Tuesday, October 8, 2013
October 8th 2013 letter
Hi daddy! (and the rest of the family)
The area we´re in is kind of a suburb - it´s called a colonia (I think) and it´s layout is like Utah - a grid system of calles and avenidas. We´re about 20 minutes away from Guatemala City, so it [the weather] should be similar. We´ve been rained on pretty good this past week (think of a 15 minute thunderstorm where it rains about a foot in those 15 minutes, and that´s about how it is everyday around 3 pm). It´s great. Really. The song "There is sunshine in my soul today"makes a lot of sense during these storms We´re in part of a house that´s about the size of an apartment. Two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen. Simple. But it works. The people we rent from have a garden of mini cacti. Hundreds of cacti. Every time we climb the stairs to our house, I pray that I don´t trip and fall into the cacti on the stairs.
We do street contacts and bus contacts and have lessons. We try to have lessons with members present, but some of the time, they can´t come or our lessons fall through. But, the work is moving forward. We had a wedding and baptism on Wednesday. That was exciting. The street and bus contacts (if they let us take down their information) are sometimes good, and sometimes they don´t listen. A lot of bus contacts are references for other missionaries (not in our area), but we got some contacts in the past few days that I think will turn out to be really good.
Conference was AMAZING. We got to watch it in English (there are 7 other norte americanos in my zone) and it was amazing. I loved President Monson´s call to action - "Now is the time for members and misisonaries to come together to bring souls unto Christ". I know (even with only a few weeks in the field) that contacts through members and not just people in the street turn out a lot better than just someone that lied about their address (which happens) or half-heartedly gave their information. I know that when investigators (and eventually converts) have friends in the Gospel and in the Church, they´ll come back and continue strong in the faith.
We had a trainers meeting this past week (I think Wednesday) where we talked about why people don´t come back to church after they are baptized. President Brough drew a line in the middle of the board and said one side was the life that the convert had before baptism (drinking, smoking, friends, etc.) and the other side is life in the Gospel. He said that, as missionaries, we focus on the positive things - blesses you family, help through trials, etc. - and don´t focus on what actually happens. The converts don´t have friends. They can´t do things on Sunday. They can´t drink, they can,...etc. The convert then falls back onto what they know and what is comfortable. I truly believe that when a convert has a calling and a friend in the Gospel, they´ll come back. The converts of the church need support and friendship as they begin to grow more in the Gospel. I know that sharing the Gospel sometimes is hard, but it´s "vale la pena" (it´s worth it). When missionaries and members work together, miracles happen. When we´re exactly obedient, miracles happen.
I´m so excited that you get to work in the temple, dad! It´s such a wonderful opportunity to get to do that. I found out today that we get to go to the Temple for Christmas! Exciting!
I love you, dad! And send my love to the rest of the family as well. I love you! I hope everything is going well at home!
Con mucho amor en Guatemala,
Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. (one of my favorites from conference)
P.S. Spanish is coming along. Some days are better than others and I´m always learning.
And scripture for the day - Alma 43. I always thought the war chapters in Alma didn´t have spiritual stuff in them, but they do. In this chapter, it talks about how the Lamanites were coming upon the Nephites and the Nephites were prepared to meet them. In light of conference this past weekend where many talks were centered on being stong NOW and having strong testimonies NOW, I thought of this and how when we have strong testimonies, we´re prepared to meet those things in life that are hard to bear and are hard in general.