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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Jan 27

ar mom, this week was so good. So so good. On Wednesday Elder Ochoa, Elder Duncan, Elder Suarez, Elder Amado and Elder Cook came, and they spoke to our mission, East and Central. There were so many missionaries there and it was great. The Spirit was so strong. The singing and special musical numbers really brought the Spirit. One of the easiest ways for me to have my testimony confirmed is to listen to leaders of the Lords church. They are inspired. I learned to really become a part of the ward where ‘m at. To improve my prayers. To plan even better. To walk with even more purpose. I am so excited to have a companion one day (if not in the mission, my wife) who shares my desire to improve and work. Cause I truly desire that. I went divisions on Wednesday and then again with the ZL, both in my area. Both days we worked so hard, and it 2 of the best days of mission. I was so happy, and we were able to do so much. Even though on Wednesday almost all of our plans fell through, we kept searching and searching, working and working. Walking fast, trying to be smart. And when we had given our all, the Lord led us to a new investigator who seems really ready for the Gospel. And then for the next appointment with our investigator with a baptismal date, her family who are members told us she didn’t want to learn anymore. We needed a man to accompany us with them, and he didn’t show up either so we couldn’t go in to try to see what was going on. We went to a pay phone, confused and worried we messed up because we hadn’t been able to visit her for a little while. And the man we needed didn’t answer. We went back to the house to tell them we couldn’t come that day, and we wouldn’t have anything to do really. And all of a sudden the man shows up. We enter, still wondering what’s up. Her family tellsher we were there and she was just like, oh ok I ‘ll be there soon. Easy as that. We had to be diligent to make that happen. We had to be obedient and not enter the house without a man. And then we had done our best the Lord provided, and now she is doing great and getting ready to be baptized the 8th of Feb. My poor mission president has tons and tons of missionaries who don’t want to work. Don’t want to see miracles, don’t want to do their best. But we’re getting a new president in July, and judging by the resume we read of him, he seems like the kind of man who will whip this mission in to shape. I am beginning to understand a bit how Heavenly Father feels when we disobey. Love for people, but sadness for their decisions. After those 2 amazing days it was hard to adjust to a slower pace again with my comp, but I’m back in the groove again, and I have more time to study. Whatever the situation, as long as ‘m doing my best, it’s what the Lord wants, and I’m learning a lot. Love you so much! 

Elder Mc 

Jan 20

Mom, I am great. I am much more comfortable with my comp and silence etc. I’ve just adapted. It took a little over 3 months, but I did it. I really can see very easily that the experiences I’m having are helping me grow in faith and determination. The week was good. We have 2 investigators that I think will get baptized before my companion goes home. And I am learning to be better always. Two missionaries from our ward have come home recently, and they are helping us a lot, and I can tell they were stud missionaries. I am learning from them a lot as well. This week my comp was sick for 2 days. I had 2 options. Be productive with my time in the apartment or not. I really wanted to use my time well. I studied a lot, and it was actually a difficult 2 days, but it was great from what I gained. I gained a much stronger testimony of the divinity and importance of the Book of Mormon. It’s absolutely essential, and as LDS folk, we must study it often and we are proimised many blessings. My testimony of prayer was strengthened as I had lots of time to pray. I put my 2014 goals, and I know what I need to do to accomplish them. I’m happy, I’m healthy, I love it here. I really mean that though. It is the coolest place on Earth. I hope I can have a chance to live here again like the Smileys. We were teaching him and his parents. But we stopped going because they are basically too busy. They work like nuts. But maybe Ricardo himself would have time. I’m so thankful for the Gospel. I love our living prophets and apostles and the many resources God has given us to stay on the path. This Wednesday were going to the city to hear Quentin L. Cook and a Seventy! I’m so excited! There will be I think 3 missions there. Us, Central and East. Whats awesome about the Gospel is that if we want more knowledge, more happiness, more closeness to God, more love, whatever. It’s there. We just have to do our part to get it. But man is it precious. And it’s completely incomparable. First pic I sent. Mauricio Gomez a hilrious member asleep after we ate lunch. It took literally less than a minute for him to fall asleep once he sat down. He snores, so we knew when he was asleep. Theres a funny looking dog at the members house where we are teaching their aunt who recently moved in with them. Shes getting baptized Feb. 8th.  At the same house is a very very deep well. And the same house a cool pic of the landscape. Love you so much! PIc 1 theyre just burning lots of random stuff where all the buses are parked 200 feet from our house. 

2 The Lopez family who are our neighbors had their son return from his mission and they built him a room and attached it to their house basically using a large box. There is a pic of an identical box that they use as a tool shed. THey have more money than most, but still not a lot, and they are so creative and awesome I love it. These are my kind of people. (Rudy Lopez was one of the first members baptized in Guate and central am  was telling you BOUT IT. Hes great 
Elder McFire

Jan 13

I am doing good. I’ll try to get in all the information I want to you guys. First about the blanket you sent. I got it 2 weeks ago and we went to eat lunch at the very American mall which we do a lot. And when we got home I realized Id left it there. I didnt say anything because I didn’t want you to be sad, and I was praying that I’d find it in the lost and found there in the mall. And the next week I did! So I’ve had it a week and I’ve been  sleeping so warm and cozy and I feel like I’ve never slept so good in my life, so thank you so much. The work is slow going. We are trying to help a couple get married. The woman is a member and the man isn’t, and they need to get married so he can get baptized. And we had this family we thought was really solid that seemed so prepared, and then like overnight they seemed to lose the interest they had, and didn’t want to go to church, and so that was disappointing. I’m not sure what will happen with them. We have 2 progressing investigators. One is living with her member family as of recently, and she is elderly, but is very receptive, and loved church. And the other is the husband of a long time active member. He is also looking very positive. I think baptism is close for him. The rest of our investigators aren’t progressing because they don’t go to church. And they could if they wanted to. It’s hard. We did see a clear moment where the Lord guided us to a family who seems prepared. I say seems because I’m apprehensive to count anyone as someone to rejoice for until they are baptized. Anyway I contacted a man on the bus last week and we planned to return Saturday, but we couldn’t find his address. That’s not uncommon. They lie about their addresses or just got it wrong or the house is obscure or hard to find or whatever. And so we went to go to contact. We could go to x place or y. We chose x marks the spot, and 30 seconds later we found that man I contacted and they were walking home and they invited us immediately to come with them. It was sweet! Even though I think they might have thought we were Catholics. but as far as‘I’m aware that was cleared up, and we are going back today. I am still with my trainer which I was happy and sad about. Basically when I did know we were going to be together another 6 weeks til he leaves I wanted him to know I was ready to work like a maniac, and help him with whatever goal or anything, and that I wanted to have a better relationship with him--be his friend. It kind of backfired and he got kind of mad. Im leaving out a lot of details but basically it was a really hard few days for me leading up to that, and I was pleading to be led by the Spirit to inititiate this conversation I wanted to have .He’s not good with sharing emotions or happiness I don’t think. So after basically being let down big time, I was just thinking, Heavenly Father I have done my best and I can’t do anymore. In that instant I felt a weight lifted. I didnt feel so alone anymore. It was a very good experience. And my comp and I are as good as we can be. We don’t talk much, but that’s how he likes it, and I’ve adjusted, and grown closer to God. And despite the challenges I am happy. I feel tremendously blessed and like the Lord is preparing me for harder everything in the future. And like mom said, we can do hard things. Im so grateful for my familial support, and the letters I recieve. Especially from you my momma. I love the mission! The members her are awesome, and so are all the people even though we arent having loads of success in bringing them to the truth. Love you all! 

Elder Mc    

Jan 6

Hey family. This week was good! I went on some amazing divisions. With Elder Mangum who is in the other area in my ward on Tuesday. He has become a really good friend. He is getting transferred tomorrow. But we had such a good day contacting more people than he ever has, and listening to the Spirit and letting it guide us a lot because ALL of the plans fell because everyone went to New years partys. One in particular was awesome. We were into this little gulley looking for their recent convert. He wasn’t there, and we started walking back to the main town. This guy had a lot of land so we walked 200 yards from his fence to his house. Elder Mangum all of a sudden felt like we needed to run. And so I said lets run! And we run up and out of this little valley and through the field to the fence and hopped it just kept walking, wondering what danger we just avoided or what. And then we came to a little driveway and called for Ramone, a little boy we know who has a lot of member friends. Elder Mangum has been looking for Ramones dad for a while so they could teach him. And as Ramones dad was getting ready to leave we caught him and finally set an appointment, and talked with him. The Spirit will guide us if we let it. Then on Wednesday I went with my ZL to his area again. We went to this place that was so cool. And long story short, we found this woman who was very sad for her late mother, and we taught her outside. And I was looking at the most incredible view ever. LIke ever. It was insanely beautiful. We are up on a mountain looking down on a valley and a lake and a volcano. No big deal. Believe me I know how blessed I am not only to be in this incredible land, but with these incredible people, with the oppurtunity to preach the gospel to them. And she was so receptive and Elder Serafin was prompted to give her a BOM even though we didnt teach about it. And looking at that incredible view, teaching this wonderful woman, I knew this was where |I was meant to be. I felt like I belonged. And some other things. Call it what you want. But I know. I sent pics of what IM talking about. We didnt leave the house Thursday because my comp was sick we didnt leave so i studied a lot which was really nice actually once I got over the quiet loneliness. I need human interaction here I tell you. Sometimes I feel like Im being prepared by god to get lost alone in the wilderness because my comp doesn’t talk to me much. ‘Ive tried really hard to be nice and make friends...but. No the real purpose I know is because it bringing me to closer to God because I TALK TO HIM more. Love you so much.