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Monday, February 29, 2016

Week #88: "you need to be where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to be doing..."

I experienced one of the baggiest moments in my mission this week.   In order to understand exactly why this was this was, one has to understand a few things.  During all of my time on the mission I have never been in a ward until now.   Twenty months ago I began my mission in the Rama La Verde and from that branch I moved all across the mission going to some of the most unique branches of the mission. Their buildings, the benches in the church, the amount of people, all of these things have always formed a sort of mental gap and because of this I have never truly felt as though I were in my ward. The second thing you have to understand is before I came into the mission, for almost all of my time in the young men's group we had few young men, and I was one of the only young men of my age who was truly active in the church.  In fact, the young man closest to me in age has always been my little brother who is almost exactly two years younger than me. It created many definning moments, and there were many things that I learned from experiences in YM.    From the day I became a Priest, in my ward I was up on the stand blessing the sacrament,  until the day that I left for the mission.  Few, if any, weeks passed  where I was not up there on the stand,  if not by  choice then by necessity.  There was even a time when my friend was investigating the church and he was in another ward and to support him (even though he didn't need it - he's a lot more pillas than I am) I would go with him to church in the morning and then leave, flying across our little town to the stake center to go to my ward.   My Dad had said I could go to his ward as much as I wanted,  but I had to be back in time to fulfill my responsibilities in my ward.  Dad always said,"you need to be where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to be doing when you are supposed to be doing it." Whether I like it or not, it became drilled into me, and has been, and is, one of the reasons that I do a lot of the things that I probably otherwise would not do, like going to church twice a day. It might have been something I didn't like doing but it was what I was supposed to do.
          Now fast forward to 28/2/2016, I am in the Sacrament meeting of the Ward Reu 2 (that is "Dos", if some of you just said "two" in your head).  My first ward and probably last area of the mission. We have a few investigators at church today, things are going well. My companion Elder Taylor is sick with Zika and has been suffering a little bit the last couple of days. Everyone is silent, the type of silence that only comes in church right as the sacrament prayers approach. Today there was only one priest on the stand so they had asked me to bless. The sacrament song began and we began to break the bread,  As we finished, I knelt down and began to speak the prayer, however in this moment, it was as though I were back home in my ward blessing the sacrament like so many times before.  As the words of the prayer left my mouth, for a moment I became so lost in the vision of home that I almost began to say the prayer in English.  As I finished the prayer I couldn't raise my eyes to the crowd, I don't know if it was because I couldn't withstand the thought of seeing the families or because I couldn't withstand the feeling of not seeing my ward. When we finished blessing and passing the sacrament I finally looked up, it was so weird to look out over the crowd and not see the Southwells, Bruces, Lovells, Lahodas, or the Sobecks, or the other Sobek's or even the other Sobek's (I am not stuttering) or the Raleighs, or even my own family in their places where they always are. It was even weirder that there just simply weren't people in their spots. During my 20 months in the mission I don't believe I have ever been home sick.   That day, I definitely was.
       Anyways off of the baggy note, six more mini missionaries just got here and we drew the short stick and get to drive them to Mazate.  At least, we will be eating good tonight!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week #86: Fixing the pickup...don't forget the keys.

Well, another week has come and gone and I have to say not too much has changed. Things in the office are very different from other kinds of work in the mission but none the less work is work and we have been called to work in the Lord's vineyard.
      So we had a fun little trip this week. For the last while, we have been having a lot of problems with the pickup of the mission. As you can imagine with all of the traveling on the dirt roads and all over the mission over the last 2 years our pickup has kinda taken a beating. On Monday, we took the pickup to Xela to give Jaime (the pickup) his checkup.....He had a lot wrong with him. More than was wrong with the 300,000 miles used Saturn back home. Over the next two days, Jaime was in surgery and left on Wednesday. So Wednesday we went back up to Xela to go and check him out of the Taller and do some other stuff. Now Xela is one of the truly few developed areas in Guate and it has many stores and things that the rest of the mission lacks. That being said aprovechamos when we go up.  However, as has been the theme of everything in the world anything that can go wrong will go wrong.  After we had taken the pickup out of the shop and were done eating lunch we went over to a store called Cemaco to buy some new tables for the mission. We got out of the car were heading towards the entrance of the store when we realized that we didn't have the keys with us....We started running back to the pickup knowing that the car has a highly annoying auto lock feature the moment we touch the door to yank it open we hear the faint noise of the car doors locking and our chances of getting into the car went down the drain. After a little while of trying to find some way in we managed to get ahold of a guy who breaks into cars for a living and then went on our way to finish out our compras.
     Pretty much for the rest of the week, we have been busy about doing all sorts of little projects here and there. Doing some banners for the mission planning activities, and all the rest of things to many to mention. The next focus will be a giant activity in the mission and a big ole inventory of everything in the mission.
      On the proselyting side, we have some really amazing investigators at the moment.  One named Tatiana is an absolutely prepared lady.  She has opened her heart to the Gospel and is here now to accept it, she has a beautiful little family with a little three-year-old boy who calls us all the time. No one has any idea of what he is saying but he is hilarious. Last Sunday, as normal for little kids entering into the primary, he started to yell and scream until his mom came back in. However this week he was completely fine with going to class and didn't put up any resistance and so Tatiana could go to her Sunday School class with us. A little while after the class had begun everyone began to hear some kind of weird wailing and were thinking what is that noise? Tatiana said "don't worry that is just my little boy singing" Everyone got a good chuckle out of that. Anyways she is going to be a very good Primary or Young women's teacher she seems like that kinda person.
      The other guy that we are working with right now is named Luis. Now I don't know how many of you have seen the chapins here in Guate But they are not a naturally tall group of people. Luis however at the age of 14 is already nearly my height and without a doubt will outgrow me in the next couple of years. I can see him being like the guy from the movie the Blindside. He has come to church with us twice now and will be going with the ward to the temple on Saturday. We tried to see if it is possible for him to be baptized confirmed and receive the Priesthood on Friday so he could go in but just going along for the experience will be great as well.