From the Parent of a Missionary
We just received news from our mission president that they will be forming a new mission in Guatemala, the Guatemala Coban mission! This means that all of the missions are going to be remade, and my zone and area will be moving to the Guatemala East mission. If I stay in Ipala for another change, it is more than likely that I will be passed to the Guatemala East mission, with a new mission president, President Watts!
I know that the Lord is moving his work forward. Being part of a change like this will be a marvelous opportunity to learn and to grow as missionaries and to learn from a new mission president. The change isn’t for sure yet. We are having a devotional with the area president, President Martino, on Friday, where they will give us more news.
Right now my whole zone is just kind of shell shocked, and this is the big news of the week. But a lot has happened in Ipala as well!
First off, I received some great news from Josseline and Alex, my investigator couple from El Pajon. They are going to have a baby! This means that right as their year as a member mark approaches and they get sealed, they are going to have the baby. I may have the marvelous opportunity to get invited to their sealing and see the baby. Oh, how much joy comes from missionary work!
This week we work harder than ever in Ipala. My two new companions are learning very quickly, despite having to fight off homesickness, colds, weird noises in the nights, and a load of other challenges that the Lord seems to always give to new missionaries. I am helping them along in their 12 week training program and they are also learning English pretty quickly in our daily language study! My work as district leader is surprisingly easy as well, and I feel like the time flies past with all of the things I have to do. When the end of every day comes along, I just marvel at how the Lord guided us and how fast the time went by.
A couple of fun experiences from this week. On Tuesday, we had what I call a “day of challenge,” which basically means that despite all your best efforts, every appointment falls through and you tend to feel frustrated and without energy. At about 6:00, we still hadn’t had a single appointment. We decided to pray as a companionship, and boy did we pray hard for the Lord to guide us to new people to teach. Right after that, our prayers were answered in that we were able to meet up with our mission leader, Hermano Nelson, accompanied us to some appointments and we happened to find his cousin sitting in the street. We are now teaching that family with Hermano Nelson. It’s amazing how prayer can change your attitude!
Another great story for the week is that we brought a lost sheep back to the fold. We have been working a lot with two less active sisters, Nelly and her daughter Marisol. They live in extreme poverty and have been going to another church for some time. This week, we did service for three days straight, building a new bathroom and a place to wash clothes. My heart was touched when I saw that they used an old cement block and some rocks as a table to wash their clothes on. My companions and I decided to throw some money together, and we bought them what is called a “pila” or a sink thingy to wash clothes in. We arrived out of nowhere with the delivery truck and they were totally surprised and grateful unto tears. We told them that we did it because we loved them and that they were important to us, which is totally true. And it was all worth it when Marisol showed up to church on Sunday. I know that with time Hermana Nelly will be able to come back as well!!
If I included all the people that we found this week this email would be ridiculously long. To make a long story short, the Lord has put several prepared people in our path, and the members here have noticed. They are starting to really get excited about the very possible dream of building a chapel here. We even taught a special Sunday school class on missionary work and how we are going to reach that goal.
Our other investigators are going great as well. Hermano Jose, my favorite old man, gave us some heartbreaking news: he’s moving to Chiquimula, a neighboring city. The good news is that he will be in the zone leader’s area and close to a chapel and a bunch of members, which will make his baptism and membership a lot more possible! I’m sad that I won’t be there, but I know that it is best for him.
Axel and Maria are on the track for baptism on March 3rd. We had another amazing lesson this week, and hey even told us that they fought with their catholic family this week over their being baptized. They continue to move forward with faith. And they are so poor that they spend a day’s work of wages just to take the bus to church, but they still come. My companions and I managed to slip a bit of extra money into their hands as they were leaving church on Sunday, so they could get back with money for food.
Oh how I love being a missionary! I could go on and on about all the miracles the Lord is doing here. I feel the presence of his spirit every day, and we find people every day. I know this is the true church, and that true joy comes from helping others and receiving the gospel of Christ into our lives. And now I am extra excited to possibly be part of a new mission! aaaagh!
Love you all!