Monday, February 23, 2015

Temple, Baptism, Iguana, and more: The Life in Guatemala

Hey Everyone!

Well well well.... where do I start? Well looks like I will start with this... that I got the opportunity to baptize a man on Saturday named Juanito! He is 76 years old and used to be a Jehovah Witness. I have been teaching him for about 3 months now and we have had to have a lot of patience with him because at first he was almost rejecting everything we were saying and did not seem possible at all to baptize, however, we persevered with him and over the 3 months I got to see his conversion into the gospel. He slowly gained a testimony about The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and about the Church. However there is something I noticed in his conversion that I feel like happens a lot. That is that once people come to know and really feel that The Book of Mormon is a true book from God then everything in the Gospel is easier to accept and easier to gain a testimony of. He rejected it for a while but once he finally tried it out and prayed he gained his own personal testimony of it. I think that Satan works really hard on people to not believe in the Book of Mormon because really once they know that it is true then they will know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church on the earth. After Juanito knew it was true he believed everything after that about the church when we were expecting him to have a lot of doubts but he didn't. That is why it is so important for people to find out for themselves if it is true. 

We were going to have the Bishop baptize Juanito but he was sick and had to go the hospital in San Marcos so it ended up that I baptized him which I was happy to and it was awesome seeing him become completely clean of all the sins that he has made in the past!

Also last Tuesday we got the opportunity to go up to Xela (which is pronounced as Sheila) to go to the temple! Oh man it was such a great trip as we left at 4:30 in the morning to meet up with the rest of our zone then we stopped to pick up other zones as well and it was about a 3 hour bus ride up there. Xela is up in the mountains so driving up there in the morning, all of us on the bus were actually shivering because it was so dang cold. The Guatemalans in Xela all were bundled up wearing big coats and hats but it was such a nice change from being super hot all the time. I got to see a lot of other missionaries from the mission who I haven’t seen in a while so that was really nice as well. The temple was a lot of fun though and I didn't want to leave when I was there. 

The other day when we were in Tecun there is something called La Feria which is like a big festival that they are having there for 2 weeks. It was such an easy opportunity to try something that we have been wanting to eat for a while... Iguana! We went to a place where they were selling food and we found a stand that had iguana with a sauce. We bought a piece of it to try and the iguana still had its scales and everything! It looked really nasty at first and we were hesitant to actually try it out. However we peeled back the scales and we ate it at the same time and it actually tasted pretty dang good! It was like a mixture of chicken and fish, well that is at least what the tail tastes like because that is the part I ate. If someone was to offer me iguana I would say, "Ya! Give me some of that iguana!" Now I can officially say that I had tried iguana!

Another sunday there was a member who had something in her arms that was moving around and couldn't figure out what it was, I walked up to her and I found out that she had a squirrel with her in church. Only in Guatemala would you find someone come to church with a squirrel. I do have to admit though that it was kinda cute. I was a little surprised.  Now I always asked the family if they are going to bring their squirrel to church again. One day we were teaching by their house and we decided to go and play with the squirrel for a few minutes. We got there and the squirrel hopped right on me and was crawling all over me. It was actually pretty fun and I kinda want one as a pet now. So watch out mom and dad! 

In order to make things less awkward when we’re trying to contact someone in the street is that we walk up to them and we ask them if they know where someone lives in that area. But, the name that we say is always a name that we make up so obviously there is no one that lives there with that name. My comp always does it and everyone thinks for a while but after they are done thinking we contact them and see if they are interested in hearing about our message. However, one night there was a few people in the street and my comp wanted to talk to them so he walked up and asked if they knew where the family Gonzalez lives. They were thinking for a minute but didn't know then my comp says that the wife's name is Amparo. Thinking that it was just a random name that no one would have, he was mistaken. They all were like oh! She lives just a few houses down in that direction and knew exactly where she lived. I stopped for a minute and actually started to laugh because that has never happened before and the look on my companions face was so funny because he couldn't believe it either. After we were done talking to the people I just busted up laughing and my comp was so embarrassed at the moment. So then we obviously had to go contact the house that she was at. We walked down the street and knocked on the door but no one answered. So we asked the neighbors if she lived there and if she was home. They said she did live there but the lady was actually walking down the street towards her house. My companion and I looked at each other then we thanked the person and walked away in the opposite direction. That moment was kinda awkward but we decided that we were going to go back to contact her. So the next day we went back to her house and knocked on the door but no one answered so we asked the neighbor again if she was home and they immediately went to go get her. We had no idea what to do because she would ask what are these 2 white guys doing looking for me and how do they know my name? Amparo Gonzalez came to the door and she immediately invited us in to her house. She pulled up some chairs and she was just the sweetest lady ever! We talked to her, her daughter, and her granddaughter. My companion just had to tell them the story because the lady asked and they found it kind of funny as well. Turns out though that they talked to the missionaries about 10 years ago and remember them quite well. Amparo said that we must have been there for a reason and not just for coincidence. That got me really excited and they are seeming like really positive people to teach, but we will find out. Maybe my comp said her name as he was prompted by the Holy Ghost because we wouldn't have found her any other way. 

Thank you all for your support back home but just to let you all know that I am doing good here in Guatemala! Right now not having any problems just trying to do the best I can and I hope you are all trying to be closer to your Savior Jesus Christ as well. Love you and miss you all! Stay Sweet!

   Elder Kahl

BAPTISM!!!!!! I got to baptize Juanito who is 76 years old!

I got to play with a pet squirrel that a member has! Fun right!?

WE went to the TEMPLE!!!! The temple was so cool, oh by the way the little short guy who is standing with me and my companion in front of the temple is my mission president, little right? But he is so powerful too!

The guy who is hugging me is my zone leader Elder Vences, me and him are really close and are such good friends! He is the one that I am going to visit in Texas after my mission!

This is the other Elder Call from Colorado!

More of the temple in Xela! These two guys were in my district in the MTC with me and we are all good friends! The bigger one is Elder Pope and the redhead one is Elder Hall

On the bus going to the temple.

Me trying out Iguana! Ya it was actually pretty good!

We went to a big river today and these were the pictures from it!

Me and Elder Ramos

A members house.

A typical road we walk down.

Monday, February 16, 2015


Que tal?! This week I will hit my 5 month mark in the mission! Crazy right??? Just one more month and I will be 1/4 of the way done. Time is really going by fast and can't believe that changes are coming up again in 2 weeks because it seems like just yesterday I just recieved my new companion. Speaking of my companion, he and I are really getting along and we are having a good time. He says that I am one of the best companions he has had in his mission so that makes me happy to hear! We are doing good and working hard to find new people to teach and working with the members. 
This week we are going to have a baptism! Yay! It is of a man named Juanito, he is 73 years old and used to be a Jehovah Witness. I have been teaching him for the past 2-3 months now and he has finally decided that he wants to be baptized. He will be baptized this Saturday and I am really excited for him and making this step in his life! There is nothing more satisfying than to see someone enter into the waters of baptism. For the other investigator named José, we are meeting with him again on Tuesday with him and his friend and they are both really interested and always have a lot of questions for us so I am looking forward to going with them again and seeing them progress in the Gospel. With Elder, or the ex-convict, we taught him again but all he really wants and keeps saying is to go back to the states and says how free we are and keeps saying the same things but he is always willing to meet with us for the most part and he always seems in a rush and he doesn't give us much time to speak because he wants to speak so it is a little difficult with him but we are still trying our hardest with him so we shall see where that will go.

This week we had interviews with our Mission President and they went pretty good but were really fast. They were pretty much about how we are, how is our health, our area, if we have questions. But President Ruiz asked me when I will be ready to be the Senior Companion, I told him maybe in like 3-4 months or so but he looked at me and said that he was thinking more of like 2. So I will be a senior companion in the next change or in the one after. I thought that was kinda cool but kinda caught me off guard! I am actually looking forward to be the senior companion, but hopefully I will have a Latino companion just to help me with my Spanish more! 

Today for p-day we went to Coatepeque and played basketball there with a lot of guys. I am becoming closer friends with all the guys in my zone and in other zones as well. Elder Vences who has been my zone leader for the past 4 months or so, is way cool, we are really good friends and told him that when I am done with my mission I will visit him in Texas. So heads up mom and dad, I am taking a trip to Texas when I get back to go visit him! ;) haha. 

So I mentioned how were were going to get the chance to go to the temple this month and guess what? We get that opportunity tomorrow. Tomorrow at 5am me and my zone are getting on a bus and we are traveling 4 hours to go to the temple! I am so looking forward to it and the temple (Quetzaltenango) where are going to is bigger than the one in the capital so it will be really awesome!

Like I said that this week we have been trying to find a lot of people and to see if we will have more progressing investigators as well. It is really hard to find people who are willing to keep commitments when they are really easy. But I guess that the small commitments that we make with them are preparing them to make bigger ones down the road, because how can someone be baptized and then go to church every week when they have a hard time going to church now and reading the Book of Mormon as well. However that is something that I have definitely noticed for this week and I have noticed as well how great the Book of Mormon is and how it can change a lot of people's lives as well. It is really a great book that everyone should read.

One investigator that we went to go see was chopping coconuts and invited us in and gave us some coconuts to drink. He chopped them for us and the coconut water inside is actually really good and that it tasted different than what I was expecting. Also we are starting to get a lot of mangos because it is becoming mango season here. The mangos grow here for about 2 or 3 months and then that is about it so that is a bummer but got to enjoy it while it lasts! The more time I spend here the better the food is becoming and the more I am getting used to it. 

My spanish is getting better I feel like but it is hard to really progress in my Spanish when I have an American comp and all we speak to each other is English. That is something that we should probably change to where we are only speaking Spanish to help myself progress in the language so we shall see where that will take us.

Everything here is going great though, still working hard, teaching, growing my testimony in the gospel, and helping others when I can. This is truly the Lord’s work and that I am so glad I am here in Guatemala serving Him for 2 years and I know that it will go by fast because the time right now is just flying by but I just need to enjoy it while it lasts and do the best I can while I am here.

Sorry that the email for this week is not the longest but I will try to do better next week and write more about my experiences. I hope that the pictures will make up for it and I just want to say that I love you and miss you all so much. Always trust in the Lord and do His will, we will all be better and happier that way! Stay sweet!

Elder Kahl

This is me and Elder Ramos today on P day.

This is me and Elder Ramos today on P day.

The name tag picture is when me and another elder named Elder Call, switched one of our name tags! His name is named Elder Call and he is from Colorado, crazy right?
The kids of our investigator made a fort so we took a picture with them and the piece of paper is what they and we made it for.

The tag for the fort says (this translation is coming from Chandler’s mom/dad since he didn’t give us one and it’s the best we can do!): Only to play, eat, rest and be happy. Only for the family don Pedro, Fredy, Marleny, Melissa, Carmen, Calvin, and Chino and Elder Wight and Elder Kahl.

The old man is a member and I put a flower in his ear and took a picture.

Us drinking out of some good coconuts!

An investigator chopping the coconuts we ate.

A picture of the park in Tecun.

Us sitting on a park bench in Tecun eating some pizza.

Me and Elder Wight at someone’s house.

Me and Elder Wight walking down a street in our area.

Me, Elder Wight and Elder Ramos

Walking down another road in an area we work in.

Here I am inside a an investigators house.

MY HOSPITAL PICTURES!!!!! These are from like 3 months ago and I forgot I never sent them to you. These are the only pictures I have when I was in the hospital. Haha! I look so happy don't I? The guy in the pic was the assistant to the president named Elder Barrus.

Me and Elder Tzub