Quetzaltenango Guatemala

Quetzaltenango Guatemala

12.1.14 Week 4 in the field!!

December 1, 2014

Wow I can´t believe how fast this last week has gone! It has been a really different, interesting week. Definitely better than last week, that's for sure. This week we got our Christmas nativity video cards for mormon.orgThey are awesome and so is the video. So far people have been really receptive to them, it has been a good way to start a conversation with people on the streets. We have a goal to give out more than 10 a day, and so far we are on track. This week the other elders in Salcaja had a baptism, an 11 year old boy named Mario Ivan Menchu Divas. But, because there are no baptism clothes here for adults to wear, and since I brought my own, they invited me to baptize him!!!! So, I got to do my first baptism in Spanish this week, it was so different this time being the one actually doing the baptism instead of the 8 year old kid! IT was really awesome though, I had to rehearse his name a thousand times before the baptism cause I was afraid I would forget it because of my nerves, but all went well. It doesn't count as a convert for me, but it was still really cool actually getting to baptize someone in Spanish!!!!

This week we took the keyboard from the church building and got a cord for it. The cord didn't fit, but Elder Saldana worked for the capital in El Salvador on power lines and other electrical stuff, he cut the power cord open, switched the polarity, and sautered it all closed and back together=) Haha so now I have a working keyboard at my 2nd desk in our apartment!!!!!! This is nice to have, but it is so I can learn hymns for sacrament meeting, which I got to play in this week=) Apparently the people haven't heard a piano or music in church for quite some time, many people came up to me afterwards and thanked me over and over for bringing music into sacrament meeting. It was really cool, the spirit was a lot stronger, and I could tell that the people had more energy. Since Christmas is coming up, I had to learn 2 Christmas hymns Saturday night, but for the most part it all went well during sacrament meeting, definitely had some divine help there. After the sacrament hymn which was, How Great Thou Art, a lot of people including the branch president, were wiping away tears. Not gonna lie, the fans must have been blowing dust in my eyes or something because it became a little difficult to see=)  (  Dad=)  ) So now I guess I am playing in sacrament every Sunday, I mean I really want to, and the branch president said that he wouldn't mind. It really does bring an extra spirit into the meeting, and that is exactly what our rama needs.

I hope everyone had an amazing thanksgiving!! I know I did, and I am in a place that doesn't celebrate thanksgiving!=) Here it is called dia de gracias, but people don't have big meals or anything, its very different. But, we did actually end up eating turkey with a wealthier member who owns her own restaurant. It was really good, we even has mashed potatoes with it, but it really was nothing like moms Thanksgiving turkey or dinner. Down here just to have a turkey is EXTREMELY rare, it is so expensive. So it was cool just to have one, even though it wasn't super flavorful. It was such a blessing to have dinner with that sister, she really is such a saint. She let us help her cook the food, she fed us, and she cleaned up, all for free. Down here the people are so giving, imagine feeding four starving 19 year old boys, it would be expensive, especially to the people down here. It really amazes me how giving the people are down here. Today for P'day we got to go to Walmart in Xela and we drove within sight of the temple!!! IT is so pretty, and it looks pretty similar to the Gilbert Temple. In Walmart I actually found crunchy peanut butter, and stinkin frosted flakes=) Haha You cant find that in Salcaja, and if you can, it is super expensive. Apparently we go once a month to Walmart as a zone, but every missionaries P'day is Monday in the whole mission, and since there is only one Walmart, every missionary comes to this Walmart. I got to see Elder Lui, a missionary that I met in the Provo MTC!!! He is doing so good and he is stationed in Toto, it was really cool to get to catch up with some nortes that I knew before coming to the field. Afterwards my companion and I had permission to actually buy Pizza Hut=) Haha talk about the best meal of your life, holy cow American Restaurants really are something else! I actually think that the pizza is better down here, maybe its because of deprivation, not sure.

In the city there are some weird things that I have never seen before. Below I attached a picture of this place that looks like some kind of bathing station, it is actually where people in the city come to wash their clothes on these stone washboards!! It's free, so the women take their clothes down, in the baskets on their heads of course, and wash in this little stone washing station, pretty cool huh! There is also this little place that I found that looks like a sweatshop kind of, i attached a picture below=) It has tons of little sowing stations crammed into a little room, haha definitely a little sweatshop I think.

Speaking of baptisms, we tried to commit Azusena to baptism this week, but she still says no! But, we found out why she wont commit, she is part of the Evangelic church, and she says that she doesn't want to switch churches, so frustrating!!! But, she said she will go to church next week, so hopefully she does. She didn't come again this week because she had a commitment in Xela, but cross my fingers that she will really come next week! I know she knows that the church has something......... but she isn't sure what it is. ITS THE SPIRIT! Haha but I cant scream it to her like that, sometimes I wish I could, but I have to be patient=) 

Again this week the Gilton family couldn't come to church with us, but we taught them a lot more and they are super interested. We even started teaching Tony, a 23 year old guy who works for Hermano Gilton at his computer shop. He is going to come to church with us next week he said, he LOVES the temple and ´´eternal families´´ idea he said, he was married once but his wife left him, now he is looking for a marriage and a family that will last for ever........... he is so ready=) So what we did was we taught them all together. Hermano Gilton is opening a toy store 50 feet away from his computer store, so we came and helped him paint it for 2 hours. While we were painting, we taught temples and eternal families which they all loved. The whole family of Hermano Gilton was present, and so was Tony. This next Sunday, we are going to have the family and Tony at church, but that is if they don't commit to anything else, fingers crossed.

This week has been really awesome, we actually gained a few investigators from contacting on the buses! Our plan every time we are on the bus now is to sit separately next to one person each. By the time we reach Prado, 15 minutes, we need to have taught some points of one lesson, and gotten a phone number or address. Tomorrow, we are teaching someone that we contacted on the bus!!! I am really excited, Olet Estrada, the name of the girl, could possibly be our first baptism!! I love you all, thank you for your emails and your love. I hope that the holidays have been awesome, and I hope that the upcoming holidays will be just as great if not better. I am so excited for Christmas which is only like 3 weeks away!!!! Have an amazing Christmas, but don't forget the true meaning  of it=)

Until next week,

Elder McLeod