Erin, Barrett, and Porter THANKS A MILLION FOR THE LETTERS!!!!! Ahhh you guys are so awesome. I will write you all back next week, I cross my heart. Try not to have too much fun without me.
Sophaloaf, WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE. Dang, I'm so jealous, student gov in high school was the best!! So happy you are involved in that. What a cool experience in the temple. I miss the temple so bad, you should go every week! We are so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to drive for 10 minutes to serve in the Lord's house and feel the amazing spirit there. EFY no way!! So fun! Not gonna lie, sometimes I had a bad attitude about going or some of the activities there. Yes, sometimes the people are interesting. Yes, the dances are awkward. But the Spirit is real. EFY is where I started to gain a testimony of the atonement and everything Christ did for us. I felt a real prompting by the Spirit to bear my testimony and I couldn't ignore it, no matter how badly I didn't want to stand up in front of everyone and shakily bear my testimony of what I knew to be true.
Pay close attention to your feelings there.
Write in your journal every night. Not just about the cute boys there and the COWS (crush of the week) , but write about the things you are learning. You will treasure them for years to come.
Have FUN! EFY is awesome.
I love you and I hope you are crazy happy and playing in the sun and reading your scriptures! La lo
-We saw a big white family in the mall and made jokes that they looked like a utah mormon family.. next thing we know they come up to us, HI ELDERS, HI SISTERS!! Yep definitely mormon. Reminded me a bit of my mom yelling to the elders from the car jajaja
-My watch and shoe tan lines are getting pretty out of hand.. but at least I still have my tan/burn lines from Hawaii right??
-My mission president's wife Hermana Curtiss will be staying at the Crystal Inn in Murray! She leaves next Sunday and will be there for a week I think. So just a heads up ;) Feel free to send presents ;) jajaja
So turns out my new comp is actually pretty cool. And my new area is sent from heaven above. My comp is Hermana Gonzales and she is from El Salvador. We work in La Libertad mostly, there are lots of cars, and it's crazy hot in the day and crazy cold at night. There aren't as many bugs in the new house and it's a good time! The killer thing about La Libertad: STAIRS. It is pure mountains and we climb 300 stairs for every lesson jajaja.
Day 1 in Coban 3B:
After a long day of changes, we taught 4 lessons after 4:00.. already more than we teach in a whole week in my old area. I learned a lot of new things from my companion and came to find out that she is a really good teacher. We invited an investigator, Yuri, to baptism and placed a date with her!
Day 2 in Coban 3B:
We had lessons before lunch, which was new for me too! We taught 7 lessons that day and I'm just sitting there in awe thinking, "Wait, people actually listen to the missionaries??"
We invited another investigator to baptism, Marisol, and placed a date with her too. Whaaaaa...
At night an interesting thing happened. My old comp, Hermana Hernandez is now training another north american named Hermana B. She is terrified. Hermana Hernandez called me and said that she needed help because her companion was having a hard time and they couldn't communicate. Hermana B then gets on the phone and sobbing, she began to tell me about her problems. She feels completely inadequate. She feels like she is a bad teacher, she can't speak spanish, she feels like she is here for the wrong reasons, she doesn't feel like Guatemala is where she is supposed to be serving, she hates the bugs, she doesn't feel strong enough, she isn't receiving answers to her prayers, and she can't seem to find peace.
Hmmm... sounds a lot like me jaja. As I was listening, I was thinking hard and praying harder. How am I going to help her? I feel a lot of the same things. But as I started to offer what help I could, the strangest thing happened. As I told her that she is exactly where she should be and that her calling is inspired, I felt the most calming reassurance that I am where I should be as well. As I told her that she is here for a reason, whether it is because she needs to learn something or she is there to help a certain person, I felt the Spirit testify that I am here for a reason too. I reminded her of Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail and the promise he had that his trails would only be for a small time. As a servant of the Lord, she was not sent here to fail and be miserable. She only needs to trust in the promise that we will have angels round about us to help us and bear us up. We will have trials of our faith, but they are necessary in order to learn and gain a testimony. I told her about my experience deciding to come on a mission. I was not receiving answers to my prayers. I couldn't find peace. But I left anyway, hoping to feel some sort of a confirmation that I made the right decision. As I was telling her all of this, I received confirmation after confirmation that I am exactly where I should be and my Father in Heaven is absolutely aware of me. Haha it interestingly turned into a self talk with the Holy Ghost letting me know that I'm on the right track. I really don't know if I helped her, but it was an unexpected experience that I am truly grateful for.
Day 3 in Coban 3B:
After climbing literally hundreds of stairs, learning all sorts of Q'eqchi' and being covered in dust from the dirt roads, we taught 8 lessons. Is this real life? There is this family of 8 little girls, half of them are cousins, one is an aunt, and some are sisters, but they are all under 7 years of age and are the family of Yuri. When they see us they yell "HERMANAS!!!!!!" and run up and hug and kiss us for 10 minutes. They always lead the "señoritas" by the hand to make sure we don't fall walking up and down the stairs to their house. They put chairs up next to ours to teach with us and love to sing a bunch of jumbled spanish with us. We were talking to Yuri's husband and he said he has a lot of questions. He then asked about baptism. We pulled out the picture of Jesus being baptized and asked him what he wanted to know. He then says, pointing to the picture of Jesus, "Yeah that. When can I do that? Just tell me when, and I will be baptized." It took me a minute to figure out what he was saying. Oh... that's a GOOD thing!!!!! Jajaja I thought that only happened in the movies. I just kept laughing the whole lesson in disbelief. We placed a baptism date with him as well. That night we walked home on the dusty road smiling from ear to ear. We are seeing miracles in this area because these people are being prepared by the Lord. We are just here to be his hands, feet, and mouth.
Long story short, it was a good week :) I'm grateful to be here. I love the work and I love the Lord. I love my family too I guess ;)
No Empty Chairs