You can find out more about missionary work and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints here: www.mormon.org/values/missionary-work

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week #22: A Horse and A Girl Worth Fighting For...

Not quite silver, and I am not quite the lone ranger...

So this week was a little disheartening, but I push on. After the high of the last sunday and the people that were ready for baptism the events of this week were simply pale in comparison.  The down moments are left for my "other plates or records" and I write to you about those moments that push you through it all and just make the week worth it.

One of these moments came on Wednesday. We were passing by Darli a little 9 year old girl who will be getting baptised the first week of December. On our way over to her house we looked down one of the roads and see a horse. Elder Garcia and I kinda look to each other...I want to ride that. So we went over and contacted this family using the horse as our "way in the door".  Thanks to Mark Copier our old YM's President, and that wonderful high adventure trip a few years back,  I knew how to ride the fella which really shocked the whole family.  It is funny what the people here think gringos cannot do, but once they gave permission I jumped on and took off down the road. They were really shocked that this gringo could ride a horse.  When Elder Garcia got on he had a little bit of trouble but found his way after the family smacked the horses butt and it took off.  We ended up getting a return appointment with them after all the fun was over to visit them again. We are thinking about maybe doing a pday with the whole zone over there.  I wonder if there are missions somewhere in the world where the missionaries ride horses instead of bikes?  There should be...
     
In the mission we sometimes have something called an attack of the area where all of the missionaries in a zone all come and contact in one area for a few hours. We had just found that Las Vegas area and thought it would be a great area to do this in as most of the people living there have also never had the missionaries come and visit.  The only slightly hazardous part was we all had to cross a river in order to get to the area. We all meet at around 10am and made our voyage over to Las Vegas.  It ended up being a very successful attack with every companionship finding a good 2 families to continue to teach. However as we came back across the river at least one person in every companionship "broke" mission rules and fell into the river.  Tiss tiss bad missionaries...

While on the mission here we really start to know our Disney and church songs very well (these are the only mission approved music categories).  As we were walking back from the attack of the area Hermana Phillips started to tell us about one of the ladies she and her companion had found.  I don't know how many of you are familiar with the movie Mulan but in one of the songs, "A Girl Worth Fighting For", there is a part where Ping(mulan) chips in on the song saying "how bout a girl who has a brain! and always speaks her mind?" (everyone else yells) "Nahhhhh". Hermana phillips describes the lady she found with those same words. And in perfect unison all of the gringo guys yell "Nahhh!" kinda a picture perfect moment. (Editor's Note:  I had to find this and review my Mulan Music to understand what he was talking about)

As I am sure a lot of you know the mind of a missionary is a very weird and peculiar thing. When we see stuff we change it into a teaching opportunity or just something altogether different than the social normality for certain situations. For example when we were back home in the states and saw someone in many different locations throughout the day as if they were following us we would think they are a stalker or something and we would probably try and avoid them.  Here, if we see someone following us we think, oh we must need to talk to this person and proceed on to do so. Last week we were walking down the road to grab a tuc tuc in order to get to a cita.  Right as we are about to get into the tuc tuc a big guy with a nice car calls us over and tells us to get in the car. Now if we were in the States we would run as fast as we could trying to get away from this kidnapper.  Here we jumped into the car without a second thought.  Ok I know you are thinking, that is a stupid thing to do no matter where you are, but it ended up being one the coolest lessons ever, as a captain of the guatemalan armed forces drove us to a cita asking us all sorts of questions about the Church. Apparently one of the other captains that he knew was a member of the church and had said if you ever have any questions of the Mormons and the LDS Church,  just pick up some Elders and they will answer anything you want to know.  I remember there was a talk about this in General Conference in the last couple of years.  I am sure Mom and Dad you thought I wasn't listening or paying attention, something about ask the missionaries, they can help you with anything. [Editor's Note:  Yes he is right, Elder Russell gave the talk, "Ask the Missionaries! They Can Help You!" in October 2012.  Yes he is right, I probably didn't think he was listening...)

And with this I end yet another week in the mission.  It is almost turkey time and we might actually have a Thanksgiving with some of the other missionaries.  Also Christmas is coming up and that is simply just a weird thought for me. Not because its Christmas or that I am not home with my family and all of you guys, but because Christmas marks 1/4th of my mission over. That right there is a very weird thought. I feel like I have only been here for such a short time and that I truly am still that little greenie that came to the mission 5 months ago. I don't know any situation in the world were an 18 year old young man can be dropped into, survive, learn, teach, provide service at every opportunity and bring eternal happiness to the lives of people.  I used to think my dads job making video games was coolest thing in the world (and let's be honest of course I still do) but this job here is a lot better than making any little old video game.

I love you all and miss you!

P.S.  Maybe we are getting a little more adventurous with our cooking, maybe we are getting tired of beans and eggs, maybe we are thinking about all the home cooked meals and BBQ back home, but if you have any sort of simple recipes that we can make please send them along.  Anything that would be simple and easy to make on a hot plate and frying pan.

This is a street, except every day when the rains come and it turns into a river, along with all the other streets.  Temperatures are a low of 70 to a high of 93 each day.  Guate is a jungle - hence all the mosquitos.

Family Picture time!

This is our go to meal...eggs, beans and torillas.  Please send recipes...


crossing the river to get to the other side...

Dad look what I found while teaching a family...Yerba Mate

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