Monday, December 23, 2013

Changes!

    Hello family!  We are getting closer to Christmas every time I talk to you guys!  It´s been really special to be able to really feel the real meaning of Christmas this season.  I love the gifts and stuff, don´t get me wrong, but really focusing on Christ makes this season really worth it.  And how much better can it be when I am lost in the service of the Lord?  Not much.  So let´s see how I´m doing.

     Changes were this week.  Elder Calero is gone, and now I´m with Elder Josec.  He´s from Perú, and really funny.  And another cool thing is that he is also my Grandson!  (O sea, Elder Mar, my son (the Elder I trained) is Elder Josec´s dad.  How cool is that?)

     The most important person we are focusing on is Wosvelí.  He was set to be baptized this Saturday, but there were some complications.  On Wednesday, we were finishing up with him by passing off some commandments.  But when we came to the Law of Chastity, well, long story short we figured out he isn´t married to his "wife" yet...  (You´d be surprised how big of a problem that is here.  Especially because his "wife" is a member...)  So we had to push the baptism back until the 28th of december...

     But something really special is that I´m going to have my first marriage/baptism in the mission!  We are going to have the wedding in the afternoon on the 28th, and immediately afterwards he´s going to be baptized!  I´ve heard that is really special, so I´m stoked to be a part of it!  He´s a little nervous, but he´s participating in the ward and everything, so it´s going to be a really special day.  Christmas Baptism!!!

     We´ve also got another baptism set up for January!  Martha is a recent convert who was baptized in August.  All of her family was baptized besides her husband Cruz (who was in the States) and one of her daughters Sharon (who´s 16 and got pregnant...) The cool thing is that Cruz is now home, and Sharon had her baby.  So we decided to talk to them when they got back, but they didn´t want anything to do with us.  Bummer.  But when we had an activity at the temple, they both came, and ever since then, they´ve loved the church.  They´ve come to activities, and they came to church this week!  They want to be baptized, and we are going to work with them for January!  Miracles really do happen, especially when a temple is involved!

    We´ve got some other good looking prospects that are liking the church.  We just need to bust our butts to make sure that they progress as much as they can.  

     Not much else for this week.  Just looking forward to Christmas!  I´m gonna miss all of you guys, but I´ll be home for Christmas next year!  Meanwhile, I´m gonna enjoy my time here in good ole Guatemala.  Until Next Time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. Jacob 1:19  Gotta be dilligent!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Photos!


So I´ve known this guy since the beginning of my mission, and until now we´ve taken this picture.  Stuart Little baby!
Yet another "Hey look, there´s some live chickens/turkeys/ducks in this bus.  I really am in Guatemala!" picture.
BAPTISM!  Like I said in the other email, the family wanted the service to be small, so these are the people they wanted there.
Hanny and I.  What an awesome little girl.
Ha.  (If you can´t understand, put it in Google Translate.  It´s funnier that way.)

Good Start for December

Hello Family!  How y´all doin? (That one´s for you Matt)  Hope you all are feeling the Christmas Spirit!  And some of you are gonna have a really white Chirstmas from what I hear!  Well, not here in the Land of the Eternal Spring!  Although the weather here´s not that great nowadays.  It´s just cold, without the snow.  Joy.  But what can you do, right?  Right.

     After a bunch of time together, I´m finally saying goodbye to Elder Calero.  He´s been a really good comp, one of my favorites.  He´s really chill, and has a good heart.  He just needs a push here and there to get going, but when he does, he´s awesome.  It´s been really fun with him, but I´m excited to see who I´m going to be with for the next little while tomorrow!

     (Just a side note, if you don´t know yet.  This change was changed to only have four weeks, because if it was normal, changes would have been on Chirstmas Eve, which would´ve sucked for everyone.  So they made some switches, and this next change is going to have eight weeks to make up for the lost two weeks.  Just so you know.)

     We had an awesome week this week.  It all came together on Saturday, where we had a BAPTISM of a daughter of a family we recently reactivated.  Her name was Hanny.  It was really simple, they didn´t want very many people at the service, which we respected.  But their 16 year old daughter who still hasn´t come back to church yet came, so that was way special.  It was simple and sweet.  There really is nothing like a baptismal service to get your spirits up again.

     Something really cool real quick.  We had a priest that we know baptize Hanny just as an afterthought, because we figured that would be better for him to do it and not us.  We didn´t really think much of it until Sunday, where he bore his testimony in Sacrament Meeting.  At the end he said, "I also am very grateful to my Heavenly Father for the chance I had to baptize Hanny yesterday.  I will be forever grateful to the Missionaries for this opportunity they gave me."  When he said that last part, he looked right at me.  I just felt so good inside, and the scripture of "small things make great things" came to mind.  I thought it was just an afterthought, but it was really a prompting from the Spirit to strengthen his testimony.  That was a really cool experience.

     We are still working with Wosvelí.  We are planning for his baptism this Saturday, the 14th of December.  He´s starting to get nervous, and in the last lesson we had he said he wants more preparation, but honestly he doesn´t need it.  He knows it´s something that he has to do, and we are going to make sure that he follows through with it.  His family is helping a lot, coming to the ward every week.  He just needs a little push, and he´s good.

     The Christmas Devotional was this Sunday.  The only thing was we got pushed back in a cita, and ended up seeing only the last half.  But it still gets me, especially the music.  (Christmas music is one of the only things that makes me baggy...)  It´s good to take a step back every once in a while and realize what the true meaning of Christmas is.  And we have the chance to devote all our time to help others realize that.

     Once again, we´ve seen some miracles by seeing some things go wrong only to lead us to a very good thing.  For example, we´ve been teaching this lady for a while now, and we had planned to not go anymore.  But one night in our planning sessions, we had the impression to go with her.  Well, we went, but she made up some lame excuse and said she didn´t have time.  So, when she shut the door, we decided to knock the next door because we had some extra time.  The man opened the door and was hesitant at first, but accepted to hear our message.  And he is basically the perfect example of someone who is prepared to accept this message.  (Not going to any church, but looking for one.  Knows a lot about the scriptures.  Etc.)  When we told him about the Restoration, he basically said "That makes sense."  A really neat experience.

     At this point I think I´m just rambling on.  So I´ll just stop now.  But I´m super stoked to be working here, because things are really starting to pick up.  I love being a missionary, and I´m scared about how fast time is going.  But I´ve just got to make the best of what I have left!  Until next time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. 1 Peter 3:15

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Photos!


Making Christmas arts and crafts!  Just like home.
Thanksgiving Dinner!
Thanksgiving with a member family!
Taking a bite out of the massive turkey leg.
This is a big Christmas Tree that´s in the middle of Xela, right next to an old temple that´s still standing.
Temple!  We had a Stake activity where we went to the temple, so I took some pictures of course!
Another temple photo.  I´m a professional photographer, right?

Awesome Thanksgiving Week!


Hello Family!  Well, it´s December, and you all know what that means!  IT´S CHRISTMAS TIME!  YES!!!  I love this spirit.  Even though there´s no snow where I´m at, you still have the Christmas Spirit here.  And I have a really good feeling that December is going to be a really good month for us!  We had a really good week this week!  A lot of things fell into place this week, and it´s been really special to see the Lord´s hand in this area.

     First off, with Wosvelí.  He´s the guy we found whose wife is the sister of the Branch President in Momos, my first area.  Well, he´s incredible.  I guess he just wasn´t ready when other missionaries passed by, but everything we´ve given him, he´s accepted with no problem.  We talked about his baptism, and he´s set for the 14th!  He´s so ready.

     Another cool thing about Wosvelí.  He came to church yesterday with his whole family, and loved it.  The best part though was during Elder´s Quorum.  At the end of the lesson, we were planning for the Nativity Scene that the ward is going to do, and the Elder´s Quorum is in charge of the scenery, and some food.  Well, they were giving out assignments, and when they asked for light, Wosvelí just straight up says, "I´ll help out with that."  Man, he´s already participating in the Ward!  How pilas is he?  What a guy.

     We also had a little mini miracle this week.  When I first got here, we were working a lot with a menos activo family, and we finally got them to come back to church.  Well, until this week we didn´t realize that their nine year old daughter hasn´t been baptized yet.  They were inactive when she turned eight, and when they started to come to church again, they never got around to baptize them.  Well, we talked to them about it, and they agreed to having her be baptized!  This Saturday, the 7th of December, we are going to baptize her.  It feels really good too, because it´s part of a family that I helped reactivate!

     We´ve also been blessed to be teaching a lot of families recently.  It´s a lot better teaching families as opposed to just single investigators.  Everything is better off, support, stats, and all that fun stuff.  We are just really trying to have them come to church, and then the real fun starts!

     Thursday was Thanksgiving, and I can tell you now, this year´s dinner was a lot better than last year´s!  (I honestly forgot it was Thanksgiving last year, so I just ate a bag of popcorn...)  We bought a bunch of food, gave it to a member to cook it for us.  So we had an awesome dinner with a HUGE turkey leg, mashed potatoes, and broccoli.  (Missed the stuffing though..)  It´s was really good, and a bunch of food!

     It´s been a really good week, and I hope that this week is the same!  Pray for all the missionaries out in the field, they are working their butts off!  Love you all!  Until next time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S.  Romans 12:2

Photos!


Doing service to paint a house!  I missed climbing up scaffoldings with Dad, so it was a good reminder!  (Also, check out the shirt.  Bought it for about 50 cents in a store.  Boo yah)
Just passing by on the street, and we see some old corte lady cutting wood.  So we go to help her out!
Alright, this photo takes some explanation.  We were walking down this path and blue jacket girl was carrying that propane tank walking towards us.  As she saw us, she dropped the tank, turned around, and hid over in the corn on the right.  So we walked up to the tank and just chilled there haha.  Then when we had finally passed, she found the courage to retrieve the tank.  Then she, and the woman we contacted while chilling by the tank, carried it away.  Then we took pictures of them.  Mission Quetzaltenango forever!  

A Really Good Week!

  Hello Family!  ¿Cómo están?  Voy a escribir en Español esta semana, para que ustedes puedan practicar su Español...  Ha.  (Although Chase would´ve understood it.)  But yeah, I just needed a new way to start off my emails.  So there ya go.

     This week turned out really good for us.  It wasn´t exactly what we planned out, and our pool of investigators has really revamped, but when things are good, you can´t really complain that much!  God knows when we deserve blessings, and when they come, man it feels good.

     I´ve got to tell you guys a really cool experience I had this week.  So way back in Pancá, about a year ago, we celebrated the birthday of the Branch President there, and all of his brothers and sisters came.  There were two of them that didn´t live in Momos, but in Xela.  So fast forward to this Wednesday.  One of our citas fell, so we decided to contact a little close by where we were.  We weren´t too well recieved, until one of the last doors we knocked.

     And what do you know, out walks a lady, who I had seen before.  She told us she was a member, but that I looked really familiar.  She asked me what areas we had been in, and when I started thinking about it, I realized she looked a lot like my Branch President in Pancá.  So I put two and two together, and realized she was the sister that came to the Birthday Party in Pancá like a year ago!  And we just found her by pure miracle.  Wow, it was so cool talking to her about Pancá.  But that´s not even the best part.  She basically said, "I´ve been looking for the missionaries of this area for a long time now.  (She lives in our ward but assists another ward.)  My husband isn´t a member, and I want you guys to teach him!"  And when we went to talk to him, he is pretty much all ready to be baptized!  We just need to talk to him a little bit more!  How awesome is that?  Miracles exist guys, even when we don´t think so!  So that was the miracle for this week.

     This Sunday was Stake Conference, but it was Stake Conference for the whole country of Guatemala.  Why?  Because we had a special broadcast for all of Guatemala!  (So that means even Jeffrey saw it!)  Elder Fallabela, from the Seventy who is from Guatemala, conducted the meeting, and we also had Sister Wixom (Primary President), Elder Richard G. Scott (Who can speak Spanish, which is way cool) and President Eyring give talks.  It was really good, because all the talks were directed to the amazing people of Guatemala!  I learned a bunch, and I hope that the Guatemaltecos learned something too! 

     Elder Scott gave a really good talk about the family.  With the love that he has for his own family, and the act that he gave his own talk without a translator, you could really feel the emotion that he had.  Families are really important for everyone here, so hopefully they can put what Elder Scott said into practice!

     We had a Mom and her two sons (Leslie, Dylan, and David) come to the Stake Conference this week!  We were super stoked.  A member family has been helping us out with them, and they were the ones who basically invited them.  But Leslie really likes it, so we are working with her now!  

     We´ve also got a lot of other investigators that we are teaching right now.  Not as positive as the ones I´ve mentioned, but still really awesome.  We are really trying with Antonio and his family.  They´ve already stopped going to their old church to come to ours, but something always comes up on Sundays, and they can´t come.  But, with them I feel like just a bit of patience and they will be members!  Just got to be diligent.

     So yeah, it was a really busy week for us.  But I prefer business over not having anything to do!  So it was a really good week for us.  I hope that we can be diligent enough to take care of the people God has put in our path!  I love you all and I love this work!  Until Next Time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. 1 Timothy 4:16

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Photos!


This is a member and I going to a cita.  He´s really cool, so I had to take a picture!

Does this not look like the perfect scene out of a scary movie?  We were walking to a cita at night, and I just looked to our right, and bam, that was the view I saw.  An abandoned corn field with a full moon.  It was sweet.
Birthday cake smashing! 

Loving Guatemala!

   Hello Family!  Well, I just spent another week of my life in a foreign country.  I love thinking of that every now and then.  Why else would I come to Guatemala if it weren´t for this Gospel?  That´s why I love it so much, being able to learn more about myself and at the same time helping others come unto Christ.  There really is no better combination.

     First things first, we had changes this week... Well, kind of.  The mission had changes, and we didn´t.  It was really weird, because we were expecting Elder Calero to go, because he has four changes here.  But nope!  We are still together.  Apparently he still has something to do here that he hasn´t done yet.  So we´re on it!

     Well, this week didn´t really go according to plan.  That´s the thing about the mission, learning what to do when things don´t go your way.  You can either be like "Dang, our cita with that investigator fell, now what are we going to do?"  Or, like I learned this week, we can say "Well, our cita fell, let´s go see what we can find out here!"  Two really different points of view that really make a difference.  And we tried to make the best of what we could.  And we did!  We found the most new investigators our of the whole zone by a long shot, and it came from not letting a few things go wrong get in the way!  If anything, the mission has taught me to look for the best in everything.

     We are still working with German, but the hard thing with him is that he is losing his desire to learn more, so he really isn´t putting in his part.  And we can only do so much without his help.  So we are praying for him and making sure that he will continue to fulfill our invintations!

     We have a really cool family that just needs this Gospel!  Antonio and his family of five are such a great family.  We are really working hard to resolve some dudas they have, but the biggest one we have now is that Antonio is working on Sundays, so he can´t come to church.  And the family doesn´t come without him...  But, he is going to finish up his project this week, so we are really hoping they can come next week!

     For all you guys who aren´t on the mission right now, the best thing you can do is go out with the missionaries.  It really doesn´t matter who you are!  There is nothing like a member testifying about what we are saying.  Most of the mindsets here are like "What do you Gringos have to say to me?"  But when someone who lives down the street from them tells them the same thing, they really start to believe it!  So help the missionaries out!

     I did a lot of thinking about why I was sent to Guatemala on my mission.  Like most other people, I have a lot of defects.  One of the biggest ones is having patience with others.  But thinking about it, the Lord really knows why I´m here.  With all the love in the world, the people here have a lot of issues.  And one of the biggest things we have to deal with as missionaries are the people here.  But I really feel like I´ve grown so much, I feel like I am a better man.  So the Lord knows why we are where we are, even when we don´t know as much.  It was a good reflexion time for me.

     That´s about it for this week.  It was pretty good, but there is room for improvement.  So here´s to it!  Until next time!

     - Elder Stuart

      P.S. DyC 64:33

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Photos!

My district!

Yesterday we celebrated a birthday with the coolest family here, the Ochoa family!

What A Week!

     Hello Family!  Wow, we had a really good week this week, and most of the good just came from one family!  Funny how that works...  

     First things first, changes are tomorrow.  We usually find out what the changes are on Sunday night, but something had happened in the mission home, so now the changes that we do know of aren´t sure, and there might be some more changes that we haven´t heard of.  The thing is, Elder Calero, who has 4 changes here and 2 with me, hasn´t been told he is leaving yet.  With almost every missionary, two changes is max with one companion, and having more than four changes is really rare.  But as of now, we haven´t been told he is leaving yet.  So we´ll see how that goes!  Either way, I´m fine with what happens.  (Although I´d like a change.  Three months with someone 24/7 is a TON for any person...)  But we´ll see what God has to say!

     But yeah, I´ve got to tell you about this family.  We had found them a while back, like a month ago.  But they weren´t progressing much, so we went to one last cita with them to see if we should continue with them or not.  So we went this Tuesday, and just out of nowhere, they told us that they had plans to go to church with us last Sunday.  But they didn´t end up coming, because it was late.  But we were super stoked that they wanted to come, so we talked about how going to church can help anyone feel the Spirit.  So we made sure they were coming to church.  The thing is, Antonio (The dad) got called on Saturday and was told that he had to come in to work on Sunday.  So long story short, they weren´t able to come.  But we talked to them, and they are already making plans to come next week!  So we are looking really good with them.

     German is coming along nicely.  We´ve found out a couple of his doubts, and we are working on getting them cleared up.  The thing is, it´s really hard for him to come to church with us, because he is only working here, and lives on the coast.  But we are working so that he can go through with his fecha on the 23rd of November!

     This week, I´ve really been able to tell when I have the Spirit with me and when I don´t.  The thing is, being a missionary absolutely sucks when you don´t have the Spirit.  But when you do, WOW, it is absolutely amazing!  There really is no way to explain it.  But I´ve really been trying to have the Spirit with me always, because there is no other option.  And when we have the spirit, everything just goes better.

     Not much else for this week.  I guess we´ll see how things go with changes tonight!  But whatever happens, I´m stoked to work more here in Chiquilajá!  Until next time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. 2 Corithians 4:8,9 and 16.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Photos!


I don´t know how well you can see it, but just on your normal bus ride, you have a basket full of live chickens clucking like no ones business.  Man, I love me some Guatemala!
An awesome view of the sunset.  It looked like there was a column of light just bursting out of the clouds!  It looked so cool.
A member asked us to help her by doing service.  Little did we know what we were going to do until we got to the house, and saw the mountain of clothes...
We did service by hauling dirt onto a flatbed truck...  Fun times!
We ate Mexican Tortas on last week, and man were they so good!  
Lightning Picture!!!  Try not to be too awestruck.
As we were talking to a member, her daughter was just having fun staying like this.  She stayed there like that for a good 10 minutes.

Another Week

    Hello Family!  We all just enjoyed another wonderful week of life.  Think about it, and how blessed we all are to be here again.  Makes you think, right?  What an amazing Heavenly Father we all have, who has given us day after day, so many miracles.  We should all be just a little more thankful for all that we have.  Now that I got all the deep thinking out of the way I´ll start with my week!.... haha.

     Things are going really smoothly with German.  We are teaching him about every other day, and he is really receptive with all that we teach him.  Unfortunately, he had to go back to the coast this weekend, so he couldn´t assist church.  But I´m not too worried about it.  He said that he was going to miss coming to church.  So yeah, we are going with him tonight, and we are going to make sure that his fecha goes through for the 23rd.

     I´ve got to tell you all about a really cool experience that I realized about how God puts people in our path.  So about 3 weeks ago we found this woman named Nelly washing clothes outside of her house.  We went to go help her, and we put another cita for a couple days later.  Well, when we went, Nelly wasn´t home, but we talked with her 25 year old daughter Samantha, and ended up putting a cita with her for another day.  We went, and had a lesson with her, but then for a week or so they weren´t home.  So yesterday, we just happen to pass by, and find Samantha at home.  We decided to come back later on in the same day, so we went.  As we were about to start the lesson, Samantha´s brother Pedro walks out of a room and goes to the bathroom.  We wait for him, and when he walks out, we ask him if we wants to listen to us.  He was hesitant, but eventually sat down.  And thank goodness he did!  We taught the BoM with them, and he was really interested, more so than any other person there!  It was just way cool to think about all we went through to find him.  And here´s to hoping that he continues to be positive!

     (I hope you can sort out that last paragraph!)

      Funny thing, while we were teaching Pedro, he approached the BoM like a college essay.  He started talking about how it had a good introduction and conclusion, and how the hypothesis was good.  Then he asked about the purpose of the BoM.  Well, we ended up telling him that it was more spiritual than like school, and he will receive his answer by praying.  But it was really interesting hearing that point of view about the BoM!

     We had some really cool experiences showing what being a child of God really means to people.  We asked some people, "What does being a child of God mean to you?"  Most people didn´t know what to say.  But when we read Romans 8:16-17 with it, we realize our great potential as children of a God.  Also, if y´all have time, watch the mormon message "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father."  It´s a good one.

     Halloween passed by this week, but it´s pretty uneventful here.  Although I did buy a bag of candy and passed it out to kids that we knew.  Thinking about it though, that was sure to cause some thoughts.  "Hey look, that strange Gringo is giving candy to kids!"  And so on... But it was fun.

     We ate a food called Fiambre this week.  It is really interesting...  You basically just take every piece of meat imaginable, a bunch of vegitables, and some cheese, and throw it on a plate.  I didn´t end up taking a picture of it, but I should have.  It was just.... weird.  I can´t think of a better word for it.

     A pretty eventful week this week, but that just means more things to do as a missionary, right?  I know that sometimes I don´t realize it as much as I should, but being a full time missionary is absolutely amazing!  I love being a missionary!  There is no other work so satisfying upon the earth.  And I am a part of it.  What a blessing!  Until Next Time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. Philippians 3:13-14  Always look forward.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Great Week in the Land of the Lamanites!


    Hello Family!  How y´all doin?!?  (I don´t know why, but I always like typing with a country feel to it.)  Man, did we have a good week this week.  It just made me love the mission that much more!  It is absolutely incredible being a missionary.  Really thinking about it, who else would spend two years of their lives, right in the middle of everything, just to go talk to some random people in a faraway country about God?  Mormon Missionaries, that´s who!  Yeah boi.

     It is amazing seeing the energy of the ward here change recently.  I am seeing a lot more members taking the initiative recently.  For example, yesterday, we had FIVE member present lessons.  I don´t know about the other missions, but for here, that is really good.  Members were willing to go with us to citas, do divisions with us, and just help us out.  Man, the missionary work really changes when members help out.  (Hint Hint for those at home...)

     We were really blessed this week with something I would call a miracle.  On Saturday, we had been working hard all week, and we had some really good lessons, but we had yet to feel something really special.  So we went to this one guy we found this week named German.  We gave him the first lesson like usual on Tuesday, and we came back on Saturday.  

     We asked him the usual questions about his commitments, like if he had read the BoM, and prayed.  Well, he told us that he read what we left for him, and then wanted to read some more, so he did.  At this point, I was feeling really excited, but trying to keep it cool, I asked him if he had the chance to pray about it.  He said yes, so I asked him what he felt.  And the answer is the answer every missionary wants to hear.  "I just feel chills, you know?  Like I had a fire going on in my chest."  Is that perfect or what?  Wow...  WE were seriously so blessed to find him.  He came to church yesterday and everything, and even said yes to being baptized on the 23 of November.  It really was just amazing to live it.  What an experience.  So we will be definitely following up with him to make sure he gets baptized!  

     That story just goes to show you about the power of the BoM.  We should all try to use it more in our teachings, and in our lifes.  It really is the word of God.

     Just to talk more about Guatemala, Jeffrey has been saying that some spooky things have been going down.  It´s true.  Guatemala, and my mission in particular, is famous for it´s "black magic."  For example.  Yesterday we were going to visit someone at their house.  But when we got closer, we heard a bunch of shouting and people yelling "Get out!  Get out!"  So we were like what the heck?  But we knocked anyways.  A 12 year old boy answered and said, "Now isn´t a good time, we are casting out a demon!"  And shut the door.  So yeah, we just walking in on a group of people (including a evangelical pastor) casting out a demon.  Yeah, Guatemala´s weird.

      But yeah, it´s been a really good week, and I´m planning for an even better one this week!  Man do I love being a missionary!  Until next time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. Read 2 Nefi 22.  It´s a great chapter.  Also 2 Nefi 25:23,26

Photos!

I love just the beauty of Guatemala.  This is one of the main streets here, just laced with corn stalks.  Love it!

We went and shucked some corn for service.  And man, was there a BUNCH of corn.  I guess that´s what being in Guatemala means, right?

Just Guatemala being beautiful. 

Me trying to be a Guatemalan and trying to carry everything on my head.  Jeffrey can attest to that!

Now THAT is how a Guatemalan does it!  (By the way, I had to be really sneaky with this photo, and it turned out awesome!)

Just more of Guatemala being amazing.

Guatemala!

Hello Family!  Here we are, yet another week in the mission!  And man do I love being here.  Guatemala is absolutely incredible.  Where else are you able to say that you are working among the Lamanites?  Not very many other places.  Guatemala is amazing, I love it here.  The place is just straight up beautiful.  The people have really touched me, and I have developed a love for everyone here.  Which is good as a missionary, right?  Right.  

     As for this week, well, it had it´s up and downs, but when doesn´t it?  But it just made me really appreciate missionary work that much more.  Especially because our ward is being revamped.  Our ward didn´t really like helping us that often before, but in the past two weeks, we´ve got a new bishopbric, and they are super pilas.  Also we´ve got a new Ward Mission Leader, who has always helped us out, but now that´s his calling!  This Sunday, you could just feel the excitement in the air about missionary work, and I love it!

     We had an AMAZING day on Friday, no joke.  We put some really high goals for the day, and we did our best to fulfill every one.  We started off the day fasting, really wanting to be in tune with the Spirit.  And it worked!  We just felt guided to go where we should go, and we hit every one of our goals.  It was amazing, we would find people that would say "Good thing you came now, because I´m going to leave in a couple of minutes."  Or "When can you guys come back?"  Or like this one kid said, "I don´t want you guys to leave yet."  (Man I love little kids here.  So darn cute.)  But what an incredible day.  Just so satisfying getting in my bed at night and feeling like I did all I could that day.  Now, it´s just a matter of getting every day to be like that! ;)

     We are still struggling on getting our investigators to church.  I really feel like Satan tries his best on Sunday Mornings.  One thing comes up after another, and we are just really bummed.  We have awesome investigators, but we just need them to come to church, and we have yet to find the "click" we are looking for.  But it will come!

     The scriptures are amazing.  Just leave it at that.

     I think I have more to say, but my mind always goes blank when I sit down on the computer....  But I´ll just leave you guys with that!  Love you all!  Until next time!

      - Elder Stuart

     P.S. 2 Nefi 1:6  I feel more humbled about my call here to Guatemala every day!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Photos!

We did service for a member in our ward, which consisted of using a machete and cutting weeds on a part of his land.  Needless to say I felt like a pure Chapín! (Other word for Guatemalan.)

Well, it´s corn season, and that means that we are going to spend a lot of time "desgranando" corn. (I can´t think of the word in English.  It´s basically taking off the kernels.)  And there is A LOT of corn here, so that means a lot of time doing this!

We had a ward party on Saturday, and they let me have a go on the piñata!  I was so happy!

Chosen Ones

     Hello Family!  Wow, was it just me or did this week go by really fast?  Like, too fast.  I don´t like it when that happens, makes me feel like my mission is going to be over before I know it.  And that´s a scary thought.  Knowing that I just completed 15 months in the mission makes me wonder where the time has really gone!  So I just have to make the best of it!

     So we had some really cool things that happened this week, and some not so... but here we go!

     The theme that we had this week as a companionship comes from PMG, and also from Alma 16:16,  where it says the Lord is preparing chosen ones for us to find.  Sometimes, we find people that are receptive, but not as prepared as others are.  But I know that regardless of our talent of ability, as long as we try our best, we can succeed with the chosen ones that the Lord prepares for us.

     So, with that as our preface, we went out this week prayerfully looking for those chosen ones.  And we found some great people!  I´ll just tell you about a couple of them:  One guy we found let us teach the whole first lesson to him.  And at the end, we asked him a question that if we found out that our message was true, what would he do with that knowledge.  And he said, "I´d come join you guys and serve a mission."  Well, first you need to be baptized, but great!  Another lady we stopped to talk to on the street.  She was shucking (?) corn, so we stopped to help her.  The first thing she said was "Good, I was hoping you boys would stop to talk to me."  So yeah, the Lord really does work for us.  We just need to work with them so that they can progress!  

     Some sad news really quick, Carla´s son that was in the hospital passed away this week.  She´s really feeling it too.  We are just praying that, when she is ready, she will be able to accept the joy that comes from this Gospel.  Sad news, but good can come from anything.  So we have to be the source of the good.

     I had a way cool spiritual experience that I want to share with you guys.  We have always been looking for a man named Rolando, but he is almost never home.  His 15 year old nephew Carlos always tells us that, so we tell him always that we will pass by another day.  Yesterday the same thing happened, but I saw that Carlos was sad that we were going to leave again.  I felt the spirit really prompting me to just sit down with him and talk with him.  I never really thought about doing that before, because I just wanted to talk with his uncle.  But I listened, and I´m glad I did.  We sat down on the curb, and had one of the best lessons I´ve ever had on the mission.  Wow was that guy prepared for that lesson.  It really was special, becuase afterwards, I just would think about it and just think, "Wow."  Spiritual impressions are very powerful, but only if we act on them.

     Not gonna lie, it´s been kind of rough having people attend church with us.  But thinking about it, maybe that´s just the Lord just telling me that I have to give just that much more of myself.  It hard, but I know that it is worth it.

     I can´t really think of much more to say, so I guess I´ll just end it off here!  Love you guys, and thanks so much for your support!  Until next time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. Mosiah 5:2

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Photos!


Oh you know, just throwing a member kid in the air.  I´m going to try and get more height this week!  ;)


   Chalk up one more crazy food I´ve eaten here.  Can you guess what it is?  Just go ahead, guess...


You´ve got your guess?


Alright, I´ll tell you..


Blood.  Yep.  They take blood, fry it on the fire, stuff it with some leftover meat, and serve it.  Nice...  Now I can say that I´ve eaten blood...

General Conference Weekend!!!

 Hello Family!  I hope that you all had an AMAZING General Conference weekend!  Man, I don´t think I had even been as excited for it as I was now.  It´s like the Super Bowl for missionaries here!  No joke.  But holy cow, what a conference.  Have I just been so blind before to not realize how amazing it was before the mission?  I guess so, but never again!  

     But yeah, this week was pretty good.  Our numbers were a bit down from the last weeks, but we still had some powerful lessons, and some good new investigators, so that (kind of) makes up for it. 

     This week we a lot of speaking about profets and apostles, because we were inviting EVERYONE to General Conference.  We testified a lot about how we know there are living prophets today, and what it means for all of us.  I liked using the example from "Our Seach for Happiness," where it says "If Moses was here on the Earth today, would you be interested in what he has to say?"  And go from there, testifying about how someone today has the same authority as him.  It really makes sense when you think about it!  Just another stamp of approval on the true Church!

     We have some bad news about Carla, one of our more positive investigators.  Her 7 year-old son has been in the hospital for the last couple of days, and he´s not looking good.  As in his condition is getting worse.  So we haven´t been able to see her for a while.  But just keep her in your prayers porfa.

     We have been teaching this guy named Ricardo, who has Parkinson´s Disease.  It´s really hard for him to leave his house, so it´s rough trying to get him to church.  But he is so pilas (awesome in Guatemalan slang.)  He remembers absolutely everything we teach him, and he wants to learn so much more.  But we are going to try and get over the obsacle of getting him to church.  But as long as he is positive, I´m happy.

     Well, not much happened in the week, so now I´ll talk about General Conference.  Of course, we had to watch it in Spanish, but now that I actually understand what´s going on now, I really enjoyed it.  I got a lot out of every single talk, ways to better myself as a missionary and a man.  There were a bunch of good talks, but I´ll just name a few.  

     I really liked S. Gifford Nielsen´s talk.  He was really excited, wasn´t he?  But we all need excitement, expecially during the mission.  Of course, Jeffrey R. Holland was amazing.  But he really took a different tangent, and I loved the way he did it.  Randy D. Funk spoke really good too in Priesthood session.  Very clear, and things that we all need to hear.  All the First Presidency´s talks were awesome in Priesthood session, especially their stories.  If you haven´t heard yet, ask a Priesthood holder about President Monson´s home teacher. Classic.  President Monson´s talk on Sunday was soul-wrenching.  He really misses his wife.  Just makes me want to find that special one and love her as much as he does.  And Russell M. Nelson´s talk was really good too.  If y´all have time, go look them up!

      Now, this week we just all have to do what the prophets and apostles told us to do!  Let´s do work!  Until Next Time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. Alma 29.  All of it.  Read it and love it.  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Photos!

We found a really awesome guy who was really interested in our message!...  Ha
Temple!  The members are the second and fourth people, the rest are investigators that we brought.  And although we couldn´t go any closer, it was still special.
I just had to show you the cutest little member girl!  Guatemalan kids are so darn cute!  (And just try to ingore the big mass of who knows what on the side...)
This is the awesome sunset view that we view everyday, and I thought that you guys would like to see it!
Just the volcano that covers all of Xela!
We went up to the lookout place again, so I took more pictures!  In this picture, you can actually see my area, but to point it out to you guys would be too hard...  So yeah.
  Xela, here I come!
 Rockin the Mayan warrior look.
Just being a kid again.  And LOVING it!
Another "O Jerusalem" picture for you guys!

Time Flies!

 Hello Family!  Well, I don´t know what it is, but time is going by WAY to fast!  I have already been here in Chiquilajá for a change already!  Changes are tomorrow, but neither I nor Elder Calero are leaving.  So we are going to be together for another 6 weeks.  I´m stoked for it, because he´s a good guy, and I feel like we can both learn some things more from each other.  That´s what the mission is for, right?  Right.  

     So yeah, we had a pretty unexciting week this week.  Just another week of being a missionary!  So see you guys next week!...  Not.  Jaja but really, nothing really happened thinking right now, but I´ll find something to write about, don´t worry!

     I´ll tell you guys about our best lesson this week.  It was with a 25 year old lady named Esperanza.  We taught her about the Restoration last week, so we decided to follow up on the BoM.  And she loved it.  I felt so good during the lesson, and I felt the Spirit working through me to tell her what she needed.  Wow, there just aren´t words to really express the feeling you feel when the Spirit works through you.  But it is really something else.  So we ended the lesson, and she seemed really excited to read it.  But the thing is, we have a lot of people that say that.  But it was true!  We left, but my comp forgot something in the house.  So we went back, and the door was open and we saw her reading!  YES!  KEEP ON READING!  I loved it!  So we will see how that goes.

     We kind of had a rough week with Carla, who came to church last week.  She was out of town the beginning of the week, and when we passed by on Friday for a cita that we set up, she ended up having to leave.  So we ended up passing Sunday morning to take her to church, and the problems continued.  The light and water went out for all of our part of Xela, so they had been without light/water since Saturday afternoon.  And she basically told us that she wouldn´t go with us because the light was out...  Curse you Satan!  Dang it, that was a hard blow to us, but it happens, and we just have to keep going strong.  We´ll go back with her to see how things go.

     Elder Calero baptized a grandma and her daughter before I came.  So now we have been really trying to bring the whole family into the church.  And we made a lot of progress this week.  We ended up going 7 of us to see the sights of the temple!  There is a special spirit there, and we wanted them to feel it.  So on Saturday night, we made our way up there.  Well, we made a big mistake.  We didn´t take in account of the Relief Society meeting that same day, so when we got there, the gates were closed because of said meeting.  But we didn´t go all the way there for nothing!  So we sat down on the grass and just talked about the temple with them, with the temple all lit up in the background.  And man was that a good talk!  

     The temple really is a special place, and I feel really bad that I didn´t take full advantage of being in Utah, where according to the members here, "There are temples on every block!"  Which is somewhat true.  But I am going to really make the temple bigger in my life when I get back!  And all of you that can, go to the temple!  Always have it in your sights!

     Guatemala is weird, just saying it now.  I think that I´ve gotten so used to it though, because I don´t really see how it is weird.  But I had the sudden thought come to me one day.  I was standing in an old beat up school bus, jam packed with people, squished between an old man with about 4 teeth and a cowboy hat, and an old corte lady that only speaks K´iche´, with a chicken in her hand.  And then it hit me, wow, that´s just weird.  I wish I would have gotten a picture of it!  Classic.

     Guys, the scriptures are awesome.  Really make it an effort to read AND study them every day.  That is one thing that I love about the mission, the time to study.  There are so many words of comfort, happiness, excitement, it just has it all.  Especially the BoM.  Wow, what an amazing book.  I can´t get enough of it!

      GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!  WOO HOO!!!  Be stoked.  Prepare yourselves to be absolutely enlightened by living profets!  

     There y´all go, my week in a nutshell.  Not really the best week in the mission, but it´s a week in the mission, so it´s special.  Really though, I don´t think we realize how great of an opportunity this really is.  And sometimes I forget it too.  But there really is no greater work, and no other work that brings so much satisfaction.  Hope on.  Journey on.  Until Next Time!

     - Elder Stuart

     D y C 30:6  I really am serving among the Lamanites!  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Photos!


Last week we went to Salcajá to buy corte, which is basically the typical clothing here in Guatemala for women.  And we make ties out of it.  They are so SICK!  You can see all the different types that we bought, and from this I´m gonna get about FIFTY ties!  I´m so stoked!
This is just a bunch of wood waiting to be burned.  And that´s a LOT of wood.  
We made cookies for a member´s little girl for a FHE.  And after mixing the dough with my hands (I´m definitely in Guatemala!) we just had to eat it off my hands.  And Elder Telford, an Elder in my same area, started eating it off of my hands!  It was pretty funny.