Click and the picture is easier to see :) Jared is on the far right.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Letter 5 (week 5)
So 5 weeks in and 1 left before God holds me under the water until I grow gills and fins. It’s a little nerve racking, but at the same time I’m so excited. Every time I feel the stress come on and I feel like the weight of the work here is too much, I just think back to the Savior and His Atonement. I try to imagine how much pain he went through, and just the thought of getting a crown of thorns pushed onto my head makes me sick. Then I think back to my work and I’m like pshhh... this is facil (easy) ...
I’ve really grown so much here and I realize how important the Missionary Training Center is in our development as missionaries. My testimony of the gospel in its whole has grown more than I can express. One thing that I have prayed a lot for is faith. The importance of faith has been apparent to me, but gaining the faith is the tricky part. I have been praying every day and night for my faith to grow so that I could get to the point were I knew for absolute sure everything was true and I wouldn't ever have a doubt. But, the answer I received really put faith in perspective for me.
I was reading in the Book of Mormon from Alma 32, this is where Alma and the sons of Mosiah are trying to preach to the Zoramites and bring them to righteousness. There were many of the people that said they would only believe if they could see a sign, one little sign and they would believe. Alma rebukes them and explains how this is not faith. He explains how important faith is and how without faith there is no cause to believe, and when you know with a surety you are surely more cursed in this life. None of us are perfect and with a perfect knowledge the Lord would expect more of a perfection. The judgments would be so harsh on us if we knew for sure.
Alma 32:21 “Faith is not a perfect knowledge of all things, therefore if you have faith you hope for things which are not seen, but which are true.”
Now concerning faith, if we do not give action our faith is dead! We must take the word and place it in our heart as an act of faith and continue to give action. And if that seed is good then we will feel it grow within us and it will be good and our hearts will feel swollen and we will feel enlightened. But if we neglect our seed then the strength of our seed will be nothing. We won’t have roots to hold us when the storms come, and the storms will come!!!
If we press forward CONTINUALLY with faith and endure to the end we will taste of a fruit that is most desirable. Now about faith if we don’t act with diligence and humility, our pride could kill us.
I love you guys, but I’m out of time. I just feel like this is really important.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
It’s crazy how fast we’re growing up huh, haha, pretty soon you and dad are going to be right in my shoes on a mission of your own. I’m glad you guys got to visit with Mikey. I’m really jealous I couldn't be there haha.
I’m glad to hear that Rick and Gavin are doing great. Rick’s spirit has always touched me and it’s fascinating to see how close to the spirit and Christ he has become. I woke up this morning and realized that today Gavin is probably headed to the Philippians because we just sent out a huge group of missionaries. I hope everything has been going well for him in the MTC and the language has been coming.
I have been grateful that I was blessed with the easiest foreign language to learn. Some of the missionaries here that are going to places such as Northern Guatemala Cuban, I think it’s called, have to learn Spanish in the MTC and then get out in the field and have to learn really old Indian dialects like Kechi and Kichay, because 75 percent of their mission speaks it. They also get the opportunity to hike around in jungle with machetes. I think that would be an amazing experience, but so stressful and such a trial.
One of my new teachers is a Latino and doesn’t know a lick of English. We are switching to full Spanish speaking teachers and we aren’t allowed to talk in English haha. A good way to put how our Spanish is going is that we can understand pretty much anything they say to us, it’s just getting out the words that is difficult. He said it took him 8 months to learn the language. He spoke for us and the language uses a lot of clicks and weird sounds that make no since. His Kechi Book of Mormon was twice the size of the English one.
I’ve really grown close to my whole district. There are 6 of us boys and 1 hermana. It’s a weird situation because she is the first case in few years where there has been a hermana without a comanero. My companion is cool as heck and has grown to be a really good friend, and hopefully we can meet up after our missions and go to school together or something. He wants to be a mechanical engineer also.
Keep me updated about how Rick and Gavin are doing. I’ve been keeping in touch with Donavon and Hayden. Ask me questions about Guatemala to and anything you want to know. It’s a really unique place from what I’ve seen so far. I’m so high up in elevation that it actually gets really chilly here sometimes. They call it the land of eternal spring because it is always like this year around. There are only two seasons; rainy and not rainy. Half the year they say it rains every couple hours and the other half is just clouds and sunshine. If I go farther south when I leave they say it will get really hot because it’s at sea level.
Oh, and tell Lisa, Grandma Bay, Joe, and Brother Richardson I really enjoyed their letters and thank you so much! I just don’t have enough time to respond. If I get time I’m going to write letters to you and dad and have you guys give them out. I sent one to Em last week.
Also how are Marissa and Ana? Michael? Emerson? I keep them in my prayers every day.
I just figured out that we can get packages and the guy that gave us mail was just confused. Not that it really matters; I’ll be gone before any packages get to me here.
I love you guys!
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Wed, Feb 11, 2015 3rd letter
Whoa, okay, well the last week has been 10 times easier than the first two.. I am finally adjusting to missionary life, and I don't know why, but I love it... My companion was called as district leader recently and it has put a lot more work on him and in turn both of us because we are one. My companion has been such a blessing to me and a strength here. Every one eles in our district has 3 or four years of spanish, but we are the only ones that took less than a year. We work hard and the language is coming and coming, but every time you think you’re getting to the top, you see that it was just a false peak and you have so much more to work on.
Everyday I work on memorizing, memorizing and memorizing. So far I have down the mission objective, the first vision, full invitation to baptism, and all of D&C 4. By the end of the week I will have D&C 20:37 and all the points in Preach My Gospel on page 177. I would like you guys to just attempt it in Spanish haha!!! The Lord has been blessing us so much it is crazy. We teach investigators every day and, even though they are fake, we can still feel the spirit guiding us.
I don't want to be to proud or boastful, but my teacher gave my companion and I a special good job for our last lesson. We where suppose to be teaching an investigator that wouldn't budge at all in his faith as a Catholic and it was suppose to be 3 lessons deep before we could brake him. He said that we did such a good job the second lesson that he couldn’t say no to our commitments of reading the Book of Mormon and praying, and if he got an answer, which we told him we knew he would, then he would be baptized and come to church. It was an amazing experience.
This week we got to go to the Guatemala Relief Map and go to the market. The Relief Map was sweet, you guys should read the history about it and how long it took to make. It is 99 percent correct according to google maps. It's crazy how many volcanoes there are here! One blew this week and the sky has been covered in ash. It was Mount Fuego, or Mount Fire, if you want to look it up.
At the market it was really cool to go talk to people. My companion and I talked to a few random people about the gospel. It was crazy how much we could communicate, there really wasn't anything we wanted to say that we couldn't in Spanish, although, I’m not sure it was grammatically correct. It really opened my eyes up to what my mission is going to be like and I’m crazy excited. I handed out a Book of Mormon to one guy and gave cards about the church to 3 other people. The last guy my companion and I talked to was really interested in the church and we were able to get his info so we can get it to the missionaries in the area.
I want to say I am truly sorry to everyone that emails me and doesn't get a huge response, if any, back. I have so much to say, but they don't give me enough time. I’m working on writing hand written letters to everyone a day at a time. If you guys could all send me your addresses that’d be dope.
Some quotes that I have enjoyed and held with me are these:
“Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.”
And, “Discouragement is just a tool of the adversary.”
I love all of you and miss you, so please keep writing me!! It’s easier to respond to hand written letters, so if you want a better response it might have to be that way! hahah
Monday, February 2, 2015
Monday, February 2, 2015 2nd Letter
So where should I start? (: They are letting me write today because we are going on a big trip tomorrow to the market. I know its only been two weeks, but I can honestly say this has been the best experience in my life. This last week has been so much easier than the first. The first week was honestly the longest week of my life.
My district got new teachers and they are pushing us twice as fast as any other group. My testimony of the gospel, this gospel, Gods work has grown so much. I realize how much happier I am when I have the spirits comfort and follow his guidance. The language is coming faster and faster. I can bare my testimony, say a prayer, teach most lessons, I’ve memorized the first vision and the baptismal invitation. My teacher gave us three days to learn all of them. I thought for sure it was impossible... but anything is possible with the Lords help and I know for a fact that it is through Him that we are excelling so fast.
I’m pretty sure our two teachers, Hermano Abidillo and Hermano Moralles, are two of the Three Nephites... they do nothing but work all day for the Lord, or at least Abadillo does. He teaches us every day until 2 and then he goes to work some where else. Then we go to the temple and he is a temple worker there. He’s only 22 and by far the most spiritual intelligent man I have ever met. My other teacher Hermano Moralles wakes up at 5:30am and goes to college until 12. Then he drives two hours to the MTC to teach us until 9:30pm. He then drives two hours back home and does home work for a few hours. I have no idea how he does it... He does it every day and is always positive. He’s working towards mechanical engineering. He encourages me to work harder and I look so highly of him, and his example gives me encouragement too!
About Guatemala... so first off I forgot to tell you a few important facts. Firstly, there are guards on every other corner where big stores and gas stations are. They all have shot guns and it reminds me of the movie Ride Along where Kevin Heart says he is more of a shot gun perfectionist. I can just imagine what happens when these little dudes shoot them. Most of them are 5 foot and have the shortest little legs. We know that they shoot them because we hear shot guns go off a few times a week. Our MTC president said we will probably see a few bodies in the street through out our mission because they don't move them for a day or two sometimes.
The guards in front of the MTC are loaded too. I don't think they have ever had to use them but we do have two or three guards.
Also a very important fact and the thing that excites me most about my mission is the cars here. Oh man... THEY have the nicest cars ever!!!! You would think of them all being ghetto as heck, but no, they are all very nice and are tinted so people can’t see in to steal stuff. Every night we hear squeaking tires and engines. I have seen all of my favorite cars here and there is a plethora of unmolested beauties. I have seen so many STI’s I can’t even count and that’s just looking through the windows. I have seen so many Trueno and Levin ae86 corollas, even a few 240sx plus tons of modded e36. And I even saw a nissan GTR on our way to a conference.
I miss you guys so much and can’t wait for my pictures! They said its really important to have pictures to show families while you're teaching.