"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

Monday, November 1, 2010

Things are Going Really Well For Me Down Here in Guate

Hola familia! How are all of  you? I'm sure you're all really baggy about Matt coming home next week! Haha  that's so awesome and really weird for me. It's hard to believe I haven't seen him for so long. And even harder to believe that I won't see him for another 2 years. You need to all have an extra fun time with him for me and let me know how everything goes.

Well I'm here in El Estor today for pday with my district and our neighboring district. The other district was going to El Estor, and since we just have us and the hermanas we decided to go too. So once again we left yesterday and went to Teleman to stay with the ZL's. We've stayed at  their house the past 3 sundays in a row! But it's fun to get to be around some of the other Elders. They really are great and I love all of them. Anyways, this morning we came up to El Estor and we are going to spend the day here. It's a really nice area of the Polochic and is in the valley so it's pretty hot here. It's probably not all that nice to you americans, but it is way nice for me haha. I don't know it very well because we just barely got here, but it seems really cool. But things are going really well for me down here in Guat. Elder Wixom is preparing to go home and everything so it's kind of fun because it makes me think of Matt going home. We talked yesterday and he told me that for the first 4 weeks of the change he was kind of mad and upset that he's going home and so he was saying he didn't have the best beginning 4 weeks but now he's accepted the fact that he's going home and is a lot happier. So that's good. We're planning on having our best week this last week of the change and are going to work really hard. And no, he's not related to her, only Elder Rasband.

Ok so let me just get out some things that I need to tell all of you first.

For my Christmas package there were a couple things that I thought of that I would like. I really want a frisbee actually because soccer and basketball are banned here, but ultimate isn't so I need one to be able to play a fun sport. You can just get one from Walmart or  something just make sure that it's an ultimate disc not a cheapo kind please :) Also I'm dying for some American candy, especially Starburst and Swedish fish. And that's all I can think of.

Now I should probably let you all know more about the shooting and everything about that. I'm pretty sure that we weren't actually very close to being in any danger. Some people told us that the shooting happened right after we left, but it really happened more like an hour after we left. So no need to worry, it really is safe where we are. No one is 100% sure why the shooting happened, but we think it might have to do with something one of the sons did. Apparently he went to the capital and got involved with some gangs there or something and brought some of  his problems back with him. I guess that he got beat up really bad by them a while ago and things like that, so some people think it's because of that. But really the shooting was probably just to try and scare them. I don't think that they were actually trying to hit anyone. But they two girls are fine. They were both back home after a couple of days and are doing great. The girl that got hit in the ribs  is doing better than the other girl. The bullet isn't in her side and she can walk and everything. The other girl still has both of the bullets in her: one in her knee and one in her hip. The doctors didn't take them out because, well this is Guatemala and the doctors here do things differently than in the states. So the only thing to worry about is infection. She can't walk because of her knee, but she can move her knee ok which means that she will be fine eventually. Thanks for all of your prayers and thoughts in their behalf. The thing we are worried about now is keeping them in the church. They were already pretty inactive in the church when we started working with them and now because of this they probably won't go to church at all for a while. (Q'eqchi's are really weird about stuff like this. for example: if someone has a baby, they believe that they shouldn't go out of the house for 40 days, even for church.) Plus with all of the excitement of what happened, every church in all of Tucuru has been sending pastors and members to "pray" over them and things like that. Their way of praying over them is to all start praying at the same time outloud and yelling their prayers. The pastors and their members usually don't even say anything, they just repeat the name of the Savior and just say weird things. Some Jehovah's Witness missionaries are visiting them a lot and are teaching one of their youngest girls. We're a litle worried about her getting confused and being led away, so we're trying to help her out.

Ok so now that that's out, let me give some shout outs:

Mom- you're awesome! Thanks for being an awesome mom. I haven't gotten my pacakge yet but  I should be getting it next week when we go to the capital so I'm very excited to get it!  I actually have been trying lately to try and stand up straigter. So there =P  Pero timil timil junelik. Q'eqchi' is going ok. I don't feel nearly as lost as I did when I first got here. I can usually always tell what they are talking about now and I can pick out words that I know usually, at least when Elder Wixom is speaking.) I'm still not really able to teach in Q'eqchi', all I can do is read things out of the preach my gospel that I have in Q'eqchi' and read scriptures and things. I have the pronounciation (I think that's the word in English, but I can only think of the word in Spanish, pronunciaciòn haha) down pretty well I think. I can read things pretty well, and Elder Wixom said that I can read better than he can. So that helps that I'm getting the basics of that. But I still can't speak at all. I'm just now starting to understand how to use the verbs. Conjugating verbs is a LOT harder to do in Q'eqchi' than Spanish and is different, so it's hard, but I have a few cheat sheets to help me out with that. I'm glad you got to see the pictures of Zone conference! I see Elder Hexom all of the time because he's in the neighboring district so I get to talk to him all of the time. He's an awesome Elder and he's from Pennsylvania so we talked about how Dad served there. 

Dad- don't worry things are really safe and everything is great! Yeah I'm a little bit worried about my next change. It might be really hard because it's possible that my next comp won't speak Q'eqchi' very well either, but I guess I have no idea. There's one Elder that a lot of the elders here think will be my new companion. But we'll see. I will for sure be the one who knows the area and will have to take a little more responsibility with setting appointments and know where to go and things like that, so that will be challenging. But I think that that will be the best way to learn and to grow. Even if my new comp doesn't know Q'eqchi', it will make me learn a lot quicker I think, so I will just go with whatever the Lord wants me to do. But I for sure will remember to be patient and humble about everything. Thanks for your awesome advice and also for your great example. You are my role model and my hero. Thanks for being an awesome dad. And for the camera I'm not sure about the price or anything. I would like to have a decent camera that takes good pictures because everything here is so beautiful. I want to have good quality pictures to look back on. So I think it will probably be between 100 and 150. I'll look around though and let you all know.

Matt- I saw Naruto in Spanish the other day in a little store and thought it was really funny and thought of you haha. Love you bro, you are going to adjust just fine and are going to love BYU and everything. Just always remember what's really important in life and remember the Lord always. I know you'll do great things. I can't wait to be back there with you and to be able to hang out together. Work hard your last week and make it your best week of your change! Thanks for being such a good example to me. Love you!

Ok well all of my time is up now so unfortunately I have to go. I'll try to tell you more about the actual work I'm doing next week and I think I'll send some hand written letters home sometime soon. But keep staying strong in the faith! Read scriptures every night and pray together always! I know that you're already doing that. :) Good luck with everything back home. I love you all tons and I can't wait to talk to you on the phone pretty soon! Love you all! Nekexinrah!!

Loq laj kaki winq
Elder Norton

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