Some Odd Experiences and a Couple Updates

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Hola Familia,

This week was just chalked full of odd experiences…First, our Ward Mission Leader referred us to a less active family, full of circus performers. It turned out that only the girls of the family are members; the father was apparently excommunicated for who knows what. Let’s just say that there are a lot of “shotgun marriages” here in Guatemala. I was able to use my landscaping skills from before my mission to help clean up their garden this week. As a result, we were able to get them all to come to church.

Even though we had been reminding our investigators all week that church was going to start early because of Stake Conference, my companion confused Saturday with Sunday. I, myself, forgot about it being Stake Conference, until the Zone Leaders called all the missionaries just 30 minutes before to remind everyone. Consequently, we were not able to pass by to pick up Alba. Because everyone here run on “Chapin time” (which is typically an hour behind standard time), we usually have to swing by to round people up. So we will have to swing by to pick up Alba next week.

On Sunday, the Bishop’s family invited us to a dinner party. Their family loves us. The good thing is that we were able to build rapport with several of the other leaders in the Ward. It was a bit strange attending a dinner party in Guatemala where everyone talked the entire time about the U.S., as if they lived there. I almost felt we were back in the states for a moment; but then reality set in for us that we where still in Guatemala when they served us eggs, beans, and tortillas at the party.

The other odd thing that happened this week was that I was asked for the second time since I’ve been here in Las Americas, to remove my pants… which makes me wonder if it is actually a common occurrence here.  The first time happened two weeks ago when Alba made a kind gesture to iron our pants when we arrived to her home soaking wet from the rain. The second occurrence happened when I got into a street fight (aka, slipping in the mud right before stopping by to visit a less active family). Just to put your mind at ease, I did not agree to take off my pants on either occasion (especially in the second time, when it was a 17-year-old girl known for  flirting with missionaries).

Just a few quick updates on Families we are currently working with:                   We are working diligently to bring our investigators unto Christ. I have been keeping Stuard in my prayers, and this week we were finally able to schedule an appointment with him. During our meeting, he informed us that he had been praying that God would send more missionaries to his home, believing that only through the gospel he can truly put his old life as a gang member behind him, and become a true disciple of Christ.

Another family we have been working with is the Lopez family. We had been praying to know which part-member families the Lord had been preparing to receive the restored gospel, when the Lord directed us to the parents of Estelita Lopez (a convert of one year). At first, we were confused why the Lord directed us to the Lopez family, who had not wanted anything to do with the Church ever since they got into an argument with an elder the day before their baptism. However, through my witty sense of humor, along with the Spirit, we were able to get her parents to warm up to the missionaries again. This week they asked Estelita to invite us over, as they were in need of a priesthood blessing. After blessing them, they told us that they had felt the peace that the gospel offers them. After being reminded of this wonderful feeling that they had felt so strongly before, they expressed a desire to start receiving missionary lessons again.

This week we also ended up stealing a contact from the other elders from our Zone. One of our other appointments fell through, so we went by a family who had expressed interest in learning more, but the other elders never even bothered to follow up…so we did.

Love, Jake

P.S.  I might need you guys to send me another pair of black waterproof boots because I may have lost the ones I had. When we went to the Chapel today to play soccer, I didn’t have them with me. So I either forgot to bring them with me, or I left them on the bus.

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