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!
|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.|