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