Mom and Dad, I did indeed have a great week! I had two divisions in other areas and so that was something new and fun and I learned a lot. We also had our Christmas devotional with the President and it was super awesome and spiritual. And we watched a movie which was so good. You’ve probably seen it or have it. It is called Ephraim’s Rescue. So good! I lost track of the amount of times I cried from the Spirit in that movie. We also had our ward Christmas party and it was pretty busy for us missionaries just serving like crazy but it was fun. Speaking of Christmas I can talk on Skype if you want to and think it’s a good idea. Send me your Skype address and if the computers don’t work in the church I will just call you or dad. The traditions are the same almost, just way toned down. There are Christmas trees, but most people don’t have one. Santa Claus is a part of it. It is pretty Americanized where I’m at compared to outside the capital from what I’ve heard. I can’t lie mom I miss all you’re Christmas spirit a lot sometimes. The lights, food, everything. It’s just an especially happy giving time in our house this time of the year. I heard that on Christmas everyone eats tamales but other than that the food is the same. The music they play is the same stuff you are hearing. If they have Christmas music in Spanish they don’t listen to it much. This picture I’m sending is Federico. He was our first and only convert so far. He is awesome. If you could show Brother Pellerin that I wore his tie for the baptism, that would be awesome. By the way what is Trent’s email? We have an investigator who speaks some Chinese and wants to speak a little with Trent. He is richer and is studying a lot. He is really cool. I love you all soo much and I’m not in denial, I miss you guys, but I don’t want to be anywhere but here. There is so little time to write to write letters but im trying so hard to find time. Dad the mutton is always nice and lean and the tomatoes ripe here in Guatemala. You’d love it. There is always someone ready to hear the Gospel here. Always. We just have to open our mouths as missionaries. And it shows that Preach my gospel is for all members because goal setting is something it teaches. You definitely will receive that inspiration!! Elder Mcfire is much easier to say than Mcfadyen, and one day one of my investigators called me that and I loved it and it stuck. I love you so much!
Monday, December 9, 2013
Dear Family, I’m glad you got that picture, that was such a good idea of the Smylie’s. I decided to give the extra Christmas stuff all to my companion because he definitely won’t be receiving anything. To be honest I’m a super spoiled missionary. I get many more letters from my family and packages than almost everyone. And I say that with so much gratitude. I thoroughly enjoyed studying the scriptures you left on each item. That was very clever. Wow a blanket! Thanks! I love you my momma. Well this week went much better and after coming back from basically 3 days of sicky the work was a little slow, but it picked up again. We found a family that is partial super inactive member and partial non member and they have a lot of interest. The son with 21 years old used to be in a gang leadership position, and claims he crashed his motorcycle and had a bunch of surgeries. And he defintely did have surgeries, and his face is messed up, but the bishop says that story isnt likely. And his brother was killed 5 years ago too. But they are really nice people. My companion was inspired to go where we could find them because it was the perfect time. That was pretty cool. Sometimes I feel like we are just planting tons of seeds, and not reaping many. But even if that were the case, what a privilege. Weve been teaching a family, and we think the mom is a member, but she told us she doesnt think she was confirmed 26 years ago when she was baptized. No one else is a member. We teach her daughter and 2 nieces as well. And recently her nephew came to live with her from the city. 3 months he was shot 3 times and almost died, because he was involved in some bad stuff, and he is only 18. And now he is fixing his life. He is already going to AA and is off drugs, and he wants to learn about the Gospel. His heart has been softened. And sadly enough the same week he came, another of her nephews also into bad stuff in the city with a gang was shot and killed. He was only 14. These people go through so much, but they are kind of numb to a lot of things which is sad. Not totally numb. But they have to be a little bit so that they can keep on living normally I think. Maybe thats just my speculation. As far as progression with the investigators goes, it is difficult because so many of our investigators work on Sundays. And they dont have an option. And if they can’t go to church, they can’t progress. As far as things with my comp go,I’ve become very laid back and we just do what he wants always. And its never bad, but sometimes it can be better. So I’m more laid back and more "surfer skater " than ever mom! Not really in that way though, don’t worry. The x mas devotional sure was awesome! And had a real spiritual experience this morning that was rad. Ive gotten it written down so don’t worry. I’m really learning to rely on the Lord and I feel closer to Him than ever before, and that I understand the Gospel and the beauty and perfection of it all better than ever. It’s amazing how when we apply ourselves to something righteous the Lord really blesses us. I love you all soooooooooooooooooooooo much! You’re wonderful! And I’m loving it here and the people more and more. Love your friend, son, grandson, brother, and Chapin,
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Dear momma. This week was partially awesome, and partially not. Monday we only emailed and then went to work cause pday was Thursday for Thanksgiving. Tiring day on Tuesday night after runnin around the hills we went with the ward to the temple. We went with our recent convert Federico Chocojay (14 yrs) and the temple is so beautiful at night and there was a nativity scene that we took pictures with. The youth all planned to do baptisms. I was very happy to be there again. And then we learned the ward didn’t have enough priesthood to do everything...but all 4 of us elders in the ward went. So we were all asked to participate. And we didn’t think that Federico could enter without the priesthood but he had an interview to enter and in he went. I got to participate doing confirmations and 3 of us elders took turns with all the duties. That was so cool and the Spirit was so sweet and peaceful and joyous. And Elder Montenegro confirmed Federico and we saw him be baptized. It was awesome and he absolutely loved it. He is a real stud. None of our other investigators could or wanted to go but he is always like the shining star to brighten our day. On Wednesday I went to the Zone Leaders area for divisions and really we didn’t go to their area, We went to another area that I’ve never been to so Elder Castillo could do baptismal interviews for the investigators of the district leader in that district. There were 4 people to interview and it took a really long time because we were walking around some and the interviews took a while so we didn’t finish till late, and just went straight to the apartment via the busses as always. We were in a beautiful flat valley. It was weird because everywhere in my area is nothing but hills There is very little flat road. That night was really cold. Like legitimately cold. Were at a little over 6000 ft so it can be quite cold. Im guessing with wind chill it felt like about 36 degress F. And the apartments aren’t very warm. And the new zone leaders who came whose bed I slept in didnt have a blanket. So i slept pretty cold, probably ate something bad at the members house where we had a long interview to wait for, and maybe some other factor contributed to me waking up sick at 2 am. Luckily I was able to sleep well till 6 30, thanksgiving morning, and then realized I really was sick. Long story short I was sick in bed in the ZLs house all morning, then some members took me to Rudy Lopezs house (he became my companion), while the other elders went to the zoo, then a dinner at the capilla for the zone. I felt like total crud, i was freezing without tons of blankets, and it wasnt fun, but i was truly trying to count my blessings. Not because of what day it was though because i heard in a talk by a seventy that that is what we ought to do when we are sick or when it isn’t easy to think of ourselves. ¨Count your blessings and direct your thoughts to the savior¨ We were home all day Friday and I developed more symptoms of which I will spare your ears of. And pretty much all day Saturday until I felt good enough at 6 pm to go to some homes, but nobody was there, so we talked with Hmo Rudy about his life more. You should look up August 1986 Ensign with the column title Rudy and Berta Lopez. They are super awesome and super funny. And Sunday I guess I still looked like a white sheet, but thats cause I am still recuperating slowly. But trust me it could have been a lot worse. There are some crazy sicknesses here that just flow around. Tons of people in my little pueblo are sick so I think it was just my turn more than anything. And so I dont have much progress to report on because we don’t have much, and almost all of our appointments for Sunday fell. But today was fun! We finally played soccer! it was so fun! We did my district of 6 versus the members, and we barely lost, but it was really fun so i hope we’ll do it again. And the internet at the church was out so were writing now in an internet cafe. I got your x mas package! I was so surprised! Thanks so much! You guys are so loving and i love you so much and i missed you today when i heard x mas music.