This Saturday all the missionaries in our Zone got sucked into helping out with the “Mini Mission” that was put on by the Stake Primary Presidency. The Primary Presidency came up with such an elaborate idea, but seemed to rely on faith that it would turn out successfully. It appeared that they took more time making elaborate name tags for all of the kids, than they actually spent planning out the activity itself. It was pretty chaotic. My companion and I spent most of the time just wandering around the streets with these little kids asking people to help us find the houses we were assigned to visit by the Stake Primary Presidency. The poor kids each had backpacks that weighed more than they did. I guess they thought that if they are going out with the missionaries for an hour, they better bring a copy of their family’s set of golden plates.
Funny…in the U.S., they would never let the missionaries take little primary kids out tracting, for fear of the child’s safety. I guess that they are a bit more relaxed here in Guatemala still. In fact, in the states they have a rule that missionaries cannot enter a home with women or children unless the husband/father is present. But they are a bunch of Honey Badgers here in Guatemala, and it isn’t a rule here apparently.
Fortunately the activity didn’t end up being a total disaster. After failing to find the homes we were assigned to visit, we decided to take a leap of faith by taking our kids tracting with us. At first we were afraid that going tracting with little kids might blow up on us, but we wound up finding a guy who told us that he had actually just spoken with his friend yesterday, and told his friend that he has been wanting to attend a “Mormon Church” ever since he read the Book of Mormon. Apparently he never knew where to find a local chapel.
Our Mission President has instituted a plan where the missionaries have “Family Home Evening” with members. We are asked to prepare a lesson to get families pumped about carrying out the Lords work in the form of referrals of their extended families, friends, and neighbors. Last Tuesday we presented the plan to a family. After praying with them, we felt guided by the Spirit that we should invite them to introduce us to their aunt. And wouldn’t you know it…right after we extended the invitation, their aunt literally knocked at their door. The family received that as a sign that the Spirit prompted us to know that their aunt was ready to receive the gospel.
Here is an update on Karen’s Mom…
When Elder Darrow and Elder Lopez challenged Karen’s mom to be baptized, she told them that she would have to think about it. After seeing the change in her daughter’s life when she was baptized, she began to come around to the idea. We also helped her realize that baptism is the gate by which we enter that leads to eternal families. She finally agreed to follow the example of her daughter and get baptized.
Funny…after I asked you to send me the banana bars recipe, it occurred to me that most people here in Xela don’t even have an oven with which to cook banana bars. Bummer! I was looking forward to trying Guatemalan Banana Bars because bananas taste better here because they are locally grown. I am not really sure if cream cheese taste different here. Although I did use cream cheese to make those Oreo Balls, which of course I enjoyed because they reminded me of home. I am becoming quite the chef here. I was actually pretty proud of myself last week, as I made pancakes for the first time in all my 18 years of living; and they actually turned out pretty good. I even decided to get a little cocky by throwing bananas into the next batch. I know that it really doesn’t take a whole lot of skill to make pancakes, but I’m proud of myself nonetheless.
We were going to move into a new apartment this week, but the renter wanted us to sign a contract, and the Church does not let us to sign contracts with landlords, so we are still looking. I had a lot of flea bites on my body two weeks ago, but I think they finally died off since I did not see any bite marks this last week.
Okay, gotta go now. I love you and miss you.
Con amor, Tu Hijo, Jake
P.S. You better take lots of photos and videos of Leah’s Special Olympics swim competition next Saturday. If you want me to send you photos and videos, you will need to send me weekly photos and videos of Leah. Those photos and videos of Leah always set me up to be in a great mood the rest of the week.