Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not too long ago, we were just chattin' it up!

Hey, family!

Welp . . . Not too long ago, we were just chattin’ it up! Good to hear from you all once again, though! Good to know you’ve all been okay for the past 36 hours! I’m serious, by the way . . .

Anyway, yea . . . What a very Merry Christmas! It was great not to have to rush and just let the conversations flow . . . Grrrrrrreat! It was so great to hear everyone’s voice again and to know that the next time we talk I will only lack a month . . . oooooooo . . . Baggy . . . LOL . . .

As for us here in Peten, I am also very excited to see all the ruins up here. Today, we were gonna go see some but President and Hermana Torres are up here in Peten and we couldn’t be far away in case they needed something from us. So, we just went and ate cookies and played Phase 10 and shot some hoops out at the Church of Santa Elena. Elder Toolson is my best buddy from the Zone for sure. He is like 6’3” and has a full ride waiting on him at UVU. We had some shooting contests and he beat me twice and I beat him twice. LOL . . . I think I got lucky, huh? Anyway, his brother was and is a great player, I guess. He is supposedly playing in France now and he was the 9th leading scorer in D1 in his Senior year at UVU like three years ago or something. He dropped 62 against Chicago State in a double overtime game. Needless to say, I really wanna play this Elder Toolson kid . . . LOL . . .

Oh . . . Question . . . What order do the books in the Old Testament and New Testament actually go in? As far as when they were written? Dad . . . Could you lemme know about that one? Please . . . I know ya got my back . . .

Well . . . I don’t think I ever told you . . . When I left Sion, I left seven fechas . . . One was Cristina and the Xol family. Looks like they’re all gonna be baptized on the original date we set which is the 22nd of January. Pretty dog on cool. I’m sure hoping I can see Cristina’s baptism in some way. It’d be maybe my most special baptism.

We got a quadruple double my last week in Sion, too . . . LOL . . . That’s finishing strong . . .

Anyway . . . Holler at me! I don’t have much to say . . . LOL . . . Love you all sooooo, sooooo much!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm Zone Leader in the Peten Zone!

Hello, family!

Sorry for writing a day late yet again! But yesterday was Change Conference . . . aaaaannnnnddddd . . . the oldest pure Cap missionary (Elder Jensen) has left the Capital!!!!!!!! Finally . . . LOL . . . All my waiting and patience paid off. I’m now Zone Leader over the biggest zone in the mission! The Peten Zone!!!!!! Whoop whoop! I just got the chills sayin’ it again. LOL! I have Tikal and El Mirador and all that in my Zone.

I arrived in Peten last night at like 12pm on the bus. The bus ride was 8-1/2 hours long . . . LOL . . . It stunk, but I was happy to arrive safely. No one knows what’s gonna happen on a long Guat trip like that . . . LOL . . . So, my area is San Benito but I’m the Zone Leader so I’ll get to know all the cool places . . . Haha . . . My Companion is Elder Alonso from Nicaragua and we are actually in the same group, so we both go home in six months.

I was really sad to leave Sion because I was there for six months and I really, really did love the people there (well, I love the people there) and I really loved my companion. I couldn’t have had a better companion than Elder Peterson, but I guess it was too good to last for longer than six weeks. The Bishop announced that I was leaving in Sacrament Meeting and everyone made the “awwwwww” sound. LOL. It was pretty funny actually. It was really cool, though, to know how much the people loved me (even as much as I loved them). Bishop gave me time after he heard all the “awwwwwing” to pass in front and share my testimony. It was a really cool experience, but a sad one as well. I left seven fechas in Sion, so I hope Peterson and Williams will be able to come through on ‘em! I really think five of them are for sure baptisms if the Elders keep workin’ hard. It’s cool that Elder Williams took my place there ‘cause I was with him for his first day in the mission field!

Anyway, I’m excited but scared a li’l and all that. LOL. Peten is really warm. It’s only 10am and it’s hot. LOL. Nothing like the Capital where it’s pretty chilly. This will for sure be my hottest Christmas ever. Even hotter than our Christmas in Hawaii.

Well, I’m sorry that I didn’t bring my agenda with all my notes, but I guess I’ll just have to write a super long e-mail next week with double stories.

Oh, and I’m gonna call you guys sometime today to talk to you about how we’re gonna do the phone call. I should be calling within three or four hours.

Sooooo . . . How are you all? Tell me what you guys are doin’ for Christmas! Who is gonna be in the house???? Lemme know real quick. I still have a li’l over 20 minutes.

I love you all sooooo, sooooo much! Take care!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mauricio entered the baptismal waters!

Heyyyyyyy, yo!!!!!!

Well . . . I’m all good from a tough last week . . . LOL! No! I’m just playin’! I really think it was good for me not to receive e-mails for one week. I think it better helped me understand how Elders feel when they don’t ever receive e-mails. I think it was good for me ‘cause I have to know how to relate to my missionaries as a leader. Anyway, though . . . Thank you for all of your updates yet again!

Let’s see here . . . I can’t really give you Christmas calling information just yet ‘cause Chagnes come before Christmas and I don’t know what phone I will be using if I have a change. I’m sooooo excited to be able to talk to you all, though! And, wow! I’m sooooooo excited about Zo maybe going to Gav! That would be waaaaaay, wayyyy, wayyyyy too cool if I could play with him again! Do you think you would have his e-mail by chance? Or could you find a way for me to get in touch with him?

I’m very thankful for Sister Smith’s Mom who got the gifts to you all! I sure hope you like ‘em! Also, I just sent a li’l envelope with a tie for Dad, some pictures and a recording of me talking . . . LOL . . . I hope you get that soon!

And I’m very happy to know that things are going better for Dylan in ball! Keep it up, big guy! Stay strong! If you remember anything I told you on your bed the night before I left on the mission, apply it! I love you, bro!!!!
As for some of my updates now . . .

Well, Mauricio successfully entered the baptismal waters on Saturday and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday! He didn’t lack the second part this time! Man . . . He is a special kid. Just a perfect example of how missionaries only have to be obedient and the Lord will guide people to us and put us in their paths. We really didn’t have to do much with him. He already knew everything . . . All we had to do was invite him again to keep the Word of Wisdom and he did it easily! Yes . . . It was easy! He would never have been baptized if we hadn’t been there helping him. The Lord did all the work He could in spirit and we just had to come in body to get it done. It was pretty cool . . .

As for Karina, we are gonna go talk to her mom a li’l more today. We shall see what she says . . . We just keep prayin’ for her . . .

Oh! Sorry I’m writing on Tuesday, by the way . . . We have P-Day today ‘cause we went to the Temple this morning. I was very, very tired . . . LOL . . . But, like always, the peace of the Temple is untouchable. Good, good morning . . .

Oh, this week, I think it was Saturday, actually . . . I finished the Book of Mormon again. It was my seventh time in life already . . . LOL! Weird, huh? And the fifth time in the mission! Then I was like . . . Dang! I’ve read it seven times! I dunno how much I can still learn from reading it an eighth time! LOL! Well, God made me repent of that thought as I started the Book of Mormon again and learned something cool and new in just the first chapter! LOL!

Ummmm . . . What else from this week? Day of the Devil was this week . . . LOL . . . Only in Guatemala would the devil have his own day. Anyway, they burned a bunch of li’l devil piñatas in the streets. It is supposed to represent the victory of Mary over the devil when she gave birth to Jesus. Who really knows, though . . . Besides the person who invented the day . . . Oh, Guats and their unique traditions . . .

Oh! Guess what?!?! We had a quadruple double this week! LOL! Holler! Ten with a member, ten others, thirteen news, and fifteen less active or recent convert! Ballin’! LOL!

Aaaaaand . . . This week, we had a Christmas Conference with all the missionaries in the Capital (like 115 missionaries) and President and Hermana Torres. The Assistants gave talks as well as President and his wife. Of course, they were all very powerful and inspired. It was held in our Stake Center so I had the keys to everything and knew how to work all the equipment, soooo . . . I was running around the whole conference . . . Backstage, I guess you could say . . . LOL . . . That sounds cool. Oh! And President called me up in one part (and I was the only one that was called up during the whole Conference . . . Pretty cool!) and gave me like ten minutes to talk about the success I’ve had in baptizing and how I’ve done it. It was pretty cool of him and it felt good to know that he trust me ‘cause that means the Lord probably does, too!

Well . . . I don’t have much more to say! Hopefully I’m still here in Sion with Elder Peterson next time I write you! I love you all!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"The power of prayer will pay off"

Hey! LOL! I’m here!

Aaaaaand . . . Welp . . . I completed eighteen months! LOL! Sorry I got on here a li’l early today. And, nope, I didn’t do anything to celebrate my 18-monther. I’m just not big on those celebrations, but I do recognize that I’m getting’ there!
Anyway . . . I’ll hit cha with some updates hoping that I still hear back from ya . . .

Oh! Thank you for the package! I got it and I’ve eaten almost all of the chocolate! LOL! I’m tryin’ to be patient in opening all the gifts, but I’ve opened two of them. I real all the letters! It was so fun to hear from so many people again! I was floating on a cloud for a li’l. LOL . . . Then I went out to work and realized that I was still in Guatemala . . . LOL . . . But I had a huge smile on my face that I couldn’t seem to wipe off. Even my companion made a comment about how happy I was. LOL . . . Not just ‘cause of how I was acting, just ‘cause he could see it through my eyes and smile. It made me very, very happy, though. So thank you sooo, sooo much. I also opened the Hershey kisses ‘cause the wrapping had broken a li’l, so there was no surprise on what it was. I’ve shared all my gifts with my companion ‘cause I’m a good sharer. Oh, and I already ate one bag of the muddy buddies . . . LOL . . . Good thing we were fasting or I think all the chocolate would be gone by now!

Oh . . . Questions, though . . . Any ideas as to what order I should open the rest of the gifts? Did you hear from Sister Smith yet about receiving the package she took for us in Guatemala? Lemme know . . .

This week was a li’l crazy . . . My companion and I lost like two days of work. We lost one day because we were supposed to help the APs. They called and told us to come in the office because we were gonna have to do divisions with some missionaries that weren’t being obedient and were gonna need emergency changes. Anyway, we went all the way out to Zone 14 and waited there for three hours while President was interviewing those rebellious missionaries. Then, after three hours, the APs told us that we could go . . . LOL . . . That we weren’t gonna have to do the divions any more ‘cause President had just decided to do the changes right away instead. Soooo . . . My companion and I lost lots of time goin’ t and from Europlaza. But, it’s all good. A donde me manada ire senor . . . Turns out that President made thirty-three changes! That’s like more changes than we have in a normal Change Conference every six weeks! LOL! Yea . . . We have a lot of disobedient people in this mission. It’s actually pretty sad, though.

Then, two days later, my companion and I had to go back to Europlaza to go to Zone Leader Council. Anyway . . . The Council was good like always. But, wow, it was weird to see that I’m getting’ old in the mission! LOL! Not many Zone Leaders have more time being Zone Leader than I do at this point . . . LOL . . . What happened to me being new?

As far as the work goes . . . It goes good . . . LOL . . . Mauricio will be gettin’ baptized for sure this next week. He has been a really special investigator and a huge example that God works miracles in the hearts of all men when they open their hearts and try to follow in Jesus’ footsteps.

As for Karina, she still has her baptismal date set for December 18th, but it’s lookin’ pretty dog on tough with how closed her mom is. We continue workin’ with her, though, and hope to be able to talk to her more straight forward this week.
As far as Cristina, she is doing very well. She told us that she knows the Church is true! But says she still has doubts on the Book of Mormon . . . LOL . . . She can’t seem to connect the fact that if the Church is true, then the Book of Mormon has to be true, too! LOL . . . She’ll get it in no time. I think a big thing for her is jumpin’ that hurdle of fear and pride . . . Ya know? She’ll get there soon, though. The power of prayer will pay off.

Oh . . . And I loved the letter from Allie about how she wants to enter the Temple. I was thinkin’ over how cool it’ll be to be able to enter the Temple with everyone after the mission, I dunno what could give me more joy than seein’ everyone in all white. We gotta make sure we make our once or twice a month visits to the Temple as a family.

Well . . . That’s ‘bout all I got! I love you all soo, soo much! Hit me up!