How was Halloween? Thanks for the photos of little Leah in her Princess Lia costume. So cute! At least you got to celebrate Halloween. They don’t really celebrate Halloween in Guatemala because they consider it a dark holiday. Then on November 1st they throw a big party for the dead. Go figure!
For Dia de los Santos (All Saints Day) we didn’t decorate any graves, but there were a few members who invited us over to eat “fiambre.” In case you never ate it during your mission, “fiambre” is a traditional plate the chapines (Guatemalans) eat for Dia de los Santos. I guess someone thought it would be delicious to throw every type of deli meat and cheese they could find, and mix it into a bowl full of every vegetable known to man. After eating it three separate times yesterday, I have learned that no matter how many times you eat brussel sprouts, they never taste better. I’m sure that after I eat the leftover fiambre and tomales from members for the next week, I don’t think I will ever complain again about Thanksgiving or Christmas leftovers. Speaking of Thanksgiving… lucky for me, I will still be in Las Americas for Thanksgiving. Las Americas is one of the richest areas of the mission, and a member wants to cook us a nice Thanksgiving dinner, but needs a Thanksgiving recipe from each one of us.
Here is an update on the work here in Xela
I don’t remember if I told you guys last week about the Mission President counseling me and Elder Miles for offering “too much service.” However, I believe that through our service efforts, Father has guided us to a family of 10. We recently helped the grandma of this family carry groceries back to her home, which opened doors.
Despite the fact that we stopped focusing our attention on Alba, whom we have been unsuccessful getting her back to church… primarily because of her alcoholic brother who lives in San Marcos who was baptized before her… Alba is now set on preparing herself for baptism, since she already received her answer weeks and weeks ago.
Guadalupe (the “Bikini model”) is also so pumped to be baptized! I am actually nervous to see how she is going to react when we tell her that we have to postpone her baptism date 2 weeks because she hasn’t yet met the required number of church attendances to be baptized. As for her uncle… although he feels that the Church is true, he is so connected to the Evangelical church, he feels like he needs to learn Hebrew so that he can read the whole bible in Hebrew just to be certain. All he needs to do is pray to God in faith. Unfortunately it is probably going to take some more time with Juan. Juan and Guadalupe were so happy when they found out I wasn’t being transferred. I should be able to get them to keep the commitments necessary to help them meet their baptismal goal… especially considering how Sister White remembers seeing us in a dream in which Guadalupe was baptized, which in turn prompted Guadalupe to decide at the last minute to go down to Guatemala City… and at the precise moment that Guadalupe showed back up, shortly after her parents’ marriage problems, which led her to abandon her family for two years, thus setting up for a perfect storm to lead her and Juan being baptized.
As for Ruth… after having to wait a week to visit her again, we were worried she would end up forgetting us, and forgetting the answers to her prays. To our astonishment, she told us that during the week, she was in sush despair, that she said a little pray in her mind while waiting for the bus. Right after the prayer, two sister missionaries crossed the street to talk to her.
Let’s see… did anything funny happen this week? Oh, yes, there was a “bolo” (a drunk) who tried to force us to buy a “marvelous art piece” from him. Basically, it was just a smashed beer can. He threatened to assault us if we didn’t buy it. He didn’t even do anything when we just continued walking again.
Well, that’s it for now. Have a great week! Miss you guys!
Con amor, tu hijo, Jake
P.S. We finally got sunshine here in Xela! We just entered the dry season! Yeah!!