"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

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


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