"Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah."

Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:8

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Mission Is A Lot Like This Life I've Realized

¿Us hermaan, ma sa sa' lee ch'ool?

Arin wankin chirix li xb'en xamaan re li rox cambio (Here I am after the first week of the third change)

First of all, it was really great to talk to all of you too!! Even though it was really hard to hang up the phone for me too because I feel like I didn't get to tell you half of the things I wanted to tell you! And I didn't get to talk to Kinzie and Jack and Matt as much as I would have liked to. It's true, it's hard having such limited communication with your family. But I've realized some good things from having limited communication with all of you. First of all, I'm so thankful for eternal families and for the fact that if we are all faithful and live the commandments and do all that we can that we will always be together forever and we won't ever have to be apart like this. I've really realized a lot how much I need all of you in my life to support me and keep me going. I've also realized how Heavenly Father must feel sometimes when we don't listen to him or when we don't pray and talk to him. He loves us more than we have the capacity to love, and so we can't even comprehend how much he loves us. I'm sure that he feels even more the desire to talk with all of his children and he misses all of them more than we could ever feel. So it's kind of given me more motivation to really be sincere in my prayers and to really try hard to have true communication with my Heavenly Father more. My mission is a lot like this life I've realized. I've been sent here by my parents to do a work in a place that is on a lower level than my true home. Adjustments are sometimes hard and there are a lot of changes that take place. But just like this life, I have to have these experiences so that I can experience a fulness of blessings when I return home where I belong. So I know that it's hard for you guys too, but I know that your faith and love for the Gospel is getting you through just like me, and that Heavenly Father is blessing you for my service here, and maybe helping you to understand a little bit better how He feels with each one of us. Thanks a lot for being great parents and for always giving me comfort and advice. You guys are the greatest! 

Alright, well the baptism with Tio Nino went pretty well! We had planned for it to be at 1:00 but then all of the family members of him (all members and pretty much the biggest part of our branch) told us that they were busy and that it would be better if we could wait until 3 to have the baptism. I was fine with that, but Elder Lopez got pretty mad. But we carried on sin embargo and had a good service. People here aren't as reverent during baptisms though which is kind of lame because it makes it a little harder to feel the Spirit and everything, but it was still a really good experience. Tio Nino is a really funny guy (he's 67 by the way) and he felt good about his baptism and his confirmation. 

So here's a little run down of what we did for Christmas. It's a little different here because everyone just celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve instead of on the actual day. So everyone will start eating tamales around 7:00 and then they all light firecrackers and little firework things for a while and then people dance and do crazy stuff in the streets. Basically they just stay up all night and a bunch of people get drunk and then on Christmas day everything is pretty mellow. A lot of things were shutdown, but people aren't really celebrating anymore, just relaxing. So on Friday night we went to a few families houses to eat tamales. First we went to the house of Ubando's family and they gave us a tamale and a hot fruit drink thing that was pretty good. We taught them a little Christmas message and then we left to go to the Guzman house. Their three sons are members, but the parents aren't. But they really like the missionaries so they fed us a tamale (made with potatoes instead of corn which was super good) and fruit (for Christmas everyone has normal stateside fruit like apples, grapes,  and pears and things like that, and then they have more things like pineapples too.) Once we finished there we went right next door to visit the family of Hermana Antionetta Guzman who is the grandma of the other family. She knew that we were getting full so she gave us just some cake and a hot fruity drink thing. She also gave us little "old England" toffees which made me think of you mom haha. After that we headed home around 9:00 and the owner of our house called us down and gave us about 4 tamales to take home which was really nice of her. After that I just got ready and went to bed while Elder Lopez stayed up I think basically all night to call his family and his girlfriend. Then On Christmas Day, we didn't do anything until after the baptism. So we left at about 4:30 and visited a couple of families. And that't pretty much it. Kind of lame really, and it hasn't really felt like Christmas too much because of the weather and just because things here are really different. But it was still fun. I will say though that American Christmas is a lot more fun.

Ok first just let me say some things that I need to tell you. I think really the only thing is that if you could put that money that Grandma sent me in my account ASAP I would appreciate it. They didn't send us our money for this month today like they should have, so I have pretty much no money for this week. I had to borrow 100 quetz from Elder Smith to get through the week. Looks like I'll be eating a LOT of beans and eggs this week. I guess it actually doesn't matter that much that you put the money in all that soon since I won't be able to check again until next Monday. So thank you, sorry to bug you with silly stuff like that.

Alright, now to responding to your emails a bit.

Mom- I know, I figured that you would cry a lot after we got finished. =P I didn't actually get too sad after we finished like I thought I would. I just felt boosted and uplifted from being able to talk to you guys. I'm sure that the rumors are flying right now in Red Bridge ward and that things are going crazy. I'll bet that you guys will have a ward boundary change. That will be really sad and I'm kind of upset that this is happened when I'm here because when I get back, my home ward won't be the same! Oh well. It's really funny to Elder Smith and I that you are going to go to church with his family and have dinner with them haha. I'm glad that you are able to have those connections with the other moms so that you can have more support for each other. But don't go doing anything weird..just kidding =P. Sounds like you guys had a good Christmas together. When Matt watches "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" be sure that he knows beforehand that it is loosely based on the scene from Fantasia with Mickey Mouse. That's something that I wish that I would have known.

Dad- Thanks for being a cool Dad. Thanks for all of your advice with Elder Lopez. I was thinking about that too. Just about how his situation is obviously a lot different than mine and how I do respect the fact that he's at least here. He's had a relatively hard life from what I understand. So I try not to judge him and I'm trying to have patience with him and everything. But yeah there are a lot of complications in his life. Regardless, I won't let myself do any less than my best and I'm going to recommit myself to be able to keep doing what the Lord wants even if my companion is bringing me down a little bit. I really appreciate your advice Dad it really means a lot.

Well I'm out of time, so I have to go now, but I love you guys so much. More than you know. Thanks for being the best family ever! Let me know how everything goes with Matt and good luck to you buddy when you go out to college! You'll be great. Love you guys!!

Elder Norton

ps- Grandma, I'm sending you a letter this week so hopefully you'll get it in a few weeks! Love ya!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Hey  lin junkab'al !! How is everyone doing? It feels kind of weird writing you again so soon because it feels like I just wrote you guys yesterday! It's a little bit difficult to type on this computer because the space bar is really messed up but just chaakuy lin maak and try to look past the errors that there will probably be in this email. Ok.

First of all, sorry that I opened all of my presents  all at once. I guess I should learn more patience. But when I saw the frisbee and the peanut butter I just couldn't wait. Plus all of the little cards  (which by the way, I loved the poems, especially the one about Elder Lusty haha.  He liked it too.)  fell off and I  didn't know which belonged to which so I read a couple to try and find out generally where they belonged and I guess I wasn't really expecting them to say exactlyu wha tthe gift was . So I just opened them all. But I've been saving the candy and things like that to last me a long time so don't worry. But everything was seriously awesome, so thank you all so much, I really loved it. I didn't get the insta snow though, I just assumed that  was the thing you said that you couldn't fit in the package or something.  (We sent him some Insta Snow, but apparently it never got there.  I wonder if someone else in Guatemala is having fun with it right now!)

I'm really glad to hear that you guys are getting into the spirit and are helping other people out, and I'm especially glad to hear that  Matt is making good use of my C.A.W. ( Christmas around the world) Santa suit from 6th grade. I still remember when I was in that suit so long ago. I'm a little bit surprised that Matt fits in it haha, but I'm glad to hear that he does. I wish I could be there to make gingerbread cookies and watch dfferent versions of  "A Christmas Carol" with you guys, but as you both said in your emails, I am here doing the absolute best thing t hat I could possibly do during the Christmas season- -  to bring others unto Christ.  Elder Lopez and I were teaching a lesson the other night and I started to be impressed by the Spirit about some things. I was thinking about the Light of Christ and how cool that topic is. When Christ was born, a new star appeared and light literally entered the world.  I thought about how similarly, when Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ, he saw a pillar of light.  And I think he was born on the winter solstace when more light is starting to enter the world right? Anyways, I was thinking about that, and I thought about the wise men who followed the star to find the Christ . In a similar way, there are so many people who are truly looking for Christ and they just need something to follow. We, especially, in this season, need to be their light that they can follow to come unto Christ. We need to let the light of Christ shine through us to be like the guiding star to others who are seeking the truth. It's just cool how many connections there are and how closely related Christmas and the Restoration of the Gospel are.  Just a little thought for all of you to reflect on.

Here's a little update on my area and the work I'm doing:  Alma was baptized and confirmed so that was really good, and we are still on for Tio Nino's baptism this Saturday, so we're exctied for that. We haven't found any new investigators lately though, so we've got to work a little harder to find some new people to teach. With transfers, there were none.  No transfers at all in Zona Polochic and only 2 in Senahu, so not very many. I don't think President wanted to worry too much about changes right around Christmas. So Elder Lopez and I will be together for another change de plano.  I have to say that things are getting better generally because  we are getting along a little better now, but it's still super hard.  But I'm not going to give up and  I'm going to try especially hard this change to learn what the Lord would have me learn from this companionship. We still haven't found a house. We have given up looking in the center and we are now looking in the more surrounding parts to see if there is anything. We were going to maybe live in the church, but there's nowhere to shower, so we can't. I don't know what will happen if we can 't find a house.  It's possible, and probable  that we'll be taken out for a little bit I would assume. But I honestly hope that that doesn't happen because we really are having success here and I don't want to leave my investigators that are waiting behind. It will be at least another couple of weeks before Ubando can get baptized and we have no idea how long it will take with Carlos and Gilberto.  But if we  do leave I have faith that the Lord will keep them in the right path. Carlos is super pilas so I don 't think he'll stop going to church even if we're not  there.   We have some options that we are maybe going to go look at  today. We'll see what happens though. Today we had our pday in Sacsuha and we played frisbee in a big field all morning and it was GREAT!  I've missed being able to play frisbee and it felt good to run around and just play. But I didn't put on any sunscreen so I got pretty burned.  Oh well I guess! Coban was really awesome. It's kind of like the captial a little bit but way more tranquilo. We'll have to go there and visit wheen you guys come down. And also I'm going to buy all of my clothes from here right before I leave because everything's super cheap here. To answer your questions just a little bit, I didn't get to talk with president Torres, but we are having interviews with him and some training in January. Also the Christmas conference was really cool. The theme was cleansing the inner vessel and faith. He talked about how we have to cleanse the inner vessel and change the things we are doing before we can go out and change what others are doing.   It was cool because there were 6 people from my group out of the 4 zones that were there at the conference. There are 3 of us now in the Polochic/ Senahu. But I'm sitll the only one in Polochic. The other two are in Senahu. The highlight of being in Coban-  I had my first warm shower in forever and it was HEAVENLY.

Alright so now a little bit of things that I need to say. Xben Xben, the call this Saturday. Here's what 's going to happen. I'm going to give you the number of our mission telephone, and you are just going to call me. Not too complicated.  So on Saturday morning, the 25th of December, most commonly known as Christmas Day, you should call me at 9:00 AM, GUATE time. I'm pretty sure that right now it's the same, but just in case, be sure to call me  at 9:00  AM Guat time. I don 't know if you can do this, but if you can put Grandma in as a conference call, that would help me  out a lot. We are only supposed to talk for 1 hour (although all of the missionaries here say that nobody follows this particular rule...) so, if you can work something out like that  then that 's good. If not, I'll just call Grandma once I'm done and just have her call me back. So that's how that should work.  If that time is inconvenient, well that 's too bad haha because that's when it's got to be.  If you haven't called me by 9:10, I'm just going to call you and have you call me back, but I trust you guys to call me at 9:00 AM (don't forget that it's in the morning.)   Well I hope that all of you have a super week this week and that you all know that I'm thinking about all of you and missing you. I know this is where I'm supposed to be and that the people here need me to be here to help them. Thank you for all of your love and advice that you have given me in your last emails, I really really appreciate  it.  I can't wait to talk to you all this Saturday and I'm super excited  to hear  your voices! Love you all so much!! Have a great week and I'll talk to you soon!  

Elder Norton                                                                                              


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baptisms, Christmas Presents, and Getting Kicked Out of Our House

Chan xeeril lin junkab'al?? How is everyone doing? Sorry that this email is a little bit late, but our pday changed because of the Christmas conference in Coban. It turned out that we weren't going to have the conference until this week. So yes, right now I'm here in Coban for pday and I have to say I'm pretty exahausted. We had to wake up this morning at 3:00 to get on a bus to take us to Coban so that we could be there by 6:30. Once we got here, we walked around a LOT shopping for things and getting food and everything. It's actually legitimately cold here in the mornings and the nights. Not as cold as there of course but for us chapines it's cold. But it's chab'il.  This morning I saw Elder Dixon who is my good buddy from my BYU ward because he's here right now in Coban and it was a joyous reunion. AND his companion this change is one of my best friends from the CCM, Elder Underwood! I thought that he was still in the capital, so it was really good to see him. They are both doing really well. it was kind of funny that they are companions because they are 2 of the people that I wanted to see most here haha. So that was fun. Also, another elder from my group got an emergency tranfser up to Senahu this past week, so there are 3 of us now here in the Polochic which is cool.

A LOT has happened since the last time that I wrote. We baptized familia Rax this past saturday and they were confirmed into the church on Sunday!! I was really happy that we got everything taken care of and that we could get them married and everything so that it would all work out. We had a nice little service for them and had some of our investigators come to their baptism too, so it was a neat experience. And yes, I know she really is a child, but he's so much worse! and he's 21!  He is the one that really has the mind of a child haha. But we love him all the same, and he's a good guy.  I didn't end up baptizing them because our branch mission leader knew them really well so they wanted him to baptize them. But it's all good because I'm going to baptize someone this Saturday because we have another baptism with Alma!  She has been to church 3 times and is really pilas (intelligent/cool/goodd/awesome- these are all words that we associate with "pilas") so our DL, Elder Howard came down this Monday and interviewed her and she's all ready to go for this Saturday. So that's really exciting! Divisions with Elder Howard was awesome. He is really good at Q'eqchi' and is a really fun elder, so we had a lot of fun. We actually taught in Q'eqchi' too, which was good. With Elder Lopez, we haven't taught hardly at all in Q
'eqchi' because his policy is if they understasnd even a little bit of Spanish (which most everybody does) he just teaches in Spanish. And we haven't worked hardly at all outside of the center and the surrounding areas that are really close. So with Elder Howard we went to an area further up on a mountain and we contacted and taught some in Q'eqchi'. He taught me a lot while we walked and everything, so it was really helpful and I learned a lot. ALSO, we set another fecha this week for the 25th of December with a man we call Tio Nino. He is the brother in law of one of our most active and pilas members here and he is living with her family right now. We weren't teaching him at all (I didn't realize that he wasn't a member I don't think..) and we went to their house on Sunday, and as soon as we walked in they told us "Tio Nino wants to get baptized!" So that was a bit of a surprise, but a pleasant one for sure. So we taught him and talked to him for a while and set a fecha for Christmas day since he's been to church before. Ubando will probably be baptized in a couple of weeks, we just have to wait until he has 7 times in church and  to get permission from his parents, so things are progressing well there. We also found out that Gilberto and Carlos, whose dad has 7 women, live in a house apart from the others. Or in other words, only them and their mom live in their house, not all 7 and their families like we originally thought. So we're going to talk to President Torres tomorrow to see what we can do and when they can get baptized. Out of all of our investigators right now, Carlos is the most pilas. He really wants to be baptized and he understands all of the things that we talk about. He is just a righteous spirit and he has so much faith. So I really hope that they can get baptized soon. Maybe next change. The work is going well here despite problems we've had. The only bad thing right now is that we are getting kicked out of our house. The owners of our house are going to remodel , so we have to have a new house by the first of January. This wouldn't be that big of a deal, but there are literally no houses left in Tucurú now. There was once, but the mission didn't approve it. So if things don't work  out, it's possible that President will take missionaries out of Tucurú for a while, which I definitely don't want! So we'll see what happens. 

Alright, now to get out a few things I need to say, (I am just about out of time.)

Loved the packages that i got. I have to admit I opened them all. Sorry mom :) (We sent him the 12 days of Christmas, but apparently he just had 1 day of Christmas!  Little Stinker!) But everything was great and I really loved it all. Thank you all so much for everything! But the only thing that I could ask for more is a more recent picture of all of you when you get the chance the next time. :) you're all the best. Also, I beg to differ that I am in fact gaining weight based on the fact that my shirts are all a little bit big, so you just can' t tell that's all.
Also I saw someone wearing a BVN shirt.  (That is Jace's high school here in Kansas.  Isn't that crazy!)

Well I have to go, sorry but I love you all so much,. Don't know the deets about the call, I'll find out. Just let the moms tell you what it is. Love you all so much!!

Chab'il ralankil! (Merry Christmas!!!!)


Elder Norton

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Close Call Fall in Tambayal

Hola querido familia mia! Ma sa sa' lee ch'ool?

I hope you are all doing well and that you are having fun together! I'm glad that you got all of my letters and my pictures too and that you guys enjoyed all of that. It's not much, but I thought I ought to at least do something special for you for Christmas. So I'm glad those got to you and everything. Also, I got my packages! I am so excited for them and thank you so much for sending them and for being such great supportive parents. I just got them today so I haven't opened them yet, but I'm sure that I will love what's inside. :) Well Elder Wixom's parent's took a video and some photos of me to send to you guys so I wonder why you haven't gotten them yet. They're probably just as busy as you guys with their son coming home too. So hopefully you can get that soon so you can have a video of me to watch. I'm glad that you liked all of the pictures I sent. Tucuru is beautiful huh? I love it here a lot. I told you that it's so mountainous! But really pretty everywhere. I will try and send you some pictures to show you how dusty it is here too. I really love the families here too. They are really diverse though. Some people live in concrete houses and are fairly well off, and others live in huts and have nothing. Then there are some people that live in huts with satellite tv. So yeah it's pretty diverse here, and my area is really big so that's part of it too. But regardless, everyone here lives a simple life. The husbands usually work and the rest of the family just stays at home and kids are always walking out in the streets, lighting firecrackers and playing soccer all the time. It seems kind of boring compared to the kind of lifestyle that we have in the states, but the people here are all generally happy and just live their lives. Sometimes I think I would like more of a lifestyle like that. The thing that I really like about some of the families here is that they all live close to each other. They are always doing things together and they go to church together, some of them, and just things like that. I definitely want that for us! We should just all live in Kansas and do fun stuff together with all of our families all of the time. That's what I'm planning on doing at least. =P

Wow time is passing by really quickly here! This change has been going by so fast it's almost hard to believe! I thought for sure it would be a really slow change, but the Lord is definitely helping me out a lot and helping me to work hard and to keep having a positive attitude here in Tucuru. Elder Lopez is still my companion and therefore didn't have an emergency change. Although, up until Thursday he was really worried that he would have an emergency change. But apparently the ZL's told President Torres everything I told them and I guess that it's not time for Elder Lopez to leave yet. I guess maybe one of the safest spots for Elder Lopez to be is with me since I guess President Torres knows now that he can trust me to keep my leaders informed on things he does. And Elder Lopez has changed a little bit I guess. So I'll just have to keep being a good example to him and keeping an eye on him to make sure that he doesn't do anything that he regrets. But in all honesty, he needs to not be here. He's told me a lot that he doesn't want to be here anyways, and because of that he doesn't study Q'eqchi' at all and just tries to study English. He said that he was going to tell President Torres at the Christmas conference that he doesn't want to be here anymore. So I guess we'll see if he's still here next change. But other that that, things are going pretty well here. The work continues to go on, and things are going really well with our investigators. Familia Rax is going to be baptized this Saturday hopefully! They were only waiting on their paperwork to be able to get married, and we got all of their paperwork this last week, so now all they have to do is get married! The only problem is that she's a minor and therefore she has to have a witness, or someone who's responsible for her in order to be able to get married. Her family abandoned her and she's been living with a member in our ward for some time now, so we're hoping that this Sister that she's been living with can be her guardian. So hopefully we'll have their baptism this Saturday! Other than that we have a lot of youth that are investigating the church pretty seriously right now. We have one 13 year old boy named Ubando whose family was investigating the church 11 years ago supposedly, but stopped because they were offended by a member. But he's awesome and treats us like kings every time we come over. He will hopefully get baptized really soon, we just have to figure out what else we have to do with him. Then we have an 18 year old girl named Alma who has come to church twice and asked us when she can get baptized. We've only taught her twice though, so we have to teach her a lot more, but hopefully she can get baptized soon too. Then we have Gilberto and his brother Carlos who I think I already explained their situation. Their dad has 7 wives that all live in the same house, so they are going to probably have to wait a while and come to church a LOT before president Torres authorizes us to baptize them.

The highlighting cool experience this week happened in a place called Tambayal which is up on a big mountain basically. There is a pretty nice little path that goes up to Tambayal, but it's super steep and pretty long. The path goes up in a zig zag pattern so that it's not quite as steep. It had been raining earlier inthe day and with all of the mud and everything the path was extremely slippery. We made it to the top without any problems and talked with a family there and had a good lesson with them. Then on the way down, I was walking normally and came to a particularly slippery patch on the path. I started to slide and couldn't stop myself and so I veered off into what I thought was just a little patch of grass off the the left. It turned out that the little patch that I thought was grass was really just some weeds and rocks. So I tripped on one of the rocks there and started to fall as if I was going to start rolling. I knew that where I was falling was where the path dropped off onto the path underneath and was abouth a 4 foot fall at least. So as I fell I tried to stop my self by grabbing some of the weeds which of course just ripped out. I really have no idea what happened, but somehow I came out of the roll and landed on my feet on the path below without a scratch. So I called it my "close call fall in Tambayal" which I thought was kind of clever.  It was actually kind of fun haha. (Xintane' sa' Tambayal = I fell down in Tambayal.)  Elder Lopez saw the whole thing happen and told me that I was really lucky because I shouldn't have landed on my feet in the first place, and if I hadn't I would have kept going off the steep incline just a couple feet away. So I knew that the Lord had protected me and kept me completely and perfectly safe. And it makes for a good story haha.

What did you guys think ofthe Christmas devotional last night? I really liked it a lot, even though I only got to watch it in Spanish, it was still really meaningful and there was a lot of awesome things in it. I liked a lot how they related the Christmas season to the restoration of the Gospel, and how Christmas should be a time where we think about the birth of our Savior, but also the restoration of His church. I liked how President Uchtdorf talked about how we need to remember Christ's life, and then obey his commandments all the more especially in this season. Love was definitely a central theme and is something that is so true. We have to have love to have Christ's spirit, which is the spirit of Christmas. Think a lot about the things in the devotional and apply them as a family and I promsie you'll have a fun and spirit filled Christmas (even though I'm not there mom =P)

Kinzie- I read your patriarchal blessing and WOW it was cool! You really are really special (and not just in the way that Dad means that when he tells you that =P) but of course I didn't need to read your blessing to know your potential. Remember that your blessing isn't so much who you are right now, but more who you have the potential to become with the Lord's help. Always work hard to be the person in your blessing. Always read your blessing and follow every thing written in it with exactness and you'll be so blessed. Love you!:)

Jack- Hey bud I heard you tried out for A Midsummer Night's Dream in your school! That's awesome. Whatever part you get, you'll be awesome and steal the show. Good luck and let me know when you find out your part. What do you want for Christmas this year? What are you going to ask for from Santa *wink wink* =P Write me an email when you have some time, I'd love you hear from you an Kinzie both.

Matt- how's home life? Heard you have been house sitting for Hayley? Lucky you, that's the best job in the world. Make sure you're keeping your mission habits up and don't just play video games all the time! Help mom out for me as much as possible with Christmas stuff. She needs some help this year. Serve her and others as much as you can while you're home and you'll have a really good experience this Christmas. I love you bro and I can't wait to room with you in BYU!

Dad- Thanks for all of your advice about Elder Lopez and everything. When at first I was deciding on whether or not I needed to tell some one, I thought about what you would do, or what you would say if I asked you what I should do. So thanks for being the kind of Dad that has raised me right in everything. I really can't thank you enough for helping me to be who I am and for wanting to be obedient like you. You're the best. Make sure to root hard for BYU basketball for me and let me know how old Jimmer is doing. You better have a pretty good workout plan lined up old man =P I want to go on some cool bike rides with all of you when I get back.

Mom- I miss you a ton too especially during this time of year! Everytime I listen to my Christmas music I miss you a lot and think about you! Especially songs that we sang in ward choir! Thanks for helping me have great Christmas memories with you. Even though I won't be there this year, you will all have a really fun Christmas. It sounds like you're really busy with everything, but just worry more about the Spirit of the season and providing service for others and spreading love, and then the real spirit of Christmas, the Spirit of Christ will come and help all of you to have an awesome Christmas. Decorating and presents and everything else will come, don't worry. Thanks so much for my packages and don't even worry about little mistakes, it's all fine :) You're the best mom and I love you!

Well I'm out of time, but I sure love all of you guys and miss you tons. Even though I won't be there for Christmas, just remember that I'm thinking about you and that I'm spreading the knowledge and joy that comes from a knowledge of Christ's life. I love you guys and I'll talk to you all soon!! Can't wait!

Elder Norton
Loq'laj Kaqi wiinq


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

People Are So Poor, They Don't Eat Anything on Sunday So They Can Come to Church

All of these kids came running up to us when we got to Vina Roz.  It was awesome

These kids in Chulac really wanted us to take a picture with them.

Me and my city, Tucuru, from up above.  

The dirtiest I have ever been!

My shirt was surprisingly dirty.

No idea how that happened!

The clothes of a hard working missionary!
Hola mi familia!  Como estan todos?  I love and miss you all tons!  I hope everyone is doing really well and that you are all happy and having fun with life.  (As much as is reasonable without me at least : )  I hope you like all of the pictures.  Well, I've had a good change here and its gone by really fast.  If every change gets faster and faster, I'll be done before I even realize it.  I love Tucuru a lot.  Its really a great place and I love the people here.  I'm excited to stay here for a while and really help out this little branch here.  It's weird how much of a difference the little things make.  You don't know how important home and visiting teachers are until you don't have them.  I never really realized how lucky we are to have such a great ward in Kansas.  Some people here have to come from really far away.  A lot of the people are so poor that they don't eat anything on Sunday so that they can come to church.  They have to pay for rides to church, so they can't buy food.  There are some people here that literally don't have an income, and yet they pay tithing every week, and more than 10% too. Its just been really easy to take everything I had back in the states for granted and coming down here I've realized how important every little thing in the church is.  We really are blessed.  So keep that in mind!

I've never done so much walking in my life ever!  I wish I could show you on google earth how far we walk on an average day.  My legs are seriously going to be "molten lava-hard" when I get home.  And Tucuru is really mountainous all over.  There's never a day when we're not climbing up, then going back down good sized mountains.  But like I said, my legs will be in great shape.  Speaking of health, I'm pretty sure I'm gaining weight.  I don't have a scale or anything, but just by looking I'm pretty sure that I am. (We all laughed at this because he looks as skinny as ever in his pictures!)  All of the walking we do makes me extremely hungry and I'm usually never full.  I'm not going to lie, I eat a lot of junk food.  I buy a lot of chips and cookies, and corn tortillas also supposedly make you gain weight.  So maybe I'll be normal sized when I get home!

The lessons we teach are always fun.  People usually give us something to eat when we go, or something to drink. They always share what little they have. Our schedule is a bit different than missionaries in other parts of the world.  It gets dark really early here, so by about 6:00 it's night time, so we don't take an hour for dinner at 6 and we work until usually about 8:00 and then go in for dinner.  We have had a lot of lessons in the dark here because no one (Q'eqchis) usually has any bright light, just little oil lamps or fires is all.  It's also a bit difficult because so many people here don't know how to read.  More people know how to read Spanish, but not very many people can read Q'eqchi.  So its a lot harder to use the scriptures as much with a lot of people, but I don't think that's a good excuse to not use them.  I need to try harder to use the scriptures, especially The Book of Mormon more during lessons.  Now, when its dark AND they don't know how to read, then its pretty hard.  But its great.  I really love it here.  Q'eqchi is going pretty well.  I know the Lord is really helping so much with this language.  There are some days where I get really discouraged and feel like I don't know Spanish or Q'eqchi.  But I know the Lord is helping me learn Q'eqchi and I'm understanding a lot more now.  I still have troule speaking, but I just have to put in my part to really be able to speak well.  

So just for your information, I'll give you a little Q'eqchi lesson.  With Q'eqchi there isn't any kind of verb that means "to be".  That verb is just implied with the adjectives you use.  So for example, the word for "I" in Q'eqchi is "La in" (Lah-een), but it also means "I am".  This is where it gets kind of weird.  The word for man is "Wiinq" (kweenq - the Q is like making a k sound but back in the throat as if you did it with your mouth really wide open.)  So, in Q'eqchi to say "I am a man" you would say "wiinqin"- the "in" at the end of the word is a pronoun that they attach to the end of the word to indicate the verb "to be".  Pretty crazy huh?  Its a tough concept to handle since in both English and Spanish there is a verb for "to be".   

Alright family, I love you all tons.  I think about you and pray for you all the time. Thanks for being such an awesome family and for being such a great support for me. I miss you!  Chexrosob'tesi li qachoxahil Yuwa'  (May our Heavenly Father bless all of you).  Nekexinrah chi anchal inch'ool (I love all of you with all of my heart).  Itexwil sa' jun may po! (See you all in 20 months!)

Con mucho amor,
Lee ralal junelik,
Laj Elder Norton

Monday, November 29, 2010

What I Would Give to Have Just One Slice of Apple Pie Right Now!

Hey family! Chan xeeril? (how did you watch yourselves?)

How are all of you doing? Sounds like from your emails that you are all doing really great.
Ok so let me talk more now about the actual work I'm doing since I haven't told you all very much about that. This week was not very good in terms of the work because of what's been going on and because Elder Lopez was sick. But generally things are going really well! We have 3 youth that we are working with to get baptized that all want to be baptized. They are Carlos, 14 years old, Gilberto, 17 years old, and Yasmin, 21 years old. There's just one tiny little problem: their dad has 7 wives. So they live in a house where the dad lives with 7 other women all in the same place. We talked to President Torres about this and because they live in a place where the Spirit can't be, it's going to take longer for them to get baptized and he is going to have to come and interview them and their parents in order for them to be baptized. And they have to all be baptized at once or not at all is the deal. 

Then we also have Carlos and Yuli Rax. They are a funny couple and are really ready for baptism. Neither of them speaks Spanish as their maternal language but she doesn't speak Q'eqchi', so they have to speak in Spanish to each other. Honestly they are very simple people with very simple minds. We have to teach them like little children because they just don't understand things very well, but they have really strong faith and really want to get baptized. They have been investigating the church since before I came here but haven't been able to get baptized because they haven't been able to get married yet. Here you have to take your identification papers out from a civil registry to get married and she is only 14 so she's a minor. To make things worse she didn't really know her full name or her birthday for sure, so we had to guess on some things to be able to take her papers out. But we were able to go to the civil registry and work things out with them. So the plan is to get her papers on Thursday and from there we're going to see how soon we can get them married and baptized! We think definitely in the next month or so, maybe even next week. So that's pretty exciting. 

With Elder Lopez, we've mostly only worked in the center and in the playa which is close to the center and where most of the people speak Spanish. We haven't been teaching hardly at all in Q'eqchi' even when the people understand Q'eqchi' better which isn't good. Elder Lopez says that he would rather just teach in Spanish, so I'm going to try really hard to help with that so we can teach more in Q'eqchi'. This past week our branch president was made district president (like stake president, only for branches) and we got a new branch president. Our new president is really great and has already given us references and I can tell that he is going to help us out a ton. So I'm excited to get to work with him. We have a ton of inactive families here. There are about 500 members here and only about 70 come to church, so we're going to work hard to try and reactivate some of the families here. I promised one less active family that if they came to church 4 times in a row I'd make them a cake. They have 3 times coming to church in a row, so I'm getting a little nervous because I have no idea how to make a cake. Looks Like I'll have to get the help of a member here haha!

Q'eqchi' is coming along really really well. This past week I've learned a ton of Q'eqchi'. I started reading Lix Hu Laj Mormon and tinxtenq'a chi tzolok lie q'eqchi' (it will help me to learn Q'eqchi'.) It takes forever to read because I analyze everything grammatically and try and figure out what everything says literally and what it means and I have to look words up all the time. But It's really helped me a ton. I write down all of the words I don't know that aren't in the dictionary in my little notebook and I write all of the things that I want to know down and I've been having members help me figure out what they mean and how to say things. This week I've really felt like I've learned a ton and I feel like already I can talk more and can say more things. There is truly a power in the Book of Mormon with languages that I can feel.

Well it sounds like you all had a fun Thanksgiving. Glad to hear that Harry Potter wasn't a disaster like the last one. I can't tell you what I would give to have just one slice of apple pie right now. I would give a LOT. I'm sorry I wasn't there to help you finish off the pies. It's crazy that Christmas is coming up so soon right? I'm excited for Christmas here even though it will be hard without you, the members are great and I know that they'll take good care of me. I think that my packages are already both here so I should get them by next week at the latest. I haven't read kinzie's patriarchal blessing yet but I am going to print it off and read it today. Same with Matt's talk actually. Sounds like Matt gave an awesome talk and long too! Haha way to go Matt. And let me know how FF 13 is haha. And Kinzie, Dad told me about the "waldo rapist" stroy haha. I think you were thinking of the "where's waldo rapist" which is completely different haha =P.  (There is an area of Kansas City called Waldo, and they have been trying to catch a rapist there.  McKinzie thought that he was called the Waldo rapist because they were having such a hard time catching him, just like Where's Waldo.  We all got a good laugh out of that!)

Well shoot, I'm pretty much out of time, but I really love and miss all of you. Thank you so much for your support and your love that I feel every week. I couldn't do what I do here without you to lift me up and keep me going. I love you all tons and I'm so thankful for a family that is so strong in the Gospel. I can't wait to talk to you all in a month! Love you all tons!

Elder Norton
Loq'laj Kaqi Wiinq

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey Family!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

How are all of you?? Thanks for all of your great emails that I got. I always feel so uplifted and supported when I read all of your emails and your testimonies and insights strengthen me so much. So thank you. I want you to know that I am thankful for all of you. Every day I thank my Heavenly Father for you and for the love and support that I feel from you and for all of the happiness that you all have given me. I really can't express very well over an email how much I am truly thankful for you, but just know that the thing that gives me the most happiness is thinking about living with all of you forever with our Heavenly Father. I know that we are going to be together forever if we just stay on the path that we're already on. You all have such strong testimonies of this gospel and I know that as a family we will all be able to make it through this life and move on to eternal happiness and blessings in the next. I want you all to know that I know this church is true. It is the only completely true and living church on the face of the earth and I am so thankful that we are a part of it. I know with all the feelings of my heart that this church is the church of Jesus Christ. I'm thankful for the innumerable blessings that we have received from our Heavenly Father and for all of His tender mercies that He has given us. Just thinking about things like our car accident and all of the miracles that happened in that moment and all of the tender mercies that we have had since then, I can't thank the Lord enough for his mercy, protection and love. I'm thankful for Jesus Christ. I have come to know more now than I ever have before His love for me and for all of us. I know that he has already paid the price for us to be able to repent. I know that he has suffered every thing that we have suffered or felt or will suffer or feel. He is truly our kind, loving, and perfect friend. I know that he has mighty power to heal and to forgive, and I have personally felt that power in my life.

It sounds like all of you are doing really great which makes me really happy. I want you to know that I'm doing really great too. Things are hard at times of course, but the hardest times are the times when you know the Savior best a lot of the times I think. As I was walking one day in the heat, I was suffering pretty badly. I was thinking about how the sun is supposed to represent the Savior and I thought "That metaphor doesn't fit in this case. I can see the sun right now, but I'm suffering a lot and so it doesn't fit." But the Lord taught me something that I needed to learn. Many times, the times when we see the "sun" are the times when it's hottest. Our trials and afflictions and temptations are what help us look to the Son more, and we are cleansed and made pure through the "furnace of afflictions."

That's awesome about Kinzie's patriarchal blessing! I really wish I could have been there! For sure send me a copy of her blessing so I can read it. I just want to tell you Kinzie how proud I feel of you. Thank you for your email that you sent me, it really meant a lot to me. As your older brother, I want you to know that I love you and I am proud of the decisions you have made to follow the Lord and I'm so proud of your strong testimony that I could feel in your letter to me. Keep doing what you're doing. You sound like you are doing absolutely great with seminary and with school and with the church. I know that the promises you recieved in your blessing are real and that like you said, they are based on your righteousness. Just like the Liahona in the Book of Mormon, the things in your patriarchal blessing only work according to your faith and your dilligence. Always strive to be righteous and to keep improving yourself to become more like the Savior. I'm so glad that I've been able to do something right and that I've been able to have somewhat of a good influence on you. Always try to think of what the Savior would do. =) I love you Kinzie.

Jack- hey buddy I just wanted to write you really quickly and let you know I love you. I hope you're doing well and that you are having fun in school and everything still. As you prepare to receive the priesthood in a couple of months try your best to think about how big of a responsibility it is to hold such a powerful and sacred gift. The priesthood is power from God that he gives to us to do things in his name, and to do things that he wants us to do. John the baptist had this same power when he baptized Jesus. So just remember how important this will be in your life and try to make decisions so that you'll always be worthy to hold this gift. Try now to follow the Spirit. Follow what you feel is right in your heart. Kind of like your conscience. Never do anything that you don't feel in your heart is right, even if your friends do or if you want to. Keep up your good work hermanito :) Love you.

Mom- you are the best! I am really excited for my 2 packages that you sent. I was at a district conference yesterday and talked to Sister Torres who told me that you had written her to ask her about sedning me things. She told me that she could tell that I had an awesome mom who really cared about me and supported me. I told her she was right :) You are really the best and you are so thoughtful. I'm thankful for your guidance and love that you have given me all of my life and for your choices to follow the Lord and his example. Hopefully I'll get my packages in a couple of weeks at our Christmas conference. If not I don't know when I'll get them. Be sure to make some especially delicious pies for me this year. And don't worry, I think Matt will be able to cover my share of the pies pretty easily. Love you mom! :)

Dad- Thanks for your advice about companions. I have a feeling that I'm going to need that advice soon. I am so thankful for the best example and Dad I could ever have. You're the best dad. I love you so much!

Well sorry but I'm out of time and I have to go, but I love you so much!!! Happy Thanksgiving! I'll talk to you all soon!!

Elder Norton

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Little By Little I'm Learning Q'eqchi

Lin junkab'al! Ma sa sa' eech'ool?

Well another week has passed here in the Polochic and I am into my second change here in the mission. My new companion is a latino from El Salvador. Elder Lopez xk'ab'a. He is super friendly and a really nice guy. He's a convert to the church and is the only member in his family, so I have a lot of respect for him because of that. Things are a little different than they were with Elder Wixom in better and in worse ways. I feel good about our companionship though and I feel like we are going to work well together. It's a little difficult though because I'm still not used to talking in Spanish all of the time. But I'm getting used to that pretty quickly. I don't understand near as much when it's not about the Gospel haha. Elder Lopez isn't quite as worried about being really obedient and things like that, so I'm just going to have to try my best to be a good example for him and show him love to help him. He was in the Polochic 8 months ago for 3 changes but got transferred to coban and then to the cap. So he learned a little bit of Q'eqchi', but he's forgotten a lot. He can understand a little more than me and I can talk a little more than him. So for now it's working out ok. But I really feel pressure and motivation to really learn Q'eqchi' and really devote all of the time I have to learning it, so hopefully I'll be able to learn a little quicker now. During the week I was on divisions with Elder Gutierrez and we got along really well. He speaks 
Q'eqchi' really well so I took him up to San Jose concepción where Elder Wixom and I had a lot of lessons and contacts and everything. We didn't have nearly as much success when we went up there. There weren't that many people there and all of the kids just followed us around and made fun of us and annoyed us. The problem is that there is a church up there and people don't want to have to walk all the way down to the center just to go to church on Sunday, so they just go to the church up there. If we had a church building up there I know we could baptize at least half of the aldea. So hopefully someday that will happen. There are tons of areas like that in my area. Our area is so big and has so many aldeas and hardly any of the people that live in those aldeas will progress because going to church is so hard. So I think that I need to really focus my efforts on the parts closer to the center and strengthen our branch so that the church can grow here. We had a ton of people at church yesterday which was good. We had 80 people there which is about 20 more than we would have on a good day. Part of that though was that Elder Wixom was coming back to visit. With all of the people we wanted to come to church I told them that it would be their last chance to see Elder Wixom, and it worked with some people haha. It was actually kind of hard to see him with his parents there at church because, well, first of all it made me think of you guys picking Matt up and secondly it made me think of when you will come to pick me up. And I refuse to be baggy when I only have 4 months! But it was cool to see them and everything. I gave Elder Wixom a little package to send home to you guys once he gets home. It's not much just my pictures from this last change and then letters for everyone. Also his parents took some pictures and I gave them your email so that they can send everything to you. So you should be getting an email with some pictures from them soon. And they also took a little video of me to send to you guys so hopefully Matt will be able to help you guys open that and watch it. This week was a pretty good week though all in all. The only bad thing is that we haven't gone out to work in the morning since Wednesday. Thursday when Elder Lopez came to Tucurú he said he had to wake up at 4 in the morning and that he was really tired so he was going to take a little nap. Well he ended up sleeping until after lunch almost, so that was kind of lame. Then Friday we had to do our weekly planning session in the morning since we didn't get to Thursday. Saturday we had service that took all morning. And tomorrow we are going to have service all morning too. So I'm excited to be able to actually go out and work in the morning. Things are a little more challenging than before now. I'm the one who has to plan and keep track of our dats and things like that. So that's a little bit hard because I still feel like I don't know the area too well. But I can feel even more the Lord's hand helping us and guiding us to where we need to be. And Q'eqchi' is still really hard, but timil timil yookin chi tzolok li Q'eqchi'. (little by little I'm learning Q'eqchi')

Elder Jordan Smith did get transferred to the Polochic, and as a matter of fact he is in my district. He's a really cool elder and I'm excited to get to know him better and everything. He's really nice so we already get along really well. Plus we're both the new ones to Q'eqchi' and everything so we can relate. He's in a pure Q'eqchi' area and it's really mountainous there too so I'm sure it's difficult. But I can already tell that he'll do really well and that he'll work hard to get the language. So yeah it's fun to be in a district with him and everything.

Well I'm really happy that Matt is home and transitioning really well and enjoying his time with all of you guys. I'm glad that Kinzie and Jack haven't killed him yet. (just kidding!) I'm happy to hear he hasn't changed too much from his old self and I hope that he won't change too much from his old self in the next 2 years. I'm also mad that he didn't write me! Now that he has all the time in the world to write and doesn't have any kind of time limits the least he could do is drop me a line! Just kidding Matt I'm sure between Mom, Dad, and the kids, they are all keeping you busy. I hope you're having fun and enjoying the cold weather there in Kansas! I'm going to DIE when I have to go back to being in cold weather again. Matt, you should open a facebook account so you can socialize more! Mom and Kinzie can show you how to use it!

Well it's really hard for me to not be there with all of you guys, but I know I'm here for the right reasons and that time is just going to fly by now that Matt is home. So Don't worry I'll be home before you know it! I love all of you so much and I can't wait to get to talk to you all for Christmas. Sorry that I didn't get to write all of you more individually, but next time I will for sure! Nekexinrah chi anchal inch'ool. 

Love you!

Elder Norton

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Great Week in the Polochic!


(This is the sound we make when we are standing outside of someone's
house. Kind of like an owl haha. Speaking of owl, just a fun fact
Tucurù comes from the words Tukur and u which mean owl and face, so
Tucurù is supposed to mean face of the owl.)

Well I am feeling really, really weird right now. I can hardly beleive
that Matt is done. The parallels between Matt and Elder Wixom have
made it even weirder for me too. The same kinds of things happened
with Elder Wixom. People loved him a lot and they all gave him food
and gave him shoutouts in their testimonies in church and everything.
I feel so proud of Matt that he has made such a profound impact on so
many people and that he has grown so much. I can just feel from your
descriptions that he is in the best shape of his whole life. I'm so
proud to have him as my brother and right now I miss him more than
ever. I wish more than anything that I could be there with you all to
pick him up and I feel sa ut ra sa' inch'ool (happiness and pain in my
heart). I'm so happy for him but it's so hard to not be able to be
there with you guys. But I'm more happy than I am sad haha. I'm
excited for him to be home with everyone! Be sure that you guys have
an extra fun time in Cali for me ok?

Alright well, I'm actually not in the capital. They made some changes
and so I just stayed here in the Polochic and am on divisions with
Elder Gutierrez whose companion is also going home. So I have all of
that money that I took out but no camera to buy. I heard that I can
just talk to Sister Torres and have her pick one up for me or
something like that. So I'll figure that out. I got my package today
because we are in Telemàn with the ZLs again. Thank you so much! I am
so excited to be able to eat real american candy haha! The junior
mints are kind of a mess though haha. But as always mom, your clever
and creative packaging and labels never cease to amaze me. So thanks.

Regarding changes: So I'm definitely staying in Tucurù and my second
trainer is supposedly going to be Elder Howard which makes me really
excited! We don't know for sure, but he is supposed to be my new
compa. He's been in the Polochic for something like 7 months or
something like that and is a really fun elder. He is an AMAZING artist
and has really funny stories haha. So if it's him I'm really excited
for my next change with him. I'm a little nervous because I have to
take on a lot more responsibility for the area now since I'll be the
one that knows more about the area. But I'm going to rely on the
Lord's help and we're going to have a really great change. He is
really good about studying for Q'eqchi' and has made some verb charts
and things like that that a lot of elders use, including me. So I'm
excited for that, but I'll let you guys know for sure what happens
next week!

This past week was the best week of our change. We worked the hardest
this last week that we ever have. We had 131% animo, which is
basically a standardized statistic to show how well elders are using
their time. Elder Wixom says that he's never seen anyone get over
115%, so I guess we broke a record somewhere probably. So it was a
really great week.

We were working in an area called San Julian which is pretty far up to
the west on a mountain. Basically all of our appointments fell for the
day until 6 at night, so we had about 3 hours of time where we didn't
have anything to do. Elder Wixom had heard that there was an aldea
called San Jose-Concepciòn somewhere fairly close to where we were, so
he asked how long it took to get there. They all told us about 20
minutes, so we decided to go up there and check it out.  An hour and 20
minutes later we got to San Jose-conception. It took forever!! We
walked up the steepest and longest road I've ever walked on and it was
raining pretty consistently and everything. We were up in the clouds
and so we couldn't see anything basically, so we kept thinking that
"maybe it's just around this turn" and we didn't turn back. We found
out that missionaries had never been up there before and were able to
spend about 10 minutes there contacting before we had to go back. To
give you an idea of how hard it was, when we got to the top and it was
still raining, I was literally steaming, and it wasn't cold. That was
last Friday I think. So then this week we told them we'd come back. So
we left early one morning to go up again. This time was much harder
than the last time. It was really sunny and really hot and I forgot to
bring water with me so I was dying! But the rewards were sweet. We
taught 8 lessons, had 25 new investigators, and had 67 contacts in 4
hours! It was crazy. So that is what really boosted our animo so much.

So it was a great week. The people in Tucurù really loved Elder Wixom
even though he was only here 3 months. Members fed us all day Sunday
to honor Elder Wixom, and one family went all the way to Coban to
pick him up a pizza on Saturday night. It was really cool to see and
inspired me to work really hard here and gain the confidence and trust
of the members and nonmembers here to have the same kind of love and
confidence that Elder Wixom had.

Alright well the only other thing that I can think of that I need to
say is that I definitely need a family picture as soon as Matt gets
home. And also some pictures of the house because people always ask to
see that here. And I was wondering if you could get that picture that
Siter Cockriel took for the ward bulletin that one time of all of us
and send that to me? I want one of all of you without me and then one
with me :)

Matt- well I figure you'll have more time now to read my "mass email"
and since you won't be using your other email now, I'll just give you
a shoutout here. You talked with people who were from Guat??  That's
awesome! I have to find Guat people when I come back so I can talk to
them about this great country haha. Do you know if they spoke another
language or anything? Thanks for your advice about the Testigos and
about their family. We're going to just keep showing them love and go
by the spirit to keep them in the church and to help them out as best
as we can. Well, I'm so proud of you bro for your hard work and
service. From what Mom and Dad told me I know that you gained the
hearts of the people in California and that you were such an influence
for good there and throughout your mission. I can't tell you how proud
that makes me feel of you and how happy I am for you. I know that your
testimony has grown so much and that you have changed a lot on your
mission. Thanks for being such a great example and thanks for your
dedication to the Lord. I love you and can't wait for when I get to
see you in 2 years. Don't worry about the transition back into the
real world. You'll do great. DATE LOTS OF GIRLS. At BYU its pretty
easy haha. Have a fun time there and just keep the habits you've made
on your mission to keep growing and serving the Lord. We will swap
mission stories in 2 years! Love you bro.

Alright, well my time is up, so I've got to go now. But I love all of
you tons. Have fun in California and let me know about all of the
things you guys do together. Thanks again for the package and for all
of your support. I love you guys!!!

nekexinrah chian yal inch'ool,
Laj Elder Norton