Quetzaltenango Guatemala

Quetzaltenango Guatemala

3.30.15 6 Months!!!

March 30, 2015

Wow this week marks my 6 month mark, dang the time has passed so fast. It's crazy really, it's only been 6 months but I already feel so at home and comfortable here. Guatemala and everything it has to offer like the jungle, the food, the culture, and everything really has become to feel normal now, the mission is great.

  This week while we were checking the area book we found an old investigator from the previous elders about 6 to 7 months ago. We gave the guy a call, his name is Juan Garcia, a super nice guy who has a wife and a 7 year old daughter. This week we called him and set a visit with him to go and see what his situation is and to see if we could possibly continue to teach him. When we got there we found out that his wife was super positive months and months ago, the problem was that her husband was never able to assist church with her, so she stopped coming. But, now that he doesn't work on sundays, he is able to go!! We taught him about baptism and he accepted a date for baptism the 25 of April!!! Holy cow it was an awesome experience, He only needed 15 minutes of a lesson to say yes to a baptismal date. He is super positive and so is his wife, they have both committed to coming to General Conference this sunday with us a couple of miles down the road in a chapel, It will be an awesome opportunity for them to listen to the prophet and the apostles and feel the spirit. They are super positive, and we are super excited that we were able to find them.

    This week we went with a member family and made pizza!! It was super fun, but the greatest part is that we did it with his non member extended family. We didn't end up getting to really have a lesson or everything, just small talk, but we definitely gained confidence with the nonmember family and we will be teaching one of the cousins to the members that was there making pizza with us this upcoming week which will be great.

       One of our investigators named Roselia had serious surgery this week, because of this we were not able to go and teach her, but everything seems like it went well (we talked with one of her cousins who said that everything went well). This week on Wednesday we are going to go and see how she is doing, teach a little bit, and put a baptism date with her. They are super positive so we are hoping that they will continue to study and pray every night in order to receive an answer.
        haha this week marked the beginning of semana santa, which means that all of the catholics take to the streets everyday with their apostasy floats and statues of christ and mary, it's crazy!! We literally can't walk down some of the streets, they are filled with TONS of people holding these really tall yellow leave things and waving them and chanting stuff, super satanic. After passing the 1 millionth street procession, we passed these 2 kids and asked them if they were going to do what the catholics were doing, they responded with no, and we just said, good job. Haha it is ridiculous, my comp told me that here semana santa is crazy and that the work here really tanks, but we will see what happens, hopefully we will still be able to visit people and teach like we have planned.

         So an update on some weird things that Iv eaten recently, pig spine soup...... haha gross. Pig foot soup........ skin and hair included, pretty much everything that a pig has we eat down here, and most of the time it's in soup form. Honestly though, here in Cantel we eat better than we did in Salcaja, here the people eat a lot more modern food instead of the native stuff. My health has been a lot better too since I've been here which has been a huge blessing, but it's never perfect, and it won't be for the next 18 months.
         I have some crazy news....... My comp and i got a call from president this week, he told us that my comp is being bumped up to district leader! So, this means that I am getting a new comp, but then he told me that I am going to be training!!! Tomorrow my comp leaves in the morning and I will be getting a newbie fresh from the CCM!!! I am super pumped, this will be my first kid!! I sure hope that he is a gringo, but even if he isn't, I will still be just as excited!=) I also got some news that since my comp was district leader but now he is leaving, I might even have the opportunity to be district leader, but we will both know for sure tomorrow at 8 am at the changes. Either way, I am super pumped and excited for the change, I feel like this is the time now when I will be getting a ton of awesome experience, it will be the first time as senior companion, I can't wait!

            This week was a great week, we now have a baptism date which is super exciting!!! I just hope and pray that our investigators can keep their compromisos and come to church this week. I am in good health and lovin the mish, it has been such a wonderful experience for me so far. I have learned so much, and I love studying the scriptures so much, there is SO MUCH to learn it's crazy, but here in the mish we are studying like crazy and learning a ton every day which is good. Hope that everyone has an awesome week, love you all, and hope that you all have a wonderful easter and General Conference weekend!!!!

Elder McLeod


3.02.15 A crazy week.......... cambios!!!

March 2, 2015

Wow this week was stinkin insane!!!! Salcaja is progressing so far, our investigators are starting to assist and all know that this church is true............ and then came cambios!!!

         This week we were able to go to the temple here in Xela, holy cow I forgot what american building architecture was like, the church does the same quality in its temples all around the world, even in the mountains of Guatemala!!! It was so beautiful and it was such a great experience. But what this means is that my mission is almost 1/4 over............ dang that went super quick. Afterwards we were able to go to Subway, oh how glorious it was. Haha the subway here is 10 times better than in the states. Haha before the mission I am not going to lie but I was a little picky with my sandwiches, but now, I love it all=) Haha it really was like going to your favorite restaurant in the states, expensive but amazing. But while we were eating lunch, president Smith called my comp and I. He told us that we were going to have emergency changes and that he had big plans for us. He did not elaborate until later that night when he told us that my comp was destined to be an office assistant!! So my comp right now is in central Xela in the offices, but he gave me a different assignment, he sent me to Cantel. Cantel is this string of Aldeas up in the mountains, it is the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life. I am still in the same zone which is awesome, just different comp and area. My comps name is Elder Etcheto, he is from twin falls Idaho, he has like 16 months in the mission, and he is great. We get along really well which is a huge blessing, and he is really good at his Quiche. Up here in the aldeas, all of the people speak Quiche which really is an old Mayan Language, it is really nice that my comp has been here for 6 months and that he knows his Quiche!! haha he is not fluent, but he can communicate and teach a little bit which is super sick. Quiche sounds like a bunch of guttural noises (noises from the back of your throat), it sounds really weird but it is really cool. I am pretty sad to leave Salcaja behind, but here the members are super into helping the missionaries in the work so I am super excited for the change.

              This week before the cambios we visited all of our beloved members in our branch. It was sad having to leave them behind, a few of them cried, but I know that where I am going is where I am supposed to go. We also visited Hermana Irvine and her daughter Claudia. We had a really awesome last lesson with them, the plan of salvation. As we taught it they were really intrigued how we have a purpose and how we are going to a place before we go to heaven, but it all made sense to them and they understood the scriptures we used. After the lesson we were trying to ask them questions to get them to explain their struggles with progressing. We tried for  a while with no luck, my comp was ready to end the lesson when suddenly a thought popped into my head, to ask a certain question. I asked the question, referring the the first time that we had visited the family. It was kind of a random question, but when the daughter Claudia answered the question, she started to cry! My comp and I were startled but we continued to listen, she told us that during our first lesson she had had a prompting come to her and that my question had been directly related to her prompting. She told us that she knew that what we teach is true, and also the church, but she told us that she still has some doubts. We responded saying that that is ok, and that we would solve/ answer all of her doubts/ questions. Then it was Irvines turn. she told us that she had felt something different with us also, that what we were saying was true, but that she was not allowed to read. We asked her how she wasn't allowed to read, she told us that her husband had found her reading it and he had gotten really really mad with her and had forbidden her to continue reading. This really hurt to hear, but we explained the importance of reading and the promise of knowing whether or not our church is true. She told us that she would try to continue reading, I pray that she can.

            Here in Cantel we went to Zunil my first day. This little village is tucked way up in a valley completely surrounded by cloud and fog covered jungle mountains on every side. In this village is the only place in the whole world they make a certain type of corte, it is called Zunil corte (hence why it is only made here). The culture here is very different in every way, the corte is super thick and has lots of different patterns and symbols, it is very beautiful. THis week we went there to teach a couple of lessons, we brought a guy named Martin who is fluent in spanish and in Quiche, he is our Amulek!!! haha so yes we do call him Amulek, he is the greatest guy! So we go and teach this Mayan family who speaks 90% Quiche, as we taught we would translate and explain what we were saying into Quiche!! It was super awesome and the family really seemed intrigued by the idea that today there is a living prophet of God here on the earth. We will be going back later this week to teach them again with Amulek.

           I know that this letter is super short, but this week was taken up by visiting members, a few last lessons in salcaja, and then getting to know all of the members here in Cantel, I attached some pictures below of my new comp and I here in Cantel. I love the mission, but I can't believe how fast it is going by, already 5 months!!!!!! Here in Cantel things are moving faster than in Salcaja, I am really happy to be a part of the Lord's work up here in the tops of the mountains. I love you all, have an awesome week!!!!

Elder McLeod