Monday, April 13, 2015

Uno Mi Cambio

Bueno, Bueno, Bueno,

So tomorrow is the last day in the change that we are having and we find out tomorrow if me or my companion has changes. We are thinking that he will because he has been here for almost 5 months, but we shall see. The last 6 weeks in this change has gone by so fast!

Last Saturday I got the great opportunity to baptize 2 people! They were the hermana Cony and Henry. It was so funny in the beginning with Cony because she was saying forever how she didn’t want to get baptized, but guess what? We baptized her :) She was super excited but really nervous as she was walking down into the font, and the water was actually pretty cold. She is like the tiniest thing ever and weighs not even 100 pounds. It was like baptizing a feather. Then the other baptism was of Henry. We were not too sure about him because he doesn't have a cell phone, lives really far away, and works a ton so we didn't get a chance to go to his house to teach him. He was invited to church by a member and came 3 times which was awesome. He is what I can a baptism of faith. He didn't know too much about the church but had the desire and knew that it was right and made the decision to be baptized. We had the number of his brother who we called and told his brother to tell Henry to come to the church at 10am on Saturday for his baptism. Then the zone leaders wanted to have the baptisms together in their building so we called again to have the brother tell Henry to meet us in the other building. But his brother I don't think told him or whatever because he didn't want to talk to us. We were thinking for about 2 days that we were not going to baptize Henry because plans got confused because the zone leaders said 1 hour before the baptisms that we needed to do them in our building. So we called all the members and told them the change of plans, we were rushing to get the keys to the building, fill the baptism font, bring Cony to the church, and everything else. So we started to fill the font and left to go get Cony, got to her house, then waited for her to get ready, we left her house to go to the church, and as we were walking up to the church we see 3 people. The bishop, a member (Maria), and Henry! We were not even expecting him to show up because of all the changes of plans and everything. He told us that he got the message from his brother to come to our church and not the one to go the other church for his baptism. That was a sure blessing. We all got our baptism clothes on and we had the baptismal service and it was small but pretty good! It was definitely a miracle that we had received!

The whole day Saturday we were baptizing and helping our district with their baptisms as well. One companionship had 2 weddings, right after 8 baptisms which was way awesome! It’s funny because half of the people were family of Cony that we baptized. You guys will also see the pictures of my awesome idea that I had to fill the baptism font when there wasn't enough water. We used a water tower, a big cone, a hose, and a chair. It was pretty dope!

You might remember the hermano Felipe that we have been teaching who is 92 years old. Right now he isn't progressing a whole lot because like 2 weeks ago he fell and hurt his leg and can't do anything and is really tired a lot. We have been trying to visit him and invite him to church and all but the family says that he can't leave the house. Then the next day after they said that we went back and they said that Felipe was out running errands. Those liars. We think the family doesn't want us to visit Felipe, but they are nice, however, Felipe likes talking to us and we are still trying to have him progress. So something funny that happened was that we were teaching the Word of Wisdom and talking to him about coffee and that it is bad for you. He looked at us and said that he has been drinking coffee since he was like 12 years old and he has had no side effects or nothing of it! Me and my companion looked at each other and were thinking HOW CAN WE TELL SOMEONE WHO IS 92 YEARS OLD AND HAS BEEN DRINKING COFFEE FOR 80 YEARS THAT IT IS BAD FOR HIS HEALTH. That was something I found kinda funny. We just told him that it was a commandment of God that we need to follow and all. haha.

This week President Ruiz said that our zone would have the chance to go a place named IRTRA to have lunch because our zone had the most people with interviews and baptism dates in the whole mission. It is a place in Retalhuleu near Xetulul where we went for Christmas. This place was so nice and the food was really good! We all got like steak, potatoes, and dessert. Of course they gave us tortillas to have with our meal as well which was no surprise haha. I love me some tortillas! I feel awkward eating food without tortillas now. Watch out mom, when I come home I need my tortillas with my food haha!

I am doing just great though this week and I am looking forward and trying to do my best here! I love you all and I’m so grateful for all the love and support that I have received from you all!

Elder Kahl

So this was my brilliant idea that I have to fill up the baptism font in the church. The water ran out and therewasn't enough sufficient to baptize the people. There was a water tower outside so the zone leaders opened it upand we had a hose but it couldn't attach to the spout. We didn't have any ideas to get the water into the font. So Ifound a cone in the church and the water was pouring out from high up into the cone. We then attached the hoseto the bottom of the cone to make it the water run into the baptism font. It actually worked! My zone leaderssaid it was a crazy idea but it worked haha we filled up the font just fine with it too.

The two baptisms that we had.  I got to baptize them both!

The girls name is Martha Consuelo Rodriguez (Cony) and she is 19 years old. 

The guy is named Henry Geovany and he is 21.

Me, Elder Perez and Elder Jorgensen.

Me, Elder Perez and Elder Quib.

These are the cards we handed out to people to invite them to come watch General Conference.

Little Caesars Pizza Hat!!!

Playing soccer at the church.

Playing soccer today at the church.

3 drunks I found passed out on the street (there are always drunks like this).

Eating corn on the cob.

Check out the tie that I bought here! Dope right???

Me, Elder Oporta and Elder Perez

Monday, April 6, 2015

Drunks. Craziness. Prophets

Cómo está cada uno de usted?

So for this week something really cool happened for us. I went on divisions with Elder Oporta, our district leader, to have an interview with the hermana Cony who we have been teaching for about 4 weeks now. We have been challenging her to be baptized on the 11th, this Saturday, but she has never accepted because says that it is too soon and she is not prepared and doesn't have the desire to be baptized. But with her saying all of this I never lost faith that she will be baptized on this day. We had the interview and the interview for her baptism took 2 hours! So long! They come back and they sit next to me and I look at Cony and asked her how it was and she asked me what I thought happened. I looked and her, got a grin and said, "You’re being baptized on the 11th aren't you?" She smiled and said yes! I got so excited and I knew that she would accept it! Now she is super excited for her baptism and keeps asking us about it and what she needs to do for it. She also always shows me how far in the Book of Mormon she is and was asking about serving a mission and everything! I am way pumped for her baptism this Saturday. Also at General Conference we had a good amount of investigators who came and after the sessions each one had a baptism interview to see if they would accept the dates. 2 other people accepted a date to be baptized and one of them is for this Saturday as well! He is a guy who has come to church twice and he will be baptized this Saturday with Cony. So I will keep you all updated on what will happen with those!

For General Conference over the weekend, unfortunately we did not get the chance to watch conference, only the Priesthood session. During the other sessions we were out in the streets inviting everyone to come in and to watch conference with us! We actually got a lot of people to come in and watch it right off the street which was pretty awesome and a couple of them accepted a date to be baptized. It’s crazy how many people are ready to hear the message we have and to accept the gospel who are right off the street that God has prepared. However, there are a ton of people who just do not want to hear our message or who are not interested. Get pumped people! The prophet is speaking to us!!!

For Sunday we actually got a bus and went to the most populated areas and went to talk to everyone, like 12 of us missionaries but with the bus idea not too many people came in and listened, we had more success walking around and talking to people. However for Saturday and Sunday, everyone here in Coatepeque went to the beach because I guess it is like a big tradition here to go the beach for these days. So in some parts there was literally no one! It looked like a ghost town in some parts and the only people who were out were all the drunks! And I have to say, that we encountered A LOT of drunks over the past 3 days! One of them came into the building and I was trying to get him to leave, and by the way, the drunk peed his pants too so that was gross and he kept trying to touch us so we kinda pushed him outside the gate and then closed the gate on him and he eventually left. That was interesting! I hate drunks. If they stop us I usually cut them off about their drinking which we really need to do for them to understand. I like it. haha. As a zone we had the most investigators who came to church out of all the zones in the mission! President said that we will be getting a special P-Day coming up soon for accomplishing that!

For the past week it has been called the Holy Week here, it was pretty interesting as there were people playing the marimba while 3 people were dancing, 1 guy, 1 girl (guy dressed up like a girl), and a guy who has a fake guy on his shoulder. They do it to celebrate Judah, which I have no idea why but its weird! Then for the whole week there were parades about Christ and his death (which doesn't make sense when all the churches say that Christ lives but only commemorate his death and not that he was resurrected). 

There was something called Pan de Judah (Bread of Judah) and this bread is huge! It is like the size of my face and everyone eats it and gives it to us, it’s pretty good but I was getting a little tired of it haha. I took some videos and a few pictures of the stuff but unfortunately I can't send any of the videos because they are all way too big.

Last Wednesday we had a multi-zone conference and it was pretty sweet. We took another test on Preach My Gospel which was easier than the last one and I feel decent about it. We also got to watch Remember the Titans, in english! Man I love that movie! President Ruiz is pretty awesome and I was a little surprised that he let the whole mission watch it, he is so cool. Then today for P-Day we all went to the stake center with our zone and the zone Tecun and we played basketball and volleyball there, it was actually a lot of fun and it was so nice to actually play basketball again. Then we had a water balloon fight and when that was done my zone leaders filled up the tub with water and dumped it all over me when I wasn't looking. It actually felt so nice because it was so hot out today!

I am so happy that I received my package from my family and it is pretty sweet! The night when I opened it I started to draw because inside was a sketchbook and a drawing kit thingy. I miss drawing. It was nice to do it again but hard to find time to do it. But I have the best parents ever!

This is the last week in the change and me and my companion have a feeling that he will be leaving this change because he has been here for a long time but we will see what will happen and if he will go or stay for one more change with me. We are working pretty good and getting along so that is a big plus as well. Still have to encourage him and get him motivated to go out and to work and to work hard as well. He is getting pretty homesick as his mission is winding down but we are still doing good.

The past week with inviting everyone about the conference I have been very grateful that we have a living prophet today who receives revelation from God and crazy to think that he has the opportunity to talk to God face to face just like the prophets of old! I know that Thomas S. Monson is called of God to be the prophet for the whole world and that we have the 12 apostles as well who are called to help direct the church as well. Sometimes it’s hard to explain to people that today we have prophets and apostles when a lot of people say that there are a lot or that today we don't have prophets as those times ended in the Bible. But, WE HAVE A LIVING PROPHET TODAY! I am so grateful as well to remember the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ and that today he lives! Porque él Vive!

Elder Kahl

Happy Missionary! I got my package from my family!

Picking mangoes!

This is the banner we hung up on the street to tell people about General Conference.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Un bolo me pegó..... (A drunk hit me....).

Buenas a cada uno de ustedes!

For this week nothing too exciting has happened to us or nothing too out of the ordinary. However the biggest highlight of the week was that we had 3 investigators in church this Sunday which was way cool! One of them was Cony, the other Felipe (92 years old), and Marco. The hermana Cony is progressing so much in the gospel! It’s crazy! She knows that baptism is important and that she needs it but the only thing that is really holding her back is that she doesn't have a true definite desire to do it. She knows that the church is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that we have a living prophet today. I think the main problem that is holding her back is that she has committed some sins that she thinks she can't be forgiven of, but she can be. She has come to church twice already and we have been motivating her all the time to get prepared for the 11th of April to be baptized. We have pretty much taught her everything and will have an interview with her this week to see her spiritual progress. She is way cool though and always excited to talk to us and learn more about the Gospel. I'm sure that once she comes to General Conference then she will feel more of the desire to be baptized.

The hermano Felipe finally came to church! Saturday we passed by his house to invite him to church but said that most likely that he was going to be busy. We told him that we would come by Sunday morning and see. So we passed by in the morning and turned out that he was not there, we felt a little down, but then his daughter said that he left not too long ago to go to church. We perked up and said thanks and left. We walked to the church building to attend church and what do you know, Felipe was standing outside the gate waiting for us to get there. He was excited and we were so glad to see him there! We invited a member to sit with him and to talk to him and that really helped a lot and they were talking like they were good old friends! That was a miracle itself! The only thing that is hard is that he has a lot of doubts about the way we do things in the church and says that some things are wrong and he pulls out his bible to show us. So we pull out our bibles too and help him understand these things. He is slowly learning but I am sure that if we just teach him about the church and about baptism with the right authority he will be baptized as well. He is looking forward to General Conference though and I am sure that it is going to help him.

One companionship in our district invited 8 of us to go sing to an investigator that they have to help place a date for her baptism. The girl was 12 years old and we all went and sang a few hymns to her and her abuela. It was a cool experience and the little girl said yes to baptism and she was pretty excited and so were we! Then all of a sudden her aunt comes over and tells us that she doesn't need that there and told us all to leave then she walked away. We all stood there and kept talking to the little girl. Then the lady told us again with a nasty tone almost yelling. Then she was saying things like we worship Joseph Smith (which we don't) how we dance and chant (which we don't) and other stupid things. Then she told the little girl to give her, her bible and was yelling to get her bible. But the girl who said yes to baptism looked at her and said no and refused. Atta girl! She said no to her aunt and the aunt kept yelling that we leave and saying how she worships God and and not a prophet. I swear she was possessed or something ;) haha. Its like hermana if you worship God why are you rejecting 8 representatives of Jesus Christ? Some of the elders tried to talk to her but she refused and then finally we had enough and left. The little girl and the grandma (the grandma is a member) both thanked us for the visit and the hymns and we went along our way happy as can be because we all knew that we did the right thing. It was pretty funny though and definitely something I will remember.

For our zone here we have made a plan that we are going to fast for our investigators every single week to help them out. It actually is not too bad fasting once a week but a lot of people think that it is so difficult and that they could never do anything like that. Little by little it is actually helping out our investigators, especially the people who have a date to be baptized. I have also felt my faith be increased through the fasts as well and hope that it will continue.

Here it has been raining a lot more because we are getting into the rainy season here. One day were left the house and the streets were just flooded with water. I love the rain here, ya we get soaked and sometimes it’s not fun and I am getting a cold but hey I like the rain!

Also this week are are working hard on inviting people to come to General Conference to hear Thomas S. Monson and the apostles as well. This will be a great opportunity for people to feel that this is the true church and feel that we have a living prophet today to lead and direct the church that Jesus Christ has established. We also established a goal with all the members. I got up in front of them all and said that we wanted to make a goal for each of them to invite and bring 2 people to Conference with them. I explained for like 10 minutes and shared a little example with them about how they can do it and how they will be blessed and they will be helping us a lot as well. They all said yes to do it and then we passed out invitations to them all to share with people to invite to the conference. Hopefully they will all be ward missionaries and help us out to find more people to teach through this medium. From what it sounds like, it seems like we might not get the chance to watch much of conference as we will be outside the building inviting every single person to come and listen to conference when it is going on. Hopefully if we do that, that a lot of people off the street will come in and listen. If someone off the street comes into the building and listens they are automatically an investigator, that is what our mission president said! haha.

Me and my companion are doing good though. I still really like him and we are getting along. He is a little on the slower side (as in that he does everything slow! Everything except eating haha! I try to get his enthusiasm high and get him pumped to go out and work and to work hard. He is getting a bit baggi (homesick) as he has little time left in his mission. I am trying to motivate him that we need to give it our all. But he is still way awesome and is pretty funny as well.

Today for P-day we all went to an indoor soccer turf field and played soccer! There was only our zone there and we had 2 teams and played. It was almost like the Latinos against the Gringos! Except my team (the American team) we kicked butt! We won like 15-5! And I had 6 of the goals so I was pretty happy and pumped about that! I have to say that my soccer skills are slowly improving though! Watch out Messi!

Everything here in Guatemala is good though. OH! I forgot to tell you all that I got whacked in the back by a drunk! We were walking down a trail and there was this drunk who tried to talk to my companion but we just kept walking and when I walked by the guy whacked by back with is arm. It wasn't too hard but I stopped and turned around and just looked at him and asked him if that was really necessary? He just looked at me and then just started to walk away though. It was weird and felt I was a little mad but then it was over. haha. Kinda funny though.

Love and miss you all there but doing great here in Guatemala and know that this is where I need to be during this time. I know that this is the true church and the only way to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father is through this church. I know that Christ lives and that He established His church and that He set an example for us to follow. Remember Christ everyday but especially this week and act upon the faith that you have. Faith without works is dead. Gracias a que él vive!

Elder Kahl

P.S. I will not be sending any pictures this week because I left my camera in the house. Stay tuned for next week with the pictures!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Puchika! 6 Meses!.... The Burning of the Tie!

Hola a cada uno de ustedes!

I cannot believe that I have already completed 1/4 of my mission and that I only have 18 months more to go! The past 6 months have gone by so fast and I can't imagine how fast the next 18 will go! For my 6 month mark I got the opportunity to burn one of my ties (at my 1 year mark I get to burn a shirt)! I chose the tie that I liked the least and one I wanted to get rid of. Haha! It was pretty fun... note to self... Ties burn fast.

This week we had a multi-zone conference here in Coatepeque with the president of the mission. We were in it for like 6-7 hours but it was a really powerful and spiritual experience! We talked a lot about faith, chastity, obedience, and repentance. FE ES PODER! It was really awesome and I felt so motivated to go out and to baptize the whole world! I love conferences like that because I always get a spiritual charge and get so motivated afterward!

We had a baptism this week of a girl named Perla, she is 22 years old and was way excited for her baptism. My companion got the opportunity to baptize her and this girl had a lot of support from the members as there was about 20 members who showed up to support her. She has a lot of support from her boyfriend as well as he is a returned missionary from California and he actually speaks pretty good English too so that’s a plus, haha. I am pretty sure that they are going to get married anyways!

We have been really working hard to get investigators to come to church with us and we had about 6 committed, but that morning we went by them all to take them to church and only 1 was actually at the house or said yes. The others were out selling and not at the house, the 92 year old said that things came up so he couldn't. The one who came to church was Cony. She is the 19 year old who has a lot of questions and is really positive and I have a good feeling that we are going to baptize her, just have to stay patient. There was a family that we found as well who we have visited a few times. There are like 9 of them but during the lessons we are finding out who really  has the desire to listen and is interested. Out of the 9, there are 2 who really pay attention and are committing to keep the commitments we give them. They are named Dulce and Jesus. I have a good feeling that if they come to church the next Sunday and if they pray about the things that we are teaching that they will be baptized in the future. They are awesome and I have a lot of faith in them. 

This part of the year we are having a lot of mangos and they are so good! There is a ton down here and I am always buying them sliced up in bags to get them easier to eat. The rainy season is coming slowly as it is getting more templado and drizzles here and there but the real rain starts to come in April. I am looking for a change from all the heat that we have been getting and I like the rain so we will see how that goes.

This week I have really taken notice how important it is for people to pray in order to receive answers to their prayers because if they don't then they will never be able to feel that the things that we are teaching them is the truth. But I don't get why but it is really hard for people to pray and to remember to ask Heavenly Father with a specific question. We emphasize it every time with each person but it is really hard for them. I think it is because Satan knows that if they pray and do it with a real intent then they will feel in their hearts that these things are true. That is why he works so hard on them to have them not pray. One of our investigators has prayed almost every time about the things that we have taught but is still waiting for an answer to her prayers. We told her that she needs to be patient and be persistent with it as well because if she does not then she will never get a response. Another important piece to praying is also listening as well because when we are praying it is a conversation with Heavenly Father. We can't just ask and ask and ask but we also need to listen. Another thing with a lot of people down here is that whenever we make second visits with people they never remember and they are either super busy or just not at the house. We have been trying to find ways to help people remember but right now we have not had any luck with it.

Something that I have taken more seriously is my scripture study in the mornings when we have time. I have planned to reread The Book of Mormon and this time I am keeping a journal and writing down what I feel, what I have learned, and about the history in the book that I am reading. From this I have really noticed a difference in my study. I feel the Spirit more and when I take it more serious like that, I am understanding what I am reading in Spanish really well and that I am understanding and remembering the histories and teachings that I read. Also I have gained a greater love for the scriptures as well and how important it is to have the Book of Mormon in our lives. I don't know how other people can't accept the Book of Mormon. There are actually 2 reasons why: 1) People have not read it in the first place. or 2) People have read it but don't understand it. And those 2 things are actually from the Book of Mormon about why people don't believe that it is the Word of God.

Each day I gain a greater love for the scriptures and for being here in my mission. It is the best decision that I have made in my life. I know that I am here for a purpose and that if I do my part then I am fulfilling my purpose as a missionary. I know that this is the true church with all of my heart because it is the same church that Christ established when he was on the earth. I have found out for myself and I will never deny it.

I am so stoked for General Conference again to hear the words of the prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and from the apostles as well. It will really be a great time to hear the words of our Heavenly Father and what He wants from us. Also we need to prepare for it and always listen to the council of the prophet. THIS IS THE TRUE CHURCH.

Elder Kahl

PS: For those of you who don’t know what General Conference is, here is an explanation:  General Conference is twice a year where we listen to inspiring messages from Church Leaders (our prophet, apostles and other church leaders).  The meetings are broadcast from Salt Lake City and can be watched in person, on television, on the internet or through satellite in a local church building.  If you are interested in watching it, go to to find out more information about it.

Mango Season! We ate a lot of mangos at a member’s house this week!

We had a baptism this week! We baptized a girl named Perla!

I was also with Elder Choc and we took a picture outside of a church that is the companionship church!

6 month mark!  Time to burn a tie!

My burnt tie!

A puppy that was chained up outside of one of our investigators house.

Elder Quib and I emailing on P-day!