Sunday, February 23, 2014


Us coming back home a long ways from our area, and someone was nice enough to give us a ride back!

After lunch one day.  Just look at all of those lemons that we ate...

Someone shut the door to the baptismal font while the water was still going, and we didn`t have a key.  So someone had to climb the glass, hop over, and turn it off.  And that someone was me!

Cruz, Elder Josec, and I.

I`m pretty sure the picture says it all.

Cruz and his wife, Martha, after the baptism.

Just a normal occurance in Guatemala.  A dog walking down the street with some meat in his mouth.  Although we aren`t sure what it is...  We`ve narrowed it down to intestine, or cat brain...  We just don`t know where he got it from..

Some jumping pictures!

The volcano Santa María in Xela.

Walking up to Zunil today.

What a Week(end)!

Hello Family!  This has been one of those weeks where I`m just so happy to be a missionary.  This work is absolutely amazing, and I`m so grateful to be part of it.  I`ve got to do as much good as possible while I`m here in Guatemala, and I`m ready to do it.

     As you can all tell, this week is highlighted by the weekend, so I`ll start there.  On Saturday, Cruz was baptized!  It was a really spiritual service, and a really meaningful one for me also, because it was one of the baptisms that we had to work hard for.  I want to tell you guys a little bit how it happened, so you all know.

     Cruz was in the States when I got here, and also when Martha (his wife) and the whole family got baptized.  So in November, when we heard that he was going to come here, we thought we would get a good baptism easy.  But when he got here, and we tried to talk to him, he didn`t want anything to do with us.  And that continued for a couple of weeks.

     Then one week we had an activity at the temple, and Martha wanted to go.  Cruz ended up taking them to the temple, with plans to just go home right away.  But Martha ended up convincing him to stay, so he did.  And he loved it!  He felt the spirit so strong, and the next time we went to their house, he stayed to talk with us!  And he even came to chruch the next week!  

     But, the thing was is that he hada lot of problems that he needed to get fixed, but he was willing to do it.  It took some time, but he did it!  And he ended up being baptized.  What a journey that was for me!  I loved it, especially because it ended up great!  Haha but that was Saturday.

     Short story really quick.  On Saturday morning, we went to go fill up the baptismal font, but figured out there was no water...  Great.  So we left and decided to try again in the afternoon.  Well, there still wasn`t water...  So we had to think fast, and ended up asking for water hoses from all the neighbors, and planned to ask water from a neighbor to fill it up.  Well, long story short, after a few broken hoses, neighbors leaving, and all that stuff, we decided to just change chapels.  So we went to the next ward over.  Satan was trying to stop the baptism, but he couldn`t!

     Sunday was also a very special day.  I would dare say that it was my favorite Sacrament meeting in church in the mission.  A couple of things happened.  Cindy, who was baptized three weeks ago gave the opening prayer, and did amazing!  I got to confirm Cruz a member of the church.  (I also got to baptize him).  The Stake President was there, and gave an amazing talk.  It was just a very powerful and spritual meeting.  A great sunday overall.

     And today, we went to some tourist spot all the way up the mountain in Xela.  It was really fun.  There were hot springs (couldn`t get in...), a great lookout, and an awesome restaurant.  It was really fun, and it made me remember a lot of Italy for some reason... But that was really fun.

     Wow... This has been a long email.  But I`ll end now, so that you all don`t get bored!  Jaja but seriously, it`s been an amazing week.  A week I`ll never forget.  Until next time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. Moroni 6:1-3

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Starting off February

Hello Family!  We are in February already...  Time is going by way too fast!  Jaja but seriously, I feel like I just blink, and we are already done with another week.  Kind of scares me...  Tomorrow I´ll be completing 19 months in the mission.  It´s weird to think that I´m one of the old guys now.  But that just means that I have to set the example, and hope that others can be edified by my example.
      Which reminds me of something.  When Elder Cook came here to the mission, he noticed that most of the missionaries here have less than a year.  And he said something really important.  He said that we shouldn´t depend so much on experience/time in the mission, as much as we should depend on inspiration.  And it´s true.  Someone can know the scriptures like the back of their hand, and in which situation they should use them, but without the Spirit, it won´t have that good of an effect.  He really stressed that we should follow the promptings of the Spirit ALWAYS, and that sometimes it´s better to just talk inspiredly than use scriptures.  And when an Apostle of the Lord says something like that, you´ve got to obey!  And this is something that you can incorporate in everyday life.  Follow the Spirit.  
     And what´s so great about that is that we put that into practice this week.  We´ve been working with Cruz, the husband of a recent convert for a long time now.  He´s come to church a couple of times, and he knew that he needed to be baptized, but he just didn´t want to take the step.  So this Friday, we passed by (saying a prayer right before because we knew that we needed the spirit) ready to commit him to be baptized.  

     When we ended the lesson, we were ready to extend the invitation.  I felt the spirit telling me that we just needed to be direct and really commit him to do it.  And when I was inviting him, I didn´t even realize what I was saying.  It was one of the rare moments in my mission when the words weren´t mine.  By the time I realized I was done talking, he said, "You´re right, I need to be baptized.  And I´ll be fine to do it this Saturday."  Wow.  That was one of the most powerful moments in my mission.  So he´s set for this Saturday.  We just need to make sure that he´s set for it.  But seriously, wow.
     Well, if you havent realized yet, I´m really late on this email, so I´m going to have to cut it short.  But I´ll be sure to try and make some more time next week.  Love you all!  Until next time!
     - Elder Stuart
     P.S. Alma 27:27

And because time is so short, pictures will come next week.  Love you all!

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Found my mission car!

Jeffrey sent a photo like this last week, so I figured I´d send one too.  The classic Guatemalan bus, filled with missionaries.  And this is fairly empty, just so you all know!

The Elders in Chiquilajá, and Pedro who just got baptized this week.

 Elder Keele and I on P-Day

Change Week!

    Hello Family!  I´m going to apologize in advance for this email.  Well, tomorrow there and changes, and guess what?  I´m staying here in Chiqui.  So here´s to starting my 5th change in this area.  I thought for sure that I was going to have changes, but I guess there is still something that I need to do here.

     Not much happened this week, so i´ts going to be kind of boring...  But I hope that you will all be at least a little inspired by this email.

     First off, I want to tell you guys about a convert that the other elders baptized this week.  They´ve only known this 21 year old guy for about 3 weeks, but he was so ready.  Actually, he was the one who found the missionaries, because he felt impressed to talk to them.  The first Sunday that he came to church, in the Gospel Priciples class, he bore his testimony about Joseph Smith and his story.  Man it was so powerful, and it was only after 4 days of knowing about the missionaries!  And the next day, he went to a secluded spot in the woods to read the BoM and pray, and received his answer to be baptized.  And he knew he needed to do it, and he was dedicated.

     But it doesn´t end there.  As soon as he met the missionaries, his life spiraled downward.  In the course of two weeks, he got thrown out of his house, was robbed, beaten up, basically all sorts of things that could´ve happened.  But he was set.  I remember talking to him one Sunday after church, and he said, "If Nephi had the strength to get through his trials, I know that I can."  

     Just watching him grow has been great for me.  Even though he wasn´t my investigator, it was a real life testifying experience that God does prepare people.  All we need to do is make sure we are doing the things we need to do, and the Lord will provide.  Alma 16:16

     President Bautista is really stressing the need for us to always be looking for new investigators.  That is one of the most important stats we have.  Because if we are just focusing on some people, and not looking for others, when the people that we are focusing on don´t progress or are baptized, we have nothing to fall on.  He really stresses how we need to be missionaries in every aspect.  I love that guy, and am learning a lot from him.

     In my scripture study this week, I came across a passage of scripture that I really like.  In Mosiah 5:1-5, it talks about a change that can occur within us.  I had used that scripture previously in my mission for investigators, but while reading it this week, I applied it to myself.  I´m pretty sure that every one of us has felt the spirit so strong at some point, and in that moment, we don´t even think about doing anything wrong.  But that doesn´t last forever, because we are all imperfect.  But if we can always remember the mighty change that has occured within us, we can be better every day.

     This really hasn´t been the most exciting email, so sorry about that.  There have to be weeks like that sometimes, right?  But Elder Josec and I have put some really good goals to start of February right, so I´m stoked for that.  I love you all so much!  Until next time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. Ether 12:33-34  A really great scripture about charity.  And I´m going to copy/paste something that Elder Zimmerman shared in his email, cause it´s really good.

Faith: Our relationship/love with Deity
Hope: Our relationship/love with Ourselves
Charity: Our relationship/love with Others.


What do you get when you are in Guatemala with food that doesn´t agree with your stomach, very cheap toilet paper, and a lot of time and patience?  This.

Just another beautiful picture of Guatemala.
We were walking down the street one day when we see a huge crowd of people.  So naturally, we go to see what´s going on.  Turns out a cow fell in a drainage hole, and people were trying to pull it out.  So we helped out.  In this picture, I´m just off to the left.  And the hole is on the right.
Here´s the cow in the hole.
 This is a painting of one of the lakes here in Guatemala, Lago Atitlán.  This is really what it looks like too.  So beautiful.  (Also, there is a lot of speculation that this might be the Waters of Mormon.)
This is the morning of the baptism that was supposed to start at 11:00.  No one was there!  Not even Cindy and her kids!  The curse of GMST (Guatemalan Mormon Standard Time).
Cindy and her kids.
The family and I!
Getting ready for the baptism!
The turnout of the baptism.
Some kid playing in church.  Made me laugh.

Amazing Week

  Hello Family!  This week was absolutely amazing.  We had a really good start to the week, and to top it all off, Cindy and her two kids (Michelle and Antony) were baptized on Saturday!  This has been one of the weeks in the mission where I know for a fact I am where I am supossed to be.

     So I want to tell a little bit about how Cindy came around to be baptized.  This is the first baptism I´ve had that we found them knocking doors.  (The rest are references)  Her husband Antonio attended us, and we didn´t even see her until like the fourth visit.  But when we did, she didn´t really want to talk to us, and was so sure that her church was the right one.  That was back in November.

     But over time, the whole family didn´t progress, so we stopped visiting them for a while.  But one time, about 3 weeks after we stopped visiting them, we were up by their house, and Elder Josec and I both felt the impression to visit them again.  So we did, and turns out the Cindy needed a lot of help from someone exactly then.  So we helped her out a little bit, and left, not thinking much about it.

      But ever since then, she started to warm up to us.  We never saw Antionio because he got a new job, and he always got home late.  But we started to teach Cindy again, and now she started to accept it.  She made the necessary changes in her life, and she just looked happier.  

     But there was one night about 2 weeks ago, where Antonio came home late, and was really drunk.  Long story short, he threw Cindy and her kids out on the street, and we just happened to pass by when that happened.  So we arranged for them to sleep in a member´s house for the night, and while we were looking, we had an amazing talk with her about the church, and how she loves it.  We talked a little bit about baptism, and she told us she would think about it.

     So now this Tuesday passed, and we had an amazing cita with her.  We felt the spirit so strong, and Cindy and her two kids agreed to be baptized!  Michelle, the little girl asked us, "How soon can we do it?"  So amazing.  So on Saturday, they were baptized!  So amazing.  They were so happy, and it showed.  Everyone could see how happy they were.  

      As for baptisms, this has probably been one of the most rewarding ones for me.  I saw their conversion from start to finish, and I was there every step of the way.  It has been on of the highlights of my entire mission.  And I´m so glad that I was a part of it!

      Wow, that took up a lot of space...  I just needed to tell you guys about her so that you can understand what I´m feeling!  

     As for the rest of the week, we worked really hard at the beginning of the week, because we knew that the rest of our time was going to be taken up by the baptism.  But we still had some really good lessons, and found some really good people to teach.  

     As for me, I´ve been feeling the Spirit more than ever recently.  That has been one of my goals for the home stretch of my mission.  It´s one of the things about the mission that is unexplainable.  It also is one of my biggest fears about going home, because I won´t have the same opportunities to feel the Spirit.  But we always have to be working so that we can feel it.

     I feel like this letter is really jumbled, but I hope you all get what i´m trying to say...  But if not, just act like you do!  Jaja but I hope that you all have a great week.  I love you all!  Until next time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. This week isn´t really a scripture, but a talk.  Read it!  It´s so good!