Sunday, February 24, 2013


Just your usual Guatemalan bus.  Well, usually it is more full than this, with people standing in the aisle, but still, gives you the idea!

We decided to go really far this day, and didn´t want to walk all the way back to our house for lunch, so we made sack lunches and ate them right next to a river!  It was awesome!

These two little member kids were playing with a motorcylce!  It was so cute, so I had to take a picture!  Reminds me of Jace when I will get back!

This is one of my favorite families that I know here!  They live about 2 hours away from the chapel, but still come every week!  What an amazing family! (The Imul Family)

An Interesting Week

     Hello Family!  Hope you all have been doing great, because I know that I have!  I just have to tell you in advance though, this week was pretty weird.  A lot of good things happened, but a lot of weird things happened too..  So I´ll just start and let you guys know!

     I have to begin by telling you about the weirdest lesson I probably have had yet.  So this family that we are visiting, the dad is an active member, the mom is a less active who hasn´t come to church for years, and the kids aren´t members.  We have been working with them to get them active and help them come back to church, so that we can get the kids baptized, which could be five baptisms.  It has been hard, but we definitely have made some progress!  This lesson, we decided to try and extend an invitation for baptism for the kids.  So we began talking about baptism and how it is the only way that we can make it to the Kingdom of Heaven. (John 3:5)  We bore super powerful testimonies about baptism, and then the big question came.  We started to ask the kids if they would commit to being baptized, and it went amazingly!  The first two kids that we asked agreed, but as we were asking the third kid, the dad interuppted and said that maybe they weren´t ready!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  He should be super excited that his kids are agreeing to it!  We explained to him that we would help them get ready, and we will be with them every step of the way, and that helped him out a lot.  Eventually, we got every single kid to agree to be baptized!  Woo Hoo!  But, the lesson wasn´t over yet.  We asked the mom if she would like to be in heaven with her family forever. She started to explain to us that there was just one God, so it didn´t matter what we did, as long as we believed in God.  She dropped a bomb on us and told us that she might start going to another church...  So yeah.  DUring the lesson, we got 5 baptismal dates, but just about lost a less active member...  We are going to help her out, but seriously, the whole last part of the lesson just felt so weird!

     We also have another family that is really positive, the "miracle family" as we call them.  It is the family of the man I was telling you about last week.  They live about 1 1/2 hours away, so we didn´t get much time to go and visit them, but they seem way positive, and we might be able to put some baptismal dates with them this week!  How exciting that everything is picking up here!  I love it!

     I did divisions with our Zone Leaders on Tuesday this week, and I went with Elder Schmidt.  We had a member come with us to go teach a lesson.  His name is Iffy, and he is from Africa, and totally looks the part!  He travels the world learning languages, and right now he is working on Spanish.  He knows two african dialects, English, French, and now Spanish.  But yeah, we went with him, and I couldn´t imagine how funny it must look for the people in Momos:  Two Gringos and an African walking down with a bunch of Latinos in the middle of Guatemala.  I just had to laugh about it!  

      I am really glad that things are picking up here, even though I might be leaving soon.  (Oh by the way, I should tell you that this change has been extended by a week to accomadate all the new missionaries that are coming in.  So I still have two weeks left in this change.)  After 6 months in Pancá (Holy Cow!) I´m pretty sure that I will be leaving.  But it has been really good to see things picking up here!  I love this work, and I always will!  THank you all for your support always, and I will talk to you all next week!  Until Next Time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. Alma 5:26.  We should always be ready to "feel so now" about the gospel.  If we have had a change of heart, and know for a surety that this church is true, we should always remember it and always feel it in our hearts.  If you can, also look up Elder Cook´s talk from this last General Conference!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Week to Remember

   Hello Family!  It´s monday, and you know what that means: email time!  I have been looking forward to this time, because this week was a really memorable one!  I saw some miracles pass by, I finally broke on a craving that I didn´t know that I had, and really, it was just a good week!

     So I´ll start with the coolest thing that passed by this week.  I´ll tell you about a little miracle that I experienced this week.  So we got back to our area after P-Day this week, and we saw our branch president talking to a man, so we went over to introduce ourselves.  Turns out the man was a less active member that hadn´t gone to church for a good 9 years, but now wants to return.  WHAT?  Just out of the blue, we didn´t even know him before!  And to add to it, his wife and six kids want to come too, and they haven´t been baptized, so we are going to work on that!  That goes to show that God is really a God of Miracles, and he never ceases to do his will!  It was so amazing to see it happen right before my eyes, so now we just need to act on it and make it happen!  I am so grateful that I was able to be part of it, and even more grateful that God trusts me enough to work on it!  

     I finally broke, I did it.  I did the unthinkable.  I bought a nice big jar of PEANUT BUTTER!  I saw it in Xela this week, and I just had the sudden urge to buy it... So I did!  Really, I didn´t even like peanut butter all that much before my mission, but what they all say came true, all missionaries will crave peanut butter at least once on the mission.  I bought some crackers to eat with it, and sat down on Saturday night, eating peanut butter and reading, and next thing I know all the crackers that I had bought were gone!  It was SO GOOD!  Who would´ve thought, right?

     Just a funny little thing that I noticed this week.  We are visiting 3 different men whose names are:  Manuel Lux Pu, Manuel Pu Lux, and Manuel Lux Uz.  Go figure..

     I have really been studying the Book of Mormon recently, like really studying it, and I have found so many things about the BoM that I probably wouldn´t have found if I was just reading it. For instance, one thing that really stuck out to me this week is something that I probably would have missed if I wasn´t thinking too much.   In Mormon 9:31, it says: Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father . . . but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.  I thought a lot about this, and I realized that we shouldn´t let someone who says something bad about us ruin our testimony.  We should learn from it.

     Also, I taught preisthood this week, and there was a phrase that I really liked.  I talked about a phrase that talked about testimony, and how powerful it is.  And the most important thing about it is that "Lo sé por mi mismo."  Which roughly translates to "I know for myself."  It really is true though, because your testimony should be ingrained in your very being, and we can know for our own selves that it is ours. 

    So yeah, quite the week it was this week!  I hope all the good fortune continues!  And same to you guys!  Love you all!  Until Next Time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. The scripture this week is going to be a little different.  I am going to write it in Quiche for you guys!  Have fun with it!  It is 3 Nephi 11: 39, and says:  Kastzij, Kastzij, quinbij chiwe chi are wa´ ri lok´alaj nu tijonem, y apachin ri cutac´aba´ rib puwi´ wa´, kas cutac´aba´ rib puwi´ ri nimalaj abäj wech, Y man cäch´ec taj rumal ri u k´ak´re xibalba.


 We were walking down the street in Pancá one day when a member passed by in this huge truck!  They were going to go somewhere, and they offered to take us as long as we wanted!  It was a crazy ride, that´s for sure!

This little kids are just about the cutest things that you will ever see!  They were all asking me to twirl them around, and after doing it for a while, they kept asking!  It was so hard to say no... so I didn´t!  But seriously, they are so freaking cute!

This was so great!  "Hacia su futuro hogar" means "Towards your new home!"  And what do you know, it points right to the LDS chapel in Xela!  How perfect is that?!?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Week of Learning

    Hello Family!  After a really busy week, here we are again!  Sorry about emailing so late, but we pretty much just got back from Xela today for P-Day this late!  Can you believe it?  But it was a fun day today, we went and played soccer in some nice turf fields in Xela, bought a ton of food for the whole month, and basically just enjoyed being in an actual city!  Haha it definitely is a lot different from Pancá, that´s for sure!  I´m sure that this week was a really gruelling week for you guys too, well, mainly Mom and Ryan, because The Little Mermaid opened up this week!  I hope that everything went somewhat according to plan (because I know that there still are going to be some things that went wrong, as it always does!)  But I really hope that all your hard work payed off this week, and you will be able to enjoy the play now!

     I say that this week was really busy, mainly because this Thrusday, we went down to Xela to have a mission conference with President Martino of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, who is the Area President of all of Central America!  So that was way cool!  He really spoke with a lot of confidence, and he wasn´t afraid to bring the hammer down when he needed to!  I learned so much from him just from one day, and he really motivated me (and I´m pretty sure all of us) to really work our butts off and serve the mission like it should be served!  One of my favorite parts of his advice for us was this line.  It is ten words, but every word has only two letters.  It is:  "If it is to be, it is up to me."  Powerful stuff.  Really puts it into perspective, that if we want something, we should work for it, because it is up to us if we want something!  Of course we will have the Lord´s help, but he can´t help steer our direction if we aren´t moving forward!  SO...  we should always be "anxiously engaged in a good cause,"  and the Lord will bless us!

     So in Pancá this week, we had some interesting things go on!  First off, on a good but surprising note, we figured out for the first time this week that a 10 year old girl, who has been coming to church almost every week since I´ve been here, hasn´t actually been baptized!  Apparently she flew right under the radar!  I think it was becaue her Mom was a less active member when I arrived, and we reactivated her like the second week I was here.  Ever since then, the little girl has been attending church, but hasn´t been baptized!  So we are going to jump on that right quick!  Also, we had a menos activo family come with us to church this week!  It was so cool to see them, because they (By the way, Elder Tejero says hi right now!) live about 2 hours and 15 minutes away, and about an hour away from the nearest member.  And yet they came to church!  How cool is that?  They have almost nothing, but still they came to chruch by walking for so long!  It really was so amazing to see them there this week.

     But really, I have learned so much about the mission this week, and in so doing so, about myslef.  The mission really does change lives, and I am so grateful to be here right now.  I really am learning so much, and I still have about a year and a half left!  So here´s to learning so much more!  Thank you all so much for your emails this week, and I will talk to you all next week!  Until Next Time!

     - Elder Stuart

Sunday, February 3, 2013


This was last week when we were trying to find a truck to take us back to Pancà.  Well, we eventually found one!  It was just a flat-bed truck instead of a pickup!  It wasn`t the best ride in the world, but it sure makes for a good story!

     So a fire broke out this week, and that is bad news when everywhere around you is basically forest!  We were too far away to help, but a lot of the people that lived close went out and helped put it out.  Luckily, nothing bad was damaged, but all the area is black where it got burned.  So we were lucky!

The new Chapel being built and where the missionaries will eventually live.

   This morning at about 6 in the morning we got on the truck to take us to Momos, and this is the inversion that you can see!  It was freezing on the ride to Momos!  But not anything like you guys are experiencing!  HAHAHAHAHA

What A Week!

Hello Family! Well, all that I can say is that it has been one crazy week! Things went good, things went bad, got new investigators, lost some investigators... A lot happened this week! But the biggest thing for me was that I came to realize something really big this week. But we will save that for later!

Well, the week started out a little rough. We have a new stat in the mission that we are working on, which is lessons taught to investigators in the house of a member. So at the beginning of this week, we went and visited some members that would be willing to have some lessons in their house, and it went really well! We had a member for every investigator that we had that was willing to share their house with us. So we were off to a good start! We went to go make sure with our investigators that they would be able to do it, and that went fairly well also! We had a family that agreed to have a family home evening in the house of a member, another investigator that agreed to have just a regular lesson, and we had one more that we were going to visit, but he wasn`t home. So we had that all planned out and everything. But, when the day came to do all of them, that is where it went downhill. We passed by the members that were going to have the family at their house first, and they told us bad news. They said that the family didn`t want us to go and visit them again.. We were shocked! We asked what happened, but they didn`t tell us much, just that we shouldn`t go visit them again.. So yeah, lost that family to something that we don`t even know.. So then we went to see the other investigator that we had planned to see, and he wasn`t home, even though he said he would be home. So not only did it hurt us, but the family that was planning on having him over was hurt also. We ended up talking to him later in the week, and he made up some excuses. So we told him that we would still be in contact, but we had very precious time that we could spend with others, so we kind of dropped him also.

Now that sounds bad and stuff, but it actually turned out to be really good for us. Our Zone Leaders had taught us last week that it is shown that we are wasting too much time with investigators who aren`t progressing and keeping their commitments. They told us that we can spend that time to find others who are willing to listen and willing to keep commitments. We took that to heart, and basically started anew. We worked hard to find references and new investigators, and everything turned out amazing! We ended up with about 25 references that we can go see, and 16 new investigators! That is amazing! We have figured that we are going to start from the basics again, because out of those 16 new investigators that we have, maybe 10 or so will be willing to have more lessons with members, and then 5 or so willing to have a date for a baptism, and then 2 or so that really complete it and carry it out. So just from our work in about 3 days, we can really likley have 2 baptisms later on! So we are really working from the beginning, and we can see the fruits of our labors later on!

Also, I came to realize this week that I have been focusing too much on the end result, and not much on helping everyone out on where they are right now. Maybe we didn`t have any baptisms this week, but we helped about 5 less active members come back to church. We also had some lessons with members, where I could see right before my eyes their testimony growing. So maybe I`m not bringing as many new people in the church as I want, but I am helping those that are in the church already stay in the chruch and be firm and strong in the Gospel. "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." Alma 37:6 These lessons with less actives that appear to be "small" can really turn out to be "great" in the long run. So I have realized that, and my attitude had really changed this week!

I just want to thank you all for the support you have given me these past couple of weeks. I really am doing great now, thanks to the scriptures, you guys, and the Lord`s hand in my life. I am so grateful for him, because He is always there for all of us, whenever we are not feeling the best. He has experienced all of our difficulties, and for that he knows what is the best way for us to get back on our feet. I have such a strong testimony about this work and this Gospel, all of it is true, and I know that with all of my heart. My testimony has really grown this week, because really, "There is no testimony without the test." I love you all, and hope that you have a great week! Until Next Time!

- Elder Stuart

The Work is Moving Forward

Hello family! Here we are, once again, me telling you about life in Pancà and all that! I wonder what you guys have as a mental picture of where I am right now... I can`t wait for the time that I can actually describe you this place, and have you guys know what it is really like liviing here! It is still really weird to think that for about 4 1/2 months, I`ve lived in a place with little to no civilization, and I haven`t minded it at all! Guess that goes to show how much the mission can help a person grow, right? I just can`t wait until I will grow to be the man that I want to be!

So basically, things have been rough recently. It feels like I have plateaued. (Is that a word?) I was doing so good in the beginning, but now it feels like I`ve hit a wall, and I need to get running again. But with all the help and support from you guys, my leaders here, and the other missionaries, I have received a lot of good advice, and I am ready to put it into practice. I am looking at this not as a bad thing that is going on, but an opportunity given to me to help me grow not only as a missionary, but as a man also. So I am really thankful for this going on right now.

So to describe what is kind of going on, in Pancà, we have about 10-15 investigators, but not one is progressing. It really is nice to have so many people that aren`t members that we can go visit regularly, but they aren`t doing their part. Especially with coming to chruch. It really is hard, because on Sunday`s, it is market day here in Momos, so most people go to Momos Sunday mornings to buy stuff, and come back in the afternoon. That causes a problem for us, because our meetings are in the mornings. And it is really hard for us to tell people not to go and buy stuff for the week. So we have been trying to tell them that maybe they can go on Wednesday, where there is a smaller market day, so they can have time on Sunday. But they are so used to going on Sunday, that it is really hard for them to change. This really is a big thing for us, because if we can just get some people to come to church with us, they will be progressing, and we can move forward with them. There is only so much that we can do without them coming to church, so we are going to work really hard on that this week!

This week was our first week as a split Zone, because changes were this Tuesday. I haven`t really felt a difference, because I have been in Pancà all week, but we definitely have a lot less Elders here during the week, such as today. I really feel bad for the other Elders that went to San Bartolo, because that really isn`t a big city, and there isn`t much to do there! But we can see it all as the bigger picture, because if a Zone split, that means that there are more missionaries in the mission! So all in all, it really is a good thing!

Also, there are so many people that have received their calls recently! For instance, Mom, you sent me 37 names of people that I know personally.. That is incredible! Not to mention that I have received news on others from other people! The work of the Lord really is moving forward, and it feels like there is nothing that can stop it! I love hearing about all of it, and it makes me so happy to know that there are so many that are willing to share the gospel!

Hopefully there will be more for you guys next week, I really am praying and working hard to make things happen. So hopefully! Thank you all for helping me out, and I love each and every one of you! Until Next Time!

- Elder Stuart

P.S. The scripture is 1 Nephi 1:20. Tender mercies really are something else.

P.P.S. Sorry, no pictures this week, mainly because there aren`t any exciting pictures that I took this week. So next week look for them!


Most of us Elders on New Year`s Eve!  Some of them bought fireworks, so we woke back up at midnight, and watched the fireworks for about 20 minutes!  It was way cool! 

We celebrated new years with a family here!  We made a bonfire with them, roasted marshmellows, and set off little fireworks.  It was way fun!

So we were looking for a truck to Pancà when this cement truck passed by, asking us the way to Pancà.  He was headed there for the construction on the chapel.  We told him we knew the way, and he offered to take us there if we showed him the way!  So we got to ride all the way to Pancà in a cement truck!

   We found this little water source (What do you call this?) on our way to a member`s house.  It looked pretty clean, so I figured why not?  (But not really..)

This is a little baby who was born here not to long ago.  Her family is Less Active, but they ended up coming to chruch for a baby blessing for her!  So everything turned out perfect!

I don`t remember if I had sent you guys a picture of the waterfalls here, but I went to go show them to Elder Mar, so we took some more pictures!