"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 18, 2011

I'm Willing to Do Whatever the Lord Wants Me to Do

Hello beloved family of mine! 

How are you all? I hope that you guys have found some good diet programs in the aftermath of your depressive eating phase. Hahaha I laughed so hard when I saw those pictures. I especially liked Jack's haha and Dad's made me laugh pretty dang hard too hahaha. You guys are funny.  (We found an iPhone App that makes you look really fat, not that some of us need the App, but we sent him pictures of ourselves and told him we had been really depressed since he was gone and had been eating a lot!)

This week was another pretty lame week unfortunately. We didn't get back to our area (once again) until Thursday night because our gas ran out and we had to buy a new tank of gas and bring it up to Yalijux. Normally it wouldn't be a problem, but because we had to leave on Wednesday for the conference, there were no cars. So we walked to Seritkiche and waited there for a car. We found a car after a while for a little outside of Semarac and walked up to the center. Then we still couldn't find a car so we walked up to San Francisco. We got there fairly late so we stayed in the church there. The next day we did our weekly planning and then tried to find a car. There was supposed to be one that normally passes by in the afternoon but it didn't come for some reason, so at 4 we started walking up for Yalijux. We got there around 6:30 ish so we just changed and slept. It wouldn't have really been so bad or hard, but we had the gas tank that was pretty heavy that we took turns carrying. So then Friday we worked as much as we could but we didn't find too many people home (especially the men) because EVERYONE is going out to plant corn. They usually go about an hour or two away to get to their land so no one was really home. Then Saturday we went to plant corn with a bunch of members from 7 in the morning until 12 (I forgot to put on sunscreen and burned my neck pretty bad which was painful.)

 We had another lesson with Vicente our investigator on Saturday. We were teaching him more about the Gospel and the parts of the Gospel when I asked him "What is in your heart right now?". I was trying to talk about the Holy Ghost and was trying to help him see that the good feelings that he feels when he's in a lesson with us or with his family come from the Spirit, but he told us about how one of his little grandaughters had just died kind of out of the blue. So we talked about how little children who die are automatically saved by the Atonement of Christ and tried to give him a little bit of comfort, but it was sad because he got pretty emotional talking about it. The good news is that we can help him a lot with that problem and the death of his grandaughter could be something that helps him realize the importance of baptism so that he can be with lost loved ones again. The bad news is that he is going pretty much all week every week to visit his daughter where the child died. But we are planting seeds and he will someday come to the knowledge of the truthfulness of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. On Sunday we got in a few hours of good work after church and then left around 5 to head down to San Francisco to sleep. We were supposed to have a zone activity in Chijolom with Senahu and Polochik so we were supposed to wait in San Francisco to go there Monday morning. We figured out when we got there that we weren't going to Chijolom anymore and so we didn't have to come down and sleep in San Francisco. So we just went down to Senahu in the morning and had a big pday with all of the elders from Polochik  We went and played football on the big field here in Senahu and we had a lot of people so it was really fun. (My best moment of the day was when I scored a touchdown for my team. My worst moment was when I spiked the ball to celebrate my touchdown and it bounced right back up and pegged me in the face. Knocked my glasses right off and broke them a little bit haha. It was pretty funny I have to admit and it was worth the pain for the touchdown.)

So that is pretty much how the week has gone. Now, I hope that you guys aren't getting the wrong impressions from my emails lately and I'm sorry if I maybe sound like I'm pessimistic or like I'm not enjoying my mission. It's just a little hard for me to not be able to work as much as I want to. I want to do my best and I want to do all the work I can do and sometimes when I can't work for the full week I just feel a little disappointed. These past few weeks have been kind of unfortunate for the most part in terms of getting up to Yalijux and with all of the stuff going on. Yalijux is an amazing area and I love it and the people so much, and that makes it even more frustrating because we could have a lot more success if we could work every day. I know that I've made a lot of mistakes and as a companionship we've failed in some areas and I have a lot to learn in order to be more successful. It's just that trying to learn all of that and dealing with only 3 or 4 days of work in a week is a bit overwhelming sometimes. But I'm learning a lot and I'm willing to do whatever the Lord wants me to do in wherever that may be. Elder Howard, the zone leader for Polochik, told me today that he reccomended me as someone who could go to Tucuru to open a new area (they are closing 6 areas and opening a lot of new ones), so a lot of people think I'll go back there for a while. I would honestly love that now that I speak more Q'eqchi' and I have a little more experience, but I've found that usually when the elders all speculate about something, the Lord usually has something else in mind, so who knows. I just want to work harder, have more of the Spirit, and be obedient.

On to the replies:

Mom-  I forgot to mention the talk by Elder Holland that we heard at the conference. It was seriously one of the best talks ever. He talked about missionary work and covered pretty much everything a good missionary should be. At the end he talked about Peter when they were fishing at night after the death of Jesus Christ and how Peter had basically said "Oh well. I guess it's over. Let's go fish." Or in other words go back to normal life. Jesus asks him 3 times "Lovest thou me more than these?" Or in other words " do you love me more than fishing and work and normal things of life?" and each time responds, "Then feed my sheep." It really had an impact on me and helped me to realize that the Lord always asks me as a missionary "Lovest thou me more than these?" or in other words, worldy things like the things that I used to do at home or little acts of disobedience to mission rules, and everything in my life: to which the response is "Then feed my sheep." I have so much to do to love the Lord more and to truly feed His sheep, but I was really impacted by that. It was given in the MTC in january of 2011 if you want to look it up : ) Sorry about the pictures, I attached them, but I don't know why they didn't send. And I forgot my camera today so there won't be any more today either. Sorry! To answer your question, there's no service in Yalijux, but for mothers day, I'll probably call you guys when I'm on my pday on Monday in Senahu. But it will be the next change so who knows where I'll be. I imagine that the signal won't be too much better, but we'll see. It will be great no matter what! Love you mom!

At inyuwa'- yeah it's really weird for me to think that I will be completing 9 months in the mission this month. It feels like I've been out here for a long time, but at the same time it feels like time has passed by so fast that I haven't been here that long. Time is weird that way. Thanks for your thoughts on the 4 minute mile. We talked about that recently, I think at the zone conference but I don't remember for sure. That story is really cool and I need to be better about letting the Lord help me to break the limitations that I put in His work and trust in Him more. Having a new mission president will be a good experience I think. I have full confidence that the Lord will direct President Watts just like he does with President Torres. Some things might be different, but it will still be the Lord's work and I'll just do my best to help the new mission president and keep doing what the Lord requires in His work. Good that work is going well. Do you know yet about seminary next year? It's weird that the school year will be ending soon! It makes me feel kind of baggy haha =P Weird that Karen is getting married! But good. I wish I could go and speak Spanish with everyone! Tell them "Felicidades" for me. Maybe I'll write a letter or something. I need to go back there after the mish. Love you dad, thanks for being a great, righteous dad.

Alright well that's all for this week. I hope you guys are having fun together and good luck with everything that's going on. I pray for you guys all the time and I hope you know how important you guys are in my life. Thanks for being an awesome fam. Next time I write I'll know about changes so be ready for that. Love you guys and talk to you soon!

Elder Norton

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