Responses to Questions from Home & Other Updates

12/14/15

Some photos sent to us from Estelita of Jake decorating for the Christmas

  • I’m not 100% sure where we will be spending Christmas yet, but if I had to guess, it would be with Estelita.
  • No they haven’t started serving tamales yet, but don’t worry, because the people here will probably make enough to last us until February.
  • Apparently the “bikini model” has been going to church with Hermana White in Panajachel for the past couple weeks, and should be getting baptized. But her uncle dropped off the face of the earth ever since he went to live in Guate.
  • Elder Miles got sent to open up an area for Christmas for telling off the zone leaders. At least he will still spend the holidays in Xela. I’ve told the zone leaders off a couple of times, but I never lost my temper with them like Elder Miles did.
  • My new companion is a lot more serious than Elder Miles, but we still get along well. He is from Arizona.
  • We do not have a Christmas tree in our apartment. Estelita just invited over to help her family put up their tree, since we don’t have one.
  • We have two baptism dates set for this month. Whether they actually happen depends on whether we can get Carol prepared by the 26th, and if we can help Alba realize that the reason she felt that God wants her to get baptized on the 19th, is because He is going to help her have the time to be a member of His church, so He can give her the peace and comfort that comes from the Spirit, that she desperately needs.
  • Of course the kids in this ward love me! I have actually been thinking a lot lately about what I would like to do for a career. I’ve had several people ask me during the mission, and I was thinking that if I didn’t choose to become a pediatrician, I might try becoming a child psychiatrist, so I could help kids like Reagan.
  • Because I am staying in this area for another transfer, and because I’ve been in this area for four months, I thought I would finally be able to see Alba get baptized. Two weeks ago she started thinking about what time she was going to have her baptism, and which Saturday it would be, and who she was going to invite… and based on the fact she already knew what titled all the other lessons we had not taught her yet, and from the initiative she took to read about them in the “Gospel Principles” book… it is amazing that she isn’t baptized yet.  She is now in need of the constant companionship of the Spirit more than ever because of how much stress her work is placing on her lately. She doesn’t feel that her exhausting work schedule will allow her to do the things she will have to start doing after she is baptized. And for that reason, she doesn’t think she will get baptized anymore. She is definitely more than ready to get baptized! She is the first investigator who has desired to go to church so badly that she asked us how she can develop the faith necessary to not let the excuse of being too busy stop her from going to church. We just have to help her develop faith… that because God wants her to get baptized, he is going to help her to be able to achieve that goal.
  • I was super depressed after hearing how drastically Alba’s opinion about getting baptized had changed. At least Carol still managed to keep my hopes up by telling me that if I help her feel prepared, she will make the decision to get baptized. At least I’ve almost certainly been able to see the fruit of that work.
  • The family member of the Aguirre family (who was an ex LA gang member as well) still has a good chance of getting baptized before the next transfers happen. This would open the door for the rest of his family to get baptized. Remember, he told us that he had never felt the spirit so strongly in his life, prior to prior to going to church with us. He now desires to feel that feeling for the rest of his life. The only challenge with the rest of the family is that they don’t feel the desire to look for new jobs that would enable them to go to church on Sundays. They appreciate us teaching their family so much. Not only have they invited us to dinner several times, they also have a cousin who is LDS, and she indoctrinated herself while she was up visiting them for the week.
  • The Rojas Family gives us food every time we come over. They also say they always feel more blessed after doing so. So basically, we not only have lunch everyday with members, but dinner with investigators as well.
  • As for the Rojas family… after teaching the restoration, they told us that they already felt that this was the true church. However, they grew up their lives as Catholics, and that it is going to take a little time for them to make the transition from Catholic to Mormon, but they are willing to do it.
  • If we manage to help increase Elizabeth’s faith enough, so that she doesn’t work on Sundays, there is a possibility she will get baptized this month as well.  Based on how excited she got when she heard she did not ruin her chance to get baptized in the true church by getting baptized in another.
  • If I followed the sign to contact the Escobar Family earlier, as a result of the picture of Jesus visiting the Americas, they probably would have hung it outside their home, and they probably would have already been baptized. They told us that they had been praying to God to send more missionaries to their home ever since they had lost contact with the Church when they moved. Hopefully we can get them to start having a desire to go to church again, so they can start preparing for the 9th.
  • We should have also stolen a part member family that we found while tracting in the first place, instead of letting the other elders keep visiting them. After attempting one time to visit them, we were able to set a goal with them for the 16th. The other Elders, after several wasted weeks, didn’t even achieve to get in the door with them.
  • The homemade pizza was good! The best birthday gift I got was when God helped us to get more than 30 investigators to show up to an activity we had to introduced them to in the chapel. Even though everything was planned last minute because the members didn’t following through. The only family we did not have to personally bring to the activity, was the Rojas Family, who because they didn’t want to be late, they showed up 20 minutes early.
  • To top off celebrating my birthday and Thanksgiving, we ended up having a conference with Elder Occhoa of the area presidency (or should I say Chris Angel?) He had typed out on his iPad that he had the questions in advance that the missionaries were going to ask him. And then he just left in the middle of the meeting because he felt prompted that there was someone nearby that he needed to visit. And then he finds a man who had been praying that morning that God would send him a sign that he was aware of the pain that his illness was causing him, and would offer him release.
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