From the Parent of a Missionary
Mission Life really is the good life. You should all try it out some time! Like President Monson said, there is no work more rewarding, no work that brings more joy or happiness than missionary work, because we are serving our Heavenly Father! Yessssss.
We had an action packed week filled with surprises and gifts from the Lord. I´d love to tell ya´ll (you know, ya´ll is the way of saying USTEDES in English. It´s a word that we should have and we don´t) about it!
One of the most exciting visits of the week was when we visited the Quikivij family, who are just a little bit isolated from the rest of the branch. They live in a village called Nido del Gavilan (the Eagle´s Nest) which is rightfully named. We took a bus to the village together with our good friend and brother, Hermano Valiente. As we were heading to the bus stop, we realized that none of us had enough money for the travel cost, but I just said, “The Lord will provide.” Just then, a special bus that charges half the price passed by, and we got on. YES! We got to the village, and I looked around and asked where the house was. Hermano Valiente just laughed and told me that it was the very last house. I had yet to find out what that meant…. bum bum bum. We started walking to the edge of the village and got to a point where there were no more houses. I asked him if it was the last house on the road. It wasn´t. We kept walking, practically straight into the jungle on a dirt road. There were no houses in sight, and I asked if we were lost. We weren´t. We kept walking, and eventually through a gap in the trees I saw a little group of houses on a faraway hill. Hermano Valiente pointed to the house at the VERY top of the hill and said, “That´s where we´re going.” We eventually got to a point where we had to leave the road and walk through a tiny dirt path in the jungle, climbing up a muddy hill, and we finally got to where the tiny house was. The funny part? They were watching TV. OF COURSE the most isolated house can still have TV! We had a good visit, though. NIce family, but they have a hard time getting to church because of their poverty. On the way back, we still didn´t have money for the bus, and right when we got to the road, one of my member buddies who is a policeman miraculously passed by with his pickup and gave us a ride. We even gave a lesson to his police mates. MIracles exist, people.
Some other miracles this week happened in the Vasquez de Leon family, a family that has said they were going to go to church every week since I got here, but who still haven´t gone. They always manage to get into family fights, or get sick, or have some shopping to do. This week, in a moment of contention, me and my companion pulled out the scriptures like a whip and taught them what it means to live the Golden Rule — do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When we came back in the next appointment, it was a completely different family! They had started doing family prayer, night and morning, and had really made the effort to become better. They came to church on Sunday and their grandson liked it so much that he said he wanted to get baptized. I love how the spirit works.
We had a fun week teaching my bestest investigator, Raul, who continues to struggle with how to live the Sabbath Day. We took a recent convert named Luis with us to teach him and had an awesome lesson watching this brand new member give a powerful testimony about how the Church changed his life. It completely changed the lesson. Unfortunately, when we showed up Sunday morning to take him to church, he was really sick and barely able to get out of bed. Even then, he wanted to go to church, but I think his mom made him stay home. We gave him a blessing and now we are praying for miracles so that he can see the power of the Lord in his life.
Another small miracle was that we finally managed to get the marriage papers ready for one of my favorite sisters, Miriam. After 2 months of troubles, we got it done. I love the Guatemalan government! Now we just have to wait for the lawyer to do his stuff.
We also started a new age of working with the members here by using our new branch missionaries. We are going to be working hand in hand with the members, who are now super excited due to the fact that we may soon have our own branch meetinghouse here in Satelite! As soon as we find a good building to do it in, they said that the church will rent it and we will start meetings here.
On top of all that, we had a record 122 people in church on Sunday! The all-time record for the branch is 128, which happened years ago. Everyone was giving awesome testimonies about how the Church is true and that the work of God is moving forward. All over Guatemala we are hearing success stories in so many different wards and branches. I know that the stone cut out without hands is moving to fill the whole earth. And, to top it all off, they asked me and Elder Webb, the other North American elder in the branch, to teach how to do family history to the Elders quorum. It was the funnest class I have ever taught, and let me tell you… I am so excited to do family history when I get back. Look out Dad, here I come!
I love you all, and God loves you. He enlightens our mind and helps us when we ask him. I know that only through Him can we obtain true peace and happiness.