"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

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kub'iha'!! Baptisms

Hey Guys!! 

First off, sorry that I didn't write yesterday! We got back kind of late from our p-day activity and by the time we got back there was only a couple of internet places open and none of them had internet service because of a small storm that passed through. We got on the computers and waited, hoping that the internet would come back, and so while we did I typed a little on Word to use my time well. So for lack of time to go and change everything I'm just copying and pasting what I wrote yesterday. So just know that when it says today it really means yesterday. :) 

I write you all from Teleman, area of our ZL’s after a long relaxing p-day of not doing very much. Today we decided to go to a place called San Vicente which is part of Canlun’s area (where Elder Ware is at.) So we all met up (all=me and my comp, Elder Ware and his comp, and our two fearless leaders, Elders Dilworth and Snow.)  This morning at the Canlun house where we made a some french toast and had a nice little breakfast. After that we hopped on a truck up to San Vicente. After the 2 hour ride up the mountain we finally got there. So we all climbed out and it was market day there so of course all of the people just sat there and looked at us. We didn’t really do anything at all to be honest. Just got out, went to a cool little lookout spot, sat down, ate some sunflower seeds, and talked for a long time. We took some cool pictures, went to another cool spot to take some more pictures, and then went back to the little market to wait for a truck to head back down. Might sound kind of boring but it was a lot of fun just relaxing and talking about life dreams and plans with some of my best friends from the mission in the middle of a little village in the middle of nowhere for a few hours. So I had a good time. The down side was that I unwisely chose to wear shorts instead of pants and got pretty sunburned on my legs. But other than that it was a great p-day.

Goofing around with Elder Snow.

Elders Snow, Norton, and Dilworth.

This week has been a a busy, slightly stressful, and miraculous week.  Last Monday we were looking for a way for our couple to get married without having to get their blood taken out and weren’t having very much success. So, Tuesday we decided to go to a place called Panzós where there is another municipality. We got there and they told us that they didn’t ask for blood tests for marriage there, and even better told us that they could perform the marriage that same Thursday. We were pretty excited and went back to tell our investigators the good news. We called the wife to tell her first and she said that it was good for her. Then we went to go and visit her parents, since they also had to be at the marriage to sign for the wife, Alicia (she’s 16…don’t go getting any ideas Kinzie!!!) So we got there and they told us that they had to be in La Tinta Thursday to present a case to the police about something that had happened to them. It took a little bit of time and a lot of convincing, but we got them to try and worry about that for Friday after the wedding. The parents agreed. We called Alicia again to get the final details. She told us that they didn’t know how to get there because they didn’t have any money to pay for the trip. (it’s about Q12 for every person.) We called a member who happens to own a pick-up truck to see if he could take us there and bring us back for a little bit cheaper. So, we worked things out with him and got the trip set up and paid for. You can guess who were the ones that ended up paying for that trip…After that we thought everything was all set and ready for the wedding. It turned out though that Oscar (Alicia's husband) called us and told us he couldn't go because he had to work that day. Determined and trusting that the Lord would provide the way, we got his boss's number from him. We knelt down right there and said a prayer asking the Lord to soften his boss's heart so that he could have the day off to be at his wedding. We then called and got a very friendly and warm response that it was completely fine and that he understood completely. He not only gave him the day off Thursday, but Saturday too to be there for the baptism. We were VERY thankful. So we went Thursday to Panzós in our little pickup truck, got there on time, and had a great little wedding with three other couples that were also getting married there at the same time. Friday was a semi-normal day and we got some work done. Then Saturday we spent the whole day getting the baptism ready. We made a nifty little program for the service pretty much the same as the last one that I made but in Q'eqchi' and better than before. We even put a little picture of the couple that got married on the inside. They really liked that haha. We also bought drinks and paid a lady in the branch to make 150 empanadas (tortillas folded over and fried with vegetables on the inside. really good!) so that everyone could eat a little something after the baptism. So all in all, it was a great great service. I was priveleged to baptize the 2 boys and the youngest girl and my comp baptized the oldest girls. Unfortunately, I also ended up baptizing our cell phone haha. After the second baptism I remembered that it was still in my pocket. oops haha. The good news was that since I'm so tall it didn't hardly get wet at all and was fine. The bad news was that the phone apparently fell out of the truck on the way up to our p-day activity....so it looks like we'll be getting a new one anyways. 

Oscar and Alicia's Wedding

And that's the week! Last night, after trying to use internet and everything we couldn't find any rides to get back to our area. So I went with Elder Dilworth and taught a couple that they are trying to get married and baptized. The mom was kind of down on the marriage idea and kept trying to say things that discouraged them from getting married. So I had to kind of "tell her off" I guess you could say (in Spanish we say "dar cincho" which means to give someone the belt/ aka whip or beat them for something bad haha) and basically said "Well, you're his mother and you have a right to try and give him advice, but God's his Father and He knows a lot more than you do! And even if you don't like the fact that they should get married, God does." Of course I didn't say it in a mean way and she didn't get offended. But after that she didn't really have too much else to say haha. I'm getting good at being direct with people about marriage and how important it is! It's actually pretty fun! 

Ok well here are some more personal (aka baggy) comments:

Mom and Dad- hey guys, just wanted to tell you both that you are both VERY BAGGY! haha. It's ok it's fun to be baggy on Mondays sometimes, especially with E. Dilworth and E. Snow (you'll notice that symbol we are making with our hands in the picture that I sent you guys...3 and a half baby!)

Ok, but anyways I'm actually not disappointed at all that you won't be able to come pick me up. I'm actually kind of excited now because it means I'll get to have the whole airport experience and all and I'll get to fly home with all of my good buddies from the mish which will be awesome. I feel good about it and I think it's all part of the plan. It will be better to come back maybe next year. Places we could go on vacation? hmm...wherever! Just a getaway somewhere where we can chill and catch up on everything. Colorado, Montana, Michigan, S. Carolina, N. carolina, Chicago. I'd like to see a musical or something fun like that? I don't know, I'll be good with anything. Let me know what y'all think :) (By the way I have a question for you: I remember reading in Grandpa Jack's journal that he grew up in Montana. What town in Montana?? Since E. Dilworth is from Montana and E. Ware has family there I thought it would be interesting to know.)

Jack- hey buddy! Sorry I didn't get the chance to write you a little something last week. Sometimes it takes me a week to have the time to write after you've written me. So sorry, but that's GREAT! about your track stuff man! Who knew you had molten lava leg muscles to be able to jump so far! I'm really proud of you for exploring your talents and for being more atheletic than I ever was. And that's funny that you look just like me in your pics. It's going to be weird when I get home because you will have the same age as I did when we moved back to KS. Weird! The difference will be that you are the more muscular version of me haha. Keep up the good work bud. Love you tons. Can't wait to see you!

Kinzie- Hey you little freak! How come that you never write me anymore?? haha how's the new school/ chamber choir going for you? I hope you're doing well.Any good music coming out lately? You have to keep an updated music playlist for me for when I get home!!! Write me! And get cute single girls from ages 19-21 to write me too! =P love you!

Mom- wow that's really awesome about the temple and everything! I'm so excited to be able to go when I get back. That will have to be one of the first things that we do when I get back is go to the temple together!! I imagine they will probably have headphones to listen to the session in Q'eqchi' right? I hope so! I can't believe that I'm coming home so soon either. Time is a mystery to me. I'm having to think a lot about life and what to do and everything and it's kind of scary sometimes. But everything will turn out great with the Gospel. I'm glad that you didn't get hit by tornadoes but yeah I like a good thunderstorm here too. Makes me think of the Kansan plains.That's cool that Jeriann and Will both got Monson scholarships. Pilas! We'll have to hang out there. Love you mom!!!

Dad- that's cool about Matt coming home this week. I'm really excited to hang out with him and be able to room with him and get to know him again there. He definitely will have to help me out a lot and I'll try to help him out too. I've been thinking about things I want to do and study and stuff. I'll probably just talk to you more when I call in May. I'm just thinking about things that I've "always wanted to do" and about my talents and what I like now and trying to decide from that when I want to study and what I want to do for a living. Thanks for all your support day and for having already taught me how families can be successful. Love you tons dad! Don't get too baggy!! Talk to you soon! Love you!

Alright well guys, time's up. Love you all tons!! 

Elder Norton

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