Wow i cant believe how fast the time flies, its absolutely incredible that today marks 8 months that ive been in the mission! It feels like nothing and a ton of time at the same time. the whole time i spent at college last year is equal to the time that ive been here on the mission!!! Crazy stuff, but the work moves on and we keep moving on with it down here in the heat and craziness of Guatemala!
This past week has been pretty good and tough at the same time. So the first part of the week, we did divisions with the zone leaders because president wants the leaders to be involved more in each of the individual areas in the zones, so we worked with them a lot in our areas this week which is always good because i always learn a ton. We also prepped Melissa for her baptism this past saturday which was awesome because she is just so pilas! She reads her scriptures, marks them up and asks us good questions about the gospel which is very different from people down here who dont usually have questions for us, but just kind of sit there either not putting attention or not interested which gets really frustrated when we are talking about the gospel and thier salvation and we teach a whole lesson and at the end they say, well thats really nice but i go to another church. For instance, this past week we taught the restoration to this one family, and they were super cool, they seemed interested and paid attention and everything, and we shared the joseph smith story with them and everything. afterwards they were like, ah bien calidad, thats super cool that jose smith saw jesucristo and dios and everything, and i know its true. and then right after they say, well we go to another church and we believe that churches arent true, but that the true church of christ is within us, and for that we dont believe your churhc or any churhc is the "True church" Basically, its cuper frustrating and i find it really hard to understand these people sometimes when they hear the message of the restoration and then say the churhc of christ doesnt exist except in our hearts or something like that. A lot of this week has been dealing with that a lot which really got Elder Galvez really frustrated and a little sad/baggy to the point where this past weekend it has been really hard to get him out and to work and has made this past week just a little difficult to be positive.
The highlight of the week however was the baptism of Melissa! We prepped everything super calidad and bought food and everything to have the baptism at 5, and of course because we ae here in Guatemala, nobody including Melissa showed up until 5:30 or 6 haha. so that was kind of frustrating and the fact that the people we asked to give talks at the baptism just plain didnt show up so we had to improvise some talks, but overall everything worked out just fine, and im going to attach some pictures.
Other than that, the only other big news is that they are going to open up Catarina 2, the new area here. we are going to split our are because its huge when the 40 new missionaries come in in a couple weeks, and the church officially closed the San Lorenzo branch that was in our are as well because only like 15 members attended out there. its kid of sad because San Lorenzo is kind of far away from catarina, and the members out there dont have a lot of money to pay for a bus to get to catarina on sundays, so who knows if they will be able to attend. i just hope they done go inactive like a ton of people in my area. we have about 100 people in church every sunday, but about 200 inactives on our ward roster as well, and people down here dont have directions at all for their houses so we have no idea where a lot of these members live, so i hope san lorenzo doesnt turn into that, but we´ll see what we can do with 2 more missionaries here.
Well, that was my week, and it looks like this upcoming week we are going to have at least one baptism for sure, and maybe more if we can talk with Selvin and Lucinda more. Lucinda right now doesnt want to talk to us at the moment and they didnt come to church yesterday because they are having problems, but we are going to work with them. Alexander is the one that is going to be baptized this saturday, and after 20 something years of knowing the church he is finally going to join which has the ward super excited because a lot of the members have known him for years and years and he is now finally going to be baptized. its pretty exciting!
Well as a part of that, i just want to leave a thought about missionary work as right now it seems like in the church there is a huge push for members and everyone to help out in the la obra misional. Its been a huge testimony to me these past several weeks to see how the lord prepares people first with Melissa and know Alex. These people have been prepared over years just because of little things members did years ago, like a simple invitation to come to church. As members, i feel like we dont realize how much of an impact we can have on people just through small things and our example. Sometimes we can feel like if we dont see results immediately we feel like we arent really having an effect. but its me testimony that the lord works in his own time to prepare people. For alex, some member 20 years ago simply invited him to church and it took 20 years of preparation, but now he is joining. Simply if we look for the small opportunities with our friends or co workers, just to invite somebody to church or bear your testimony of the gospel, we dont know how we are going to affect the lives of others. if we live like we are supposed to, and have and follow the spirit in our lives, we can be the reason somebody comes into the fold of the lord months or years down the road. Those are just my thoughts and challenge for all of you this week to look for an opportunity to talk with someone who is a menos activo or a non member to invite them to church or something and i know the lord will work through you to touch thier lives.
Well i hope you all have a good week, thanks for the updates and the info of the snow. What i would give for some snow right now haha. Love you all! Keep strong and carry on!
Oh and by the way, our liders just updated us that we can now write friends and other missionaries through email and they can write us! So if you want to let people know that if they want to write me, but dont want to write me a letter, they can write me through email now!