"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, January 31, 2011

Four Baptisms and a Transfer!

Hey! Buenas Tardes to everyone this beautiful day. It's sunny after having 3 or 4 days with no sun and a lot of rain and the weather is nice and warm. Sounds like it's pretty different from the giant snow storm happening back home! By the time I'm done here I don't think I'll even be able to fathom how cold it really gets back in Kansas and Utah. The weather's always pretty nice here.

Well it's been a big week for me in the mission. I'm glad to say that I recovered just fine and was back to work the next day. Tuesday was interviews with President Torres and they went really well. Both of our investigators, Gilberto and Carlos, passed their interviews and they were both really happy. I was too. My interview was pretty good with President Torres. It wasn't very long or anything really special. It was kind of just a normal interview. I told him some of the things that were going on and explained to him some of my problems that I've been having, and he just told me that like Paul wrote to Timothy, that I shouldn't be ashamed of my youth (in the mission.) He set some goals with me to read the Book of Mormon all the way through again and to have more new investigators every week. So it went well and I felt good being able to finally talk with him about some of my companionship problems. I've realized that I haven't been the missionary that the Lord needs me to be lately. I've been making too many excuses about my lack of time/experience in the mission, my situation and my problems with my companion. There's really no excuse at all for not being the absolute best missionary I can be, no matter where I'm at, who I'm with, or what the circumstances are. So I'm recommitting myself to be the very best I can be and to be who the Lord needs and wants me to be. 

Wednesday was a great day because I was on divisions with my loveable district leader, Elder Howard. We had a really good time and went exploring a new area in my area full of Q'eqchi' people and inactive members of the church. It was pretty cool. We found a some promising families and some inactives that we are going to try and work with later on. Then on Saturday, we had the baptisms of all four of our investigators! It went really well, but we had some problems when the baptism was supposed to start. Gilberto was late coming because he was playing soccer at the soccer field about 20 minutes away on foot. We had talked to him and told him that if he was going to play that he could only play the first half so that he could be there on time and he said that was fine, but then he ended up playing the second half anyway. We ended up sending the son of one of our member families who have a car (thank goodness) to go and pick him up. So he came all dirty and hot and sweaty, but we baptized him all the same. It was a bit stressful at the beginning but it turned out to be a really nice service. It was neat since it was my first time baptizing someone, and I baptized Crismelin and Gilberto. I felt the Spirit really strongly and it was a neat experience for me. Sunday we got them all confirmed and they all received the Holy Ghost so everything is all taken care of and they are all set to go. They are some really great youth and I hope that they can be a huge strength for the Tucuru branch.

THEN! Yesterday we were expecting the call from our leaders to find out about changes. Elder Howard called me and said that I have a CHANGE. My very first change in the mission. I'm both very excited and very sad all at the same time. I had kind of hoped that Elder Lopez would leave and that I would stay because I really love the people in Tucuru. So I'll have basically all day to say goodbye tomorrow and then I'm going to sleep in the ZLs house tomorrow night where I'll wait until I find out where I'm going. It's an interchange which means that I'll still be in the Polochik (Zone Polochik and Zone Senahu) so I'm excited to see where I'll go! I really want to go somewhere where there's a lot of Q'eqchi' (preferreably only Q'eqchi'). Elder Howard thinks that we might go and open an area. There used to be sisters there, but now they are putting in elders, so that would be cool. There are 3 areas where the areas are getting "whitewashed" which means that 2 new elders will be entering at the same in an area. So it will be interesting to see what happens. The sad news is that Elder Lusty, my fellow Polochik baby buddy got sent to the cap to train, so who knows when I'll see him again! Kind of sad since we were supposed to be comps, but oh well, that's how it is in the mission.

Ok well I'm running short on time so I'll try and kind of respond to your emails a bit.

Mom- crazy about the snow storm! Take some pictures for me and send them to me will you? I'm going to start trying to send you more pictures but I want more pictures from you guys too! Sorry you haven't gotten pictures in a while. I'm going to try and send a disc before I leave from Tucuru, so I'll let you know next week ok? Speaking of pictures I was running around after Sacrament Meeting getting signatures and making sure the baptismal registries were all filled out and I forgot to get a picture with the Relief Society. So I guess I'll have to take a picture with my new branch and send that to you instead. Haha I'm glad you are getting to know Twoody's mom better, she's really great! Tell her I said "hey" and tell her to tell Elder Woodward hey for me, that I sent him a letter, and that I've been enjoying reading his letters. Love you Twoody. Thanks mom you're the best! Love you!

Dad- I'm super happy that BYU beat SDST but that's disappointing that they lost to NM. They always lose in the Pit! I hate that place! I'm kind of mad that Jimmer won't be there when I get back, but I'm hoping that Tyler Hawes will pick up the baton and take the team with him.   I'm really glad to hear that Jack had a good experience with his ordanation and I'm glad that you guys were able to learn together more about the priesthood. Thanks for being a worthy priesthood holder dad and for giving me such a good example. I'm going to study Ammon and his brothers and Alma as soon as I get there in my reading really in depth because there is so much to learn about being a good missionary from those stories. Thanks for always sharing with me your insights and your spirit dad. Love you!

Matt- haha you would leave your phone on silent! Always keep it on vibrate and you'll always be fine. You should probably not scare mom and dad like that, it would be pretty embarrassing to have the campus police come looking for you because your parents were worried and called them. Any dates/ women in your life lately? Keep me posted. Love you!

Jack- I'm so proud of you for being a great kid and I'm excited for you to be able to pass the sacrament next week! Always remember that the sacrament is really sacred so always do your best to be reverent. Sorry I didn't get your email but next week I should have it ok? Love you!

Kinzie- I heard you are repainting your room with mom. That will be nice to have a cool teen ish room. I know what its like though, remember that I had a rose flower room when I was your age. =P You should write me for next week you little stinker!  Love you!

Alright well I love you all tons and I'll talk to you all next week and let you know where I'm at and who I'm with. Be safe in the snow and take pictures! Love you all!!

Elder Norton

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