Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2014-5-5 and I DONT wanna miss a thing!

Well this week.. it's been the same.. kinda.
   I'm still not sure what it is God wants to teach me.. or if it's yet another trail in patience.. or if I really am just losing it as a missionary but I'll have to say despite how awful it feels in the moment it's kinda cool to look back on it and see the wild ride I've been on!
   This week I've been tested in working with the members.. that is, I should say, NOT working with the members and suffering from their lack of desire to help us. We have a mission rule that after 5:30pm we HAVE to have a member accompanying us or we have to stay in our house calling until we find one. I probable haven't mentioned this rule much because it's never been a big problem for me! The members are usually willing to help us out and if our aassigned member can't we can usually find someone else relatively quick. This week that has not been the case.
   We have lost 5 DAYS for lack of member.. and have had less lessons with member this week than I've had in one DAY before! What makes it all worse is that this week was what I thought was going to be the best. We had 5-6 people that we had plans to put fechas with and we couldn't visit them.. the whole week. and we still have 0 Baptismal fechas!
   oh well.. this week we have them members planned and I'm hoping for the best. It's really been fun these last weeks.. stressful but fun seeing how God wants me to work.
   I'm excited for this week. Elder Ochoa from the area seventy is coming because our mission has been INCREDIBLY low these last two months.. I'm hoping for some good solid cincho that I can sit back, Take notes, and find out what it is that an area seventy will be inspired to teach me. really excited because I haven't been able to find it out on my own so I'm hoping with all my heart that mixed in with the cincho the spirit can tell me what I'm lacking.
   I know it's probably been a bit depressing reading my letters lately.. but I'm learning.. I'm venting stress and while doing so I'm realizing things I need to change. I'll try to keep my letters more uplifting and upbeat from now on but I just wanna put a big shout out to everyone who reads this:
   I HAVEN'T RECEIVED ALMOST ANY WORD FROM ANY OF YOU!!! (For the few that have written me thank you so very much! Your letters bring me a whole lot of happiness). I'm seriously DYING to hear about home, My ward, My friends, My dog Molly who's probably dead by now. Honestly ANYTHING! I'm sorry I'm not the best at replying big long letters but I'm dying here not knowing anything about you guys! If you love me Send me a letter! I love you all and hope for the best! I pray for you.. AND FOR YOUR LETTERS!

Elder Hyrum Clark
Guatemal Cobàn Mission
Apartado Postal #34
3ra Calle 2-02 Zona 3
Coban AV 16001
Guatemala C.A.
Les Extraño,
   Elder Hyrum Clark

2014-4-28 "He's so...", "Sweet?", "No!... Spicy!"

 Well that was weird I'm sure.. But it relates a little bit! I love spicy food! ? have been blessed to be in a mission were spicy food is common. Not loved.. but common! They almost ALWAYS have chili around here!! But I'm scared it might be an addiction. I once ate a chili pepper straight from a bush.. the other elders gasped and some random lady I didn't even know was watching said "¿¡Lo Comiò!?" (Did he just eat that?!") I guess it was a really spicy pepper or something.. Oops! But it was just fine with me! I think my spicy buds have died.. it takes a habanero pepper to get my eyes watering now!
   This week has continued to be hard.. Thanks to all those who wrote me! It's been a great boost! I went on divisions with Elder Trujillo, A great friend of mine who also just happens to be AP! He helped me see that I'm missing mainly two things. 1) Faith. and 2) Confidence. Not faith and confidence in the Lord.. Supposedly I'm doing okay with that (I really do have Faith in Christ!) but what I'm Missing is faith and confidence in myself. I know God can do anything.. but I've ALWAYS doubted that he'd do it for me. "I know God can get people baptized but why would he do that for me.. I'm not worthy of it!". I've decided to try and work more on that.. to have more confidence in myself.. That I'M WORTH IT! It's gunna be hard cause I'm NOT the type of confident, cocky, "Eve-ry-bo-dy Loves Me!" guy but I'm gunna work my hardest to remind myself that I can do it.. not me alone but that I can do it with God cause God loves me and wants to help ME!
   I'm feeling better (but if you want to write me to cheer me up that's perfectly acceptable!) and I'm going to try and forget the dats a little more.. Not something I'd advise other missionaries to do! but I feel like I need to focus more on the individual lesson, the investigator and the spirit than to focus on "We need to get 3 more lessons with member today and we don't have a member!".
   This week has also been hard on money.. being in Petèn AND being District Leader is not light on the money pouch! Not to mention the daily Choco-bananos I have to buy to keep my head cool (literally). I used all my monthly allowance AND my emergency fund to keep buying purified water (15gals a week!!) and paying transportation for divisions, baptism interviews, district meetings and zone meetings. I'm thinking I MAY have to dip into my personal funds this next month...
   We had another marshmallow fight today... this time we did a double district activity.. basically it got messy and clean up was a big part of the day. but we had fun and enjoyed the company of the other district!
   I feel like I'm gunna get home and everything is going to feel so short! The trip to Amy's house was like 20 mins.. here twenty minutes is a "close" trip 1-2 hour(s) is "normal" 4-6Hrs "Long" and 8-12hrs is "Far". I'm gunna get home and Going to my cousins house will be like going on divisions or walking to district meeting.. which now feels like nothing!
   I don't think I have anything more ta say.. Here's

a few pictures of some of my favorite things and people! (Oh and me sweating... I sweat an average of 2 cups of sweat a day and so have to drink like 3-4 liters of water)
   Can you spot the Pineapple?

2014-4-21 Week of learning...

Dear Readers/Friends/(Most importantly)Family,
   This week has been tough. Not the worst but down there. We lost our fecha because the less active mom won't aprove the marriage of her son to our investigator (They had a child together.. and live together.. in the less active mom's house. That's not a problem for her but them getting married is!). They can't get married without the moms permission because the son is only 16. so we're going to see what we can do to let the mom understand the importance of marriage and find out what can be done.. If they can't be married they need to separate! 
   This Family is a great family.. we've been working and fighting to get them re activated and last week was the first time they've come! They missed this week but we don't want to let that happen again! 
   I hit 12 months this last Thursday.. I'm not baggy or excited to go home.. but it was hard on me emotionaly to hit the one year mark. I've been striving and trying my hardest to change and become who it is God needs me to be.. but in a latin american mission where baptisms are not "Hard" to get and missionaries often leave with more than 20 makes me wonder "How is it that in 12 months I'm still down here with 3.. technically 1 cause the first two were just there when I arrived!"
   I've seen the Lords had in my life and seen his Grace play a big part in my life. I've changed through grace and become a better person by grace but all my work and efforts feel selfish if I can't even use it to bless the lives of all those around me! I get to the house dead tired, don't sleep till late, wake up at 6:28am, Love the people with all my heart and try with all my might to follow the spirit! I do all this to the pont where I get home fall face first on my bed and realize I've just slept 7hrs with my clothes and a backpack on. I don't do it for the recognicion I do it because I really want to change someones life! I want to bring others what has helped and brought me the greatest strength in my life!
   My job as district leader is to keep my troops animated! I help them resolve problems, think things out clearly, find solutions to hard problems and become better missionaries! My district has grown, changed, learned and recieved much sucess! We have 9 baptismal fechas in our district and I'm as proud as a porcupine for them and their sucess but it really feels like a bullet wound to see my area as the only one with a big 0. I'm talking with president and looking for solutions and with the help of President I've made a gold never to sleep until I've invited at least one person to be baptised, found at least one person to be a new investigator and helped just one person to understand the importance of prayer in their lives.
   I know the Lord will bless me. I've seen him do it! The hard part is knowing when.. When is the Lord's time? Will I see the fruits of my labor in this life or not till the next? that's what is hard for me. But until then I keep on Keepin' on!
   Thank you all for your love, prayers, and especially Letters! I was the happiest man alive when I recived two letters this last week! First two I've recieved since January! I LOVE YOU ALL!!

p.s. It's been super hot.. This past week has been between 40-43ºc I've been sweating a LOT but somehow I always find a slight pleasent breeze or a sweet cloud that passes through the path of the blistering sun JUST when I need it most! I'm a firm believer that miracles can be small things when needed. God is in each breeze and each cloud and I know he loves me when I feel the sweet soft air cool my skin for just a few seconds.. those moments bring me some of the happiest times I have!

(I'm not sure what order they're in but these are the photo discriptions)
1) We have a cave in our area.. yeah.. it's all dark and scary and I have plans to go explore it one of these p-days!
2) Imagine 3am Potty urges, Now add diarea, now add a big fast spider on top.. Litterally on top.. Of the toilet! Another miracle from God but I STILL haven't "Soiled my trousers" in my 12 months.. Supposedly you're not a missionary till you've pooped your pants but I hope to finish my mission without accomplishing that OR peeing in the streets.
3) I LOVE tuctucs and here in Santa Elena y San Benito there are only 2 Purple tuctucs.. It's been a mission goal to ride in one and I've been looking for every chance to ride one.. FINALLY I got he chance.. this is a photo of my happiness!
4) My first catholic "Dead Jesus" parade! I've never seen Catholics use so many idols till I got here in Guatemala.. I don't think catholics in the states march around carrying Jesus and Virgin Mary idols on their shoulders. Anyways.. New expirences!

2014-4-14 Different Week...

Well like I mentioned this last week has been VERY different! Thanks to lots of prayers, fasting and a bad sunburn I [..well we] was [were] able to get 5 investigators in sacrament meeting and put a fecha!!!! I'm so excited! We're gunna get somebody married and baptized up!!
   Well I totally lost all my time this week writing everyone.. Here's Photos!
(God answers prayers and diligence pays off!!!)


2014-4-7 The WATERHOLE?!

Well this week has been great! I kinda fell in "the waterhole" which was humbling but because of that great! I know that I'm not the worlds best missionary but I'm here learning line upon line or as they say here "Poco a poco".
   We have been working it hard this last month.. pounding the pavement, doors, books and pretty much anything else we could pound.. but in the end we realized that we forgot a small detail.. we need to help the investigators progress! 
   We've focused so hard to get new investigators and to get in a good amount of lessons and in the end we accomplished our goal.. but we missed the point. We thought that the lessons were an achivement.. but en verdad we forgot that we were supposed to be there for the investigators.. not for the dats.
   I'll admit it.. don't use me as your role model Missionary.. I have MUCH to learn and change but I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to recognize it and to be able to make the change after.
   We've made a new goal.. we don't want to drop our dats entirely but we've decided that instead of forgeting dats, we're going to make up our own dats! We're going to push to see how many lessons we can teach with the spirit, How many people complete with their reading assignment, Pray in a lesson, Attend church, invite friends to hear the message.. with these dats.. and raising them.. we'll finally be able to see a difference and not just that but feel the joy of the spirit helping us along.
   I hope I've not dissapointed any one of you.. I never said I'd be a perfect missionary but I'm Proud of myself and how much I've changed as a person. I know that even though I've fallen I still have the oportunity to get back up and keep trying! That's what Grace is all about! That is way the spirit atoned for my sins! THAT is why I KNOW the savior loves me.. and loves each of you too!

P.S. I went to tikal again! Fotos adjuntado!

2014-3-31 YAAAAY I'm a llama again!

 Well... I just have a TON of photos to send... this last week has been great!! We had Interviews with President and Sister Curtiss and a awesome zone conference and I almost cried when I saw the assistants for the first time in forever! (Okay it's only been 4 weeks but I miss them!)
   We went to Petencito today! That's were all my photos will be from (Mainly) it's like a zoo... but with less security.. and monkeys that run around outside! Yeah I held hands with a monkey too! Be Jealous! 
   I saw Jaguars, Pumas, other small jaguar looking things, Monkeys, parrots, whatever those big red colorful parrots are called, crocodiles, turtles and a ton of crazy things! all within hands reach (Yeah that was a little scarry for the jaguar and crocodile!)
   My companion is doing amazing.. I think he's getting discuraged about learning emglish but He's doing great and I'm going to try and talk more english around him so he catches on.. he just needs practice talking at normal speed and a LITTLE vocabulary.
   We were out contacting the other day looking for a less active.. we came to the house that we thought it was and called out "Maria!" (That means "Hello anybody home?!") and a little boy, 5 years old, comes to the door to greet us! "No hay nadie.." (Nobody's home). "En serio" (serously?!) we said. "se fueron a comprar.." (They're out shopping for a few hours). "Y cuando van a regresar?" (When can we come back and talk with them?).. The little boy goes into the house and whispers.. to what I'm SURE was the television because like he said there's no one home. "Van a regresar a las 9:30" (They'll be back.. but not untill you guys have to be in your house..). "Y podemos regresar mañana tal vez?" (Can we come visit them tomorow?). "Yo Vivo Solìto..." (I'm a bachelor and this is my house.). Little Did I know when I came to guatemala it is actually very common for 5yr olds to own their own huse and live alone!   In case you were wondering Chapins (Guatemantecos) arn't very good at lying.
   Anyways it's a short letter but I hope you enjoyed it! I'm going to try and remember the more funny parts of my week cause I feel like my letters were getting dry.
   I Love you Wisconson!!! And CALIFORNIA!!!!

Holding hands with a monkey,
---Elder Hyrum Clark