Since i wrote you last, i have been feeling a whole lot better, and a lot has happened that has really helped me this past week in my own personal struggles and in the missionary work.
First of all i want to congratulate curt on his graduation from the MBA program at BYU!!!!! Wow, i cant believe those two years of schooling have already gone by so fast and that your done with schooling pretty much forever. thats pretty awesome, and now i just wish you the best in your efforts to find a pretty boss job and start making bank! Thats awesome the whole family was there and able to celebrate and catch up and everything.
Well as for the news down here in Guatemala, i am feeling a lot better now than last week with some health issues (which i have a story for later) and with everything that i have been dealing with training Elder Rivera. The rainy season has officially started down here, so for the next 6 months it is going to rain super hard everyday at around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. its an understatement to say that i am not excited. when it rains, it doesnt just rain down here, its like taking a shower outside in our clothes with all of our scriptures and stuff, which is not conducive to effective missionary work showing up to peoples houses completely soaked with books that are all wet and everything. Pretty much another challenge that satan brings to the table for the next 6 months to slow down to work, but we still go out and trudge along in the water and mud.
well to talk about the health issues that i was having last week, basically i ws feeling like crap from monday to thursday with stomach problems and you can imagine what more, and i actually thought that i might have a parasite which would mean that i would have to go crap in a cup and do a whole test to see if i had a parasite. So thursday we were working in a part of our area thats like 30 minutes away in car, and we were teaching a lesson to this laday who actually had been investigating the church a year ago, but she moved her house and the missionaries couldnt find her. so we were having a really good lesson with her when something hit my stomach, like really bad, like i needed to go to the bathroom quickly bad. the problem was that after this lesson we were kind of out in the boonies in the jungle/forest of guatemala with nothing around, i honestly thought that i was going to have to duck behind a tree in the middle of this jungle to go to the bathroom when out of nowhere a tuk tuk from the lord showed up and took us to the main road. when we got to the main road we stuck out our thumbs and the first truck that came by offered us a ride back to Catarina, so we climbed in, and this guy booked it. i think it was the spirit that knew how bad i had to get to a bathroom that was driving that truck because what normally is a 30 minute ride took us 10 minutes. so yes, through this miracle tuk tuk and truck, i was able to get to a bathroom and everything was all good. The next day i felt a ton better and as of right now im feeling completely normal which is a great blessing.
It was also actually a really good week with Elder Rivera. This week i took your advice and just focused on what i needed to do and loving my companion and not worrying and stressing so bad about what he did, and we actually had a good week working together. i sat him down and we had some good talks together this week so that he understands where i am coming from and i know what he needs and wants, and overall we just talked, and now everything is much better becasue we are both on th same page, and although thigs arent perfect and its still a struggle with him, im not so stressed about controlling what he does or worried about how he affects the work, but he knows what he needs to do, and how i am here to help him, and i am just working on trying to be like christ and love and support him, but do what i need to do personally and control what i can control and for that i feel a lot better with that right now. To be honest i have learned so much being with Elder Rivera that just in these past 6 weeks i have really grown and learned a lot of love and patience more than in my whole life, and i actually understand better why i am here.
In addition with that, the work in our area has been extremely difficult as of late. these past couple weeks, all of our families we were teaching basically dropped of the face of the earth with husbands that are drunks, or they told us they dont want anything and dont want us to pass by thier house anymore, so thats been a real downer and hard to deal with when we dont have almost anything to work with. we have been working harder this week to contact and work with members and references to find, but its so hard because it feels like everyone we talked to this past week doesnt really want to listen to us or doesnt really want anything. there were so many lessons where the people just straight up ignored us when we were sitting right in front of them. its incredibly frustrating and it really got me frustrated this past week with trying to work so hard and love these people and trying to teach with the spirit, and in the end of the day we didnt have anything to show for it. Thats how i was feeling whe n we went with this woman named olga woh we are teaching and her husband Valtazar. Olga actually went to a baptism a couple weeks ago, and was reading the book of mormon, but she stopped, and for wok reasons has not been able to come to church. she is the investigator that is the most positive right now, and we went to go teach her about Alma 32 and La fe which is what we left her to read a while back but still has not read it. the last lesson we talked really good about why she needs to read, and how she can learn and everything, so i had my hopes high that she read. We got to her house, and we started off and i asked her and her husband if they had read, and they said no. It was just like the last burden on my shoulder that just broke me. it was like all my hopes just shattered in front of my face, and i just didnt know what to say. i felt like i had explained everything to the best of my ability and bore my testimony, and i didnt know hwat more i could do. luckily Elder Rivera started to talk and help me out as i just sat there devastated. i was just looking down at my scriptures and i just opened up to a random page which was in Alma 17 and i just read the first 2 verses i saw, verses 10 and 11. you all can go and read them, but when i read that i knew that god was talking directly with me. i cant describe the feeling adequately, but i knew that it was talking directly to me, and i felt the spirit so strong, i just shut my scriptures and looked them in thier eyes and started to bear testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the gospel. i read the last 2 paragraphs of the introduction of the BOM with them and bore testimony that if they would actually read, they would come to a knowledge of the truthfulness not only of the BOM but of this church. it was an amazing lesson, and taught me another lesson of the importance of listeneing to the spirit in the lessons. i felt at such peace afterwards, and i know that with everything, Elder Rivera, training, preaching the gospel, dealing with people that are rude, disrespectfull and and reject this gospel, that as long as i do my part and fulfill my responsiblity, it doesnt have to be on my shoulders. Its is something that is really helping right now to learn and understand that so that i can go out and work, have fun and enjoy this time that i have to be a full time servant of my lord and savior. I learned a lot this past week and i feel a lot closer to my heavenly father, and although i know i have a lot more to learn and a lot more to deal with, i know i am doing what i need to be doing.
well thank you again for your emails, love, support and advice as it helps me a lot. I am so thankful for every one of you and for this gospel. I hope you all have a great week! Love you!
P.S. the photos are from that back of this dirt truck that we hitch hiked on, pretty sweet.
Here are some photos i took with a crazy dead spider, a stick bug that i dont know what its called and a view from the back of this dirt truck we hitchhiked in.