Quetzaltenango Guatemala

Quetzaltenango Guatemala

5.25.15 This Week...

May 25, 2015

Hey everybody how's it going!!! This letter is going to be really short because today we got here really late, i won't have a ton of time to dig into the week, but i'll give the updates and talk about the cool stuff we did.

           This week we had 5 people come to church!! First time in a long time that 5 have come, it was sweet=)

           This week we met up with a less active family that has been reactivating, the three daughters have boyfriends and babies and live together, and the boyfriends aren't married but want to be members........... haha it's a mess, first they have to get married so we will see how that goes, but one of them has a baptism date so that is exciting!

            This last week was the 1st time in 3 months that i have been sick, and both my comp and I were super sick haha. One day we had probably 6 lessons, we were visiting a ton, and when we left our last lesson we took our temperatures and found that we were at 103! haha we were only still walking by the will of the Lord! I have since recovered almost fully, but my comp no, we are going to go into Xela this week and get him looked at by a doctor.

           This morning we took a bunch of the youth and we hiked up in the mountains until we reached the huge 19 metal towers!!! haha it is a famous place because it is super pretty and super hard to get to, but after about 3 hours of hiking we got there!!!! Super good exercise that I haven't done for a while haha, but I cant upload pics because the computer won't read the memory card, next week i guess.

             This past week i had the chance to actually leave my area on divisions for the second time in my mission, I went to Chikilaha which is super close in Xela just the next valley over=) We had some awesome lessons, and we also found a mayan statue!!!! I put a picture below, it was super awesome, don't know if it was real, but the people worship them so we were in and out fast, but it was a pretty cool find.

              This week was a tough week of just work work work, my comp and i agree that this week was definitely hard on us physically, but we know that the blessings will be so worth it at the end of it all so we just keep on working! I love you guys, my testimony is growing so much every day/ week it's crazy. I love the mission, I love studying the scriptures and talks from the prophets, I love finding people that are ready to change their lives, and I love you guys=) Thanks for everything, keep the faith! Next week's letter will be longer I promise!!!

Hasta ver,

Elder McLeod

5.18.15 Adventures with the Kid

May 18, 2015

Hey guys, hope that you all had awesome weeks like we did! Things are going so good over here in the land of the Lamanites, hope that all is well in the land of the gringos in AZ. I guess i am just going to jump into the week!

           So this week we went 2 times to go and visit Hector and teach him. He is doing really really well, he is full of the spirit and just wants to serve the lord!! He is reading the book of mormon every day and right now is at the end of 2nd nephi!!!!! he is rocking it!! He thought it was interesting in 2nd nephi 29, a bible a bible, we already have a bible and we need not another bible! That scripture, haha he understand pretty quickly that those are the people here in Cantel that talk badly about the book of mormon but have never really read it. He is super smart and doesn't care what people think, pilas!! The coolest part is that he now has a baptism date........... for the end of July......... it's in 2 months exactly from today, we are super excited!!!! He told us that he is going to be baptized, just as long as he can 03u2r0982u3r9qy'03r8y3ry. Oops, i guess you'll have to wait for my homecoming talk in 16 months=) He is super positive, this week we are going to take a pic with him so that you guys will know exactly who Hector is.

            So normally there are 2 types of houses that I love to knock at. 1, super super super humble and poor houses, my thought is that maybe these people are humble and willing to accept the gospel of jesus christ and will be able to feel the spirit. 2. super super super nice houses, mansions. Why? because it is really hard for a super rich person to be completely happy and satisfied in life. We had an experience with this this week, we were walking down the street and I happened to look at this mansion that we always passed but never knocked at. I turned to my comp and told him that we NEEDED to knock on that door today. He laughed and told me that I just like to knock at nice houses, but then something really cool happened. We knocked at the door and a 22 year old guy answered it looking at us kinda weird. We introduced ourselves and explained that we had a message that we know he has never heard before in his life, he immediately invited us into his house! We sat down and had a super spiritual restoration lesson, and he seemed super positive throughout the whole thing. At the end he offered the prayer, and the first thing he said was, God thank you for sending me these 2 boys today, only you know the doubts that i have in my heart, help me that I will be able to find the answers to all of the doubts that I have. It was super cool!!!! I don't know if he had been praying early that day for help or what, but it sure felt good to maybe be the answer to someone's humble heartfelt prayer. He ended up not being able to come on sunday, but he is super positive, God has something incredible in store for him.

              Roselia Chojolan we had to drop as an investigator, she isn't ready or willing to read the book of mormon right now in her life. But, before we dropped her, she dropped herself, she gave her copy of the book of mormon to her dad who surprisingly has read up until chapter 5 of 1st nephi!!! So we began to teach him and he is pretty positive. I asked him, Carlos what do you want to get out of our visits, what do you want to learn? His answer was simple and powerful, he said, I want to know if this book, the book of mormon is true, or not. Wow, this guy is going to receive an answer! He has begun to read and pray about it, I have faith that God works miracles and does what he sees as best, I have faith that this man will receive an answer. We only visited him once this week, but this next week we are going to visit him a bunch of times, but every day we follow up on his reading with him.

            So this week my comp had to go to Guate to go and sign his visa,(wow I remember when I had to do that, seemed like it was yesterday!) so we did divisions with some elders from Totonicapan. My comp for the 2 days is named Elder Durfee and he is from American Fork Utah. He is such a stud, this guy got here 3 weeks before I did which is sweet, and he is super funny and knows how to work hard. It was super fun taking him through my area and teaching with him, we even had the chance to go to Zunil to the corte market which was such a blast for him. I love my area and I love the mission.

            The craziest thing happened about 10 minutes ago, we were sitting here on the internet emailing, when all of the sudden................... an earthquake hit! It wasn't huge, but it was big enough that everyone outside in the street stopped and stood silent listening to see if it would increase in strength. The 5 story building that we are emailing in has the internet place on the 1st floor, so we stopped and felt as the 5 story building shook and trembled above under and all around us!!!!! It was crazy, I have never felt an earthquake this strong before, I hope that they don't get any stronger because I wont lie, its a little intense.

             haha just a little health update, I haven't been sick in 2.5 months, it's a stinkin miracle!!!! I think that when I was in a constant state of sickness in Salcaja for 4 months, everything inside just hardened and adjusted, now it's almost impossible to get sick! My comp has been sick a little bit lately, but I know that he will be fine, if I got over it and so did the other 200 missionaries, he will too=)

            All of the lessons this week went really well, a lot of people are actually reading the book of mormon and LEARNING a ton, not just reading but UNDERSTANDING and LEARNING from it. It is like christmas morning when you return to an investigators house and they tell you that they are reading and that they like and understand what they are reading!!! This week I really learned the importance of teaching with LOVE rather than teach just with the spirit, you need to teach with them BOTH, or they aren't going to feel something. We taught an investigator for the time in a couple of weeks, but instead of teaching a lesson, we just sat down and talked about how the gospel can change lives and give us peace, and that is EXACTLY what she needed to hear in that moment!! It was a 15 minute talk about the peace the gospel brings in the family, and she loved it, she even invited us back and said that she is home everyday and that we can pass by any day we want, what a little miracle! We just showed her that we wanted to teach her how she could have more peace and love in her family/ life, and that was her need, that was her key. The key is the key that they need to spiritually open themselves to accept the gospel, her key is that she wants more peace and love in her life. It was an awesome experience, Maybe she will be progressing by the end of this next week.

            This week was awesome and I loved every single second of it. The mission is great, not just for us but for the people that we teach and love as well. I hope that you all can have little personal missionary experiences that boost your testimony, and if you aren't, find a way because trust me it is way worth it.  Love you all and would LOVE to hear from you all through email! Can't wait to hear from you next week, love you guys

hasta ver,

Elder McLeod

5.11.15 Changes

May 11, 2015

Hey everyone hope that you all had an awesome week! THis week was super sweet for us also, we got to skype our families and see the siblings and everything, it was great! We comp even spoke to my dad for a little bit in Spanish and they talked back and forth which was so cool!! Ya so this week was awesome, but not only because we got to call the family, but because we had some other awesome stuff happen to us.
      This week my comp and I both got asked friday night if we would give talks on sunday! I have never really given a talk in spanish before, and never in my life a talk for at least 15 minutes!!! Well we accepted the invitation and on sunday we both gave our talks, him first and Yo second. It all went well, hopefully they understood what I was saying and that I actually made sense haha, but it was such a cool experience talking for 15 minutes in front of our whole ward of about 80 people=) Of course like the cry baby that I am I ended up getting a little emotional, but what was weird was that everyone was silent, like they had never seen anyone break down during a talk before, everyone went dead silent even the 1 thousand crying kids went quiet, it was such a cool feeling, the spirit was THERE. The greatest feeling though was afterwards when different families and people came up to us thanking us for our words and for the feelings that they felt during our talks. Even if  we never baptized in this mission, it would be just as satisfying to hear people say that to us as to baptize. One lady even told us that her testimony had been strengthened, what a humbling experience, to actually be blessed to be part of the testimony building of others!!!!! IT wasn't us that did it, it was the spirit 100%, that is what teaches, testifies, and confirms to the people the truth.

     This week we received an awesome reference from a part member family in Pachaj, an aldea behind our little aldea where we live. The husband of the active member wife is not a member, neither are the husbands of the three daughters of the wife! The best part is that the husbands are super interested and want to learn about the church and if it is true or not, golden!!! We are going on thursday of this week to visit them and hopefully put a baptism date, I feel that they could be really really positive!

    This week something really cool happened, we have a lot of investigators that have not been progressing forever so we were about to drop them when................. magically they all found desire to start reading the book of mormon this week!!! Literally in one day we taught 4 different investigators that had all randomly begun to read the book of mormon, obviously we have taught the importance of it and everything before, but the problem is that everyone says that they never have time, even when you ask them if they have 5 minutes in a day, they say no. It definitely was a miracle, a couple of them even assisted our mother's day activity this week which was a huge step!

      About 2 months ago, I went on divisions to the zone leaders area. we visited a family of 3 girls, a mom and her 2 already grown up daughters about 22 and 18 in age. They are all members in this area, but all are inactive. When we taught them it was obvious that they weren't going to go back to being active in their ward, so, I said, ´´well what's important is that you all assist church and keep your covenants, not where, well i guess you all should come to my ward!!´´ Haha the funny part is that 2 of the 3 have reactivated and assist our ward every week!!! It's been so cool to see them in church practically every sunday, they aren't super strong yet, but at least they are assisting church every week and renewing their covenants.

       Here in Cantel the investigators are doing good, a lot of them are reading the book of mormon, the hard part is just getting them to assist church. one investigator told us that he would come this last week, but then didn't cuz he had a promise that he forgot about. On sunday we saw him drive by in the back of a pickup with a snapback and a tank top on  on his way to the coast to go to the beach, haha they really don't understand the importance of church attendance and the sacrament. pues lucharemos!!!!

        Ok so this week are changes, last night we got the changes update. 5 elders and 2 sisters have changes............. luckily neither me or the kid have changes!! Looks like I will get to finish his training if everything goes according to plan!=) We are super happy, today we celebrated with the other elders by going to Mcdonald's! Hha in the states rarely do we go to Mcdonald's to celebrate something, but here you have to have money to be able to eat at Mcdonalds!!  We are super excited to be able to be comps for a little bit longer. Rumor is that this will be my last change here because i've got 7 months here in this zone, but we will see what the Lord wants in 6 weeks time.

      I love Cantel, I love Guatemala, I love rice and beans and chicken, I love corte, I love the kid,  I love teaching people and feeling the spirit everyday, I love the mission!!!!! I wouldn't rather be anywhere else than  right where I am. I love you all also, thanks for the prayers and the emails, I love hearing from all of you that email me, and if you don't email me you definitely should!!! conner.mcleod@myldsmail.net

Have a great week, until next monday!!
Hasta Ver,

ELder McLeod


5.4.15 Well we are gettin close to mothers day!!

May 4, 2015

Hey everybody, hope that you are all having the time of your lives wherever you are at! I know that the Kid and I are, we are loving it out here in the mountains of Guatemala! This past week honestly went by so fast, it was a blur, haha sometimes it's hard to remember exactly what we did because it goes by so fast. I guess I'll just start will some of my favorite stuff that happened.

             We've got this friend who we see pretty much every single day walking the streets. His name is carlos and he is this super awesome homeless guy that reminds us a little of Moses, he was a coyote for about 20 years back in the good old days, but now after spending years and years in prison in the states, he has nothing else to do but walk the streets in Cantel and beg for food and money. We felt pretty bad, and we figured that being a member would really help him, so we've started inviting him to church every week. This last week he came but sat outside because he was super dirty and felt bad. So............ this week we changed that=) He is a new man!!!! Look at the pictures and you will see what i am talking about! This week he actually came for the last hour!!! We ended up just teaching him word of wisdom and other fundamentals of the church and he said that he is going to come back this next week but at 9! We were super stoked, he is a new man, now he just needs to change the non physical side of his life, that's where we come in again!

              Johnson got baptized this last week but I couldn't attach the picture, so here it is! He is super happy, and his mom is on the left, his grandma on the right. His mom told me something that happened this last week that was super awesome, On Saturday she told Johnson that on Sunday they were going to miss church because they had to go to Xela, but Johnson instead of saying ok said, but mom, now that I am baptized I have to be perfect or it is a sin!!! He ended up coming to church with just his grandma, what a stud!!!  Haha kids are just the greatest, and this kid is the best!

               Since we have begun doing our mini family home evenings every monday night at the church, we have been having pretty good assistance, usually of about 12 people. This last time one of the young women brought a friend named Noemi, she is 18 and is a basketball star!! She really liked our FHE and decided to come to church this week! She stayed the first 2 hours which was awesome, she said that next week she was going to stay for all 3 hours! We are now teaching her and she is super positive, she just needs to read the book of mormon and pray every night to receive her answer.

               This week we also had the chance to go and visit references with the Quiem family up in Estancia which is a little village up in the mountains. They brought us to a little 4 person family, 2 parents, an 11 year old daughter, and a little 2 year old baby. When we got there and sat down, the husband began bawling and telling us how he wanted to change his life and how he had been chastised by God so much, the wife too. I just explained to them our purpose and that what he have to offer really can do that, change lives, and they both started crying, they are super humble people which is such a huge blessing. We taught them a little about the sabbath day and how important it is that we keep it holy. They were super excited to take their first ´´steps in changing their lives´´ they said, it was great. They couldn't come to church because of a wedding this week but they swore to us that they are going to come with us this next week so we are stoked!

                This week the rains really started up, haha and we forgot our umbrellas............ we didn't have a camera to take  a picture, but we were walking the streets of Estancia one day for about 20 minutes in the POURING RAIN!! Haha there were people lining the streets hiding under little shelters or in their doorways out of the rain, and then the mormons walked right on by completely soaked in the POURING RAIN happy as can be on to their next lesson, haha I am sure that we gave some people a good laugh=) The rain here is different than in Arizona, here it is cold, in AZ it was a warm rain and it felt really good. Here it is super refreshing, but it is cold, haha but I love it compared to the heat during the day.

               The kid and I are doing really well. Surprisingly I get along with him better than any of my comps before, this guy is super cool. He is progressing really fast, when we did divisions with the zone leaders this last week they told me that he is super super smart and knows what he is doing in the lessons, that made dad pretty happy=) Haha we are loving it up here, we are working harder than ever and I have a feeling that amazing things are about to happen these next couple of weeks with a number of investigators! All we can do is keep on working hard and praying praying praying every day for help, good things are going to keep happening.

                This week we went with some of the youth on a hike (Monday of course) to see some sweet mayan statues!!! It was so cool, there were 3 different mayan carved faces and tables, it was so cool to actually see some mayan cultural stuff from way back when! I put a picture below of us with one of the statues with some tables, coolest pday morning ever.

                 Well this week was crazy quick, cant believe it's already almost mother's day dang time flies when you are having fun. Things are going really good out here, I hope and pray that all is well back in good ole AZ. Love you all, have an awesome mother's day this week, write me if you've got a sec!

Hasta ver,

Elder McLeod