"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

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Fall, and a Change to the Capital - This Time For Real

Hello wonderful and beloved family! 

I hope you guys are all enduring the heat (especially Kinzie and Jack in their little camp things.) and
that you are all healthy and happy.

I have quite a bit of news to share with everybody that will surprise you a little bit. I guess I spoke too soon when I joked around with you guys about having a change to the capital haha because on Thursday I got an emergency change to the CAPITAL! This time it's not a joke haha. It's kind of a long story and not really all that exciting or
anything like that. Here's what happened:

I was working in one of my new areas with Elder Gutierres on Tuesday and we were heading back up to San Francisco to go sleep there. It was about 7:30 at night and pretty dark. We were walking back up and
only my comp had a flashlight because I had left mine on accident in Senahu. I was looking to see where my money was which I keep in my agenda, my mission manual, and sometimes in my scriptures. So I had my
agenda and my mission manual in my hand and had my backpack in front of me with the main pocket open. Right when I found the money in my scriptures I tripped on a pretty big rock that I didn't see. I happened to be walking at that time on a road that had a small little river that came out underneath in a tube and went down and emptied out into a waterfall maybe 50 feet away. So, I tripped and fell kind of close to where the river was and as I fell, I threw all of the things I was carrying right into the river and the things that were in my backpack all managed to fly out. I was also unfortunate enough to have my glasses fly off during the fall so that they flew into the river as well (it's not really a big river, more like a good sized stream). Elder Gutierres managed to grab me and make sure that I didn't fall into the river myself so I just got a little tiny bit banged up on my knee. But I lost a LOT of things haha. All in all these are the things that I lost: My glasses, my mission manual which had my driver's license and my temple recommend, my Spanish triple which had 600 quetzals in it, my agenda, my hymn book in Q'eqchi', and my camera also popped out into the water. The camera I was actually able to recover a little bit down the way because it got stopped fairly early on by a rock. But it was ruined because of all of the water that got inside. And also, my plaque in Q'eqchi' was attached to my mission manual when I dropped it so that got lost as well. SOO it was really pretty unfortunate but I'm fine and I can't really complain. I didn't have a plaque anymore though because it flew off and so I wanted to go back down to Senahu to get at least my Spanish one or my clip on one in Q'eqchi'. So Wednesday morning we went down to Senahu to get my plaque and a couple other things and we told the ZL's what happened. Once we got to Senahu everything was fine, but then we couldn't find a car back to Yalijux, so we stayed Wednesday with the ZLs in Senahu. Wednesday night (After the changes were already over) I decided to call and to start trying to get permission to get some of my things back. They told me Wednesday night that I had permission to go to Coban the next p-day to get new glasses and to do whatever I needed to do. But then on Thursday morning as we were just leaving to go back to Yalijux, I got a call from my ZL's telling me that I had an emergency change to the CAPITAL! I was honestly a little bit nervous and didn't really know what to think. I was at first trying to figure out why I would have an e-change, but I just realized that President Torres had received revelation that I needed to have the change and go to the cap. So I went back up to Yalijux Thursday, packed, and said goodbye to the families up there that I love so much. It was really hard to have to leave Yalijux because I love that area and the people there so much. And that means I won't be there for the baptism this Saturday and I won't be there when the other family gets baptized. :( But I trust in the Lord and I know that he's got a plan for me and wants me to be here right now. Friday I was traveling from 4:30 in the morning until 7:30 at night to get to the Cap. From there I stayed with the APs and the office elders in the office home and then Saturday morning I got to my new area.

Here's a little bit about my new area, El Fiscal! It's actually a really cool area. It doesn't really feel very much like the capital where I'm at. It's pretty much mostly hills and a lot of trees, and pretty big hills/mountains that make me feel almost like I'm in the Polochik ...(kind of.) Only the people don't speak anything but Spanish here. The house I live in now is really big for a missionary house! It's weird having things like a fridge and electricity, a nice bathroom, lights, and all of that good stuff. But there's no water heater at least, so when I shower I still feel the same. The water is a lot warmer here though since it's pretty hot here right now. My new companion is Elder Rivera, a Latino from El Salvador and he is an awesome comp. We've only had a couple of days together and we've already had a really good time. He speaks almost perfect English to the point that I almost thought he lived in the USA. He's never been there, but he lived in Belgium for...10 years I think and so he knows Dutch and more or less knows French. He's very smart and very good with languages! He's a really nice and humble guy and has a year in the mission. So I'm really excited to be with him. I'm still in a branch, not a ward, and the members are way cool here! Both Elder Rivera and I are new to the area since his old companion who had been here for a change went up to Yalijux in my spot. But anyways, we don't know the area at all and it's a pretty big area. All of the members were coming up to us and inviting us over so that they could show us around and show us the houses of the members and people who are interested in the church and everything. It will be so nicet to be able to work with a branch where the members really want to help the missionaries, where we have a really great and pilas ward mission leader, and where the people are really eager to bring the gospel to others. Like I said, we're the farthest area outside of the Cap, but we still get all of the benefits of the Cap like WALMART!!! I just went there right now and I was just loving it. I didn't even buy anything there but we went to go eat there in the food court. I had Taco Bell and McDonalds. I was in heaven. We also have a HUGE mall in our zone that we aren't allowed to go to unless the whole zone goes or something like that, but it's cool that it's in our zone. It feels weird being here since I haven't been here since I entered the mission. I definitely like being in Polochik much better, but I'll go where the Lord wants me to go. It was also really good seeing a TON of Elders in Walmart just barely. I saw a lot of elders from my group that I haven't seen in a while. So that's been really fun. It's been a little annoying because everyone keeps asking me what happened and everything. Apparently there's a rumor going around down here that I actually fell in the river and got hurt really bad. So everyone keeps asking me things like that and when I tell them that I'm fine they don't understand why I got an e-change haha. But anyways. Another cool thing is that Elder Mitchell from my group who was living with me every Monday and Tuesday pretty much since I came to Yalijux (he was in Chijolom.) is also in El Fiscal since there is another pair of missionaries there. So it's fun to at least have someone that knows a little bit of Q'eqchi' as well so we can keep it up haha. The Lord has blessed me a ton so far to be able to adjust and switch my mind into Spanish gear again. So far I haven't had any problems so I've been really happy and I am glad the Lord is blessing me so much.

Now for a little bit of shoutouts:

Dad- that's cool about the inspiration and revelation you received about Moses and Joseph Smith. I'd never thought about the parallels between the two stories either but that's really cool. The Lord gives us tender mercies like that to teach us and help us learn and I can testify of that now with all of the tender mercies that I'm receiving
right now. Thanks for being righteous and good enough to receive cool revelations like that. :) So I am going to unfortunately need a little bit of money =/ I hate to have to ask, but I need to get new glasses and a new camera. (I think I want to try and find a waterproof one now but I don't know because those are usually a little more expensive. But tell me what you think next week so that I can maybe go and buy one next week. Also I have to get new glasses which will probably cost at least around 500 or 600 quetzals. I think that's just about it. But just tell me next week how much I have in my account so that I don't have to check or anything and so I can avoid losing money. Sorry again for the inconvenience but you know I love you :) Thanks for being so awesome!

Mom- haha are you so sad that your last little baby boy is going to his first scout camp! I bet you are a little worried about him and on top of that with his diabetes I'm sure it's hard to let him go all by himself! But he has to do it just like me and Matt. And it's pretty much garaunteed that he will get rained on a lot and it will be a painful experience for him just like it was for me and Matt. But I know how on board you are with the scouting program so I know that you are helping him to make it through =P.   Tell Jack that all of the lame things that he has to go through there will help him to be prepared for his mission in Guatemala =P   Sorry for scaring you last week but I
guess it was just a subconcious premonition. But I won't do that again to you!! haha. Be sure to send pictures next week of all of the things going on at the house and of scout camp/ pioneer trek with Kinzie. Thanks for being the best mom ever. You are amazing! Be sure to look for a package with photos that should be there sometime soon. I sent it with Elder Larsen. Did you talk to his mom/ think about what I said about going to his homecoming? =P Anyways I love you tons!

Matt- way to go on the job! Sounds like you are really super busy with everything but that's really good. Keep working hard and keep finding time to study the scriptures and give a little time to the Lord every day too. Write when you can and let me know how work is going and also about the date! Hope it went well and that maybe you can go on a follow up lesson sometime. Love you bro!

Alright, well my time is up so I have to go. I'm sure you'll have lots of questions so I'll answer everything next week. Be safe, pray always, and I'll talk to you all next week! Love you all!

Elder Norton

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