"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

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Lord is Working Within Me to Help Me Move Forward

Hello my dear family and friends!

Chan ru wankex? (how are you all?) I hope you guys are having fun and enjoying the success of BYU basketball. I'm really excited that BYU is going to the Sweet 16 and I'm going to work really hard this week so that they will go all the way haha. I'm glad that you guys are as into it as I would be (especially Kinzie with her bracket haha! that's awesome kinz! :) )  Thanks for the pictures and for all of the updates about everything going on with the temple and with everything else. The temple looks awesome! I'm so excited to be able to go there whenever I want when I get back!

Alright so first things first, I have my new companion now up in Yalijux and his name is Elder Gutierres! He came from a different part of Polochik and we met up on Thursday to go up to Yalijux. I already knew him because he was in my zone my in Polochik and because his comp left the same time elder Wixom did, so we were together in Tucuru a couple of days. When we were on divisions there,  I wished that he was my comp, so it's pretty cool that he is now! I LOVE Elder Gutierres haha. He's from Solola, the same place in Guatemala where Elder Xocop is from and he's a super funny, nice, and just a great guy. We've only been together a few days and it already feels like we've been comps for a while. We get along really well and he is humble and hardworking as well. He has 13 months in the mission and like me he has been in Q'eqchi' areas his whole mission. So he knows a lot of Q'eqchi' and speaks it really well. The best part is though that he wants to work hard.

My new companion, Elder Gutierres!

Last week we had a zone meeting and we talked a lot about Alma 26 and about the success of Ammon and his brothers as missionaries. I felt the Spirit really strongly during the meeting telling me things I needed to change and do differently. I realized a lot of my weaknesses and sins that I need to turn to the Lord to fix and correct. So I was feeling very motivated to start fresh and begin to change and rely more on the Lord. In light of that, Elder Gutierres' and my first day we sat down and talked about diligence. We talked about what it means, why it's so important, and the blessings of being diligent in the work of the Lord. After we studied diligence for  a while we came up with some goals for this change that we want to accomplish to help us be more diligent. A lot of our goals are little things that might not seem that important, but in reality will help us in the work here so much. For example, since everybody goes to sleep here around 7, we usually just come home around 7 and we lose an hour of work. So we decided to start leaving at 10 in the morning and then using the extra hour at night to study Q'eqchi' instead of studying from 10 to 11. We also set a goal not to come back to the house until we have 20 contacts every day. We just set a bunch of goals to help us be diligent and to have the Spirit more with us to teach this people. The blessings have been immediate from our efforts to be diligent. We only had 3 days of work in our area and we were able to find 3 new families and we had an investigator come to church for the firs time on Sunday. It has been really refreshing for me to work as hard as I can and to do all that I can do to serve the people here. Now that I'm the one that knows the area and has to take control a little bit more of what we do, I've really done my best to do my absolute very best and to give all of my time and talents to the Lord. It has been so satisfying to feel the Lord begin to work within me and to feel like I'm truly giving my best. I have such a long way to go still before I'm even close to the missionary that the Lord wants me to be, but the Lord is working within me to help me move forward and come closer to Christ. So I'm really, really excited for this change and I feel really good about everything. 

Last night I went to sleep around 10:00 ish and then woke up at 11:45 to get ready to leave by midnight for Senahu. There's a meeting type thing that everybody here, and seriously that means EVERYBODY, goes to called mi familia progresa. They pretty much just give money to people who have kids. And the dads usually go out and get drunk with it. So it's not really that effective a lot of the time, but everybody goes. So the trucks started leaving at midnight for Senahu. BUT, we didn't end up leaving Yalijux until about 1:30am because our truck couldn't make it up the mountain that goes out of Yalijux. It was too muddy and the truck wasn't all that great. They kept trying over and over again for about 45 minutes and nothing happened. Finally, all of the men (including me and Elder Gutieres) got out and tied a big rope to the truck (and this isn't like a pickup truck, it's a HUGE truck) and we pulled it up the mountain. It was hard haha but Elder Gutierres and I had a fun time. The pictures I'm sending are of this morning (really more like last night...). So I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night since we didn't get to sleep in Senahu until about 4:30 and we still woke up at 7. But I feel good so far. Tomorrow I might be really tired though haha. 

Pulling the truck up the mountain : )

There were a few of us on the truck.

 Also, I have been given my official real Q'eqchi' name. I had to change it from Kaqi Wiinq because there was already another red headed missionary here with that name. But after a lot of thinking and talking with people, my new name is "laj Pich' " which means "woodpecker". They gave me that name because woodpeckers have red heads haha so I like it and everyone in Yalijux calls me that now when I walk down the streets and things like that. So that's kind of fun.

Oh! And I forgot to tell you something exciting a little while ago. Ubando, my investigator from Tucuru, just got baptized a couple weeks ago and I guess a lot of his family are planning on getting baptized soon too. I love that family so much so I'm excited for that.

Alright some quick shoutouts:

Dad- thanks for always thinking of me. I was thinking a lot about you this past week too and I tried to think about how I want to be more like you as I try to be a better missionary. Haha I love your use of Q'eqchi' haha, you'll be fluent in no time! haha. I love you dad!

Mom- Go Cougars!!! haha I'm excited for them too. Keep cheering hard for me. Of course I'm the same weird brother/ son haha. Today when I got to Senahu, Elder Larsen told me that he wanted me to talk in my King Julian voice all day haha so I'm still weird and try to stay fun. I love you tons mom and I have to go but I love you!

Alight well times up but I have to go now. I love you all tons! Keep being pilas and keep looking for missionary opportunities.

Elder Norton

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