Well, i almost dont know where to start with this email because so much happened this past week, but first of all, i got my package!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes i know it seemed like a lost cause, but by some miracle i did get my package this past week, and it was just awesome. Thank you so much for everything, al la gran, there was so much stuff in that box, i think i got more christmas gifts this year then in years past haha. But seriously thank you. The 4 of us elders in our house all crowded around while i opened the package and all the wrapped gifts and everything. It pretty much was like christmas morning except that it was at 9:30 at night in guatemala with 3 other guys and not my family, but it was awesome. The cookies were still good, so we horked them all down right there when i opened the package haha, and the oatmeal cream pies and reeses were like heaven in a wrapped package of american candy goodness. i almost forgot how good some good ole U.S. candy is, so that was super amazing. Thank you for the scripture case as well as i am going to use it to keep my english scriptures all safe from getting wet and what not, and i absolutely love the pictures you sent to me as well, the pictures of me playing tennis are really awesome too, i almost forgot i played tennis haha its hard to believe its been over 2 years since those days. pretty much i loved everything, and thank you for the contact solution and everything too, i should be good for quite awhile with all of that so dont worry about sending more of that stuff. Also a shout out to Jessie Hilton. Thanks for your little package as well! i really enjoyed reading your letter and the book haha, its good to hear how you are doing and everything and sorry i havent kept in touch as much as ive wanted, i just havnt had very much spare time. But i hope for the best for you in school and i hope that your holidays were good as well.
Pretty much the package was the highlight of my week, and made it better than real christmas! New years was alos really interesting, after going out and trying to find people to teach that werent drunk or crazy (Which was pretty hard) we just went back to the house and went to bed haha. but at midnight, guatemala blew up. Everyone and thier dog was outside shooting off fireworks that were super loud so we couldnt sleep. so we all went outside on our balcony thing to watch the fireworks, and they were crazy! they were like professional grade fireworks that you see on the 4th of july and everything. it was pretty impressive. One of the elders broke out some marshmallows and chocolate and we cooked marshmallows with matches and made smores haha they were actually pretty good. also these punk kids started shooting roman candles at our house because they saw us out on the balcony so we had to take cover in our house and that pretty much ended our new years celebration if you will.
Well for the obra misional this week, i had some cool experiences and some interesting ones as well. the other day when Elder Cachipuendo and i were out contacting we decided to go down this somewhat sketchy street we hadnt been down before. so we are just walking about to contact this one house when these giant dogs came out of nowhere and surrounded us barking and going crazy blocking both ways out of this little dirt path/street. So we were both freaking out using our backpacks to fend off these crazy dogs when these little kids come out of the house and just start hitting and shouting at these crazy big dogs to be quiet. These were like little, little kids. like 2,3 and 4 years old, and they were just kicking these big dogs and messing around with them, and the dogs didnt do anything to these little kids, it was funny and strange at the same time. Well long story short, we tried to talk to the parents of these little kids, but they told the kids to tell us nobody was home when we could hear them talking which is what happens a lot down here, so we used the little kids as human shields basically from these dogs and made them walk with us down the road until we were out on the main road again haha it was kind of funny. Elder Cachipuendo said they were our guardian angels on our left and on our right bearing us up haha. (Doctrine and covenants reference) Another cool experience i had this past week, was that i had the opportunity to do divisions with one of our zone leaders, Elder Merrill, who is going home in a couple weeks. its always really awesome to do divisions with the older experienced elders, especially zone leaders because i learn so much and they give me some great advice. it was cool talking with Elder merrill in getting his view and opinion on things from the perspective of an elder getting ready to leave the mission and me who is relatively still new. I always ask them the question "what advice do you wish you would have gotten when you were a new elder" and i always learn some good stuff, and this time elder Merrill just told me one thing. Above all, a missionary needs to have the spirit with him in order to do this work and to be effective. It doesnt matter how much knowledge of the scriptures you have, or how good you are at teaching or spanish, or how good you are at making friends, if you dont have the spirit, you wont be able to do anything. It was some really good advice obviously, and i have been thinking about that a lot this past week especially as we have been making goals for this new year. It is something i am starting to learn. i need to have the spirit first if i want to learn to be the man i want to be and be an effective missionary. So this year my goal is to do all that i can to have the spirit with me at all times, to learn, to grow and to have more guidance and happiness in my life. my challenge for you all is the same.
I love you all so much, and i cannot express in words the love i have for you all and the appreciation i have for the package you all sent me. it is really a great blessing to have you all as my family and i always think about you and pray for you. Continue to od what is right and make this year the year you follow the spirit more in your lives!
con gran amor,
tu hermano, hijo, amigo y siervo del Senor,
P.S. Here are some pictures from me opening the package and Fabio's baptism.