Surviving the Riots of Momos / Formally Learning Quiché

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Hola Familia,

I finally got the care package on Friday. I would have gotten it sooner, but we were not able to have our district meeting on Tuesday due to a riot that was going in Momos over a tax that would require land owners to pay taxes based upon the amount of land they owned. We normally stay at the Zone Leader’s pad on Mondays, and then catch the first flete out to our area on Tuesday morning. But because of the riots, we had difficulty finding a flete back to Pancá, and didn’t get out of town until later afternoon… and the only flete we could find was driven by a 12-year-old boy!  Guatemala is a crazy country!

Thanks for the package. I am grateful for the things that you included in my package… however, in retrospect, after opening the package, I realized I should have asked you to send me something more beneficial than socks… and that is washable adult diapers! That way I won’t have to do my business in the woods anymore. Those diapers would have especially come in handy when we contacted a man who had told us that he was looking for a drastic life-style change after he ended up killing 2 people he got in a fight with during the riot on Tuesday!

It turns out that our Mission President wants the missionaries in Pancá to start preaching more in Quiché, believing that it will increase our success rate. Hence, we will be receiving a new companion starting tomorrow who is straight out of Todonicapan, who is going to start teaching me QuicIMG_0412hé. I have heard great things about Elder Tzoc. He sounds pretty humble. The descriptions of him remind me of the stories dad told me about the humble indigenous companion he had from Cobán who didn’t even know that the earth was round. I believe you had that companion while you were in the Momos Zone, didn’t you? I remember you remember him as being very humble and simple, yet he had powerful testimony.

[Note from Dad: When I was in the Momos Zone, I served with Elder Alonzo, who was a native Indian from Guatemala, and was only about 4’5″ tall. Elder Alonzo was a very humble guy. True story…one day we taught an investigator about the Plan of Salvation using circles cut-outs to depict the earth, the pre-earth life, and the Spirit World. After the lesson, Elder Alonzo turned to me and said, “Elder, why do you depict the earth as round when clearly the earth is flat?”  It was very eye-opening to me how innocent and uneducated many Guatemalans are, which led me to adopt a much more simplistic teaching style using a lot of visual aids. This is very interesting that the Mission President wants to formally teach Jake Quiché. This could mean that Jake could stay in Pancá for a long time…maybe the rest of his mission. That is a big investment to study and learn Quiché. It seems unlikely that the Mission President would invest in teaching Jake Quiché unless he was planning on keeping him there for a long time ].

Investigator Update:

Claudia has kind of fizzled out on us.  Elder Vivas and I assumed that her desire to witness a baptism prior to being baptized was just a smoke screen. In an effort to break through that smoke screen, and uncover her true objection to getting baptized, my companion and I came up with an idea to perform a little exercise with Claudia. We planned to have her write everything that is impeding her to being baptized, so that we could better understand her doubts, and help through her fears. Unfortunately, each of the four times we passed by her home, she told us she was too busy and asked us to come back the following day. She did not go to church this Sunday, after attending for four weeks straight. I am starting to wonder whether Elder Vivas is right that Claudia was pretending to be interested, and was going to church just until the church helped her pay for her son’s medical expenses. I hope that isn’t the case.

We are working with some other investigators who are struggling with some additions issues. Addictions are definitely a hard thing to overcome. Alcoholism is a big problem here in Guatemala. It is not uncommon to see men passed out on the street drunk…especially on Friday nights, after they receive their weekly paycheck. From my experience, people seem fall back into their addictions several times before they are fully break free of their bondage. Jesus Christ suffered all for all men, and so I have to believe that he has felt and knows the powerful grip it can have on people. In a way, through his atonement, he has suffered every addiction known to man. I know that if we seek His help, we can overcome every obstacle.

Well, that is my report. Gotta go now. I love you. I hope you had a great Father’s Day!

Te amo para siempre,

Elder Cudney

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