"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, November 29, 2011

16 Months and 16 New Investigators!

Today I am completing 16 months being on the mish. That's weird because that means I've only got 8 months left which is weird because 2 months later it will only be 6 months left which will mean I will be 3/4 of the way through my mission. It is such a weird thought! I'm not baggy, just kind of freaked out! Today it has been surprisingly cold here in Salama. You guys would probably feel great in this weather but us Salamatecos feel the cold quite a bit. But the good news was that it was nice weather for playing soccer in the morning with a bunch of youth from the branch and the other elders. 

Anways, sounds like you all had a great Thanksgiving week. Hope you are all a little fatter from the big Thanksgiving meal. You'll have just enough time to work it all off by the time the next big meal comes at Christmas and then you'll all have a reason to get back into shape for your new years' resolution. (Speaking of working out, I've been using my perfect pushups and have been doing other stuff to work out pretty much every day for a few weeks straight now. My back's getting stronger and it doesn't hurt quite as much now. I'm going to try to really get into shape so that you will all be surprised when you see my Arnold-like build. I'm going to buy some protein this week to start bulking up. There's a gym really close to our house with a ton of workout machines that I've been thinking about starting to go to. We have permission to go to gyms, but we have to pay for it using personal money so that would be the issue...We'll see.  I know you're all laughing right now, but as the scriptures say, "fools shall mock, but they shall [be crushed by my huge muscles!] (you know the accent.. =P )) Anyways, I'm glad to hear it was a good week for all. I'm jealous that you got to eat Fernando's delicious cooking without me! We definitely have to go back to Dallas before I go back to BYU in the fall. 

This week was a pretty good week for the most part. We really saw some great blessings from the Lord. This week we found 16 new investigators to teach with 6 families which was amazing! We usually don't hardly find any new people to teach, so it was a huge blessing. Now we just have to work hard with all of them to help them progress. We have another couple that we are working hard with that are both pretty cool people. They are Camilo and Brenda Galián. We're helping him to give up drinking for good and trying to get them both to come to church. Next Sunday we set the goal of bringing 27 people to church with us (four families) because if they come for the Christmas Devotional it counts as an attendance in church. So we are going to work really hard this week to get people to come. Hopefully you guys will invite some friends to come with you to the devotional too! We're still working with Danilo and Reina to get their papers. Thanks for your prayers in their behalf and keep praying and fasting for them this week! We're also working with the Poqomchi' family that I told you about and are working a lot with the dad, Pablo. We had a lesson with him for  the first time this week and he seems like he wants to change. But from what we're told, he goes out to get drunk for 15 days at a time sometimes. So we figure if he doesn't change it will be really hard for anyone else in the family to change (since Julia and Cecilia didn't come to church this week... =/ ) So please pray for them too. 

Things are going really well with me and Elder Contreras. We get along really well and we have a lot of fun together. Of course he's getting to the point where his body is tired of getting up at 6:30 every morning so what he'll usually do is get up and pray with me and then lay back down while I exercise and shower. Then he'll get up at around 7:30. But he's not too baggy yet. The bad thing is that with Christmas coming up it's pretty much impossible NOT to be baggy. But we're still working hard. I won't let him slack off too much. Next week is concilio in the cap which will be good I think. I have to go to the dentist again next Monday because I have a tooth that's killing me recently every time something cold touches it. We are also going to have some other fun stuff coming up the weekend after this weekend with the dedication of the Temple in Quetzaltenango. You guys should see if you can watch the cultural performance on Saturday night (the 10th) at 6 or 7 at night. Our investigators won't be able to come to church the 11th because it's the dedication, so we are going to bring investigators Saturday. We also should be having our Christmas zone conference sometime between the 19 and the 24th of December. So it should be a really fun month.

A kind of funny experience of this week: this less active family in our branch invited pretty much everyone in the branch to come to the birthday party of their daughter who was turning 15. They are a VERY poor family of about 9 children and live in a tiny little house made of wood and a lot of tarps. So when they invited us, we were obviously thinking that it would be more of a small family gathering with a lot of members there as well. We thought it would be a really good opportunity to help the branch get involved more with their family and help them all become active again. So it was pretty surprising when we got to their house and it was pretty much a discotech. They were playing pretty wordly music with HUGE speakers, some pretty fancy lights and a disco ball and everything that they had set up on their very large piece of land that they have underneath the hill where their house is. We definitely felt uncomfortable. But don't worry we didn't dance...too much...jaja just kidding. We ate the food they gave us, said congrats and booked out of there. It was a weird feeling.

Here's some quick personal comments: 

Dad- I'm glad that you enjoyed the holiday week and that  you guys had an enjoyable and peaceful time. I'm sure we'll all be together for the next Thanksgiving which makes me super excited!  Anyways, thanks dad for all you do. Sorry for taking money out today but I need to buy a new backpack, a machete and a few other things. Love you!

Mom- hey mom thanks for the email. I'm glad you guys had a good time with everyone there. It's cool you guys got to see Carson. I hope she's doing well. Tell her I said hey for me.  And thanks especially for being so thoughtful about my investigators. Also yes I was referring to the red ones. Or if they have flavored colored ones other than black I'd take that too. Anyways, I'm trying to get buff so anything cool you could send me to get ripped would be awesome. Maybe not this package but for the future..There are some people here that have pullup bars that are just bars that you put inbetween two walls or a door post and you just tighten. But that's for later. Love you mom, you're the best!

Alright well times up so I've got to go. But thanks for the emails. Love you all tons and I'm thankful for your prayers. Love you!

Elder Norton

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