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Monday, February 9, 2015

Week #33: Pioneer Children (and Missionaries) sang as they walked, and walked, and walked...

The Waters of Mormon?

I continue to love life in the Maclen area.  I am very very sore from the amount of walking that we do up and down the mountains and hills and it definitely puts some wear and tear on these legs...but it makes for a good nights rest, knowing we have done all we can.
        Tuesday and Wednesday we had divisions with one of the zone leaders Elder Amundsen. My comp stayed down in san pedro while we took Elder Amundsen up to Rio Blanco.   Most of our time there was spent walking and trying to get interviews done for these people who are ready for baptism. However things didn't go as planned and when we talked to the father about the baptisms of his kids and wife he said no.  But it was a "flexible" no in that if they continue to learn and have a desire they can be baptised sometime in the near future. So we will be sure to pass by them frequently and to keep their spirits strong.
       The other man that we visited has been an investigator for nearly a year, knows just about all the doctrine and even defends the church from bolos trying to mooch off of the wifi. (wifi mooching is a big problem here). This guy has a testimony of the temple of the Book of Mormon...he just doesn't feel like he knows enough, or all that he needs to. He is probably one of the most pilas members in the branch Rio Blanco but he isn't even a member.  He even said that one day he will get baptised he just doesn't know when.
      Here in the mission there is a certain reputation that the mountains have. It is said that these people are cold and don't really want to listen to the gospel. But I don't think it's true. I honestly believe that the culture here is just a little bit different than that of the coast. In the coast the people will follow on faith alone and will go to church without an understanding of any bit of the doctrine. However here in the mountains the people remind me of those from the US they wait and think about what is placed before them until they are dead sure that this is the way. Its almost weird to think how culture can be so different when the areas are so close.
       On Thursday we took another trip to Chuicaval to visit some of the people we are teaching over there.  That trip never gets easier... 3h 31min 37sec walking up and down the mountain sides and we finally reach the house that we have over there... But this time there was the coolest little moment of pure Christlike love.  As we trekked the long trek, we were about three hours into the journey and we had just taken a little trail down one side of a mountain, all the way down to the bottom and were taking the trail back up. We were dead tried, each step heavier than the next.  Somehow we kept moving along the long winding path up and up until we reached a little clearing near the side of the main "road".  The clearing had been well kept and the people that lived nearby use it to play soccer in.  As we crossed the clearing and started to climb the little makeshift staircase path to the road, a little old mother whistled to get our attention as she sent her daughter running towards us with two perfectly cold gatorades. It really wasn't much but at that moment, it was just a beautiful thing! I can only imagine how bad we must have looked trudging across the clearing for her to send her daughter running to give us just a little bit of help, a little bit of hope, and a little bit of love.  That small act of kindness made the pain of a long hike go away for a few moments and we were extremely grateful. She truly was just what we needed, at just the moment we were in need. Someday I am going to go back to that little spot and I am going to do all I can to help her in anyway I can.
    This Pday was pretty cool! we went over to some waterfalls that are pretty close to here. When we got there was a little kinda pool resort place but none of us even looked at that we went straight on through,over to the waterfalls. I was one of the first to head over to the falls but ended up slipping into the river as I tried to jump one of the gaps and was soaked from the waist down.  At that point I was like...great...but made the best of it and propped my leg up in a way that everyone else could use it to get over to the waterfalls without getting wet. We took a lot of pictures and it was one of the cooler Pdays that we have had in a long while.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here with the people of Guatemala. So grateful to be able to see know some amazing missionaries and serve alongside them.  The love, kindness and charity that they show to all they come in contact with is one of those things that can change the life of others.

It is a challenge sometimes being the only person in Rio Blanco that speaks English, but this only makes the language skills improve all the faster.

Love to all!

-Elder Wilcox

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