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, December 1, 2014

Week #23: Thanksgiving and El es la dadiva

The hot weather and all the rain makes for some beautiful sunsets!
Pday this week is cut short yet into a half day.  We are not really sure why, but when the mission president cuts the Pday in half he usually has a lot of fun planned for us in the near future.  I have heard rumors that we will be celebrating christmas this week in Xetalulu.  I will let you know next week!  Hence the reason I sent emails so much earlier today.

Sadly, we did not have the chance to kill and eat that turkey. The plans fell through and though I would have loved to have eaten that whole thing with my companion, we decided that it was probably best to just go out and work.  We didn't really celebrate thanksgiving, just a silent moment of contemplation and thanks for all that we have,  and I am starting to get the feeling that I wont be celebrating my Birthday in La verde, changes this round up fall on the 10th of dec and if I do end up having changes there won't be too much time to get the members in my new area to get to know me well enough to throw me a birthday party.  Oh well, I have come to the conclusion that holidays don't really exist on the mission.  Unless of course they fall on Monday.  Maybe that is too critical of a statement...holidays and all days are what you individually make of them, I am just realizing more and more about what really matters in life.

Before the mission Merv bought me a watch and it has been more useful than I ever thought it would be.  As you can imagine keeping kids happy and entertained during a lesson is very challenging, like keeping kids entertained during sacrament meeting on Sunday. However here I don't have my phone and all of its apps to give them something to do.  But I have the watch and it's light. Every little kid loves it. I have it perfectly timed to where I can "blow" the light out. It has saved more than its fair share of lessons by allowing me to easily pacify the crying little toddler.

We have been trying out our luck this week going and contacting all of the families that live over across the river from Las Delicias. There are a ton of little families over there and love talking to the gringos. There are so many cool little families over there and many of them except every single word that we say know that it is true but simply don't understand the resounding movement that should be pushing them after. If you look in the bible dictionary at the word devil it says that one of the greatest tools that he has is the ability to change the world's perception of something bad and make it seem good. I was doing a lot of studying this week on this. and if we look over in 2 Nefi there is a chapter that talks all about how false churches with be risen up at the last day and they will have false doctrine and false teachers.  I believe that the worst part of this is the confusion that it causes. Here in Guatemala there are evangelical churches literally every couple of houses with at least one on every block. In Las Delicias alone there are around 10 different churches on just the main road that leads to our house. Everyone of them teaches something different and everyone of them has there own individual doctrine or teachings. As we go and teach people almost all more or less will let us in the door and will listen to everything that we say. However every single one of them says the same thing, that I am searching for my own individual salvation and it doesn't matter which church I am in because all of them worship god and that makes them all right and so I'm not going to change my religion because my religion is god and every church worships god. The horrible thing that has arisen is the false conceptions that have arisen to keep people from the truth, the complete truth with the ordinances and authority that are required.

Last night we meet this girl while out contacting she is 16 years old and is married to a 22 year old man.  She is an evangelist and he is catholic.  As we taught her she started to really open up to us she told us about all of the problems she has been having in the relationship and why people in her family were leaving her church and joining the LDS church. She initially had a little bit of anger towards us but then she for some reason asked us what colleges we had graduated from(because we had the answers to whatever question she had).  We of course told her none and I said I'm only 18 way to young to have graduated. She didn't believe me and I had her look I have my license. She looked and after we started to really get into to teaching her. It was a great lesson and a great experience!

Sunday was great this week as well.  We were sad because we had none of our investigators there, even after trying for 10 mins to get one to come as he ate a bowl of chicken and said I'll go tomorrow, and throwing one of the recent converts into the pickup as he was making an excuse as to why he couldn't go.  Everything was just kinda slow and sluggish until we started to sing the Sacrament hymn.  We were two verses into the song and right as we were about to start to sing the 3rd verse everyone starts on the 4th.  My companion and I were confused,  but we joined in and made that the best 4th verse ever sung. After we finished the person leading the music said ok now lets try the 3rd verse! and as so it was done.  The little differences that bring can bring a smile to your face.

We have 3 baptisms lined up right now if things go all according to plan but we will see how that goes as the week presses on.  Well time is short here on the computer.  We are going to start celebrating Christmas today and using the new El es la Dadiva (http://www.mormon.org/spa/navidad) put out by the church to contact people.   We are planning to a big Christmas celebration on the 20th of December, inviting the other pastors and other churches to all put up tiendas in the soccer field and have a Festival of Lights.

I hope all is well at home, that you had a fantastic Thanksgiving! This Christmas is going to be a special Christmas for me - as I am away from home for Christmas for the first time and spending it as a special disciple and witness of our Savior Jesus Christ!  I plan to make the most of it.

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