Year One… COMPLETED!!!
Dear Family and friends,
Well sorry its bin a bit since my last email, it’s just that every something always seems to come up and I don’t get time to write, but today it was a pretty laid back day so i have a decent amount of time to sit down and write. Haha when I was thinking about the title of the email, I remembered that one time when curt, holly, Collin and I all were at our house watching year one. Good times haha.
Well as you already know, I have officially passed the halfway mark of my mission! How crazy it is to think that this same time next year I will be home! It kind of makes one baggy, but not too much ;). It’s really weird when I think back to what I was doing a year ago and I was on the mission. I can’t believe I have been away from home for that long and have been living in a different country and everything. It just seems so normal now, and it’s gone by sooo fast. I think in this past year I have been tested and tried more than any other time in my life. I feel like I have been stretched and pulled to my limits, but because of all that I have learned and grown so much I don’t even feel like the same person I was. It’s been a crazy roller coaster of ups and downs and experiences that I will never forget, and I am forever grateful to my heavenly father for giving me this chance to be here and to learn personally as well as share this precious gospel with the people here. Honestly I just have no idea how to put in words the things that I feel in regards to the mission, but it’s been a special experience for me, and I can’t believe it’s halfway over. There is so much more I need to learn and do… ahhhh. I'm sure dad will be happy to hear that I have every day of my mission so far recorded in my journal , and I was going back and rereading things from my first days of my mission back in provo, and how crazy it was. I just remember walking into my classroom the first day and having my teacher start speaking to me in Spanish and not having a clue what he was saying haha oh what good days those were. Well anyway, I think I have rambled enough, but year one is down and here I go with year two!
For my “Hump” day or year mark, I honestly didn’t do too much. President was doing interviews here in the office that day so we were all busy here helping him out, so all we did was go to dominos and eat some pizza. It was delicious but pretty low key. These past couple of weeks president Ruiz has been doing interviews with the whole mission, so we have just been traveling all over the place setting everything thing up and dealing with the craziness of the mission. I feel like I have really improved on controlling my temper and working with difficult people these past few weeks. Instead of getting angry and all flustered when people are pissed and yelling at me about their problems and how apparently it’s all my fault; I feel like the lord has helped me and strengthened me to see the bigger picture and remain calm and collective when dealing with people. So that has been a huge blessing I have noticed, and I feel like that’s one thing I'm learning and progressing in here in the office.
So this past we had a meeting with President Ruiz on the affairs of the office. It was an amazing meeting, and basically he said that he felt like there needed to be changes in the office. Apparently some members have commented on the behavior of a couple missionaries here in the office, more specifically in some poor decisions they have been making, and so President Ruiz gave us a little of machete and said that the mission rules are going to be enforced better. He also said that he wants everyone in the office to have areas where we can work when we are here in Retalhuleu. It’s been incredible the change I’ve already seen here in the office in just this week. A couple of the other elders have stopped doing things they shouldn’t be doing, we are studying so much better and now we are all working in areas in the afternoon after we get our office work done. Elder Yergensen, Elder Perez and I are companions right now, and we have actually gone out and worked a bit in our new area here by the office, and it’s been so good to get out and feel like a normal missionary again. We were able to have some great family home evenings with members and set up appointments where they are going to bring less actives and non members, as well as we have been doing some contacting and met a bunch of crazy people. We ran into an atheist here which is only like the second or third time that I’ve met a person like that in my whole mission, and we also met a guy who used to drive missionaries around like 30 years ago, and actually was good friends with a couple mission presidents and a seventy, but still hasn’t been baptized for personal reasons. I am rambling again, but it was just so good to get out and work normally. I feel like here in the office I have felt like I have so much weight on my shoulders and I'm always stressed that it’s been a challenge to really feel happy; especially when the people around you have been a bit disobedient and it’s hard to keep up a positive attitude. So with President Ruiz making the changes he has made, things are starting to look up and I'm feeling a bit better.
Oh also this past week it’s been one of my responsibilities to ride with the senior couple we have here in our mission when we have traveled to different places for interviews to make sure they don’t get lost. They have been here for about 4 months now, and they don’t speak a lick of Spanish, so it’s been really fun going around with them and translating for them and making sure they don’t die here in Guatemala. It’s like having you mom and dad, down here in Guatemala haha its been a blast talking with them and helping them along.
Anyway, so some good changes are happening in the mission, and I'm really excited about all of it. Now that we have areas in the office it’s our goal to be some of the only elders in the office to baptize, so it will be fun working as a normal missionary as well as continuing to work in the office. Yes I still deal with missionaries and their attitudes still, but I feel like everything has gotten a lot better, and that I am able to handle everything a little bit better as well. I absolutely love President Ruiz and the way he works with us. He is a great man, and inspired to be here in this mission at this point in time. I know that this church is run by revelation, and that all the leaders including our beloved prophet Thomas S. Monson have been called by revelation, and that even the missionaries like me have been called to their positions according to revelation, and that there is a purpose for everything although we may not understand it. I know this church is true no matter if the people in it aren’t perfect, and that we have our onw trials to learn and grow so that we can become more perfect. I love this gospel, my savior Jesus Christ, and his infinite mercy he has for me, and I of course love all of you. I t will be an amazing day in a little less than a year when I can see you all as a better son, brother and friend.
Once again thanks for your continued emails even though I haven’t been the best at getting back to you all. I really am praying for you curt that everything will work out for you and your job search, I can’t imagine right now how hard it must be. Keep goin strong Holly in your important work as a mother, and mom in your psychology class! Tell Kelsey hi for me!