that it was a 15th birthday party haha, they just invited a church over; but that’s Guatemala for ya. Oh and this week we also went to teach Jacinto who came to church on Sunday, and we challenged him to baptism and he said yes! So his baptism is actually scheduled for this Saturday and we are pretty stoked about it! And like I said, we found a lot of new people to teach, and yesterday, we had high hopes to have 10 people in church, and we even rented a pickup to go out to our area in Canton Vela to go pick everybody up, but everybody just ended up lying to us and giving us excuses so we just ended up having the mom and the sister of the girl who turned 15 in church with us which was ironic. But yesterday we did find a sweet, super humble family of 4 yesterday that could really progress and get baptized in July, so we have a lot of people to work with still!

Well, I love you all so much, and I just want to share my testimony that the church is true, and that Joseph smith was a true prophet of God, and that the Book of Mormon is true and evidence of the truthfulness of these things. With all the stress that I feel like I have going on, I feel like I get smothered by everything, but sometimes its good just to take a step back and realize what I’m doing. Teaching the true and everlasting gospel to the descendants of the Lamanites so that they can have true and eternal happiness! I am so grateful for the knowledge of the truth that I have in my life and in our family. Now I just want to be able to do my best to share that with these people for these last few weeks! ¡ANIMO!

I love you all, and thanks for all your emails! Keep strong and carry on!

-Elder Henderson