Wow, where do i begin... It has once again been another busy and exciting week down here in good ole guatemala! Sometimes it feels like just yesterday i was back home, but now ive been out on the mission for 3 months and out in the field for almost a month! Time really does fly when you are sweatin and workin hard.
Well the biggest thing on my mind and that happened this week is general conference. i dont think i have ever enjoyed general conference as much as i enjoyed it yesterday and saturday. i guess now that im on the mish, general conference and listening to the prophet takes on a whole new meaning and i cant believe i used to sleep through it sometimes. I absolutely loved the talks and the speakers, and i cant wait for the 3 more times i get to watch it in the mish! I have to say, that the announcement that president monson gave at the beginning blew my mind away, and since it deals with collins future the most, i am sure it blew his mind as well. That kind of historical announcement just shows that these are the last days and that workers are needed to help this work before the second coming. Its crazy to think that 19 year old young women and 18 year old young men can now serve missions. its crazy! That means collin, you could be serving a mission next summer and we could both be on our missions at the same time! i never thought that would happen, and it has me super excited for you and your opportunities!
So watching conference for the first time in the mission was awesome and definitely an experience. So the saturday morning session i had to watch in spanish because i am the only gringo who cant speak spanish in my zone, so i had to sit there for two hours trying to pick out bits and pieces that i understood. later we found out that we could watch it in english, so i watched the saturday afternoon session in english thankfully, and me and elder clyde and one of my gringo zone leaders started watching the priesthood session in english, but then halfway through the power went out. so that was interesting and i missed the second half, and then sunday morning we were able to watch it in english again, but in the afternoon it started raining super hard, so we couldnt get a signal and i missed the first part of the sunday afternoon session. so to say the least, it was a little different watching conference in both spanish and english and having to deal with power outages and crazy thunderstorms haha so be grateful for the opportunity you all have to watch it in your cozy houses on your couch! Anyway, after all of that, and i got over the shock of that first announcement in the changes of missionary age, i just really loved all the talks this conference. to me it seems like the subject focused a lot on dealing with our problems and challenges in life and going out and serving the lord and doing his work. I felt like as being on a mission, a lot of the talks like Niel L. Anderson's, Henry B. Eyring's, Jeffrey R Holland's and Robert D Hales's were directed at me personally and at missionaries in general. it was really cool and i learned a ton. I really liked the quote "Every person is backed up to the wall of faith, and there we must make our stand." Sometimes with all the stress of being out here and working and trying to learn the language i have been backed up to the wall of faith and had only prayer, the scriptures and the lord to turn to. i have been pushed farther than ever before just in this past month, and the messages of these apostles taught me a lot of what i need to to do, and what kind of attitude i need to have and really just trust in the lord with faith, do the best i can, and although i will suffer and endure many things, if i choose the right, it will all work out and i will be blessed. i think that goes for all of us as well, and i really liked what Niel L. Anderson said when he said, didnt we all come here to endure trials and to show god and jesus christ that through the storms of challenges and trials in this life we would have faith and stay true to our covenants and our god? he also said that we should hold on, fear not, for god will be with you forever and ever. Anyway i just loved his talk and you all should look it up and read it. in general i thought conference was amazing and i cant wait to study the talks later when they come out in the magazines.
Well life and missionary work down here continues to move forward, and although its frustrating and sad sometimes when people reject us and the message of christ, it is amazing to see how the gospel can bless peoples lives. We have a family we are teaching that is getting baptized this saturday, and they are beyond amazing people. Alfredo is 20 and his soon to be wife, sandra, is 17, and then there are two little brothers and a sister of sandra we are teaching as well. they came to conference by themselves, elder clyde and i gave them a new triple combination a couple days ago and we went over there last night to teach them, and they already had it marked up and were reading scriptures before we began our lesson. they have an amazing desire to learn and always have good questions, last night we were only going to teach them about the importance of prayer and reading the scriptures, but ended up teaching about fasting and tithing all in the same lesson because they want to learn so much. they dont have electricity in their house, so we teach by candlelight, and every time we pull out scriptures to read, the whole family huddles around the one candle just so they can see the scripture and read it. its absolutely amazing and touches my heart because of their humility and desire to do good and follow christ. i wish you all could see those lessons and feel their spirits because i have felt the true love of christ with them. where in the world would you find a 20 year old and a 17 year old couple willing to be married and baptized in order to follow christ. reading the scriptures by candlelight in their one room house after 14 hour work days pouring over the pamphlets the missionaries give them about the principles of the gospel. going to church by yourself to a foreign place where you dont know anyone just to hear the word of god. they are examples to me and i have much to learn to be like them to have that kind of humility and hunger for the things of the lord. Most 20 and 17 year olds i know are getting wasted and wasting away their lives in college and with all the modern technology and luxuries we have back home, living off their parent's money, too lazy to find a comfortable job that pays 4 or 5 times as much as jobs down here with less work. it just boggles my mind, and i love this family with all of my heart and i am super excited to marry alfredo and sandra and to have them baptized this week.
Other than that it has just been good hard work down here trying to find more familes to teach. its always hot, and it is going to take some getting used to not having any seasons anymore, just hot haha. i cant believe it is coming up on the holiday season and time has really been flying by. i love you all so much and i thank you again for your emails and love and support, and sorry if i cant respond to all of your emails, but ill do my best. once again i wish you all the best in all of your dificulties and life in genral. Keep strong and carry on!