Tuesday, June 7, 2011
This was a good, good last week but, I’m sorry, I can’t understand that I’ll be with you all again someday. I feel like the Mission is a dream and when it ends, so does everything. I can’t comprehend that I’ll be home. I’ve been so caught up in this for so long . . . But I’m happy . . . Happy to know that I do get to hug you all again. I guess that’s the faith, huh? Believing in something that I can’t really understand? Weird . . . Thank you for all of your support. I have officially not seen you all for over two years now. That is just strange . . . I officially know now what Mom talked about at home so frequently about those nervous feelings in her stomach. LOL . . . I’ve felt like that for a week now . . . This goin’ home stuff is tough . . .
As far as the jobs there, whatever is cool with me. I’m down to learn. But, remember . . . I haaaaaaate math unless it’s additional and subtraction. Thanks for helpin’ me out with that!
And, how cool that Dylan won the Male Singing Award! I got robbed of it . . . LOL . . . JK . . . But, yea, Dylan is amazing. Don’t worry, bud, I got your Pick Jesus shirt all packed away for ya . . .
As far as Ilse, Lesly’s sister-in-law, she was not baptized on Saturday. It was very strange because she seemed so sure, but when my Companion and I went to the Capital for Zone Leader Council, we called her to see how she was and at what time she wanted to have the baptism, and she said she wasn’t ready. We went and had some great visits with her when we got back into Peten, but she was just convinced that she wasn’t ready even though she is. But, that’s okay! I guess in that situation, I just have to accept God’s will even though I don’t fully understand it. I’m not sad, though . . . I know she will take that step someday soon . . .
Well, as far as Concilio this week, it was good. President talked a li’l more than normal ‘cause it was his last Concilio as well. He and Hermana Torres go home on June 29th. They gave us lunch in their house, as always, but it was really strange ‘cause the house was soooooo empty. While I was there, I had my last interview with President. He just asked about what I’m gonna be up to after the Mission, where I’m gonna go to school, what my spiritual experiences were on the Mission, and then he just gave lots and lots of nice compliments. The comment that made me feel best was, “I always knew I could count on Elder Jensen, and I always did. Any Zone or Companion he was watching over, well, I knew it would be just fine”. That made me feel good. I’ve always felt like if President is pleased with my work, God is probably pleased too since President Torres is called to act in God’s place in this part of his vineyard . . .
Hey! Happy Birthday, Dallas! How weird! 30, man! Wow . . . You’re a li’l older than Torry Holt . . .
Hey, can you do me a favor? Can you have a toothbrush, deodorant, a shaver, and shaving cream ready for me when I’m home? I’m not planning on bringing mine home. They’re old and used up . . . Thanks!
Well, as you all guessed, this last Sunday in Church was very, very hard. The whole meeting was really normal, but when I gave my testimony, I almost cried at the end. And just singing the last hymn in Sacrament Meeting, knowing that it would be my last time singing in Spanish in my own Ward, it was just tough and pushed a few li’l tears outta me. I’ll sure miss Guatemala. There are some great, great people here.
Other favors, can you guys get me a black, or black and silver, or black and grey, or grey . . . Or something like that . . . Tie? I’ve given away so many of my ties that I don’t have any that match my suit any more. Sorry! Thanks!
Also, can you guys make sure you tape the USA vs Canada Soccer game tomorrow? I would like to watch it when I get home . . .
As far as how I’m leaving my Zone and Area, I feel like I’m leaving it in great shape. The Zone has 40 fechas . . . My Area has 3 fechas and my Companion and his new Companion will baptize this month. I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father that he gave me the chance to serve my last change here and pick everything up. I’m goin’ home a happy man . . . I know I’ve done what I could . . . All that I could . . . I really, really have . . .
Well, I love you all so much! I don’t really believe that I’m gonna see you all soon . . . But it’s exciting! LOL . . . I love you all so much! Never writing you guys an e-mail from Guatemala again! See you sooooooo, way too soon!
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Wow . . . What an overwhelming e-mail . . . LOL . . . I can’t believe how close everything is! My stomach hurts . . . LOL . . . In a good way, but it hurts . . .
Thanks for the “Happy Birthday” wish! It’s been a cool birthday so far. Lots of people have called me to with me a Happy Birthday. To celebrate, we are gonna go eat at a restaurant called “Friends”. After that, we’re going to eat cake with four families . . . LOL . . . So that will be filling! But it was cool that so many wanted to celebrate with me. Plus, yesterday, I already shared a birthday party with a li’l four-year old girl who is the daughter of one of my converts, so that was fun, too! Today, we gotta get in all the celebrating, though, ‘cause tomorrow morning we head to the Capital again! You know that nice, long, fun trip for Zone Leader council! LOL . . . Last one! Number 11! LOL . . . Everyone laughs at me for that . . .
But, yea . . . I only write you guys one more time and, “boom”, I’m home . . . Weeeeiirrrrrrrrrrrrd . . .
I’m excited that Kendall’s baptism is going to take place after I’m home! That’s so cool that Jason is gonna be able to do the baptism. That’ll be huge for him and he will never forget it just as I never forget when I baptized Allie.
I’m excited to speak in Sacrament Meeting and to report to the High Council. But, could you find out what I’m gonna be speaking about asap? LOL . . . I just know I won’t have much time to prepare the talk once I’m home . . .
And . . . Question? Dylan’s graduation is the Friday after I get home, right?
Well, this week was very special. We really responded well to our Zone Conference and Interviews as a Zone. We baptized four people this week (one in my Area) and we also went up by over 15 fechas in just five days! We also have five more baptisms planned for this next week (one in my Area). I really feel like we have this Zone in shape now and I’m very relived. Now we just gotta hold on to our goals and put some more fechas in our Area and, “boom”, I will feel 100% good about going home.
The baptism this week was really cool ‘cause Lesly was baptized by my Companion and it really seems like the family is gettin’ reactivated. Even a brother that hadn’t come to Church in forever came to the Confirmation. Now Lesly’s sister-in-law is the one we are hoping to baptize this week. Very, very cool stuff . . .
Well, I love you all soooo, sooooo much! This week is gonna fly by because of all the things I need to get done! Love you!!!!!!!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Wow! I’ll only have two more times to write you all after today! How weird, huh?
Thanks for all of your fun updates yet again . . . You haven’t let me down in two years. You’re the best!
Very cool that you guys got to have so much contact with General Authorities this week. They always have a special spirit about them. Too bad Elder Ballard couldn’t stay at our house . . . LOL . . .
Hey . . . Did you guys already start inviting all my friends to that big party? I’m just a li’l nervous to see everyone so fast again. Huggin’ girls and stuff . . . Weird . . .
And . . . Thanks for your advice. I won’t bring anything home that I won’t use. Thank you! I think I’ll for sure meet the 50-pound weight limit!
And . . . Good, good job with your reading of the Book of Mormon, Mom! I really love that book, too. My testimony of Jesus Christ has been strengthened sooooo, sooooo much by it . . .
Welllllll . . . As for me . . . This week was interesting . . . It was interesting ‘cause we weren’t allowed to work on Tuesday ‘cause of this whole drug movin’ problem. Now we have to be in our house every day at 7pm instead of 9pm. It makes work much tougher ‘cause now we got out to visit at 9am and no one is in their homes at that time and we lose the visits at 7pm and 8pm at night which are the best hours of the day to find people in their homes. Soooooo . . . It’s a li’l struggle but we will get over it. It will last a month, though, the being home at 7pm thing . . .
This week I got to do two Divisions. One was with Elder Smith in my Area and the other was with Elder Francks in Dolores. They were very interesting Divisions. The one with Elder Smith was amazing because he is from my group and I had never been able to serve even near him until now. He is known for being very spiritual and I sure loved the guy! He works hard and loves what he does. He was a Zone Leader for seven changes and was made a Trainer for his last change. I respect the guy a lot because his perspectives on everything are Celestial. He understands and gets the vision of how everything affects you eternally.
The Division with Elder Francks was fun, too . . . His is in a very tough area but we were able to have a successful day.
Hey! I finished the New Testament this week! That was my second time on the Mission. Maaaaaan . . . I understood it soooooo much better this time!
Also, yesterday we had Zone Conference and on Monday we had Zone Interviews. That’s why I hadn’t written you guys yet. Wow . . . What a great two days. I feel renewed. It was exactly what I needed for my last two weeks. I’m pumped to achieve some new goals before I leave my Zone behind. I had to give my last Zone Conference testimony . . . Weird. I almost cried, but didn’t . . . Don’t worry . . . I’m soooo excited, too . . . I’m gonna finish strong.
President and Hermana Torres gave great talks . . . It was their last trip to Peten as President and Wife of the Mission. My Companion and Elder Williams (a kid I trained for a day before they put me with Elder Mortensen to train and is now the AP . . . Kinda cool) gave great talks as well. Great two days. Great, great, great . . .
Well . . . I sure love you all! I’m very safe . . . Hit me up! See you soon!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Good to hear from you!
I’m glad you loved all the videos! I mean . . . c’mon . . . you gotta love all of ‘em . . .
Well, as for me . . . I have some very cool pictures that I’ll be showin’ you all when I get home! Last Monday, just my Companion and I went to Tikal. Elmer let us in free, took us into some secret tunnel, bought our bus ride home and bought us lunch! It was really, really nice of him. To get to the tunnel, though, we had to take a path that they almost never take . . . LOL . . . The path was actually invisible because it was covered in trees and brush and fallen trees because they really never go there and it is off limits to everyone. Sooooo . . . We took a chain saw and a machete and our hands and went to work to clean the trail and get to the tunnel. Once there, we had to un-nail the cover to the cover to the tunnel and climb way down in where there was no light! LOL! You should have seen the size of those spiders and cockroaches! Ahhhhhhhh! Gross! The only light was the flash of our cameras! There were really cool Mayan paintings down there, though . . . They were very good artists. The wall they drew on was so far down because, supposedly, that wall belonged to a king. When they killed him, they buried that whole level of land and then the next king had his own new level of land, and when he died they buried everything and so forth . . . It was pretty cool . . .
This week, I had one of the coolest lessons of my whole Mission. We went to Las Cruces on Divisons and we found a kid that just got back to Guatemala from St. George, Utah . . . LOL . . . Random, right? He lived in St. George the past 12 years and isn’t a member. I taught him the first lesson in English (the Restoration) and it was soooo, soooo special. I honestly got the chills teaching in English . . . LOL . . . I can’t wait to be home and share the Gospel in my own language.
My pants were crusty this week . . . Lots of sweat . . .
Oh . . . Talkin’ about clothes . . . What clothes do you want me to bring home? My pants? Shirts? Socks? Bed sheets? I feel like everything is pretty beat up, but lemme know what you think . . . I dunno if you think Dylan will want to use some. Lemme know . . . Hee, hee!
Well . . . I gotta bounce! We have early lessons today . . . I love you all! Take care! See you soon!
Monday, May 9, 2011
It was great to talk to all of you! I really did miss talking to Ashley and Tom, but that’s all good. I’ll see ‘em soon!
Well, you guys know everything that’s goin’ on in my life . . . I just thought that since my Mission is now comin’ to an end, I’d share a li’l bit about how I feel about these two years and about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in general.
Ummmm . . . Where to start . . .
Before my Mission here in Guatemala, I really wasn’t a very good example to many people . . . LOL . . . I wasn’t a bad kid either, don’t get me wrong . . . But I for sure could have been better. I personally apologize to all of my friends and family members to who I’ve been a bad example. I also apologize to those that I have done stupid things with or around. Sure, everyone knew I was a Mormon ‘cause I didn’t drink or smoke . . . LOL . . . But I did some things that I shouldn’t have and it makes me feel bad that I wasn’t the 100% great example that I should have been of this Church.
I really didn’t understand the reality and truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ until I got out here. Once I started really reading the scriptures every day and started praying with a sincere heart many, many times a day, I really started to feel a change. It wasn’t that I just didn’t wanna drink or smoke, it was that I don’t ever want to be around alcohol or any kind of drug . . . LOL . . . It changed me from not wanting to cuss to not ever wanting to hear another cuss word in my life. I understand that these things will be around me forever because they are part of the world, but just ‘cause I’m in the world doesn’t mean I have to be part of it.
I honestly know that God loves every single one of us and wants the best for every single one of us. He knows me and all of us individually. Once I really learned that, not just be hearing it, but by feeling it, I could just feel a nice, peaceful change in me. I don’t plan on going home and never leaving the house ‘cause everyone is bad . . . LOL . . . But I do plan on just trying to live a little higher. I don’t plan on goin’ home and being a weirdo and only talk about Jesus either. But I do plan on having my actions reflect Him a lot, lot better.
I honestly know for a fact that Jesus came to Earth to pay for every single one of our sins and He calls us to repent, be baptized, and come unto Him. I know that His Gospel, authority, Church, and teachings were restored (because they were 100% lost after his crucifixion and because of the death of all of those who held the authority to lead the Church) by a Prophet named Joseph Smith. I don’t worship Joseph Smith, but I do thank him for all he did (even giving his own life) to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the Earth.
If Joseph Smith was a Prophet, it means this Church is the only true Church to baptize and help us make other sacred promises with God. But, if Joseph Smith was not a Prophet, the Mormon Church is one of the biggest lies of all time. I know this isn’t a lie. I have gotten down on my knees and asked my Heavenly Father in prayer if this is the true Church and He has told me, “yes”, through His still, small voice and by promptings in my heart. Yes . . . This is His Church.
Through the power and authority that those called hold, families can be sealed together and live together forever and not just for this short life. The heavens would not be heavens of happiness without my family.
These two years have changed my life. I no longer feel the urge to find worldly happiness . . . LOL . . . I no longer want to have seventy pair of shoes and spend all of my money on hats and jackets . . . LOL . . . I know the only way to be happy is to be humble and live the commandments.
I CANNOT wait to see all of you again (family and friends)! I hope to still have all of my friends when I get home. It’s been so long, but I love them sooo, sooo much. I just wanted to share my feelings real quick . . .
Just ‘cause I’m a good Christian, though, doesn’t mean I’m gonna take it easy on the basketball court . . . LOL . . . I love you all soooooo much! See you in a month!
Monday, May 2, 2011
I am very happy that I get to fly to Los Angeles with everyone else! I was a li’l worried since I was the only one going to California . . . I was worried they would send me to another place than all the rest buttttttt, no! So, I’m happy!
Hey . . .Thanks for the video of Dylan singing and talking! LOL . . . I loved how he was wearing his hat just like I always did. I left some gangster in him. And, wow! What a great voice Dylaln has! He almost made me cry! Nooooooo lie . . . I am so proud of that kid . . .Words can’t really explain it. I’m waitin’ on his DearElders sooooo anxiously, though . . .
And, yes . . . I got the package from Grandma and I should get the other package on Wednesday ‘cause we will be in the Capital for Zone Leader Council. DearElders and all that usually get to me a week to two weeks after they are sent. Sometimes they’re faster and sometimes they’re slower, but it’s usually right around there . . .
And I can’t believe about James! All I could do is make a sad, angry face. I’m very happy that he is well, though. I’ve been thinking so much about that kid lately . . .
Happy Birthday, Uncle Ed!
Okay . . . This was the hottest week of my Mission bbbbyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy faaaaaaaaarrrrrrrr! LOL . . . There were times that I just wanted to throw in the towel . . . LOL . . . It was a tough week, but we worked hard and were blessed with success, putting three more baptismal dates. Oh is going to be baptized for sure on the 21st of this month. We actually put the fecha with him yesterday as an answer to our Fast. Cool, cool stuff. I also read Dad’s DearElder to me about his Mission and it always seems to inspire me. I know the Lord blesses the obedient and hard workers . . .
Oh! I talked to Elder Legua this week . . . He says “hi”! LOL . . . Just so you know . . .
I know Dad wants me to write something special and I will, I promise. I’m gonna write it next week, though, so it can be well thought out . . .
As far as those who came to the Zone . . . We got Elder Smith! He went to Zone Leader the same time I did and is from my group. He has been a successful leader his entire Mission and I look forward to working with him sooooo much. I really respect the guy ‘cause his vision on everything is so Celestial and never worldly . . . It’s amazing. It should be a very fun Change. Also, they split up one District and made two, soooo . . . That’ll help as well! And, we have three brand new missionaries in our Zone being trained by Elders smith, Snell and Sakievich, so it’s lookin’ like a good, solid, fun, successful Change . . .
Well . . . I sure love you all! Hit me up!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, April 25, 2011
Well . . . I’ll just break the news already . . . I did not have a change. Which means I will be dying here in San Benito, Peten . . . LOL . . . I will finish my mission with just five areas which ties the Mission record . . . LOL! I will also finish my mission with eight changes (just about one year ) as Zone Leader . . . LOL . . . That will be the Mission record as well . . . LOL. The other Elder who went to Zone Leader with me and was from my group is no longer a Zone Leader this change, so I’m gonna beat him out . . . LOL.
Anyway, I’m really excited because we have had some challenges that we have to overcome in our Zone this Change because the Zone has fallen apart a li’l in just one week. But, President and the Lord are givin’ me the chance to make it happen again and I know I can. Plus, I get to finish my Mission with Elder Molina and it doesn’t get much better than that. Whenever you have a Companion that you get along with for two changes, it really just feels like one change, so I know these six weeks are really just gonna fly by. My last change, though . . . My last agenda . . . Agenda Numero 18 . . . Weird . . . I really never thought I’d get to this point in my Mission. I can’t comprehend that I’ll go home soon . . .
Well, as an answer to all of your questions . . . And to ask some of mine . . .
I never found Elder Smith’s raincoat . . . Sorry .. .
For Easter, all of the Processiones went on, but I didn’t get to see ‘em this time . . . You gotta look ‘em up on the internet . . . They’re loco . . .
We received the info as to who has changes last night, but we will know where everyone is headed on Wednesday morning . . .
Question . . . Who are all these girls that Dylan is gonna go to dances with? I don’t know any of them . . . That’s not cool . . . Explanations, please . . . LOL . . .
And, Dylan . . . Where ya gonna go to school? Be honest . . .
Also, I mailed out the memory card today with my March Madness Bracket (LOL) and some earrings and a necklace, I think. Anyway, the jewelry was made by an investigator of mine and she just wanted to give it to you.
Aaaaaand, this week we have another baptism! Her name is Aleyda and she is 15 years old. She had a loooooooot of challenges to overcome to get to the point of being baptized, but she got there with lots of repentance and changing. But . . . She did it! President Torres did the interview, not because of some great sin she committed, but because she is younger than 18 years old and her parents are not members of the Church. Anyway, though . . . Her baptism was really, really cool. Aleyda’s baptism was especially cool because of how badly she wanted to be baptized and because she reached her goal. When she came up outta the water, she just started bawling and the members started bearing their testimonies, one by one, after the baptism. I dunno . . . You could just feel something really special. She was confirmed a member of the Church on Sunday . . .
Oh! I forgot to tell you guys that when we did Zone Interviews last week, we also got to watch a talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in the MTC. Wow . . . It was amazing, haha . . . You guys can just imagine. Anyway, after we watched it and, yes, we watched it in English, all of us got up one by one and bore our testimonies. It was the first time that I had really born my testimony in English for over a year and a half and there was something awkward but very special about it. As soon as I started testifying about how it is that I know that families can live together forever, and said that I couldn’t imagine not living with my Mom, or li’l brother, or niece, or anyone from my family, I just started crying. I feel so strongly about it now and there is nothing more important than living with all of you forever.
And . . . I’ll be home to hold you all soon . . . LOL . . . I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Let me start by saying that I’m sorry if my spelling is terrible today, but I can’t see the computer screen that well and I refuse to wear my glasses ‘cause I’m sweatin’ up a storm and they keep fallin’ off my nose! They are burning all the Peten mountains and valleys (as they do every year). All I know is that Peten could use some Santa Cruz tree huggers. These tree burnin’ guys are makin’ the air as black as Satan’s drawers . . .
Any who . . . Yes, we were able to baptize and confirm Adelfa’s son a member of the true church of Jesus Christ. He was a very happy boy even though my Companion had to dunk him three times ‘cause the li’l kid is just a floater. Then, yesterday, we gave him his triple combination with a message and a picture of him dressed in his baptismal clothing and he was even happier! So, thanks for all of your prayers! They worked!
And . . . I will be waiting on Dylan’s DearElder with much anticipation. Oh, and in response to your other short e-mail as to what else you can send me other than Muddy Buddies . . . Nothin’. I’m good. I’ll be home soon . . . Thanks, though! If it isn’t free, though, don’t even send Muddy Buddies. I’ll be home soon, I repeat . . .
Well, this past week, I went on two divisions. One with Elder Toolson here in San Benito and another one all the way out in San Luis with Elder Tolley. San Luis is the furthest area we have and when we were there, we went out even further to Cain. So, we were like three hours away from San Benito . . . LOL . . . The three days of divisions really helped me, though, ‘cause I knew I had to be the best missionary I’ve ever been as I have to always be when I’m on divisions. That just makes me focus on the work ‘cause no one I visit out of my area knows how much time I have and they don’t bug me about goin’ home soon. All those comments sometimes cause you to feel baggy. So, they were great divisionsn with lots of success. Plus, we did another short division on Friday so that we could have our baptismal interview done for Manuel. So, I didn’t work a lot with my Companion this week, but I feel like it was good for me for a good refocus . . .
Also, this Sunday, President did an interview for one of our investigators who will be baptized this Saturday. President Torres had to do the interview because the girl is younger than 18 and neither of her parents are members. She passed the interview and all is well . . . She is ready to go for this Saturday . . . So, that’s pretty dog on cool!
Aaaaaand . . . This week for interviews . . . Wow . . . They went a long, long time . . . LOL! They lasted from 9am until 6pm. President interviewed every one of the thirty missionaries from our Zone . . . One by one . . . Those who weren’t being interviewed at the moment received instructions from the APs and told Hermana Torres their memorized scripture and received chocolate if they had a good one memorized. I had 2 Nephi 2:9-10 memorized and I got my US candy, of course! Then, for my interview with President . . . Well, it was the longest one I’ve ever had for sure, so that was cool. He asked me the differences between my current Companion and my last Companion (Elder Molina and Elder Alonso) and so I explained to him their different qualities and leadership techniques. Then he asked about Elder Crespin, the best missionary in our Zone who, unfortunately, goes home in a week and a half. He asked me how it is that he has had success in his Area. I explained to him that I think it is his hard work and obedience. We then talked about what’s gonna happen with me in my last change. I asked him if I will have the opportunity to serve the people of Polochic even though I don’t know the language. But, I told him that if that isn’t God’s plan, I’m fine. But, as President Torres always says, the best revelation comes from information like when missionaries share their desires with him. He said that changes weren’t fully finished yet, so it’s possible that I could go there, but I doubt it ‘cause he also said that if it’s God’s will to have me stay in San Benito, I just gotta get my Companion to understand how to light the Zone on fire and keep it on fire as it is. Sooooo, from that comment, I think I’m stayin . . .
Then, yesterday was the Zone Conference and I gave a talk. It was a short 5-7 minute talk as they asked for, but I felt that I was well prepared and I delivered it well. I talked about Paul and his missionary struggles with teaching and how it is that Silas had success with Jews in Chapter 18 of Acts, but that Paul wasn’t able to find the same success. Then I talked about the importance of teachin’ with love and the Spirit. It was cool, though, ‘cause as I was waslkin’ down off the stand after my talk, I heard Hermana Torres whispering to me, “Elder Jensen, Elder Jensen”, so I went to see what I could help her with. All she said to me once I crouched down to her was, with teared up eyes (always good make the women cry), “That was one of the best talks I’ve ever heard. Thank you, thank you”. So, I told her thanks and walked away. It was very nice of her, though. Some of the missionaries also came up to me personally to tell me how much they liked it, so I’m happy if I could touch the hearts of just a couple. The rest of the Zone Conference was great, though, and we learned lots from President, his wife, and Elder Davis. Oh, plus it was Hermana Torres’ birthday yesterday, so Elder Davis and I went out and bought her a birthday sash and a Burger King crown wrapped in Happy Birthday paper and then gave her a handwritten card with Hershey kisses. She loved it, so . . . Good, good day.
Soooo . . . Yea . . . It was a great week! Well . . . Next time I write you, I’ll already have my change for my last change of the Mission! Weird, huh? Well . . . Love you! Talk to you soon!
Oh! And . . . Happy Birthday, Ryan!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Welp . . . I’m writing this e-mail very, very dirty. I’m not gonna say dirty things, I just mean that my clothes are dirty. Details to come . . . Ooooooo . . .
Well . . . Thanks for your e-mail!
To answer all of your questions . . .
Our Zone has been pretty cool . . . We have had baptisms for five straight weeks now and that, well, I haven’t ever seen that before, so we are doin’ good. Plus, this weekend, my Companion and I are going to baptize the son of Adelfa and there should be two other baptisms in another Area, so that should be baptisms for six straight weeks! Holler! Now we just gotta get up the number of baptisms we are having each week. The Lord will provide the way . . .
Aaaaaand, as for P-Day, we came all the way out to Poptun today to go in some more caves. These caves were a lot different from the ones in Santa Elena. There wasn’t as much mud in these caves, but they were still cool. In these caves, you had to get down on your stomach and back even more than the last one. Don’t worry . . . I took pictures (winky face) and a video of me goin’ through one of the tight holes. Love you, Mom! Plus, we didn’t have a real guide again . . . Just some members that live close and had gone in before . . . LOL . . . But don’t worry. You can’t really get lost in the Poptun caves . . . Just in the first Santa Elena caves that we went through a while back. The hike to get to the opening of these caves was really, really cool, though. Up through the trees and mountains. Cool, once in a lifetime thing . . .
Well, in our Area, we are doing very, very well. We have some families that are really starting to progress, too! We are really seeing some miracles in our Area starting to happen again.
Well, I love you all sooooo, sooooo much! I’m going to write to Dad and Dallas. Love you!
Oh! And Dylan needs to write to me asap . . .
Thanks again for all of your help and consideration. I actually really like what you were talkin’ about . . . Everyone get one. LOL . . . That’s actually the plan that we put with our District Leaders last Sunday. We realized the same thing! If everyone gets one, we are really on our way! My Companion and I offered lunch to any District in which every Area baptizes. We really, really focused on the District Leaders and Trainers and us, as the Zone Leaders, more than anyone else, though. We, the Zone Leaders, have to lead by example. If everyone can baptize one, plus the four District Leaders baptizing two, the trainer baptizing two and the Zone Leaders baptizing two, we could actually have a month of 21 baptisms! We really are on our way. As a Zone, we are baptizing consistently . . . We just have to baptize even more in every week. It’s kinda like we are scoring two points a quarter and end up with only eight points . . . LOL . . . It’s a consistent game, but coming out with only eight points isn’t enough. We gotta score a few more points a quarter. Maybe just double it. We feel like we are putting’ good new high goals that we can reach.
Dad, I’m really so grateful for your help. I am so thankful for all of the ideas you have given me and for pushing me to be better throughout my Mission. I really feel like I get it, Dad. I can go into any Area or Zone and I can completely change it . . . I know I can. I’m very confident because all I’ve learned from your counsel and putting it into practice. Ever since High School when you started pushing me to be a leader . . . At that time, I didn’t understand why you wanted me to be a leader so bad, but now I really do. Being a leader in basketball really translates to being a leader in the Church and leading anything. Thank you, Dad. Love you!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Sorry I couldn’t write much last week! We were in the Capital and all ten “out of the Capital” Zone Leaders were together and trying to get me to hurry up so they could get on with the day, soooo . . . I had to cut my writing a li’l short. But today, I don’t!
Soooo, to answer your questions as always . . .
General Conference was for sure watched in English, buuuuuuut we didn’t get to see all of it because the satellite wasn’t working on Saturday until the 6 o’clock Priesthood Session. We got to see li’l parts of the first two Sessions by internet, but we didn’t see much. When it came on in English for the Priesthood Session, though, all the gringos got soooooo excited! There is just nothing like listening to General Conference in English in a country where everyone speaks Spanish!
Sooooo . . . Eight of us watched the General Conference in a li’l air conditioned room (money!) while everyone else watched it in the main room in Spanish. There were some very, very good talks given. Of course, my favorite is always Elder Eyring. His talk in the Priesthood session was my favorite. I also loved the talks by Elders Christofferson, Scott, Uchtdorf and Holland, of course. Hey, question . . . Does one Apostle not speak in every General Conference? He has to be away from the Conference Center in case something happens so that all the apostolic keys aren’t lost? Is that right? Or what’s up with that?
And very cool that I was the only one with UConn . . . LOL . . . Lucky guess! I can’t believe my Butler boys made it back-to-back years while I’m not home . . . LOL!
Zone Leader Council went very, very well. We really didn’t seem to receive as much teaching from President as we have in the past, but Elder Davis taught us a lot. He was called as Assistant this change. I really love the kid. He was in my Zone when I was first Zone Leader. He always worked very, very hard and, even though he wasn’t a Zone Leader, I told President he was a very special case and could be a Zone Leader without being District Leader first even though no one ever does that in this Mission. He’s just a way special kid with very special leadership abilities. I got to talk to him alone for like an hour after Zone Leader council and it was really funny because he asked for a lot of advice because I’m the “older” missionary and he looks up to me in that way. I totally understand because every younger missionary looks up to the older ones. I was my Trainer’s Zone Leader when he ended his mission, but he was always my example. I explained to him what a special leader he is. He really is changing the Office for the better already. Great, great kid . . .
For P-Day today, we went to Tikal for our Zone activity. It wasn’t quite as cool as the first time I went because it is all just so jaw-dropping the first time you see it, but it was still very, very cool. Many missionaries got to see all the temples and ruins for the first time. Plus, I got some cool pictures that I didn’t get the first time . . . LOL . . .
As far as washing clothes, we have a lady in this area who does our laundry. LOL . . . Yes! That’s a huge blessing. As far as cooking, we eat the food that we cook ourselves. We do have a cheap li’l restaurant close, so we eat there maybe a time or two a week. I’m doin’ good though, I promise. LOL . . . I’m comin’ home chubby . . . Not ‘cause I eat amazing, though, just ‘cause I can’t do all the exercise that I did before the Mission. I’ll lose it when I’m home, though. Gotta lose my huuuuuuuuge tan line too . . . LOL! Remember how I thought I was gonna come home just huge and in shape? Hahahahahahahahahahaha!
Well . . . Happy Birthday, Uncle Matt!
And Happy Birthday, Dad! I really was thinkin’ so much about you on your birthday. I try not to think much about home, but that day I couldn’t help it. I was just talkin’ ‘bout you to a lot of people . . . LOL . . . Many people wanted to call you on the spot to tell you happy birthday for me but I told them I couldn’t. LOL . . . I don’t know what their plan was with the language barrier anyway . . . LOL . . .
Hey, Mom . . . The Office Elders said they asked you what airport I should fly in to . . . ? LOL . . . They said you were very excited to get the e-mail . . . LOL . . . Which airport did you tell them?
Well, this Friday we had an emergency change in the Zone. That was a bummer ‘cause it was a District Leader that had to leave. He is a good Elder and I know he will be just fine and that he will get better. That change took up a lot of our time on Friday, though . . . LOL. We really hardly worked this week. Monday, we did Zone errands until 3pm. Tuesday and Wednesday we were in the Capital. Thursday we did weekly planning and bought food. Friday, the emergency change. Then, Saturday and Sunday was General Conference! LOL . . . It was a busssssy, bussssssy week! I’ve probably never worked so little in a week! Not a good thing . . . LOL . . . But I’m happy that I’m busy!
We also had a District Leader Meeting this week . . . Yesterday to be exact. I think that always helps the Zone a lot. This week we went back up in fechas again, soooo . . . That’s good stuff! I feel like the Zone is doin’ very well. In March, we led the Mission in baptisms and fechas and people in Church. Very, very cool . . .
Well . . . I love you all soooo, soooo much! Talk to you soon! Like Mother’s Day soon! LOL!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Thanks for your e-mail! In response to your e-mail . . . I thought you should all know about the Bracket I filled out. Well, I had Ohio State, UConn, Vandy, and BYU in the Final Four. Then, I had UConn vs. Vandy in the Finals. And I have UConn winning it all. LOL . . . That’ll be cool if I guessed the Champion right! Did anyone at home have UConn taking it all?
It has been very fun to hang out with Elder Legua. We just got into the Capital this morning at 6:30ish and when we got in, we just headed straight to the Temple and got to attend a session! And . . . Now we are using Internet! I think that after this, we are gonna go visit some families. It’s been way fun, though, ‘cause I’ve been able to hang out with my two best buddies all day . . . Elders Peterson and Legua. You guys should already have known that, though. Zone Leader council is tomorrow . . .
Oh, and yea . . . It’s waaaaaay fun with Elder Molina. Oooooo . . . You shoulda seen the tie trade that went down with him yesterday. Just nasty ties involved. We might have the two best collections in the Mission. You know I never come in Second Place when it comes to style, though!
And, sweeeeet that I got an extension on my Driver’s License! Gooooooood . . .
And, that’s soooo cool that Dylan has his trip this week! It’ll be something he will remember forever for sure! Make sure he writes me right after his trip, please!
Sooooooo . . . I loved Stacie’s letter . . . LOL . . . It just left me with nothing to say, though. It just made me wanna hug ‘er. Anyway, that’s why I haven’t written back and I don’t know if I’m going to . . . LOL . . . I think I’ll be home by the time Stacie would write back to me . . . LOL . . .
Hey, Happy Birthday, Toni and Allie!
We don’t have many Zone fechas this week, but we have a million progressing investigators! And, after this Council, we should be rollin’ out there in Peten again! We did end with nine baptisms in March. Not bad, not bad. April should be better, though.
Oooooo . . . And General Conference this week! Holler! Guess what? This is the last one I’ll watch without all of you! Cool stuff! Man . . . I’m just excited for the talks and all, though. It’ll be goooood, gooooood stuff . . . Like always . . .
Soooo, this week, Elders Mejia and Cruz finally moved outta our house. It was a bummer to watch ‘em go ‘cause we really did get along with ‘em so well. I gave ‘em each two ties and then Elder Mejia gave me a “moral” and Elder Cruz gave me a sweeeeeet corte tie. They were living with us for a li’l while, though, ‘cause they opened an area this change and didn’t have a phone or beds or anything. But, once we got a hold of all those things, they got the boot. Good kids, though . . .
And, this week, I got to do a division with Elder Snell! He is a kid that entered the Mission with me. It’s cool ‘cause we all find a way to end up being the greatest of friends! We had a good time talkin’ ‘bout memories and all that plus I got to learn form his way of teaching! Then, at night time, he bought me pizza! Well, he bought us pizza! LOL . . . Buena Honda, though . . .
Oh, by the way . . . I drew on an all white tie for me and it came out sick! Then, one missionary saw it and said he’d pay me to make one for him so I did it and struck up some dough! LOL . . . Plus two other missionaries said they want me to do the same for them! LOL . . . Cool, huh?
Anyway . . . Everything is goin’ gooooooood! I love you all sooo, sooo much! Hit me up! Everything is going soooo, soooo well! Peace!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Good to hear from you all during this time of March Madness! Ahhhh . . . I’ll never miss another one of these . . . What a blessing . . . LOL . . .
Thanks for your stories anywho. LOL . . . I can’t believe everyone is getting’ home from their missions now! Ahhhh! It’s not making me feel good. First Jeff, then Alyssa, then McKay and now Tyler . . . LOL . . . I remember how mad I was when they were leaving because we all grew up in the same grade and everything but they got to leave before me because of stupid birth dates! LOL . . . I couldn’t have been called at a better time, though. Of that I’m sure . . . Anyway, lemme know how Tyler is when he gets home.
How cool that Dylan did so well in his workshop. That kid really is amazing. Hey . . . Has he decided where he is gonna go to school? He told me he wasn’t sure and I told him to talk it over with you all, but I hope he wasn’t just pullin’ my leg! I need him at Gav with me!!!!!!!! Dylan! I need you there with me! For reals! Don’t lemme down, man! I understand if you have to, though . . . LOL.
And, the 49 fechas weren’t for this last week Mom . . . Sorry . . . We had one baptism. And it was in my Area. Elder Crespin did her baptismal interview and said he had never done an interview for someone so prepared. She knew everything he said! LOL . . . She really is so special. We were just guided to find her at the right time. She had received missionaries for so long before but wasn’t ever prepared; but we got there, and she was ready. Three straight Sundays in Church and . . . Boom! To the water! She’s amazing and can now be an example to her five children who are already members and to her member parents. LOL . . . My new companion got lucky to get here and have a baptism his first week! The baptismal ceremony was great! She is afraid of the water, so the first time I tried to put her under, she rolled up in a ball and some of her hair came out of the water sooooo . . . We had to try it again . . . LOL . . . We stood in the font for a good five minutes while I was trying to help and comfort her and while she tried to hold back tears and get her air back. Aaaaaand . . . The second time we got it down pat! LOL . . . The testimony she bore was amazing and her friends and family members gave great testimonies for her as well. It was one of those special baptisms . . .
Anyway, yea . . . We had changes this past week. Ten changes in total . . . Three went to Coban (we lost my boy, Elder Thacker), two had internal Peten changes, and five went to the Capital. My Companion was one of the five who went to the Capital. Anyway, we have two missionaries here now who were Zone Leaders but are not anymore because so many from our group are Zone Leaders! There have never, ever been so many from just one group. We have thirteen or fourteen of the twenty-two leaders in the Mission . . . LOL . . . So it might be my turn to not serve as a Zone Leaders. I’d be okay with that just ‘cause I think I might be settin’ a new record for time as a Zone Leader!
Also, for changes, Elder Legua was made a Zone Leader! That was very exciting ‘cause now I’ll see my best friend in the Mission at Zone Leader Council next week!
Oh! And my new Companion is Elder Molina from Honduras. I’ve told you all before that I seem to get along very well with Hondurians. And . . . Nothing’s changed! Elder Molina was an Office Elder for a long time and I got to know him there and we were already good buddies from that point, so it was one of those changes of much excitement to receive your Companion. I feel very happy and a member even told me I seem happy yesterday! I learned a lot from Elder Alonso, and I know I will learn a lot from Elder Molina. I know this change is gonna fly by!
Just so you all know, when I talk about going home, it’s because it’s close to that time, but it doesn’t mean I’m working any less . . . I promise. I’m very focused on my Zone and my Area. I know that leaving the Mission behind will bring many tears and twister feelings, but I wan’t wait to see all of you again. I love you all so much. El fin se acerca . . .
Monday, March 14, 2011
Wow . . . I really can’t believe that I only have two changes left! LOL . . . I really never thought I would get to this point in my Mission . . .
To answer your e-mail first, of course . . .
For P-Day today, we have done absolutely nothing except eat and print off pictures and walk through the market a li’l . . . Nothin’ special . . . Just chillin’ . . .
LOL . . . And it really is soooo, soooo weird how worried I was to come and speak Spanish and now I can say just about anything and I can understand 99% of everything! I do remember praying my first days in the MTC in Spanish . . .What a tough time . . . LOL . . . It’s cool how much I’ve been blessed, though . . .
McKay wrote me today to tell me that he’s gonna be home this Wednesday. Ahhhhh! That’s soooo crazy . . . Cool, cool for him, though!
As for my Zone and all, we are doin’ very, very well. Our Zone reported 49 baptismal dates this Sunday. The next closest is like 25, so yes, Dad, we are doubling! The zone has really improved sooo, sooo much since the time I got here. I don’t give myself the credit, but something has clicked. It’s really been a really cool experience. We had 5 baptisms as a Zone last month, 2 of them from my Area. Now, through the first 2 weeks of this month, we have 5 Zone baptisms! This week, we are waiting on 5 baptisms . . . One of them from our Area! Soooo . . . That will hopefully give us 10 for this month and then we still have the last week of the month which is usually the biggest baptizing week of every month! Soooo . . . We are excited to see what goes down!
As for changes, we had ten changes in the Zone. Eight people are leaving Peten and two have internal changes in Peten. My Companion is one of the 8 leaving Peten. He’s pretty sad because we have really gotten the Zone moving together. Sure, we bumped heads sometimes, but we were successful together and really made some good things happen. Sounds like I’m gonna train a new Zone Leader, but we shall see what goes down . . . LOL . . . I might make a record for time as a Zone Leader. If I die as a Zone Leader, I will have completed 8 changes in the assignment. LOL . . . That’s almost a year as a ZL! Hahahahaha! Tiring! Oh, well! It’s good, good stuff and God has blessed me in the work. I’ve learned sooo, sooo much about leading in every one of those changes. I’ve become a much more effective leader throughout my whole mission and I’ve learned to think bigger rand to really expect to be the best and realize that we can do much, much better by small and simple things . . .
Hey . . . Happy Birthday, Luke!
Soooo . . . Nothin’ happened in Gilroy with this big storm? People were calling me worried about all of you ‘cause they heard the storm was gonna hit California. I knew you’d all be fine, but anything crazy happen there? Lemme know . . . It won’t scare me . . . I know you’re all fine.
This week, I did a Divison with Sayaxche Two with Elder Hale. He is a District Leader who had been strugglin’ a l’il. Soooo, on that Division, we had an amazing day together! We put a baptismal date with two people and taught some amazing lessons . . . LOL . . . He was amazed with how good the lessons went, so I knew the Divison would really help him a lot. Plus, my Companion did a great job with Elder Hale’s companion and they were both very strengthened in that day. Plus, one of the two baptismal dates we put went to church this week and he was never, ever goin’ before! I called the guy . . . His name is Marvin . . . And he is very, very excited for his baptism and wants me to be there for it. We will see what we can do! It was a great day with Elder Hale, though! Great, great guy!
Oh! And we had another powerful District Leader meeting this week which was very, very powerful again . . . Which is part of what I think really helped animate our Zone . . .
Soooo, yea! I’m doin’ amazing, though! I love you all sooooooo much and I appreciate you all so much! Hey, Dylan! Goin’ to Gav? Hope so (big smiley face). Love you all! Hit me up!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Good to hear from ya! LOL and good to know that Dylan is with Mr. Rose . . . I really loved the guy . . . Anyway . . .
Zone Leader Council went very, very well. Of course, the long bus rides were the most fun . . . NOT! LOL . . . But we learned lots and, after the lunch, I got to anoint Hermana Torres ‘cause she was sick and then President sealed a blessing on her. It was a pretty cool experience. I just always think that I might not be able to work with someone so in tune with the Spirit as a Mission President, so I gotta take advantage of President Torres. Speaking of being in tune with the spirit, this is President’s big week! LOL! He’s gotta get all the changes ready. LOL . . . Can you believe it’s already week six? I’m only going to have two changes left! LOL! I really never thought this moment would get here. After the blessing, President also gave me an interview to renew my Temple Recommend. He gave me the interview in Spanish which was interesting, but it was just another cool experience. Now I can enter the Temple ‘til like September with this recommend. Oooooh! And, speaking of Temples, we went to the Temple before Concolio and I did everything in Spanish! It only took like twenty-one months! LOL!
Thanks for sending me the Indiana game . . . LOL . . . And I heard the Clippers traded B-Diddy. Is that true? Can you send me some updates and all stories on that? Thanks!
For P-Day today, my Companion and I went and had lunch at an investigator’s home with Elders Orozco and Crespin. LOL . . . We didn’t just eat, though, of course we had to kill the food we were gonna eat. Sooooo, Elder Crespin and I killed a chicken each . . . LOL . . . Obviously, I had never killed a chicken before, but they way they taught me today was to take it by the neck and spin it until its neck cracked. They told me it would be easy to feel it crack, but I never felt it . . . LOL . . . I think it cracked after two spins, but I gave it twelve spins and the body of the chicken went flying and I was holding the head . . . LOL . . . Ewwwwww . . . It was gross. I really didn’t want to kill it in the first place, but for that same reason, everyone wanted me to do it! Buuuuut, I don’t think I’m ever gonna do that again . . .
Oh! Happy Birthday, Uncle Trent!!!!
Oh! I wanted to tell you! When we went to Yaxha, a man took a video of me and three other missionaries running up one of the ruins. Me, Toolson, Thacker and Richins. Anyway, he said he has a website. I can’t go look at the video he took, but you can ‘cause he gave me his card! The website is www.garygs1.com. So, you can check that out! I started bad, but I hope the comeback is in there . . .
Oh! More cool info . . . President is gonna open another area here in Peten! Yay! We are gonna have thirty missionaries here in the Peten Zone in just a li’l over a week! It makes my Companion and me happy because our Zone has been progressing and we feel like President really recognizes it . . .
Aaaaaaand . . . One other cool story . . . Our recent convert, Adelfa, just paid her tithing in her first month as a member yesterday. It is a really huge act of faith and was really, really cool. Not much of a story, sorry . . . But it was really, really cool . . .
Hey! Did McKay already return from his Mission? If he did, can you get in touch with him and ask him to write to me? Thanks!
Well . . . That’s ‘bout all I got! I love you all soooo, soooo much! Talk to you soon!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Gonna hitcha back real quick! Oh! And, FYI, this keyboard stinks . . . I’m gonan be a li’l fast today so that I can write back to Dad. Here I go, though!
Well, to respond to your e-mail, my memory card says it is a ScanDisk, SDHC Card 2, 4gb.
And, yes, I know exactly what Dylan was feeling after his last basketball game. I remember my last game at Alisal and goin’ up to Dad after the game and just bawlin’. It is a very strange feeling . . .
How cool that it snowed in Gilroy! LOL! I remember the last time it snowed in Gilroy . . . We were comin’ home from the Temple and we were able to throw snow balls!
Aaaaand . . . Bummer that Dylan didn’t get accepted to BYU Provo . . . Maybe it’s a sign that he shouldn’t go to a BYU School right now and that he should go to Gavilan and play with me for a year. I think that is correct . . .
Oh! And I loved Dylan’s pictures . . . LOL . . . He’s grown up a lot. He’s such a handsome li’l crap.
Well . . . I’m gonna tell you real quick what went on with me this week . . .
Today, for P-Day, we went to Yaxha. It’s another National Park kind of like Tital, but smaller (not as cool). Anyway, we got to visit today and it was very pretty. The coolest part about Yaxha is thath some of the ruins look out over a lake so it’s very, very pretty. They say that Yaxha was on the rise as Tikal was falling and everyone was abandoning it. Kinda interesting . . .
Oh, great update! I FINISHED READING THE BIBLE! Yes! I read all 1590 pages . . . LOL. It took a long, long time, but it was worth it! I learned a lot and my testimony has grown. I now know that people can’t fool me with false doctrine because I’ve read of it all! Cool, huh? Yes, cool . . .
This week, we had President Torres in town with us. We had Zone Training. Soooo . . . We met from 9am to 4pm on Thursday and we learned from his instruction and the words of Hermana Torres. Also, President went out to work with me and my Companion for a few hours on Wednesday night, but it was a disaster! LOL! No one was home and, in two and a half hours, we only got in one house! LOL! It was a bummer ‘cause we wanted to have a great night to show President that we are working well (pride, really), but, instead, we had maybe the least successful night we have had since we have been together. LOL . . . Heavenly Father knows why, but it remains a mystery to us why all appointments fell! LOL! Oh well! We did learn a lot from President on that stressful night.
Oh, hey Mom! You never sent me the Clippers vs. Indiana update and I need to read about that one ‘cause Dallas said my boy had a huge game . . . LOL . . . Please!
Oh, and this week, my Companion and I . . . Yay! We get to go to the Capital again for another Zone Leader Council. LOL . . . I believe this will be number eight for me! LOL . . . It’ll be good, though, and we should learn lots.
Well, I sure love you all! Tell Dad to let you read the e-mail that I’m gonna send him. I love you all sooooo, sooooo much! Take care!
Monday, February 21, 2011
Thank you for all of the videos! LOL! I loved ‘em! LOL . . .The last dunk with the Choir singing was pretty fun. Not an amazing dunk as Chuck said, LOL, but just a fun dunk. I can’t wait to be home and see that boy play alongside my other homie, Gordon!
Anyway, as always, I’m gonna answer your questions first . . .
In our Zone, we were yet again not able to come through on the goal that we had. We only baptized five people as a Zone. Seven of the baptismal dates moved to next week and the rest . . . Well . . . I just hope they’re not lost. As for me and my Companion, we baptized two. We baptized Adelfa and Eimy. Manuel wasn’t able to be baptized (even though he is Adelfa’s and a member’s son) because his grandma really raised him and was very against it. Saturday was a very full day, though, ‘cause in the morning, my Companion and I had to get all of Adelfa and Pablo’s papers figured out so that they could be married. Pablo comes from a family of all members of the Church and Adelfa comes from all members of the Catholic Church. Adelfa is so humble, though. She wanted to learn about the Church so much and she wanted so badly to believe. Of course, Heavenly Father answered her prayers and she decided to be baptized even though her family was completely against it. And they were! When the wedding (just a li’l civil wedding with no fancy ceremony) happened, all of Adelfa’s family weren’t too happy to see my Companion and I there. But, as we forced them to talk to us (LOL), they started liking us (I think). Oh, the wedding was at 4pm and the baptism was at 5pm! Anyway . . . Adelfa’s family wasn’t gonna go to the baptism but they decided to go after the nice fun wedding. Sooooo . . . Three quarters of the baptismal room was full of non-members! It was really, really cool! It was, of course, a little hectic to get started on time and all, but it all went well and I couldn’t ask for any more. Eimy was baptized as well. It wasn’t hard to help get Eimy baptized because she’s a 10-year old girl who has always gone to Church. With Adelfa, it was very, very hard but very worth it. I think because Adelfa’s family liked the baptism and all so much that Manuel may be able to get permission to be baptized now. We shall see . . . Oh! And, after the wedding and baptism, Adelfa’s mom invited me and my Companion over to eat to celebrate! What a change of heart in just one day, huh?
Ummmm . . . Yes . . . I am like 100% positive I want to go to Gavilan. I just think it’s my best option. I’ll be with the family for a year or two. It will be cheap schooling and commuting. I’ll be able to keep playin’ ball. I’ll be able to have a solid Church calling. I’ll be able to find a solid job as well. I just think it’s the best idea. Does Gavilan offer any Chinese language classes? What do I have to do for that?
That’s very cool about CCS . . . I hope Gilroy can play well. I know my Junior year we sure let everyone down. It still makes my stomach roll. Isn’t that weird? You’d think I’d get over that a li’l faster! LOL!
Oh! And I don’t think I answered your questions from last week . . . Yes, I usually get mail every week. The weeks we don’t get it are normally change weeks. But we will be getting’ mail again probably on Wednesday.
Oh, hey! I think you should send me a memory card if you want me to send home the one I have. I have like 400 pictures on it and I’m happy to send it home if you all want it, but it would leave me with no memory card and I can’t do that! Sooooo . . . Just a heads up . . .
This week I got to do two Divisions. One with Elder Orozco to do two baptismal interviews in his Area (Flores) while his companion did the two interviews in my Area. The other Division was with San Andres Two and I also went there. I was there all day with Elder Calero. He goes home a change before I do. I really like the kid. The Division went really, really well.
Well . . . I gotta get outta here! I’m sorry, Dad! I really don’t have time to respond to your e-mails! I promise I’ll do it next week! I love you all soooo, soooo much! Thank you for all of your prayers and support! Be smart and safe! Talk to ya soon!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
LOL . . . I am getting absolutely zero lovin’ again today, but hopefully next year I’ll be gettin’ some . . . Two year sacrifice . . . Hee, hee . . .
Anyway . . . Thanks for the updates, Mom! Good to know all is goin’ well!
I’ll answer all of your questions first . . . The Zone is doing very, very well. We still have 45 baptismal dates set! It isn’t as many as we have had, but it’s still by far the best in the Mission! Fifteen of those Zone baptisms are planned for this weekend! LOL! We didn’t plan the same activity to baptize a lot on one day, but that’s what it’s lookin’ like we’re gonna do! The Peten Zone hasn’t baptized that many people in one month in about a year, so it would be amazing to achieve it. The Zone has really, really kept improving since I got here. It really isn’t bragging . . . I just think it’s really, really cool how my companion and I could turn the Zone around once we got together. I feel like with every change I learn how to better lead my missionaries. It’s really, really cool how I can feel my personal leadership improvement. The Lord has really blessed this Zone. We haven’t had to do too much!
Anyway, of the 15 baptisms we have planned as a Zone for next week, three of them should come from our area. Adelfa should be getting married to Pablo (a member) this weekend and will be baptized the same Saturday along with her son, Manual. Also, Adelfa’s niece, Eimy (daughter of two members) should be getting baptized the same day. All three of the baptisms have relations to the Obando family which is like the equivalent to the Eves families in the Del Rey Park Ward. Soooo . . . This Saturday should be a very exciting day for our area and for the whole zone! Keep ‘em all in your prayers, though, if ya would!!
As far as the Sister missionaries in our Zone, we have one super pilas one. Hermana Urizar is still here in Peten (where she has been for the past eight months). She is in a new area and she is workin’ her bum off like always! She and her companion should be baptizing two this weekend.
Concilio was very, very, very cool this time. Out of the seven I’ve been able to attend, it was by far the best one . . . LOL . . . Anyway, we had to stay in the Capital for a li’l while though. We got there Wednesday morning at 5:30. That day, my companion and I got to go work in the capital wherever we wanted. It was sooooo cool . . . First my companion went to visit some people in one of his old area. Then, I got to visit almost all of my favorite people from the mission! First, we went to the Maya to visit my first converts . . .Woooooooow! How they’ve grown! LOL . . . My first baptism, Carlos, is huuuuuuuge! We also got to visit with Hermana Esperanza! Ahhhhhh . . . It was so cool to have all the memories of my first change with Elder Ireland come back walking through those streets and to be able to eat some of Hermana Esperanza’s cooking again was just icing on the cake. She really is just the sweetest person ever.
So, the day would have been amazing just for visiting the Maya, but after we went there, we went to my second area, Atlantida. There, I got to visit Hermana Ligia and all of her family. Ahhhh . . . Talk about flashbacks again, LOL . . . I was at her house with that family almost every day for three changes. They are such good people and are so fun to be around. I really had missed them a lot a lot.
After that, we went to my third area, Ermita! We visited Hermana Zusi and the whole family. Honestly . .. I was just kinda floatin’ on clouds at that point. It was so cool. I love hanging’ out with Zusi and Fielding. We always have millions of good laughs there. Those three families are just soo, soo special to me and I will never, never, ever forget about ‘em. The only family that compares to them that I didn’t get to visit is the Schoenfeld family, but I couldn’t visit them ‘cause they work in the Temple on Wednesdays . . . Bummer. Great, great day though.
Then, Thrusday, we had a rare late starting Zone Leader Council. We started at 10am and ended with Hermana Torres cooking at about 3pm. The Council was amaaaaaazing, though. Everyone was very, very involved and we made some new standards for the Mission. Elder Martino was suuuuper powerful again and really inspired us all to be better. I really feel like this Zone Leader Council is going to help out this Mission a lot! My companion and I have planned a meeting with all of our District Leaders tomorrow to go over all we learned and to put new goals with each District to improve. I know we will be more successful as a Zone after that meeting . . .
Thank you for the Aaliyah update. I can’t wait to be hugging that girl again . . .
And, Dylan . . . I’m sooo proud of that kid! Really . . . Could there be anyone better than him? He’s amazing and such a good example. I sure stressed leaving him behind when I left on my mission ‘cause I wouldn’t be there to pull him through the stupid temptations of High School, but he’s done such a great job, huh?
Hey . . . Make sure you guys tape the NBA All Star Events . . . I’ll wanna see ‘em in four months . . . Hee, hee!
Hey . . . A couple questions . . . When does school start at Gavilan in the Fall? Also, what can do for work? Also, think Bishop could make me a Seminary teacher? I’d love that early schedule. Maybe you can hint to him that I’d love that calling . . . Please! It’s early and it gives me the whole day to get other things done. I get to teach, I have to study a lot, and I would learn a lot. Just put in the word, Mom . . . Make it happen . . .
Hey, Happy Birthday, Aunt Chris!
Oh! And I just sent a li’l package home today. It has a letter for the family and it has a bunch of pictures that I would like for you guys to pass out if ya could. The instructions are in the envelope . . . Ha, ha!
Well . . . That’s about all I’ve got! I sure love you all! Be safe and smart!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
So good to hear from you again! I thought that this week was maybe gonna go by a li’l slow, but, noooooo . . . It flew by again! We were very, very busy!
Part of the reason why we were so busy was all of the Zone changes. Ten of the thirteen Zone companionships had changes which was waaaaaay nuts, but it was cool. Ummmm . . . Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we had missionaries staying the night in our house to send ‘em out to Coban and the Capital for their respective changes. They put two more sister missionaries in our Zone, too. Soooo, now we have four sister missionaries in our Zone. They also opened up a new area in our Zone! That was cool ‘cause it shows that we had a good last change and President Torres probably feels like if the Zone was successful with 26 missionaries, it could be even more successful with 28 missionaries! LOL! My companion and I are hoping to be able to get the Zone to 30 missionaries! Wow . . . That’s huge! LOL!
Let’s see here . . . Well, this week we got a li’l surprise! Elder Martino is in Guatemala doing a North Mission tour. Soooooo, on Saturday, my companion and I had a meeting with the District Presidency and all the Presidents and their Counselors of all the organizations in the District. Elder Martino wasn’t there, but President Torres was and he gave a great lesson on working as a team and not as individual organizations. Like the Elders Quorum not just worrying about the Elders and the Relief Society worryin’ about old chicks, but everyone worrying about everyone no matter what calling you have. It was really, really cool.
Anyway, on Sunday, President Torres told us that Elder Martino was gonna visit the Santa Elena and Trebol branches. Well, what a nice surprise when we saw Elder Martino in our Ward when we got to church on Sunday! LOL! My companion and I walked in without investigators (because we ask our members to bring our investigators) and the first thing we heard was, “Elders! Where are your investigators?????????” LOL! It shocked my companion and I a li’l but the investigators came and we got to introduce some of them to Elder Martino. Man . . . He sure was powerful in the way he read our investigators perfectly. It really seemed like I had told him the story of every investigator and that he had gone and talked to them, getting to know a li’l about each of them. It was really, really cool and his words really touched those people.
Then, later that night, Elder Martino did a fireside that we were able to attend with our investigators as well and . . . WOW! He was powerful again! And the same thing when he talked to our investigators afterward! He just looked ‘em bang, bang in the eyes, promised blessings and smiled and just said things that they really needed to hear. It was so, so cool!
Then, yesterday, I didn’t get to write you because it wasn’t our P-Day. Yesterday we had a Zone Conference with Elder Martino, his wife, President Torres and his wife. Wow! Their wives sure gave some amazing talks! While on my mission, I’ve really learned to respect the female leaders of the Church so, so much more. They are smart, smart and powerful people. I know everyone wants to listen to the Apostles in General Conference but, man, I loved Hermana Torres and Hermana Martino’s talks.
Did you know Elder Martino and his wife are converts? Elder Martino was baptized when he was 17 years old and his wife was 21 years old. Pretty cool stuff . . .
Anyway, at Zone Conference, Elder Martino knocked us outta our shoes again! LOL! Soooooooooo powerful! He just keeps us quiet! He starts to get loud and aggressive in his speaking and then he hushes to a whisper . . . We were all on the edge of our seats! It was a really, really amazing Conference!
Now, tonight, my Companion and I head out to the Capital for Zone Conference again and Elder Martino is gonna be there again! Sooooo . . . It will be a few very tiring days, but they will be amazing again!
Well . . . I love you all soooooo, soooooo much! I miss you all! Be smart and safe!!!!!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Well . . . I gotta be a li’l short ‘cause we got on internet late today, buuuuuut . . . I’m gonna for sure hit cha up with all the updates!
First off . . . Good thing you finally go all of the pictures! It took forever to send ‘em all and I woulda been so sad if they hadn’t reached you! Hey, question . . . Do I look much different than when I left? When people see my change card, they say I look way different from when I started the mission. True or false? I just know I’ve lost all my muscle and gained fat but, oh well . . . Four months and I’m hoopin’ every day again! Holler!
Soooo . . . The reason why we are writing late today is ‘cause we just got back from Rio Dulce, visiting El Castillo de San Felipe as a Zone for our Zone Change Activity. Soooo, yea, that is around four hours away from our area . . . LOL . . . We left our house at 4am this morning to do the trip. It was a very, very fun trip and it was really, really pretty. I took lots of pictures but I won’t be sending ‘em home just yet. I’ll send home my memory card soon, though!
Ummmm . . . We got the “Changes” call. I don’t have a change and neither does my Companion. Soooo . . . That’s cool! I really feel like we have been getting along well and have been understanding each other better.
As far as the Zone Baptizing Activity, we ended up baptizing only six as a Zone on Saturday. Six is still very good, but President, my Companion and I sure looked forward to a lot more. My Companion and I baptized two and the service was very cool because five were baptized together and the other was baptized far away in a river. But, yea, we have high expectations for our Zone in February. We have sixty fechas! My companion and I are a li’l nervous because many of our strong and pilas missionaries will be moving this Change, but I’m sure the new missionaries will be great and we will figure out how to make it work! The Lord calls who He needs to into what area he needs ‘em, so we will just rely on Him!
Hey . . . Good news! Cristina was baptized! Cristina from my last area . . . Man, I would have done anything to be able to be at the baptism, but it was over eight hours away . . . LOL . . . Anyway, Elder Peterson said it was a very special service and that Cristina bore her testimony and almost fainted. Poor girl . . . LOL . . . She is very excited to enter the Temple and do some work for some of her loved ones who have passed away. Very, very cool. She wanted me to baptize her . . . At least that’s what she said a few weeks ago. LOL . . . Plus Elder Peterson said Cristina’s daughters were buggin’ him ‘cause they kept asking him if I could do it. I would have loved to, but I’m just too far away. I’m very appreciative for Elder Peterson, though, and for coming through big with Cristina. She was such a special investigator for me and is probably my most special baptism ever.
Oh . . . Tell Grandma and Grandpa I don’t know who Paul Hatch is . . . Sorry! But I’ll try to find out.
Well . . . I gotta go! But I sure love you all sooooooo, sooooooo much! Thanks for your long e-mail! I loved it! Talk to ya soon!
Monday, January 24, 2011
Well . . . I thought I’d hit ya up with some pictures today, so we shall see if I can get ‘em all sent. Hope they load kinda quickly . . .
Yes . . . I went in those caves with Elder Toolson. LOL . . . It was a li’l crazy for sure, but it was soooooo fun to get a li’l lost . . . LOL . . . You know I never stress. Everything will work itself out . . . LOL . . . If we all come back to Guatemala together, we can go in there if you like!
Soooo, yea, my companion was in the capital for like three days . . . He thought maybe his ear problem wasn’t that bad, buuuuut the doctors had different things to say ‘bout that. They said it’s a miracle that he can still hear. Soooo . . . They ran a test and said that he will have to have an operation at some point, but we dunno when or anything yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a change to the capital in a li’l over a week, though, because of his need to maybe be closer to the doctors there. He’s doin’ just fine, though. This ear problem does explain why he talks with a li’l bit of a lisp, though . . .
As far as our Zone goals . . . Well, we have a lot of baptismal dates! We reported 63 yesterday, so we are meeting that goal, but our plans for baptisms next week have just kinda slowly fallen apart. We went from 31 dates planned, to 26, to 18, to 10 . . . It’s really a bummer but it’ll be cool here in this central part of Peten because nine of those baptisms will be comin’ from four of the areas! We are praying that all of the areas in the big, city part of Peten will have baptisms. We have three planned, so we are leading the way as the ZLs should. It feels good because this area hasn’t baptized in a while . . . Soooo, yea . . . The Zone is doing well! I feel like the Zone has really gotten soooooo much better. I guess I couldn’t hope for such a big change of 25 baptisms in the first month, but February is sure looking like it’ll be money now! So, we are very excited to see our Zone’s progress . . .
Well, I’m gonna write another e-mail so I can send you these three pictures . . .
One is of Mauricia, Elder Peterson and me at my last baptism in Sion . . .
Another is the jaguar that they have in Petencito . . . Don’t worry, I had to zoom in to get that picture. There is no way to even get close to the animal.
Annnnnd . . . The other picture is of me out behind the temple from an overpass . . . Kind of a cool picture . . .
Love you, family!