Called to serve in the Guatemala Quetzaltenango mission

Monday, August 31, 2015


Hey family and friends, this week was a little bit crazy, sad, and happy all at the same time!

On Tuesday I did divisions with Elder Shoemaker.  Even though it was a hot day one of their members left to do visits with us for 8 hours!  We contacted all of his friends and it was really cool to hear his story.  He served a mission in Guatemala about 15 years ago and now he is a body guard for the president of Guatemala.  It was a great division and I learned a lot!

Lately we have been teaching a man named Manuel and his family.  Its the very last house in our area, about a 35 minute walk (I say walk but its more like a strenuous hike haha) up into the mountains but Im certainly glad we found these guys.  They dont go to any church and, though they may not be the smartest people, they are very humble and like listening to us.  They have a babtism date for the 3 of October so please pray for them and we will do our best to help them.

Now what you all probably wanted to know about... the babtism of Carlos.  Everything was going fine, Carlos was super excited up until the day of his enterview with one of our zone leaders.  The interview lasted and hour and, though Carlos knows everything he needs to know, there was a sin that happened a long time ago.  Our mission president just wanted to make sure he has repented, so he scheduled an interview for this Friday.  The day after the interview we passed by to talk with Carlos and he told us, "Elders, Ive made my decision that I will not be babtized."  We were wrecked!  After working for so long and helping this family so much Carlos made up his mind.  We tried responding to his doubts but still, nothing.  Anyways, the next day was Sunday and Carlos didnt come to church.  We scheduled an appointment with his wife and, after saying a prayer, I asked, "Do you guys have any questions or doubts?"  I dont know why I felt like I needed to ask that question, but, after a few moments of silence Carlos opened up, "I just wanted to ask forgiveness for what I said yesterday.  I was confused and a little angry about my interview, so I decided not to go to church anymore.  Today in my work I felt so bad that I came home early and, while I was walking, the Holy Ghost revealed to me that I need to be babtized on Saturday.  What time is my interview at?"  How cool is that?  

I testify that the Spirit is real, that God loves us and watches out for us.  Regardless of what the world says, miracles still happen and the Spirit still exsists.  In my personal study today I read 1 Nephi 4;6 which talks about how when Nephi went to retrieve the plates of brass he didnt know how he was going to do it, he only trusted in the Spirit.  Lets trust in the Spirit and try our best to be worthy of it!

Monday, August 24, 2015

My week in 5 minutes!

Hey haha I literally have 5 minutes so Im writing as fast as I can!  

This week we went to the temple! The temple always puts things in perspective for me.  Our entire zone went together in a tiny microbus, which was really packed but we made it in one piece.  What a blessing it is to have a temple in our mission.  It always helps me understand the purpose of missionary work, the "why" behind everything we do.  We arent here to babtize but rather prepare families to enter the temple.  After the session we had a meeting with our mission president, which was excelent as always.  He talked about how God always keeps His coventants.  If we do everything He says and keep our covenants, our lives will be so much better.  

The other day we saw one of our investigators who came to church, an ex gang member named Fernando, in the street drunk!  Alcohol is a huge problem here in Guatemala because, well, its really cheap.  Anyways, we helped get him on his feet, walked him home, and we hope he will keep listening to us... we will see!

Carlos is getting babtized this week!  This will be the first complete family that Ive had the privilige of doing the finding, teaching, and babtizing, so I think its an amazing blessing.  The change Ive seen in this family has been dramatic.  They read each night, pray together, pay tithing, everything.  What a great blessing, its hard for me to explain how grateful I feel in email but its such an amazing feeling.

Apparently Russel M. Nelson was going to come to our mission this coming Tuesday, but his schedule got changed somehow.  On Saturday he spoke to all of Central America from Honduras.  Even though we didnt meet him in person, the spirit was really strong and we learned a lot.  He focused a lot of the family.  The plan of salvation is the plan of happiness.  There is no other plan of happiness, and whats the key to happiness?  The family!  Thats why the apostles, prophets, everyone defends the family because, to be honest, the family is being attacked like crazy.  President Nelson also gave us a long list of terms to study like coventants, Abrahamic Coventant, etc.  It was an awesome conference!

Well thats about all the time I have for today.  Today was cool because we went to the ruins of Zaculeau and finished off at McDonalds.  This was a great week, we are working hard, being more obedient than ever, and all is well!

Friday, August 21, 2015

My week!

This week was a good one!  We had a zone meeting on Wednesday, which was pretty awesome.  We talked about success in the mission, a subject that a lot of missionaries talk about.  One of the main ways we can know if we had success in an area, according to our mission president, is if the church attendence goes up.  Some elders may have a lot of babtisms, but how many people did they help convert?  Converts dont necessarily have to be people that we babtized: they can also be less active members.  It was a really good meeting and it put a lot of things in perspective.

This week we helped the Cox family move houses.  Haha moving is always a lot of work but it was a good service project.  And guess what?  Lorenza, the mom, went to the temple on Saturday!  It makes me so happy to have converts that go to the temple, thats where they need to be to truly become converted.  Her husband Carlos came to church on Sunday and is on fire.  He cant read or write, but I can feel the spirit in his voice during our lessons.  Hes awesome!

Lorenza went to the temple and, speaking of temples... we are going to the temple tomorrow as a zone!  I love the temple in Xela, its one of the most beautiful temples on the planet.  There is such a great feeling of peace in the temple.  As a missionary, we only go to the temple 2 times a year.  I wish more than anything that we could go at least once a month.  Its funny to me how back home the temple was only 3 minutes from my house but I didnt go as much as I should have.  My invitation to all of you guys is to go to the temple!  Its not far, it doesnt take too much time, and the eternal blessings make it totally worth the trip. 

On the 25th a "special visitor" is coming to our mission, rumor has it that either Russel M. Nelson or Quientin L. Cook is coming.  Our whole zone is really excited, Ill definitely let you guys know all about it! Love you!