Hello to all! Is there happiness in your hearts? (ps I really like speaking in terms of Q'eqchi' literally translated into English.)
How are all of you doing?? You guys are lucky that you are getting snow days when I didn't get any snow days my senior year! Not fair! Haha, no we definitely don't get any snow here. It's kind of weird because I'm becoming pretty accustomed to the weather here, which in my area is always nice. But anytime it's just a little colder or a little warmer than usual it feels like its hot or cold. In reality it's not like that at all haha and I know that it's both colder in the winter and warmer in the summer in Kansas than it is here in the Polochik. It's been kind of a crazy week here, but a good week nonetheless. We missed working all day Monday because we went to El Estor for pday and it took a little more than 3 hours to get there and another 3 hours to get back. So that was a bit difficult. Then Tuesday things started to get crazy. Elder Lopez started talking to me about some things he was worried about. He was at first just worried that he was going to get in trouble soon and he told me some things that he was worried that someone might tell President about the things he had been doing. So I talked to him for a while and we talked about the things he had done and I tried to give him the advice and counsel that the Lord wanted me to give him. So he told me everything and I told him that he needed to talk to President Torres about it as soon as possible. He was worried about getting sent home if he told President what he had done, but I told him that he needed to trust in the Lord to bless him in doing what's right and that no matter what happened, the Lord would support his decision because it would be what the Lord wants. So after talking to a few other missionaries and after we had gone out and worked all day Tuesday, he found out President was in another area fairly close to us doing interviews with another zone. So he called him Tuesday night and told him he needed to talk in person. So we left Wednesday to go to Salama where President Torres was. It was about a 3 hour ride as well. So we went and Elder Lopez talked to President for a long time and then came out and we left. He told me that everything went well, that he wasn't going home and that he didn't have an emergency change. So that was good and I was happy that he was willing to try and make the changes necessary to be a better missionary and to do what is right. Things are still a little hard with him sometimes, but things are a lot better than they were before. So this week Elder Lopez has worked harder and has been better which makes things easier on me for sure. So I'm thankful that the Lord has helped me to help him so that he can be a changed man when he goes home.
In other news, we have had a lot of deaths in Tucuru lately. 2 drunkard friends died from drinking too much 2 days apart. It was weird that they both died and that they were friends and everything. And even weirder that in both cases, at least a part of their family were members of the church. So we had some really good opportunities this week because both of the families asked us to give just a small message and to pray. So we taught a quick lesson about the plan of slavation and about the resurrection and we were able to contact a lot of people and find some potential new investigators. It's great how the Lord blesses us with so many opportunities to teach and how he just places them in our hands. We are really blessed here by the Lord. Brenda and Crismeli are doing well and both came to church yesterday. Their story is that they are part of a part member family. The dad, mom, and one of the sisters are members, but the rest aren't, and the dad is the only active member of the family. One day a long time ago I felt impressed to knock on their door and to contact them because I didn't know who lived there. So we contacted them at the beginning of my first change with Elder Lopez and we found out that the dad was one of our most faithful members who always comes to church. After that we met Brenda and Crismeli, the daughters in the family who are 16 and 11. At first Brenda didn't seem very interested in baptism or even in going to church at all. But we invited her to a baptismal service which she liked, and then to an activity where we watched the Joseph Smith movie in the church. That movie really helped her out a ton and helped her with her testimony. After that she wanted to get baptized and came to church and they have both been coming to church and are getting ready for their baptism the 29th! We have another girl Susana, who we set a date with to be baptized, but then she didn't come to church. So we'll see this week why she didn't come to church and keep progressing from there. We went up to Vina Roz again and had a good time again this week. I was able to teach well enough and we got lots of food from them (caldo, or spicy soup with meat in it, and beans and eggs.) There is happiness in my heart made by that I am finding the face of Q'eqchi' more. (I'm happy because I'm understanding more Q'eqchi')
So just fyi about the Q'eqchi' since you asked mom- the reason that Q'eqchi' is spelled 2 different ways (Q'eqchi' and Kekchi) is because there are 2 different alphabets in Q'eqchi, the old and the new. The difference is that the k changes to a q in the new alphabet because its the "k" sound but back in the back of the throat, and there's no c in the new q'eqchi', just k. So basically just a few letters get changed around. And isntead of having lines underneath the words to signify that the vowel is twice as long they just write the 2 vowels out. A bit confusing, but not too bad. The Book of Mormon right now is written in old Q'eqchi', but everything is moving towards new Q'eqchi'. In June of this year they are going to come out with a normal, nice triple combination in Q'eqchi' so I'm pretty excited for that!
Anyways, on to the REAL important things. Wan kab'lahu chihab' re li wiitz'in!! (There exist 12 years from the mouth of my little brother!!) Jack! Dude you are turning 12 this week!! Congratulations buddy!! That's fun that you guys are going to go and and do a lot of fun stuff today! I really wish I could be there to celebrate with you guys! Well I can't do too much for you for your birthday unfortunately bud, but I did send you a letter a few days ago, so hopefully you'll get that soon. I know it's not too much but I just want you to know that I love you and I'm proud of you for being such a good kid. I'm sure you are ready and worthy to recieve the Priesthood and be a big help in the ward to the members and a good example as well. Just keep doing what's right and remember that I love you and I pray for you and am thinking about you. I hope you have a really good week and that you have a good birthday. Let me know when you get my letter ok?
Dad- sorry to hear that you caused a riot in church. I would have supported you had I been there. Mary was highly favored of the Lord in the sense that she is the only person and will always be the only person to give birth in the flesh to the Lord Jesus Christ. So in that sense she is "more favored" than any other woman because no other women will have the same opportunity that she had. But in the grand eternal scheme of things, we all recieve our own blessings because we are all favored of the Lord. And yes the Lord loves us all exactly the same because he's a perfect being. But we know that we are all on different levels of intelligence (Christ being the most wise and intelligent) and based on our righteousness and obedience before this life, we recieve the blessings that we have now in this life. So Mary is more "favored" in the sense that she had an opportunity that no one else ever had or ever will have, but the Lord loves all of his daughters and all of his children the same. Blessings aren't dependent on the Lord's love for us, but on our love for Him like you said. thanks for your advice. Love you dad.
Mom- yes you are a baggy mom! haha but don't worry I won't sue you. Just don't make me too baggy before I even have 6 months =P I will take care of the Relief Society thing for you as soon as I can! I don't have any more time to upload a photo but know that I was going to haha if that makes you feel good. I'll try to send one next time. We're going to hear Elder Holland this week so I'll let you know next week how it goes! (He meant Elder Ballard) Changes aren't until the week after next because we have interviews next week, so we'll see what happens. Thanks for sending the package mom, you're the best! And thanks for sending me some cinnamon bears. You're the best :) Love you mom!