Thursday, January 23, 2014

2014-1-11 Keep on Keeping on!

I'm a little scared for this next change.. it could likely be that Elder Zavala and Elder Fitzgerald leave the office and I have to train a new office elder.. and maybe even be district leader.. It'd be nice to move up to DL but I'm not too excited about losing my companion.

   Elder Zavala and I have grown very close through these last 4 1/2 months. We've opened areas, built roads, taught and given up great investigators, helped get our district on the map, put the polishing finish on the office, been bitten by dogs, sang our hearts out together, prepared and taught fun District Meetings, blessed babies, build a house, married people and so many other things I could never write them all down. He's a great leader and I have NO doubt he'll be a ZL (Zone Leader) within the next 3 months.

  We always had the goal to baptize as companions.. and though we still haven't had the opportunity to baptize one of OUR converts I know the Lord kept us in mind and in the end we litterally did "Baptize together". I we had the wonderful opportunity to baptize an amazing brother who had prosthetic legs and he asked if we could BOTH help baptize him to make sure he didn't slip. If he goes thins change I'll miss him but I know we'll see each other througout the next year and a half.. Who knows.. maybe we'll return to the office someday as companions.. AP's of the Mission Cobán!

We always had the goal to baptize as companions.. and though we still haven't had the opportunity to baptize one of OUR converts I know the Lord kept us in mind and in the end we litterally did "Baptize together". I we had the wonderful opportunity to baptize an amazing brother who had prosthetic legs and he asked if we could BOTH help baptize him to make sure he didn't slip. If he goes thins change I'll miss him but I know we'll see each other througout the next year and a half.. Who knows.. maybe we'll return to the office someday as companions.. AP's of the Mission Cobán!
Yours fortunately,

2014-1-18 Happy Birthday!.​. Almost.

Buenas Noticias! It's almost my birthday!
   I really don't expect much here for a birthday but I know it'll be great anyway.. I mean I'm spending my birthday in GUATEMALA! (How many of you guys are going to Guatemala for your birthdays? Nope.. I win!) Today my companion and the other office Elders surprised me with a cake.. It actually was a surprise because my birthday isn't till next Sunday and I hadn't heard ANYONE talk about it. as tradition in Guatemala (and often done in the states) they smashed my face in the cake. (Video in other email!) and it hurt.. Three strong healthy (well two of them had boo but.. that's not important) Elders got over excited and all smashed my face in the cake/table at the same time.

  Last week the Hnas. in the ward had a baptism of three.. my companion baptized them all and it was a great service.. The two daughters already have such strong testimonies and I think the Hnas. in the ward MIGHT be more pilas than us! but it's still undecided.. cause me and Elder Zavala are pretty dang pilas!

   This next week we have Changes.. so as usual we had to take a photo with la distrita and so I'll put it below. Elder Mendoza (our ZL) is also going home this change. He extended his mission and even now still just does NOT want to go home. I feel for him because I also have no desire to return home anytime soon. I look up to him and hope I can be as good of a leader and as dedicated to the work as he is. We'll all miss him when he goes home this next Thursday.

 So I know I've mentioned a few times that maybe things haven't been the hottest for me and although it's been 5°C outside this week I'm not talking about the weather. Elder Zavala and I have been working hard these last three changes to get a baptism. We never baptized our own convert but the Lord loved us and gave us the opportunity to baptize the converts of the Hnas. in the ward.. Great experience but not the same as having your own convert baptized.
   Last Sunday the super pilas Hnas. gave us a reference that we visited. She turned out to be a member of the church since she was 9 but after joining with her catholic "husband" went in active and hasn't been to church in 12 years. When we arrived she was very receptive and within the first 10 mins she asked us "What are the steps for getting baptized?" "How long is the process?" and then she told us she wants her two oldest kids to be baptized. With out much hesitation (Only a little from shock) we talked with her kids who also said they'd like to be baptized. They both have a fecha for the 15th of Feb. Sadly Zavala wont be here for the baptism but we still feel like we really have FINALLY accomplished our goal together.. IF I stay pilas and they actually hit the water.
   Changes are tomorrow night! I knew what some of them were.. but now president and the AP's came back today and decided they needed to make some more changes. Elder Bashaw said he heard my name mentioned a few times (His office is wall to wall with the presidents and he can hear some words if they say them a little loudly) but he couldn't hear what they were saying.. cause he doesn't try and listen.
   Over all though we are 99% sure Elder Zavala and Elder Fitzgerald are going this change and me and Bashaw are training new office elders to take our place so we can leave next change. I still hope to go to Polochic but every day my hope dies a little.. Elder Kirk the Senior Missionary in the office told me that it's very unlikely I'll go cause I'll almost have a year in the mission when I leave the office. Drats. all I can do is pray!

   Well that's all for this week.. I'll keep you updated on the pregnant lady and our NEW FECHAS! I'm really happy with our work lately.. we're raising the dats in the whole mission! Guatemala Cobán mission For The Win!!!

--Elder Brother, Steven and Logan's younger

P.S. Next Sunday's my birthday! Write me! It'll be my birfday present!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014-1-4 Sick Day

   Well the cats out of the bag... I kinda put it the first thing I said but I've been sick this last week. Now let's not get over excited and start throwing poodles out of windows, it's nothing really major. I've had gripe, tos con dolor de garganta, un migrania y fiebre for 4 days.. but in those 4 days I've only lost 1 as a sick day! the rest I just worked sick.
   We've run into some humbling people.. A family that just left their father who started drinking again.. the wife is also expecting a baby the end of this month and has no parents or family to help and after leaving her husband is completely alone.. with 4 kids.. one on the way.. and broke as a snow globe falling from the empire state building. we're going to talk to the relief society tomorrow to let them know what's going on. well.. I think she is.. She's coming to church with her kids!
   Another family we ran into is a really young couple.. well not super young but I think pretty recently newlyweds.. they just lost their first child.. still unborn.. and it has really taken it's emotional toll on her.. we have a appointment scheduled with them and plan to talk about the plan God has for their child.
   Helmut Bol has been asking lot's of questions and wants to learn.. he's been studying the bible looking for his answers! We helped explain why it is that we now celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday when it was Saturday throughout (Almost) the entire bible. in the end we emphasized the importance of using the Book of Mormon to help clear up some of the confusion that others make of the bible.. I really hope he'll understand it's importance and that we can get him to read the Book of Mormon more! and come to chuurch!!! chambone.

   I celebrated New Years with sparkling cider we found in a tienda.. it specifically says "Sin alcohol" so I'm 70% sure we're safe! :P jk it's a good tienda I trust it. but it was really cool cause it was a cork bottle and when it exploded I screamed like a little girl! 
   We also sent off a good friend of mine.. he's already home now and served an amazing mission! I learned a lot from this man! He was the world's greatest missionary least one of them!

 Me and Elder Zavala still get along but the rumor is that next change he goes.. that makes me very sad.. and also scares me for two things.. 1) who's my new companion y 2) if he goes.. and my area is the only one with elders in the district.. and they're only bringing in elders with less than 8 months.. Who's going to be the new District Leader?!

 I leave you with that thought.
Yours with a migrane,

2013-12-28 Ya está Navidad!

Well.. I don't really have a main theme for this week.. Just wanted to say it's been a good one! I LOVED the packages from the ward and want you all to know I miss you and love you lot's! I'm sorry I didn't get Megan Henry's letter in time. If someone know's their new address they could be wonderful and send it to me so I can reply to her letter! ..And also I'm still waiting on other peoples letters.. that's to say no one is sending them to me! :P I really enjoy letters and they don't cost a ton like packages! I also reply! ANYONE can write me!.. Send Photos!

Elder Hyrum Clark
Guatemala Cobán Misión
Apartado Postal #34
3ra Calle, 2-02. Zona 3
Cobán AV 16001
Guatemala C.A.

   Anyways this week was really great and I really should just explain with photos!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013-12-21 Christmas Letter

Merrry Christmas y Feliz Navidad!
   Welcome to the wonderful world of fireworks and smoke in place of the carolers and snow! Here in Cobán Guatemala Christmas gets celebrated a little different.
   First off Christmas is accompanied by many other holidays including one of my favorites Dec 7th “queman al diablo” where we get to burn devil piñatas! Well.. Okay maybe WE don’t get to.. But everyone else here does.
   I’m living healthy and enjoying the cool Cobán weather where maybe there isn’t snow but it feels like it could start at any moment! My companion and I are making a great effort to give our gift to the baby Jesus and hope to baptize soon! We have a few maybes and we’re working hard to get more. I hope it’ll be accepted by the Lord, it’s all I can do!
   Elder Clark (Me!), Loves to help others by serving in the office. He continues to learn day after day as new surprises and adventures present themselves continually in the office! He enjoys being with his companion, receiving letters, writing his family and using SIMI (List of Menos activos) to find new investigators and start conversations with random people in the callejones.
   Elder Zavala loves to slip in the mud. Alright maybe he doesn’t love doing that but it happens to him a LOT :P But in all seriousness he is a hard worker, a great leader and as district leader of la Distrita he keeps us raising our dats and is always there with a helping hand. He speaks perfect English and is definitely in my top 3 favorite companions.. So far.. Out of the 3 I’ve had. (he also likes to receive letters! Hint Hint).
   La Distrita is changing and growing and is getting more and more dats every week! Hna. Ball has been setting a forest fire here in Coban 2nd Ward and at the pace of this fire I’m sure we’ll catch fire any second now as well!
   We recived two new Hnas in la Distrita this last change and their names are Hna. Cerrato (From my group as well as Elder Zavala) y Hna Gonzalez from El Salvador, She’s been correcting my Spanish (viciously… With love?) and all I can do is say thank you because it’s getting better! Chivo! She said maybe She’ll teach us all how to make pupusas!
   We’re working hard and have made a lot of friends in the area and hope to continue to make not temporary friends but friends that we’ll meet again someday in heaven. We are putting our strength into finding more and teaching with MORE spirit.

Okay so the dogs… I’m going to let you know when they make fun of how Elders always get chased by dogs it’s not a lie.. and here in Guatemala where there are more dogs than humans (almost) it happens a lot! I told this experience to the Cole Family:
   So we have a Hermana in the ward that is really helpful finding references for us and so we go over there and ask for our fair share of references.. which is all of them cause she lives in our area Mwahaha! Anyways she has a dog named Hercules.. He’s one of those skinny scarier looking dog’s that look like they’d eat just about anything that crosses their path (I usually try and avoid these dogs but he’s a pet so I figured he couldn’t be that bad!) anyways I’ll fast forward and skip the part about him ripping off my companions pant leg and go to a later visit where it was my turn.
   Okay.. Here we are. We’ve just got done sharing a scripture and we gave a blessing or something.. I don’t remember very much the details of the day just that I thought Hercules was finally warming up to us! We were standing and talking before we leave and Hercules comes in.. everyone stops and looks at him and we’re all waiting to see if he’s used to us or not.. he slowly walks up to me and I just look at him with a stare that says “I KNOW what you’re thinking but we’re all watching and I know you’re not that stupid!” he looks back at me and just shrinks close to the floor in shame and I think “That’s right.. we’re all here watching you… watch what you do!” then out of nowhere he bites my leg!!! WHAT THE FREAK?! What are you doing!? I was so shocked that he was biting my leg that I literally just stood there with my mouth open in shock!
   I don’t remember how long it lasted but I remember that the member was standing with her mouth open as well.. but not from the Dog she was wondering why I hadn’t moved an inch and my companion as well was looking at me like I was crazy.. meanwhile the Dog is doing its best to eat my legs but when it looks up to see all our faces it stops and shrinks in shame and then leaves the house.. The poor dog didn’t even break a tread of my pant leg and the worst I got was a small bruise on my leg.
   Moral of the story is that Even Hercules cant rip the pants of Elder Clark Superman!

Another Story? Okay!

   Let’s go back in time.. This is a story I didn’t think I’d share just so that I wouldn’t scare Mom.. but because it’s already been months and I’ve told all my  closest friends I’ll let you all know the story.. It begins in Sayaxché!
   It was my first change in the field and I was with my “Papi” Elder Bonilla just walking along the road.. in the night.. like usual! We were doing visits with President Lazaro from the Sayaxché Branch in the San Benito District.. My Branch that is. Anyways to shorten the boring parts we walked to a house far away and they weren’t there so we headed back home to end our night..
   We’re just walking along a dark road in the night minding our business (BTW this is the road that we found a cow foot on) and we were in the process of passing a small family with the usual Maza de tortilla on each of their heads preparing for the next day’s tortillando (To tortilla.. it’s a profession here don’t laugh!) when along comes a cattle truck (one of the big ones with like 40 cows in back) going (To say the least) just a LITTLE over the speed limit.
   We all push ourselves to the very edge of the road.. basically in the weeds that grow as tall as I am. And try to avoid the truck who we all know wont even take his foot off the gas to pass by us.
   He passes so close that I can feel the air pushing me off the road.. and then I feel it scraping on my elbow!! What?! Okay so I’m smart so I turn my body to avoid my elbow getting knocked completely off!.. but I’m not that smart cause when I turn my body my backpack gets caught on the truck and next thing I know I’m on top of a poor old lady in the weeds about 5 ft from the street where all my belongings are strewn across the road.
   It ripped my backpack completely apart but luckily my camera and scriptures were fine.. and I live in Guatemala where it costs less than $2 to have my backpack completely resewn!
  So yeah.. I was hit by a cattle truck and lived to tell the tale with only a small cut on my elbow and a dent in my first aid kit!
   Anyways I gotta go now! I know God lives and that he is our Heavenly Father, I know his son, our older brother is the savior and redeemer of the world, the Holy Ghost is a spirit that testifies and strengthens us when we are weak and that all three together are the trinity, our saving grace, The Eternal Godhead. I know that the gospel has been restored and that (Of course) it is found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know we have a living prophet who loves and guides us and by following his council we will never find ourselves going astray.
   I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you all enjoy a very merry New Year!

Elder Hyrum J. Clark
      y Elder Roger Zavala También 

2013-12-21 Feliz Navidad!

  Well as you all know it's BASICALLY Christmas! Anand.. I don't know what I'm going to do. I received a package yesterday from the Chester Ward youth.. One from a youth conference with cool Socks in it and one from the Cole family! I haven't opened the one from Chester ward or from the Coles but It's REALLY tempting.. I'm waiting for Christmas! (Oh and BTW THANKS Taylor Neely for the awesome socks! They're totally chibo -Cool- !!)
   We've been working hard in the area and getting new investigators that are Surprising us.. Our district of Hnas is slowly but surely progressing and after a hard spot I think we MIGHT be starting to see some miracles here in Coban! We have two baptisms today and we heard an amazing spiritual experience from the Hnas in area C about an investigator they found who got a text earlier that morning from her sister saying three angels were going to pass by that day. The Hnas passed by and the rest involves testimonies and crying like babies and I'm pretty sure a fecha next visit!
   We (My companion and I) also found an investigator who practically laid him self out to be baptized and said all the "Golden" lines a missionary wants to hear! "I feel like something's mission from my life" "I've been searching for a church but none of them seem right for me" "I feel like before choosing a church I should pray about it and get my answer from the Lord" "I think to know if a church is true we need to assist first and try it out.." So basically we just told him he was perfectly right, Invited him to church and gave him a book of Mormon.. well.. actually we were out of "Book of Mormon"s but that's planned for our next visit!
   I'm going to help baptize one of the Hnas investigator today.. like.. I'm not doing the actual baptizing but I'll be in the water.. Weird right? I'll have to let you know how that goes!
   Well.. I think I'm going to write a Christmas letter now!

Yours Feliz Navidadly,

2013-12-14 ♪♪ I can´t believe it's Christmas, I think I'm finally getting something ♫

♫ I can't believe it's Christmas, my favorite time of year! ♪♪

   Well it's ALMOST Christmas.. I've been having good and bad experiences ALL WEEK! it's AWESOME! Let me explain a few..
   Thursday we had our Christmas Zone Conference where we watched Monsters University (which was a REALLY good movie.. at least it seemed super funny after 8 months of "The Restoration") and one of the highlights of the day was that I was in charge of making the whole thing work.. they gave me a TV, Projector, 3 sets of small speakers, 2 DVDs, 2 laptops a few extension cords and told me to make it work and if I needed more supplies.. "Here's Q100!" Sweet! So after a shopping spree (Well I just bought 2 cords) and a lot of ghetto wiring we had a projector playing and a TV hooked up to the same with mini speakers playing at past their capacity to make sure that the 70 Elders and Hermanas could hear good. It ended up great and of course I've seen the movie so it all worked almost according to plan.
   In the conference I helped pass out gifts the some of the Latinos who didn't receive packages from their families and then passed out cookies and stockings... only problem is that I was STILL under the impression that the cookies and stalking was only for the Latinos who didn't receive packages.. so I was the only one that never got one. I think I might get one next week if they don't run out in the other Zone Conferences in the mission.
   Another Thank You to Ken Bice who's teachings are proving to help all the way in Guatemala! I spent my P-Day today putting in a cement floor for a kitchen we're building for a family here! Funny how something I learned just a short time before the mission has proved to be such a big help ON my mission! Everyone here think's I'm a cement Professional! (Well technically I did get paid for doing it so I guess that's pro right?) 
   After putting in the floor somehow (don't look at me like that!) a mud fight got started and we all hiked about 20 mins covered in mud to get on a bus that probably wasn't the happiest to have us as costumers that day. 
   I received a video from Santa.. I laughed a LOT! (for those of you who remember the letters from Santa videos that we sent around last year it was a lot like those) I'm glad Santa thought I was being adorable to my brother and my babysitter! I'm just waiting for my cleaning lady now :P
   I'll be sending mom a email about finding a good time to call on Christmas and since I have my own phone it shouldn't be a big problem to get a hold of me.
   I also am looking forward to giving you all my Christmas photo next week! I might take more and just have a Christmas Letter full of Christmas photos and fun times and commentaries from my companion (Have I mentioned he speaks English?.. ) and any other crazy nonsense I can throw in there.
   Well.. I'm sure I could find more stuff to talk about.. Like Crazy Changes, Staying in the office late, ward karaoke, My companions camera getting stolen or any number of crazy things that happened this week but I'm sure you're all tired of hearing from me.. so I'll just leave you with PHOTOS!!!

1) Christmas Photo for the Zone! (I stole someones stocking for the photo! :P )
2) First Day working on the Kitchen.. Boy Band Style!

3) Say Hello to my little friend!

4) The Crew (Second day)

5) Project Placas 2 

Yours at the end of a crazy week,

2013-12-7 ANOTHER CHANGE!?!

Well.. actually nothings changing.. we find out tonight changes but I already know the only change in the office is going to be a new AP from the Polochic! He's awesome and I'll have to keep you posted how he is to be around EVERY DAY.
   We're doing great here in the office.. me and Elder Zavala work our fingers off till 3pm and then get out there and push our hardest to get the Lord's work done as well.. I can proudly say that we have the highest dats in our district and though we're still waiting on a baptism we're making real progress! Office Elders CAN be good teaching Elders too! no complaining that we're in the office and don't have to do the real missionary work.. We do BOTH! that means twice as much as normal missionaries! 
   We're working our hardest with Helmut right now and are getting him to activities at church but he's struggling to get to church.. and by struggling I mean he's never been... yeah I know.. that mean's our fecha (baptism date) fell through but we're going to get him to church and get him a new one!
   The Hernandez Lial family are also making progress.. yeah it's slow but you gotta look for the small and simple things to keep your spirits high in the tougher times of the mission! he said he'd get baptized if he got an answer.. we're just trying to get him his answer now :P
   We have a new family, the Cu Xoy family.. they're really great too! their problem is that the mother of Hno. Cu is evangelico and does not in the least bit like that they're listening.. we still come when she's out shopping but even though they're their own family and live in a separate house they still have a fear to stop assisting her church to come to ours. Good thing is that they came to a ward activity based on the Family and Hna. Curtiss (President Curtiss' wife) talked about The Family a Proclamation for the world.. BOTH of them feel they should get married to be a good example for their 13 yr old daughter and their two young kids as well.. the only problem is the husband.. even though he told us that he feels he needs to get married is scared to take the step now.. we shared our testimonies and with him and his daughter also shared her desire for them to be married and she I think was a big help in that! They're going to let us know in the next lesson if they have a specific date so we can help them get the documents and everything ready to get married! My second wedding! I hope they pick a date fast cause if they get married that's a huge step to baptism!
   We have another progressing investigator that is loving everything.. but his wife is totally against the church as well.. he keeps mentioning that salvation is individual and I think he's hinting that he doesn't think his wife is going to change. It's pretty bad though.. She didn't even talk to us when we asked her name.. after an awkward pause her husband answered for her.. and the same passed every time we asked her questions.. awkward long pause and her husband answers. He keeps telling us "If there's ever an activity for just men let me know I'll be there in a jiffy!" Poor guy.. we have the work luck with the wives around here.. and it's strange cause EVERYONE I've ever talked to is always like "Wow.. that's weird.. it's ALWAYS the husbands that dont want anything!".
   Cool guy we met the other day! He's like 82yrs old, from Belgium and speaks Scots, Spanish, French, English, German and Dutch. Also a cool side point he has a 4yr old daughter.. This guys close to Abraham status with the kid making skills! he gives every man a hope for the future! anyways he's catholic but knows a TON about all the different religions, philosophies and theory's of the world.. We asked him who God was to him and he just took off from there! I don't know if I've ever heard so much intelligence come from one mouth in my life! I learned about who God is for the Buddhists, Darwinist, Christians and naturalists and how they're all basically one god just that people only worship part of his glory when really God's Glory is EVERYTHING and so we should never stop worshiping him because his glory is continually expanding! wow.. mind blowing thought. Only problem is I'm scared his intelligence will keep him from ever truly converting.
   Well sorry I didn't write much.. let me attach a photo to make up for it!

Elder Zavala, Elder Bashaw and I

Yours fortunately,

2013-11-30 Great Scotts!!!

My dearest family and friends,
   It's been a wee bit nippy these past few day and I've bought myself a dapper jacket! it's grey but I feel it works well with my black and dash of white look. I'm slowly transforming myself back to the 50's every now and again to make thinks a bit more classy around here.
   I've been keeping a close watch on a fine young gentleman here who has accepted a date for baptism and things have been progressing from there on. He's asked us to view a baptism with him and of course we will be accompanying him this evening. I do rather hope this is a grand enthusiasm boost and that he'll be more ready than ever this 21st of December to accompany us to his own, dapper, Baptism.  
   We've made some big progression this week passada! Meeting lot's of new faces and such things. I've had some darn good experiences with some tipsy gentlemen who could quite easily be considered drunken scalawags! My poor companion.. I've many a time paused my walking to watch as he walks side by side with a talkative drunken Bolo.. Almost got a hug once. sadly hes learned my secret and now we just avoid the drunks cause he doesn't think it's funny anymore.. but I, my dear friends, still do! (Don't worry I never put him in dangerous situations.. just odd ones :P )
   This week we had the pleasure of hearing from a gentleman quite honorable I'd say, His name is Elder Carlos H. Amado.. Area president. He, my dear friends, is quite the funny fellow! He sat by me while eating lunch but spoke about 5 words to me.. I'm super special! ;) 
   Well Just a few notes.. ROMMEL!!! WHERE do you think you're going! Manteca stake is the best! Send me a letter you chambone! 
   To all the YSA THANK YOU ALL!!! I heard about how you all danced to "Want U Back" in honor of me and I was very touched! I love you all! 
   BRADEN!!! CONTACT ME! I didn't even know you were home!
   Rachel Cole.. Your drawings are amazing!

Anyways.. I have a bunch of Pictures so Enjoy!!!
1) My Companion and I with the Guatemala Flag

2) La Distrita - Hna. Muños, De Leon, Schneider y Ball and then me and my companion.

3) Me in a Taxi cab.. I heard a lady laugh really loudly as we drove past

4) A small Pie for thanks giving.. we got the left over bucket of Ice Cream.. I'm going to eat it when    I get home!
5) My Companion and I in Full Polochic Gear.. Freezing outside but you just can't wear jackets in    the chic so we decided we'd be men like them! 
Polochic Uniform: big mud boots with the pants tucked in, Ugly, Fat Tie that's too short, Backpack, and if you're really fancy.. makeshift umbrella from a giant leaf. I'll send you a real chic foto when I get out there in 3 months!

Yours fortunately,