"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 26, 2012

If Noah's Flood Came Back On the Earth, I'd Be Done With My Mission Before it Stopped Raining!

Hey Guys!

Well. I have to say that it's pretty hard not to get baggy with Elder Snow and Elder Dilworth here with me. It also is a VERY VERY baggy thing for me that Twoody is already coming home. I can't believe that. That just makes me feel even more that it's almost time for me to come home. Mark's home. Now Twoody's home. Next up is me.

BUT, I'm working hard still with my companion. We got everything worked out for Juana and Oscar's wedding and it will be this Friday at 10:00 AM. The baptism will then be at 10:00 on Saturday. It's pretty exciting because she has been waiting to get baptized for a long time, so we're super excited for her. Oscar(the groom)'s mom has been a little bit pouty because they aren't going to do any big party or anything, but we told her not to be so materialistic (in a nice way). It is actually very impressive how they are getting married without anything when the culture here pretty much demands those things to be accepted by other people. They will probably get a lot of "bad reputation" from friends and family, but their hearts are set on doing what's right and keeping the commandments. They are really forming their foundation upon the rock of Christ. So I have confidence that they will be a strong couple and be able to withstand the fiery darts of the adversary.

We are also working hard still with the other Oscar, who is doing well but is having a hard time understanding a lot of things. But he came to church again this Sunday so he's doing well. We went with a bunch of members yesterday to visit Domingo and Rosa and to just kind of give them a little bit of support. They were happy that we went with the branch president and everything. They are saying right now that they have plans to get married in July, so I'm hoping to see Rosa get baptized before I leave.

Other than that the work keeps moving on faster than ever. Yesterday my companion was sitting on the floor in an investigators house when a big rat came running out at him across the room. (my comp has a BIG fobia of rats) So my companion yelled and dove for safety while the rat ran and weasled his way into Juana (our fecha)'s corte (pretty much her "dress" you could say). She stood up and started dancing and jumping to get the rat out and after a couple seconds the poor little creature flew out and ran outside. It was a pretty funny experience haha.

Ok, well not too much else to say about the week. Here's some shoutouts.

Dad- Hey dad! First of all Happy Father's day!!! Sorry I didn't mention anything to you last week but for some reason I was thinking last week that it wouldn't be until this week. But you know that I love you and that you are the best dad I could ever ask for. Thanks for all you've taught me and for being one of my best friends. I know I can always count on you. I'm excited for the stuff we're going to do when I get back. Thanks for the update on the NBA. I was rooting for the Thunder but I will applaud LeBron for his playoff ring. Right now there are a lot of soccer games going on for some preliminary World Cup stuff. Actually, the USA played Guate a couple of weeks ago and they tied 1 to 1. They are matched up in groups of 4 and 2 will go on to compete in another round of games to be participants in the World Cup. USA is the leading team in their group of 4 so it was good for Guate to tie up with them I guess. I'll have to get you into soccer more when I get back. It's fun to watch!! Yeah. It's hard sometimes. But I'm ready for it. I'm going to give it everything I've got with these people these last few weeks, but I'm ready to go back to the blessed USA. Being with these people is sometimes very tiring. It requires a lot of patience and love because they are so childlike. Anyways thanks again dad for all your advice and counsel. It's been some of the most important things for me in my whole mission and I really appreciate it. Love you dad. Thanks for everything.

Mom- Last thing I heard about the Q'eqchi' choir, they won't be coming to Sacsuha anymore to do a concert. That's what the senior couple in Senahu told me at least. They said that they will just be doing a concert in Teleman on Sunday. But I guess President Watts wants it to be a big thing which means we'll probably all be doing there and bringing investigators and members. I'm just excited to get a new hymnbook!! So, you'll have to ask aunt Julie about the deets right now and let me know next week. Either way I will maybe be able to spend a little bit of time with Julie. That's awesome about Jonny finishing his training and everything. I'm not too informed about what a military policeman does but it sounds cool. Kind of surprising that he'll be going to Germany. Will they be learning German or what? Any idea how long they'll be there? Anyways sounds cool. It's really sad about Cody. I wish there was something we could do, but I guess like you said, the Lord will make what he wants to happen, happen. I'm praying for him and I'll be sure to include him in my prayers and my fast next Sunday. Anyways I have to go for now but thanks for all you do mom. Love you!! :)

Alrighty well another week is gone. Tell Twoody I expect him to write me while I'm still here and he's home. Love you all tons and I'll see you soon.


Elder Norton

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Last Change


Today I begin my last change in my mission. I'm staying in Saqsuha' with E. Salazar so no changes for me. In fact there was only one change in the whole zone which means Elder Dilworth and  Elder Snow will also be dying in their same areas with the same companions. It's really just a weird thing to think about. One more daily planner. 6 more weeks. That means that I will have had

6 areas:  
3 Q'eqchi' 
2 all Spanish 
1 Spanish and Poqomchi'

12 companions:  
2 North Americans 
4 from El Salvador 
2 from Guatemala 
1 from Honduras 
1 from Nicaragua 
1 from Peru 
1 from Chile

Anyways enough of that. The point is that, yes, I'm a little bit baggy.

But I've still got a lot of ganas (desires) to work hard and finish strong. I've still got a lot to teach my companion and we've got some baptisms planned for these next couple of months. We taught the same lesson about the marriage of Adam and Eve with Oscar and Juana (our eternal investigators) and they accepted a date to get married. It was AWESOME. Oscar's mom is kind of being a stinker though and trying to takchi'ink (give bad counsel to) him by telling him not to do it until he has more money. But he's really determined to get married so I'm not worried. This Wednesday Juana is going to get her paperwork all figured out and we are going to go and give all of their paperwork to the municipality so that the week of the 30th they can get married and Juana can get baptized. WOO! We also found a reference of a pilas ex missionary in our branch. It's his 17 year old brother in law named Oscar Ixim (just a funny little fact that Ixim means corn.) . We put a baptismal date with him at our first appointment and he came to church this last week and loved it. We're pretty excited. We're going to see if we can work it out so that he gets baptized in July sometime.

Anways things are just going really well. I'm still working hard and focused but it's just really surreal to me about coming home so soon.

About vacation, I could really care less about where we go or what we do. If we don't have time cause of dad's trial I'll be fine just chilling at home with you guys and going to do fun stuff in KS, So Whatever!

Quickly I just wanted to wish a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!! to Kinzie :) I know you're not at home yet to read this but just know I'm thinking about you and I already have a little present for you for when I get back :)

Ok guys sorry it's a little short today but times up. Love you all tons and I'll write you all next week more!!!! Love you!!!

Elder Norton

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Fun Day in Se'muq Champey


Hope you aren't all as tired as I am today!

This morning we woke up at 3 in the morning to head out for a zone activity to these cool pools of water called "Se'muq Champey". We were waiting outside the zone leader's house at 3:30 for the big cow truck to come and take us all up to the place. We waited and looked for 2 hours and finally found the guy at 6:00. We headed out on the 3 hour long drive in the back of a big truck used normally for transporting cows or horses (and in Polochik, lots of people...). It was a crazy and fun ride. Most of us rode kind of on the top sides of the truck and since the path we took wasn't the most traveled by, especially by big cow trucks, there were a LOT of branches that were low and we would have to duck and cover our heads with our backpacks to sheild us from the whipping branches of the trees. It was a lot of fun. Once we got there we semi- met up with the 2 other zones that also went today to the same place (Zones Verapaz and Coban). It was good seeing some familiar faces and other elders from my group. I got to see Elder Lemus, my old comp because he is still zone leader in Verapaz. So it was fun seeing him. We went up this pretty steep hike to a "mirador" (look out spot) where we took pictures of the green, cristaline waters. It's a pretty awesome sight. 

While at the top we ran into a couple different groups of people. The first was a group of 4 whiter girls that were speaking in what appeared to us to be German. They asked me to take a picture of them (in English..they spoke English very well almost without hardly any accent) so I took advantage of the opportunity to ask where they were from. I was pretty surpised when they told me they were from Israel. I wouldn't have guessed that I don't think. They were speaking Hebrew but were all fluent in English. I told them that I was going to study Hebrew when I got back because it had a similar structure to Q'eqchi'. They were really friendly and said that I definitely needed to come and see all of the great Christian sites in Jerusalem. So that was pretty cool. After that we found an American couple from Colorado and talked to them for a while too. Anyways, we got some good pics and painfully watched other people swim in these cool pools and then headed back in our cow truck. It was a good time with some good quality talking time with the other elders during the ride and some good laughs. But one thing's for sure, I'm dead tired.

Well, this past week has gone by in the blink of an eye as well. We got a reference of a young man who is brother in law of an ex missionary. We put a baptismal date with him already because he has already been talking with his brother in law for a while. We put the date for August 4th...I don't think I have to explain to you why the thought of that made me pretty baggy.... (he comes home August 2nd!)

Other than that we had a great lesson with Domingo and Rosa. We had the inspiration to talk to them about "True marriage" as instituted by God to Adam and Eve. We explained that when God married them, there was no party, no caldo, no new corte, no inviting friends, no nothing. Just Adam, Eve, and God making a promise to be faithful to each other and keep God's commandments. They took the lesson really well and we taught as well with a member who didn't do anything special or traditional for his wedding. They were pretty convinced and the only question they have now is about what will happen with their personal ID's after getting married. So we're hoping that within the next couple of weeks we'll see another white weekend.

Alright time's almost up. Here's some personal shoutouts:

Mom- haha that's fine with me whatever you want to write on your calander. I'm sorry to hear that your shoulder has been killing you lately. I hope that you start feeling better soon. Speaking of surgery what ever happened to McKinzie and her supposed imminent surgery? Anyways the Q'eqchi' choir has only been published by me and my companion in Saqsuha. It's not too well publicized yet. But don't worry the Q'eqchi's will know. Thanks for always motivating me to keep doing the small things. I'm helping my companion a lot to learn that as well. He's suffering a little bit, but we all do here. I don't like to complain so I usually don't say anything about the heat or the pain or the tiredness. Being here has toughened me up a lot. I think I'll be ready to play lacrosse when I get home as well with Jack now. If not I could probably get into rugby. =P Anyways things are going well. Thanks for all mom. Love you and talk to you next week!

Dad- hey dad hope your case went well with the psycopath lawyers. Too bad that you couldn't schedule in some time to meet with the president. I'm sure he was disappointed not to have been able to see you. I'm sure it will be big news to see who will be the new seminary teacher. You'll have to let me know when they call someone. Yeah Satan always tries to make us prideful huh? But if I ever knew a humble man, it's you dad. I know you won't ever let youself be lifted up to pride. And I know you'll be great in your new calling. As for the NBA I heard about the thunder and the heat. GO THUNDER! Kevin Durant is the man. Root for them for me will ya? Love you dad thanks for all you do. Talk to you next week!

Jack- that's awesome about lacrosse! You are awesome Jack. That will be awesome going to camp at BYU. Have a good time there and keep working at it to get better. Sick jersey and pads. You already look professional. I don't have much time to write right now but I'll try to write me next week. Love you tons bro!

Ok guys, well my time's oficially up. Love you all and I'll let you know next Monday about changes. Take care!

Love you,
Elder Norton

Monday, June 4, 2012

Time Keeps On Slippin'


Wow, well I got a lot of emails today from friends and family which is great. So thanks guys for all of the emails and all of the great news.

Well, as the subject titles of this email says, time keeps on slippin'. I feel like this past week was about 7 hours instead of 7 days. Things are just going by way too fast to even comprehend. We had interviews with President Watts which was great. I had a good talk with him about things I need to do to finish the mission strong and to make these last weeks of my mission the best. It was good. And also baggy. But I don't feel hardly baggy at all yet. My companion has been struggling a little bit to keep working hard. He has a hard time with all of the heat and with the walking we do. Yesterday I took him to Palomar where I baptized my convert Alicia and he almost threw up quite a few times haha. Poor guy. But he's got a good heart and he wants to work hard. His mom told him if he lost weight that she would stop smoking (his mom's less active..) so we're working hard to get his "wata" (as they say in Chile) smaller. Q'eqchi' is still hard for him but he's starting to learn more. He just has to pretty much make a fool of himself for the next three months trying to speak and he'll learn quickly. He's just got to speak it even when he doesn't know how to say things and learn that way.

So anyways, things are going well. As far as investigators go, we talked to President Watts about how we need to focus more on those who are ready to progress. It's hard because I love most of our investigator families so darn much. But we're working with the people who are actually ready to be baptized in our time here and letting the others have their time with other missionaries. It's really a hard concept to master to be honest but it's what we have to do as missionaries. We don't forget about them, we just don't focus on them as much. So anyways, Erlinda and Carlos didn't come to church which was sad. They said they they had to go to Teleman because their son was sick but I'm not so sure. The good news is that Rosa, the mom of the three kids that I baptized, is coming to church again and is recovered from her child labor. This Sunday they blessed their baby and officially gave her her name (which they made Elder Escorcia and I choose.) Her name is Sara Dámaris Xol Chub. I picked out the named Sara and my comp picked out Damaris. I tried to name her Susan or Susy as they normally say here and then Kensy after Kinzie, but they didn't like those names very much. So it just ended up being Sara haha. But it was a neat experience to name a baby. Anyways, Rosa and her husband Domingo are thinking about marriage right now and I'm sure they'll get married soon. They are such a great family and I love them TONS.

Alright well that's pretty much it on the info for the week. Let me get some personal comments in now:

Dad- wow that's awesome about the new calling!! That will be such a great opportunity right now because I'm sure there will be a lot more interest in the church in the general Kansas City area with the temple and everything. The Lord put you there for a reason for sure dad. You'll be great. I'm not exactly sure how the high council works in regards to missionary work since well frankly I've never even been in a ward in my mission. But I'm sure it will be fun to work with the missionaries and to take more part in missionary work. Like you've always told me, it's all about listening to the Spirit. I'm sure though that you are just the man for the job and that, just like all of ther other callings you've had, you'll do a great job and bless the lives of a lot of people. I just want to thank you again dad for having taught me so much as my seminary teacher. I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything in the world. The things I learned from you and the testimony that I've always felt as you've taught has been one of the biggest things that helped me to get out here on my mission and has supported me through hard times here. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. Love you dad. Let me know how your new calling goes! Love you!

Mom-well I'll talk about the sad things first to get them out of the way. That's horrible about Cody.  I will pray a lot for him. I really hope that the Lord lets him spend his time in juvenille.  I'll remember Kim and her family in my prayers too. So you said in your email that the stake president wanted to talk to you too? For a minute I thought you were going to get released too! haha. That's exciting about the basement and about Les Mis! I'm very excited to see it with you guys! And yes we'll have to go and plant corn next year! that would be super fun! I'll find out all I can about how to do it and everything and we'll go pure Q'eqchi' style haha! And you'll make caldo!! I would really love that hahaha. We'll have to do it :) Alright well I love you! Another Monday bites the dust!!

Ok guys times up. Love you all tons and I'm so grateful for having the best family I could ever ask for. Thanks for supporting me and for all that you do for me. Write you all next week!!

Elder Norton