This week has been hard, and yet it has been the best week of the change so far. It's really kind of weird how it worked. And when I say weird what I really mean in amazing how the Lord blesses us for doing what we're supposed to. The AP's and President Watts have advised us to really try harder to work with the members and get more references from them, and teach them together. So we set some higher goals this week and set out to try and do as we have been asked. The week started off well, but Wednesday and Thursday we had literally nothing. I think we had one lesson each day and some people that we contacted. Thursday night I was thinking that our "dats" for the week that we would be reporting to the AP's would be pretty pathetic. But, we prayed a lot and asked the Lord to forgive us for our weakness in planning and listening to the Spirit and to help us in the next few days to do well. We ended the week with 8 lessons with a member (I think that's the most I've ever had in a week in my whole mission.) and we received 4 references from members and contaced them with the members which is how many references they want us all to have now. We were also able to put 2 baptismal dates with 2 younger girls whose parents and siblings are members but they haven't been baptized yet. We are going to baptize them on the 1st of October inbetween sessions of Conference. So it was just a really cool experience seeing at the end of the week how much the Lord had really blessed us for doing what we have been advised and counseled to do. Now we just have to do that every week.
As for Esperanza and Isabel, the women who we found that told us that they wanted to go to church a couple of weeks ago, we haven't been able to find them very much since then to be able to teach them and they didn't come to church. We passed by a lot to invite them to go to church but they said that they weren't going to have time. But we have an appointment planned with them today with our branch mission leader, so we're hoping that will turn out really well. As for the other families that we have been visiting, we weren't able to find any of them during pretty much the whole week. This week was a busy week because it was the 15th of September which is Independence Day here, so none of them were home and didn't answer their phones. But we are still going to keep at it and keep trying to pass by with members.
I can't remember if I've talked to you guys before about Oscar and Reina, but I don't think so. They are an AWESOME couple that are what we call "dry members" (dry meaning haven't been baptized but they are more pilas than a lot of the members here!) The missionaries have been teaching them for a while now but Elder Contreras and I are working now on getting them baptized. The only reason that they haven't been baptized yet is because they can't get married. The only reason they aren't married is because Oscar is from Nicaragua and doesn't have papers or anything for here in Guate. So, we've been having some trouble figuring out how to get his papers from Nicaragua so he can get married here in Guatemala. But then the Lord blessed us with a member, German, who showed up to their house one day while we were teaching. German is REALLY awesome and he'll just go out and visit/ teach our investigators sometimes. He came and had pretty much the same lesson plan that we had prepared. At the end we were talking about what we can do to help them out and German came up with the idea that they should just go to Nicaragua to get married since she already has papers and just needs to get them authenticated by the Nicaraguan embassy. So we started working on that this week figuring out what papers Reina needs and how we are going to go about getting things done as quickly as possible. We have pretty much everything figured out and by the end of the month we will have everything we need for the to get married hopefully. Then the only thing we'll need is a lot of money...they are pretty poor. So we're thinking of ways to do some fundraising as a branch activity or something like that. Any ideas would be great. I'll keep you all posted on them.
In other news, Victor Manuel and his wife, Matilde, from Yalijux just got baptized Saturday with all of their kids. I just got off the phone with Elder Howard, my old ZL who is there now, and he says that it was a good baptism and that they are doing well. I was really happy to hear about them and it will be a big blessing for Yalijux. As for my investigators in Taktik, Kennia (the little girl I was going to baptize but didn't because she still wasn't 8), Dúliar, and Clara (the two younger siblings of the really active youth in our ward that I told you about) are all on track to get baptized the 8th and I'm going to do divisions there that weekend to hopefully be there at the baptism! Woo! Miguel, the 19 year old guy from Purulha that I was teaching had some problems with the family where we always went to teach, and hasn't gone to church since I left. I called him and he told me that he was having problems and because of that hadn't gone to church or met with the missionaries in this member's house. I told him to try and figure out a way to keep talking to the missionaries there to help him, but he just asked if he could come to Salama to church instead. I talked to the AP's and they said it was ok since he've pretty much inbetween Taktik and Salama. So I might get to baptize him here in a couple of weeks! He hasn't come to church yet but we hope to see him here next week.
Speaking of missionary work, that makes me really excited that a new family came to church last week! I'm sure the missionaries there were so excited because it's not every day that that happens! Be sure that you guys all are really good friends to them and that you help the missionaries out with them (especially you mom since you are la presidenta de la Sociedad de Socorro ;) ) Do they live close or far from home? Keep me posted on everything that goes on with them for sure! And be sure to invite them to watch conference with you guys because that will be a really big thing for them to hear the prophet and the apostles.
This week we watched "On the Lord's Errand" which is the movie talking about the life of Thomas S. Monson. I am always touched when I see that movie and I feel a very strong testimony that he really has been called of God to be His prophet here on the earth at this time. He is such a Spiritually guided person and I really want to be more like him to be able to listen more to the Spirit and then follow without fail the promptings that I feel. I know that Thomas Monson really is a prophet and that the Lord speaks to us through him. I'm so excited for this next general conference and can't wait to hear all of the inspired talks!
In other news I'm going to the cap tomorrow because my companion needs to go to the dentist really bad. I'm pretty sure he needs a root canal because he is in a lot of pain and it sounds like it's more of a nerve thing than anything else. (it hurts him a lot to drink cold things..) So that will be good to get that taken care of so that he's not in so much pain anymore.
On to some personal notes.
Dad- ra inch'ool about BYU's huge loss. Bummer! And to Utah? and at HOME? disappointing. I've pretty much lost all hope in BYU football. I just have this tiny glimmer of hope that BYU will do well in basketball even though they don't have Jimmer anymore. But I just care about 2012-13 when I'll be there. That's cool that you studied the story of Abraham this week because we studied the story of Abraham just yesterday in church. We talked about how it was even worse for him because Abraham's father was going to sacrifice him when the Lord saved him, so I'm sure that it was even harder for him to be commanded to sacrifice his only son that he loved so much. To answer some of your questions: the zone has 17 missionaries with 6 in one district and 9 in the other where we are. I didn't know that you were a zone leader on your mission. What was it like for you being a zone leader? Any cool experiences to share? Hey sorry to bother you about money issues but I REALLY need to buy a suit in the cap when I go tomorrow. I still have my suitcoat but it's getting pretty small for me at this point and I don't have the pants anymore (I lost my solid black pants as well, or better put, somebody stole my black pants.) And I have to say that it's pretty embarassing going to meetings or church with my black pinstripe pants and a sold black suitcoat. I've talked to some elders and they say I can get a good suit for 800 quetzals here. Sorry again that I've been taking out money so much lately. The finance elders haven't been paying me my rent money (Q 600) and Elder Escate didn't have his rent money last month either, so I had to pay that as well (Q 350) so I haven't had money for food...So really sorry, but I figured everything out with the finance elders and they should be putting all of that money on my card this week. Thanks for everything though dad, I really love you too. I've always had good times with you and I have a lot of fun memories that I will always remember. You're the best dad. Love you!
Mom- hello dearest and most wonderful mother of mine. Sounds like you really had a busy week this week with your calling! But that's good that you were able to help out sister Borich so much. I'm sure she'll be so much happier now that she's out and has a new start to her life. haha you should have fimled it all and made some funny church spoof about that =P Yeah it's kind of funny that the only new thing I've learned how to make is chow mein and I'm in Central America. I learned it from Edílsar in Taktik who was a chef in the US for a while haha so that's probably why. And people make chow mein here all the time! So it's kind of weird, but it's good so whatever. I don't know if there are a whole lot of recipies that you'd have that I can cook now since I don't have too many resources here. But I do enjoy cooking so you'll have to teach me some new things when I'm home. Time is FLYING by and it won't be long at all until I am with you all again. Sorry to cut this short but I'm out of time. Love you tons mom thanks for all you do and for being la mejor madre en todo el mundo! Love ya!
Thanks for the emails and for all of your thoughts and prayers in my behalf. I'm praying for all of you too and hope you are all happy and doing well. Talk to you all next week!