Quetzaltenango Guatemala

Quetzaltenango Guatemala

4.27.15 Its the Big One!!

April 27, 2015

Hey everyone hope that you all had an awesome week!!! Up here we definitely killed it this week, we are so dead tired it's not even funny, but that is a good thing. We are working super hard up here for the Real Boss making the big bucks. I guess I'm just going to jump into this week, This week we went and visited hector again, he is doing really really well, but still not assisting church. We think that by the end of May he will be assisting church, but that seems like so far away! That's ok, if I am learning something here with Hector it certainly is patience, we will continue to visit him weekly and teach him. He is reading the book of mormon every day which is HUGE!! He is great, he will have a testimony of this church in no time!!!!

          We had the chance to go down to Zunil again this week which was so sick. We went with a member to go and visit a family that he knows. As we were knocking at the door of the non member family, I noticed this lady and her husband get out of their car about 10 yards directly in front of us, across the street. I felt this urge that we needed to go and talk with them, so when the non member family didn't answer the door, I told my comp and the member, and we went across the street to go talk with the husband and wife. Haha they were almost into their car when I yelled out BUENAS!!!!! haha looked like they were trying to escape, but NOPE!! We contacted them, and immediately they took interest in us and invited us into their house to talk with ALL of the family, this is pretty rare down here in Guatemala so we were super stoked. Turns out they don't assist any church which is just as rare, so we taught them the restoration in spanish/quiche!! It was so awesome, they even accepted a book of mormon and to read in!! They aren't going to be baptized this month, but I feel like we planted a very important seed in their lives!

           This past friday something amazing happened here in our little rama in Cantel............... we had a baptism!!!!!!!! Haha finally! Man my kid is so spoiled, only 3 weeks in and he has a baptism under his belt, na it was so awesome to finally see someone that I have been nurturing for 2 months finally take the next step and get baptized. Lilly and Dorus didn't get baptized, eventually they will, but Dorus son Johnson did! It was so awesome, we had a baptismal ceremony and everything, we even had 13 members come which was exciting haha. But of course, along with the custom here in Guatemala, everyone arrived an hour late, right after the baptism ended, so when we left the room we were greeted by 30 or so people that had decided to come but just an  hour late. One of those being the branch president haha, the people here aren't very punctual with their time=) But ya, it was such an awesome opportunity to walk down into the water and baptize this guy, the spirit was THERE and it was so cool, we even had a family of investigators come that we had invited earlier that day. I would send a picture of the baptism and the family but I can't, the computer won't accept the memory drive so I guess that next week I will have to send it. The family of investigators that came have baptism dates for the end of may so we will see what happens, hopefully they keep assisting church and reading the book of mormon.

             This past week we started something new here in Cantel. We started family home evening monday night in the chapel for all of the people that don't do family home evening at home but would like to. We started with a lesson and song and prayer, then we went and played basketball outside on the court! It was a blast, we had a turnout of about 11 people, not bad for our first time, we even had someone bring a non member friend which was great. Tonight we are going to have our 2nd annual family home evening by the missionaries, I pray that more and more people will come, but more importantly I pray that more and more families here in Guatemala will choose to have family home evening, even at the expense of our monday night family home evening.

           This week was awesome! My comp and I are in good spirits and in great health which is always a blessing. It was awesome to see my kid super excited to have his 1st baptism, he may be spoiled, but he is the greatest comp/ kid ever and I am glad that he got to experience that in his first month in the field. Well looks like this is what we did this week, we taught a ton of people in tons of different areas and areas, worked hard, and finally had a baptism. Love you all, keep the faith, email me when you've got a sec I love hearing from my ward/stake family down in good ole AZ.

Hasta Ver,

Elder McLeod

4.20.15 Another week of smiles from the kid

April 20, 2015

Well another week has flown by, it seems like yesterday I was in Utah in the MTC!!! haha crazy, the mission is such a blast, loving it!! This week me and the kid had a lot of ups and down, but a lot more ups than last week that's for sure. Here we go

      I guess I will start with something awesome, so this week we visited with Lilly and Dorus, the 2 single ladies that live together with their kids, (mother, son daughter, and her daughters kids). We have been teaching them for a while now, but they still haven't been baptized. Lilly just needs permission from her catholic husband who is in the US and won't give permission, and Dorus just needs to marry her boyfriend, other than that they are ready for baptism. We taught about baptism and its importance, and now they understand and are working towards baptism. BUT, the son of Dorus can be baptized, so we asked him the baptism questions and he passed everything........ long story short he is going to be baptized this friday!!! The actual interview is Tuesday, he is super smart, no doubt he is ready, so it looks like the kid and I are going to have our first baptisms together! One day Lilly and Dorus will be baptized,  they both admit every time that they know without a doubt that it is a true, they just need to prepare to be baptized.
        This week we had our branch conference which was awesome! We had over 150 people which was the biggest ever. We had a bunch of awesome musical numbers by the young women and the primary, the spirit was there and it was great for our little branch. I still have the opportunity to play the piano in sacrament meeting every sunday, haha at first it felt like more pressure, but now I realize it is a blessing! I am glad cuz now I won't forget how to play, and I love to see people stop singing in sacrament so they can sit there for a second in their tears, it is awesome to see members here in our little branch feel the spirit and strengthen their testimonies, it strengthens mine also.

         Hector is progressing really well. This week we went to go and visit/teach him. When we got there, he spent 15 minutes just thanking us through his tears, I don't know how we hold ourselves together anymore haha. When he had thanked us, we began to express our love to him and how his life is going to change/be super blessed, and he began to bawl and bear testimony to us, WOW HOW POWERFUL IT WAS! We taught the restoration to him and he accepted it all without a doubt, after we invited him to read the book of mormon and pray about it, this was his response, I promise you boys that I will read this book every single night and that I will pray about it to God and ask of its truthfulness, I promise you  that, my word is my promise, and my word never lies. he is progressing very well, we just need to get him to go to church, that is the hardest part, that is the hardest part for every investigator.

          This week we received a really crazy reference from a member, the biggest church here in cantel is the Battaniye with over 400 members that assist every sunday!!! We received a reference from a member for the pastor of the Battania, we went and contacted his house and he was there! We talked for a while and he was super nice, turns out that he has a friend in Xela that he has worked with for 12 years that is a stake president over there in Xela! He said that they are best friends and that he wouldn't mind talking to us missionaries. He invited us over this next monday afternoon at 3 and even gave us his personal cell number. We aren't going to bash or anything, we are really going to pray and prepare to teach him with the spirit. We are going to continue to pray for miracles and maybe this next monday at 3 we will witness a miracle. If not, so be it, but we've got faith that if it is his time to feel the spirit and make a change in his life, it will happen.

         This week we had a ton of great lessons and a lot of people are reading the book of mormon. The only difficult part is getting the people to assist church, this sunday we have a lot of people that have committed to coming, hopefully they will pull  through and end up coming. My comp and I are doing really good, he is already teaching really well and uses his testimony a ton which is great. He is already getting accustomed to Guatemala and the missionary life, he is every trainer's dream.

        This week was a week of hard work like last week, but this week we saw a little bit more of the payoffs than we did last week. Juan Garcia and his wife are progressing like crazy and are going to be baptized in May, they just need to continue to strengthen their faith and keep assisting church. Out of all of our investigators, right now we have what looks like 4 people that are ready to be baptized, I just hope that I am here when it happens.

       Thanks you guys for your prayers and your email, I love hearing from as many people as possible!! Love you all, have a great week and don't forget to hit up the temple at least once a week if possible!


Elder McLeod

4.13.15 Week 2 with the new kid

April 13, 2015

Hey guys hope that everyone is doing great! THis week marks 2 weeks ya with my kid Elder Cano, he is such a stud! This week was literally a miracle week with a lot of success, the Lord was really watching out over us this week!

              We went back with Mario, our ward mission leader, to visit Juan Garcia and his wife this week. We taught the word of wisdom and how it will bless their lives and the life of their daughter, it went really well and they were super excited to come to church! The miracle is that they actually came and stayed for all 3 hours!! ANd most importantly, they really liked it!! The members really were nice and inviting, and Juan and his wife said that they just really liked how they felt, definitely an awesome experience for all! Juan has a baptism date for the 25th of April, but I think that it will be moved to the first week in May which is ok with me as long as he gets baptized=) They are reading the book of mormon every night and are loving it, progressing well and building their testimonies, they are such a great family. They have a little girl who has 7 years, thankfully she really like church too, they are such a great little family!! The cool part is that when Juan is baptized and has the priesthood he will be able to baptize his little girl!=)

            Finally this week we had the chance to go back with Hector! He is doing super well, as I started out just telling him how much he means to us and how much the gospel will bless his life he just started bawling, it was hard for us to hold it together, but we did, and we were able to teach the restoration. He accepted a book of mormon and told us that he is going to read it and study it and pray about it every night!!!! What a stud, he really wants to know for himself if this church is true or not. He didn't accept a baptism date specifically, but he accepted baptism! We think it will be for the end of May after he can actually start assisting church with us. He is going to have the greatest and strongest testimony ever, I just know it!

           This week was crazy because we ended up having close to 20 lessons, and most of them were with members! This was our plan, to try and use the members more and teach their friends/ references, I know that we are going to have huge success with this new plan, with time we will see the results. We are working hard and efficient, this week we even started taking a lot of different youth from our branch to go and visit with us. It was a ton of fun! They introduced us to some of their friends and they got some really good experience going out and seeing what the missionaries do every day. If anything, the youth of our branch are going to hopefully want to become missionaries one day which will really strengthen this branch, I know that one day this branch will be a huge, strong ward with lots of strong families.

          Haha this week our electricity went out like 2 or three things, haha I guess it's just all part of the experience=) The whole mission experience is such a blessing, not just the teaching and missionary part. The living on your own, buying your own food, maintaining a house, and haha all of the things that go wrong like losing your electricity for a couple of nights, it's all just one big awesome missionary experience! Thanks to everyone's prayers and thoughts, my comp and I have been in perfect health since he has been here, since I came here to Cantel I've actually had a lot better health, but never perfect like I do right now.

          This week we worked super hard and saw a lot of little miracles with investigators, the members are really started to take part in the missionary work here, there are days where it seems like they are just throwing out references to us, it really is a miracle and such a huge blessing here, I know that we are going to see a lot of success here in Cantel.

          I guess I'll write a little bit of an update on my kid, he is doing really really well. This week we invited some investigators to be baptized and they accepted! He is starting to understand when and what examples to use, he loves just bearing his testimony which is huge!!!!! He loves to study and learn, and he loves to be obedient which is awesome=) He only has two weeks, but by the end of the time that we will have together he could easily train, this kid is a work horse!!! Out of all the comps that I have had, Elder Cano and Elder Herrera (the Elder that finished my training) have been my favorites, and they have both been Latino!!

          This week was one of those put your nose to the grindstone weeks, and it was awesome. I know that things are improving here, and I can't wait until next week to report to y'all about the progress that was made here in Cantel Guatemala. Love you all, keep the faith, and try to go to the temple once a week, you will find peace and the spirit.

Until next week,

Elder McLeod

4.6.15 Conference Weekend!!!

April 6, 2015

Wow this week was such a spiritual up boost it was insane! I had such a great experience watching conference this week and seeing/ listening to an ACTUAL LIVING PROPHET!! How cool is that! We teach it all day everyday, but I had never really understood just how cool and special it was that this day, we are the only church that has an actual living prophet called of God to guide and teach the people. I learned so much not just from conference this week, but also from the experiences we had.

              I guess I will talk a little about conference. We all went to this huge chapel in Las Rosas, where the zone leaders are, to be able to watch conference because the reality is that practically no one has tvs in our area. We went a little bit early in order to help set up, and when we got there I was greeted by tons of families from my 1st area Salcaja!! It was so awesome seeing all of my old friends and leaders from out there in Salcaja. They are all doing super well and were really excited to see me too which was great=) For conference, us gringos decided to set up a tv in one of the side rooms in the church with conference in english, but here was the difference, we hefted the two big and super comfortable couches from the foyer into the room to watch conference on!!! Haha we had our own gringo room with tons of food and COUCHES!!=) Haha it was awesome, not just the gringo room but conference in general! For us missionaries conference is like christmas, we get to learn from the people that we teach about every day! I loved all of the talks, I loved the different languages and races of the speakers, and I also like the 2 or 3 shout outs to Arizona and the different temples that we now have!! How lucky we are! And how crazy that 3 more were announced, Haiti, Ivory Coast in Africa, and Thailand!! Whats crazy is the one in Thailand, a nation that is 1% christian with a crap ton of Buddhists!!! The church is progressing like crazy, and like one of the apostles said, the church has never been stronger than how it is today.

              Because this week was easter, or semana santa here in latin america, everyone goes out of town or goes to the beach, making missionary work a lot harder. We ended up having a pretty good amount of lessons without members, but practically none with members, that was tough, but there was nothing that we could really do about it. This week, all of the people crowded the streets and made their crazy awesome carpets from fruit, rice, or colored sand. I attached a Pic below, they were super pretty! This week because of the semana santa, there were a ton of processions from the catholics, it was kind of a weird experience, but it was definitely an experience that I will never forget. Haha it really freaked me comp out, he thought that his life was in danger he had never seen things ever get that festive in his country=)

             Speaking of my comp, his name is Elder Cano, and he is my son!=) Haha he is from Nicaragua, him and one of his sisters are the only members in his family, but because of his choice to serve a mission, his parents and the rest of his family are investigating the church right now! he is a stud, loves soccer............. that's about it, but ya he is a stud. He is super humble which is what I was praying for, he loves to learn and grow, he will be an awesome missionary some day. I am lucky that I have the opportunity to train him, it has been such a great experience so far! I feel that I am learning just as much as he is right now, haha he is definitely teaching me a lot. Below I attached a picture of him and I. The funniest thing is when people ask him how long he has in the mission, and he says 3 days, then all of us start busting up laughing=) he is a super funny guy, and I have a feeling that we are going to get along really well.

              This week hermana Roselia and her extended family all bailed for sunday which stunk, but we were able to have an awesome lesson with them. Roselia recently had surgery, so we went to go and see how she is. While we were there we ended up teaching the plan of salvation and inviting them to get baptized. She said no, but because she didn't know that it was all true yet, this is totally fine because she promised us that she is going to read and pray with her kids every night in order to know if it is true. She is a smart lady, and I feel that as long as she keeps reading and praying, eventually she will accept baptism.

               This week we went to go and visit a lady who owns a barber shop/corte shop, haha kind of a weird combo. The lady ended up not being there, but one of her workers was there, so of course we contacted her and gave her a little 5 minute rundown about what we do. She seemed really positive because she invited us to come and teach her the following morning at her house! The next morning we went and watched the new video that the church has come out with titled gracias a que El vive, and then talked a little bit about it. She seemed even more interested, and invited us back for early this next week, we will see what happens with her.

              This week really has been a good week of learning how to train, and learning from the prophet and the apostles. It was a tough week because of the semana santa, but it was full of great experiences and lessons with my new comp. I hope that everyone enjoyed conference weekend like I did, it honestly was the best weekend every! Love you all, keep the faith, have an awesome week.

Elder McLeod