From the Parent of a Missionary
It all started with a trip to the temple on Tuesday! We had planned to leave on a bus at 5:00 AM so that we could get to the 10:00 session, but the bus decided to not show up (yah, that’s guatemala.) We didn`t get on a bus until 6:30 thanks to their lameness. We tried to get there as fast as we could, but a combination of tiny highways, construction, and a slow bus got us there 30 minutes late. And let me tell you, I have been waiting to go to the temple for AGES. I now understand why people are so willing to make sacrifices and go to the temple, because the blessings the Lord has for us there are worth ANY sacrifice. When I learned that we were unable to enter the session, I almost cried. But I was able to feel the spirit there in the lobby, and I think I learned the lesson that God wanted me to learn.
The superstars of this week were our beloved investigators, Axel and Maria! This week, their friend from the US who introduced them to the gospel, Hermano Oscar Arguetta, came to visit. I went with him and his son, Jonathan, to visit them on Thursday and to do their baptismal interview. They were very prepared for baptism and we moved forward with our plans for their baptism, all very excited to do it.
On Saturday, I left my two companions to work in Ipala and went with Hermano Oscar to a small village where he goes to provide clothing, education, and share a bit of the Gospel. He has been going to this village (Los Olivos) for 5 years and has come to love the people, so he asked me to give them the first lesson. It was amazing to see how the people loved him; as soon as he came into town they started flocking around. We gathered in the biggest house in town and gave a group lesson. I taught the story of the restoration to a group of about 50 people, and we all felt the Spirit very strongly. It`s a good thing I did debate — I was preprepared for public speaking, and the people loved the lesson!
At the end of the lesson, we invited them all to come to church. Hermano Oscar hired a bus to take them to Ipala and we passed around a sign up sheet.
The next day, Sunday, was a really big day for Ipala. To accomodate all of the visitors we were going to have and the baptism of Axel and Maria, we planned the baptism for 9 and moved the meetings back an hour. I was running around all morning getting the baptism ready, and at around 8:45 the people started to flow in. We set up about 50 seats and they filled up quickly. In all, we had about 40 people from Ipala and 36 people from Los Olivos who were visiting us — our numbers practically doubled! The baptism was absolutely amazing. Hermano Oscar baptized Axel and Maria in front of a crowd of about 60 people, and we heard some great messages and felt the spirit strongly. All of this took place on the first floor of our little branch house. After, we all went upstairs to start sacrament meeting. The chapel was more filled than I had ever seen it. All of us were very happy. I got the chance to confirm Maria and Elder Maldonado confirmed Axel. And when we took the sacrament, I felt the greatest sensation of peace and love for all of the people there.
I have fun with my companions every day. We are united in the cause of our God, and I am filled with the love of the Gospel and Chirst ever day. I know that when we are obedient the Lord blessed us. I wish I could just send a copy of my daily planner so that you could see how full it is. I don`t know how we`ll have enough time to do it all, but the Lord is helping us to plan well.
As a final note, I finally hiked up the volcano that I have been staring at every day for two months! El Volcan de Agua (the water volcano) is breathtaking! We had a great time there with the district, and we took plenty of photos!
I love you all so much! You are in my prayers. And a shout out the my brother Connor for getting into BYU and starting his mission papers! Another shout out to my surrogate sister Katiemarie, who has also taken the decision to go on a mission! It is the best decision I have ever made. May the Lord be with you.