Once again I find myself apologizing for not writing, but at least the reason this week was something awesome which I will mention a Little later.
So I heard about all the rain Colorado and Utah have been getting, that’s pretty intense. It’s like the judgment from heaven with all the fires and now the rain, wow I hope everything is all right.
Curt, I'm super sorry and bummed out for you that everything with Marriot didn’t work out after months of trying to figure something out. That’s really rough, but I hope that whatever God has planned for you and Holly will work out and everything will be fine. I hope this new website idea turns out to be something awesome. Maybe this means you guys will still be in Utah when I go back to BYU?! At least for me I think that would be awesome haha. At least the bright side of not working corporate means that you are your own boss and you can do whatever you want, and when you start making bank, there isn’t a bigger fish to pay, just maybe a little fish called your brother-in-law???
Mom! Thanks for the email and your thoughts on everything that I have been learning, as well as the things you are learning. The Atonement is an amazing thing, and I feel like I learn a little bit more about it every day. It’s amazing what Jesus Christ did for every one of us. It sounds like you had a great time on your motorcycle trip with Rich as well. I can’t believe you did that, I feel like it’s something that you would never have done just a few years ago. There you go mom, becoming Mrs. Adventurewoman!
Well once again in these past two weeks I’ve been super busy with things happening in the mission and things that have been happening in the office. Part of the reason why I wasn’t able to write you all last week is that we went to the temple as an office with Presidente Ruiz and his wife! We have all been wanting to go to the temple for quite some time now, and this past week us and president were able to plan out a time to go, so we headed up to Xela last Saturday morning to do a session! We did the session and everything in Spanish, and I don’t think they have the new video translated yet so it was still the same video as before when I went to the temple a year ago. But it was super awesome because I haven’t been to the temple since I was in the CCM in the capital, and the temple was super beautiful, I have to say that it kind of beats out the Denver Temple. Don’t get me wrong I love my good ole home temple, but the one in Xela is pretty awesome. It’s pretty crazy how much I understand now in Spanish, almost to the point where it just feels normal and natural to hear everything differently. After we went to the temple we went to Walmart for the first time in my mission! It felt so weird to be in a walmart filled with Guatemalans, but it was pretty awesome because I was able to buy a ton of Life cereal which I haven’t had in 14 months… but yes I have already eaten it all… two boxes worth haha.
As far as the office and mission life goes, it’s been quite a struggle these past couple of weeks to be honest. The news is that President Ruiz decided that he wants there to be two enfermeras in the mission instead of just one, and that he wants them both working in the office with us. So basically these past couple of weeks we have been trying to get used to having Sister Missionaries working in the office which, to no offense to my female friends and family, is quite stressful and patience testing. It has taken quite a lot of patience to help out the hermanas as well as try to do my normal work as well. I do feel for those hermanas though, as they are always taking phone calls and dealing with all kinds of wonderful Guatemalan health problems that 19 year old elders have, as you can imagine it isn’t the most glorious work ever. All of that I think also brought a lot of stress into the office amongst ourselves that we have been getting into arguments and problems with one another which has really sapped some of the spirit out of the office. I feel like with all the positive changes we have been making here in the office as well as in our mission, Satan has been trying really hard to break up the unity we have as elders, and it’s caused a lot of bad feelings and “office drama.” I feel like I will never be able to completely escape dumb drama in my life, but just learn how to handle it better I guess. Well it just got to the point a couple days ago that we sat down together as an office and had an office inventory which is basically where we just let it all come out, the hard feelings things we didn’t like about each other and well a lot of things I won’t mention, but overall it was a very good thing. We were able to work through all the problems we’ve had with each other as well as vent some of the steam and pressure that builds up with the constant problems and difficulties here in the office, and I feel like we really were able to test our beliefs of forgiveness as we really just humbled ourselves, everyone of us and asked for forgiveness from everyone and it was just a testimony to me of the importance of communication in every single relationship and setting we have in our lives. I have just been thinking about all the things I'm learning here in the office that are going to bless my life after the mission. How when I'm married, I have to be able to communicate effectively in a loving manner because when I'm annoyed or angry or frustrated, I cant just run away, but I have to deal with the problem. I feel like that is what the office has forced me to do, it has taught me how to really turn and face my problems, and embrace them; figure out how to overcome them, and I have learned and have had the spirit testify to me that when I have been able to do that and resolve my problems in the right, loving way I am supposed to, there is more understanding between people and we end up having less problems. I think I might have said this before, but I think I am coming to realize that a lot of success in life depends on how well you can understand and work with people. Here in the office its been a real tough struggle at times, but I feel like the lord has given me so many trials at this time in my life so that little by little I am getting better at my communication skills and working with all different types of people.
As for work in our area, it has been going incredibly well with Elder Sanchez and I. We have been getting out and working in our area a lot, and we have been working really effectively as well. Almost every day this past week we have gone out and worked with members of our ward. MISSIONARY WORK IS SO MUCH BETTER WITH THE MEMBERS!!! We went from having almost nothing in our area, to having several investigators as well as having a good knowledge of the area, the ward, the challenges there are and knowing who are the less actives and everything. It has been amazing how the lord has been preparing our path. We went and visited a member who is a returned missionary; she has been back for like 6 or 7 months from serving in El Salvador. So we went over there, and in the first visit we had with her and her family, she gave us a reference and set up a Noche de Hogar with one of her friends. So Elder Sanchez and I went to this visit she set up in her house, and met her friend Nickson. He has like 26 years and knows a little bit about the gospel. He has talked with sister missionaries before, but after a couple visits from them, they had changes and he hasn’t talked with missionaries since. So after taking the advice of this member, we showed up and showed the restoration video that explains about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. He was super attentive and interested in the video, an after wards we explained a little bit more about the Book of Mormon and everything, and Elder Sanchez shared his conversion story which really brought the spirit. In that moment after we talked about all of that, we challenged him to read the book of Mormon and he said yes, we challenged him to pray about the BOM and about Joseph smith and he said he was going to, and then we challenged him to baptism, and he said yes, and then we challenged him to come to church as well as go to the Temple with the ward, and he said he would!!! Pretty much it was a golden lesson, and elder Sanchez and I are super excited, because he is such a prepared individual to accept this gospel, and if he reads and prays, and goes to the temple this weekend, I know he will get baptized! We are just super excited, and we can’t wait to be some of the first missionaries to baptize in the office! Things really have changed and come a long way since when I first got to the office. I am so grateful that I can be a part of this change and to have the success we are seeing right now. I can literally see the hand of the lord shaping us and changing us here in the office as well as personally changing me in my time in the mission. It’s something so incredible and amazing. The mission is just pretty bomb.
As always I love you all, and I am so thankful that you are my family. I am thankful for the mission, the challenges and difficulties I’ve had in that they have shaped me and made me a better person. I still have a long way to go, but I still have a little while before I see you guys again, and by that time I hope to have improved just that much more.
Con todo mi amor y ser,
P.S. Here are some pictures!
Here are some more photos i have been meaning to send!
1. Xela Temple at night
2. Xela temple at night (Me and Elder Sanchez)
3. Volcanos right near retalhuleu
4. View of the Guatemalan Countryside