Tuesday, January 14, 2014

En Las Montañas

Family and Friends!
Well, I don’t even know really where to start because so much has happened this past week. Officially, I am out of the Office! After 8 months of being there and working I am now back out in the field as a normal missionary to finish of my mission. It’s a really strange feeling after being there for so long and making some good friends, but I know it’s time, and I am excited to be out working normally and learning the rest of what I can in the time that I have left in the mission.
So… change meeting last week came, and I am now serving as a Zone leader in the mountains! My zone is called San Marcos and is located in a city that is aptly named… San Marcos haha in the mountains. It’s pretty crazy because for my whole mission up to this point I have served in hot areas where it has been hot, humid and I have sweated a ton. Now I am up high in altitude again in the mountains where the temperature hovers around 50 or 60 degrees. Now that may not sound too cold, but when you are accustomed to burning heat, and the fact that the houses here don’t have any heat as well, it’s pretty darn cold. At night time you can actually see your breath when we go to bed. So yes it’s pretty cold at times. My new companion is Elder Bejar from Mexico and he has about 16 months in the mission, a little less than me, and he has been up here as a zone leader for about 3 months, so he is teaching the ropes a little bit in how to be a zone leader and all that. He is a really cool guy, and actually a couple months ago when he was in a different area, he baptized 18 people in one month, so he knows his stuff. Our ward is called Maya, and it’s the most pilas ward I have been in my mission. The assistance is about 160 or 170 every week which is a lot for Guatemala, and I would actually compare it to an American ward because it is so well organized and has pilas members. The members and Bishop are super cool and really want to help the missionaries, the only thing is that everyone works a ton up here. The people up here in the mountains have a little bit more money and so they have nicer houses, nicer things and they even have personal cars which you don’t see too often on the coast. It also means they are also a little bit more prideful and are less willing to listen to the missionaries. In my whole time here in the mission the mountains have always been a harder place to baptize and because of that the missionaries have the attitude that contacting and doing normal things like that don’t work up here.
I am really excited to be here and to work hard these last few months of my mission, but its going to be kind of difficult rom what I have seen this past week. AS Zone leaders we always have to do things for other missionaries or participate in leadership meetings as you probably know and all that eats up a lot of our time. A funny story with that is on Wednesday when we got to our house late because it was about a 4 hour bus ride up to the mountains there wasn’t any water which wasn’t a big deal, but then on Thursday when we went to go shower there still wasn’t any water so I didn’t get to shower then either, and then on Friday we had to go back to reu for a leadership meeting so we woke up at 4 in the morning to get ready and there wasn’t any electricity. And just so you all understand, in the mornings especially at 4 in the morning you can see your breath here and its cold, so all the showers have these electric water heater things hooked up to them so people don’t get hypothermia when the take a shower, and if there isn’t any electricity, there isn’t any warm water which means you would have to shower in ice cold water without any light at 4 in the morning. Long story short is that I didn’t take a shower for the first three days up here in the mountains haha.
Well as for the rest of the week, I have just been getting to know my area, which is basically in all honesty the side of a mountain. I don’t understand the culture here sometimes, but these people build their homes in the most inconvenient places… like the side of a mountain haha so to go visit some members and investigators we have to hike up a mountain everyday which gets me winded, but there are some great views and I will have to send some pictures.
As far as the work goes, we hardly have any investigators. Elder Bejar doesn’t really like contacting, and to be honest its really hard to do things like that, and the fact that the members don’t have a lot of time to leave and work with us, but I really do want to have success. There are some things we are going to put into practice to find some new people.
Well my time is almost up, and once again I cant write everything, but I really feel overwhelmed with all the new things I have to do as a zone leader. I have to be the example and teach the other missionaries how to work effectively and be good missionaries when I have been in the office for 8 months which makes me feel I am behind the curve on things. My zone is also pretty big with 16 elders and 4 hermanas under our care, so I just feel really overwhelmed trying to learn everything as well as the pressure I feel to find people to teach and baptize and be the example of the zone. So we will see how everything goes this week, my first full week in my responsibility. I know that god put me here for a reason, and now it’s my job just to be humble and do what he wants me to do. Thanks for all your love and prayers! I’ll send pictures next week!

Elder Henderson

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