Thursday, December 25, 2014

Casi 2015!!!!! - Week 15

Púchica! (Shoot!) Fue muy divertido hablar con casi toda de mi familia sobre Navidad por medio Skype! Yo les extraño mucho arrita! Pero, yo siento un poco mas motivado después hablando con ustedes, especialmente trabajar mas duro con mi español y ensenar nuestras investigadores también. Gracias por todo de tu apoyo cuando estoy aquí en mi misión y siento tu amor hacia me. 

English Translation
Shoot! It was fun talking to almost all of my family on Christmas through SkypeI miss them a lotBut, I feel a little more motivated after talking to you, especially work harder with my Spanish and to teach our investigators too. Thanks for all your support while I'm here on my mission and I feel your love for me.

So for Christmas just about every single house made tamales for the holidays. It was cool but was kinda awful at the same time because every house that we went to they all brought out a nice tamale for us to have. Oh man I got so sick of them after about 2! Then for the next few days for lunch we have like rice or chicken or soup with a nice plate of tamales on the side! On the plus side though Christmas was pretty great! For Christmas Eve and Christmas day there were fireworks going off just about every second and I took some videos so I will see if I can send one but it was crazy. Everyone was out and about on Christmas Eve then the next day there was absolutely no one in the houses and no one in the streets when there usually is a lot of people so that was weird for us to see.

Christmas morning I opened my packages I received and I just have to say thank you for them all! I pretty much have a candy store in our house now and I got so much candy that I don’t know what to do with it all. I literally have it all in a box and take one bag out at a time and eat it with the help of other elders and take it slow that way! Because dang there is a lot! All the gifts were fun though too! But there is one gift most important of all that I had the opportunity to recognize and share with everyone around me. This gift is Jesus Christ. Our Savior. I loved sharing about the birth of Jesus Christ with everyone and seeing what Christ means in their lives. I hope that all of you had the opportunity to do the same, but if not, then you have the opportunity to recognize and remember Christ every single day of your life. Its easy!

So this week was kinda weird and not too great for us with our investigators. Both families that are progressing very well were almost never in their houses during this week, one was in Malacatan the entire week so we couldn’t work with them at all and they are not home yet but we took this opportunity to try to find new investigators and to ask for references from the members and others that we are teaching. The thing that bugs me though is that a lot of people are so scared to accept a change in their lives. Whether it is to pray, read the scriptures, baptism, or even to come to church. There are a lot that are scared to do these things because I think they may seem it is different from their normal routine. However, the people that do these things are taking the first steps to be truly converted unto Christ and to follow in his footsteps and be his disciples.

I feel like there is not much to say because I almost said everything over skype to you all! I know that you all said that my Spanish was really good and progressing really well. However, yes I think the same but not to the extent of you all because it has been progressing but it’s still really hard and even harder to understand just what other people are saying to me because some speak so fast and mumble so usually I have no idea what they say. However, little by little I will be able to improve this and understand what they are saying.... I hope.

This morning with our zone for P-day we went to Tecun and we played soccer in the blazing heat and holy moly I thought I was going to die because it was just so hot outside today! Then after the others were done, me and 2 other American Elders played a little bit of football with the football that I got for Christmas so that was pretty fun but this was only like the second day that we played soccer here which kinda surprises me because soccer is huge down here.

   Elder Kahl

P.S. I can not believe that CSU basketball is doing that good! Crazy and I am missing it! Hearing all about basketball and Poudre basketball makes me miss playing with all those guys and being on that court practicing and playing in games. Those are moments I wish I could go back and relive in an instant! Freak and I am also missing the Broncos kicking butt this year as well! I hope they go all the way and win the Super Bowl! Also hopefully the pictures you took mom of me on the computer look decent of me and are not horrible! haha.

My Christmas Tree!

My first Missionary ornament.

My packages from my parents, grandparents and Kristeena.

This is what I got inside my packages!  

Skyping with Chandler on Christmas.

Skyping with Chandler on Christmas.

Skyping with Chandler on Christmas. Chandler and his companion, Elder Tzub.

Chandler showing us the picture he had on his planner.

Chandler showing us the picture he had on his planner.

Monday, December 22, 2014

FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!!! - Week 14

Feliz Navidad a cada uno de ustedes! Estoy muy emocionado por esta semana porque yo puedo llamar con mi familia y verles también! Hay muchas cosas que pasó esta semana. Primer, teníamos una día juntos con casi 70 misionarios en este parte en mi misión y fuimos a Coatepeque por un devocional por Navidad. Nuestra presidente del misión y su esposa hablaron en este devocional y después cada zona necesitó hacer algo por Navidad, un canción, actuar, o cualquier cosa. Casi todas de las zonas hicieron un canción pero nuestra zona actuamos el nacimiento de Jesucristo y yo fui un ángel... Un gran supreso verdad?! No porque estoy blanco! También, yo recibí mi paquete de mi familia! 

También por esta semana tenemos un bautismo por uno de nuestras investigadoras. Ella se llama Alexandra y ella tiene 14 años. Pero, su hermana esta lista para bautismo también, y esperamos que ella aceptará esta sábado como su fecha para bautismo! Y en el próxima semana tenemos 2 mas investigadoras quien tienen una fecha por el 30 de este mes! Estoy muy emocionado para ellas y espero podemos tener mas temprano!

Merry Christmas to each of youI am very excited about this week because I can call my family and see them too! There are many things that happened this week. First, we had a day together with nearly 70 missionaries in this part of my mission and went to Coatepeque for a devotional for Christmas. Our mission president and his wife spoke at this devotional and then every area needed to do something for Christmas, a song, actor whatever. Almost all of the zones did a song but our area acted out the birth of Christ and I was an angel ... A big surprise right?! Not because I'm whiteI also received my package from my family!

Also for this week we have a baptism for one of our investigators. Her name is Alexandra and she is 14 years oldBut her sister is ready for baptism too, and we hope that she will accept this Saturday a date for baptism! And in the next week we have 2 more investigators who have a date for the 30th of this month! I am excited for them and I hope we can have more soon!

Christmas during this time is pretty amazing because as missionaries here in our missions we get to really focus on the true meaning of Christmas and share it with everyone that we come in contact with. I can’t believe that Christmas is only 3 days away though and I can skype home! So excited! Anyways, this week one morning we got to do a service project at a less active man's house. His house is in pretty bad shape and needed help putting up more panels higher up on this house and needed his barbed wire fence to be fixed. So guess who put up the high panels on the house? Thats right, me! haha. It was me and Elder Bastian who is from Utah who is actually a good head taller than me who sawed plywood and nailed the panels of wood onto his house. The other 2 elders went to work with the fence it was a pretty fun time and we made the most of it. The family was grateful for what we did and then they fed us breakfast and we had hot soup with chicken thighs in it and beans and tortillas. There is nothing worse than getting a hot bowl of soup on a hot day. Haha. But we ate.

We have been working hard on reactivating this one lady who is named Roxana and she is the one who gave us references for people to go teach and they are actually the ones who are getting baptized this Saturday so that’s cool! Also, this lady we totally reactivated into the church and she shows up to church without needing to have us stop by her house in the mornings to get her. So yesterday after we taught the family who has the girls that are being baptized this Saturday, we went to go find a lady that I contacted in the streets about 2 weeks ago. We stopped by her house and her husband comes to the door and once this guy started to talk, oh man you could tell that he was drunk but not totally wasted. He was a nice guy at first, invited us in and gave us a drink of fruit juice. However, we started to talk to him and his wife a little about us and he was asking questions but then we got into a discussion about the Bible and he was trying to prove us wrong but everything we said to him and questioned him about he had no response for or tried to change the subject. It was kinda funny but sketchy too! Then we just ended it and he told us to never go back to there ever again. So we won't.

So here in Catarina one night we were walking back from an area and then all throughout the main street there was a huge parade going on for Christmas. There were dancers, bands playing songs, animals, floats, and SANTA! It was pretty cool though because everyone in Catarina was out along the sides of the street watching and having a good time and this was a really cool event to happen for the people here! Then a few days before for 2 days I was on divisions with Elder Bastian in his area so it was cool being with another American for a little bit. Another elder in our zone has been out 6 months and my companion keeps saying how my Spanish is about the same as his and I kind of agree so this gets me excited to know that my spanish is improving and is almost the same as guys who have twice as long as I do in the mission! Having a Latino comp sure helps my Spanish! Anyways, we were on divisions together for 2 days and his area is tiny but we made the most of it and visited a few people there and all. We just had a good time.

The thing that bugs me here with a lot of people is that no matter what time we go to visit someone a lot of times they are not in their houses no matter what time of day we go, however on the plus side that if we just go randomly visit someone and they are there and we ask if we can share a message with them almost everyone single one of them says yes and invites us in. 

More recently there has been a lot of people commenting about my eyes and how blue they are and how blonde my hair is and they ask if everyone in my family is the same way and I laugh and say no but almost all of them are! Just how Tanner and Dad are the odd ones in the family who have dark hair! They find it funny and people always call me ''Mesho'' which pretty much means blonde. Haha. 

Yes mom, I am the tallest person here except for one American in our District haha. I usually have to duck when walking because of things that I will hit my head on but when walking to the computer place to write for this week I looked away and was talking to my companion and I didn't see a nice solid metal pole hanging down that I usually duck every time for but this time I didn't see it and smacked my head right on it and it hurt so bad! Also usually when walking behind my companion, if we can't walk side my side, I get hit with all the spider webs in my face because he is too short to reach them and same with everyone here so I take the hits with the spider webs as well. I guess that’s what I get for being tall down here.

Probably one of the most spiritual experiences this week was reading 3 Nephi, chapter 11 with a family who are our investigators and there are 5 of them. When we were reading this with them about when Christ appeared to people in the Americas and taught them the Gospel, it was awesome to see how interested they all were in it, especially the daughter who is getting baptized this Saturday. I noticed how powerful this chapter is as it applies to the people in this area because this happened in this part of the world. It was a cool experience and to talk about it with them.

We have been really starting to work with the members and inviting them to come and join us into lessons and a lot of times it is hard because transportation here is not an easy thing to have sometimes. So this can make it a little more difficult. However the members are willing to help us in every way possible and we are starting to feel the support of them and to have more and more trust from our investigators as well. 

The other day we got to go play soccer with the kids at mutual at the church and this was pretty sweet but holy crap. These kids who are like 14, 15, or 16 years old, man can they play soccer! They were incredibly good but my companion, I have never seen anyone so good in person, it was amazing haha. I fell a few times from trying to get the ball. Just can’t wait to play basketball with them and school them at that! 

However, I am still really enjoying my times here in Guatemala even though sometimes it can be hard because of the language, and just the demands we have from being missionaries but that’s what I signed up to do and this is not my time but it’s the Lord's time. Just trying to give it my all and I have noticed more and more every day here that this is where I need to be and I have a purpose to teach these people and bring them the truth about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the earth and that it was restored from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was a true prophet who saw God the Father and His son Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is the most correct of all the books on the face of the earth and through this book anyone can be closer to God than through any other book. I know that it was translated by Joseph Smith with the help and power given to him from God. I know that we have a living prophet today, Thomas S. Monson, who is a prophet, seer, and revelator, and receives revelation for everyone on the face of the earth and if we follow and take heed to his council we will know the things we need to do to have eternal life. I know how powerful prayer can be because I have felt it in my life a lot. If there is anything we need or need to know about, our Heavenly Father is there waiting to talk to us. All we have to do is humble ourselves before Him and pray to Him in the name of Jesus Christ. I also know that Christ died for me and I can be made clean through his Atoning sacrifice and so can everyone else. He died for me and everyone to make it possible for us to live with our Heavenly Father and Him again. I know that this is the only Church with the correct priesthood authority and power of God to perform the correct ordinances that can be performed by man to do baptisms and everything else we need to return to His presence. I know I have a lot of friends who read my emails and I would like to tell any of you that if you want to see if what I know is true and that this is the Church of Jesus Christ to go and find out. Pray, talk with the missionaries, and use I know these things to be true and you all can as well.

Thank you all for your love and support back home and I can't wait to skype this week! Just remember why we celebrate Christmas and we need to share it with everyone as well. Love and miss you all! Stay Sweet!

Elder Kahl ''Mesho"

This is Elder Virgin and I as the angels in the Skit!

Elder Bastian and I in his area on divisions together (he is from Utah)

This sign I found in Tecun that pretty much says no peeing on the side of the road!

Check out my free hand drawing of the U.S. I did at the church! Pretty sweet huh?!

Chillin in hammocks! I have no idea how to spell that....

A picture of food that we also get a lot for lunch. It is chicken, rice then we got beans with it too.

My Christmas tree I got in my package from my family.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Casi 3 meses in mi misión!!!! - Week 13

Casi 3 meses in mi misión!!!! Crazy right?! Este semana, yo tengo tres meses en la 17 de Diciembre. Cuando yo pienso acerca de el tiempo yo tengo aqui a veces tiempo es rapido pero en el mismo tiempo lento. 

English Translation:
Almost three months in my mission!!!!  Crazy right?!  This week, I have been out 3 months on December 17.  When I think about the time I have been here, sometimes it’s fast but at the same time slow.

That’s all the Spanish I feel like typing for now haha. But things are still going pretty good here for me. First off we had cambios (changes) and the news is..... wait for it...... I am still with my companion! Sweet! I was so relieved when I had figured out that we were going to be companions for another 6 more weeks and that I will be his last companion in his mission too. So on missions your first companion is called your Dad and I am his Son, and when you finish your mission you say that they will be Dead so thats kinda funny. But whats funnier is that I get to say that I have the privilege to kill my Dad in my mission! I’m pretty proud to say that. The only change that happened in my district is that the one Elder who is from California, ya he is gone from our district and now we have a new Elder named Elder Bastian from Utah and thank goodness that he is so much better than the other guy!

Also a few days ago I was on divisions with my Zone leader for a day in his area working with him and we visited people but we also went over to a river and turns out that we only had to walk like 15 minutes to this river which is the border of Guatemala and Mexico so now I get to say that I saw Mexico! It’s funny because there are a lot of people crossing it really easily with their make shift boats and stuff and the police don't do anything about it. But ya, I saw Mexico! Haha! 

Lessons and our investigators are going good. We are so close and working hard on having baptisms with a few people. The only hard thing is, is that they have to go to church at least 2 times before they are baptized so that means that if they don’t go to church then their baptism needs to be pushed back another week so that makes it even harder. We have 5 or 6 people, possibly 8 actually who are ready for baptism and who want to be baptized as well. One night with new investigators we were talking to them about God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost so they understand the Godhead better. We really focused in the Bible and we taught them the correct principles about the Godhead using the Bible instead of the Book of Mormon and they really believed what we were teaching them and the one daughter who we taught the day before, we challenged her to pray that night to know if what we were teaching was true because we taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is 1. Faith is Christ    2. Repentance    3. Baptism   4. The gift of the Holy Ghost   5. Persevering/enduring until the end. We taught her these, challenged her to be baptized. She rejected the first one because she said she was baptized 2 years ago, we taught about how this is the only true church with the priesthood authority from God to perform baptisms correctly and then we challenged her again that if she knew what we were teaching was true and if she feels and knows that La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días is the only true church on the earth today that she will be baptized. She accepted and I asked her if she prayed and how she felt and she said that she prayed and felt peace and happiness and that she felt and believed the things we were teaching her was true. This made us happy and a really cool experience for me to see and be apart of. So her, her mom, her dad, and sister all have the desire to be baptized but they just need to act on this desire. So for the date of December 31st we will have 5 or 6 people to be baptized and one of them being a whole family. They just need to come to church now! A lot of people down here will say oh ya we will come to church with you guys this Sunday! Then in the mornings when we stop by to take them to church they always have excuses and say they have this or that or are sick. It makes us frustrated but when an investigator really comes to church, oh man are we happy!

Yesterday evening there was a choir in Malacatan with the whole state and it was a choir for Christmas. Oh my goodness... It was AMAZING. There were tons of instruments, the voices of the choir were incredible and it was just a really great event. Probably one of the best choirs I have ever seen in person. We had about 6 investigators come to the choir so that was really nice and they all really loved the choir. Dang it was good. Haha!

So something cool that has happened to me this week a few times. I would be talking to someone in Spanish about myself, and about them and just things in general and when they ask me how long I have been out on my mission I tell them almost 3 months. Then they say what?! Only that long? But you know so much Spanish and your accent is really good! This has happened like 4 or 5 times and when I hear them say that it gives me a confidence boost and makes me feel a lot better about my Spanish and really helps me out in that aspect. 

The people here are good and are really nice and I try to talk to them as much as possible with my little bit of Spanish that I know but I’m trying and I just have to remember to not be afraid of making mistakes nor be afraid of making a fool of myself either. That's one lesson I am learning because there is no other way I will be able to learn Spanish if I don’t throw myself out there and make a fool of myself!

Thanks for the updates with Sports mom! Go Broncos! I hope they win the super bowl this year and dang seems like CSU is kicking butt in sports as well, especially in basketball and it's awesome they are one of the 9 undefeated teams in the nation and are ranked pretty good! They need a higher rank though! I love hearing about Poudre and it makes me miss Poudre basketball and I wish I was out there playing with them again because man was it fun and I miss all the guys on the team and Coach Hawes and all the other coaches! Keep it up guys, I keep you guys in my prayers and I hope you all will have no regrets on the court! 

It’s been a good week though but I am so ready for Christmas to be here! The decorations here are not as nearly as good as the U.S but it still feels a little like Christmas though! Thanks for the love and support from you all! Sorry I didn't say too much this week about what happened with everything but with so little time to type its hard! Next week I will have more information! Love you all and miss you all too! Stay sweet!

Elder Kahl

This is me on the border of Guatemala and Mexico, if you look in the background you can see the sign that says Bienvenidos a Mexico!

This is my mini spanish book i got in the CCM and I made a cover for it of Christ that says Elder Kahl, usted puede hablar espanol (you can speak Spanish)! This is my motivation!

Here is who is on the top of our Christmas tree in our house! Good ol Tommy Monson!

Our other tree for Christmas! The tree of Sodas! Except I can’t find Root Beer anywhere down here.... Still cool though!

Monday, December 8, 2014

ALOHA!!! - Week 12

ALOHAAAAAA!!!! Oooops..... Estoy en Guatemala..... HOOOOLA! Ah mejor. No puedo creer que ya es tiempo escribir otra vez. Lunes a lunes yo pienso es mas rapido cada semana. Este semana estuvo bien como siempre. Pero... en jueves fuimos a Xetulul con casi todos los misionarios en el misión como un regalo de nuestra presidente del misión! Xetulul es como un 6 Flags pero un poco mas pequeno. Todavia divertido especialment muchos jalons muy rapido y asombroso!

English translation: 
ALOHAAAAAA!!!! Oooops…..I am in Guatemala ..... HelllllloAh, that’s betterI cannot believe that it is time to write you again.  I think Monday to Monday gets faster and faster every week. This week was good as alwaysBut on Thursday we went to Xetulul with almost all of the missionaries in the mission as a gift from our mission presidentXetulul is like Six Flags but a little smallerIt is still fun especially the fast and amazing rides!

Seriously though it was a lot of fun and we were pretty much there all day. We were with our zone the whole time but still got to talk to and hang out with other missionaries as well. Speaking of other missionaries, Elder Heyrend (my companion in the MTC) told me that he heard that Elder Fillmore (My other companion in the MTC, whose sister is serving in Fort Collins area) had to go home from his mission!!! He was having some health problems (and I won'tt say what) and the doctor said he had to rest in his house for 2 months in his mission but the President just said that they were going to send him back to his home in the states because of it. Its sad to hear about it but I really hope that he gets better and will be able to serve when he gets better!

The other day we were in Tecun having a meeting with our zone and afterward we decided to all go for milkshakes and its kinda funny because when you get them they pour it into a plastic baggy with a straw and hand it to you haha, but they are only 10 quetzales (like $1.30). It’s awesome and so good! Also everything down here is so cheap! Today I bought a loaf of bread, about a gallon of milk, 3 boxes of cereal, and an energy power drink for 66 quetzales which is like $8! It’s pretty great how everything here is like that because everything seems like a bargain!

Eating at members houses is pretty great because they always give us a lot of food and it is usually really good always! Then a lot of times at night we get Tortas from this place which is like a sandwich with a lot of different meats and cheese, but it's so good! I have been eating pretty good down here and haven't really had any problems with my stomach besides the good old diarrhea that just about every missionary gets here!

My Spanish, I feel like is improving pretty quickly especially in the past few days I have been noticing it. There were a few days when I was pretty discouraged because of my Spanish but in time I was talking to my companion and I was just spitting out Spanish with him and I was noticing it and how well my accent was coming as well. We were at a devotional and a missionary who has been out for like 18 months was talking to a man near us and my companion and I heard him and then my companion leaned over and told me that my accent in Spanish is way better than his and he has been out almost 16 more months than me and this made me feel pretty good and like I have a lot of potential. But I always keep trying to speak Spanish and to ask my companion for help and slowly but surely I am noticing how my Spanish is getting a little better.

This week we have Changes! Dun dun dun! I am kinda excited to see what is going to happen with the changes but I’m pretty dang positive that I will stick with my companion because I am in my training and he will finish his mission with me as his companion which is what he is hoping for as well! There are a few things that I hope are going to happen with other companionships within our district and zone but we find out tomorrow sometime what will happen! A few times this week I went on divisions with Elder Ramos (who lives in our house) and I like him a lot and he is from Peru. We were working in his area and talking with people, and trying to visit people to have some lessons as well.

Oh so I'm sure you guys have heard but the church has a video about the birth of Christ and it is spreading like a wild fire! It is called él es la Dádiva (He is the Gift). I think that is what it is in English. haha.   You can watch it on Anyways, we were given little cards about this video and the goal of the mission is to hand out 10 cards a day as a companionship. This for us is such an easy way to share messages with people and to get contacts and new investigators as well! This has also helped me with my Spanish because it forces me to talk about it and to explain it and after the first 30 times it got a little bit easier haha. But this is such a good video and everyone needs to watch it and share it to remember that God gave His only Begotten Son for all of us. And that Christ is the true meaning of Christmas and we need to keep him in our thoughts and talk about him that much more during this time of year. However..... I will be having a green Christmas here. Which is kind of sad but a new experience having a green and hot Christmas! Also kinda sad that it has not rained here in almost 3 or 4 weeks too! This is their dry season though so I guess that might be why, but not much rain at all! Also my comp and I have made a goal to do some act of service every single day. Even if it is something small we are always seeking and trying to find for opportunities to serve people and do some kind of a service activity related thing!

Everything here is going good though! Enjoying it more and more as the time goes on and I am pretty sure that I will get to Skype with you guys on Christmas so make sure that you are all there for Christmas because I want to see and talk to you all! Only17 more days till then!
I have really felt the Spirit of God in my life and I am so grateful that I have made this decision to serve a mission and to be here in Guatemala! I will have more information next week about what happens with everything and all! Till then, Stay Sweet and I miss you all! Thanks for all the support I have and LOVE YOU ALL too!
Elder Kahl

Enjoying a banana milkshake.  They come in bags with straws!

Most of my ward (congregation)

MY entire zone on P-day in Xetulul.

P-day in Xetulul.  Our shirts have our name, favorite number and our zone on it (Zona Tecun).  We are not flexing our muscles, we are pointing to the back of our shirts (Haha!).

Me and my companion, Elder Tzub, in Xetulul on P-day
P-day in Xetulul.  Me and Elder Tzub.
P-Day in a photo booth!

This picture is for dad.  I saw it at a thrift shop and instantly thought of him.  Haha!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Deciembre de Guatemala!!! - Week 10 & 11

Hola familia y amigos! Que esta pasando con sus vidas?! Lo siento, yo no he les escrito en 2 semanas pero, yo he sido muchos viajes! Primera... Yo visité Ciudad de Guatemala acerca de mi Visa. Yo fui con 4 otros misioneros a Guate y yo estaba en la oficina con las asistencias y otras personas una noche y en el próximo día fuimos temprano en un bus (3 en la mañana). Estábamos en Guate solo por 3 horas escribir mi nombre y tomar un foto en una oficina y después salimos para nuestras áreas en la tarde. Este fue en Lunes y Martes entonces este es por qué yo no he escribo para 2 semanas. Pero, yo estaba en un bus por casi 12 horas! Este tiempo en un bus es muy aburrido y no muchas cosas hacer también. Viajar a Guate fue divertido en el mismo tiempo tambien...

English Translation (I think?  J – Chandler doesn't provide the translation, so I (his mom) use a Spanish to English translator which doesn't quite come out right and then Todd (his Dad) translates what doesn’t come out correctly after that, since he speaks Spanish!):  Hello family and friends! What's happening with your lives?! Sorry, I have not written in two weeks but I have been on a lot of tripsFirst ... I visited Guatemala City about my Visa. I went with 4 other missionaries to Guatemala City and I was in the office with the assistants and other persons one night and the next day we left early on a bus (3 in the morning). We were in Guatemala City for only three hours to write my name and take my photo in an office and afterwards we left for our areas in the afternoon. This was on Monday and Tuesday so this is why I did not write for two weeks.But I was on a bus for almost 12 hours! This time on the bus it was very boring and there weren't too many things to do. Traveling to Guatemala City was entertaining at the same time also.

Anyways, so sorry I didn't get to write a letter for 2 weeks because after this adventure I just never had the time to write as well and I was pretty bummed about that but it’s all good! A lot of things have happened though and I hope I can remember it all because my mind is racing! First off, WE HAD A BAPTISM!!! 2 Saturdays ago we had a baptism of a sweet little girl named Rubí, she is 9 years old and really loves to learn about the gospel and loves going to church. My companion baptized her and I was one of the witnesses for it. It was a cool experience and we actually have 2 more baptisms lined up for this month with a couple who are planning to get baptized before they get married, and my companion said that I will get the opportunity to baptize them both but we will see how that goes! 

So there have been 3 days here (not in a row) where we have not had any electricity which kinda sucked but thank goodness we had running water still! Whenever there is a strike or something here with workers something happens with the electricity just about every time I swear! People these days...

Here for about a week though we were running out of progressing investigators and knew that we needed to contact to find new people to teach, so we prayed as a companionship to seek guidance from Heavenly Father to see what we should do. We did a little bit of tracting and asking people but there were 2 days when sometimes without asking we received 19 references from less active members and other investigators and all whom we plan to go visit and most have accepted a second visit which makes them new investigators now so we have a lot on our plate to teach! This kinda showed me how when you are almost running out of what to do, when you turn to God and seek for guidance then try to seek it, He will put a miracle and a blessing into your life. This reminds me of a scripture that says something like, I won't show you a miracle until after a trial of your faith. So that was pretty nice to experience! 

Unfortunately there is no Thanksgiving down here in Guatemala... but there were a lot of times when I told people Happy Thanksgiving and they would chuckle and just smile and probably think, psh! Gringo.... Speaking of Gringo... I get called that a lot down here and sometimes it’s funny and other times I just want to punch them in the face. However, I smile anyways and joke around and say, No! Soy de Guatemala! El mismo como usted! (NoI'm from GuatemalaThe same as you!).Then they would laugh and I would feel a little better. But seriously though! Everyone is Gringo! Hey Gringo! Yes, congratulations people you know what an American looks like, lets shout it out to the world! I’m getting used to it though. Haha. Also, Hayden Etter was right, if anyone here knows even a word in English they will say it to you and only try to speak English. I told myself and my companion, El próximo persona que trate hablar Ingles conmigo, yo hablará solo Ingles con ellos y tener un conversación ver su reacción. (The next person who tries to speak English with me, I speak only English with them and have a conversation to see his reaction.)  Next time this is what I will do! 

Now for a few gross things. So, one morning I put on the tie that Kristeena gave me and I was wearing it for personal study, companionship study, and when we left our house to go see someone I was walking down the street and went to go fix my tie knot. I touched my tie and felt something crunchy in my tie, I thought well this is weird and at first I thought that it was just some plastic but I took off my tie and handed it to my comp. and we were trying to see what it was and I unfolded part of it and it was a cockroach! Ya I found a cockroach in my tie that I was wearing for almost 3 hours! Gross right!? I was a bit grossed out and we went back to the house and I got a new tie and we left again. Never thought that would happen! I am still yet to have an operation on my tie... I will keep you posted on how successful the operation will go... Then a few days ago I was reading the scriptures and the other Elders were moving some boxes with pamphlets and I heard a scream and my companion telling me to come here. So I got up and we were staring at a spider on the outside of a box about the size of my hand........................ I went motionless. We all stared at each other, then back at the spider. The spider may have looked at us and thought, ah crap. THIS MEANS WAR. It was motionless too. There was a quiet whisper in all of our ears. BURN IT! We scrambled for a candle, bug spray, and matches. Lit the candle and slowly lowered it to the spider. With one spray of the bug spray in the flame the spider caught fire like a wildfire! The thing wailed like a roaring banshee (I like to assume so). It leaped up and attacked the face of Elder Rivera and he was squirming alive while the spider was crawling up his nose..... Ok that last part was a lie... Here is how it went. The spider caught fire (probably did roar) then it was running like Usain Bolt! It headed for our table and the flame was gone. We carefully searched for it and dousted it with some more fire and bug spray.  The spider was burning again and slowing its pace! Ha its defenses are down! Time to go in for the attack! We burned the living soul out of the thing and left it motionless on the ground. VICTORY WAS OURS! Hahaha. Ya that thing never had a chance. Hope you enjoyed my story! The thing was so huge though! I have no idea how long it has been living in our house and I don't want to know and I hope there are no more! I forgot my cord to send a picture today so I will send a picture next week of the beast! Oh man so gross!

A little more about the food here, life, Spanish, and teaching. Just for lunches throughout the week we eat at members houses, and we eat about 40 to 50 tortillas a week because no matter what we have for lunch there is a nice lovely stack of tortillas smiling at us waiting to be consumed and I’m glad there are tortillas because the tortillas here are so good! We have them with everything though, pasta, rice, beans, soup, eggs. You name it and it comes with tortillas. A lot of the big chunks of chicken still have the skin and I just think alright cool, just peel that piece back and don't touch it and I’m good. I eat cereal for breakfast about every morning. I love cereal....

My Spanish is coming along and I’m trying to learn every day.  I always say poco a poco Elder Kahl, poco a poco.  I’m trying to talk a lot more and others say my accent is pretty good and I am speaking a little faster and picking up on things but I still have a lot of work to do. Our investigators are slowly progressing but we hope that our new ones will be progressing faster than who we have been working with. I am teaching more during lessons and expressing my thoughts and feelings as well. I’m blessed to have a native Guatemalan as my companion because it’s nice only speaking Spanish to him and we joke around and talk a lot and get along really, really, really well. I always think that I got put with the best comp ever!

Well I hope this was enough for you guys this week! There are more things that happened and a lot that I can’t remember at this time but if I remember more I will tell you all next week!

Love you all and keep you all in my prayers and my thoughts! Stay sweet!

Elder Kahl

Rubi quien bautizamos! Rubi got baptized!
The spider that was as big as my hand!

Monday, November 17, 2014

2 Meses! - Week 9


Yo quiero usted saben, estoy haciendo mucho mejor este semana. Estoy mas feliz acerca de mi mision y acerca de mi companero y las otras misioneros tambien! Poco a poco estoy entendiendo las personas aqui. Puedo entender una palabra aqui y una palabra hay, pero muchas veces yo no puedo entender mucho. Especialmente una investigadora quien habla muy rapido y (mumbles)! Ella siempre quiere habla conmigo y cuanda ella quiere, yo peinso, ah no, no otra vez! Entonces (I nod) y dijo, oh si, o en serio? Ella se llama Marleni y me gusta mucho enseñar ella, su hija (Carmen), su hijo (Pedro) y su esposo (Fredy). Fredy está listo para bautizmo pero él no quiere porque Fredy piensa será un menos activo después su bautizmo. Especialmente durante lecciones con él, yo siento el Espiritu Santo muy fuerte y yo sentí mucho paz y felicidad para Fredy cuando ensenamos acerca de el Espiritu Santo y comó él puede sentir este en su vida. 

English Translation:
Hello !!! I want you all to know, I'm doing much better this week. I'm happier about my mission and about my companion and the other missionaries too! Little by little I am understanding the people hereI can understand a word here and a word therebut many times I cannot understand much.Especially an investigator we have who speaks very fast and (mumbles)! She always wants to talk to me and when she wants to, I think to myself, “Oh no, not again!” Then (I nodand sayoh yeahor serious? Her name is Marleni and I love to teach her, her daughter (Carmen), her son (Peter) and her husband (Freddy). Freddy is ready for baptism but he does not want to because Freddy thinks he will be less active after his baptismEspecially during lessons with him, I feel the Holy Spirit very strong and I feel so much peace and happiness for Freddy when we teach about the Holy Spirit and how we can feel this in our life.

Anyways... I really, really, really appreciate all of the positive and encouraging emails from everyone: Tanner, Dad, Mom, Grandpa, Grandma, Hayden, Dillon, President McClure, Uncle Jon and whoever else! It really means a lot and I started to cry when I was reading them because it shows me how much you all appreciate me and care about me being out here on my mission and it shows me as well all the support I have from you all through the love that you all show me. So this week I was feeling a whole lot better about being here on a mission, It’s still really hard but I am enjoying it more and more.

Some fun and funny things that had happened the past week. I have seen a lot of guys laying on the sidewalks and I am not sure if they are either just taking a nap, passed out drunk, straight up passed out, or dead... I like to think that that are taking naps and I have had to step over a few of them to get by so that was interesting. Also during lessons that we have been teaching and just in general with everyones house that there are animals everywhere. Turkeys, ducks, lots of dogs, cats, chickens, hens, and random birds. However, it seems like all the time during lessons and we are teaching that all the animals love to walk around and come around my feet and just chill there. So because of this I can’t move my feet and after the lesson I have to carefully get up or lightly kick them to get them to move. One day we were walking to someones house and there was a little herd of probably 10 super tiny piglets and we walked past and they instantly came and followed us. They followed us down the road a little ways then stopped but I couldn't stop laughing and wish that I had my camera with me too! Maybe next time. 

Today during P (preparation) Day we got to go to the beach with our zone. Ya the beach! We are only like 30 minutes from it so that is really cool. We hung out, played some soccer on the beach, dipped out feet in the water (I wish we could go swimming but as missionaries we can't) but we had fun anyways and I will attach pictures for you guys. Ya I finally have pictures for you all! 

On Sunday we had Stake conference in Malacatán and there are about 12 wards in it and it is almost the size of our stake in Fort Collins which I was pretty surprised about but we ended up sitting in the very, very back because we got there and were talking to a lot of people before we got seats so that kinda sucked but it was still really good and I got a few things out of it. We all took a school bus for the ward to and from it and on the way back I talked to this older man about life and got to know him a bit better and I talked about my life a little bit as well (or as well as I could in my horrible Spanish) and we talked about spanish and english and I taught him some words so that was cool. Oh and I also get to teach the 3 other missionaries I live with English and they ask me a lot to help with pronunciation and what some words are and they help me as well. 

We finally cleaned our place out! I have a picture of our place and it’s not as nice and grand as it looks because the place was filthy. However, one morning we got up and cleaned the whole entire place out and now it looks brand new and there are no more spider webs, less bugs, less trash, and makes me feel more at home which I really like and I hope that we can just keep it that way.

We also went to a baptism who we had no idea that it was but we went and oh man it was crazy! The people here don’t know how to sing and it is pretty funny sometimes, there are kids playing nintendo DS with the music full blast and it was chaos. However, I laughed at the situation because I couldn't help it. Oh and the church building here, so at night they open the windows to get a breeze and air inside but this brings in a lot of bugs and on the walls there are so many bugs it is disgusting and bugs crawling everywhere on me. So mom, you don’t know gross when this happens while they are serving food to us as well. Haha it instantly made me think of mom and how she would be freaking out with the whole thing and just grossed out.

As far as the language goes, I am slowly making progress and understanding people. I am constantly thinking in my head of ways I can form sentences and phrases to say to others and to say during lessons. I also think a lot about how I can apply certain scriptures, apply them to me and my investigators, and describe them as well, this week especially I was in Jacob (I think, about scriptures and prayer and such) chapters 6 through 12 and Doctrine and Covenants  sections 8 and 9. I really like these scriptures a lot and I encourage all of you to read them and apply them to your lives because I have been trying to do that in mine with my time here. You can find the scriptures here if you would like to see what they are:

Slowly but surely I am improving and the language is slowly coming as well, however I am relying on the Lord through this hard time and when I am in a rough patch I get on my knees and council with the Lord to help me and what I should do because I need Him in my life. I don't know what I would do without my Heavenly Father and without Christ and his Atoning Sacrifice for us. I always remember a talk from President Holland to missionaries about how at some point on our mission we will feel only a small fraction of what the Savior went through which will make us appreciate the Atonement that much more. Or something like that but I am feeling it and will feel it even more when time on my mission goes on and I know that I need to stay patient and always council with the Lord in all my doings and I know that he will strengthen me and bless me and bless all of you while I am here. I love you all and can't wait to hear from all of you next week! Oh and today marks my 2 month mark being out here on my mission! It's crazy how fast time can fly here! Thanks again for all the emails and the love that you all show me when I am here! Miss you all and Stay Sweet!

                                          Elder Kahl

P.S. Oh also tell Grandpa and Grandma, Hayden, President McClure, Uncle Jon, Dillon, Garrett and whoever else thanks a ton for the emails and all the words of encouragement it really helped me a lot!

P.S. For Family: I'm so happy to hear you are all doing great and that Connor is doing well in basketball, I know that the Lord wants you in that calling Dad and you will do great because the Lord knows what's best for us and knows us better than we know ourselves. Mom sounds like you and Tanner are the same as always I love you all very much! 

We went to the beach for P-Day.  You can barely see my name tag in the sand!

Me and my companion, Elder Tzub.

Elder Tzub and I at the beach on P-Day

Elder Tzub and I.

My District Leader, Elder Govea.  He looks like Obama and we call him Elder Govama or Elder Go(No)vama!

This is one of the roads we walk down in Catarina.

Elder Tzub and I fell asleep on the bus.