Monday, December 29, 2014

29/12/2014 - Christmas fotos

 Well I don't have much time.. I just wanted to let you all know I'm alive and well.. I tried to make the best of Christmas but it's hard when you're not feeling the Christmas spirit.
 I haven't really gotten any Christmas Cheer from anywhere.. our district got into some fights about what to do for Christmas and while we wanted to stay together some wanted to go to one place and others wanted to go others.. and all in all it was just hard. I think this is the first year I can remember that I wasn't able to go Christmas caroling and I really can't say how much I missed that. The whole Christmas spirit of singing songs, harmonizing with brothers and sisters and just really feeling at home. I think I really missed that more than anything.. and there's no way I can go back in time and change that.
 Despite my feelings of sadness and trying to keep my head above the rising water I managed to find a small, even if almost insignificant, way of keeping the almost dead Christmas spirit alive. I dipped into my personal funds and through the last few weeks have been saving up candies, cookies and other treats. On Christmas eve I woke up at 3am to put it all together in little stockings and gift bags together with a card game and a nice tie.. I know it wasn't much.. and because most are latinos they didn't even really get the whole concept of waking up and opening the Christmas presents, for them it's more of a Christmas eve thing.. they were almost confused looking.. but even if it didn't mean anything from them I'm glad I had the chance to do it.
 I'm coming to the end of my mission and I've really started to look back and see all the Lord's done with me. I may not be the perfect missionary.. or even a really good missionary. I suck at teaching, I'm not good at committing people and I think I might be too patient with them. I can't seem to ever get my investigators to pass the "Preparing" stage and move on to the getting wet stage. All in all I don't know if I could honestly say my mission has made a huge difference on all those I've met.. but it most definitely has had an effect on me and on my personal conversion.
 In these past 20 months I've learned countless things about myself and about the gospel. I've learned about the true nature of God, the plan of our salvation and not only that but countless things about what things were like BEFORE the plan of salvation and what things will be like after this plan is completed. I've learned a lot about my mind, my body, my weaknesses and a little about my strengths. I've learned how to be more patient (although I think that will be something I'll always be working on), how to trust more in the Lord, how to have a little more faith, how to be true to what I believe and more than anything be true to myself. 
 My plea to extend my mission has been cordially declined.. so that means I'll be back home no later than March 19th.. probably about 2-3 in the afternoon.. That's if my 7 1/2 months in the office have really paid off. but it's weird to be this close. I don't feel like it's my time. I'm still missing something.. but if they declined my extension it's for something.. maybe the something I'm missing is at home waiting for me.. It'll be like "the Embark.. part. 2".
 Well I gotta go. Hope you're all doing great and that your Christmases were just wonderful.. Make this new year even better!



Monday, December 22, 2014

22/12/2014 -Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more..

 Well this is a new week.. That's for sure. New weeks mean new
beginnings, new options and new experiences.. I love new things like
these!
 This last week we helped our branch president build his house..
reminded me of the good old times when we were building Amy's house in
Escolon. I thought it was funny when everyone looked at me weird as I
was running around the framework.. the two hired helpers looked at me
like I was a professional! (I kinda am.. I got a Disneyland trip from
helping build Amy's house.. that's kinds like professional right?)
brought back a lot of great memories.. mainly playing tag with my
brothers and sisters running along the 2x4s or hanging upside down
from the ceiling.
 I see a lot of old wrecked cars out here.. every once in a while I
build up the courage to ask if I can take pictures.. they make for
nice gifts ;) I think I miss cars a lot though.
 It's been kinda a quiet Christmas.. I honestly don't feel like its
Christmas at all. I don't know anyone here, even though I'm the leader
I feel like I'm the one being led and I really haven't heard much from
anyone.. no letters.. in months. I hope maybe there are a few
Christmas cards maybe. maybe they just got held back in the mailing
system. I'll be so excited when I get them! It'll be be just great!
 President hasn't told me about my extension yet.. but if I don't get
it I'll have to start working like Lightning on my college
application. that or maybe I'll find a good job for the summer.
 I can't think of anything more to write.. So I think I'll just end my
letter now.
 I miss you all.




Monday, December 15, 2014

15/12/2014 - "Do.. do you have a first-aid kit handy?.."

Dear Family y Friends,
 I'm doing okay.. there aren't many Q'eqchi' speakers out here in El
Estor.. but theres enough that I'll be able to practice if I look for
the opportunities. I plan on looking.. I just have to figure out how
to control my companion first! :P
  It's quite the place out here.. I feel like "pollo comprado" or
"fish outta water" as they say in Inglish. Everyone out here (with
exception to El Estor) is pure q'eqchi' elders who speak like deamons
and make me feel like I have no idea what I'm doing here. We had our
Christmas Conference on Friday (we watched Frozen, I loved it and it
made me think of my nieces and nephews), I felt really alone there.. I
mean from being in the office I "know" a lot of the Elders.. but I
don't really know any of them! I got hit by a HUGE wave of culture
shock.. and may or may not have started to hyperventalate causing me
to get extremely light headed and almost pass out. Yeah, yeah, I know,
leave it to Hyrum to freak out like a little girl and almost faint in
the middle of everyone being happy and celebrating Christmas. I think
it's from the whole being so alone, not knowing anyone, not having
anyone to talk to, the pressures of my new (and probably most
difficult) area, pressures by elders to be dissobediant and my normal,
typical self not having ANY confidence in me to make it through.
  I feel like my mission has been a HUGE roolercoaster of emotions and
has left me extremely tattered.. I've never been so emotionally tried
by the Lord before! I feel like singing the Danity Kane song: Damaged
(hence the subject of the letter). I'm glad the Lord thinks I'm strong
but sometimes I don't feel like I'm as strong as He thinks! I feel
like I could break any minute! But I know that I'd never let myself do
it.. Mostly because I'd never forgive myself.
  I'm kinda excited to take on this LAST (I hope) challenge before
heading home.. I still have the hope of going home at the end of April
but if president doesn't accept my extention then I'll be heading home
on March 19th.. Probably arriving around 1-3pm.. That comes from being
in the office too long.. I know too many details.
 Well I hopwe you're all doing great! Love you all and hope things are
going super spectacular!





Monday, December 8, 2014

08/12/2014 - I got changed?!... Wha-?..

  I'm really quite confused right now.. I was just informed last night
that I have a change.. and I'm going to a place called El Estor in
Izabal.. I'm going to be in the Polochic zone?! I'm so confused
though.. I mean I always wanted to go to polochic before.. but I gave
up on that dream and decided i no longer wanted to go.. I mean I don't
really have time to learn the language! so about three months ago I
decided that last place I'd want to go now is to the Polochic.. and
now.. After crumpling up my dream, throwing it off a cliff and
watching it tumble for miles till it lands in a ferocious river full
of rapids and alligators.. after giving up on what I wanted most and
deciding it is now what I would never want.. NOW is when they finally
send me there!
  I actually don't want to go.. I know I'll get over it.. I ALWAYS
learn to love my areas.. and I'm hoping after being there for a little
bit my dream will somehow make it out of the river alive and I'll find
it floating on the beautiful lake Izabal.
  I'm still going to be District Leader.. but now instead of having a
district of 8 Sister missionaries.. I'll be in a district with just 2
Elders.. that's right.. in my district there are a total of 4
Elderes.. well 5 because the other area is in a trio (if my office
informants are up to date). I honestly have NO idea how to work with
Elders.. I'm completely terrified!
  The Christmas devotional last night was amazing! I especially loved
Elder Cristofferson's talk (me and my comp are going to celebrate
Christmas tonight because I won't be here to celebrate it.. It's going
to be great!). As you can see in the photo only 7 people came to watch
it.. but it was still a great devotional!

Other Photos:
- Me and Elder Vera on top of a 6 story building.
- We bought Hno. Nicco an ice cream bar because saturday was his
"66th" birthday.
- I had a cocoon above my desk in my house.. and thursday in personal
study it opened up.. I was surprised because when it opened it spilled
butterfly blood all over my stuff! And I guess butterfly blood burns
paper?! I'm suddenly even more scared of butterflies!

Hope all is going amazing with you!! Love y'all!



Monday, December 1, 2014

01//12/2014 - Tnksgivn! TrkyDay! NoMshdTatrs?!

  Well I'm super thankful this last week cause last minute we got
invited by members to have a thanksgiving dinner!!! There was a
Turkey, and rolls, and sweet potatoes.. BUT THERE WERE NO MASHED
POTATOES!!!!!!!!!! I was super sad! I'd rather have potatoes than rolls
or turkey! but then they brought out pumpkin pie and here in Guatemala
that's a rare commodity (never before seen).. so I was pretty
impressed!
  We also celebrated the birthday of an hna in my district.. She's I
think 20 now? I actually never heard.. Just counted candles.
  I'm so very grateful to hear from all of my family members that
wrote me! Tia Donna, Mom, Melissa, Cassidy, Logan, Spring, Sarah y
Granny Lou. I've never had so many family members write me before!
Usually it's just like 2-3.
  I can't think of any more cool stories.. but here are some
picktures.. New Pajamas, us waiting for a bus at 4am, and thanksgiving
picktures!
  Lez kiero mucho!
      ¡Xik xik we!




Monday, November 24, 2014

24/11/2014 - Week 5: The Return of the Dragon - "Waldo" Pt. 2

  This last week I got sick again.. but this time it was from eating
in a restaurant.. I'm honestly considering street food to be my safest
bet of surviving in Guatemala.. but here in rabinal I don't think I
could trust even that! I honestly have not gotten sick this many times
in all of my mission until Rabinal! Sick at least once a week! "Waldo"
that double headed dragon came back for round two.. that sneaky little
goat stuck up on me at 3am!! Luckily I had my shield near by and was
able to defend myself with relative ease.. I will have to say these
2-4 day battles are really wearing me down! Luckily I am able to keep
up the will power to keep pushing forward! I haven't lost a single day
to sickness and that dragon will NEVER keep me from working! (Maybe
because I never tell the mission nurse.. She's a friend of mine.. but
if I tell her, she tells Pres and his wife.. and then everyone starts
to call me about how I feel and if I'm doing okay.. and honestly being
sick for a few days, even a fever of 102°F doesn't keep me from
going.. My amazing parents have taught me how to take care of myself,
and cure my own sicknesses just by being smart! (I don't know if
working with a fever is really smart.. but just go with me).
  This week our branch went to the temple! I am so excited for them!!
ALSO a young man brought us back Taco BELL!!!!!! WOHOO!!! Tanto tiempo
sin comer estas casacas!!! but he only brought me back "Hot" sauce
instead of "Fire" :(
  I'm learning so much from this calling as missionary in Rabinal and
also as 2nd Counselor in the branch presidency.. I'm learning how to
extend callings, interview for temple recommends (for the youth) and
just how to be patient.. This next week I'm going to learn a lot about
how to reprove with love because that's the next step here in Rabinal.
this branch hasn't grown in 40 years so we have to whip them into
shape! No more going to church in Jeans, No more using catholic and
Evangelist terms! We don't "Pray for people" we give Priesthood
Blessings! if we're different then the rest we need to know WHY and be
PROUD of the truth we have! if not.. then we're just one more church
in the world.
  I love you all and love all the email's I've received!
Take care! ¡Que se Cuidan!



Monday, November 17, 2014

17/11/2014 - Week 3: Adjusting.

  Well I'm starting to adjust. I'm still a little scared of our
members.. and I have NO idea what I'll do when my companion leaves and
I have to take over the area!
  About two weeks ago I got sick.. It was nice cause I didn't eat for
a few days and with the double-headed dragon helping me I definitelylost a few pounds! (I'm secretly hoping I get sick again about a month
before I go home so I go home looking like a nice fit young missionary
and not looking fat.) I've noticed a pattern in the mission.. Eating
on the street has never ever once made me sick (but I always make sure
the place I eat from is more or less clean and I don't eat food that
sits out) but every time I get sick it's from eating with members.. And
this last time it was the food of a member that got me as well!
  Today I conducted sacrament meeting. I'll have to say, even though I
was really nervous I feel like I did a lot better than I imagined.
Maybe it's just cause I feel like half the 24 people weren't even
paying attention so my mistakes weren't noticed. I'm super excited for
all the stuff I'm going to learn about administering in the church!
the organization of the church is just so legit! Me and my companion
study Manual 2 for church leaders in our companionship studies because
we both need to learn it desperately! it's amazing all the new stuff
you learn in just a matter of a few weeks!
  This week for district activity we brought the girls out to Cubulco
(the city about an hour farther in than Rabinal).. They were troopers
and didn't complain once about having to travel 2 hours for a P-day
activity.. I felt a little bad for them.. but hey, it was once and
luckily they don't have to do it EVERY week like we do! All in all we
had a fun time. We hiked up to the letters on the mountain (down hear
in Baja Verapaz they write their city names on the mountains like they
do heading into Utah, Like "Battle Mountain" The "Y" and such) and
then later we had a BBQ which was really good!
  Our hardest struggle here is getting people to come to church.. I
don't know if anyone remembers when I was in Sayaxchè at the beginning
of my mission.. but it's a lot like back there.. The investigators go
to church just once and then don't want to go back because with the
members that are there they feel uncomfortable.. they just don't feel
the spirit! All the members that are more or less normal are also
inactive because they can't stand the members that are active! We had
a pilas new family move here from the capital and after going to
church twice and mutual a few times they all went inactive.. basically
in the time I've been here more people have gone inactive than active
or baptized!
  I'm loving it here and enjoying my new trials! it's nice to have a
change of scenery and new challenges! I feel like I'm in a new
mission with a whole new boost of energy! And I think a lot of it is
because I feel like I'm actually of use here! O'm doing things and
helping people and I literally CAN'T judge myself by dats cause high
dats here is like snow in Fresno, during the summer.
  Well I love you all and hope things are going wonderful!
Take et EASSYYYY!!!!






Monday, November 10, 2014

10/11/2014 - Week 2.. still alive!

  Well.. Here I am in Rabinal. I'm still alive but I've gone through some CRAZY experiences this last week! We'll start with the Branch..
  In our branch there are a total of 6 normal functioning people.. and 2 are older than 80. about half the ward (Literally) have brain problems and more than once we've feared for our lives from the members. (one of them likes to throw rocks at us.. during sunday school.. in the church) I'm learning a great deal of patience on who to work with mentally handicapped people and really do love them.. when they're not trying to kill me. It surprises me how strong they are too!! I could not get the rock out of his hand!!
  Well.. I actually don't have time.. and this computer deletes everything I don't send so Here you go! Remind me to send pictures and tell you about the llorona, Juan Reyes, and 

Monday, November 3, 2014

03/11/2014 - "Estoy muy embarazada estar aquí enfrente de ustedes!"

  Sometimes you make really bad English/Spanish mistakes.. luckily I've avoided them.. but I've had the pleasure of being present in a few occasions. Gringas mixing up Embarazada with Avergonzada is probably the best I've heard.. but I laugh pretty hard when the Elders say they're embarazada too!
  This week has been a good one! Me and Elder Vera are having a lot of fun together and let me just say Rabinal is probably the scariest and weirdest place I've ever been to, seen, heard of or imagined! Literally some of the weirdest people I know! but you all know me and if it get's weird I just laugh.. I'm ALWAYS laughing here in Rabinal "City of the Drunks".
  So I didn't get to be primary president.. probably because there is no primary.. but I'll probably get to teach the kids sometime before I leave. This week they sustained me as second counselor in the branch presidency and let me just say the organization in this branch.. in the whole district really.. is basura! I have so much work to do but I'm so excited to do it! It'll be like starting up the mission office again!
  I'm learning how to use MLS (the church organization program) it's almost the same as CDS except CDS is ONLY for baptisms.. MLS is for EVERYTHING! I still have to actually add the callings that were made 2 years ago.. that's how bad this branch is! let's just say the last branch president ALMOST got excommunicated.. and there's no other worthy member to take his spot.. THAT's why the missionaries are taking over his spot.
  This week we had a good turn out of 22 members.. I hear that's how it will probably be for a while.. but I have hope that I can find and activate the next branch president before I leave the mission.. that's my 6 month goal! Speaking of which we found a really cool (Crazy) less active that we're hoping to get back in church.. his name is Chepe (José) and he's literally the most animated pilas LOCO less active I've ever met! He contacted us and then gave us like 3 references and said he wants to get the church here in Rabinal back up and awesome again! I hope it's not COMPLETELY fake.. I mean he never showed up at church with his cousin (my future girlfriend according to him.. I've gotten so used to everyone saying I'm such and such's boyfriend or that tal persona is my girlfriend.. it's a frequent occurrence here.. don't worry though.. it's NOT a temptation.)
  Well I'm not sure what else to say.. If you have any questions let me know! I got a letter from the office saying that if anyone's going to send packages for Christmas that they send them now because it's dangerous to send them close to Christmas.. last Christmas over 30 packages got stolen from our mission. So not that I expect packages but if you send them.. send them early or late. Also letters would be nice.. and they don't get stolen!
  I love you all and hope to hear from you soon!

Monday, October 27, 2014

27/10/2014 - Calling and election made sure

Well.. I got a change! i'm pretty stoked about it! I'm going to a little place in Baja Verapaz called Rabinal.. it's a REALLY small branch and my companion is actually the Branch President! His name is Elder Gustavo Vera, He's from Ecuador.. don't remember where exactly. He's been a ZL for a long time and he's a really good friend of mine here in the mission so I'm super excited to be compas with him!
  I'm still going to be District leader.. which I'm super excited about!! but President decided to give me a break and I have a smaller district.. still half Hermanas. I was scared they were going to make me a Zone Leader this change but I lucked out! And if everything goes normal I'll probably stay here in Rabinal until I "Die".. who know's.. I might even be the next Branch President?
  I hear as companion to the branch president I'll also receive callings in the branch (Because there are like 30 active members) and so I'll most likely be 2nd counselor in the branch presidency and also Primery president.. watch out ladies back home.. I might give you a run for your money! I'll be the freaking BEST male primary president you've EVER seen! (I just LOVE working with kids! Thank you Bishop Dunford for making me a Primary teacher before I left.. I bet you never thought It'd come to this! :P ).
  I'm going to miss the Colony and a TON of really good investigators but I have faith that I'll see them again someday.. maybe in this life.. maybe in the next! but I have faith that they'll be my brothers and sisters in the Lord and they'll be just amazing!
  As you might be able to tell I'm REALLY stoked about my new change.. I'll be getting to know a completely different part of the mission, having completely new experiences and I'm totally filled with completely new excitement!!! The only thing is that I'm super sad to be leaving a lot of the sisters here! they're so awesome and such hard workers! It's been a complete honor to work with these amazing women! (does that sound too weird coming from an elder? Just being their leader makes me so proud of them!)
  I'm also going to miss Elder Kumpf who is ending his mission this week.. He's been an amazing leader and a great friend! still a little sad we never got to be companions.. but we had two pretty great divisions and some dope times in the office of the mission Guatemala Cobán.. Shout out to him and his parents! You should be proud of your amazing son!)
  my Companion Elder Lopez is going to be the next District leader here.. He's going to be awesome! I think this is JUST what he needed! He's going to be a district leader AND he's going to train! One of my other old companions Elder Calona is also a District leader and is training.. I've had some AMAZING hondurenio compas! Viva Honduras! (and amazing companions for other places too!)
  We had stake conference yesterday.. my first stake (or district) conference in the whole mission that I can remember.. it seems they always change me right before they have it or i get to a place that JUST had their conference the week before. This time Elder Laboriel (a Seventy from Honduras) came to visit us and I learned a ton from him! He talks so animated and says things in such great ways.. I fell like he got right down into the people and talked to them as if he were one of them.. my favorite lines from him is: "Sus hijos, en su casa, NO TIENEN libre de albedrío! Cuando salgan en la calle o para el colegio, allí sí tienen libre de albedrío pero cuando están viviendo en su casa no lo tienen!" (Or "Your children, in your house, do not have freedom of choice! When they go out in the streets or to school, out there they have freedom of choice but when they're living under your roof they don't!") he continued talking about how parents can't just go to wake up their children and say "it's time to go to church", "awe but I don't want to!", "oh.. okay.. you have your freedom of choice! Keep sleeping." as parents we shouldn't even offer them the choice.. they'll have the chance to decide for themselves later on in life but if we don't guide them while they're young the'll be even worse off later on in life.
  Well I love you all and that's probably the longest letter I've written in a LONG time but I hope you all enjoy it! 




Monday, October 20, 2014

20/10/2014 - "Sahil ch'oolejil cho'q ere!" "Happy Birthday to you!"

Well it seems that this week has been the week of celebrating! about 4 people had birthdays and my companion hit his year mark, I hit one and a half years (The burning of the tie/shirt/pants attached) and today we're celebrating yet one more birthday! 
  We're planning ahead for changes and I've been taking pictures with the members.. the only thing is everyone says I'm not leaving the ward.. just my area. Basically they all say I'm moving up to Zone Leader next week but I find that VERY hard to believe.. After my breakdown and all I think President could find PLENTY of better candidates for ZL.. PLUS they've been telling me I'm going to move up for over 6 Months.. (Don't worry i'm not letting it get to my head cause I know it's not true).
  A few other things that happened this last week.. I found a cool red bowtie for about $0.60.. I can't use it here in the mission but I'll be rockin it at YSA dances when I get back! 
  Also found a corner.. a very interesting corner.. I laughed because I realized that out here you literally have to put signs up if you don't want people to pee (or I guess poo) in the corner of your house. (the foto translated says "Don't pee or Poo")
  We played "Extreme Uno" which is basically Uno with any rules anyone can think of.. I've learned quite a few new rules that are really fun and we literally had to use two decks for my whole district. (P.S. We're not really betting.. all that money in the middle was just extra cash we had on hand).
  Well I can't think of anything funner to write about.. no crazy stories this last week.. oh well.. I guess theres one more.
  Well.. I guess my bad luck hit me again.. Diana didn't get baptized.. her dad was totally against it.. when we first arrived she told us that she didn't care she'd just get baptized anyways.. when we explained that with out the consent of BOTH parents she couldn't be baptized till she turned 18 her face sank and I heard her heart drop to the floor.. She cried during the rest of the lesson after that. We talked to her and tried to keep her animo up! She still came to church this sunday so we feel like she'll do good. She's planning on starting Personal progress when she gets out of school and also want's to dedicate herself more to reading the scriptures.. so we gifted her a bible and a triple. She's completely ready to be baptized.. we told her not to worry.. she can still go to church, mutual, activities and do almost ANYTHING the other YW can do (Except temple baptisms) and as soon as her dad gives the okay she just has to tell us what day she wan't baptized and we'll get her signed up! I think she's ready.. she just has to work hard and pray a lot for her father.. I just couldn't stop thinking about a one of my sister (cassidy's) friends that waited all the way until she was 18 to be baptized because of her fathers decision.. I know if it comes down to that she's willing to make the wait. (oh and Steven's friend Joe too!) Theres still hope!

Love you all!!!




Monday, October 13, 2014

2014-10-13 Fortuacity, That's my byword!

 Well first off I'd like to thank everyone for their love and support.

Diana is still preparing to be baptised this weekend, she's REALLY nervious. I don't know why but I'm afraid we might have to push it back more.. she still doesnt have a yes from her father (he just doesn't say anything and walks away) and there's still SO much to do to prepare her. I'm not sure if it's the Spirit telling me she's not ready or if it's me getting cold feet. I've only had one baptism and if she doesn't get baptised this saturday theres a huge chance I get transfered and wont be able to be there.. so I don't know if I'm just psycing myself out because of my NEVER being able to get a baptism.
  We're trying hard to make changes.. the first presidency told us (all central america) we have to DOUBLE our efforts to baptize and retain.. I'm stressing so much with just getting my dats as they are! But I'm trying to understand that it's not my work.. and I never was doing it in the first place. The Lord can double our dats! (I guess I shouldn't bee that stressed.. doubling the 1 baptism I've had just means getting 2 before I leave! :P ).
  Well I gotta go but i love you all! Keep being Pilas!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2014-10-6 Pioneer Elders Sang as they walked.. and Walked.. and WALKED.. AND WALKED... AAAANND WAAAAALKKE​D!!!


  Well.. This week has been full of it's ups and downs.
  Friday we met with Hector and Blanca.. as I was planning things to prepare for their baptism (That was planned for this Saturday) Hector stopped me and told me he felt rushed.. He said that his goal was to decide on being baptized this weekend (if he received his answer) and NOT that he'd be baptized this weekend.. that kinda threw me back a few steps.. I wasn't there when my companion put the fecha but he told me he was under the same impression that they were planning on being baptized this weekend. it was kinda like a punch in the face.. but we're gonna keep working with them and try to help him see that he's got an answer.. that sometimes God doesn't give huge answers and even less when we demand them.. I hope he's humble enough to take it.
  Saturday we missed half of priesthood session.. but it was worth it.. we had a lesson with a young woman named Diana. She's been coming to church for the last 7 weeks and comes all by herself.. She really feels good there and tells us that she has no shame to tell her friends at school that she's going to the Mormon church. The bishop's wife (Also YW president) gave her a YW medallion to prepare her to earn her personal progress (Something just 3 weeks earlier she told us sounded boring and that she didn't want to do) and she wears that medallion EVERYWHERE and is now excited to earn the Personal Progress medallion. She says she feels proud wearing it.. not proud of the necklace.. but proud that it represents the changes shes made to get where she is. She's learning to pray every night and reminds herself to do so by placing the Book of Mormon on her pillow (I told her about prayer rocks a few weeks ago but she decided the book of Mormon was more appropriate I guess.) She's been telling us that she's been kept up late thinking about being baptised.. and told us she'd like to do it. We decided Friday that we should invite her to be baptised on a specific date.. the 18th of October. When we invited her to be baptised she was really hesitant.. her father goes to another church and is an ex military man who she describes as being "bien duro" y "muy enojado" and she's afraid to tell him. We decided to take a step back and analyze things.. I reminded her about how her father took it when she started going to church. He was angry at first and didn't like the idea but with time he became accustomed to the idea and now has no rejections that she do so. I told her that putting a goal to be baptised would give her that strength to tell her father that she was going to do it.. and that maybe at first he'd oppose but that if she kept praying, specifically for him, and always reminded him (with love) that she was still planning on getting baptised.. he, as well as before, would become accustomed to the idea and would allow her to be baptised. After having told her that I asked her when SHE would like to be baptised so that SHE could have the strength to tell her father that it was her decision.. after a pause she looked up and told us that she would like her goal to be the 18th of October and that she'd try her hardest to make sure her father was okay with the idea (She has the mother's approval already).
  I'm really grateful for that experience I had.. I felt when I was in that lesson that I was a real missionary.. and then it hit me after I thought that, that I should ALWAYS feel that way.. I'm not sure what's been happening to me in these last few months.. Maybe for my companion.. maybe for my lack of spiritual strength or maybe because I'm really not that good of a missionary but I felt really sad after that lesson.. I still wonder WHY is it that even though I'm struggling and pushing and doing everything I can.. That I STILL don't feel like I'm as good as my childhood heroes.. My older Brothers.. Those men in black who I've always looked up to. 
  I'm making this next week count.. I'm going to try with all I've got but I'd like your prayers, love and support as I try my hardest to become who I've been struggling all my life to become.. I can't do this on my own.

I Love you all!


--
Yours fortunately,
   Elder Hyrum Clark


Monday, September 29, 2014

2014/9/29 Chilasco!


Well howdy,
  Just wanted to write everyone and say I'm alive and well.. we had changes but I'm staying the same.. and my district had a bunch of changes but all within the district so we actually only lost one Hna.. and then gained two new ones! (Photos of the district maybe next week)
  Today we went to a waterfall called Chilasco.. It's the biggest waterfall in Central America supposedly.. but it't nothing HUGE.. like a typical awesome waterfall in Yosemite! (Pictures) I'm not exactly sure how much fun everyone had.. I mean it was a blast for a lot of us.. the trail was REALLY muddy and steep.. so it turned into a mud slide.. then fight.. then almost into a mud bath.. but as is always with Hnas.. it's not ALWAYS fun and games when it comes to getting muddy. (Don't worry we didn't get any of the sticklers muddy.. they were already doing a fine job of it themselves) but almost everyone enjoyed the trip!
  This last week we helped one of our, very complicated, investigators who is taking care of someone's house and Coffee plantation.. we ended up helping fertilize hundreds of coffee plants and enjoyed the day.. until I'm pretty sure he made us atol (Corn drink) out of pond water.. I'm still fighting off the effects of that visit.
  I'm definitely trying my hardest to keep my animo up.. I feel so spiritually drained! and I mean that's on TOP of being physically, mentally and emotionally drained.. I've been tired.. lived 8 months working two jobs and waking up at 6 to take my brother to seminary and getting 5 hrs of sleep every night.. but even 8 months of physical tiredness can't compare to being Spiritually tired.. it's something sleep cannot cure. I'm SO TIRED!
  I look forward to a great week! Still working hard with Hector and Blanca our couple fecha! I can't wait to help them get just one step closer to entering the temple! Only problem is that Hector want's a big answer.. He's received a lot of small ones and knows it but he told us he's still waiting.. "I've been doing my part! All I ask is that God give me what He gave Joseph Smith!" I told him I always wanted that too until I realized that that Joseph Smith ended up with a life full of persecution  that ended at the young age of 34 with a horrible death! (Still don't know how well he liked that answer.. but I'm working on my technique still.. Give me a break!)



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

2014/9/22 ♫♪Hang the star upon the tree, It's Christmas again!♪♫

 Well how are you! Just sending this letter to all y'all letting you know it's almost Christmas! (Well.. here in my district at least!)  We've decided that it's been quite a while since Christmas and that we need a bit of holiday cheer.. so we've assigned daily Christmas tasks to liven the spirits! This past week we've had a day to drink hot chocolate, Write Christmas Cards, make a snowman out of marshmallows, Build a Christmas tree, and today we all bought ugly Christmas themed sweaters (Pictures attached) we'll be continuing the Christmas cheer until next Monday where we're going to have a gift exchange and eat somewhere nice (Well.. Nice for living in the middle of nowhere.. it might not be considered all that nice to the rest of the missionaries that live and work in the city.
  I've been working hard and our dats are raising! We got a couple that are preparing to be baptized on the 10th of October! Right after changes so we'll see if I'm still gonna be here for it.
  I'm getting pretty tired out.. I hope I get a new burst of energy soon cause I still want to extend my mission. I think the hardest part is that nothing changes much.. it's all the same routine.. I can't handle doing the same thing everyday.. I try to change things up as much as I can but there's only so many things you can do to change things up while still progressing!
Love you all! Gotta Go!


2014-9-8 Spicy Meatballs!

Well.. To be honest it wasn't meatballs but it was VERY spicy!
 So We have a SUPER pilas couple that are really close to accepting a fecha.. they're scared to accept one.. and I don't know why cause they already tell people they're Mormon and they've been talking about how that want to build an extra apartment on the side of their house where the missionaries can stay for free. We're really hoping we can get them to accept a date and literally ask them every appointment.
  They LOVE to make us food! Almost every week since I've been here they've invited us over to eat lunch or dinner.. and for someone who supposedly is learning how to cook.. she is a BOSS at it! She made us some REALLY good meat yesterday.. it's like stew meat.. marinated in chili peppers.. than cooked in a chili sauce.. and served with chili on top.. it's the most spicy, delicious meat I've EVER eaten and don't worry mom I already asked for the recipe.. maybe you can make a small batch of it for when I get home and anyone else who's brave can try it with me! (Honestly haven't eaten anything better!.. up there with french fries and brownies and ice cream!).
  This week has been hard.. I mean as far as the dats show it was great.. but I feel like I didn't do so well.. It's so hard cause when you have low dats you feel bad because.. well because you have low dats.. but when you have high dats you feel like it's just a bunch of numbers and you don't know if it really made an impact or if you were just focused on the numbers.. I definitely need to find myself a good happy medium.. I'm driving myself crazy cause I just can't find my happy place!
 I didn't really get too do much photo taking this week.. I'll see if I can cook up a good one to send but if not I'll just leave y'all with a nice Adieu and write y'all next week!

1) a street in Cobán that looks like it's meant to be in London.
2) me and the pouch elders trying to make the worlds ugliest faces.. Steven and Isaiah both beat me I think.. I tried really hard.

2014-9-1 I'm makin Waffles!

Well howdy doody there,
  Just wanted to write you all and let you know I'm alive and well.. Living and breathing.. and.. well.. I could use a little more sleep honestly.. but I guess all in due time!
  I've been testing out some new settings on my camera.. and thought these black and white photos went well with our old fashioned outfits! lately we've just been finding awesome places and enjoying time together as DL's and ZL's, Taking photos and buying ties from pacas.. (I think I've become addicted to ties.. they're so cheap here!!!)
  Every P-Day we go eat waffles as a district.. it's SUPER good and for like $3 you get full.. and a banana smoothie and hot chocolate! it's become a tradition now.
  I've been keeping busy and hope to see some fruits of my labor in time.. but I'm hoping it's not a LONG time.. but all in God's time. 
  Miss you all and hope the best for ya!
Yours fortunately,
   Elder Hyrum Clark