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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Week #83: Off cycle transfers bring new adventures

Truth of life. Every time you get comfortable in where you are and who you are a rapid wind of change comes to disfigure the world you know. this is week 83 of my mission and I had thought with such little time that I have left that I was going to go through my entire mission unscathed by Emergency changes. about 8 months ago I had a close encounter and nearly had changes to the Office however with some luck  I escaped and stayed where I was. Now 8 months have passed and what I thought I had escaped finally caught up with me and I have been pulled into the the Office of the mission. On the bright side at least I finally get to drive the pickup of the mission.

It was a Tuesday night we had gotten back from a district meeting and we were in Asintal.  We had gone and set up the baptism of another from the finca.  After coming back down we went over to the house of a new investigator of the two other Elders in the area. We had a good lesson with him and he is as strong in conviction as ever and said he would go with us to church and would pray to know if this is the path in which he must follow.  We were visiting with la familia Maldonado, after the lesson we went with them back to their house to finish the night with a little something to eat. Just as we entered into the house and having sat on the couch my phone began to ring. I looked down to see Assistant #1 calling and didn't think much about it.  Then as though, it were no more than a casual conversation, he told me that I have changes and that I would need to bring my stuff to the meeting that we were having the day after. I looked up after the short call realizing that this would probably be the last time I would be in the house with this incredible family. A family that has most certainly become part of my own and I apart of theirs. It is amazing how close you come to people that you meet in your mission.
       That night I went burning the midnight oil, packing away all of my stuff.   The next day we left the house with my bags and jumped into a taxi leaving to go from Asintal to the meeting. (that is one of the beautiful things about here in Guatemala you can pay someone 30 quetz and they will take to to the other end of Reu) When we arrived at the meeting,  after doing a brief introduction and having breakfast they gathered all of the people with changes into the cultural hall  of the church.  Then in true suspenseful fashion with me being last, told me that I was going to the office.  I was still uncertain as to what my new assignment was going to be, but as Saturday came and the office had its weekly correlation meeting  with the President he told me that I would be the new Comisario de la mision. Every change is a new adventure and this one seems like a very different type of adventure as the workings of the office are a little different then any other area in the mission.  But excited to learn and grow and serve where ever and how ever I can.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week #82: Cushin It!

Well I am feeling better, those mosquito born illnesses can really slow you down but things are going better as time, and lots of liquid in plastic bags cures all.  I don't have much to write again. Things have been a little less filled drama wise, but still filled with drama as we continue to learn to work with various members and leaders in the branch.  As is probably true in all wards and branches, some members are a delight to work with, and others not so much.  I hope all who read this fall into the "delight" category.  If not, take inventory and see what you can do to be a "delight" in member missionary work or just relations with the missionaries in your area.  I am sure that they are just as charming as I am.  :-)  Have you hugged your missionary today? probably shouldn't hug the missionaries in your ward, at least not physically...just do it spiritually.

Things have been going really good here,  we have been working really well as a team of four, finding new people to provide service to, to teach and to baptize.  We have been teaching a beautiful little family that lives in la finca Santa Margarita.  We have known them for a while now and we have become pretty close to this family.  It is a hard life that they have living on the finca.  The men in the finca wake up every day at around 3:30 in the morning to go to work in the forest picking at trees collecting the unprocessed rubber sap that comes from the trees.  After picking at the trees they go around and collect the sap.  They are there in the forest working until just about lunch time. the women of the finca follow behind and paint each tree as it has been cut so that they don't go around cutting the same trees over and over again.   Anyway, this family has gotten to know us pretty well and have even given us some weird fruit called "Cushin" that is actually really good, but a very very weird fruit. Their youngest daughter got baptized on Saturday and Sunday when she came to church and got confirmed she was so excited to go back home and invite all of her friends next week.
     My comp and I are getting along great. As I have said before there is always something special about being with someone that has the same about of time as you in the mission. Though it is also a little weird because you can talk about all of your friends who started the mission after you and are now finished. So weird to think about that sometimes. But more than anything things are going great and we are having a great time. I feel at home here. I love the people and I love serving the Lord.

(Parental commentary:  In our email this week, we had Chase ask TD various questions that he was curious about since Chase is putting his mission paperwork together.  TD answered them...and we log this brother-brother-to brother communication unedited.)

What is the last thing you just purchased there and why?
a ride in a tuc tuc and why you may ask? because Its Pday so im not walking
Who was the last investigator you talked to and what was the subject matter?
Glenda from El Salvador we talked about painting and drawing.
What is your favorite thing about your companion?
that he is absolutely crazy.....

What was the last toilet you sat on made of?
actually the last one was made of air I popped a squat
Was the paper two-ply or one-ply or is Guate TP more like sandpaper?
actually I used a piece of paper I didn't really have any tp nearby one ply or 2
What do you drink most of the time during the day? Can you drink water?
Bags of water. like plastic bags filled with water if not that then Isomax which is like nock off gatorade in plastic bags. You bite off a corner and suck
Are there any food that you are not supposed to eat as a missionary?
anything that they sell on the street is off limits.but then again most of the members are the ones selling I wonder then if we are breaking mission's quite the conundrum...
Do they have ice?
yeah, remember those bags of water well you stick it in the freezer and they magically turn to ice...
What do you do on P-day for fun?
It depends, today we went to the beach and took pictures......
How do you clean your suits?
clean your suits?...wait, we are supposed to clean our suits.......hmm...that might explain a few things...
What is the one piece of advice you would have for me as I prepare these last few months for a mission?
read and listen to the words of the prophets...find as many talks and good music as possible and stick them on a good ipod listen to them as much as possible during down time...if mission rules allows bring to the the book of mormon, read Jesus the Christ...

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week #80: Temple Trip, Pizza Hut and Elder Garoz

Xela Temple...because it's to hard to spell it the long way.

Well we are now in the year 2016.....That is pretty weird....I finished high school and entered into the mission in 2014 and so I am now another year here....Its a weird thought, I guess I am learning that term..."when time flies".
      This has been an amazing week!  On Tuesday we went to the temple. It was a fun little experience. We had a the chance to go with President Ruiz and do a session in the temple with him.  We had instructions and left from Reu to Xela at about 1pm. However there was a mishap and the office didn't tell us that the session wasn't until 5:30pm. We had arrived at the temple a little bit before 3pm and when we called to find out what was going on they apologized and said that President was still in Reu.... The cafeteria at the temple was closed, so the moment that I heard that President Ruiz was still in Reu and having been craving pizza for some days now, I called Pizza Hut to send in my order and to have them deliver to the temple.  As soon as I hung up some of the Hermanas came over asking, "Did you just order Pizza?" and had me order them one as less then a min later some of the other Hermanas there, seeing that we had just ordered pizza asked if we could order another....of course we said yes. By the 3rd time one  us calling they immediately knew It was Elder Wilcox and I knew it was Cindy and she already knew what was about to happen....I think that might have been the first time they had delivered to the temple if not it was at least my first time having them deliver to it.  After eating and taking pictures for a long while President Ruiz made it and we when inside to a session packed to the brim.  By the time we had finished it was 9pm and by the time we got home somewhere close to 11pm.
     Reinforcements have arrived! While we were there at the temple I was talking with the mission president and hinted that another set of missionaries would be good for Asintal.  Apparently he thought so as well, and sent another pair our way within 15 hours of that conversation.  Elder Fairbanks now is no longer my comp, he is now comps with Elder Huasupoma.  My new companion is Elder Garoz. He is from California as well and will actually be finishing the mission with us. With four us working here, things are a lot easier, and the burden of teaching all of the fincas have just been cut in half.
    The people of the Auroa Castillo and Santa Margarita are doing great. A lot of them have there little problems or just haven't been there during the Christmas/new Years season. Now things are settling back down, we as well as the rest of the mission are pretty interested to see what happens here.
    Anyways the New year is here and it is going to hold alot of surprises in store. I could not have imagined just how much my life would change just from just one year back. This one holds a lot more in store....and I am anxious to see what is in store.

President and Sister Ruiz and Elder Fairbanks

w/ Elder Call

w/ Elder Bastian
The field is green

Getting ready for a lesson

Christmas Mission President Photo w/ President and Sister Ruiz and Elder Fairbanks

Sometimes they think I am a jungle gym