Called to serve in the Guatemala Quetzaltenango mission

Saturday, August 30, 2014

One week left in the CCM!

Hello everyone!  I'd again like to thank everyone for the great support and love from back home, I really appreciate it.  Guess what?  I leave for Quetzaltenango on Tuesday!  I can't believe how fast the time has gone here and how much I've learned.  I'm really pumped to start preaching the Gospel.

President Cox came back this week, which was a huge blessing.  President Pitcher did a pretty good job, but President Cox has so much energy and is such a great guy.  It was his birthday earlier this week, so the whole CCM met together at lunch time for a birthday party.  Chocolate cake, mariache music, and my friends here at the CCM, it was a great time!  Haha funny story for you guys.  Each day we're supposed to get up at 6 30, and as I was getting up I could hear a booming voice down the hall.  About 3 minutes later I recognized who it was... President Cox!  An elder in our room was still asleep as President came in and woke him up.  He asked the elder if he knew the time and some other stuff, the elder felt pretty embarrased but now I know that they don't mess around, 6 30 every day! 

We also got new lations in our room, Elder Lopez and Figueroa.  Two great elders.  On Sunday I had a great experience with Elder Figueroa.  He was sitting on his top bunk being pretty quite.  I asked him how his day was.  He sat straight up and we locked eyes as he said, "What happened today? Today I learned, today I learned that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that he really did restore the church."  Tears started to roll down his face as he said this, and it took me off guard a little bit.  We chatted a little more, but I'm glad his testimony was strenghtened and he shared this with me.  

Well, this is honestly about all I've got haha.  Next week, however, things will be completely different!  I can't express how excited I am, how cool it's going to be.  There's a lot of things maybe I should fear, but I don't have any fears because I trust it God.  I know the truth.  Something Hermano Abadillo said this week really struck me.  He was talking about testimonies and what Heavenly Father wants us to know.  He said, "He likes you to believe, but He wants you to know."  Everyone know that I know the church is true.  No doubt.  I love and miss my family and friends, but for the next two years I'm going to to my best to help others.  Again, next week I'll have a lot to say, but if you learn anything from this know that God lives, Christ died for us, and we will live again.  Love you guys!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hola! from Jackson!

Hi everyone!  Another week down at the CCM, feels like I got here yesterday and now I'm one of the old guys!  I leave not this Tuesday, but the next.  I can't believe it, I'm so excited to go and get to work.

Ugh, I wish I could talk to you guys!  It's been hard for me to express how awesome of an experience this has been over email, but I'll try my best.  This week I feel like I learned so much. My spanish is doing really well, in fact I keep wanting to type spanish words in haha but I guess that's a good thing.  My companion and I have really bonded and we are able to teach pretty darn well.  

This week there was a plague at the CCM.  I think literally half the CCM got it, which was no bueno.  The chefs made a batch of bad lasagna haha, I'll spare you the details but let's just say that a lot of people were stricken!  I didn't get too sick, but a lot of people had some, irregularities if you know what I mean haha.

Each week at the CCM we do something called CRE.  We are supposed to teach real less active members, but they never show up so we end up teaching other missionaries.  This week Elder Carter and I taught Elder Cox and his comp.  Elder Cox is from PG and though we weren't too close, it's really nice to talk to people about home for a little.  He just left yesterday, so did about 25 others.  As a going away party, we packed about 75 missionaries into one dorm room.  Yes, 75.  It was sooooo packed and about 115 degrees, but we all sang a few hymns and had a prayer.  The power in that room was incredible.  There are so many great men here and I'm very priveliged to be apart of the work here.

Well, that's about all the main things that have happened here.  I've bonded with so many and have had amazing experiences here.  Any of you deciding wheter or not to serve, I would say do it!  It's a once in a lifetime opportuniuty to bring others to Christ.  I love you all and I hope things are well at home.  Remember how blessed you are and how much we truly have.  God is generous and he loves everyone.  Peace!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hi everyone!  Everything is going well here in Guatemala!  I had the opportunity to go through the temple today, it was truly amazing.  I had the chance to go through for someone who was from huehuetenango, which is a city in my mission.  I thought that was way cool.
Alrighty, it's been about nine days since I last wrote.  Last Monday we had the chance to go to downtown Guatemala.  Everyone from the CCM got on buses and first we headed for the Capital.  It's just so unique, a lot of European looking buildings and a huge plaza.  Haha there were a few sketchy things down there, but we quickly headed over to a market.  It was so unique, I picked up some Guatemala jerseys and a very, very unique haha jacket with Quetzal birds on it.  After looking around for about an hour, we headed to the relief map.  They had us walk in the streets for a ways, which was pretty cool.  A lot of the people seem very happy and were kind to the missionaries.  The relief map is a gigantic map of Guatemala built in like 1904 or something.  My mission area has so many mountains!  Seeing this map got me really pumped up to serve.  After the relief map, as well as seeing a really slummy part of the city, we headed to Wendy's.  This was the best, nicest, newest Wendy's I've ever been to!  It was soooo nice to sit down with an American burger, sprite, fries, and even a little American music in the backround.  I honestly felt like I was back in the states, and then I looked outside and saw the police zooming by with guys in the back of a truck holding machine guns!  Haha, it's a very different world down here, but I honestly love it so much and the people are just amazing.  
Every Sunday we have a sacrament meeting where people are randomly called on to give talks, in Spanish.  I thought I was clear since there are so many missionaries, but our zona leader got up and said, "Primero, nosotros vamos a eschucar al Elder Call."  Yay!  Haha it wasn't that bad, I feel like I did very well.  I talked about repentance and how it can help us be clean again.  Afterwards one of the branch presidents told me my Spanish was very good, so that was a nice confidence boost.

Let's see what else... oh! That Sunday we watched the 2013 MTC Christmas Devotional from elder Bednar.  Ha that might seem a little random, but I can honestly say it was the best devotional I've ever seen in my life.  They handed out 200 cellphones to missionaries and told them to text questions to elder Bednar's Ipad.  It was so inspirational and helpful for me.  One thing that he said was. "You were not called to a place.  You were called to be a full time missionary."  All missionary work is the same, we all want to bring others to Christ.

Earlier this week we got some new room mates.  I like them, one's from Idaho and the other from bountiful or something.  We also got a new DL, Elder Stott.  He does a pretty good job, but I think I liked Elder Savage a little more.  Elder Jepson, Elder Stott's comp, became our ZL.  He's 23 and had to work for 6 years to be here.  He is so enthusiastic, I really think he will do miracles. 

Things have been going great with Elder Carter.  We have been working on communication and we work a lot more effectivly now.  I love being a missionary and I know Christ lives.  The Church is true and miracles still happen.  I miss you all very much, but just know that I have been working my very hardest.  Nos vemos!

Eating at Wendy's with Elder Carter

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 2!

Hi everyone!  I can't believe I'm almost finished with my second week here at the CCM, it's crazy!  I know I just wrote like 5 days ago, but there are some scheduling issues so they wanted us to write today.  

This week has been quite a bit better than the first week.  To be honest, the first week here wasn't the greatest.  Things have improved and I'm really starting to love my district.  For a while they didn't work hard but they have changed and now I finally have more friends!  My companion and I have started to communicate better, which has really helped us be more effective.  He's quiet, but he has a great testimony and we've started to get along really well, well, most of the time haha.  Let's just say that we had one REALLY hard day this week where we both didn't have the best sleep, but other than that it's been a lot better.  I'll tell you what though.  They always say being a missionary is good preperation for marriage and I want you all to know that's true!  We are together all day every day and if we get mad at each other or something then neither of us get much done.   I will say though, I'd much rather be with a girl all day than with a guy, but that's a few years away haha. 

Tomorrow we get to go to downtown Guatemala, which will be pretty sick.  First we're going to something called "El Mapa". It's a 3D map of Guatemala the size of a football field!  Then we're going to the market, then we get to go to Wendy's haha.  I'm really excited, especially because we get to leave the CCM for a little and have a break.   They say this old part of Guatemala is much different than where we're at, but it can't be that bad.  Even here at the gas station across the street by the temple they have a guy sitting there with a shotgun, so we'll see how Old Guatemala is like.  Should be cool! 

Hmm, let's see.  Oh, I guess I've never really told about my teachers here.  Hermano Noack is our morning teacher and he's the happiest, nicest, and funniest guy I've ever met.  He looks like a Guatemalan version of Mr. Bean and he is always smiling.  His english isn't the greatest, but he's one funny dude.  He shared with us some of his mission stories and they are incredible.  I don't think typing them would do justice, but the Priesthood is real.  Hermano Abadillo is our night teacher.  He's small, well dressed, and is just a stud.  He also told us some mission stories which were awesome, but the other day he did something mean.  We were having class when he started complaining of a headache.  He continued, but started repeating some words and started to stumble.  We told him to take a seat, then he collapsed to the floor.  I was freaking out!!! Someone ran and got a nurse for him, and she said "here's some pepto bismal."  Turns out the whole thing was a joke, but he was trying to teach us we need to apply the right medicine to our investiagtors.  I won't forget that!

Presidente Cox is still gone, so things are still pretty funny here at night time.  Some of the Latinos in my room take a flashlight and put it on peoples peepholes on their doors, which lights up the whole room.  I really love the latino people here, they are hilarious!  

Guys, God answers prayers.  I know that's true.  The church is true and I'm excited to serve in a beautiful area with beautiful people.  Adios!

Elder Call