Happy Thanksgiving (feliz día de acción de gracias) to all reading this!
I write to you all from good old Salama. Saturday night we got the changes and it looks like Elder Contreras and I will be staying together another change here in Salama! Woo! That means a few things: 1) I will be Elder Contreras' last comp and will be the comp he spent the most time with (up to this point in my mission he will be the comp that I have spent the most time with too...just as a side note, I told that to Elder Gutierres when I thought I was going to stay with him too and then the next day fell in a river...so you never know haha.) 2) We will both be here for Christmas. 3) We will be baptizing a family in December! (more on that to come.) 4) I will most likely be in Salama at least one more change after this next change (or in other words until February or possibly more.) and 5) my chances of going back to Polochik are getting much slimmer...BUT we are both pretty excited to get the change to work together his last change here in Salama!
This week we put 4 baptismal dates with a family and two other people. The family are Danilo and Reina. They are our most pilas investigators. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned them a lot but they are the ones that always come to church and are more faithful than a lot of members. Anyways, there's been some problems with their paperwork since he's from nicaragua and he's and ilegal immagrant here in guate. BUT, we are exercising our faith and we put a baptismal date with them for the 24th of December (we're dreaming of a white Christmas..) We have to be VERY diligent in order for this to work and we need a lot of prayers and faith in their behalf. So I'm asking all who read this to remember Danilo and Reina in their prayers and also for me and Elder Contreras to get all of the paperwork done that we need. Fast sunday we are going to do a fast for them and I'll probably remind you all and ask for you to help out as well in that fast. The other 2 people are daughters in a really big poqomchi' family that we got as a reference here in Salama. We're trying to help the whole family prepare for baptism, but as for right now only the 2 daughters, Julia and Cecilia, have accepted a date. So please pray for them a lot too. They are familia cun cho. And we are still working hard to get more opportunities to teach Familia Morales who I've mentioned before. They are really great and I'm sure they will get baptized someday but we just need to find them more. So please pray for all of them!!
Well, this week is Thanksgiving and I can honestly say that I'm pretty sure I won't be eating things near as delicious as mom's meal and pies. But it was kind of funny last week because we went to the house of the family of our two most recent converts and the dad made us turkey with stuffing. Definitely wasn't the same as the original American kind, but I was still really surprised and it was pretty good. I should have taken a picture but I forgot to. Anyways, it's all good because I still am able to get in the Spirit with the EGG NOG that I found in the little store here. It's not as good, but it's good enough haha. But I want to say that I'm thankful for all of you! Thanks for all that you have all taught me my whole life and for helping me to be where I'm at today. I'm thankful to awesome parents who have taught me all that I know and have set a good example for me in everything they do. I'm also thankful for 2 wonderful brothers and my amazing sister who have always been there to be my friends and who always make me smile. I'm thankful for my grandparents who are converts to the church who had the courage to change their lives to live the Gospel so that I can be here now. I'm thankful for Jesus Christ who makes every good things possible and I'm especially thankful for all that He has suffered for me so that I won't have to if I can put my trust in Him. I'M THANKFUL FOR MY FAMILY :) You guys really are the best. Eat lots of good food for me, epsecially apple pie and ice cream.
On to the shoutouts:
Dad- haha reading your email made me baggy. I have good memories of those feelings of this time of year, but mostly it just makes me anxious and excited for the many more memories to come. Thanks for the advice about giving it my best. I was talking today to another elder about how it's much easier to work out when you have someone there that keeps telling you to do one more pushup or to keep going. I think that pretty much sums up giving our best to the Savior as well. When we let him be our "trainer" He's always there to encourage us and give us the strength neccesary to do even more, but we have to invite him to be with us to help us. I promise that I'm going to really try hard in the months that I have left in my mission to let the Savior really be my personal trainer and to keep telling me "you can do it" when I feel sure that my strength is all used up. thanks for helping me understand that more. I'm glad you are feeling the real Spirit of the season and that you want to make Christmas really special this year. I really am not too sure how to make Christmas even more special than we always did by doing small acts of service. But I always think about the story that President Monson tells about the little German family and their apartment that he helped to make really nice for them. If you want Christmas to be really special, do a really special service for another family in need. We'll have lots of fun NEXT year when I'm home for the holidays! alright, enough of being baggy. Love you dad!
Mom- hey mom! :) I think I forgot to tell you that I already got my Halloween package. Thank you so much! All of the candy was delicious as usual and most imporant, American. You are just the craftiest person ever and that's why you are the best mom ever. My wife better love you! Anyways, thanks a lot for being so "creepy" with crafts haha. There was a nationwide stake conference here yesterday that we watched by satellite and they talked a ton about getting ready to receive the blessings of the temple since they are going to dedicate a new temple in Quetzaltenango in a few weeks. It was great and Elder Holland spoke spanish a little bit for his talk which was really funny and great haha. So I'm glad you are doing your part there in KCMO to get ready for the new temple. I'm really excited for it to be done! Matt's wedding will be awesome there haha. (mine too for that matter.) By the way I loved your description of how to pronounce Kilinoe haha. You are so funny. Well I'm definitely going to miss you and your cooking a lot this week, but I'm thankful for you mom. The only other thing that I thought of that you could send me for Christmas- some Twizzlers, and lately I've been craving Reeses. I don't know, I'll be satisfied with whatever you send haha. But I actually could use a new belt. The black plasticky stuff on both of my belts is coming off. I think that's it. But I'll be happy with whatever you send :) love you mom!
Kinzie- HI! ok just to respond a little to you last email, I heard from Jack beforehand that you were thinking about switching to Blue Valley high. (I would too if the choir teacher was that horrible. Maybe I'll come back and teach choir at BVN...hahaha no way. BVN is going downhill...but don't worry BYU will be awesome! :) We'll get to go together for at least a year or so! Love you tons and I'm thankful for you! Have a good week! :)
Jack- sorry to hear that the play is really lame..but it happens sometimes. I'm excited for you to play baseball though! Baseball was one of my favorite sports to play as a kid so I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun. I'm sure you'll be able to get into the "swing" of things (did you catch the pun?) easily enough. You are a great athelete. But the most important is just being a great deacon! Which you are, so just keep up the good work and you'll be fine. Love you and I'm thankful for you!
Matt- my times up, but you know I'm thankful for you too! Tell Kilinoe I'm thankful for her too for putting up with you! haha just kidding. Eat lots of pie for me.
Alright, times up. I love you all and am thankful for all of you. Hope you have a great week and that you all can show your gratitude by serving one another in the house. I'm praying for you all!