"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, April 25, 2011

I Know That Jesus is Our Savior, and He Loves Us More Than We Know

Happy Easter to everyone. 

This email might sound kind of dross but the exclamation points dont work at all or apostrophes or question marks haha.  So, sorry in advance but just read it like you know it should be.  (Don't worry, mom will fix it for you!)  But all the same I hope you all had a really good Easter and that you were able to feel the Spirit testifying of the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Sounds like you all had a peaceful weekend so that's good.

Alright, well I might as well get the  big news out about changes. I dont have a change and neither does my comp, Elder Gutierres so we'll be together in Yalijux for another change. Im happy about that cause I get along really well with Elder Gutierres, he's really fun and we work well together. I'm also happy because I really love Yalijux and I was honestly kind of sad when everyone was saying that it was going to get closed. So its kind of like my second chance to really work hard to help out the area. Last change we had a lot of good intentions starting out and we set a lot of goals, but with all of the things that happened that kept us from being in our area we, more like I, failed in a lot of things. This change we are going to start off strong. As soon as I found out that I was going to stay in Yalijux, I felt really motivated and excited to work really hard  because I know that we can have success there.  We just have to work really, really hard. So, we are starting this week. We are going to start giving a few different classes to members every week: Seminary twice a week in the morning, a priesthood class once a week at night to teach the male members how to actually use the priesthood, and a class to learn how to write one night a week. We are also going to make SURE that we get to our area every week by Tuesday afternoon. Theres a lot that we have to do to have success in Yalijux. I think what has really motivated me is an Elder named Elder White who is AP right now and is going home on Wednesday. He was in Yalijux a year ago and they were in a situation like us where they weren't having any success. Elder White just decided to do everything that he possibly could, and they started doing things like teaching seminary, using the Area Book and just doing everything they were supposed to do. They had 26 baptisms that change because of how hard they worked. So I've decided to just be like Elder White. I talked with him a little while ago in the zone conference about the things that he did and I'm just going to start doing them. So I'm really hoping that we will see success soon.

Divisions with Elder Larsen

This past week I stayed in Seamay with Elder Larsen on divisions. I was there on Tuesday and Wednesday and then I met back up with my comp on Thursday. We had a really fun time in Seamay haha. Its probably a good thing that we were never comps...we have a little too much fun probably haha. But Im glad he's going to die in Seamay, so well still get to hang out for a few more weeks before he goes home. Then on Thursday we stayed in Seritkiche for divisions because we couldnt get back up to Yalijux that day. Then Friday we walked up to Yalijux and got there just in time to climb up the mountain where we get a signal to call. We were supposedly going to find out about changes Friday night, but then they told us we had to call again Saturday at 12. So we went up the mountain the next day to just call, get our changes, and come back. It was pretty sunny when we went up so we didnt bring anything for the rain, which was a bad idea as it turned out. They told us when we called that we actually had to wait until 1:30. We didnt have anything else to do, so we started singing hymns in Q'eqchi. It started raining a little bit and we didnt want to get wet, so Elder Gutierres made us a little shelter with a bunch of leaves and some trees. It didnt last very long, so we didn't get wet hardly at all and we thought we were in the clear. Then the skies got really dark and a big rainstorm started moving towards us. We got SOAKED. Our little shelter kept us more dry than we would have been had we been just standing there, but we still got soaked. It was kind of fun but very cold rain. We had some pretty big storms during the week in Seamay and pretty much all weekend in Yalijux. I never really realized how much I love thunderstorms until I realized how much I missed them. (There's nothing like a good Kansas thunderstorm!!)  It was fun to have lots of thunder and lightning.  As for Easter, nothing really happened. They dont celebrate Easter at all the same here. In Q'eqchi, Easter is called the day of pain. I don't like that though, since more than anything it is a day of rejoicing that Jesus did what he did for us and that he was resurrected. So we went around teaching people that principle. The only things that the people did here in Senahu was have big processionals where they carry big parade float looking things on their shoulders that have weird sculptures of Jesus carrying a little cross. Its kind of weird, but I respect their way of trying to remember what Jesus did for them. The only thing we do as a church is partake of the emblems of Christ's body and blood in remembrance of what he did for us, but we do that every Sunday. Its always like Easter for us.

In other news, we started teaching some big families that look really promising, so were hoping that we will start seeing success with them soon. They are both really awesome families so I hope so. One of the families is going to be gone this whole week, but the other will be here all week and we have our third appointment with them tomorrow. Please keep them in your prayers, the family of Victoriano Choc Cuc, and the family of Vicente. He's the one that we have been working with for a while, but until recently we had never taught his whole family.

Alright, time for the comments.

Mom- love the pictures of Jack playing football. Thanks for sending those . It was propane gas for cooking on our little stove, but it was still pretty heavy. (I asked him what kind of gas they had to carry up the mountain last week.) Haha dont worry about sunscreen I have plenty.  I just forgot to put some on that day. It wasn't too bad, just my neck so dont worry. :> thats the best I can do for a smiley with my current keyboard haha. I love that movie (To This End Was I Born) and I wish that we could have watched it. Its really powerful. Thanks for sending my birthday package mom, youre the best. Ill let you know when I get it :> Love you!!!!!

Carrying the Propane Gas Tank Up the Mountain!
Dad- haha no the xa-an imul didnt come to visit. I honestly dont know what that means at all, but I'm assuming it has something to do with the Easter Bunny haha. I really liked what you said about how I am kind of getting a feel for what the people feel live like here. Its really true. I really havent had to carry anything really heavy, or walk very far compared to the people here. And its true that spiritual diligence and obedience brings success even in times of physical hardship or distractions. Thanks for your advice Dad, its always appreciated. I'm already starting to think about school and studying and working hard and all that, and I feel like by the time I leave my mission that I will have changed a lot. I am going to really learn how to work hard now so that when I get back I can keep it up and work hard for my family that Im going to start. Love you Dad!!

Well, my time is up and I have to write to President Torres. Thanks so much for your testimonies of the Savior. I too know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and He loves us more than we know. He lives and is our Redeemer and friend. Can't wait to talk to you in a couple of weeks. Love you all tons!

Elder Norton

ps- Matt, I expect a letter next week since you will be home :>

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