Sunday, April 27, 2014


Look at all of this wood we chopped.  Took us a little over a half an hour with both of us going at it.  I´m definitley going to miss doing this when I`m not here anymore.

Us playing jump rope with some investigators.

Just some classic Guatemalan kids for you guys.

My main man Elder Keele hitting his two year mark.  So we celebrated!

These are about half of the corte ties that I`ve gotten during my mission.  I don`t think I`ll ever wear a normal tie ever again.

Awesome Easter!

Hello Family!  I hope that you all had a great Easter Sunday!  Man I love this time of year as a missionary.  Things are kind of weird here in Guatemala during this week with all the celebrations and stuff, but taking time to just step back and remember why we celebrate Easter is amazing.  It`s all about being better, and hoping for things that can come to pass.  All in all it`s just an amazing celebration.  

     This week has probably been one of the best weeks in my mission in terms of success that we`ve had.  We`ve got a lot going for us here; it took a little bit of time to get used to the area, but now we`ve got the hang of it, and we are loving it.  Just to put it into perspective, we`ve got 10 baptismal fechas for the next coming weeks, and we are having a ton of people in church every week.  

     Thinking about it, I think that the Lord has saved this little part of the mission just for me to finish off.  All my past areas are known for being really hard areas, with Momos and Quiche being especially hard.  But I worked hard, and gave it all I got, and now I feel like I`m finally being able to see the success that I`ve been waiting for.  Which is something that I really needed to learn on the mission, and something that I was praying to changea when I came.  Anyways, the point is that we`ve just got to keep working hard, and give it all we`ve got, and the Lord will come through.  Enduring to the End anyone?  Yes sir.

      So, this coming Saturday we are going to be baptizing Luis and Edwin.  They are really stoked about it, we`ve become great friends with them, they love the church...  And so on.  They`re great, and I`m really trying to make sure that they are really converted, so that later on they will be able to serve missions.  How great would that be?  But now we are just focusing on the details of the baptism.  Everything should turn out great.  I`m stoked.

     We`ve also got a family that we are working withaa that have a fecha for the 17th of May.  Their names are Elena and Aroldo.  They`re great.  They`ve got some doubts and stuff, but they are asking a ton of great questions, and Elenaa is even asking on how she could be baptized.  They came to church this past week, and absolutely loved it.  We just need a little more time with them, but Elder Pagàn and I are sure that they will be baptized.

      And then we`ve got María and her family.  They are a more humble family, and they make and sell tortillas for a living.  Their first language is Cojobal, which only a couple of small villages speak.  But in spite of all of that, they love us and the church.  They`ve come to church a handful of times, and we are trying to get them baptized on the 10th of May, but we are going to see how that goes.

      Now, I`ve got two pieces of advice that I`ve learned here recently.  One:  Getting investigators to church in so important.  I knew that before, but now I`m realizing how important it is.  Once they go to church, they`ll love it.  The Spirit there is so strong, and they just eat it all up.  Once they get there, things are a lot easier.

      The second piece of advice is a little strange, and something that I didn`t really realize until recently.  To have success, we`ve got to love those who we teach.  And the best way to do that is to just be their friend.  I came into the mission with a really logical way of going at this.  I was thinking, "If I can just get the doctrine across, they`ll know that this is the truth, and they`ll get baptized."  Honestly, people could care less about that here.  I`ve taught people that know this is the true church, but won`t get baptized because athey feel good in their church.  But there is a way around that.

      We`ve just got to be friends with them.  It`s as simple as that.  Before, I just wanted to teach the doctrine and just that, and hope they understood.  I`ve completely changed now.  We watch church movies with them, we help them cook/clean, we make jokes, we play games with them.  Basically, we just make them love us.  And when that happens, they accept our message so much eaiser.  Love those who we teach.  That is the key.  (I hope that you all understood what I was trying to say here...  It kind of seems jumbled.  But you get the idea.)

     So yeah, things are great here in this little part of land they call Huehue.  I absolutely love it here.  Things are so great.  The mission is the life.  The Lord is hastening the work, and I`m a part of it.  What could be better?  Until next time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. Alma 7:11-13, my favorite scripture this week.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Zone picture at the temple.

Me at the temple.

Every Saturday, this member kid comes to shine our shoes.  Well, some people found out, and gave him more shoes to shine.  And these are all the shoes that he shined!

Loving the Mission!

Hello Family!  How you all doing?  We´ve had a really good week this week.  I´ve really been loving being a missionary recently, like more that usual.  I don´t know where it is coming from, but I love it!  There really is something special about the work that we can´t really describe, something that drives us from within.  Maybe it is the thought that we are all participating in the work of salvation, and we can see people´s lives change right before our eyes.  It really is amazing to think that we are helping people that we haven´t even thought existed before, and they are changing their lives competely by our help.  There really is nothing better.  Now that I´ve started this email, we can get down to business.

     First off, on Monday we had another amazing lesson with Antonia.  We went to see how she liked conference, because she was going to watch it in her house.  She said that she had watched it and everything.  But when we asked her what she most liked, she told us that something had happened.  The channel that we sent them too was conference, but it was all in English.  So they ended up watching the whole thing in English...  At first I was bummed but then she said something really important.  She said that it didn´t matter if she didn´t understand anything, because she had felt something really special (The Spirit) wathcing it.  And she said that when one man came up, she felt his authority.  So I whipped out a picture of Pres. Monson and she said "That´s the man."  Guys, this church is true.  Antonia didn´t understand a thing, but the Spirit told her that they were Prophets of God.  Amazing.

     On Wednesday WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!!  Oh baby, it had been way too long.  Almost 10 months since the last time I went.  And man was it great.  Things had changed since the last time I went (cough movie cough...), and I loved the changes.  A lot more clear on what was needed to be done.  (Is this vague, or is it just me?)  As I sat in the Celestial Room, I was pondering on what was needed to be done for some investigators, and found some really great stuff/scriptures for them.  

     But what was most special about the tempe is that I went there planning to ask Heavenly Father if what I had been giving him for the last 21 months has been worth it.  If I´ve been really serving my God.  As I finished my prayer I didn´t really feel anything so I just sat there looking at the beauty of the Temple.  But as I looked up into the chandelier, shining in the light, it just hit me.  Like a lightning bolt down my whole body.  I was just consumed in my Heavenly Father´s love, and I never wanted it to stop.  Man, what a feeling.  Something really special that I´m going to remember for a long time.

     On Thursday I went to another area on divisions to see how the work was going in Zaculeu.  I stayed with Elder Perkins, another Elder in the Zone.  I´m not really the biggest fan of divisions, because I don´t like leaving my area, but we had a great time.  I learned a lot from him,, and we had some really great lessons.  It kind of just showed me how many of us there are in this work, all of us a little different, but all with the same purpose.  That was great for me to realize.

     We talked with Luis and Edwin, our two baptismal fechas, this week.  They were set for the 19th, but weren´t able to come to church this week... But they´ve already made plans to go this coming week, and when we pushed back the fechas for the 26th, they already started asking what time, what they should bring, and everything.  So they are pretty set, and we are stoked for them.

     We´ve also got this other guy named Ivan, a (boy)friend of a member here.  And he´s really interested.  He´s asked some of the best questions about the Gospel that I´ve heard in a while.  What I see from him is just a desire to become closer to God.  And we have the perfect thing for him:  The Restored Gospel.  We think that he´s going to progress really nicely, so that should be good.

     The work is progressing here nicely, and we think that the rest of April and May should be really good for us.  This was an area just waiting for good things to happen, and now we are here to see it happen.  Until next time!

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. DyC 100:1


This is the cliff in our area where everyone throws their garbage.  There is no garbage system here.  But that´s a good thing, according to a story we heard.  Apparently a couple years back, some little girl fell off the cliff, but thanks to the garbage below that broke her fall, she wasn´t hurt.  Go figure.

Us Gringos between sessions eating pizza and enjoying conference.

Me at the start of the trail that leads to the Laguna Magdalena

Some small waterfalls in the Laguna Magdalena

The Laguna Magdalena.

A huge valley that you can see from this place.

And from this valley, there is a huge waterfall that goes all the way down.

My name tag and the valley.

The valley again.

The Laguna.

Coming back from the Laguna, there was a place where you could see all of Huehue.  How cool is that?

General Conference Weekend!

Hello Family!  This week was incredible, to say the least.  My very last General Conference in the mission.  It´s been so weird to think about how fastthe time has gone.  Four Conferences, four areas.  It really makes me regret not having payed much attention to Conference in the past.  It´s basically like the World Series (Super Bowl, sorry, I´m a baseball fan...)  for us missionaries, and we get it twice a year.  Yeah boy.  It is absolutely amazing.  

     (If you´re short on time, and don´t want to read my analysis about Conference, jump down the the specifically marked paragraph.)

     All right, let´s get down to business.  General Conference, and what I liked.  First off was Elder Holland´s talk.  And, as always, he did great.  He explained a lot about what we as missionaries feel in the mission field.  About how challanges will always come, but there are more important things to do in life.  We must always have the desire and the courage to do what is right in the threat of opposition.  Also great on Saturday Morning was Elder Andersen´s talk.  That talk is really needed down here in Guatemala.  We need to always focus on the things in life that make us stronger, and always welcome opposition in our lives.

     Priesthood Session was absolutely incredible.  I loved every single talk.  One that really stood out to me was Elder Hallstrom´s talk.  Please go look it up if you have time.  I really enjoyed it.  Also, President Monson´s talk about courage was really good too.  We must always have the courage to do the right thing (or not do the wrong thing), no matter how small the thing may be.

     Elder Ballard´s tlak was much needed in the mission.  That chapter in PMG is one of my favorites, all about following up on comitments.  So important.  Most of the things we do in life will require follow up, and probably not even just once, but many times.  We need to learn this principle, and do all that we can to live it every day.  

      President Packer is such a powerful man.  He may be getting old, and I may not have gotten much from his talk this Conference, but this I do know:  That man has got one powerful testimony.  Amazing.  He really does know the Lord, and I know it to be true.  Just from his testimony, I learned so much.  We all need to strive to make our testimony that strong.  Wow, it just blew my mind how sure he was.  

     So yeah, that´s what I liked about General Conference.  I loved all of the talks, but those were the ones that kind of stood out.  

     *This is the specifically marked paragraph!*

     Other than Conference, the work here has been great.  We had many investigators in Conference this week, so we are just waiting this week to see what they thought, and work on getting them to church next week.  I really think we can, and there is a lot of work to do here in Colonia.

     Luis and Edwin are still good for the 19th of this month.  We are really excited, because that can mean turning their lives around for good in this early age. (13 and 15)  They like everything, and are coming to church, so now we are just making sure this is something that they really want to do, and make sure that they know what to do when we eventually leave the area.

     We had a really touching experience this week.  While with a member going to a lesson, she told us about her aunt who had before listened to the missionaries, but said that she never felt anything special.  The member, Nidia, was kind of reluctant to go, because the aunt, Antonia, has rejected missionaries recently, but we convinced her to go, so we went.  When we were there, she told us that she had been sick for a while, and Nidia said that we could give her a blessing.  And I was honored to give the blessing.  During the blessing, I felt the Spirit really strongly, but didn´t think much of it.  But when I ended, Antonia left the room, leaving us with the others in the room.  Long story short, when we had left, Nidia told us that Antonia had left because she was crying, and Nidia had never seen her aunt listen to a blessing like that.  Antonia seems really pilas now, We are excited about the change that happened.

     With that last story, I feel like we all need to realize something that we all have.  A divine potential.  For example, I felt normal during the blessing, but I know that Antonia was feeling heavenly hands, and hearing heavenly words.  All us of can do more that we really thing, we just need to go and do it.

     To close it off, today for P-Day we went to a beautiful place called Laguna Magdalena.  So surreal.  The word I would chose to describe it would be mystical.  Going there just made me think how amazing God really is.  He has all the creations before him, and we are able to be a part of it.  God really is all-powerful.  I´ll send some pictures shortly.

     Man, now I just feel like I´m rattling off some things...  so I´ll stop now.  I love this work guys.  There is nothing like it.  Until next time!

     - Elder Stuart

     1 Nephi 19:9

Sunday, April 6, 2014


I want you all to try and guess what this is.  When I first saw it, I was like, "Nice, there´s a good looking hotel in my area!"  Nope.  This is a great big Evangelical Church.  Gotta love it.

My poor comp.  Got "dear johned" last week...  So here we are on the roof burning some photos. 

Doing service, and of course I just have to be a little weird.

This little dude was helping us out in the service project.  So freaking cute trying to help us sweep.

Helping make some bread for Semana Santa.

This is a funny story.  We were contacting some lady, and her two little boys come outside to play.  About 3 years old and 5 years old.  They started throwing rocks at the post in the picture, with the light meter on it.  The lady started to tell them not to do that, and as soon as she finished saying that, the three year old threw a rock and broke the light meter.  Nice one little kid.

Picking up the Work!

      Hello family!  Here we are in another P-Day in Huehue!  Man I love this place.  Huehue is so cool you guys, not even kidding.  I really have been blessed having been able to be in every major city in the mission.  So when I have the opportunidad to come back to Guatemala, I´ll be able to get my way around.  I´ve still got to know Huehue a little bit more, but from what I´ve seen so far, I love it.  Definitely the best mission in the world.

     As for the work in this area, we´ve got a lot going for us.  Last week was a bit slow, just because we were getting used to the area, getting to know all the members, and just getting a feel for things.  But this week we worked really hard, and we got a lot done.  For example, we were able to teach the most lessons with member present that I´ve ever had.  We´re also working on getting a lot of new people to teach this week, with this week a number of 18.  This area is a great one, and now we are seeing the benefits of working hard.

     We had a really spiritual lesson this week with a less active family.  They just got baptized this February, but have since stopped going to church.  So we went with them to see what´s going on.  And it was amazing.  (Just part of the family is a member, not all of them.)  We went over the Docrtine of Christ, lesson three in PMG and probably my favorite lesson to teach.  Everything was great; they were listening very well, and making great questions.  But the best part was at the end.

     I felt the spirit really trying to tell me to put a fecha with the members of the family that weren´t members.  So I went to work.  When we finished the lesson, I basically said, "Luis(nephew), Edwin(nephew), and Katy(daughter), you guys need to listen to what we have to say."  We had just seen Luis and Edwin once before, and just met Katy that same day.  But the Spirit really guided me on what to say.  Basically I explained the importance of baptism, and invited them to be baptized.  The Spirit was so strong there, so it didn´t really surprise me much when they all agreed to be baptized on the 19th of April.  Really, that was one of the most spiritual moments in my mission.  After the lesson, Elder Pagán said to me, "Wow, I´ve never heard you talk like that before.  That was powerful."  Miracles happen guys.

     Sorry if my explination doesn´t make much sense.  I was trying to put in what I had to say and wanted you guys to understand, but reading it again it just looks messy.  But I hope you all understand.  Lo siento.

      Throughout my mission, I´ve heard so many people say that we as missionaries are like angels for them.  And I´ve been realizing this week how true that really is.  There are so many members and just people in general that have the mindset of, "Man, those missionaries are just so perfect."  Sometimes we as missionaries don´t really feel that all the time.  But we have to take into account how true that really is.  All the things that we represent.  For a lot of people, we are the guardian angels that give them this happiness, and that is what we are supposed to do.  It is always really humbling to hear someone say that we are angels.  It always makes me want to do better.

     We watched the Testaments this week with a less active family.  Let me just tell you guys that that movie is the best FHE movie ever.  It´s really just a silly movie, with action, love, war, great one-liners.  And then at the end, BAM, the spirit just takes over in the last 3 minutes.  We Jesus Christ comes to the Americas, man, it is so powerful.  Afterwards, we had some 4 year-old little kid say, "Mommy, I want to see Jesus like those people did!"  So innocent, but yet so powerful.  And we will all be able to see him again.

     As a side note, they´ve asked me to play the piano in church again.  So that makes every single area I´ve been in, I´ve played the piano in Sacrament Meeting.  Something that I had really taken for granted.  One of the quickest ways that I start to feel the spirit is through music, and being able to make that happen is one of the greatest gifts I think that I have.  God knows every single one of us, and what we all need.

     Alright, time for me to finish up. This has been a really long email.  But a good one in my opinion.  This is the Lord´s work, there is no doubt in my mind.  We are his servants, called to do his work, and there is no other place I´d rather be.  Until next time.

      - Elder Stuart

     P.S. Matthew 10:29


Just chilling outside of the dispensa with some good old chocolate milk.

Everyone at changes.

This is the beautiful land called Huehuetenango.

Me in Huehue.

A member in our ward makes bread, and this is his oven.  It´s really good.

Found this chilling in our house, just trying to get out.  Just be glad that I didn`t show you a picture of the bugs in our bathroom... ;)   THIS was the bug I was telling you about.

Look at the name of this school.  And when we asked, they said they have no relation with the church....

Getting to know the area from the back of a pickup.  (Also ignore the fact that my comp looks great, and I`m just... meh.)

For service, we made a bunch of chicken houses for the members here, something really necessary here!

Today we asked our bishop how we were to get rid of our trash.  He said, "Just go to the cliff and throw it off."  We were like, "Are you serious?"  And this is the cliff he was talking about.  I love this place, but man, I`m for sure in a third-world country.


 Hello Family!  Well, I`m guessing that the subject is confusing a couple of you...  But I`ll explain.  As soon as I walked out of internet last week, the assistants called me to let me know that I was going to have changes!  Great...  But they told me that I was going to go open up an area where there has been a streak of bad missionaries, and it was my job to pick the area back up...  So yeah, now I`m in Huehuetenango, in an area that`s called Colonia.  So I`ve oficially said goodbye to Xela, and am probably in my last area in the mission!  So crazy!

     And the weirdest thing about the changes is my new comp.  I`m with Elder Pagán, the elder that was in Chiquilajá with me!  So we´ve known each other for his whole mission (4 months).  We get along great, so that`s going to be really good when we start to work here in Colonia.

     Not going to lie, I`m going to miss Chiquilajá a bunch, and Xela too.  The members there were incredible, some didn`t want me to leave, and one even offered me to end my mission there, and marry his daughter!  ;)  So if I want, I`ve got options here in Xela!  Jaja but seriously, it was amazing being in Chiqui, and all the miracles that I saw there.  But now it`s time to move on, and I`m ready for it!

     As for the Colonia, it`s a great area!  The members here are stoked to help us out with missionary work.  We received a ton of references this week from all the members, and we`ve still got a bunch that we need to contact!  It`s basically been a week of getting used to being in a new area, getting to know the members, and seeing what we can do from the very beginning to help out this ward.  I`ve got a really good feeling about this ward, and I know that the Lord is just waiting to help us out in the work.

     I want you all to know how great of a mission leader I´ve got here.  His name is Mauro Gómez.  The thing with him is that with his job, he works one day, and rests the next.  That means that sometimes he has to miss some Sundays, but he`s alright.  But what surprised me most about him is that he dedicates most of his time on his off days to go with us.  For example, on Friday we went with him starting at 4:00 in the afternoon, and we were with him until we had to go home!  It was incredible.  He`s always willing to show EVERYONE that he knows to us, and see if they will accept the gospel.  What a guy.

     This week I`ve been focusing my thoughts on how to best approach people about the gospel, seeing as I`ve been needing to do that for the whole week!  But I`ve definitely noticed something interesting.  Recently, I`ve found myself saying from the very beginning something like this: "We`ve come here today to share with you this VERY IMPORTANT message that we have."  yadda yadda yadda.  The key is saying that it is very important what we have to say.  Most people here I`ve seen just think that we are there to share a message about Christ, and leave it at that.  But if we can really make sure that they realize that what we have to say could very well change they way that they act, it`s a lot more promising.  

     As of now, we don`t really have anyone going really strong yet, seeing as we`ve got less than a week here, but we`ve got a lot of really good prospects, and I feel like my next letter will be talking about a lot of the people that we`ve come to know here.

     This work is absolutely amazing guys.  It couldn´t be bettter.  We are the ones who have this gospel in our hands, and it`s our job to share it with everyone!  Neighbors, friends, family, co-workers, strangers on the street, etc.  They´ve got the questions, and we`ve got the answers.  Until next time!  

     - Elder Stuart

     P.S. Moroni 8:16, especially the last part.

     P.P.S.  Huehue is really hot.  Reminds me a lot of St. George.  To put it in perspective, I put sunscreen on for the first time on Wednesday.  Yeah...