From the Parent of a Missionary
First off, I’m so sorry about my letter last week! I didn’t even realize that the email wasn’t sent until just now. My internet stopped working as I was reading everyone’s emails and I wasn’t able to respond. How strange that my letter didn’t get sent… But here’s the update!
Just a little bit about last week: We had a great week working with the members and managed to get a great amount of people to come to church, including some new less active families. And since it was possible that we were going to have changes, a lot of the members got together and invited us to a surprise go away party, just in case we had changes. Basically, it helped me feel really loved and I wanted to stay here in Ipala. And we didn’t get transferred, so I’m here to stay!
Well, I’ve heard some news that spring has finally come there in Utah, and here in Guatemala, the winter is just started! Winter here basically just means the rainy season, and when it’s not raining its even hotter than usual. I honestly miss snow a bit. But everything is getting greener and growing, just like my faith! I can hardly believe May has already come.
We had a bit of a rough week with my companion. I started my seventh transfer cycle in the field, my third cycle with my beloved companion, Elder Maldonado. And despite all of the goals we set, we continue to not have the success that we desire. My hope for this area took a bit of a drop this week, followed by a big swooooop upward!
First off, I don’t know if any of you remember about how impatient I always was with being on time. To school, to work, to a movie, to ANYTHING, I was always worried about being on time. Here some news for ya folks — Guatemala has made me late! There is a thing called Guatemalan time (kind of like Mormon time) which implies that you come half an hour to an hour late to everything. Yah, its bad. And I’ve picked up the habit. But I realized how bad I was doing during this week when one of my leaders pointed out that we have to be on time to invite the spirit effectively. And now I’m trying hard to change, and its tough because Peruvian time also implies half an hour late and my companion is used to it. But we’re getting better.
We did a pretty awesome service this week that involved chopping wood, Guatemalan style. In the US, they use axes, or chainsaws, or something at least remotely effective. But here they use dull, rusted machetes. We walked about an hour into the “woods” near a member’s house to chop a fallen tree. We spent a good 2 hours hacking at the thing until it was reduced into smaller logs. I got blisters on my hands, but it was a nice humbling experience. A lot of people here do that on a daily basis.
We also had a very successful activity this week. We planned a “brotherhood night” in the church on Wednesday and spent the whole day inviting people and preparing a good snack and a message. A bunch of people showed up, including a less active family that hasn’t showed up to anything in the Church for over a year, the Pelico family. After the activity, we planned with the Branch President to give them an assignment so that they would come to church. We interviewed them as a family and extended the assignment. They didn’t accept it — yet. But it gave them the motivation to change their work schedule, and they should be coming to church next week!
We are doing great with one family, Elson and Ingrid, who are our friendly neighbors, the 7th Day Adventists. That basically means that they use Saturday as the Sabbath, not Sunday. And we’ve had a fun time trying to get them to believe in the Book of Mormon. They love us a ton for some reason and even invited us to dinner — the first time an investigator has ever done that in my mission. They’re doing great.
On Sunday, our little branch was invited to the District Conference in Guastatoya, which is about 3 hours away. We managed to pack all the members and a bunch of investigators into a couple of buses and set on our way at 6:00 AM on Sunday morning (that’s right, I never want to hear your complaints about Stake Conference.) We got to the tiny chapel in Guastatoya, which was filled to the brim with members from all over eastern Guatemala. We had a great conference, where President Stay spoke and a member of the Seventy, Elder Lopez. Their talks were a big booster to me and really helped to build up my falling faith.
With that energy we received, Elder Maldonado and I got home at around 4:00, ate a bit, and decided to work hard the rest of the night. To make a good story short, we found 3 families to teach in 3 hours and are ready to really knock èm dead in this upcoming week. We are working hard to help the stubborn Ipalan people accept baptism. We should be having success soon.
I love you all. Looking forward to talking to you on Sunday!!!
And a shout out to Connor and Katie, who are supposed to get their calls this week! AAAAAAGH!