I am sitting here in a persons house which has thier family room turned into an internet cafe, and one of the kids is playing back street boys or something haha and its my birthday!!!!!!!! I am officially no longer a teenager anymore. i dont know if i should be happy or sad. its crazy how fast the time has passed and that im on my mission turning 20 years old. i have imagined this day for quite a long time since i was a kid thinking about my mission and everything that seemed so far away and not real almost, but here i am! And ive been out here for almost 7 months now, its all so surreal yet like dad says every year, i feel the exact same as i did when i turned 16 or 17, i just feel a little bit more wise with a larger perspective of the world. I can remeber my birthday last year at byu, and to be honest it was probably the best birthday ever. to be able to hang out with Elder Balaich, kelsey, jessica and my other friends, its one of my most cherished memories that we were able to visit and tour temple square and just enjoy a perfect day together. I remember thinking last year how old i was was, and now that i have almost 7 months living in guatemala and im turning 20 i have to laugh at how nieve and ignorant i was just one year ago. I remember how i was so worried about getting sick and bugs and stuff when i was preping for my mission, and now my worries are how i am going to help a person understand this gospel and obtain a desire to come unto christ and be baptized. i worry about how i can work hard with the spirit during the day to be guided by the lord in this work and demonstrate my faith to follow him and be a tool in his hands. i worry about how i am going to develop attributes and skills that i want to have during my mission and for the rest of my life, and how i can change the things i dont like about myself. I have sucjh a different view of life and what my desires are, i dont feel like the same person i was when i stepped onto that plane in the colorado springs airport. And now im 20... its so crazy, and i feel so old. Where did my youth go haha!?
Well life moves on, the work continues and time passes as fast as ever especially when im writing you all haha. I want to thank you all for your birthday wishes and emails and whatnot, especially Kelsey since i havnt heard from you in a really long time, so thank you! Its kind of wierd to not be home for my birthday, but on the other hand, it just feels like any other day in the mission which is kind of sad that im entering that adult age where birthdays dont mean as much as they used to. Well to be honest today we didnt do a whole lot for my birthday. We went as a zone to a nieghboring city called Coatepeque that is bigger than Catarina or Tecun Uman, and actually has a dominoes believe it or not. So we went there to eat dominoes which was delicious, and we went to a place called Megapaca which is like a goodwill in the united states. just think of a good will, and thats what megapaca is like haha. it has all these clothes and toys and random stuff from the states, so it was pretty funny to look around at all the crazy funny shirts and random amrican books and stuff they have. they even have church cds and books of mormon for sale there, its pretty hilarious. So we did that, and i bought myself a speaker for my birthday so that i can listen to my music a little better, but thats all we have done for my birthday so far. we might go buy a cake later or something, but right now we have to go to work.
Speaking of work, Elder Cachipuendo have been doing some real work this past week. i have been kind of disapointed in myself a little this past week because i have been trying to work hard, but i felt like we could work harder with the possibilities we have. so i talked with Elder Cachipuendo and we got to work this past week really good, and now we have two fechas for this saturday. One of our fechas is with this 60 year old lady who is the mom of a member in our ward. the crazy thing is that this meber has been a member for almost 20 years and has been trying to get his mom to come to church and everything but she has never wanted to. We have not only been able to have her start going to church, but get a desire to be baptized after 20 years of effort. it really is a miracle and i know that it has been through the spirit that we have been able to help her. Our other fechas is with the daughter of our recent conver fabio, her name is alysia and is 9 years old. she actually at first didnt wasnt to get baptized because she was scared, but fabio has been bringing her to church, and we had a lesson with her where we really followed the impressions of the spirit to put a fecha with her. It s been crazy amazing this past week as we have worked with the spirit, i have been in lessons where we started and i literally had no idea what we were going to teach or say, and through the sprit we were able to ask the right questions and say the right things that i didnt know could come out of my mouth to help people feel the spirit, i cant explain it very well through email or in words, but i know without a spec of doubt in my soul that the Holy Ghost is real and is always ther if we are willing to listen. For example with our lesson with alysia, we were talking with her and her parents and we asked if she wanted to get baptized and she said no, and elder cachipuendo and i tried everything, but she just kept saying no. Then out of nowhere i got the impression to show her the painting of jesus at the second coming, and i didnt know why or what i was going to say, but i pulled out the picture and showed it to her and asked what shwe thought. she said that it was beautiful, and i asked her if she wanted to be there with jesus and her family. after a long pause and an intense feeling of the spirit, she started crying and said yes. and i told her that only through baptism can we have the opportunity to be there with jesus in the celestial kingdom with our families forever, and she said she wanted to get baptized. that was just one shortened story of how the spirit has helped me and elder cachipuendo in our work this past week. it really has been absolutely amazing, and i wish you all could feel the things that i have felt and have your eyes opened to the knowledge of the truth like i have experienced not only in this awesome week, but in my mission. it really is the most wonderful and amazing thing in the world.
Well i have to go yet again, and i feel like alma in the scriptures or something where he says not even a hundredth part of what happened is written in the Book of mormon. i feel like that is the case with my emails, i want to write so much, and so many cool things and miracles happen during the week, but i fell like i cant write a hundredth part of those things or my feelings. i just want to express my love for everyone of you. Especially on this day mi cumplianos! i have so many amazing memories and things i have done and experienced over these 20 years, and i am so grateful to have you as my friends and family. I love you all so much and thank you for the emails and everything, im sorry i couldnt respond to every single one, but i did read them all, so thank you. Keep strong and carry on!!!
PS i have not yet recieved the package dad, but i should get it this week, and thank you!!!!
PPS thanks for the picture collin and the voice recording curt and holly!!!