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
 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
  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
  Lez kiero mucho!
      ¡Xik xik we!