From the Parent of a Missionary
Hey everybody! I hope everyone had an excellent Thanksgiving! (even though I wasn’t there…) I sure had a good week, even though I was a bit sad thinking about how everyone was on Thanksgiving vacation.It continues to get colder and colder in our area. I bought and used a scarf for the first time in my life, and I don’t know how I ever survived without one. They’re SO cozy and warm on your neck. With my sweater, scarf, and beanie, I’m usually pretty set to go out into the fog and cold wind that sets in around 5:30. We started moving our language study to the night time because it gets really cold by 8:00, and everyone goes to bed early. SO we’re usually in the house at 8 or 8 30 nowadays.
I actually had a pretty good Thanksgiving here. The lady that cooks for us attempted to make a Turkey dinner, but she ended up cooking the turkey with barbecue sauce and serving it with Paella. Don’t get me wrong… it was delicious. But it wasn’t the same. But on Wednesday night we got some really good news. Even though my area is really poor, the area right next to us is one of the richest areas in all of Guatemala and is filled with fenced in neighborhoods and townhouses. A lot of the members there have serious dough, and one of them was kind enough to invite the entire zone (about 20 missionaries) to a catered thanksgiving dinner. That’s what I call hospitality! All of the missionaries chilled in their house and we filled it to the brim. The caterer showed up with a nice turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and a really weird stuffing made with apples and sausage. All of those things are pretty rare in Guatemala, but they did it for us! I had two plates and I was stuffed. It didn’t help that I was having a few stomach problems at the time, but it was worth all the pain. They did lack fresh rolls with jam, sweet potatoes, and real stuffing, but I wasn’t complaining. I thought I wasn’t going to get anything! To top it all off, I finally got my package from home, and it came right on Thanksgiving. I have been enjoying a bunch of candy and my little Christmas tree that my mom sent me. I ended up setting up my tree on Black Friday, the day my family usually does it. So that was fun!
Like I said last week, we got the news that they are splitting our area, and this week the new missionaries, Elder Ward and Fiaui, came and asked us to give them a tour. We took them around to the different member that we know and tried to help them find a house, and person to cook for them, and a person to wash their clothes. They will be moving in this Thursday. I don’t know what exactly will happen with the ward ( I think they will put in a branch up there) but that won’t happen for a while.
We also had interviews with the President this week ( which happen every other change). Every time I talk with President Stay I come to respect him more and more. He must be a certified genius, both spiritually and academically. And I left the interview feeling a lot better.
I also did divisions with our new district leader, Elder Call. He’s from St. George, Utah, and is pretty cool and a great missionary. He came to my area, so I took him around to a bunch of appointments and we had a lot of success. I learned a lot of new teaching strategies and enjoyed being able to talk in English and have no one else understand me.
The real reason Elder Call came was to do the baptismal interview for Denis. He is going along great. He finally took out his earrings and is really excited to get baptized. He passed his interview without a problem and his baptism is this Thursday at 4. We actually had a really interesting experience with him. In church on Sunday, we got a new ward mission leader and had a little meeting. He was asking about Denis, who didn’t show up to church. We thought it was because he had work, but the mission leader handed us his phone and told us to call him. When Denis answered, he was crying and said he had been having a lot of problems. He said he thought it was a sign that he wasn’t ready to get baptized. We told him to pray and said we would be right there. The only problem is that he lives in another area, so we got permission from the zone leaders and took an hour bus ride to go visit him. We helped him a lot with the visit and resolved all of his doubts, and now we are moving forward to Thursday. It’s amazing how the lord works. We called him at the exact right moment.
We also had another miracle with investigators this week. We are kind of started over with our investigators, since Ruben, Eduardo, Estela, and many more are no longer progressing and are kind of avoiding us. This week I found a new investigator, Antonio, who had talked to a missionary in a bus 6 years earlier and still had a pamphlet that he carried around in his work bag. He seemed really interested and we invited him to church. And then he actually came, all on his own! He loved church and we had the first lesson with him later that day. He isn’t really religious right now, but wants to stop drinking and turn his life around. He wants to be an example to his family and get married in a religion. We told him we could help him with all of that. The funny thing is that on Tuesday I had a dream that I would find a grown man to teach, and now I actually did. The Lord guided me to him, I’m sure of it. And now he is set to get baptized on the 15th.
Marisela is also moving along. She read 9 chapters of the Book of Mormon on her own and has tons of questions for us. She wouldn’t accept baptism because she said she wants to keep investigating to make sure, but I’m sure the Lord with answer her prayers if she asks.
Well, that’s the low down for El Pajon this week. Have a great week everyone!
PS. I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time in Spanish!