Hah! Al la gran! no puedo creer que estamos en junio!
Family and friends!
Wow, you probably get tired of me saying it, but time has just been zooming by! When you are always doing something like we are in the office, time almost has no meaning; it just rolls along like a boulder down a mountain, just faster and faster the farther it goes. That’s how it feels for me at least. We are already in June for goodness sake!
I loved hearing a little more about everything that happened with the trip to the temple last week. It’s so awesome that rich had the opportunity to go and have so much support from family and the ward there. The temple is such an awesome and amazing place, and to be able to share that with so much family and friends is a really special thing especially for those like grandma and grandpa, when it’s such a huge sacrifice for them. President always teaches that when we have investigators and we are teaching them, we should imagine them dressed in white going to the temple, and that that thought and image should be in our minds so that we do all that is in our power to… make it happen (realizarlo, it sounds better in Spanish haha). It is such an awesome thing to be in the temple and to make those convenios con nuestro padre celestial and everything. It is so awesome that a lot of people could show up for that. I am also super excited for the day when our whole complete family can go through the temple together. That is one day that I am anhelosamente waiting for. Oh and to answer your question, there are 2 temples here in Guatemala. One in the capital, and one in Quetzaltenango (people call it Xela for short). And compared to the amount of people that are here, there are a ton of members. Like all of the wards and everything have like 400 – 500 people on the ward lists, but only like 100 people give or take actually come to church. So the huge problem down here is less actives because there are a ton of members, but a ton of them are inactive, go to other churches, or we just plain don’t know where they are or if they are even alive haha because there is no record keeping here. There aren’t even addresses. So it’s just really difficult to keep track of people.
I am also excited mom that you have decided to take the initiative and start schooling, like you said, it will probably be very challenging, but in the end you will be better off for it, so I congratulate you on that decision.
Im excited for curt as well! That’s awesome that you have a few job leads that are looking pretty good right now, and I have no doubt that you will land the job that you need. I loved the pictures of the fishing trip and everything, I’m kind of jealous a little bit to because I have never been officially fishing in my life, but it looks like the boys had fun. They also look so much bigger! I thought for one second that Calvin was tucker until I saw the other picture. With curt’s job stuff happening and potty training haha sounds like some big things are happening.
Well as for how I’m doing, right now I’m doing good. I am just immensely blessed. Blessed with my health, blessed for the opportunities I’m having here in the office to learn and grow, and just for the chance I have to be here. We were on divisions this past week and we were just walking down this street down this hill where I could see the countryside and the sunset, and it was just beautiful. I thought to myself how awesome it is to be here in Guatemala. Just being able to walk down the street and have little kids come up to you and high five you and joke around with you and wanting you to come play soccer with them in the street, and then walking a little bit farther and seeing a family or a guy on the side of the street and just striking up a conversation about the gospel and being able to share your testimony of the truth with them, and then going a little bit farther and having everyone wave and say “Buenas” to you and then having some members who are just relaxing outside of their house inviting you to sit down and eat something and talk for a little bit. Not many people can say that they have done those things all in a different language, and done it for 2 years in this beautiful country. I just had the thought that I never want to go home and face the real world. I miss and love you all, but the mission is an awesome wonderful thing, filled with challenges and hard times and suffering a little bit, but it’s also filled with satisfaction, learning, growth and most of all joy, happiness and peace. There is no other place in the world where I would rather be.
As I was saying, I am good, but this past week has been a really trying week. The truth is when you get six 20 year old guys together from two different cultures and different backgrounds with their own opinions and ideas, a lot of dumb drama happens. So as it happens this past week there has been a lot of drama and to speak plainly, a lot of stupid stuff. People getting angry or offended for one thing, and then going off and doing something dumb, just a lot of headaches. Especially for me because since it has been the end of May and the beginning of June, it has been my job to make all of the monthly payments for the missionaries. Now that is not an easy task for a ton of different reasons that I can’t explain, but is suffices me to say that almost every missionary has a card where we deposit money on to, to use during the month. The thing is, to put money on the cards, as a financial secretary I have to deposit a different amount for every missionary depending upon where they are at and individual circumstances. Then there is the problem that we have missionaries in our mission that are actually assigned to different missions but are waiting on visas or whatnot, so they don’t have cards. Soooo we have to deposit money on their companion’s cards and make sure that they give the right amount to their companion… whew. All this while different problems come up and missionaries are always calling me saying they don’t have money for one reason or another, some of them not quite telling the truth, others with real problems etc. its just one big melting pot of problems to sum it all up. To add on top of that, this past week missionaries have been getting really mad at me for one reason or another, so that has been adding to my stress level, and also this week I made a pretty big error in the accounting of one of our accounts where I ended being short money from what should have been in the account. Long story short, it was super stressful and there were some crazy things we had to do to fix it, and I was feeling pretty down on myself for that and with everything that was happing with monthly payments and missionaries being mad at me and everything, it was just not a fun time. In the end everything worked out fine and I learned my lesson, just the hard way a little bit. It’s just been as stressful as ever here in the office.
I feel like this past week I’ve learned a lot about trust. Probably more specifically, trust in the lord. With everything that has been going on and with everything that I have had to be doing, I have felt really inadequate for this position that I have been called too. I have felt super inadequate and really foolish sometimes when I have made mistakes or I say or do the wrong thing and I don’t figure something out like I should have, or I didn’t do something like I should have. That coupled with the fact that through all of this crazy hectic mess that goes on here in the office, I have really struggled to feel the spirit and feel like a missionary when I’m surrounded by the world it feels like. Im always on the computer, driving around in cars, in banks or stores buying stuff, always on the phone talking with people. Im constantly surrounded by problems and missionaries that don’t make good decisions and the drama and stress that comes with that, as well as a mountain of temptations that comes with having the power that we do in being elders in the office. It’s been really hard to feel like I did in the field, and it’s taken a toll on me physically, mentally and spiritually, and I’ve been struggling with some really big doubts in my mind on how everything is going to be here in the office, and if I should be here or worries about my study of the gospel and my spirituality. One night this past week I was feeling down and just thinking to myself about all of that, when something that President Maravilla said to me in my interview when he called me to be the financial secretary came to my mind. He said that he had been praying really hard about who should be the replacement of Elder Anderson to be the new financial secretary, and that he felt like I should be the one. He then asked me what I thought. I remember a lot of doubts and worries going across my mind and then I remembered my patriarchal blessing where it says that my mission president was going to ask me to help push forward the work, and that I should be willing to do all that is asked of me, and as I do so, I will be blessed to fulfill all the responsibilities that are placed on my shoulders. I remember that when that hit my mind, there was no doubt of what I should do, and I remember saying that if the lord needed me to do, then I would do it. I remembered that whole encounter this past week, and that blessing in my patriarchal blessing, and it gave me the boost that I needed. The lord didn’t inspire my mission president to choose me to fill this position to fail and to be miserable. He chose me because I know that the lord needs me to be here. For some reasons maybe obvious, and for other reasons that I’m still not sure about. What I realized this past week is that by having these doubts, I am showing the lord that I don’t trust him. he called me here to this mission, and to this position for a reason, because he knows me, my potential, and the things that I need, and he knows all of that way better than I do, and I just need to trust in him that everything will be alright, and as long as I do my part and do what I need to do, as my blessing says, I will have strength to carry forth this work. That really struck my soul, and I thought I would share it with all of you. So yes the struggles continue like always, but I’m learning a ton, and I’m trying to do my part better and trust that everything happens for a reason and that it will all work out in the end.
Muchísimas gracias otra vez por sus correos y palabras de consejo y amor. Me ayudan bastante. Quiero que sepan cuán grande es mi amor para ustedes. Les amo un montón. Estoy bendecido increíblemente que les tengo en mi vida, y que ustedes están teniendo muchas buenas experiencias en sus propias vidas. Siempre confíen en el Señor, y sé que todo saldrá bien. Tengan una feliz semana, y siguán adelante!(Once again, thank you so much for your letters and words of advice and love. It helps a ton. I want you to know how much my love for you all is. I love you all a bunch. I am so incredibly blessed that I have you in my life and you all are having lots of great experiences in your own lives. Always confide/trust in the Lord and know that everything will come out fine. Have a great/happy week and keep pressing forward!)
Siempre tú hermano y amoroso amigo,
(Always, your brother and loving friend,)