Monday, September 9, 2013

Some Soap Box Preachin!

Dear Everyone!

Once again I find myself writing you all late, and I just want to say sorry because I’m so busy and bogged down with stuff all the time. There have been quite a few things that have changed and experiencias I’ve had that I can’t wait to share with you all.

First off, Curt and Holly, I CANT BELIEVE YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER KID!!!!!!!! That’s insane; I am going to have another nephew/niece when I get back home! That’s absolutely crazy, Congratulations and I cant wait to hear if it’s a boy or girl. Sorry that on the job front you are still waiting, but finally it seems like the waiting period is coming to an end! Tucker and Calvin are getting so big, it almost doesn’t seem real for me at times haha. I guess it depends on what happens with the whole job situation, but I don’t know if I will ever be able to experience the empty basement of yours, sounds like it’s awesome especially for Tucker and Calvin haha.

MOM! Thanks for the updates. Sounds like you had a very good birthday and Anniversary. Sorry that the party group continues to get smaller over the years, but I'm happy that you had a good time.  HAHAHAHA I think that’s hilarious that Collin and the gang printed a cardboard cutout of Matt and that you thought some strange man was robbing the house. Oh and that’s awesome that the Mexican woman you showed my email to said that my Spanish was really good, at least I'm learning that pretty well haha.

DAD! Thanks for the email and the updates. It’s good to hear that you are back in the rigor of the work schedule. I hope everything gets better with Kelsey.

Well as for my nook of the woods down here in Guatemala, things are going well as usual. There have just been a few changes in the office that have been pretty exciting. So first off, a week or two ago, we got invited by a director of a local colegio (basically what they call high schools) to go teach the students. So the director of this colegio is Mormon, and because it’s a private school, they can do whatever they want so they periodically have the missionaries come and teach in the school because they are super pilas. So as an office we went over to the school to teach the students about the plan of salvation. It was a little bit nerve racking because basically we split up into pairs and they led us to classrooms of 40 high school students and told us we had as much time as we wanted to talk to them haha. I think all the students were as just surprised as I was to see a gringo and his companion in white shirts in ties walk into their classroom and start talking about god. I have to say it was probably one of the most awkward but exhilarating experiences of my life to just stand up in front of a ton of rowdy teenage kids and start asking what they believe about god and about why they are here in life. It was really awkward at first but then we started cracking a couple jokes and they loosened up a bit answering our questions and participating a little bit. We talked about the plan of salvation and where we came from, why we are here and where we are going, I don’t know if any of them were that interested, but a few people wrote down their name and number for us to call. We did that in different classrooms for a couple hours, and I felt like I was standing on my soap box in front of a crowd preaching the gospel calling them to repentance… or at least as close as that gets with a bunch of teenage high school kids haha.

Also some big news is that Elder Cachipuedo and I are no longer official companions. The reason is that with these past changes last week the assistant Elder Flores and another secretary, Elder Yergensen, left the office to go back into the field so they brought in their new replacements, so my new companion for when we go out to work is Elder Sanchez who is the “comisario” of the office and is from El Salvador. He only has like 5 or 6 months in the field so he is a new kid still, but he’s super funny and insists on calling me his “Master” like from star wars and I call him my “Padawan” haha just some goofy, geeky stuff that goes down here in the office. But I am super stoked about the change because with all the new elders in the office we have a completely new office, with very good and obedient elders which will definitely improve the office life here, and help me feel better. I know you probably don’t care, but Elder Yergensen´s new replacement is Elder pulsipher from South Jordan Utah and he is a relatively new missionary here in the mission, and he is a really good obedient missionary who isn’t afraid to give people crap when they are doing something wrong, so we both have been kind of spearheading a new direction of being more obedient here in the office.   

Elder Sanchez have been doing well together, we had the opportunity the other day when we were going to pick up our laundry from the lady that cleans our clothes and she had her aunt over who is very old and a very hardcore catholic. Apparently she has not been felling well, and our laundry lady asked us to give her aunt a blessing, so I gave her the blessing but it was different from any other blessing I’ve done before. From the moment I started speaking I felt so impressed to not really bless her, but to console her and talk about the priesthood and the gospel of Jesus Christ and steps contained within. Instead of blessing her so much with health, I felt impressed to tell her of the power of the priesthood, and that if she develops her faith and repents of her sins and his baptized by someone who holds the priesthood authority of god she will receive the blessing of eternal life. It was an awesome experience, and afterward this sweet lady lily was very touched, and we offered to do service for her. So yesterday we went and hung up a mosquito net in her poor house which basically consists of one room with wood panels as her walls and a sheet metal roof. She told us how her husband died 13 years ago, and that she has been living alone in this poor house ever since and that one of her two kids and her family have completely forgotten about her, and her other daughter lives super far away and only calls once in awhile by phone, but that she lost her phone a couple weeks ago, so she feels completely abandoned. We shared a little bit about the plan of salvation and the love our heavenly father has for everyone of us, and that because he loves us, he has given us a one, true, living prophet today to lead and guide us. We challenged her to pray and ask god if the message we shared was true and if Thomas S Monson is a living prophet today, and despite that she is a hardcore catholic with all these images in her house she agreed to pray to know. So we will see what happens with this lady, but I feel really good that she will receive an answer and come to church.  

As far as office work goes, I’ve been quite stressed out recently first of all with changes that happened this past week and getting that all ready, and just that I have had some down times recently where I feel like Satan has been testing me and with everything that is happening I have felt really oppressed with a heavy weight on my shoulders. I don’t know why, but I haven’t been sleeping all that well with all kinds of strange dreams and I feel like all this stress has just been building up inside. Unfortunately I had an experience where I kind of blew up in regards to a certain situation that happened. Without all the details I just want to say that I had a very tender experience where I learned a lesson that I think has and will ever change my life, and my way of thinking in regards to forgiveness, mercy and the love of our heavenly father. I think for the first time in my life I really learned what it means to forgive someone. Forgiveness is not an issue of wrong and right. It is an issue of love. To be angry or to hold a grudge is of the devil. As it says in 3rd nefi 11, the spirit of contention is the spirit of the devil. To forgive is to love. I feel like I have learned that when we truly forgive someone, we do it out of our love for our heavenly father and for our love for our imperfect brothers and sisters. It doesn’t matter who is in the right, or who is in the wrong, we are commanded to forgive and love all because it is what our savior Jesus Christ did during the atonement and does for each and every one of us every day. We had a meeting with President Ruiz this past week where he said that if we truly want to fix problems or correct something specifically here in the mission, as well as in life, we need to humble ourselves and do what we know is right now matter what, forgiving everyone and asking for forgiveness in every moment. I feel like I truly had the hard opportunity to learn that, and I feel like it has changed my way of thinking in relations with other people for the rest of my life. I know this gospel is true, and that my heavenly father knows and loves me. I know oh too well my weaknesses and that my savior and brother Jesus Christ suffered and paid for every single one of them, and for that I will forever be grateful.

I love you all so much, I know I'm not the best at showing it, but I am eternally grateful for all of you.

Verdaderamente, espero que estén bien. Les amo con todo mi corazón. Gracias por su amor y apoyo en todo. Estén felices y siguán adelante!

-Elder Henderson

P.S. Sorry I know I need to take more pictures, I will try to send some more! 
Heres an older one with Elder Yergensen

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