Monday, April 1, 2013

Semana Santa! (and its craziness)

Happy Easter everyone!

I cant believe its easter again thinking about how last year at this time i was finishing up school, i had my mission call and prepping for that and everything. A year!!!! wow im starting to realize how long ive already been out on the mission. it has gone by so fast and almost makes me kind of scared because i still have so much to learn and i dont want it to end. Here in guatemala they dont have easter, they have something called Semana Santa. Curt can probably explain it for you all, but basically its 3 days of crazy guatemalans doing crazy things, partying, drinking and a lot of trouble. Men went around dressed as women dancing in the street with masks on begging for money. People made life sized dolls of Judas and danced in the middle of the street with those freaky things with freaky masks and all that, and then they would go and burn thier judas. They also did parades with statues of the Holy saints and stuff with candles and wierd develish crap, so basically its not a semana santa at all. In addition to that, everyone just partys and drinks so it was just a wonderful week of sin and the devil. Obviously missionaries cant be in that kind of environment, so all the missionaries in our zone went to the chucrch in Tecun Uman and we... nos encerramos in the church for three days. (sorry i forgot how to say that in english)

So during those three days of incarceration in the church, we all read the new testament. The whole thing straight through with breaks only to eat and go to the bathroom. so for three days we didnt sleep or bath and just read the new testament together haha, we were not the most handsome looking group by the end. It wqas really awesome though because ive never read the whole new testament before in my life, and i was able to read it for the first time, and a lot of it in spanish at that haha, its really cool now that i can read the scriptures in spanish. I learned a ton, about the saviors life and his teachings, and now im super stoked to go out and use the scriptures i found with the people we are teaching and everything, because everyone here tries to say that jesus said this or that, but now i know what he actually said, so thats going to be a really nice help in lessons. The whole thing in tecun basically took up our whole week while all the crazies outside were doing tonterĂ­as. So there wasnt anything cool other than reading that we did for easter. honestly i didnt know easter was this past week, but this week is general conference!!!!! i am super excited for that, my second time in the mission and everything and honestly there is nothing else better than to listen to the prophet and apostles.

Well being a trainer continues to be an incredible learning experience for me and an incredible struggle. Like i said last week, its just incredibly stressful and tiring trying to teach your companion the gospel while trying to teach investigators while i still feel like im learning as well, so basically im just stressed out of my mind right now with all of that. Its been really hard because Elder Rivera is one of those people that follows the example and influence of others and doesnt really think for himself. that comes with being new as i know, but he literally doesnt want to do anything without my help or me doing it for him. I try to teach him the missionary schedule and studying, but i basically have to force him out of the bed in the morning and tell him when to eat and to shower, or when to teach and what to teach or what to study or he doesnt do it. It takes an incredible amount of patience and im really trying to pray for more patience and love for him, and i know that i have been given this opportunity to learn myself as well as help Elder Rivera to be a good missionary for the rest of my mission. For that i am really trying to be exactly obedient and work hard, but the other missionaries that we live with right now arent the best examples for him, and he has started to take after thier habits despite my efforts to teach him and be a good example myself, and he gets frustrated with me when i try to do exactly what we need to do and he doesnt want to, so right now i have been praying a ton for ways that i can help him, and for the other missionaries that we live with that they can be better examples. I have already seen a few small miracles in the past couple days that i dont have time to write, but the power of prayer has been manifested to me a lot recently because after all i do, i can only rely on the lord and i have been doing a lot of that lately. 

My thought for the week is in Lucas 22 and i cant remember the verses rigt now, buts when it talks about when jesus goes to the garden to do the atonement. the interesting part is that he tells the disciples to wait and to pray that they dont fall into temptation. at first i didnt really understand why he said that, because what temptation could they fall into while they were just waiting? then when jesus returns he finds them sleeping and he asks them why they are sleeping and continue to pray to not fall into temptation. When i read that this time, i felt like instead of jesus talking to the apostles, he is talking to everyone one of us as members of this church. Jesus did everything for us, sacrificed himself for us and suffered so much pain and agony, and sometimes, we as members can fall asleep or get desensitized to the gospel or the sacrifice of Jesus for every one of us and not give attention or importance to the atonement or the gospel. Jesus gives us the advice to pray, to wake up and realize what he has done for us and what we have in the church. the truth!!!!! and yet we are found sleeping or uncaring about that. Its absolutely incredible that out of billions of people we have the truth and the opportunity to gain true happiness in this life, but while jesus does everything and has done everything for us, we are sleeping. My thought for this week in easter time is to think about our savior jesus Christ and think about what he did for us and how we can "pray to not fall into temptation" and to wake up a little to the blessings of the gospel and the mercy of Jesus christ and the love he has for us and to feel that a little more. its something that i have been thinking about a lot lately and i have started to feel his presence more in my life as a result. Its my testimony that through the Atonement we can all be clean of our mistakes and weaknesses and find happiness in our lives if we do what he asks of us, and so that in the end of this life we are not found sleeping, but rather waiting anxiously and happily for the savior and eternal life. 

I love you all, and thanks for your letters and updates and everything, you all are my love and support and i apreciate everything yo have done and do for me. I hope you all have an amazing conference and that you can watch it ALL! its going to be awesome to hear about how many missionaries there are out in the field and the giadance from the living prophet of god. Have a good week, keep strong and carry on as school starts coming to a close and everything! 

Quiero que sientan el amor de nuestro salvador y redentor Jesucristo esta semana,

Les Amo,

Elder Henderson 

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